Southeast Asia is a region of the world best known for its beautiful beaches, lush jungles, rich history, exotic cultures, and cheap beer. As a backpacker’s paradise, this budget travel destination boasts so many wonderful adventures to explore everything from the magical mountains to the depths of the ocean.
With exotic wild animals, interesting traditional ceremonies, pristine beaches with crystal clear water, and the oldest rainforests in the world, there is something for everyone to do on their vacation to this side of the globe.
With so much to see and do in this region, planning your trip can sometimes feel overwhelming. So to help get you started, we’ve compiled four of the best trips in Southeast Asia to make your vacation extra exciting and memorable.
During your travels through Southeast Asia, be sure to explore one or all of these memorable adventures in the region:
The Gibbon Experience is a ziplining jungle tour unlike any other. Beginning in a tiny little town just outside the Thai border in Laos, you’re driven to the depths of the Laotian jungle where you’re harnessed into your ziplining equipment.
From here, you begin a trek up a mountain in the heart of the rainforest. Your super knowledgeable and friendly Laotian guides explain and point out all the flora and fauna that you pass as they slide through the mud and sprint up the mountain in their flip-flops while you struggle to climb in your hiking boots.
Once you’ve trekked through the beautiful jungle for a few hours, you’ll stop for a lunch break of traditional Laotian cuisine before preparing for an afternoon of incredible ziplines. Soaring high above the canopy like a gibbon (hence the name), you will zip past and across some of the most pristine landscapes of untouched jungle in Southeast Asia.
After hours of flying through the treetops, you arrive at a treehouse perched high in the top canopy of trees. This is where you will spend the night, alone with the incredible sights and sounds of the wild jungle surrounding you.
There's no better way to get up close and personal with the outdoors. Perched high above the jungle floor, you feast on yet another traditional Laotian meal as you watch the sunset with stunning 360-degree views from the wrap-around porch that is your treehouse home.
After hours of flying through the treetops, you arrive at a treehouse perched high in the top canopy of trees.
As you shower in the open air, animals will pass you by while you lose yourself in the serenity of the wild. As you lay down to sleep in your tent, the ironic combination of the sounds of silence and jungle commotion will simultaneously lull you to sleep.
You’ll be awoken to the sunrise creeping over the mountains taking your breath away as you watch the magic of nature unfold before your eyes. The tour finishes with another full day of ziplining enjoyment to round off a magical and mystical adventure through the unbelievable jungles of Southeast Asia.
Not only is this adventure incredibly fun and awe-inspiring, but the company also practices sustainable ecotourism and hires solely Laotian citizens to continuously give back to the people of Laos and the precious rainforests that the country houses.
Funding reforestation and national park patrols to prevent illegal logging, hunting, bomb fishing, and land use, this company is definitely one that you want to support. Not only is this adventure ethically fulfilling, but it is likely one of the most memorable voyages you’ll ever experience.
This is truly one of the most incredible trips in Southeast Asia and it will provide you with endless material to share with your family and friends when you return home from your vacation.
There is no better place to dive deep into the blue ocean than Koh Tao, Thailand. This beautiful Thai island is situated right in the heart of the Gulf of Thailand and possesses crystal clear waters filled with a plethora of wildlife and little-to-no waves, creating optimal dive conditions.
As one of the world's most popular diving destinations, Koh Tao offers some of the cheapest scuba certifications in the world. Strap on an oxygen tank as you sink deep into the sea spotting vibrant corals, exotic tropical fish, sea turtles, stingrays, sea snakes, and, if you’re lucky, whale and bull sharks.
This perfect dive destination in Southeast Asia is sure to be one of the top travel spots of your vacation. Learn to breathe underwater and go for a night dive to explore sea creatures and plants using fluorescent UV light to illuminate the darkness.
Hit the major dive spots of the island to view impressive ecosystems and beautiful underwater creatures. Grab your waterproof camera as you dive deep exploring the vast and beautiful “other terrain” of this breathtaking planet.
Craving more exotic adventures? Here are 8 of the Most Exotic Places to Travel Around the World
Unesco World Heritage Site, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, is home to the world’s largest cave—Son Doong. This impressive cave system grows a full forest underground and is almost completely unexplored territory.
The cost and time to trek into this world’s largest cave is quite exorbitant, but the amazingly preserved national park houses several other equally impressive but slightly smaller caves as well.
Whichever cave you may choose to enter will host a journey filled with mystique and adventure. Gaze in awe at massive stalagmites and stalactites as you wander off the well-beaten path of these enormous caves.
Shine the light on your helmet to illuminate the harness that you wear as you repel down deeper into the complexities of the caverns. Wade through underground rivers and trek across impressive canyons all while blindly following your guide into the darkness.
Charter a boat through the water-filled murky tunnels while ducking your head to avoid the spikes hanging above you. However you choose to explore these extraordinary caves, savor in the moment of this remarkable Southeast Asian adventure.
Visiting the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali is—without a doubt—one of the best trips in Southeast Asia. The sacred forest is a sanctuary for wild monkeys and it's just as cool as you'd expect it to be.
Pose with monkeys on your shoulders as you get up close and personal with our long-lost cousins. These little playful cuties will jump on your back, steal your belongings, and monkey around just as you'd expect. In the heart of Ubud, this site is definitely worth the trip to visit.
There's something so very Southeast Asia about having a sweet exchange with a cheeky wild monkey and it's just as fun as you'd imagine.
Do remember to be respectful and gentle, though, as these monkeys are still untamed animals.
There are so many other amazing trips to take in Bali too! Here are 7 Must-See Places and Things to Do in Bali
Southeast Asia is a travel and vacation destination teeming with awesome adventures.
Swinging through the trees like a gibbon in Laos, swimming with the fish in Thailand, exploring the uncharted territory of the caves in Vietnam, and playing with monkeys in Indonesia just scratches the surface of everything that this beautiful region of the world has to offer.
Explore and wander the 11 countries of scenic and picturesque Southeast Asia and find the best adventures to fill the pages of your travel story.
Happy adventuring on your trips in Southeast Asia!
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