If you’re looking for something different from your next vacation, Southeast Asia has some of the most stunning islands in the world. I know it is quite a distance to travel, but it is worth it, especially if you’re able to see multiple islands. The beaches are spectacular and you’ll get to see charming towns and cities unlike anything you’re used to.
But should you travel so far across the world rather than settling for somewhere closer? Here’s what Southeast Asia has to offer.
Southeast Asia Vacations are Cheap
The first reason may seem somewhat cynical, but hear me out. Many Southeast Asian countries are insanely cheap. Everything from accommodation to food and transport is so much more affordable than you would ever expect. And this actually improves your trip. You get to stay in beautiful villas rather than cramped hotel rooms (you can find some stunning places at Luxury Retreats). You can dine on delicious cuisine without worrying about the bill. But most importantly, you can easily get from one island to another at a really low price.
This means that, if you have a good amount of time, you can make use of it to travel to many incredible destinations.
The caveat is that this doesn’t apply to all Southeast Asian countries. Singapore, for example, is one of the most expensive places in the world to live. However, if you are going to beach paradises like Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines, your expenses will stay low.
Southeast Asia Vacations are the Culture Shock
Another reason to travel to Southeast Asia rather than to islands a little closer to home is that you’ll get a complete culture shock. Southeast Asia is, for the most part, unapologetically Asian. You’ll find many familiar Western comforts, but that doesn’t change the fact that the entire context is different than what you’re used to.
From the streets crowded with the Uber equivalent of motorbikes, to the delicious food that “authentic” restaurants back home do no justice to, you’ll have an experience of a lifetime. The best part is that you’ll still be comfortable, with almost everything you love back home available if you know where to look, and villas that are optimized for the Western temperament.
Southeast Asia Vacations are the Endless Beauty
Of course, I have to mention the endless beauty you’ll see on these islands. Start with one of the gorgeous beaches, and then take an island hopping tour. On these tours, you will see a range of varying islands, eat delicious seafood, and go snorkeling. It is the snorkeling that is most exciting, as you won’t have to look hard to see schools of tropical fish and other sea life. You don’t even have to know how to swim. You can float with a lifejacket and stick your head under the water and you’ll get an incredible display!
There’s not just beaches, either. There are islands which were transformed by volcanic eruptions, with landscapes unlike their neighbors. You can trek up volcanoes, go for hikes to find waterfalls in the jungle, and be surprised by the interesting animals that live there.