10 Hidden Secrets of South East Asia
Made up of both mainland and maritime countries, South East Asia includes 11 countries as well as 2 dependent territories. Find out some of the secrets of this amazing area right here.
1. Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam
The most easterly country in the Indochina Peninsula, Vietnam is a beautiful country. If visiting, make sure that you stop off to look at the country’s largest island, Phu Quoc. Surrounded by pristine coral reefs in the waters, the island boasts white sandy beaches, and stunning forested interiors to discover.
2. Mount Phou Si, Laos
The landlocked country of Laos has a vibrant and rich history that not only boasts historical sites amongst its attractions, but also natural ones. Take for example Mount Phou Si which lies in the heart of the country. This 100m high hill is located in the centre of the old town quarter of Luang Prabang and is enclosed by 2 rivers. It is a local religious site too with several Buddhist shrines; it also offers incredible views over the surrounding area too.
3. Komodo National Park, Indonesia
The island nation of Indonesia has the 4th biggest population in the world, and is also the biggest island nation in the world. On Komodo Island in the middle of the Indonesian Archipelago, you will find the incredible Komodo National Park. Founded in 1980 to protect the world’s largest lizard, the Komodo dragon, the park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991. Not only can you see these incredible reptiles in their natural habitat, but you can also experience the bio diverse flora as well.
4. Banaue, Philippines
Another vast island country, the Philippines are located in the western Pacific Ocean, making them an incredibly popular tourist destination. But ignoring its fantastic beaches, step back in time and visit the northern rice fields of Banaue. These incredible looking rice terraces tucked amongst green and fertile hills have been around for 2000 years and remain tilled to this day.
5. The National Mosque, Malaysia
The bustling and vibrant capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is home to over 1.5million people, not including its greater urban spread, so of course there are plenty of things to see and do in the culturally diverse city. If you get the chance, try to visit the stunning National Mosque of Malaysia. Also known as the Masjid Negara, this modernistic and geometrically designed building is simply an amazing space to see.
6. Pindaya Caves, Myanmar
The country of Myanmar has an incredible coastline of nearly 2000km along the Bay of Bengal, but it has many other charms besides its coast too. The Pindaya Caves in the country’s interior are one such example of this. These 3 amazing caves are a Buddhist pilgrim site, and it is in the southernmost of the 3 that you will find over 8000 images of Buddha displayed in this spectacular natural setting.
7. Atauro Island, East Timor
East Timor is a sovereign state in Maritime Southeast Asia and has been fought over through the centuries, but nowadays it is a beautiful and peaceful country to visit. Atauro Island is a small island that is just a breath-taking place to visit. With clear waters, a small mountain and traditional villages to see, this once volcanic island is an unforgettable spot.
8. Chae Son National Park, Thailand
Located in the centre of the Indochina Peninsula in mainland Southeast Asia, Thailand is one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations. Get away from the tourist crowd though, and make your way to the Chae Son National Park in the north of the country. Swim in the stunning waterfalls in this park and take a dip in its hot springs – these are just some of the outdoor highlights that you can enjoy at this beautiful place.
9. The Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum, Singapore
The world’s only island-city state, Singapore lies just 1 degree north of the Equator at the most southerly tip of continental Asia. Found inside the Chinese Gardens, the Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum lets you observe these fascinating creatures in a safe and secure natural environment. With over 800 turtles and tortoises from over 50 different species, there are also tortoise inspired art eccentricities at this museum too.
10. Muara Beach, Brunei
The tiny nation of Brunei may only have an area of approximately 5700sq. km, but it still has plenty of things to offer, including its stunning Muara Beach. With its beautiful white sand, and the temperate and warm South China Sea, it is a lovely spot to relax in away from the tourist crowds of other South East Asian beaches.