The South East Asia Bucket List: 24 Awesome Things To Do in Asia

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Like many others, I seem to gravitate back to South East Asia. From the people to the endless white beaches, to the food and the madness that you will find nowhere else in the world, the countries of South-East Asia offer so much. It is no wonder it is one of the top backpacking destinations. However, when you are planning on seeing many countries it is often hard to decide what is actually worth visiting, which is which I have asked some of the top travel bloggers from around the world to name their top Asian experience in order to create a fantastic South-East Asia bucket list.

The Ultimate South East Asia Bucket List

Thailand Bucket list

sunrise in chiang mai

Watch the Sunrise in Chiang Mai

Suggested by Anna from Mytravelscrapbook.com

There are many things you need to add to your South East Asia bucket list and watching the sunrise in Chiang Mai should be on there. To watch the sunrise in Chiang Mai you will need to reach the summit of the nearby mountain Doi Suthep before the sun begins to rise. Chasing the sunrise on Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai means a very early start, bracing the chill morning air, a nerve-wracking scooter ride and potentially wet feet. Yet all of these minor annoyances will soon be forgotten as you watch one of Thailand’s most beautiful sunrises.

In order to watch the sunrise over Chiang Mai you will need to hire a scooter the day before. Find out what time the sun will rise and set your alarm about 1 hour before then. As soon as your alarm goes off, grab a jacket and head to the mountain Doi Suthep. Your ride from the centre of Chiang Mai to the temple of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep will take about half an hour.

Once you reach the temple, take off your shoes and head to the balcony and wait for the magic to begin. The sunrise in Chiang Mai is truly one of South East Asia best bucket list experiences.

lady taking part in a muy thai boxing class in koh samui, thailand

Learn Muy Thai in Koh Samui

Suggested by Michelle from fulltimeexplorer.com

One of the things everyone has to try in Thailand is a Muay Thai class. The art of Muay Thai dates back to the 16th century making it a very interesting part of Thai culture. Today, it’s a sport that’s popular worldwide. I took classes at Yodyut Muay Thai on the island of Koh Samui. After many days spent lazing by the pool and beach, it seemed appropriate to get a workout in. Each group class is two hours long. It includes a warmup, going over basic technique, light sparring, and some serious ab work. Although it was a hardcore workout, I couldn’t wait to sign up for a second class and went back the following day. I met a few people who were training for an entire month on the island while on vacation.

Take a class in the morning and chill by the beach for the rest of the day. Muay Thai was something they’d always dreamed about learning and what better place to learn than paradise?

Maeklong Railway Market

Visit the Maeklong Railway Market

Suggested by Katalin from ourlifeourtravel.com

The Maeklong Railway Market was our number one bucket list destination in Thailand.

But why is this market so unique? Railway tracks crossing the stalls, and when the trains arrive or depart, the sellers quickly pack their goods to let the train pass, then roll their tables back and open the umbrellas and the business goes as usual.
Maeklong is an hour by bus from Bangkok, but you can reach it by train and ferry too, but it takes about half a day. We arrived there by train l, spent about 2 hours around the market, and travelled back to the capital by bus in the afternoon.
There are only a couple of trains to and from the station, so it takes an hour or two to see the attraction.
If you have a spare day in Bangkok and would like a unique experience, this is the place to go!

person on flight of the gibbon zipline in chiang mai thailand

Flight of The Gibbon in Chiang Mai

Suggested by Ellie from thewanderingquinn.com

Flight of the Gibbon is one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai.

I have been on quite a few zip lines around the world but this is a totally unique zipline experience!

They have some seriously long ziplines right through the rainforest which are adrenaline-inducing, but they don’t stop at ziplines only, there are also lots of jumps and drops included in the course to mix it up and keep it fresh.

Flight of the Gibbon is the number one zipline tour operator in Thailand, they take health and safety seriously and they support responsible eco-tourism in the area so they’re the best company to go ziplining with in Thailand. Not only this but the staff that took us out were so fun and happy which really enhanced the experience.

Make sure you add this to your South East Asia bucket list as it’s an activity that is well worth the money and one you won’t forget!

kanchanaburi_train

A Day trip to Kanchanaburi

Suggested by Alexei from travelexx.com

If someone was to put together a bucket list of day trips in Thailand, Kanchanaburi would be in with a great shout to top it. As well as providing a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, a visit to this town and province of the same name is a fascinating history lesson unlike any other.

Just a leisurely (not to mention, scenic) train ride away from the capital, Kanchanaburi is packed with things to do. Riding or walking across the iconic Bridge over the River Kwai is unforgettable. The infamous Death Railway used to run through here and you can brush up on your knowledge in the JEATH War Museum as well as visit the Allied War Cemetery.

If time is not an issue, a visit to the Hellfire Pass and its fascinating museum – commemorating those that lost their lives building the Thai-Burma railway in WW2 is an essential and sobering experience. The journey here – the train rattling along the stunning Wampo Viaduct – is also worth lingering for.

If the history gets a little too much, nearby Erawan National Park is a natural paradise with waterfalls and caves while local temples will scratch the cultural itch.

Your Malaysia Bucket List

Diving in Sipadan

Suggested by Daniel and Emma from Witrag Travel

Situated just off the east coast of Sabah in Borneo, Pulau Sipadan is Malaysia’s only oceanic island and undoubtedly one of the world’s best dive sites. However, the island is not only a mecca for divers. It’s also an island-hopping hotspot, and snorkelers will find there’s just as much to do as those diving deep. With a marine habitat as rich as Sipadan’s, expect to glide alongside Giant Green Sea Turtles, get lost with the enormous tornado-like schools of Barracuda and be amazed as you spot your first Bumphead Parrotfish. Did we forget to mention the Hammerheads?

Visits to Sipadan are restricted to 120 permits per day, and there is no accommodation on the island itself. Base yourself in neighbouring Mabul, Kapalai or Mataking and arrange a dive/snorkel package with one of the many schools (recommendation: Scuba Junkie).

Nothing worth having comes easy. Sipadan might feel like the other side of the world, but you’re in for a truly out-of-this-world experience.

Diving in the Perhentian Islands

Suggested by Cassie from the cassiethehag.com

In six months travelling Asia, there are few activities which stay with me as much as learning to dive off the sun-soaked Perhentian Islands in Malaysia. For me, the beaches here exemplified paradise and the relative lack of tourism (compared to well-known diving spots in Thailand, for example) added a sense of adventure.

The warm waters and laid-back vibes make the Perhentians a perfect place to dive. While some diving skills are hard (don’t get me started on how much I panicked taking my eye mask off at 18-metres deep), diving itself is a tranquil experience. Breathing underwater for the first time and getting close to marine life in its natural habitat is incomparable. Just be sure to wear reef-safe sunscreen and don’t touch the marine life; socialise with your awesome divemaster back on the boat and not the turtles!

After your dives, relax on the white sand beaches with your textbook – or, if not doing a course, you can still do a ‘fun dive’ up to 12 metres and then head to one of the islands makeshift beach bars. While it remains underdeveloped, this really is a slice of paradise worth visiting.

wild orangutan in sabah

See wild Orangutan in Sabah

Suggested by James from travelcollecting.com

Top of your South East Asia bucket list should be hiking to see orangutans in Borneo.  One of the best places to see orangutans is the Danum Valley in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.  The Danum Valley Conservation Area is one of the few remaining pockets of virgin rainforest in Borneo, so it has a high concentration of orangutans.  The only place to stay inside the conservation area is Borneo Rainforest Lodge.  Guided hikes are included in the package price to stay there (read more about staying in Borneo Rainforest Lodge here).  It is possible to not see orangutans, of course, but the lodge’s expert jungle guides are trained to see them, and there is even a canopy walk high in the tops of the trees that bring you to the level as which orangutans often hang out in the forest, so your chances are pretty good.

Seeing these incredible, intelligent animals swing through the trees or rest in their nests, is an amazing experience.  Even if you don’t see them, you will still enormous trees hundreds of years old shrouded in mist; tropical birds; and possibly enormous lizards, red leaf monkeys and more. Highly recommended!

Visit the Mosques of Kuala Lumpur

Suggested by Nadia of Ecowanderland.com

There are two things that Kuala Lumpur (KL) does very right, that’s food and culture. One of the most beautiful aspects of the latter are mosques, and in KL they are plentiful!

There’s the old, The National Mosque lies in the heart of the city, it’s an iconic image of KL with its unique angular dome shape, and is an exquisite example of traditional Islamic art. (More of which can be found in the nearby Islamic Arts Museum!)

There’s the majestic, Wilayah Mosque is one of the most incredible mosques I’ve ever been to, on a nice sunny day it’s quiet and peaceful. The domes blend in with the sky, and make it seem as though they’re touching the clouds!
There’s the colourful, Putra Mosque sits on the shores of a lake, which gives off a stunning reflection in the early hours of the morning. Why is it colourful? Because it’s completely pink! A truly unique experience to walk around donning one of their matching pink robes.

If there’s one thing you do in KL, it should be exploring all the different mosques and marvelling at how uniquely beautiful each one is!

Heading to Kuala Lumpur? The Perfect 3-day itinerary for Kuala Lumpur 

Sri Lanka Bucket list

sri lanka drone dalawella beach unuwatuna

Exploring Beaches 

Suggest by Leanne of theglobetrottergp.com

One of the things Sri Lanka is famous for is its beaches. Soft white powder sand, gently sloping palm trees and a perfect turquoise warm ocean draw tourists predominantly to the South Coast of Sri Lanka where you will find the best beaches.

There are beaches for everyone in Sri Lanka. If it’s yoga on the beach you’re after, heard to Arugam Bay. Prefer to go surfing? Head to Weligama beach. For buzzing, lively beaches, you’ll want to try Mirissa and Unawatuna. For the best views, that’ll be Tangale Beach. For a place to relax, try Secret Beach near Mirissa.

My personal favourite beach was Dalawella beach near Unawatuna. A few miles from the busy city, Dalawella Beach was a slice of peaceful paradise. Not only did it have those perfect white sands and sloping palm trees but it’s also one of the few beaches in Sri Lanka where it’s safe to swim, thanks to a rocky wall creating a calm lagoon. If you’re very lucky, you might spot turtles in the lagoon so take a snorkel!

At sunset, head to the infamous Dalawella beach swing for that perfect sunset Instagram photo.

man at the summit of little adams peak , sri lanka

Hike Little Adam’s Peak

Suggested by Simon of Journeystoadventure.com

Sri Lanka has many beautiful places and little Adam’s Peak is one of those gems.

Little Adam’s Peak is the small brother of the famous Adam’s Peak or Sri Pada. Which is a religious pilgrimage of many Sri Lankans. Even though it’s the smaller brother, don’t underestimate the beauty of the journey to the summit.

Located in the highlands just outside the town of Ella. Little Adam’s Peak is 1141m above sea level and takes roughly 4 hours to hike. The start of the trailhead begins at the Ella Flower Garden Resort, which is roughly 1.5 hours walk from Ella. The journey takes you through a picturesque tea plantation. You wind your way up the leafy hills, passing locals workers picking tea leaves as you hike to the summit.

The summit of Little Adam’s Peak offers fantastic views of the valley below. With Ella Rock dominating the landscape on the opposite side of the valley.  Little Adam’s Peak is a great adventure and well worth exploring when visiting the highlands of the teardrop island nation of Sri Lanka.

Vietnam Bucket list

Vietnam is an incredible place to visit, I have been twice now and have a few posts which you may find helpful for planning:
A Two week Vietnam Itinerary 
A complete guide to Ninh Binh

Visit the Forbidden Purple City, Hue

Suggested by Sage of avirtualpostcard.com

If you’re heading to the city of Hue in Vietnam, be sure to add the Forbidden Purple City to your bucket list.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is incredible to behold, despite the fact that there’s not much left but a few crumbled remains. The Forbidden Purple City sits within the Imperial Enclosure, and it’s basically a citadel-within-a-citadel-within-a-citadel. Only the Emperor and his few servants were allowed access. Despite the sheer size of the complex, the delicacy surrounding the decoration and architecture is astounding. Considering it was completed back in 1833 you can still see the brightly coloured doorways, the floral patterns and peacocks, as clear as the day they were painted.

Cat Ba National Park

Suggested by Penny of Globetrove.com

A lot of people haven’t heard of Cat Ba National Park and to be honest, neither had I. It was only when I found myself on Cat Ba island and I was looking for things that we could do that I realized that there was a gorgeous park on it. One of the reasons why I really loved Cat Ba national park was due to this. There were few (if any!) tourists and you tend to have the park to yourself.

The park overs a very large expanse of land and there are two trails that you can embark on. The most popular one is a long trail and it requires a guide. People start this trail early morning in order to complete it in time. The second option is to embark on one of the shorter routes which is no less spectacular. The park has a gorgeous landscape which you can get a bird’s eye view off. The karst topography looks a lot like Halong bay itself except that the valleys are covered by trees and not water. It is an experience that I would highly recommend putting on your bucket list.

Indonesia Bucket List

Before you start planning your amazing Indonesia trip before sure to check out my 2 week Indonesia itinerary, this itinerary contains location ideas as well as accommodation and trip recommendations.

drone shot of the gili islands, indonesia

Learn to Freedive in the Gili Islands

Suggested by Sophie of Lifestylequeensland.com.au

My partner and I live right on the Great Barrier Reef and we are both kin divers and spearfishers so when we recently travelled to Indonesia, getting a freediving qualification was high on our to-do list!

The Gili Islands, just off the coast of Lombok, have become well known for their freediving schools and people now and that’s exactly where we headed. The islands are picturesque and don’t have any vehicles so the only way to get around is bicycle making them an ideal spot to relax as well.

There are three levels to the freediving course, I just opted for level one (10-metre depth) but my partner also completed level two (20-metre depth). Before you head to the ocean there is extensive safety training and pool teaching on breath-hold techniques. Even though we have been spearfishing and freediving for years we still learnt a lot and managed to improve our diving significantly.

The Gili Islands have turtles swimming close to the beach and the breath-hold lessons allowed me to swim with them underwater for much longer than I would have before – well worth it!

Watch the Sunrise over Mount Bromo

Suggested by Melanie of Passportamigo.com

If you have the opportunity to watch the sunrise over Mt Bromo, Indonesia I highly recommend it. 

There are various ways to get there and tours that operate out of Malang and other places. Prepare for a cold night though.  You are up at 2500m and will be there from the early morning.  There are coats you can hire and hot snacks such as fried potatoes or deep-fried banana on skewers available to purchase. 

The main viewing area can get pretty crowded with lots of large group trips and we had been given a tip by a fellow traveller to move lower, which we did. 

You don’t get the view as the sun peeks up over the horizon but I think you get a better view of the surrounding area, and it was less of a zoo. From here you get a great view of Mount Bromo, Mount Semeru, and the smouldering crater.

Watching the sunrise and seeing the scenery slowly appear was a fantastic experience and I’d urge you to add it to your ‘to do’ list.

Diamond Beach on Nusa Penida Island

Suggested by Sarah and Andy of Hotelsandhandluggage.com

Diamond Beach on Nusa Penida Island is just as picture-perfect in real life as it looks in the photos. It’s becoming an increasingly popular spot so is best enjoyed at sunrise when you’ll almost have the place to yourselves.

The viewpoint above the beach offers spectacular views over the pristine, white beach, stunning, turquoise water and unique diamond rocks. Steps have been carved into the side of the cliff allowing visitors to venture down onto the beautiful beach below. The steps near the top of the cliff are a great spot for taking photos and the beach is one of the best we’ve ever been on. It’s not recommended to swim in the ocean though as the current is extremely strong around Nusa Penida Island so swimming is not always safe.

We chose to stay for a night in one of the local guesthouses near to Diamond Beach so we could enjoy the quiet beauty of the evening on the island and be one of the first at the beach for sunrise. The viewpoint on the top of the cliff is the perfect spot to watch the sunrise. As the sun slowly peaks over the horizon the morning light will cast a golden glow onto Diamond Beach and the surrounding cliffs. This is the best time to make your way down the narrow staircase onto the glistening white sand beach.

Diamond Beach is about an hour’s drive from the Nusa Penida ferry port. The ferry between mainland Bali and Nusa Penida takes around 30-40 minutes. The entrance fee is 10,000 IDR per person which includes the viewpoints and access to Diamond Beach and Atuh Beach.

Your Laos Bucket List

Kuang Si Waterfalls (above the big fall)

Swimming in the Kuang Si waterfalls

Suggested by Jessica of Unearththevoyage.com

There are so many amazing things to do in Southeast Asia but one of our favourite experiences was swimming in the Kuang Si waterfalls just outside of Luang Prabang in Laos. The Kuang Si waterfalls look like they are from a different world; the colour of the water is a bright aqua blue and it’s so clear you can see straight down to the bottom. There is one massive waterfall that you can actually hike to the top and swim around in the pools right above the waterfall.

One of the neatest parts about going up to the top is that you can swim right up to the edge of the giant waterfall and look over it. There is a wooden gate blocking you from falling, but it is still quite scary so be careful! If you are looking to be around fewer people we suggest taking a hike up to the top as many people just stay down by the smaller falls. The water at the top of the falls isn’t as bright blue, but it’s still a really great experience. Down by the smaller falls is where the Instagrammable spots are. You can choose between lots of different pools to swim in and you can go to the edge of the falls and sit on top of them to capture the perfect photo. There are lots of little fish in the falls that will also give you a mini pedicure! It doesn’t hurt- just tickles! There is also a swing and a tree that you can jump into the falls from- but again, please be careful! If you are looking to experience one of the best things to do in Laos- we highly suggest checking out the Kuang Si waterfalls!

The Bolaven Plateau Motorcycle Loop

Suggested by Kieran of gotmybackpack.com

The South of Laos is a relatively undiscovered region in South East Asia compared to well-known cities in the North. Yet it offers incredible scenery, rich culture and is one of the cheapest places I’ve visited on my travels. 

If you’re visiting the South of Laos, the Bolaven Plateau loop from Pakse has to be top of your bucket list. This motorbike loop takes you through the winding highlands of the Champasak region where you’ll find local villages, plantations and picturesque landscapes.

The full loop takes 3-4 days and will give you the best experience but if you’re short on time, there is a shorter version that takes 2-3 days.

On the loop, you’ll find some of the best waterfalls in Laos. This includes the country’s tallest waterfall, Tad Fane, where twin falls cascade over a 120m high cliff and the 7 incredible waterfalls that can be discovered at Tad Tayicusa after a short trek through the jungle.

The region is also renowned for having some of Asia’s finest coffee, aided by the rich volcanic soil and high rainfall experienced year-round. There are plenty of coffee plantations to choose from, most offer guided tours of the plantations and an opportunity to taste the different varieties grown.

Rice-luangprabang-thetravellingtwins-3

Rice Cultivation in Luang Prabang

Suggested by Ania from The-Travelling-Twins.com

The UNESCO heritage town of Luang Prabang in northern Laos takes you back in time to a picture-perfect scene.  Chic French Indochina is steeped in Buddhist tradition here like almost nowhere else. Having said that, we found it rather commercialised.  So apart from the awe-inspiring sights and buildings, what we enjoyed most was a visit to a simple rice farm.

The Living Land Company take you out of the city into the paddy fields.  Here, you not only see but also try for yourself the different processes in rice cultivation.  My girls still giggle at the memory of riding on Rodolphe the buffalo, whose job it is to pull a plough through the wet rice fields.

The rice farm was the perfect escape from the formality of exploring Luang Prabang, combining fun and education.  It was also an eye-opener for us to see how much work it takes to produce the staple food of a vast region of Asia.  The lunch was good too – all made with rice. The variety was surprising and the flavours delicious. Even squeezing our canes to make sugar drinks was fun.

Price for 1-2 guests 424.000 LAK ($ 49) per guest – including lunch.

Without lunch: kip 344.000 LAK ($ 40) per guest.

Children – reduced rate – depending on your negotiating skill, they can be half price or free.

The Philippines Bucket List

Island Hopping in Coron

Suggested by Cat from Walkmyworld.com

We headed to Palawan fully expecting El Nido to be our highlight, but it was Coron that blew us away. Famed for stunning tropical islands, beautiful lakes and colourful coral reefs, Coron is a place that captivates anyone who visits.

You can choose to explore the area on one of the popular group tours, but for a really special experience, we recommend hiring a private boat for the day. This allows you to create your own itinerary and avoid the crowds by visiting popular spots at different times to the groups.

Highlights include the gorgeous lakes – Kayangan, Barracuda and Twin Lagoon, all of which make for some of the best wild swimming experiences we’ve ever had. With deep blue water and towering limestone karsts, it’s hard to imagine a more picturesque spot.

After the lagoons, you can head to one of the many white-sand beaches for some island time. We’d recommend tiny Banul Beach if you want to feel like you’ve just landed in postcard paradise. To top off the perfect day island hopping in Coron, you can opt for some underwater action. Snorkel a wreck at Skeleton Wreck or look for turtles and tiny Nemos at the Coral Garden. Whichever spots you decide to explore in Coron you won’t be disappointed. 

Canyoneering

Suggested by Kristina from travelswithkc.com

Canyoneering is undoubtedly one of the most popular activities in the islands of Cebu. First featured in popular Filipino travel TV show, “Biyehe Ni Drew”, canyoneering has transformed this once sleepy town into the ultimate travel destination.

So where can you do this? The jump-off point for canyoneering is located about 4 hours from Cebu City in the small town of Badian. You will need to hire a guide for safety reasons and there is a general rule of 1 guide per 3 guests. It costs PHP1500 – PHP2200 per person (depending on the company) and it includes the entrance fee, life jacket and helmet, bottle of water and a meal at the end.

The day will be a 4-hour fun-filled thrilling adventure and you will yourself sliding down naturally formed slides, squeezing through giant boulders, jumping from beautiful gorges and swimming beneath stunning waterfalls. The heights vary from as low as 5 feet with the highest jump at 35 feet located at Kawasan Falls.  Jumping is purely optional however and you can still enjoy the beautiful waters as you trek down the river. Don’t’ miss out on this adrenaline-packed adventure!

kawa hot bath

Kawa Hot Bath in Antique

Suggested by Dea from howshewanders.com

Kawa Hot Bath is another fun and relaxing activity when visiting the Philippines. It originated in Antique Province, 3 to 4-hour bus ride from Kalibo (which is also an entry point to the famed Boracay Island). The kawa, or a huge cauldron that is being used as hot tubs are actually previously used in sugar factories. The kawa will be first filled with water, then leaves and flowers will be added into it to help soothe the muscles and produce a relaxing aroma. The kawa will be heated for 20 to 30 minutes or until it’s warm enough for the guest. A Kawa Hot Bath session usually lasts 30 minutes or longer depending on the availability. If you happen to visit during off-peak season (June to November), you might be allowed to soak your body for as long as you want. There are many resorts offering this fun activity within Antique, but it’s best to experience this at Kawa Kayak Inn located along the riverside in a mountainous area of Tibiao, Antique.

Cambodia Bucket List

Wat Ek Phnom temple in Battambang

Suggested by Sophie from bittenbythebug.be – a blog about Brussels

Situated in the West of Cambodia, Battambang is an interesting travel destination that is not yet overcrowded with tourists, which you can tell by the way the population acts towards visitors. As we cycled 11km through the farmland towards the Buddhist temple Wat Ek Phnom, small children ran out on the streets just to greet us and shied away when we waved back.

Along with the ruins of the old Wat Ek Phnom, the site also boast a colourful modern temple which is still in use, thereby creating an interesting contrast between the old and the new. You can explore in and around both of the temples. Other striking features are the impressive giant Buddha statue with a small, grubby shrine inside and an improvised swing made with a car tyre (fun times!).

You’ll get to see loads of temples when in South-East Asia, but we really loved this one because it felt so quiet and authentic.

Banteay Srei

Angkor Wat

Suggested by Sue from Travelforlifenow.com

Cambodia is a top country for all Southeast Asian Bucket Lists. The first thing that comes to mind is Angkor Wat. You simply cannot go to Southeast Asia and not spend a few days in the largest Buddhist Temple complex in the world. Sunrise and Sunset photos are very popular. If you are a temple and history buff, a week will allow you to see the top highlights like Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, Bayon and Angkor Thom and get off the beaten track to see some of the lesser-known temples, visit the Tonle Sap River, the old market and other places. Most people do three days and see the top sites. One day is definitely not enough time.

Angkor Wat is very popular and crowded. If you want a more quiet and peaceful experience, take a three-hour bus ride to Sambor Prei Kuk, recently designated as Cambodia’s third UNESCO World Heritage site. It has yet to be discovered by the crowds. This temple complex pre-dates Angkor Wat and has unique octagonal temples. It hasn’t been restored as fully as Angkor Wat, but it’s a different kind of experience. It is halfway between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh so could be a stopover between the two cities.

 

Myanmar Bucket List

Trekking Kalaw to Inle Lak

Suggested by Erika from ErikasTravelventures.com

Myanmar is a country that is still opening up to tourism and is the perfect place to visit for an off-the-beaten-track Southeast Asian experience. To immerse yourself in the traditional Myanmar lifestyle, head to the countryside to the Kalaw to Inle Lake trek. This 2-3 day hike starts in Kalaw, a small mountain village with a large local market and a monastery. For the duration of the trek, you will be walking through tiny Myanmar villages and rice paddies, and agricultural fields where locals are hard at work. There are some viewpoints of lush green valleys, but the highlight of the trek is interacting with the locals, and especially the children who love coming up to trekkers to get their pictures taken.

When you stay with locals in their homestays, they open up their second bedroom for you and cook you the most delicious local foods like fried vegetables and curries. You eat, drink, shower, and sleep just like the villagers do in their day-to-day lives. For the most authentic experience, I recommend trekking Kalaw to Inle Lake without a guide, however, it is easy to find a guided tour to join from Kalaw town.

How many things can you tick off? Let me know in the comments below!

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Cat
    August 5, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    Such an incredible list! I’ve spent so long in southeast asia and still a few things left to do on this list 🙂

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