My Top Destinations in Southeast Asia

My Top Destinations in Southeast Asia

I started off like many other travelers, exploring Australia and New Zealand. But the time had come for me to make a list and decide what's next. My list included all the #aspirational destinations I could think of, and my favorites were all in Southeast #Asia. From #Cambodia to my top choice of #Myanmar, here's the top 5 things I'm


Most long-term travelers start their lives of travel in western backpacking countries such as Australia or New Zealand. Then they move to cheaper places in Southeast Asia. While Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand have always been among the most visited countries by budget travelers, Myanmar is fast becoming a popular destination as well.

I started off the exact same way, as many of you will know. In 2010 I spent a day in Singapore before continuing my flight to Australia, where I would stay for nine months. Backpacking and driving across the Land Down Under and picking some fruit on the way to earn money is the classic image of a backpacker that most people have. That was me!

That’s where the similarities end though; I did not continue my travels in Southeast Asia, but went to the USA instead.

A desire to visit that part of the world has always been there and it hasn’t gone away. It probably never will until I finally go. Actually, one of my Christmas presents was a travel guide about Myanmar; that surely didn’t help.

So, long story short, I still really, really want to go see Southeast Asia. And I would like to do that using public transport. That has been on my travel wish list for a very long time.

Yes, I have a travel wish list. I love making lists. As a matter of fact, the rest of this post will be a list as well. What follows now is some personal travel inspiration. I obviously could just have kept this to myself, but maybe someone else is interested in it too. (That pretty much sums up why every blogger blogs.)

For research purposes and future reference I decided to assemble a top 5 of places in Southeast Asia that I absolutely need to see.

5. The Killing Fields, Cambodia

Cambodia - Choeung Ek Killing Fields
Cambodia - Choeung Ek Killing Fields

Not a happy place to start off with, but I love history and I think that this is an essential place to visit as a human being. Just like Auschwitz or other extermination camps, Cambodia’s Killing Fields are something that you just need to see with your own eyes. It took Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge no more than four years to torture and murder over 1,300,000 people. They’re all buried here, in one of the 20,000 mass graves.

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Visiting Killing Field of Choeung Ek

ActiveAspirational
 Choeung Ek, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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You can visit the torture rooms and graves. Many graves are still not excavated and because of that you occasionally come across bones, clothes and skulls sticking out of the ground.

Killing fields
Killing fields

4. Bangkok, Thailand

One night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster, right? Thailand’s capital is one of the most visited cities in the world and it’s easy to see why. There’s something to see or do on every corner. On my list are the temples, the floating market, street food and Khao San Road – obviously, that needs no explanation.

Temple, Bangkok, 2013
Temple, Bangkok, 2013
Floating Market in Bangkok
Floating Market in Bangkok
khao san road craziness
khao san road craziness

Bangkok is definitely where I would start my trip around Southeast Asia, as most airlines, such as Emirates, one of my favorites, offer flights to Bangkok on a daily basis.

3. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

This spectacular stretch of coastline in northern Vietnam is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s stunning. I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves here.

Halong Bay
Halong Bay
Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay

Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to go there?

2. Siem Reap, Cambodia

Located in the northwest of Cambodia, Siem Reap is the ideal base for exploring the majestic temples of Angkor. There’s Preah Khan, Bayon, Bakong, Angkor Thom, Beng Mealea and the absolute number one: Angkor Wat.

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Angkor Tour Guide(s) - Temple Visit

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 Preah Vihear Temple, Kantuot, Preah Vihear, Cambodia
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Preah Khan - Angkor - Cambodia
Preah Khan - Angkor - Cambodia
Bayon Temple-Angkor Thom
Bayon Temple-Angkor Thom

Angkor Wat means ‘City of Temples’ and the complex is the largest religious monument on earth. Indiana Jones went there and I want to go too.

Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat

1. Bagan, Myanmar

I can’t find words to describe how badly I want to go to Myanmar. Since opening its borders a couple of years ago, Myanmar is quickly becoming a major tourist destination in Southeast Asia. It’s still unspoiled though, which is why now is the perfect time to go there. It probably won’t be long before the coast is filled with resorts and hotels. Just a thought.

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Myanmar Authentic Adventure

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 Yangon, Yangon Region, Myanmar (Burma)
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One of the top attractions are the temples of Bagan, in the province of Mandalay. More than 2,000 temples make it one of the world’s major archaeological sites.

Bagan
Bagan
Bagan Sunset
Bagan Sunset
Bagan
Bagan

If I could go anywhere in the world right now that I haven’t been to yet, it would be Bagan for sure.

Have you ever visited any of the previous destinations?

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