Encompassing a diverse group of countries located between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Southeast Asia is currently one of the world’s fast-rising regions. Its territories have long been admired by travelers due to their exciting cultures, tasty cuisine and comparatively low prices.
Whether you want to relax in the comforts of a luxurious resort or go on a spectacular adventure through the jungle, chances are you’ll find something to your liking here. To that end, here are five Asian places in Southeast Asia that deserve to be experienced by anyone with even a passing interest in the area:
Sipadan Island, Malaysia
Often referred to as one of the top scuba diving locations on the planet, Sipadan Island offers the kind of underwater treasures that divers dream of. Plenty of big fish can be found roaming around in these waters, including jacks, parrotfish and barracudas. The latter are an especially common sight at the aptly-named Barracuda Point, where you’ll often witness them traveling in a veritable vortex of thousands at the same time.
Sometimes it can seem like Bali is so famous and illustrious that it’s hard to say anything new about it. But it’s important to remember that Indonesia’s best-known island is much more than your average tropical paradise. With attractions ranging from laidback beaches to ancient Hindu temples to the Sacred Monkey Forest, there’s definitely no shortage of things to do and see here.
A storied city that still maintains a high level of appeal today, Angkor used to serve as the capital of the Khmer Empire. Now the site is best known for its myriad architectural landmarks, among which is the Angkor Wat temple, the largest religious monument in the entire world. Other highlights in the area include the Bayon Temple and the nearby Roluos Group.
Taman Negara, Malaysia
Located on the foothills of Malaysia’s Titiwangsa Mountains, Taman Negara is a great place to visit for eco-tourists and other nature-loving travelers. The forest is considered to be among the world’s oldest, with 130 million years of history behind it, and makes for an excellent break from the trappings of modern life. Activities as varied as climbing, fishing and whitewater rafting can all be experienced here, so be sure to come in well-rested if you want to take advantage of everything the place has to offer.
Maratua Island, Indonesia
A large island with a gorgeous lagoon, Maratua is the perfect destination for travelers who prefer a more remote experience. Scuba diving and snorkeling are extremely popular here, with the likes of white reef sharks and manta rays being frequent sights in the area’s waters. Some notable diving spots in Maratua include the Channel, the Eel Garden and the aptly-named Turtle Traffic, where you’re certain to catch some giant turtles in action.
All in all, it’s clear to see that Southeast Asia has plenty to offer to the discriminating traveler. Aside from the aforementioned locations, there are numerous other places in the region that are worth your time and attention. So don’t hesitate to do some research beforehand and see which areas in Southeast Asia you’d most like to explore.