TRIPS

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ASIA

Top Trips of a Lifetime to Southeast Asia

Unlock diverse religions and cuisines as you discover the best places to go in Southeast Asia with TRIPS by Culture Trip.
Culture Trip Travel Team
14 Mar 2022
You’ve done the ultimate Euro city break. You’ve ticked off a visit to the rainforests of South America and the mountain rainges of North America. Now it’s time for a bucket-list trip to Southeast Asia. Thailand and Vietnam, Bali and Borneo: the best places to travel in Southeast Asia are waiting to show you a new side of the world. Discover tiger-filled jungles, quiet rice fields and stunning blue seas on these TRIPS by Culture Trip in Southeast Asia.
1 . Chase waterfalls in northern Thailand

Experience all northern Thailand has to offer on this intimate adventure. Discover temples, food stalls and street art in Chiang Mai – the ancient Lanna capital and one of the best cities in Asia to visit. Scramble up the cascade at the unusual Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall, swim in the cool waters of the postcard-perfect Pam Bok Waterfall, feed elephants at a rescue sanctuary and embark on a jungle trek around the hills of Mae Hong Son, close to the mountainous border with Myanmar. It’s a landscape that demands adventure, and you’ll take it all in at a thrilling pace.

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2 . Kayak through mangroves in southern Thailand

Tanning. Beach massages. Piña coladas. This tempting trifecta may not be all that southern Thailand has to offer, but it will no doubt add to a relaxing tour of Phuket and Krabi. Earn a pedicure by bar-hopping and dancing the night away on Bangla Road, let a floating raft house rock you to sleep after hiking in Khao Sok, or recover with a massage after kayaking through mangrove forests. You’ll tick off some of the best places in Southeast Asia on this 10-day tour, perfect for sunseeker solo travellers.

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3 . Explore urban and rural Vietnam sustainably

Explore Hanoi, Hue and Hoi An sustainably by foot, bicycle and train on this 12-day tour of Vietnam. See all the major historical landmarks, like the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall and Ba Dinh Square, while stumbling into places you wouldn’t discover by car, like local egg coffee shops and hidden alleyways lined with street vendors. Venture away from the urban centres to cycle past rice paddies and kayak in Lan Ha Bay.

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4 . Learn to cook like a local in Bali, Indonesia

In spite of popular belief, a vacation in Bali isn’t just about beach bumming and cocktail sipping. Here, cooking tours are just as immersive and palate-pleasing as anywhere else in Asia. This 12-day moderately paced adventure in one of the most beautiful places in Asia lets you attend a Balinese cooking masterclass where you’ll prepare your own dinner. Add a few new recipes to your kitchen’s menu and check off the other quintessential Bali activities like surf lessons, snorkelling and getting those tan lines just right.

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5 . Escape into the wild in Borneo, Malaysia

The Bornean wilderness is one of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia for nature lovers. This 10-day tour is all about the wildlife, and you’ll start your journey in Sandakan, with a visit to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and the Bornean Sun Bear Rehabilitation Centre. The adventure picks up pace as you join a night safari on the Kinabatangan River, a stretch of protected rainforest that’s home to pygmy elephants, crocodiles, orangutans and proboscis monkeys. There’s still time to visit Mount Kinabalu and to snorkel the coral reefs of Manukan Island, before you enjoy one last meal with the group in Kota Kinabalu.

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Next available from11 Sep 2022
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Nick Dauk, Louis Rabinowitz and Richard Collett contributed to this article.