Top 10 Must Do’s in South East Asia

There are so many things to do and see in South East Asia! Our time traveling there was short lived but jam packed nonetheless, so I thought I would write a short list showing what I would class as a ‘must-do’ if your thinking of travelling there yourself!

1. Visit an Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai

Now I couldn’t write this list without including this one first! Our visit to an Elephant Sanctuary was up there with my favourite days of our travels.

We had 2 MASSIVE bags full of bananas to feed them – all you had to do was hold out a banana and an elephant trunk would snatch it from your hand! They were like hoovers; eating banana after banana!

We also got to bathe the elephants – they seemed so happy playing around in the water – one was even blowing water out of his trunk at people which was hilarious!

On a side note: Do your research – there are so many places claiming to be a Sanctuary however are just there taking tourists money! It’s hard to find an authentic Sanctuary and I’m still not 100% sure the one we visited was one!

2. Catch the sunrise over Angkor Wat in Cambodia

If you’re not a morning person then maybe give this one a miss (although I would still class checking out the Angkor Wat temples as a must-do).

We woke early and made our way to the temples and only just made it in time to catch the sun skim over the temples. It was bliss!

Or at least that’s what I would have liked to have happened..

The reality being it was cloudy AF so we woke for a non-existent sunrise!

But hey, you win some you lose some! We were just unlucky, and I’ve seen photos of how the sunrise SHOULD look and trust, you don’t want to miss!

3. Visit a tailor in Hoi An

Those of you who have read my previous travel diary posts and follow me on Instagram (@kimberleylouisebutler) know Hoi An was my favourite place in South East Asia that we visited.

I loved it there! The old town is covered in vibrant flowers and full of lanterns that light up the streets in the evening. It’s so cute!

As well as lots of shops and cafes there’s also ample tailors to get your teeth stuck into. They make made-to-measure clothes and all for a reasonable price – if you’ve got some spending money spare and are after something unique then definitely treat yourself to a tailor made outfit (or two)!

4. Wander Buddha Park in Vientiane

Buddha Park was definitely worth a visit. It’s a sculpture park full of over 200 Buddhist and Hindu statues; including one which you could walk inside (through the mouth) and climb to the top to see a view of the whole park – just be careful not to lose your footing as it’s not exactly secure!

5. Walk to the top of the Luang Prabang waterfalls

The Luang Prabang waterfalls were truly beautiful! We took a short walk to the top where we swam in the Lagoon; the walk itself was a little steep at times but definitely worth it up the top! Or if you’re feeling lazy just take in the views at the bottom – we won’t judge.

6. Visit a floating market

What is a floating market I hear you ask? It’s essentially a market on boats – I know – SO COOL!

We spent one morning visiting the Can Tho floating market in Vietnam, it’s mainly for whole sale however there were boats selling food and drinks too.

It was strange watching a boat pull up next to ours, make his pitch, easily make a sale and sail off to find more customers.

There was also boats selling noodles first thing in the morning! In Asia they eat rice and noodles for breakfast – bizarre!

7. Opt for a home stay with the locals – Anywhere

A home stay truly makes you appreciate your home comforts and also bring you back down to Earth.

On our Asia trip we actually had two home stays – both completely different.

One was way more basic than the other – I’m talking sleeping side by side on the floor of a wooden hut with a matt, pillow and mosquito net; and the other being a room with a bed, light and western style toilets!

Now neither were exactly great situations, I’m a huge clean freak and honestly couldn’t sleep at all! (Without sounding to much like a snob – I promise I’m not!)

But in terms of spending time with the locals it was great, we had a family cook a local dish for us and also met local children from the town. We gave them gifts of colouring books, colouring pencils and stickers – they loved them! It was so nice to see their appreciation for something that some children back home would just shrug off as the norm.

8. Take a boat trip around Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Our boat trip around Ha Long Bay was great! Ha Long Bay is full of limestone islands topped with rainforests and sailing around the bay is definitely a must do!

It’s also where some of Kong: Skull Island was filmed and if you’re feeling up to it you can even have a leisurely kayak around the bay!

9. Watch a Lady Boy show in Bangkok

So this isn’t exactly going to be to everyone’s taste BUT Thailand is so well known for its Lady Boy Shows, you just can’t NOT watch one!

Our last night in Bangkok was spent watching a Lady Boy Show and it definitely was unique, to say the least!

The show itself was really entertaining and some of the performers on stage you honestly couldn’t tell if they were a man or woman!

(Except for those with chest hair, armpit hair and a full on beard – I mean they’re clearly women – or is that just me? Haha)

In all seriousness though, I would highly recommend checking a show out, they’re unique and reasonably priced, so go for it!

10. Relax on Phi Phi islands

Now unfortunately we didn’t visit the Phi Phi Islands due to our busy schedule, but have heard it’s a must!

The islands are a 90 minute boat ride from Phuket and have turquoise blue waters filled with vibrant marine life ..that, teamed with its tropical beaches makes it sound like true paradise! So deffo worth a visit!

So that’s it for my list of Asia must-dos!

I hope this gives you some inspiration for travelling Asia! There are so many more places to go and things to do so let me know in the comments if there’s anything you would class as a must do that’s not on my list!

Love Bumble x

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