Backpacking In Southeast Asia: The Lowdown

There comes a time in all our lives when we need to take some time out to find ourselves. Some people don’t get to this point until they hit middle age and end up having a midlife crisis. For others, though, this ‘finding yourself’ phase often occurs at a much younger age, usually straight after graduating from college before they take their first steps out into the adult world.

No matter what age we are when we hit our ‘finding ourselves’ phase, though, one of the most tempting ways to discover ourselves is through travel. Whisking ourselves away to foreign climes is a great way to forget all the worries and stress back at home, and a great chance to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and really find out who we truly are.


Ready to do some soul searching? Why not pack your backpack and plan some travels around Southeast Asia. This is a popular choice for many travelers as it is an extremely cheap destination, and you can find accommodation and food on a shoestring budget. Plus, all of the countries are extremely spiritual, so it’s the perfect place for some soul searching!

Ready to jet off? Then read on for my top tips!


Pick The Best Season

As with anywhere, Southeast Asia has seasonal weather, though these seasons are a bit more extreme than what you are used to! It has a hot and humid climate all year round, but it does experience two annual monsoon seasons. Ideally, you need to plan your travels so that you can miss these wet and stormy seasons. After all, you don’t want to be hopping between destinations in torrential rain! You should also bear in mind that each country in Southeast Asia has its own microclimate, so you should check with each location that you want to visit to make sure you don’t hit it in the middle of its worst weather!

Save Money

I’ve already mentioned that Southeast Asia is extremely cheap to travel around, but there are ways you can shrink your costs even further. For instance, rather than spending money on hotels, you might want to choose some cheaper accommodation options, like the self-catered rentals on or you might want to try couchsurfing. Traveling as a group can also save you money, especially when it comes to booking activities and tours as many companies offer group discounts. For cheap meals, it’s best to find your food at the many street food markets that are highly regarded in the region. The prices for street food may be tiny, but the portions are anything but. You certainly won’t go hungry!


Explore The Great Outdoors

One of the best things about traveling around Southeast Asia is that there are some unreal landscapes and vistas waiting for you to discover them! So, make sure that you are ready to explore the great outdoors on your trip. There will be lots of hiking and trekking trails in each of the countries that you visit, so make sure you pack your walking boots. Walking and hiking is a great way to explore the local regions, and it can also help you stay fit while you are traveling. There are also lots of outdoor activities that can get all the adrenalin pumping through your veins! For instance, bungy jumping is a common activity among thrillseekers and there are lots of companies who have set up ropes in some really beautiful settings.  Mountain bike and canoe tours are also popular in this part of the world.


Set Aside Some Spiritual Time

As previously mentioned, Southeast Asia is known for its spiritual side and you will stumble across a lot of temples as you travel through the various countries. For instance, Cambodia is home to the internationally renowned Angkor Wat temple and you will find the Borobudur temple in Indonesia, which dates way back to the ninth century. These temples are absolutely stunning and filled with history – they will make the perfect backdrop for your photos and stories. But you might also find that the spiritual side to all of these temples and religious sites really speaks to you. They might even help you find yourself and discover who you really are – who knows?!

Remember Your Vaccinations & Meds

Depending on which countries you are going to visit, you might need to get some vaccinations before you leave for your backpacking adventure. These vaccinations can help you stay protected against some very dangerous diseases and illnesses, including cholera, typhoid, and yellow fever. There is plenty of information online that can help you figure out which jabs you need but it’s also a good idea to speak to your doctor about it before you leave. He or she will be able to advise you on the best vaccinations for your travels. They will also be able to administer them for you. You will also need to be protected against malaria during your travels too. You might be able to get vaccinated for this before you go, but travelers usually take tablets with them that they take every day to keep this disease at bay.


Beach Living

If there is one main attraction for travelers to this part of the world, it has to be the beaches! You will find that each country has stunning coastlines, and most of these feature sandy beaches that are perfect to lounge on while sipping fruity cocktails from the beach bars. Even if you aren’t normally the beach holiday kind of person, you won’t be able to complain when you are stretched out on these beautiful sands. So, be sure not to miss out.

So, now that you can see why so many people decide to head off backpacking around Southeast Asia, it’s time to decide which countries you are going to visit. Too much to choose from? Here are some highlights and the things that make each one so fabulous.



  • Halong Bay – This pretty bay is known for its emerald waters and tiny islets. Legend has it that this area was created when a dragon plunged into the sea – in actual fact, this is how the bay got its name! The peak season to visit the bay is between May and August, and most visitors take a cruise around.
  • Hanoi – No visit to Vietnam is complete without a trip to the country’s capital city, Hanoi. You will find lots of food tours here that take you to the numerous street food markets and can show you the best cuisine on offer. You’ll also find a lot of little temples dotted around the city.


  • Mesjid Raya Baiturrahman – This large, nineteenth-century mosque is a great sight to see during Friday afternoons when the whole place is packed out with worshippers praying. Don’t worry; they won’t be bothered by your presence. Built in the 1879 by Dutch nationals, the mosque has been added to at later dates and, as a result, is a great example of many different architectural styles.
  • Tanah Lot – On a tiny rock formation just off the coast of Bali, this little temple is a big attraction for many travelers. It is widely thought that this small temple was created in the 16th century. These days, people still visit it on pilgrimages, though the majority of people you will see will be tourists who want to snap the island temple for their holiday pics!




  • Phi Phi Islands – You will find this small group of islands in between the large island of Phuket and the smaller island of Krabi.If you buy a postcard while you are Thailand, the chances are that it will show a view of these islands – that’s just how picture perfect they are! Six islands make up this group, but only a couple are inhabited. You might even recognize the gorgeous Maya Bay, as this is where the Leonardo Di Caprio film ‘The Beach’ was filmed.
  • The Grand Palace – Located in the capital city, Bangkok, this sweeping palace is possible the city’s most famous sight. This used to be the royal residence and the seat of the government but now it is open to visitors.


  • Angkor Wat – I’ve already mentioned the beautiful Angkor Wat temple but it really does bear repeating. It’s the world’s largest religious site and monument, and hundreds of visitors head there daily. It dates back to the twelfth century, so you can be sure that you will soak up a lot of history.
  • Banteay Srei – Another temple that is worth visiting when in Cambodia is the Banteay Srei. This dates back to the first century and is known for its very impressive Angkorian artworks.

As you can see, there are plenty of awesome destinations waiting for you to explore in Southeast Asia. Each country has its very own culture and traditions, so you won’t get bored from all that country hopping. Remember this Best Trip Planner within this guide, and you will have the time of your life!

1 Comment

  1. November 17, 2017 / 9:45 am

    Sometimes traveling alone becomes a way to cure spiritual wounds, this is the way to self-knowledge. Several years ago I also resorted to such a journey. But fortunately, I decided my emotional differences, and now in the company of friends, I'm much more interesting and more fun for me. Business in life stages, probably… Am I right? In Thailand, I met people who posted an article about Cat Motors motorbike rental service Why not, I told it to myself and my friends? So instead of the walk itself, we began to move faster and to take photos and shoot videos that were dynamic show our moods absolutely.

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