Tamz Explores

Top Highlights of Southeast Asia – Part I

The world is a big place, and nowhere is its diversity more evident than Southeast Asia. If you’re not from near there and have never visited, you’re in for a treat when you finally do make it to that corner of the world, because this is a region that gives and gives and gives. Whatever your interests are, Southeast Asia will make sure you’re well entertained – and usually in an offbeat way that you would never have expected.

It is a big region, however, and any trip will have to be thoroughly planned if you want to make the most of your time there. While every person’s itinerary will vary, it’s useful to have a starting point from which you can play journey outward. In this feature of a two-part series, I have highlighted the places across Southeast Asia that are a must visit for any avid traveler.


There is nowhere on earth than can match the mania of Bangkok. You’ll find it overwhelming, both in terms of the people and the senses it thrusts upon its visitors. You’ll also, hopefully, find it exhilarating. You’ll only be here for a few days, we’re sure, so throw yourself into the lights and food and odd blend of the past and the future.

Thailand’s Beaches

Karon Beach, Thailand

Thailand’s cities may knock you off somewhat, but happily the country is on hand to rejuvenate you with some stunning beaches. Krabi, Thailand is home to many of these beaches, including Railay Beach, which is one of the best in all of Southeast Asia. It also has Ko Phi Phi, the beautiful archipelago that was featured in the Leonardo Di Caprio film The Beach.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, offers the essence of Southeast Asia all in one city. Here you’ll find thriving urban life, outstanding food, religious sites, and sites of political importance, including Reunification Palace and the War Remnants Museum. In all, this fascinating city will almost certainly have something to prick the interest of every visitor, but specifically those with a keen interest in history.

Laidback Laos

You don’t hear much about Laos, with most visitors to the region opting instead to spend their time in the big hitters – Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. This, however, is beginning to change, and with good reason. Laos is absolutely beautiful, offer a level of natural beauty that the other countries might possess, but which have been overrun by tourists. Laos is a laidback nation, so you can’t imagine too much changing in the coming years. If you only get the chance to visit one city, make it Luang Prabang, which is comprised of old temples and Laos homes. So beautiful, in fact, that the entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

Angkor Wat Temple

Angkor Thom Temple, Cambodia

You can’t talk about Southeast Asia without mentioning Cambodia’s Angkor Wat Temple and the surrounding area. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the best examples of archeological ruins in Southeast Asia, and also includes extensive forests and other points of interest. If you do one thing in Cambodia, make it this.

Part II of this series will feature four other beautiful and diverse countries across Southeast Asia.

19 thoughts on “Top Highlights of Southeast Asia – Part I

  1. Colby

    I loved loved LOVED Southeast Asia! One of my favorite places on Earth, especially Vietnam! I didn’t get a chance to visit Laos, but definitely plan on going back and visiting.

  2. iamsuanlee

    I think my first introduction to Cambodia’s beauty was when I watched the original Lara Croft Tomb Raider movies and they went on an exhibition in Cambodia. It’s completely fascinating. Looking forward to part 2. Great writing as always!

  3. Tom @ Adventurous Travels

    I wasn’t a big fan of Bangkok to be honest – the vibe of the city was kind of fake… I prefer Cambodia – Angkor Wat or Myanmar. Amazing, unbelievable architecture and temples, less annoying tourists and friendlier locals. I would also like to see Vietnam as well.

  4. Punita

    Haven’t been anywhere in Thailand except Phuket, but loved the landscapes and the beaches and the rocks jutting out at sea. There are so many islands there…newer ones coming into the limelight every now and then!!

  5. Tatum Skipper

    I remember reading an article about someone who honestly wanted to hate Thailand since everyone seems to be going there recently. She couldn’t hate it though and I don’t think I could either. Everything you said on this list is what I keep hearing day in and day out so it must be amazing. I cannot wait to travel there!

  6. Suruchi

    I have just been to Thailand, that also multiple times. After reading your post, I need to consider the other options too. Laos seems to be my husband type of place, so can definitely plan my next trip there.

  7. Reshma

    Ho Chi Minh and Laos are the ones that I have not done among these. I just loved all the others, in fact I wouldn’t mind going around any number of times!

  8. divsi

    Have always always wanted to go to Angor Wat. The place is so intriguing and a must visit for heritage lovers.There is so much to discovered in South east Asia. From Thailand to Philippines 🙂

  9. Tom @ Adventurous Travels

    South East Asia is so popular but if you love traveling, explore also the other – unknown part of the continent like Central Asia – it has also diversity, amazing culture and zero crowds of tourists which make it so authentic 🙂 I have been to SE Asia and it pales in comparison with other places (especially Thailand) but it’s only my opinion 🙂

  10. Ami

    Among these, I so want to do Angkor wat. I am just fascinated by it. Have already done Thailand but would not mind another trip to that place too. Cheers

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