Written by Barnaby Taylor. Published on .
Southeast Asia is home to some of the world’s most alluring countries, each boasting enough charm and character to captivate honeymooners, backpackers, and business travellers alike. There’s something magical about the way that one part of the world can offer so much, from idyllic white-sand beaches to lively streets and bustling food markets. Its recent surge in popularity as a tourist destination truly is a testament to what you can discover in Southeast Asia, but in a place of such outstanding beauty how do you know where to begin?
Here we discuss the 5 cities and countries you really mustn’t miss on your next trip to Southeast Asia, and what to expect when you’re there.
No article about Southeast Asia would be quite complete without mention of the stunning Indonesian island of Bali. Bali has become one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations in recent years, and it isn’t difficult to see why. Although many people picture lounging on picturesque beaches or sipping cocktails by the pool, there really is so much more to be discovered. From surfing along the coast of Canggu to practising yoga in Ubud, there’s something for everyone on this small yet mesmerising island.
Bali is famous for its beautiful temples, and many people visit in hope of learning more about Balinese culture and its religious history. It’s often described as a “spiritual” place and the “Island of the Gods”, making it the perfect destination for those who enjoy discovering cultures and traditions different from their own.
It’s also the perfect hotspot for nature enthusiasts, with impressive terraced rice fields, active volcanoes and cascading waterfalls around every corner. Bali’s forests are home to thousands of inquisitive monkeys, with Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Sanctuary a huge draw for visitors hoping to catch a glimpse. For those wanting to venture even further, the three Gili islands, famous for their population of friendly turtles and breathtaking sunsets, are just a short ferry ride away.
Top tip: For a truly unforgettable experience, hike to the peak of Mount Batur – an active volcano in the north of Bali – for sunrise and watch the golden sun illuminate the island. The views will make the two-hour trek completely worth it!
Step off the plane in Hanoi and you’ll find yourself swept up by the hustle and bustle of Vietnam’s vibrant capital city almost immediately. The sights, sounds and smells of the city can feel overwhelming at first, but it’s impossible not to fall in love with its friendly charm and rich culture. Hanoi’s Old Quarter is wonderfully traditional, yet the city’s architecture and abundance of temples are evidence of its fascinating history, including Chinese occupation and French colonial rule. The buzz of motorbikes whizzing through Hanoi’s narrow streets
really brings the place to life, and the delicious smell of Vietnamese pho cooking on the side of the road is enough to make anyone’s mouth water.
Vietnamese cuisine is among the best in the world, and you could easily spend an entire day sampling world-class street food such as bun cha (rice noodles and barbecued pork in broth), banh mi (Vietnamese bread stuffed with pate, coriander, pickles and meat) or com tam (literally meaning “broken rice”). It also has a fantastic coffee culture, with cafes busy serving sweet egg coffee to locals and tourists until late at night.
Vietnam’s culinary delights aren’t the only reason to choose Hanoi as your next holiday destination. From water puppet shows to museums, there’s something for everyone, making this the perfect place for solo travellers, couples, families and business travellers alike.
Top tip: Use Hanoi as your base to visit northern Vietnam’s most beautiful attractions, such as UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ha Long Bay, and Sa Pa, home to Indochina’s tallest mountain.
Thailand is famous for its idyllic beaches, known to be some of the most beautiful in the world, and those on the island of Koh Samui are no exception. With soft, white sand and startling blue seas, Koh Samui has everything you need for a relaxing seaside holiday. Reams of glamorous beachside bars line the coast, coming to life when the sun goes down and tourists gather to party the night away. If your idea of the perfect holiday includes lounging on a bean bag, drinking cocktails and watching entertainers compete to deliver the best fire show, Koh Samui could be the place for you.
Despite this, there’s much more to Koh Samui than its lively nightlife. It’s also a fantastic place to go kayaking and to explore some of Thailand’s most beautiful religious sites, including the Big Buddha. The islands of Koh Tao and Koh Phangan are just a short boat trip away, famous for their scenic jungle views and world-famous full moon parties. They also offer plenty of opportunities to go snorkelling, a must for those with an enthusiasm for marine wildlife.
Whether you’re a digital nomad looking for your next business hotspot or a newly-wed couple planning your dream honeymoon, the tropical island of Koh Samui has everything you need for a relaxing getaway.
Top tip: Never miss a Thai sunset! No matter what you’re doing, make sure you head to your nearest beach or viewpoint to watch the sunset over the horizon.
Singapore is known for being a global financial hub, so it isn’t difficult to see why its expat community has grown significantly over the past few years. Many people visit the city-state to attend international events and conferences, so it comes as no surprise that Singapore is very well-equipped for business travellers. In fact, Singapore Changi is consistently voted as one of the best airports in the world for its seamless Wi-Fi, excellent entertainment options and designated sleeping areas – all features desired by people flying for business.
Despite its reputation, Singapore isn’t just about business. It gained total independence in 1965, following British colonisation and a merger with Malaysia, and has since developed a rich cultural identity. It’s perhaps best known for being home to some of the world’s most amazing gardens, including the National Orchid Garden and Gardens by the Bay. Tourists can also enjoy browsing designer brands in Singapore’s luxurious shopping malls, and incredible views from the top of the world-famous hotel, Marina Bay Sands.
Singapore is also known for being a safe place for tourists with excellent transport links and friendly locals, making it a great travel destination for people journeying alone or for families with young children.
Top tip: Enjoy a Singapore Sling cocktail from Raffles Hotel, the place it was originally invented.
From delicious local cuisine to bountiful shopping opportunities, there are plenty of reasons to visit Malaysia’s bustling capital city. It’s famous for its incredible skyline, including the Petronas Twin Towers, and its busy backstreets, a haven for anyone hoping to stumble upon delicious street food or a hidden, speakeasy-style bar. Grab a bowl of spicy laksa or a pungent slice of durian (if you’re brave enough!), and take a stroll through the streets of Kuala Lumpur on your next holiday to Southeast Asia. A fascinating fusion of Malaysian, Chinese and Indian culture awaits at this exciting cosmopolitan city.
Kuala Lumpur may be famous for its world-class shopping, but there’s also plenty to shout about away from the glitz and glamour. It’s home to some of Asia’s most impressive religious sites, including the temples at Batu Caves just a short drive away from the city centre. Due to its rich cultural heritage, there are also many festivals and religious celebrations for citizens and tourists to enjoy, such as Chinese New Year, Eid al-Fitr and Diwali.
Malaysia can be enjoyed on budgets of all sizes, which is one of the many reasons it’s continued to grow in popularity as a holiday destination. What better way to experience the sights of Malaysia by visiting its capital city?
Top tip: Don’t miss Kuala Lumpur’s beautiful inner-city parks for a breath of fresh air! The Bird Park and the Butterfly Park are two of the city’s finest.
Are you ready to explore the delights of Southeast Asia? Whether you fancy lounging by the pool in Thailand or tasting sizzling street food in Vietnam, we at Just Fly Business can help simplify the entire booking process. From cheap business class flights to luxury holiday offers, we have everything you need to plan your next adventure. Visit Just Fly Business today for luxury travel made affordable.
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