Last update: October 2022
First things first! Do we write South East Asia or Southeast Asia? Opinions vary and there seems to be no wrong so I’m going with the OED (Oxford English Dictionary). South East Asia it is! Ok, with that out of the way, let’s talk about it some more. Here’s the technical rundown.
South East Asia is a sub region of Asia, roughly consisting of the countries Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, East Timor and Brunei.
I didn’t get to visit all of these countries yet, but they’re bucket listed. So always keep an eye out for additions to this site, because it’s a work in progress and I’m constantly adding information.
Traveling to South East Asia? Check the official up-to-date entry requirements here.
6 Reasons why South East Asia is so popular
What is it that makes this part of the world so attractive to millions of tourists and travelers? Here is my personal view in random order.
For me this is the main attraction. Part of the reason for travel is that we aspire interaction with cultures different than our own. South East Asia really delivers on that promise big time with literally hundreds of ethnic groups. Experiencing so many interesting cultures can really make us feel that we encounter the exotic.
A multitude of delicious looking dishes were spread out on two bamboo mats on the floor. Grandma threw me a cushion and shouted something in Vietnamese followed by a cackling laugh. Wu translated: “She says the cushion is for you to sit on, because you look so scraggy, your bones will hurt from sitting on the floor”.
These wonderful people were surprised to see two big nosed strangers hiking the hills around their stilted house and invited us in for diner. The food was incredible and the moonshine rice wine kept on coming. Clouded by the liquor our host gave an emotional speech about how honored and happy the family felt with our visit. I swear I saw tears in his eyes.
from my blog article: Pu Luong, Vietnam’s best kept secret
Architectural remains of ancient kingdoms and religions are on display throughout the region. Just think Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Borobudur in Indonesia and the Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar to name a few. I only knew these grand examples of illustrious history from books and images. Now suddenly, they are within easy reach to personally behold their grandeur.
Mountains, jungle, white sand beaches, deep sea, plains, enormous lakes, forests, you name it, it’s there. Moreover, there are ample nature and wildlife exploring opportunities, as well as spectacular man made nature sights for everyone.
Overall, the infrastructure for travel is excellent in South East Asia. Admittedly, it can sometimes take a while to get from A to B, but there is always a way to get there in relative comfort. Also, you will always find a place to stay and safety is normally less of a concern than on other continents.
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Good food alone is reason enough for me to travel anywhere. That certainly goes for this region, because the food here is really something special. Since nowadays we are all foodies I know you understand exactly what I mean.
Read more: Top 39 best food in South East Asia
South East Asia is insanely cheap for travelers. The three main necessities of travel, being transportation, accommodation and food are all easy to come by. It all costs just a fraction of what you would pay back home. Therefore, money you would spend for 1 month of travel in Europe will give you at least 3 months in South East Asia, if not more.
Countries to visit in South East Asia
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