Did you know some of the happiest people travel often?
Individuals who spend their money on experiences rather than material goods are happier. Experiences, such as traveling, give you anticipation and fond memories to revisit. Traveling opens your mind to diverse cultures and people around the world.
Experiencing and learning about the people and their cultures around us is life-changing. South Asia destinations include rich culture, diverse religion, delicious cuisine, and immaculate beaches.
Westerners find South Asia destinations magical. Ancient Buddhist temples, monasteries, tropical weather, busy cities, remote villages, misty jungles, and archaeological sites. Whether you’re an active adventurous spirit or one who prefers to relax and recharge, South Asia offers something for everyone.
Gain life-changing experiences by visiting any of the countries in South Asia. These 9 South Asia destinations are a must-see for every traveler.
1. Kampot, Cambodia: Relax
The once French-occupied Kampot, Cambodia is now a relaxing getaway for locals and travelers alike. Named after the river the Kampot River that flows through this small town, Kampot neighbors the Elephant Mountain Range and mesmerizing coastlines.
Throughout Kampot, you’ll find aging French buildings and French-influenced statues. View them from a canoe or kayak as you explore the winding rivers, hidden lakes, and waterfalls. From the coastline, visitors can see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins swimming nearby.
Just outside Kampot are winding roads leading to world-renown organic pepper farms and crab markets.
2. Mondulkiri, Cambodia: Adventure
While visiting South Asia destinations, adventure enthusiasts cannot miss a trip to Mondulkiri. This hidden gem is full of natural wonders including, rainforests, hiking trails, and waterfalls.
Mondulkiri is home to the Mondulkiri Project, an elephant protection sanctuary in Cambodia. This Cambodian owned organization rescues elephants and offers employment opportunities to locals in the area. Western travelers are welcome to join a one or two-day elephant tour.
The Worldwide Fund for Nature helps protect the natural environment around Modulkiri with eco-friendly attractions and accommodations.
3. Bangkok, Thailand: A South Asia Destinations Must
If you love the unique attractions of the city and meeting people, then Bangkok, the capital of Thailand must be on your list of South Asia destinations.
This populous city of 9.5 million began in the 1400s as a small trading post. Fast-forward 600 years to today and you’ll find exceptional street food and cuisine during the day and a boisterous nightlife.
During the day, you can check out Bangkok’s food tours, floating markets, and historic temples.
4. Hue, Vietnam: Cultural History
Hue, Vietnam is one of the many history-filled South Asia destinations that are worth a visit. Hue was ruled by the Nguyen Dynasty until 1945 and the rich history is the very soul of this coastal town.
Visiting Hue is like stepping back in Vietnam’s history and culture. Explore the Imperial Citadel, neighboring Pagodas, shrines, and the Forbidden Purple City without the crowds of its Chinese counterpart.
If you’re looking for something more contemporary, Hue offers great Vietnamese cuisine and craft breweries.
5. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Unforgettable Cuisine
Of the many South Asia destinations, Kuala Lumpur is becoming the foodie-destination for travelers.
The hawker stalls resemble the historic character of Kuala Lumpur. During the day they appear quiet, but by nightfall, they burst to life with the delightful street foods of Malaysia.
Outside the food stalls, you’ll be impressed by beautiful and innovative architecture and skyscrapers, such as the tall Petronas Twin Towers. Check out the culture of Kuala Lumpur by visiting the Islamic Arts Museum and the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, the world’s largest covered bird park.
6. Bagan, Myanmar: Buddhist Temples
Bagan is a beautiful city found on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River is the home to the most Buddhist temples of the South Asia destinations. The temples were built from around the 10th century to the 14th century.
Today, you can visit thousands of Buddhist temples and Pagodas that are protected and restored by UNESCO. Take your time to reflect on Buddhist history and yourself as you wander through the elegant temples.
While exploring the temples on food or by bike, take a break to try Bagan’s delightful foods and restaurants. If you’re planning a trip to Myanmar, check out Gatsby for expert travel tips, destinations, and more!
7. Vientiane, Laos: Temples & Parks
Vientiane, the capital of Laos, is a laid back city that offers plenty for tourists to do. Start with Vientiane’s architecture infused with French styles from its French occupancy in the early 20th century.
Explore more Buddhist temples such as the historic Pha That Luang Buddhist stupa from the late 1500s. Learn more about Laos culture and history in the Laos National Museum, Buddha Park, and staying in homey traditional hotels.
8. Gili Islands, Indonesia: A Tropical Getaway
While traveling to South Asia destinations, you’ll want to take a break and relax in the Gili Islands of Indonesia.
Wander the islands on foot, bike, or boat without worrying about vehicles, as cars are not allowed on these tropical islands.
Lay back on the pristine beaches, snorkel and swim in clear blue waters, or hike on local trails. You’ll find sea turtles and healthy coral reefs around all 3 islands. Visit a sunken ship just at Wreck Point just off the main Gili Island.
9. Coron, Philippines: Natural Beauty
One of the most beautiful cities of the South Asia destinations, is Coron, Philippines. It’s a quiet, budget-friendly, and unsullied town just north of Palawan Island.
Many breathtaking limestone cliffs dot the landscape. Deep inside the islands, you’ll find hiking trails, saltwater and freshwater lakes, waterfalls, and hot springs.
Just beyond the beach, snorkelers enjoy swimming along the well-preserved WWII-era shipwrecks. Outdoor enthusiasts and relaxing vacation lovers will find endless activities to do on Coron Island.
Travel These South Asia Destinations
The countries that make up many of the highly traveled South Asia destinations are sure to be life-changing. South Asia’s continuous vibrant culture and history make it a truly amazing trip.
Planning a trip to Asia, or somewhere else? Our latest blogs will give you the information and travel tips you need to make your next adventure a memorable one!