How to Visit 15 Unforgettable Places in Southeast Asia in Two Weeks

Julia Wytrazek
Julia Wytrazek | © Culture Trip

Social Media Editor

Imagine jumping into a waterfall, scuba diving in pristine waters, admiring ancient temples and biting into mouthwatering street food. Then consider this; you can do all of these things in just two weeks in Southeast Asia. If you don’t mind not spending too much time in any one spot, you can visit 15 truly diverse destinations and get a real taste of the region. Here’s how.

Bangkok and Ayutthaya

One night

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Destinations Unlocked:

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Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
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CentralAmerica

GORGEOUS GUATEMALA

Gorgeous Guatemala

5 days . Mini
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1. Guatemala

An express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.

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CentralAmerica

BEACHY BELIZE

Beachy Belize

5 days . Mini
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2. Belize

A quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
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CentralAmerica

COLONIAL MEXICO

Colonial Mexico

5 days . Mini
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3. Mexico

An exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
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SouthAmerica

ADVENTUROUS ECUADOR

Adventurous Ecuador

8 days . Epic
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1. Ecuador

A remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.

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SouthAmerica

ANCIENT PERU

Ancient Peru

9 days . Epic
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2. Peru

An alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
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Europe

SEDUCTIVE SOUTHERN ITALY

Seductive Southern Italy

10 days . Epic
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1. Italy

The ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.

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Europe

EDINBURGH AND THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS BY TRAIN

Edinburgh And The Scottish Highlands By Train

7 days . Culture
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2. Scotland

Embark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
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Europe

COMPLETE PORTUGAL BY TRAIN

Complete Portugal By Train

8 days . Culture
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3. Portugal

A wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
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Asia

SOULFUL SOUTH KOREA

Soulful South Korea

10 days . Epic
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1. South Korea

Discover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.

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Asia

THAILAND, CAMBODIA & VIETNAM

Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam

11 days . Epic
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2. Thailand

From Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
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Asia

SECRETS OF SRI LANKA BY TRAIN

Secrets Of Sri Lanka By Train

10 days . Culture
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3. Sri Lanka

A fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
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Africa

EPIC MOROCCO

Epic Morocco

11 days . Epic
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1. Morocco

An epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!

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Africa

ULTIMATE EGYPT

Ultimate Egypt

9 days . Epic
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2. Egypt

From Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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Africa

IMMERSIVE KENYA

Immersive Kenya

8 days . Epic
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3. Kenya

An immersive blend of culture and wildlife for first time travelers to Africa. Learn about Nairobi, sample local coffee in the Aberdares and finish up with a fantastic safari stay in the Masai Mara.
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Bangkok, Thailand

Start your fortnight off in Bangkok, booking your flight to land as early in the morning as possible. Drop your bags at your accommodation and head straight out to the see Thailand’s capital city, beginning with a visit to the country’s most sacred landmark, the Grand Palace. From there, head to the street food market at Tha Chang Pier for brunch before taking a Khlong riverboat tour to take in the city from the water. Then, depending on how much energy you have left, check out Wat Arun (also known as The Temple of Dawn) or Chinatown. A sunset cocktail at a rooftop bar before dinner is the perfect way to round off your first day, and if you’re up for a late one, don’t forget Bangkok has some of the best nightlife on the continent.

The next morning, get up early for a day trip to Ayutthaya, the former capital of the Kingdom of Siam. While buses and taxis offer a shorter journey there, the scenic landscapes you can enjoy from the train make the two-and-a-half hour trip worth it. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ayutthaya’s temples are arguably the most stunning in the country. You can get a flight from Bangkok to Phuket, your next stop, as late as midnight, so take your time and enjoy the sights before you head to the seaside.

Phuket and the Similan Islands

Two nights

Phuket, Thailand

After an intense couple of days in Bangkok, opt for some beachside R&R in the form of two nights in Phuket. The island in the Andaman Sea is home to dreamy beaches, markets galore and of course a buzzing party scene for those who want to let loose. Spend your first day here lounging on the sand with a cocktail in hand and make sure to visit a night market in the evening once the temperature has cooled. Have dinner on the beach and make your way to a club for drinks and some dancing – but don’t stay up too late, as you have a big day coming your way.

That said, the next morning, you’ll be sailing to the Similan Islands, so you can always get a cat nap in during the 70-minute journey. A National Park, the 11 islands are the ideal spot to snorkel and dive, so enjoy the water, swim up to the shore when you want to and enjoy your boat day.

Krabi and Ko Phi Phi

Two nights

Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Next up on your whirlwind tour is Krabi, to which you can arrive either by bus, taxi, ferry or speed boat. If you want a more traditional Thai experience, opt for the bus. If views are more your priority, make the journey by sea.

Spend your first day eating fresh seafood, visiting the Krabi Hot Springs and taking a dip in the Emerald Pool, a stunning warm lagoon complete with a waterfall. On day two, you’ll be on a boat again, this time headed to Ko Phi Phi, where more diving and island hopping awaits. With your time in Thailand coming to an end after just five nights, you’ll have already seen six different places.

Siem Reap and Angkor Wat

Two nights

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

From Krabi, you’ll take a four-hour, two-flight journey to Siem Reap. Spend your first day exploring the city itself, especially the Old French Quarter and the Old Market, and take some time to relax by the pool at your hotel. After a delicious dinner, call it a night, as you have a big day of exploring tomorrow.

Spend your second day in Cambodia at the largest religious monument in the world, the famous Angkor Wat temple complex. Constructed in the 12th century, it first served as a Hindu temple, but
became a Buddhist place of worship soon after. A true bucket list destination, it’s considered one of the most intricate examples of Khmer architecture and is the national symbol of Cambodia.

Hanoi and Halong Bay

Two nights

Hanoi, Vietnam

It’s time to pack your bags again, this time for a flight to Hanoi, Vietnam. Use day one to walk around the Vietnamese capital, especially the old quarter with its many tiny temples and incredible street food.

The next day, you’ll be off to the majestic Halong Bay, where limestone karsts jut out from the emerald green water. Take a traditional junk boat ride to explore the area, or a kayaking tour if you’re feeling up for water sports. To get the most out of the experience, or if you have a keen sense of adventure, check out the endless rock climbing and hiking opportunities that offer an alternative way of discovering the bay.

Luang Prabang

Two nights

Luang Prabang, Laos

For the fourth country of the trip, you’ll be jetting off to Laos, specifically to see the city of Luang Prabang. The flight from Hanoi is just over an hour, so jump on the earliest plane you can to maximise your time there. Luang Prabang is actually made up of 58 adjoining villages, 33 of which form the an incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site. From natural wonders like caves and waterfalls to beautiful temples and monasteries, this city has it all. Don’t miss the night market for great bargain shopping and truly authentic local delicacies.

Palawan

Two nights

Palawan, Philippines

For the final two-day stint of your trip, you’ll be chilling on the beaches of Palawan in the Philippines. You’ll need to fly to Manila first, which takes just over three hours, and from there it takes around an hour to reach the island paradise. Whether you want to scuba dive, zip line or just lie on the sand, you’ll love the relaxed vibe of this idyllic and affordable tropical spot.

Singapore

One night

Singapore

You’ve now come to your last stop, and where better to say goodbye to your holiday than Singapore?Although the two flights to get there will drag on for just over seven hours in total, expect your flight home from this city to involve little, if any, stopovers. Take full advantage of being in the cosmopolitan city by checking out the iconic Marina Bay and Clarke Quay, and don’t miss afternoon tea or a drink at the luxurious and historic Raffles Hotel.

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Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

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