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Southeast Asia is quickly becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. With beautiful beaches, fantastic food and amazing sites, it’s easy to see why so many people are making the trek and many more keep coming back.
In fact, almost 110 million people traveled to the region in 2017, up from 81 million in 2011. Travel within the region is quite streamless and with a large expat community as well as many English-speaking locals, you can easily see why the region is booming.
If you’re planning a vacation and thinking about heading south, take a look at the list below to see where you should head next.
Vietnam is full of diverse landscapes, expansive cities and amazing beaches. Many choose to start their journey in the nation’s capital, Hanoi or the second biggest city, Ho Chi Minh. You can easily spend multiple days in both cities before venturing outside to see what else the country has to offer.
Many people travel north to the remote village of Sa Pa, where you can get an authentic feel for Vietnamese culture and lifestyle.
Halong Bay is another must for all travelers. Filled with thousands of islands accessible by boat or kayaking, the bay is also home to breathtaking waterfalls. You can have a little of everything while you’re in Vietnam.
Thailand is another jewel in Southeast Asia that attracts visitors from all over the world. The country is known for being full of smiles, as smiles are a core value of their tourism industry.
Nearly everyone makes a stop in the country’s capital, Bangkok, and wanders through the street markets to browse local products and try some of the street food. If you’re looking to get out of the city, you should head to either Koh Phangan or Koh Phi Phi. They’re perfect for relaxing or enjoying a great beach party at nightime.
You’ll also have to take a ride on a Tuk Tuk. These three-wheeled vehicles are all over the country and are easy to get around in than taxis. If you heading back to the airport, however, you’ll want to grab a taxi.
While it may take you some time to find Borneo on a map, the largest island in Asia is shared by three countries: Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. As an island country, it should come as no surprise that Borneo is home to some stunning beaches, like Kota Kinabalu.
It’s also home to one of Asia’s largest rainforests and a host of animal wildlife. Many people love to travel to the national parks, like Gunung Mulu or Kinabalu. These parks offer various hiking trails or places to ride a bike.
Many visitors make it their goal to climb Sabah, Borneo’s tallest mountain. Sitting at just over 13,000 feet, the climb isn’t for beginners and your hike must be booked in advance. Locals do say it is the best place to watch the sunrise on the entire island.
You can also rent a boat or go on a tour and visit the number of smaller islands that are around. All offer the same lovely beaches and crystal clear water.
In terms of monuments or historical sites, Borneo is admittedly lacking but well makes up for it with its natural wonders and untouched land. If you love the outdoors and exploring, then Borneo is your place.
Singapore, one of the world’s cleanest countries, is an amazing urban country with lots of diverse food and monuments. As part of being one of the cleanest cities, there are a number of bizarre rules like no spitting, tossing out a cigarette or sticking your gum somewhere. There are heavy fines for common actions.
One of the most popular destinations is Gardens by the Bay. Filled with amazing floral structures, it puts just about every other garden to shame. It also offers incredible views with plenty of rooftop pools, where you can sit at the edge and see Singapore from a unique angle. One of the most popular rooftop destinations is the Marina Bay Sands.
Singapore is also home to a Universal Studios if you’re looking to ride some rides.
The one downside is Singapore is relatively more expensive than its neighbors, so make sure you bring a bit of extra cash with you. It is also incredibly easy to get around as Singapore has a fantastic public transportation system.