Southeast Asia Tours: 10 Tips For Having A Perfect Vacation
Southeast Asia Tours: 10 Tips For Having A Perfect Vacation
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The hot of Southeast Asia is uncontroversial in any means. But in this article, we shall not talk much about the weather, we are travelers and tourists, not scientists. In recent years, Southeast Asia has become a default destination for any traveler who is looking for a travel trip on a budget. If it is your first time to Southeast Asia or you are the new guy who is just starting to travel, it must have a lot of confusions as you can’t recognize it yourself. Therefore, joining in some of Southeast Asia tours might be the better options as you can freely enjoy the experience because of having someone to take care of everything.
If you come from the western countries, Southeast Asia may be a different world with you. Therefore, taking a Southeast Asia tour is also not a simple task. Here are 10 tips for you to choose the best Southeast Asia tour.
I. Decide what experience you want for your Southeast Asia tours
Nothing can help you to get a perfect vacation than participating in your favorite activities. How about a tour of Southeast Asia which includes all of your favorites? Best tour ever! Southeast Asia has almost everything you expect from a near-Equator region. Make a list of what you want the most and then reorganize it by priority, from what you will die in regret if you don’t try it when you have the chance to what you will do if there is still time.
Do you know that most travelers coming to Southeast Asia not to lie on the beaches, enjoy incredibly cheap beer and eat cheap food? Those things are the most common things people mention when talking about Southeast Asia but this land also has an immense amount of adventures. You will find your favorite Southeast Asia tour whether you are an active person, a history lover or just want a leisure vacation.
Have you completed your list yet? Then that is the first step to find a suitable Southeast Asia package. If you still have the confusions, please read till the end of the article as we have some recommendations for you.
II. Southeast Asia tours budget: Is your wallet fat or thin?
If you are aiming for a travel trip on a budget, then a Southeast Asia tour might be the best choice for you. There is nowhere else in the world where you can have a beer for less than 1 dollar, have a meal for under US$ 10 and a bit high than that for accommodation. If you can afford the best Southeast Asia tour available, please pass this sector because you won’t need it. If a cheap Southeast Asia tour is what you are looking for (or at least you don’t want to misspend your fortune into the unnecessary things), these tips below might help you.
1. The Southeast Asia tour costs are different from each country
Some of Southeast Asia countries are more expensive than the others, as visiting destinations on the mainland are generally cheaper than on the islands, Thailand trips are not as dirt cheap as you might think and accommodations in Malaysia are one of the most expensive in the region. Furthermore, you should not conduct your Southeast Asia tour during peak season. The general price declines dramatically in shoulder season will save you a lot of money.
Another obvious thought is that the cost of staying in big cities is higher, so you might look for small towns instead. It doesn’t mean that you should stay away from big cities. Spending less time in big cities is more than enough for your budget.
2. Set your Southeast Asia tour in a group of friends
Set your Southeast Asia tour in a group of friends is an advanced tip. Traveling in a group reduces your Southeast Asia tour budget a lot as everything is divided based on the number of members. Even though, don’t be so skimpy as gathering too many people in your squad. Taking care of too much of people will make you unable to enjoy the trip anymore.
3. Know the transportation cost during your Southeast Asia tour
Transportation takes a large proportion of your budget. To conduct a cheap Southeast Asia tour, you have to reduce your transportation cost. Notice that the distance between destinations in Southeast Asia sometime is not as close as it looks on the map. Sometimes you have to move by more than one means of transportation to get from place to place. It also cost you a lot of time struggling on the bus instead of having fun in Southeast Asia attractions.
Add in your Southeast Asia tour’s itinerary list the destinations which are close to the others or are not so complicated in moving. Because it will reduce your tiredness, decrease your cost and lift up your fun, paying attention and manage it as best as you can is necessary.
Megacities in Southeast Asia have very developed public transportation. They are really helpful when you need to move between attractions within the city or among different region with a cheap price. Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia have modern subway and skytrain beside railroad transportation and bus while Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar still focus on developing bus and train service. Personally, I love sleeping buses in Vietnam with bunks instead of seats and chill temperature for a good sleep till the morning.
Read about 4 ways to travel across Vietnam
There are other traditional transportations like tuk-tuk, jeepney, tricycle, motor-taxi, etc. for you to try. But beware of the tuk-tuk, motor-taxi and taxi, there are more infamous scandals about them than all other means of transport. Never get on one of them unless you make sure the driver understands where you want to go and having agreed on the price.
4. Track your flights early and invest time finding cheap accommodation
Tracking every flight around your planned starting day for a couple of months and wait until it is at the lowest price as possible. Using Skyscanner or Google Flight will help you track multiple flights and watch its fluctuation ratio. The same with accommodation, as you can follow its price at Booking.com, Tripadvisor or Agoda.
III. Which countries will you choose for your Southeast Asia tour?
Every country has a unique beauty, unique attractions as you can’t find it anywhere else. To have a complete Southeast Asia tour, travel across countries in the region is obviously. You also can’t say that “you traveled Southeast Asia” if you just stick with one or two countries. But we think that you still should know some of the best characteristics in every country.
This part is pretty long, so you might want to focus on the countries you like first
1. The Southeast Asia tour: Visiting Vietnam
Vietnam is a place of deeply fascinating and potentially frustrating, both at the same time. It is among the most exciting destinations for your Southeast Asia tour
The Northern and Central of Vietnam is dominated by landscapes. You shouldn’t miss the majestic mountainous of Ha Giang, Cao Bang and Sapa, trek through the endless yellow ladder paddy fields and enjoy the special flavor from the forest; Explore the Tu Lan Cave System, including the world’s largest cave – Son Doong Cave – at Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park; Visit the famous Halong Bay with countless milestone cliffs and relaxing at My Khe Beach - one of the most beautiful beaches worldwide in Da Nang.
Vietnam has some of the most vibrant cities. You will love to wander around the traditional city of Hanoi, the nostalgic Hoi An or the frantic commercial capital of Ho Chi Minh City. The food markets are dizzying beehives of activities and the bustling of the roads full of scooters makes every ride an adventure.
Vietnam is also a country of the impossible. Your jaw will drop many times when you see how people manage their life in this country. Believe us, you will know that we were right.
While the culture, history and cuisine are the big draws, Vietnam still has things that will fail you. Vietnam might strike you as a tour factory with the cheap but cookie-cutter tours which rush from one tourist trap to another. Scams and thieves are still the problems in this country, as you have to stay alert all the time.
But don’t be afraid, spend time to research and you will find it’s not so hard to counter it all. You can find every tip you need to know at a specific destination in our articles.
2. The Southeast Asia tour: Visiting Thailand
Thailand is an amazing place for unjaded traveler, easy, fun and has something for everyone. It is a perfect destination to start your Southeast Asia tour.
If you come from the Western countries and it is your first time in Southeast Asia, arriving Bangkok is like stepping into a whole new world. But Thailand has its own way to let you ease into things and the famous hospitality of the people will make you feel like home. It’s exotic enough to make you feel adventurous but the logistics are easy.
Your first time in Thailand requires you to plan detailly and choose your destinations wisely. If you looking for some sand and sun, try some island and beaches in the South. There are also some renowned party scenes such as Khaosan Road (Bangkok), Koh Phangan Island and Koh Phi Phi Island. If you prefer the authentic and quiet Thailand, head toward the off-the-beaten-path places of Northern Thailand or the Koh Chang archipelago at the Southeast.
3. The Southeast Asia tour: Visiting Laos
Laos – an incredible Southeast Asia tour destination of adventure.
The thinly populated Laos with a syrupy slow pace of life is sometimes overlooked by the much more easily enticed tropical beaches. At the first glance, it might not look as excited as Thailand or Vietnam but its Buddhist calms and the Mekong River view will make you change your mind.
Laos might be the best country in the mainland for Southeast Asia tour of trekking and hiking with its pristine jungles and mountainous landscape. It’s also an excellent place for kayaking, rock climbing and zip-lining.
4. The Southeast Asia tour: Visiting Cambodia
There are 2 reasons why Cambodia is a recommended destination on your Southeast Asia tour:
Firstly, the spectacular Angkor Wat is at the top of the best destinations in Southeast Asia tour. This complex of temples is so large which cost you a day or more to explore it properly. Nearby the temple is the city of Siem Reap - a fun-filled base for tourists who come back from Angkor Wat.
Secondly, Cambodia features some of the most beautiful islands in the region, which are still underdeveloped compared with other countries. Some islands like Koh Rong Samloem and Koh Rong are not staying pristine forever. So visit it while you can.
Cambodia also has some amazing national parks like Chi Pat National Park with excellent ecotourism services. It is highly recommended in your Southeast Asia tour.
5. The Southeast Asia tour: Visiting Malaysia
Unlike Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, Malaysia was once a part of the British Empire. Therefore, Malaysia’s historical cities have some differences from its neighbors. It feels more multi-culture, a mix of Malays, Indians, Chinese and many other minority ethnics.
The beaches and islands in Malaysia are relatively low-key. It is more suitable for leisure Southeast Asia tours. Other attractions in this country are mostly family-friendly and well set up for visitors.
If you love Southeast Asia tours of adventure, the eastern part of the country might become your favorite. It is where you can conquer the highest mountain of Southeast Asia - Kota Kinabalu, scuba diving at Pulau Mabul, Pulau Sipadan and visit the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary with countless monkeys, hornbills and crocodiles.
You should prepare your budget a bit more for traveling to Malaysia. Don’t worry because it is worthy.
6. The Southeast Asia tour: Visiting Singapore
A gentle introduction to Southeast Asia
The city-state of Singapore is seemed to be different from the other part of your Southeast Asia tour. It is spotlessly clean and high-tech, a meticulously designed place which sometimes you feel like you are visiting a glittering futuristic vision from an architect’s dream.
The city of Singapore is creative, vibrant and it has plenty of interesting areas to check out.
The food on this island is also phenomenal as you have to visit some of its food courts to sample all kind of Asian cuisine. The hygiene standard is way higher than other countries but still pretty cheap.
Keep in mind that except for food, the price of everything else in Singapore is essentially at the Western level
7. The Southeast Asia tour: Visiting Indonesia
Don’t just focus on Bali. In case you did realize, Indonesia is really large and there are a lot of places to discover besides Bali. Being blessed with 17,000 islands and numerous volcanoes, your Southeast Asia tour will be filled with surfing, trekking, diving and wildlife spotting. You can climb the epic volcano of Bromo, surfing at the quiet beaches of Lombok, explore the rural Flores and see Komodo dragons at Komodo National Park.
If you are pressed of time, spend a week at Bali Island is not the worst idea. If you dive deeper into the island, you might find a number of beautiful Hindu temples, paddy fields and laidback beaches
8. The Southeast Asia tour: Visiting Philippines
The Philippines is defined by its megacities, smoldering volcanoes, emerald paddy fields and the hospitality people.
Featuring more than 7,000 islands, Philippines is truly a beach bum’s delight. There are enough islands for every taste, from the mega-islands of Luzon to the marooned slicks of sand at the middle of the sea. Alongside with the beaches and islands, the outdoor activities are also fascinating
Being colonized by Spanish and American affect Filipino cuisine deeply as the food takes a lot of inspiration from American fast food and Spanish asado. In many respects, it’s a pretty big minus.
9. The Southeast Asia tour: Visiting Myanmar
This kingdom of Burma is an amazing country, where the landscapes are scattered with glided pagodas. Myanmar retains the power of surprise and delight even the most jaded travelers. Admiring the 4000 sacred stupas scattered across the plain of Bagan; being dazzled by the majestic wonder of Shwedagon Paya or join in the pilgrims’ hiking into the temple on the boulder of Golden Rock at the summit of Mount Kyaiktiyo.
Myanmar is the country of traditional value. You will commonly meet men wearing the sarong (their traditional costume), chewing betel nut and women with faces covered in thanakha (a natural sunblock) and cheroot-smoking grannies. People in Myanmar are gentle, humorous, engaging, inquisitive and passionate.
You might want to spend time of your Southeast Asia tour to explore Myanmar like drift down Ayeyarwady River in an old streamer, stake out a secret beach on the blissful Bengal Bay or trekking through the pine forest to the minority villages across Shan Hill.
10. The Southeast Asia tour: Visiting Brunei Darussalam
The Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam is what left of a naval empire which once ruled the whole of Borneo Island and a part of Indonesia at present. People in this country boast the largest oilfields in Southeast Asia.
Beneath the prosperous from oil is the warmth of the Brunei people, and the wisely wildness restores of their natural environment. You can visit the verdant Ulu Temburong National Park with old-growth, primary rainforests, home of proboscis monkeys, hornbills and crocodiles.
The charming riverside capital of Bandar Seri Begawan is well-ordered with opulent palaces, majestic mosques in contrast with the flimsy-looking water village scattered in the rural area.
11. The Southeast Asia tour: Visiting Timor Leste
Timor Leste is an undiscovered gem of Southeast Asia and features one of the world greatest off-the-beaten-path adventures.
Featuring one of the best coral reefs in the world and the superlative biodiversity, the North coast is where you should head toward. You can also hike to jungle caves, wander to the misty mountain village markets or enjoy the beauty of coastal landscapes along the diabolical roads you bump in.
The ancient tradition of Timor Leste has survived the ravages of long-lasting wars throughout its dark history. You can get an insight of it in the Dili’s museum.
IV. Manage your time during the Southeast Asia tour
Managing time is always an important part of planning a tour. You should try to find the balance point between your ground-touched list of activities in your Southeast Asia tour and the fact that you might not have enough time to try them all. Extending your travel duration might raise your budget dramatically and cause some VISA problems.
Do some deep research about your destinations and set them up based on your priority list will be an effective way to manage your time. Update your destination’s status to make sure you won’t waste time and fortune.
V. Check your VISA requirements at countries in your Southeast Asia tour
It is long and complicated every time talking about legal stuff. The VISA policy in each country is different and also depend on your nationality. Therefore, we will save it for another article, where we can help you more detail about VISA policy of every country in Southeast Asia.
Some Southeast Asia countries require your passport having a specific number of empty pages or some lookalike requirements. The requirements are also seemed to be constantly changing. Therefore, keep tracking it to the last day if you can, or ask for the consultation from the lawyer.
If you end up needing a VISA upon arrival at your destinations, you should prepare some small photo of yourself and some US dollar in cash. Many airport’s VISA offices have ATMs or exchange service and photo booths but it is smoother if you prepare it all at home. To be able to get out of the airport and start your Southeast Asia tour quicker, considering to print out online forms and fill them ahead of time will work.
VI. Exchange money once you arrive
You might consider to not exchange your money at your home country nor airport. US and European banks often charge an excess fee for exchange money while you can easily get a decent rate when you have already arrived at your hotel in Southeast Asia. I didn’t mean to exchange at the hotel as it usually offers a terrible rate but you should stick to banks or the spots which advertise “money exchange”. Credit cards are not as popular in Southeast Asia as in your home country so keep a plenty of cash with you during your Southeast Asia tour.
VII. Choose your Southeast Asia tour provider
Do not try to manage everything if you can’t, as if this is your first time in Southeast Asia, you really need to purchase tours. To make it the best Southeast Asia tour, you might want to try tailor-made tour service. Tailor-made tour is the tour which is customized for you, based on the experiences, the destinations you want, the time you have, etc. and of course, it will not be inexpensive. It is the best choice for jaded travelers or if you go in a large group. It’s also a good choice for a relaxing vacation, as everything is scheduled and set ready to welcome you. For this kind of tour, choose an international travel agent is the most safety option but a local Southeast Asia tour provider will be fine as well.
There is another option which is relatively cheaper and you can change your schedule as whatever you want. It is purchasing local tours at your destinations. But beware of scams and cookie-cutter tours which can ruin your experience. The only thing you can do to protect yourself from scams and cookie-cutter Southeast Asia tours is spending time do research, get consults from other travelers.
VIII. Get your travel insurance for Southeast Asia tour
Never underestimate the travel insurance. You will be surprised at the amount you will save when insurance covers your bad-luck. When you choose a travel insurance for your Southeast Asia tour, please notice its policy covers:
- Medical and health issue (includes hospital treatment and medical evacuation)
- Property theft or loss
- Trip interruption or cancellation
- Emergency evacuation
Check your present insurance policy before purchasing a new one as some banks and many credit cards provide some travel cover and medical insurance policies.
You also need to be careful with the new insurance policy. The coverage is never unlimited so check its limit so you won’t be regret purchasing it if it doesn’t cover your accident. Read carefully the excess clauses, too.
Take note that going to some specific destinations or doing particular activities might be out-ranged your insurance cover.
Doing particular activities might include surfing or scuba diving. These “extreme sports” are usually classified as an exclusion in most policies and might require an additional fee. Therefore, you might want to get a separate cover.
When insuring your luggage, check if the per-article limit covers the cost of your most valued baggage item.
IX. Just packing what’s necessary for your Southeast Asia tour
Seriously, you should pack light. I know it is kind of scary to step into the whole new world, but you don’t have to prepare for doomsday like that. Southeast Asia is not a savage land and you will easily buy almost everything during your Southeast Asia tour. In most destinations, you can have your clothes washed, dried and ironed within 24 hours for a couple bucks. I call it “the laundry magicians”
Pack about one week’s worth of clothes and your necessary travel item into a carry-on bag is enough. A light bag is easier to carry, saves you money for airline bag allowance, makes it harder to lose stuff, and keeps you agile.
Remember to bring modest clothing which covers your knees and shoulders if you plan to visit temples. Your necessaries should include first aid kit, stomach medicines, earplugs, travel packs of tissues, a small flashlight and maybe a multi-port plug in case your hotel has not enough outlets.
X. Beware the copycat during your Southeast Asia tour
It is a common scene you will meet within your Southeast Asia tour as many restaurants and guesthouses shamelessly take the name of successful brands. Sometimes they just put a tiny, barely-noticeable “2” at the end to avoid trademark problem as well as some other ways I can’t tell it all. The same happens with food with lookalike covers and designs which can trick you till the moment you put it into your mouth. Pay attention! You have to pay attention.
XI. Southeast Asia tour destinations: Our recommendations
So, you read to the end. Thank you for your attention to this article. Let us give you some of best Southeast Asia tour destination recommendations.
1. Southeast Asia tours for adventure lovers
Southeast Asia offers you a dozen of high mountains, off-the-beaten-track islands, intense forests and an abundance of underwater life are waiting for you to explore.
a. Southeast Asia tour of trekking in Sapa, Vietnam
Sapa is one of the best breathtaking places you definitely have to visit at least once. Offering the yellow rice paddies stretch endlessly, the roof of Indochina – Fansipan Mountain and the off-the-beaten-path route to the minority villages deep on the mountain, you will have the most unforgettable experience.
On the route, you will meet the friendly, generous local who will easily invite you to join in a dinner with them or even stay overnight without any charge. Be prepared for a hangover night with the strong homemade rice wine and a lot of delicacies, it’s the best part of the night. But if you don’t want to drink, just politely resist. Don’t try to compete with the local in drinking, they are really tough.
You can also enjoy the magical Red Dao herb bath which erases all of your tiredness after a whole day long.
The tour includes 10-15 kilometers daily trekking on dirt roads, cross hills and valleys in 2-3 days. You will find more information about this Southeast Asia adventure tour at the Western quarter in Hanoi or read our trekking Sapa complete guide.
b. Son Doong Cave trekking – the most challenging cave tour of Southeast Asia
Son Doong Cave is one of the largest caves in the world, located inside Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam. This is the ultimate challenge in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park as you will have to trek 70 kilometers deep into the forest, high hill terrain, diving through caves, etc. It is not a trekking tour for everyone.
Exploring the untouched forest, conquering the majestic limestone mountains and enjoying the fresh cool water while swimming in the pristine streams are the reward for you on the way. The biggest rewards lie inside the largest cave in the world with the colorful stalactites and stalagmites in interesting shapes, sail kayak on the endless underground stream and meet the interesting creatures of darkness.
To take part in this tour, you have to be an experienced long-distance trekker, frequently play sports and have a perfect health condition. Yet you still find Phong Nha Ke Bang interesting as it has many other trekking tours fit with your health conditions. You will find it at the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park Essential Travel Guide
c. Scuba Diving tour in Southeast Asia at Sail Rock, Thailand
Feeling like the ordinary scuba diving is not enough? Then hand up to the scuba diving with bull shark without the cage in the warm, crystal clear water of Southern Thailand. Located 2 kilometers to the South of Koh Tao and 11 kilometers from Koh Phangan in the North, there is one landmass called Sail Rock. It is the habitat of many species and the most notable is Bull Sharks.
Bull Sharks is known as a quite aggressive species, a gracious, beautiful and powerful animal with the ultimate adrenaline rush.
The dives usually include a lap around the rock, with the sharks are often be found gliding around a few meters away. Don’t be so worry, an old adage said that if you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you. The sheer variety of marine life, beautiful coral reefs and the exciting feeling of being close with the sharks make it one of the best Southeast Asia tour package.
d. Cliff jumping tours in Southeast Asia: Chiang Mai, Thailand
The best Southeast Asia tour for people who’re looking for an adrenaline rush. Just a few kilometers away in the Southwest of the city is an abandoned quarry now is filled by water. In this site, the only thing between you and the water surface is the open air. Start with jumping off the 5 meters high cliff to wake your courage up and then put your fear aside when fell off from the height of 15 meters. Hold your breath!
It’s called the Chiang Mai Grand Canyon. Remember that name when you find the Southeast Asia tours which include it. Or you can hire a motorbike at Chiang Mai for about 80 baht/day and head to the South in 120 Highway, then take the first right after PT Gas Station.
The fee to enter is 50 baht/person, includes an herbal drink. The lifeguard is on duty but you still should watch out all the time.
2. Southeast Asia tours for culture lovers
a. Hoi An, Vietnam – The Southeast Asia tour of the ancient international port
Since the XIV century, Hoi An has become one of the most prosperous port worldwide. This place attracts many merchants from China, Japan, Portugal, Netherland and India. Among the merchants, many had chosen to live here permanently, get married and create a unique cultural mix. The port lasts until the XIX century, followed by the quick changes of urbanization which reform most of Hoi An City. The Hoi An Ancient Town is the most well-preserved part of the old port, with the architecture and street planning are maintained the same as they were since the XIX century. Read more about the cultural value of Hoi An Ancient Town
Hoi An has a slow lifestyle. It seems like the flow of time is unlikely to replace and change the nostalgic feeling in the whole city. You will find the buildings here reflecting the unique blend of the local values and the influences of foreign with tube houses and the small, stone-paved roads. In the night, the colorful lanterns shine everywhere, makes it always looks like a festival. You can also try the delicious specialties of Hoi An with a shockingly cheap price.
Visit Southeast Asia tour of Hoi An - the essential guide for more information about Hoi An.
b. Southeast Asia culture tour package in Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang is a small town established at the heart mountainous of the Northern Laos, set at the confluence of Nam Khan River and Mekong River. This place was the capital of the first ancient Laos kingdom – Lan Xang (or the land of the million elephants) from 1353 onward. Luang Prabang will awake your imagination and your inner peace with the world-class comfort and the spiritual nourishment in the revered gilded wats.
Luang Prabang is a wonderful patchwork of traditional Lao wooden houses, mix with a little influence of French architecture; the top-hill wats with golden roofs, teak-warped balconies and 19th-century shuttle windows. Luang Prabang also offers an exquisite Gallic cuisine.
Being one of the most charming cities in all of Southeast Asia, Luang Prabang is one of the must-visit destinations in travelers all around the world in their Southeast Asia tour package.
c. Having fun with Southeast Asia culture tour at Songkran Festival, Thailand
It is a big mistake if this super fun water fight festival is not added in our Southeast Asia tours list. Being held annually from April 13 to April 15, this festival attracts a huge number of foreigners who are having a Southeast Asia adventure tour.
Songkran is the Thai’s New Year holiday. At this event, people come back home with their family, paying reverence to ancestors, clean their house and bless village elders and family members by trickling it over their shoulders. Thai people believe that the water will clean all their sins, any bad luck or grievances in the past year and also bless them with luck, happiness and fortune. They also spend a portion of the holiday visiting Wats to give alms and ask for forgiveness.
The festival has quickly transformed into a national scale water fight, as people alike hold posts canon-size water guns, gigantic cooler boxes, pressure hoses and big buckets of water.
Want to join in already? You should prepare quick dry clothes, a pair of goggles and a big gun. And don’t take it personally if you got hit too much, they said that as much hit you got, as much luck you gain.
d. Mount Kyaiktiyo, Myanmar – the true Southeast Asia tour for pilgrims
Kyaiktiyo Mountain is one of the most attractive places in Myanmar, as it is the location of the Golden Rock. The legend said that a boulder is held in place by a strand of Buddha’s hair, as it seems to be on the verge of rolling down the hill from a ledge at the mountain summit.
It is a really challenging route. The true pilgrim route is hiking from the very bottom to the top and it costs 5 hours to complete. The heat and humid will quickly drain out your stamina but there are some refreshment stands on the way to cool you down. Yet, you can take a crowded open-top truck to a stopping point distanced 1.5 kilometers from the summit. Here you can choose whether to complete this adventure on foot or take the bus onwards.
I think most of you won’t need this but there is a cable car will carry you from the base to the top of Kyaiktiyo Mountain. The price is about US$ 10 for a ticket. It is a good option if you don’t have much time left but is a really lazy option.
The most beautiful moment in the Golden Rock is at sunset and sunrise. Words fail to convey its beauty so you should try it yourself. It is a good destination for a Southeast Asia tour
And one more thing, women are still not allowed to enter the Kyaiktiyo temple but they are permitted in the outer balcony and the lower courtyard of the rock.
e. Exploring the culture in Southeast Asia tour of Mekong Delta, Vietnam
Mekong River – the longest river in Southeast Asia – divides itself into 9 brands when it reaches into Vietnam territory. These 9 brands create a unique water world of Mekong Delta, as its name in Vietnamese is “Cuu Long” (means “9 dragons”). This is one of the most interesting culture tours in Southeast Asia.
On this tour of Southeast Asia water world, you will have the chance to experience the floating lifestyle of the locals. Just imagine that you are traveling by boat along a narrow canal in Venice, but around you is not buildings and paved roads but simple houses made from bamboo and wood and dense rows of mangrove. People in this area move mostly by boats and the simple-as-shocked bridges made from bamboo and some ropes.
Taking advantage from the alluvial soil of the Mekong River, this land is popular with the fresh tropical fruits and the diverse cuisine.
Visit our Mekong Delta tour package for more information.
3. Southeast Asia tours for history lovers
a. Southeast Asia tour in the ancient capital of Hue
Hue is the capital city of Vietnam during its last monarchy dynasty of Nguyen. In this city, the tracks of a prosperous kingdom in the past still exist. You will have the chance to visit the palace of the Nguyen Dynasty, enjoy the cuisine and folk music performance which once only be served for royal families. The emperor’s tombs are also the attractions which take place at the best locations in the area. Almost every emperor in the Nguyen Dynasty has a large tomb of their own with beautiful gardens and a sweeping view from the hill. Each tomb strictly follows many Feng Shui standards and every detail has its own story.
Like Hoi An, Hue is a calm lifestyle city. You can feel the nostalgic feeling all the time during the historic Southeast Asia tour package in Hue.
b. The world's largest Southeast Asia religious tour - Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Vat is the world largest temple complex located 5.5 kilometers away from Siem Reap. It was originally built as a Hindu temple to worship the god Vishnu but then gradually changing into a Buddhist temple at the end of XII century.
On the area of 162.6 hectares, Angkor Vat is designed in the Khmer temple-mountain style with long, narrow lobbies. The main sector includes 3 rectangular galleries lies within a large moat and a 3.6 kilometers outer wall. Visitors to Angkor Wat are impressed with its imposing eminence and its fascinating decorative. The level of detail in the carving on the wall is astonishing with more than 3000 beguiling apsaras (heavenly nymphs) are uniquely carved into the walls and many bas-reliefs depict historical events as well as mythical stories.
The ticket for entrance in Angkor Wat is US$ 37/person/day. Remember to add it in your Southeast Asia tour’s budget.
c. The Southeast Asia tour of learning historic lessons in Cu Chi Tunnel, Vietnam
You want to know more about the tenacious spirit of Vietnamese people during the Vietnam war, few sites can be more recommended than Cu Chi. It is an extended hand-made underground network located 60 kilometers away from Ho Chi Minh City in the Northwest.
This 250-kilometers underground tunnel had been made with simple tools and bare hands. It is where the people of Cu Chi District lived, slept, ate, heal the sick, taught the young and planned the attack, despite the endless rain of bombs on the ground. Cu Chi Tunnel is the main channel of communication of the North Vietnam Army as well as transport supplies, weapons and a base for sabotage teams and intelligent agents to infiltrate Saigon.
Believe it or not, but inside the network, there were hospitals, schools, theaters and kitchens, all are specially designed and connect with an amazing air ventilation system so they can be used underground. Do you know that they cooked their meal by firewood and there is nothing as an electric network but a few batteries?
Read our Cu Chi Tunnel Southeast Asia historic tour package for more detailed information
An entrance ticket in Cu Chi Tunnel costs about US$ 4/person (or around VND 90,000.
So that is our 10 tips for a perfect Southeast Asia tour. If you find it useful, please comment below.