Southeast Asia will appeal to active, adventuresome travelers, who want to trek through steamy jungles, dive in some of the world’s best coral reefs, camp or go whitewater rafting on new rivers. Wrapped in rainforests, edged by golden sands and studded with ruins of lost civilisations, the temples bustle with devotees toting their offerings, the skyscrapers rise above streets, traders hustle and food-hawkers kawk – this is Southeast Aisa as you have always imagined it.
The city is characterized by stunning architecture, vibrant culture and a thriving economy. Tucked between vast shopping districts and lively nightlife zones are relics of Seoul's history, windows into an old Seoul before the towers of concrete and steel. The oldest and largest of the five Joseon Dynasty palaces, the Gyeongbok Palace stands on manicured grounds just minutes from downtown. Nearby, Bukchon Village's wooden, one-story homes sit in sharp contrast to the surrounding high-rises. This harmonious blend of old and new is the key to Seoul's allure and a central tenet of the city's identity.
Located on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River, the village is home to the largest concentration of Buddhist temples, pagodas and stupas in the world. Bagan was the capital of the First Burmese Empire from the 9th to the 13th centuries. The site that Marco Polo once described as the “gilded city” was home to around 13,000 Buddhist temples in its 11th century heyday. Thousands remain, including the famous Ananda temple with its sparkling gold spires.
The National Park is located in Malaysia’s Titiwangsa Mountains. It’s one of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia for ecotourists and travelers who want to get up close and personal with a tropical jungle. Popular activities include walking through the jungle, sometimes on rope bridges through the forests; hiking, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, fishing and camping. Travelers will need a high level of energy to tackle all the activities the park offers.
14.HO CHI MINH CITY
The city is Vietnam’s at its most dizzying – a high octane city of commerce and culture that has driven the country forward with its pulsating energy. Visitors can wander through timeless alleys to incense-infused temples and chic designer malls. Mopeds whiz by at all hours of the day, cafes take up entire sidewalks and street food vendors serve up delectable local fare despite the year-round heat and humidity.
As the capital of Vietnam it blends the charm of the old world with a pace of life that is quickening as this old city modernizes. Visitors may see locals taking tai-chi lessons in the park in the mornings, while skateboarders zoom by. At the heart of Hanoi is its Old Quarter, an open-air museum of historic Asian and French colonial architecture that has largely remained intact. Ancient temples and art museums share the attractions list with museums devoted to the Vietnamese revolution and military history.