Southeast Asia is made up of several countries in the area between India, China, and Australia. With a hot climate, beautiful beaches, and rich and varied cultures, it is a popular region for long-haul holidays. Many people will visit more than one country during their Southeast Asia travel to make the most of their time.
Things to do in Southeast Asia
Holidays in Southeast Asia are ideal whether you just want to relax in the sun, explore the local culture or go on an exciting adventure. Solo trekkers, families, and couples can all find a holiday in Southeast Asia to suit their taste.
- Bali - visit the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, a tranquil nature reserve with 700 monkeys and a Hindu temple. Climb the Mount Batur volcano or enjoy the picturesque lake and hot springs. Kids will love to see animals up-close at the Safari and Marine Park.
- Malaysia - explore the breathtaking Batu Caves and temples in limestone hills at Gombak. At the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur you can cross the Sky Bridge, shop til you drop, visit the science centre, and relax in the park. Colourful Portuguese architecture, museums, and art galleries are on offer in Malacca.
- Vietnam - take a boat tour around the iconic Ha Long Bay with 1,600 rocky islands and caves. History buffs will be enthralled by the open museum of Cu Chi Tunnels. The Sand Dunes of Mui Ne are a natural phenomenon adding a desert landscape to the normally lush green of the country. Hire a sledge and go for a ride down the vast sand dunes.
Top sights in Southeast Asia
While on holiday in Southeast Asia, you will find fascinating sights wherever you are. From ancient temples to modern venues, natural beauty to incredible wildlife - there is so much to see.
- Singapore - with a stunning combination of historic and ultra-modern architecture your eyes are constantly attracted from one building to the next. CHIJMES is a modern shopping and dining destination set in a former Catholic convent school from the 1800s. The Flyer is a ferris wheel that offers unbeatable views over the marina from 165 metres in the air. Sentosa island is a must-visit destination for families, with a wide range of attractions including a theme park, water park, and dolphin experiences.
- Thailand - thousands of temples and Buddha statues are among the top sights in this southeast Asian country. Island tours around Phuket and Krabi, relaxing by a serene reservoir, or simply lounging on a beautiful beach - there are many ways to unwind and enjoy nature. In Bangkok, the Grand Palace should not be missed for its ornate buildings and opulent decor.
- Philippines - Fort Santiago and the nearby cathedral in Manila offer a glimpse of the country's past. Basilica Minore del Santo Niño in Cebu was the first church built in the country in 1565. Beautifully rebuilt and restored, the church has survived many events throughout history. Relax all day on the pure white sands on the island of Boracay and party all night. Explore the incredible river cave at the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park off the coast of the island of Palawan.
Best time of the year to visit Southeast Asia
As with many places, the best time of the year to visit southeast Asia will depend on the weather. There are monsoon seasons every year that are best to avoid if you are travelling with children, seeking some sun or want to do watersports. If you don't mind the rain, travelling during the monsoon season can be cheaper than during the high season when the weather is dry. The northwest and southeast monsoons travel across the region, so each country sees rain at different times of the year.
How to get to Southeast Asia
Flying to southeast Asia is the best option for most travellers. Bangkok, Changi, Kuala Lumpur, and Ninoy Aquino (Manila) are some of the most-used airports in the region. Flying from the UK to southeast Asia takes between 12 and 14 hours on average. The time difference ranges from 6-9 hours ahead of GMT.
South East Asia is known for...
Southeast Asia travel gives you the opportunity to experience a variety of different cultures. Vibrant festivals, unique cuisines, and traditions can be found throughout Southeast Asian countries. Join in and enjoy a Thai water festival, delicious Malay curries, or a Filipino Christmas.
Each country in Southeast Asia has its own visa rules, so it is important to check ahead of time if a visa will be required for your trip. UK passport holders can usually travel to these countries for 15-30 days without needing a visa.
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