No longer seen merely as an exotic counterpart to the Occident, South-East Asia has developed an identity all its own over the past few years. You will find very little homogeneity in ASEAN, with every country priding itself on a distant identity concerning culture, religion, cuisine, and traditions.
This vast region is an overwhelming mix of landscapes, from verdant, rolling hills, and isolated islands with white-sand beaches to thick forests and intriguing caves. You can enjoy a range of diverse experiences, and no matter what type of traveler you are, you will find that one special place that will have you returning repeatedly. There are beaches to bum about on, temples, and architectural marvels to visit, hills aplenty to hike, tea estates to unwind at and a whole lot of truly incredible foods to experiment with.
Because we know that you could spend your entire life trying to uncover all of South-East Asia’s treats and not make much headway, we have brought together a collection of the best, unique experiences on offer in the ASEAN countries.
Get off the highway and wander down little, hidden by-lanes where you will discover everything from forgotten tribes, to a mosque built of pure gold, and a swimming pool on top of the world.
Best Travel Ideas for Southeast Asia
A melting pot of thriving culture, gorgeous landscapes, filled with everything from islands to beaches to major metropolises, Malaysia is the throbbing force in the heart of South East Asia. A popular honeymoon and holiday destination, there’s lots to do and discover here, for both the laid-back traveler and the adventurous explorer
Malaysia: At a Glance
Experience the Best Attractions of Malaysia
- Luxury in Langkawi: If you are looking for a lazy, luxuriant vacation with lots of sun, sea and sand, head to Langkawi for a holiday amid beautiful surroundings, lush rainforests, mysterious mangroves and an abundance of wildlife and marine creatures in this archipelago of 99 islands, which is also a designated UNESCO GeoPark.
- Hippie Hideaway: Lying off the northeast coast of peninsular Malaysia, Perhentian is a veritable haunt for backpackers and wandering artists. The waters here are clear, so much so that you can snorkel straight off the beach and still see a wide array of marine creatures. If you are feeling a little more active, you can hire a boat and spend a day swimming with sharks and turtles, then hit the beach bars in the evening.
- Picture-perfect Tioman: Used as a backdrop in the musical South Pacific, Tioman is known as one of the exquisite islands in the world on account of its tear-topography, rich marine if and blue waters. Its natural beauty, countless kinds of and sea creatures are only a few of Tioman’s many charms.
- Place to Indulge: A little indulgence is in order on every holiday and you cannot get better than Pangkor for just that. The Pangkor Laut Resort is set amid a rainforest and you will be surrounded by lapping water, white sand, and stunning Emerald Bay during all your pampering.
- Underwater Art: Rising 600 meters from the seabed and formed by living corals growing on an extinct volcano over thousands of years, Sipadan hosts all manner of beautiful marine life. Home to 3,000 species of fish, including sharks, rays and parrotfish, the pearl of this region is the famous Turtle Tomb, located in an underwater labyrinth.
- Food & Fusion in Penang: A unique mixture of east and west and deliciously flavorful cuisine makes Penang a great spot for visitors. It is known for sandy beaches, monuments, historical and cultural discoveries, and oodles of old-world charm.
- White Sands: Forming a marine park of nine islands off the eastern peninsular Malaysian state of Terengganu, the Redang archipelago is the perfect summer destination, with pristine beaches and inviting waters. For a change from the perfectly preserved coral and smooth sands, Redang has plenty of interesting wildlife, including deer and monitor lizards.
- Island Getaway: If you are looking for a few days away from the cities, Sibu Island beckons. An idyllic holidaymakers’ paradise, Sibu offers quiet beaches, resorts, and lessons in diving and snorkeling for the amateur water-baby.
- No Kidding About: Give your little ones (and yourself) a special treat and pencil in some time for the very cool Legoland that is opened in Johor. Your day will go by before you know it! The resort opened on 15-Sep-2012 with over 40 interactive rides, shows and attractions.
- Going Sour: A sour fish soup, asam laksa is one of Malaysia’s favorite dishes. Asam (or asam jawa) is the Malay word for tamarind. The main ingredients are shredded fish, cucumber, onions, red chilies, pineapple, lettuce, and pink bunga kantan (torch ginger). Asam laksa is normally served with rice noodles or vermicelli, and topped with a sweet shrimp paste.