With the facsinating cultures, friendly people, tasty food, huge cities, tropical landscapes and the pristine beaches and islands, Southeast Asia has a lot to offer for everyone.

Whether you're looking for a budget backpacking adventure, or a luxury holiday, this article will be your ultimate guide on where to go when travelling in Southeast Asia.

We really could have written a guide to the 100 best locations, but we have tried to narrow our list down to the absolutely essential places you have to see.


1. Bali & Gili Islands, Indonesia

Everyone has heard of Bali right? Tourism has boomed over the past decades but this island is still an unmissable destination on any south east Asia itinerary.

Think culture, beaches, resorts, parties and so much more.

The Gili Islands is a chain of three small islands in Indonesia with amazing beaches, parties and activities like scuba diving to see coral reefs . You can easily reach this tourist destination by plane or boat.

Many tourists visit this place because they are fascinated with its beauty and would love to explore the different tourist spots on these islands. The beach on the three islands is a perfect place for those who want to spend time with their families.


2. Boracay, Philippines

Boracay beach

Boracay, which is in the province of Aklan, Philippines, is a top-rated tourist destination in Asia. From December to May, this island becomes a hotspot for travelers from all around the world.

The white-sand beaches and warm water will leave you wanting more. There are so many incredible day trips and activites here, from beach hopping to scuba diving.

Boracay can easily be reached by plane, ferry, or through the high-speed train that runs from Manila, a short trip from Manila.


2. Bangkok, Thailand

Khao San Road, Bangkok

Bangkok is one of the most visited cities in the world, a huge sprawing metropolis.

The chances are if you are going backpacking in Southeast Asia, or planning a package holiday to a beach resort, you will probably pass through Bangkok and it is well worth staying for a few days especially if it is your first time in Asia.

There are many attractions to keep you busy, including the Grand Palace and Temple of The Emerald Buddha, both give you a fantastic introduction to Thailand and the culture.

You can also find huge shopping malls, river crusies, temples, ancient ruins, rooftop bars, clubs and also day trips to nearby amazing locations like Ayutthaya.

Bangkok is the gateway to Southeast Asia, and somewhere you really do have visit especially if you love cities.


3. Singapore


Welcome to the future.

Singapore is a perfect country to start a trip, a highly modern and developed city-state offers its tourists a concrete jungle with a nearly zero crime rate coupled with scenic views of nature and the airport. Getting around in this city is made easy by using the train system. 

Most attractions are in the central part of the city and can conveniently be reached by foot or train. The downtown area is filled with shopping malls and tourist spots that promise a delightful trip for you and your family. 


4. Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi Ann

Hoi An is a small town on the central coast of Vietnam, where countless tourists visit every year to enjoy its numerous attractions.

Hoi An has logn been one of the most popular destinations in Vietnam, mainly due to the pretty buildings, relaxed atmosphere and beautiful markets which are well worth the trip. You can buy all kinds of souvenirs that your family and friends will cherish. Visitors are delighted with its peaceful serenity and romantic atmosphere. The locals are friendly and smile a lot as it was a former trading port centuries ago.


5. Thai Islands

Phi Phi

No trip to Asia would be complete without seeing the beautiful islands of Thailand.

It is impossible to name just one, there are so many with unique attractions in stunning settings. From the small vibrant island of Phi Phi to legendary party destination of Koh Phanhan, or the popular holiday island of Koh Samui, there is so much choice.

Be sure to check Full Moon Party dates and go experience this legendary event.


6. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Elephant sanctuary Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a city located in Northern Thailand and it is one of the most popular tourist destination in the country. This city is very relaxed, especially compared to Bangkok, and wandering the streets you'll be able to see lots of ancient temples.

Top places to check out include the Night Bazaar which is filled with vendors that sell Thai handicrafts, souvenirs, traditional clothes, and so much more.

There are lots of elephant sanctuaries in Chiang Mai which are usually the highlight of any trip to Southeast Asia. You can visit to learm more about the native wildlife, or if you like you can volunteer in Thailand helping elephants - this is a magical experience! 

One of the main attractions of Chiang Mai is trekking trips to see remote hilltribes, one popular attraction is Doi Suthep, a mountain range in the middle of Chiang Mai that is well known for its scenic beauty. Lots of local travel operators offer trips here and the views are stunning.


7. Luang Prabang, Laos

Luang Prabang

Lais is one of the hidden gems of Asia, with stunning scenery, temples and friendly people.

Located on the banks of the Mekong River, Luang Prabang a perfect place for those interested in sightseeing away from the tourist crowds. This is one of the cheapest places to go backpacking with great value for money accommodation and sightseeing activities.

You can get to this city by plane, land or river, and when you visit you'll discover a city and country relatively untouched by globalisation and mass-tourism.


8. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

War Remnants Museum in Saigon

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, is famous for being the most populated city in Vietnam and the largest port in Southeast Asia. The city is well known for its vibrant nightlife, with many perfect entertainment spots for those looking for an ideal place to party. There are also many museums and other tourist attractions that visitors can visit.

This city is also a popular getaway to explore more of Vietnam, highlights include Sapa, Hanoi, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc. Search Vietnam tours for trips.


10. Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Siem Reap is a province located in Northwestern Cambodia and has many tourist attractions that one should not miss. The most popular attraction is the Angkor Wat, a huge impressive temple built during the 12th Century displaying intricate carvings.

Another wonderful place to visit is the nearby town of Battambang which has beautiful landscapes that will surely leave you in awe. This destination is a perfect choice for those interested in learning more about the cultural heritage of this country.

If you are looking for a rewarding experience view volunteer opprtunities in Cambodia where you can help communities, animals or the environment.


Plan a Trip to Southeast Asia

There are many countries in Southeast Asia and on a trip here you can visit to experience the beauty of these places and the highlights. You will be amazed by the wonderful architecture, exotic food and scenery that awaits you.

Tourists from all over the world flock to Southeast Asia and get left in awe by the beautiful locations and wonderful culture. Local people are very friendly, which makes the trip more enjoyable.

If you would love to go on a trip somewhere totally different which is great value for money, Southeast Asia if the perfect option. Search Asia tours today or view this Southeast Asia packing list for ideas what to take.