(Image from: bergbook.com)
Since I started traveling around, it wasn’t really a mission for me to travel all the countries in Southeast Asia. I only travel countries that are appealing to me at the moment, and the only country in Southeast Asia that I haven’t been to is Burma. I wasn’t really keen on visiting Burma before, but lately, since friends that have seen it and telling me how great the people are, makes it way to my travel list now.
Some friends say that do it for the reason of finishing the Southeast Asian trail, I remember one friend said, “Do it for your bragging rights!”. I don’t do it that way, I go places and do things because I WANT to do it, not because of any reason at all. Reasons may be, a very cool old friend wants to meet me there, or I happen to get there because I’m in transit but not for absurd reason like that.
Are you wondering what are the countries that consists Southeast Asia? Worry not, because I will list is all to you on this post.
- The Philippines. My home country is one awesome country that most backpackers skip due to a lot of reasons, but they don’t know what they are missing out. My country boasts 7,107 islands with lots of beaches to choose from (we have white, black, grey, pink colored sand beaches). Not to mention the majestic volcanoes, caves, surf spots and other outdoor recreational sports.
- Thailand. Land of Smiles is one of my favorites other than Philippines, because there are so much to see here and its easy to commute. Their natural resources are well maintained which I really really love.
- Cambodia. Is another favorite because of their amazing people and the convenience of communicating with the locals, since mostly speaks English. It is the cheapest to travel to in Southeast Asia although other than the temples and some surf beaches, there’s not much to do in Cambodia. Oh wait, you can also eat Cambodian exotic delicacy, spiders!
- Vietnam. Is another affordable travel places and easy to travel to, especially that they have this ‘open bus ticket’ that starts from North to South and you can stop at the touristy town anytime you want. All you have to do is let the bus company when would you want to hop on to another town. Buses comes and goes everyday, ideal for first time travelers in the country that veterans can enjoy as well. The buses are sleeper bus and with toilet on board too.
- Malaysia. I love the islands, they have beautiful beaches too. People are amazing and I am proud to say that most of the people I met at the Pulaus (Islands) of Kota Kinabalu were mostly Filipinos who have been living there for years with their families. Their stories were mostly the same, that they migrated through a banca (tiny boat) from the Southern Philippines to escape the chaos caused by the civil war going on there, they are from the mostly extremist areas.
- Brunei. Brunei is such a tiny country but since it is one of the richest countries in the world, everyone owns a car making it harder to commute. It is said that its cheaper to drive your own car in Brunei than use a public transport. Make sense, but its not traveler friendly but either way, I did enjoy being in Brunei.
- Indonesia. I have only been to Jakarta and Bali, yet I haven’t seen much about Indonesia because I was distracted by my love of surfing that I surfed the whole week while I was there and didn’t get to explore much. I will be back in Bali one day!
- Laos. It has been 4 years since the last time I traveled the country, I’ve been in a several visa runs to its borders every now and then but that doesn’t make me see how it really change from then. I loved Vang Vieng (but I heard its closed due to the series of deaths at the river for tubing and whatever it is they mix with it), Luang Prabang is interesting that I wanted to go back to. Vientianne has changed a bit, locals are getting used to the modernized living.
- Singapore. The country that is said to be “Where East Meets West”. Even though there is not much to do or see, I still love Singapore! I lived there for 3 months and it was an amazing country. I love how it feels like living in a Commonwealth countries but you’re in Asia and close to my home country.
- Burma. This is the one last country in Southeast Asia that I’m beginning to want to visit. I will just get a good timing and opportunity and I will finally do it. See you soon, Burma!
These are the greatest countries of Southeast Asia. Countries you would not want to miss exploring, everyone has to offer something different to take your breath away. Have a safe travel!