If you’re an Australian wondering where to go for your next vacation, Southeast Asia should be on your radar. It’s close enough the plane fare won’t break the bank, and the destinations are exotic enough to provide you with a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
Here are [tweet_dis]5 of best ways to experience the incredible Southeast Asia on your holiday.[/tweet_dis]
Take a Cruise
Who wants to worry about commuting on holiday? Booking a cruise allows you to relax and visit various cities without having to worry about the hassle of bus shuttles and car rentals.
If variety is the spice of life, then you’re in for a wild ride. A single cruise can take you to multiple points of interest including Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Bangkok in Thailand and Pusan in South Korea. The contrast between these cities is enormous. Think about it. Bangkok with its thriving night life. Pusan provides a taste of eclectic Korean art and culture. And exploring Ho Chi Minh City has never been more fun when transferring from boat to scooter.
Whether you consider it an advantage or disadvantage, the destinations can sometimes play second-fiddle to the cruise itself. Between the fine dining and comfortable cabins, you may be tempted to never leave the boat!
Maybe you’re the kind of tourist who doesn’t like doing touristy things, opting instead to mingle as much as you can with the locals. We like this sort of travel too, the kind that involves real experiences and authenticity.
If this description sounds like you too, then you should know there is no better way to experience the “real” Thailand than going on a hill trek. These tours bus you out to the rural areas in a traditional songthaew – a truck with a modified bed that houses two benches under a canopy. You’ll also stay in a rural tribal hut, immersing yourself in true Thai culture.
Travel by Train
If you’re on a tight budget, consider travelling by train. As one of the cheapest ways to travel in countries like Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand, train rides throughout Southeast Asia are growing in popularity. Overnight sleepers cost as little as US$16.
In addition to being cheap, touring Southeast Asia by train is also one of the best ways to take in the scenery, as they wind through the beautiful landscape of rugged mountain ridges and lush jungle forests.
Take a Buddhist Tour
Southeast Asia is dotted with spectacular Buddhist temples and shrines, featuring dazzling golden spires, decadent gardens and stunningly intricate architecture.
If you’re in Bangkok be sure to stop by Wat Phra Kaew, the most culturally significant Buddhist temple in all of Thailand. This temple houses the Emerald Buddha, a two foot tall statue of Buddha carved from a single piece of jade stone. It’s been enshrined here since 1782. No one except the Thai King is allowed to touch the Emerald Buddha. The King changes the cloak around the statue three times a year to welcome the summer, winter and rainy seasons, and bring good fortune to Thailand.
Hire an Experienced Guide
If you’re a history buff, you should hire an experienced guide to give you an in-depth tour of the destination you’re visiting. In-depth tours are often led by English-speaking journalists and travel writers who frequent the region as part of their career. Their vast knowledge of the area will help you appreciate the region much more than you would have if travelling alone.