Why You’ll Fall In Love With South East Asia
Travelling around South East Asia is something of a right of passage for travellers – it’s an area of the world which is hard to truly describe until you’ve been there yourself.
Over the last 8 years of adventures it’s the area of the world (along with Australia) that I’ve spent the most amount of time in and countries like Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines are spots I find myself returning to again and again.
So what’s the deal with South East Asia? Why does everyone rave so much about travelling there?
Well here are just a few of the reason I know you’ll fall in love with South East Asia…
Why You’ll Fall In Love With South East Asia
1. Travelling South East Asia Is Cheap!
I wont hide it, this is certainly one of the biggest reasons I find myself in this part of the world again and again – travelling around South East Asia is pretty freaking cheap, especially if you compare it to places like Australia or New Zealand!
Now this can mean one of two things – either you’ll save heaps of money and be able to spend a longer period of time exploring here or you simply live like an absolutely baller!
For those wanting to make their travel funds go further overland travel between countries is super cheap (roughly £20 for the mini bus from Bangkok in Thailand to Siem Reap in Cambodia!) and internal flights are too.
Expect to spend well under £10 a night on hostel accommodation and if you eat street food it’ll be under £5 a meal no worries.
For those who just want to live like a king £30 a night will get you a solid 3-4* hotel, you can eat at fancy restaurants for £10-15 and private cars for transport to get around.
2. There’s Something For Everyone
No matter what your style of travel or what makes you happy I can guarantee there’s somewhere in South East Asia that will cater for you.
Absolutely love coffee? Well then Vietnam is filled with incredible ice coffee and even egg coffee – honestly try it, much better than it sounds!.
If like me you’re a surfer spots like the Mentawais in Indonesia and Siargao in The Philippines offer up world class, tropical waves.
Simply want to kick back and relax at an all inclusive resort? then head to The Maldives for some luxury!
Or if you want a bit more adventure why not get off the beaten track in Myanmar or challenge yourself with some language barriers in Taiwan!
Yup – you’ll be hard pushed NOT to find somewhere you want to visit in South East Asia!
3. The Food Is Insane
OMG get ready for your taste buds to explode when you’re travelling around South East Asia – there’s more delicious treats than you can imagine!
Tuck into wholesome Pad Thais in Thailand or perhaps a Massaman Curry? Nasi Goreng and Gado Gado will keep you fuelled in Indonesia or how about some Pho in Vietnam?
Maybe some dumplings in Taiwan, fresh seafood in The Philippines or some dhal and coconut samba in Sri Lanka?
I’m getting hungry just writing about it!
4. There Are So Many Countries To Tick Off
Alongside the fact there’s something for everyone is the fact you could spend a really long time in South East Asia simply ticking countries off your bucket list!
Some of my personal favourites though;
- Thailand – perfect introduction to South East Asia
- Cambodia – ridiculously cheap and full of history
- Vietnam – some incredible street food, custom clothing and history
- Malaysia – a mix of cultures and foods
- Indonesia – as well as the surf in Bali there’s heaps of culture too
- Sri Lanka – I’d go back here for the food alone!
- The Philippines – serious tropical island vibes
- Taiwan – a total culture shock and great fun to explore
- The Maldives – absolutely stunning and yet more affordable than you think
There’s still so many left to work my way through!
5. Getting Around Is Easy
With so many countries, borders and distance you might think that travelling around South East Asia would be a bit of a nightmare, but in actual fact it’s super easy.
Even at the beginning of my adventures I easily managed to overland from Singapore all the way up through Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and onto Vietnam! The mixture of buses, mini buses, ferries, tuk tuks and overnight sleeper trains was a crazy adventure but well worth it for the stories!
And even if you want to hop larger distances or across to the likes of The Philippines or Indonesia flights are relatively cheap too. Check out Air Asia, Jetstar Asia, Scoot and Cebu Pacific for some crazy cheap fares. I flew from Bali to The Maldives for $250USD one way, or from Bangkok to Siem Reap for $50USD!
And alongside the cheap flight routes the overland travel and day to day transport isn’t going to blow a hole in your wallet either. Apps like Grab (the Asian equivalent of Uber) allow your to easily get around and even ferries and overnight trains are affordable too.
Most hostels and hotels offer an onward travel booking service but hunt around a bit for the bets deals.
6. It’s A Bombardment On The Senses!
At the end of the day the hustle and bustle of South East Asia can be quite overwhelming, but once you settle in it all become part of the allure.
Mopeds zipping past and weaving through a mixture of traffic, pedestrians and stray dogs.
The mixture of aromas (both good and bad) that fill the air – from sweet incense and gorgeous curries to questionable open drainage – you wont know what hit you!
The tastes of incredible local cuisine, the best Pad Thai you ever had from the old lady at the end of Khao San Road to the stinging heat of chili sambal at a Warung in Indonesia.
The sticky, humid heat that hits you like a wall as you get off the plane or step out of your A/C room in the morning.
There’s just nothing quite like travelling around South East Asia!
Have you travelled around Asia?
What did you love (or even hate!) about it?