With buzzing cities, charming rural villages, engaging history and delicious cuisine, South East Asia has a host of holiday options to offer travellers and back packers who are looking for something special. Travel with us to the ancient Kingdoms of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, Bali and Malaysia and you can be guaranteed to experience a journey of a lifetime. You’ll find all kinds of activities listed below, including climbing iconic bridges, learning about indigenous culture, tasting the exquisite food of South East Asia, and getting up close to local wildlife.
First Stop Bali
Bali is located just south of the equator and is known for its beaches, beauty and magnificent culture. You can be assured that your entire experience will be peaceful and relaxing as you bask in the apex of tropical living. You will be starting your adventure right as there is no such thing as boredom in Bali as there is everything for everyone. If it’s just partying, sipping cocktails, arts and history or just relaxing in the spa and doing yoga, Bali does all these things so let us take you away.
Visit Bali’s famous Rice Paddies
Why not start your journey in Bali’s local villages and introduce yourself to the locals by taking a tour round Bali’s rice paddies. We highly recommend a stroll through what can only be said to be picturesque rice terraces at Jatiluwith or taking a day to explore Tenganan for a real taste on how the locals live. Whilst your there look out for the local temple ceremony, it’s a definite watch.
Catch Some Waves at Some of Bali’s Best Beaches
There’s nothing like swimming in blue ocean when you’re in paradise. Dreamland beach and Padang Padang will have you, surfing, swimming and jet-skiing in no time. If you’re looking to learn to surf in particular that you’re in the right place. The Kuta beach is amazing for beginners and there are so many excellent surf schools so you will never be short of choice and after your lesson why not unwind and watch the sunset at Ku De Ta.
Climb Mount Batur at Kintamani
If you’re in good condition after all that surfing and want to try out another adventure in Bali then head down to the famous Mount Batur. Mount Batur is a volcanic mountain that rises over a lake and is best taken on in the morning, so that you may see the sunrise at 6am. As it is early you may want to take a jacket and make sure that you are careful as you are on a volcanic mountain. However Mount Batur will not put you out like its cousin Mount Rinjani on the Lornbok Island which takes several days.
Watch Kecak Dance in Puri Dalem Tamen Kaja
The Kecak dance is one of the traditional dance and musical drama in Bali that addictive and loved by all tourists. The Kecak dance is performed by 150 individuals who depict the battle of Ramayana. The best place to watch this dance would be in the temple ground Sof Puri Dalem Tamen Kaja, where you will be sure to find authentic atmosphere and surrounding.
Travel South to Vietnam
With its wild jungles, fantastic street food and white sandy beaches, Vietnam deserves to be on every traveller’s hit list. Attracting a lot of travellers due to its natural beauty and exquisite foods, Vietnam is also a country of history and tradition with many historic temples. Why not go soul searching in such a beautiful country.
Explore the Cu Chi Tunnels
The Cu Chi Tunnels is a top attraction and is a war museum unlike others which offers its visitors a sneak peak at the underground d life of Viet Cong-era soldiers. You will be travelling more that 120km underground in its restored tunnels. You will be following the routes of army officers before you and at the end you will be able to watch a short movie to completely understand how the tunnel worked.
Ha Long Bay
Situated in the north of Vietnam near the Chinese border the Ha Long Bay is one of the world’s natural sights to see. The Bay covers an area of over 1,500sqkm and can be said to be one of the must surrealistic experiences. The best way to get to the Halong city would be by car or minibus but flights bought to Vietnam with StudentUniverse can leave you with some extra cash to get an hour long helicopter transfer to the Bay.
Visit the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
The Phong Nha-Ke Bang is a UNESCO World Heritage site like many places in Vietnam and is located in the Quang Binh Province, in the north of Vietnam. It is the oldest major karst formation in Asia and is a must see. Covered by beautiful tropical rainforest, Phong Nha-Ke Bang Park is one of the most important eco-regions of the Indo Pacific. You will be sure to see underground rivers, caves and many scarce creatures. The Phong Nha-Ke Bang Park offers a variety of activities such as mountain climbing, forest trekking and exploring rare and unusual species and plants. So wait no more; the time is now to explore.
Shop on the River Markets
Mekong Delta is an unmissable attraction. Here you will be able to see how life is for many Vietnamese families and will be able to experience the floating markets at its best. So why not have an early morning and shop from some fresh fruit and vegetables and haggle over prices with the locals.
Ever since Angelina Jolie swung through temple ruins in Cambodia as Lara Croft, Tomb Raider, it has become a must see country. Cambodia has come a long way since the horrors of Khmer Rouge reign of terror to a peaceful, relaxing country.
The Angkor features the remains of several capitals of the Khmer Empire and is one of the most spectacular ancient sites in the world. The Angkor Wat temple is the world’s largest single religious monument and if a must see on your bucket list. The ruins of Angkor Wat are located in the Angkor Archaeological Park and it would be best to arrange a tour with the Angkor Archaeological Park so that you do not miss any sights.
Koh Ker was originally the capital of the Khmer empire and has some of the most beautiful sculptures and temples. The site is now dominated by Prasat Thorn which is a tall pyramid which rises high above the surrounding jungle. If you’re a history buff you would be pleased to learn that legend has it that there was once a half man, half bird which can be seen to be carved into the stone blocks at the very top. So why not grab your friends along for an adventure and get your CSI on.
Relax at the Bamboo Island
Why not chill out on the Bamboo Island, which is situated off the Sihanoukville’s coast. The boat ride takes around half an hour but you will find less than 40 people actually living on the island so you will definitely be at peace. You may not find a TV or even the internet or even roads but you will be sure to find baby blue crystal water which is perfect for swimming and take a stroll along the beach. This is serenity at its best.
Tonle Sap Lake in Siem Reap
The Tonle Sap Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and therefore is a must see on your travels. The floating village nearest to the Siem Reap is the Chong Khneas and is famous tourist attraction. Here you will be able to indulge in traditional Cambodian food and grab a souvenir to take back home.
Mingle in Malaysia
Almost over 2 million foreign tourists have travelled to Malaysia last year and rightly so as Malaysia allows you to experience in my opinion two great cultures: Indian and Chinese.
Explore the Mulu Caves
Located in the Gunung Mulu National Park in Malaysian Borneo; the Mulu Caves encompasses incredible formations of the mountains and the equatorial rainforest. The Sarawak chamber is the largest cave chamber in the world and should be your first point of call when you stop off in Malaysia. It is rumoured to be able to accommodate about 40 Boeing 747’s, without overlapping their wings. So why not go with a group of friends to experience sights of a lifetime.
Visit Perhentian Islands
The Perhentian Islands are located off the coast of the north east Malaysia which is not far from the Thai border. The Islands are to be crossed off the bucket list and this Island is full of sun, sea and fun. Known for its cheap accommodation, every student and budget traveller should visit. The islands have some of the world’s most beautiful beaches which are great for diving and surfing. So let us begin your journey.
The Batang Rejang river is the heartbeat of Malaysia so be sure to visit the homes of the Iban tribe, which shelter generations of the same family so look back in your family tree because you might find yourself getting a free room for the night. Get up close and personal and explore the wildlife and enjoy the activities of the locals by touring the Batang Rejang rainforest with real locals.
Gunung Mulu National Park
The Gunung Mulu National Park is a World Heritage site, thanks to what is the most extensive care system in the world. Its five caves are open to the general public and are comprised with expeditions so if you’re looking to explore you might want to sight here. You are able to trek along the former head-hunters trails and climb the limestone outcrop known as the Pinnacles. This would be perfect for you backpackers out there as things can get a bit rough.
Settle in Thailand
Thailand is a well-known tourist attraction bringing in an influx of students, backpackers and adventure seekers to the ultimate dream location. Here at StudentUniverse we have comprised the ultimate to do list when you visit this great country. So why not put Thailand at the top of you bucket list this summer and check out these must see sights around its cultural capital.
The Island of Ko Phi Phi
Phi Phi Islands are a main attraction to Krabi and Phuket Island, and are widely considered the most beautiful islands in the world. Ko Phi Phi is a small archipelago in the Karbi Province in the South of Thailand and is set up of two small islands Ko Phi Phi Don and Ko Phi Phi Leh. If you’re a film lover you would enjoy knowing that this is where the popular 2000 film ‘Beach’ was set with stars such as Leonardo Dicaprio. So why not get that Hollywood experience and let us jet you away to the island of blue skies, warm seas and colourful castles. However if you’re looking to mingle with young people the Phi Phi Party Crew has a range of tours, boats and yachts that carry a never ending party. Alternatively discover the island by climbing on Maya beach and visiting the XD Theartre in Phi Phi Leh.
Scuba dive at Ko Tao
Thailand may probably be the most significant place to learn how to scuba dive and at Ko Tao which is nicknamed the Turtle Island ensures that you will be able to enjoy learning at one of many scuba diving schools at a very fair price. Ko Tao is second only to Cairns, Australia when it comes to the number of annual divers that become qualified. So you can rest assure that at the end of your trip you may be graduating with more than the knowledge you have encountered on your trip. Rated one of the most romantic trips in the world, why not take your partner along and roam around taking in the amazing views.
Did you know that the elephant is Thailand’s national symbol? It is symbolic and sacred animal, the elephant is treated very highly amongst locals so you wouldn’t go very far without encountering one. If you’re looking to train to become a mahout or learn and understand these magnificent animals, than you must visit Chian Dao Elephant Camp or Thai Elephant Conservation Center. Booking with us guarantees you extra cash savings which you would be able to use on luxury accommodation at the Anatara Golden Triangle of the Elephant Hill where you would be able to trek with these animals.
Have a Thai massage
After all the adventure on your journey through South East Asia, it wouldn’t be holiday without an exquisite Thai massage which can be located in pretty much every corner you turn. However the best is the Temple of the Reclining Buddha in Bangkok is said to be home to the capitals best masseurs; with prices starting at £7.50 an hour. So why not treat yourself to more than one visit.
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