Alicioustravels: My 6 favourite places in South East Asia

My 6 favourite place is South East Asia are those where I felt most in touch with myself. From urban places teeming with life to rural locations where life seems to run at half the pace I’m used to.

Here they are

My 6 favourite places in South East Asia

(in no particular order)

  • Luang Prabang, Laos
    There is one word that perfectly describes this town on the Mekong: slow. Maybe because it took me two days travel on a slow (!) boat to get there from the Thai border. More likely though, my means of discovering Luang Prabang were only a prelude to what I was going to find there. Together with my then-travel mate I walked along the colonial streets, taking in the smells, the flavours, the colours and sounds. It is still a very special place in my heart which I hope I will some day be able to revisit.

    Luang Prabang, Laos
    Luang Prabang, main street
    Temple in Luang Prabang, Laos
    Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham, Luang Prabang

    Fresh spring rolls being prepared at Luang Prabang night market, Laos
    Fresh spring rolls being prepared at Luang Prabang’s night market
  • Angkor Wat and the temples near Siem Reap, Cambodia
    I have yet to meet the person who was not mesmerised beyond imagination by Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples. Despite the crowds, the places ooze magic. I have found the surrounding temples to be best explored by bicycle (thus avoiding the crowds travelling by tuk-tuk), while the temples further out gain by renting a tuk-tuk (plus driver) for a day and enjoying watching daily life happening to the right and left side of the road, while bigger tour groups will go there by bus.

    Sunrise at Angkor Wat, Cambodia
    Just after sunrise at Angkor Wat
    Ta Prohm, Cambodia
    Nature impressively taking back what is rightfully hers at Ta Prohm temple

    Cambodia driver
    Our trusted tuk-tuk driver taking us to Banteay Srei
  • Erewan National Park near Kanchanaburi, Thailand
    This National Park is famous for its seven-tiered waterfall which is simply stunning. You start walking to the upmost tier, cool down with a quick swim in its basin, then take your time walking downhill again, stopping as often as it suits you for photos or more swimming. Be aware of the often overly-curious monkey!
    NB: You will have to leave your food at the entrance while your water bottles will be marked. It may seem a nuisance to you but this happens thanks to the stupidity of many tourists that will a) throw their empty bottles away and b) feed the monkeys.

    Erawan NP, Thailand
    The forest next to the footpath that runs all the way up the seven-tiered waterfall at Erawan National Park
    Erawan National Park
    One of the waterfalls at Erawan National Park

    Erawan National Park
    Erawan National Park
  • Bangkok, Thailand
    As already mentioned in this post, Bangkok is such a vibrant city that it managed to catch the heart of the country-person that I am at our first encounter. It’s incredibly intense but in such a captivating way that I couldn’t escape its obvious charms

    Wat Arun, Bangkok
    Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) in Bangkok

    Bangkok traffic on the Chao Phraya
    Traffic on the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok
  • Hoi An, Vietnam
    “The city of tailors” has so much more to offer than cheap suits and inexpensive dresses: Its colonial-French architecture gained it the status of World Cultural Heritage and the food offered at both the market and its many wonderful cafes (many of them overlooking the river) will make you want to stay for much longer than it will take to get a pair of tailored pants.

    Hoi An, Vietnam
    Looking up from my morning coffee during a sudden downpour, Hoi An
    Hoi An, Vietnam
    Street life during a sudden bout of serious rain, Hoi An

    Hoi An, Vietnam
    Hoi An main street (blurry due to the rain)
  • Taman Negara National Park, Malaysia
    Even though, Malaysia and I hit it off the wrong foot my few days at Taman Negara National Park is among the reasons I will give Malaysia another chance one day. It took us three-something hours by (longtail) boat to arrive at this little town in the middle of the jungle which looked exactly like I had imagined it: lush green, tall trees, lots of wildlife – both big (monkeys) and small (let’s not get into too much detail here). For the first night I booked a night walk, where we walked the jungle for a couple of hours (keeping VERY close to each other so as not to get lost) and spotted everything from tarantulas to wild deer and even the foot print of a tiger (to be honest, I didn’t mind not coming across a tiger in the wild, at night). The next day or two I hiked along the many, well-marked jungle trails in the tropical heat before taking a historical train up north to Kota Bharu, journeying through dense forest before it gave way to fields and eventually human habitation.

    Taman Negara, Malaysia
    Canopy walk, Taman Negara

    Taman Negara, Malaysia
    View from top of one of the hills, Taman Negara
  • Similan Islands, Thailand
    Twice did I get incredibly close to diving there (something that’s on my bucket list), twice it didn’t happen. The second time I at least managed to get on a boat and snorkel there – and it was every bit as wonderful as I had imagined. The water crystal clear you will be able to spot parrot fish and the odd turtle from the boat, without so much as getting your feet wet. If you decide to “get down” though, you will not know where to look first as the variety of fish and other sea life of different shapes and sizes is simply stunning. Third time lucky, I guess.

    Similan Islands, Thailand
    Underwater view of the Similans
    Similan Islands, Thailand
    Turtle!
    Similan Islands
    Rock, Jungle, Paradise

     

    What are your favourite places in South East Asia?
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2 thoughts on “Alicioustravels: My 6 favourite places in South East Asia”

  1. Thanks a lot for this collection which gives me a huge wanderlust feeling.
    I’ll see at least three places mentioned in summer and will let you know if I liked it as much as I think I will…

    1. You’re most welcome 🙂 I’m looking forward to your travelling stories, how you liked the places I mentioned and most importantly what other places you’ll get to discover.

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