Around 130 million years old, the Taman Negara rainforest in Malaysia is one of the best places to visit in South East Asia. This exotic location is the site for the Taman Negara National Park. Covering a total area of 4343 square kilometres, the national park is renowned for not only its rainforest but also for its birds and insects.
Located in the north-west Thesaban Mueang municipality of Thailand, Mae Hong Son is a town and the capital of the Mae Hong Son province. It is in the Shan Hills, close to the outskirts with Burma along the banks of the River Pai. The town covers the Tambon Chong Kham of the Muang Mae Hong Son area. This quiet north-western region bordering Burma resembles a different universe and is enveloped by verdant mountain ranges with over 80% misty virgin forests.
Known For : Dili Atauro islands Baucau
Timor Leste, also known as East Timor is a small country located northwest of Australia and east of Indonesia. A world in its own self, Timor Leste gives you the uninhibited version of things otherwise subverted in other locations. There is something so utterly challenging in its mountains and untouched reefs that pushes the visitor to explore more. AsiaÕs newest country offers some of the worldÕs last great off-the-beaten-track adventures.
Best Time: May to November
Kelimutu is a small volcano located in Flores near a small town called Moni. The summit of this mountain has volcanic crates that have three lakes that keep changing colours. These lakes are considered sacred and are believed to be resting place of the departed souls. Being one of the best places in South East Asia, Kelimutu also has trekking options. The trek up is considered to be fairly easy and the trail is well marked.
Known For : Mount Popa Ananda Temple Shwezigon Pagoda
Bagan is an ancient city located on the banks of the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River in Mandalay region in Central Myanmar. Bagan was formerly a capital and a centre of a powerful Pagan empire which flourished for over 400 years. Today, it is a renowned UNESCO heritage site. The old town area is one of the most visited destinations in the country, who visit the Bagan Archaeological Zone, which comprises of the remains of over 4000 Buddhist temples and monasteries, around 1000 of which remain today.
Known For : U Bein Bridge Mandalay palace Kuthodaw pagoda
Mandalay is a city located on the banks of the Irrawaddy(Ayeyarwady) River in Central Myanmar. It is the second-largest city in the country after Yangon. Most people expect an old Burma when it comes to Mandalay, but end up getting welcomed by sprawling buildings, wide roads filled with motorcycles and cars, pagodas with towering stupas, shopping complexes, tea houses and many lovely buzzing markets.
Known For : Fansipan Mountain Silver Watefall Muong Hoa Valley
Sapa is one of the popular hill stations located in Vietnam. Situated at a height of 1500 metres Sapa is known to share a border with China. This popular destination is favourite amongst the tourist and is one of the best places in South East Asia. This place has seen rapid growth in recent years and is regarded as one of the most beautiful locations in the country.
Best Time: March to May
Kuta Lombok is a small village and a famous beach spot located on the island of Lombok. This island is part of the Indonesian province of West Nusa Tenggara. Known for the idyllic beaches, Kuta is one of the peaceful tourist attractions of Lombok. Visitors have applauded its spectacular beauty comprising of cliffs, mountains, jagged landscapes, the pristine white sand, and emerald waters.
Known For : Island Hopping Banana Boat Ride Fly Fish
Boracay is an island located on an hour flight from Manila and Cebu two of the cities which are located in the country of Philippines. This island is a really small with only 7 k.m.of total length. This island is surrounded by two beaches on its either side and has clear water on all its four ends. This place which is known to be filled with romantic vibes has tourists coming from all parts of the world especially China, Taiwan, Korea as well as other major parts of Asia.
Best Time: Novemberemeber to February
Known For : Ulu Watu Mount Batur Scuba Diving
Bali, Indonesia’s most famous island, is located to the west of Java in the Lesser Sunda Islands. It is world-renowned for its scenic rice terraces, fragrant cuisine, stunning beaches and a galore of culture and tradition. With its elaborate temples, endless coastline, some of the world's best coral reefs, waterfalls and retreats, Bali combines leisure and adventure impeccably.
Best Time: April, May, June and September
Known For : Patong Beach Bangla Road Big Buddha
The largest Island in all of Thailand, Phuket has everything Thailand has to offer. Serviced by the Phuket International Airport, the island sees no dearth of travellers during any time of the year. Golden beaches, numerous offshore islands, upbeat markets, a high octane nightlife and thrilling watersports characterise Phuket in a nutshell. Beaches like Surin and Kata cater to families and those individuals with eccentric tastes. Patong beach, on the other hand, caters to all those who like it cheap, loud and crazy, even after the sun sets.
Best Time: November to February end
Known For : Cat Ba Island Sung Sot Cave Dau Be Island
Halong Bay is a popular bay which is located in the north of Vietnam. The name of this place i.e. Halong means "the place of descending dragons'. This place was not very much known before the 19th century. However in the recent years the popularity of this place has risen to a much greater value.It is a beautiful bay which one can visit in order to enjoy the scenic beauty present all around.
Best Time: April to September
Sitting cosily in Southeast Asia, the Republic of Laos is a landlocked country with sparse population. Known for its spectacular landscape, the country comprises of lofty mountains, lush jungles, glistening rice fields and tea leaves covering the mountain surface. The remote tribal villages, ancient Buddhist caves, rich cultural heritage, cafe culture in cosmopolitans, elegant colonial architecture and peaceful stupas adds to the charm of this land of lotus-eaters.
Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Malaysia, located on the west coast of Sabah at the Kinabalu Park, which is a World Heritage Site. The mountain stands at a humongous height of 4,101 m and is the most accessible mountain in the world. Visitors will find themselves surrounded by several species of flora and fauna at various altitudes on the mountain. This wonder of nature is one of the safest peaks in the world and is well known for its biodiversity plants.
Known For : Angkor Archaeological Park Kompong Khleang Angkor National Museum
Siem Reap in Cambodia is a paragon of ancient glory and timeless grandeur; proudly being the gateway to one of the most astonishing architectures in world history- Angkor Wat. Although the main reason to stay in Siem Reap is to get yourself ready to explore several ancient temples, the city itself comes with a surprise package of historical and modern blends.
Best Time: November to March
Known For : Wat Phra Yai Ang Thong National Marine Park Wat Khunaram
The second-largest island of Thailand, Ko Samui is a gem of an island in the Koh Samui (or simply Samui) Archipelago which lies in the Gulf of Thailand. Once a hidden secret of only persevering travellers, the island has transformed into one of the most visited tourist destinations of Thailand. Coconut and rubber export along with the ever-growing tourist trade constitute the bulk of the island's source of revenue. From the wealthiest holidaymakers to budget travellers, the island has something to offer for everyone.
Best Time: December to May
So, how do you feel about these best places to visit in South East Asia. And which of these place are you planning to visit for your next holiday? Do share your experiences about these spectacular places in the comment section below.