There’s so much to draw travellers to South East Asia. But some tourist attractions get so over-exposed, they start to seem just a little less adventurous. So we’ve unearthed ten places in South East Asia that are a bit more off the beaten track for the adventurers amongst you.
Trunyan Cemetery, Bali
The Bali Aga, descendants of the indigenous Balinese, tend not to bury or burn the dead but to leave them above ground to decompose, with the bones laid around a tree. Although tourists are not unusual at the site, they’re not common either, so getting there may mean paying ‘tourist prices’ to locals for boat fares.
Hang Son Doong Cave, Vietnam
At 200 metres tall, the world’s largest cave Hang Son Doong was only discovered twenty four years ago. It has only been open to the public since 2003, but visitors now have the opportunity to explore and even camp there.
East Timor doesn’t get the same kind of publicity as its neighbours, but it’s worth exploring. Take in the coffee plantations of Maubisse, the Resistance Museum and Chenga exhibition at an old Indonesia prison, which chronicles its turbulent history.
Little India, Singapore
Little India, locally known as Tekka, sprung up as the centre of the Indian community in Singapore. It’s exactly the sort of bustling place you’d expect, with markets, fortune-tellers and an array of religious architecture nearby.
Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery, Singapore
This enormous temple is a national monument, and its red and gold roofs have been carefully restored over a number of years to leave them in beautiful condition. Plus, it’s free to enter.
Muang Ngoi, Laos
Close to the friendly and exciting city of Luang Prabang, Muang Noi offers activities that exploit the natural surrounding beauty like kayaking, camping and caving.
Pai, Northern Thailand
Explore Pai and you’ll see just as many local tourists enjoying its atmosphere as international ones. A bustling town with stunning scenery, its newest attraction is a 7km zip wire giving you the opportunity to soar over the forest canopy with a final splash into Pembok waterfall.
Con Dao Archipelago Marine Reserve, Vietnam
See Con Dao Archipelago’s marine life amongst almost untouched reefs. White sands and the hills of rich green make Con Dao islands a tropical paradise.
Pangolin Rehabilitation Centre, Cambodia
Pangolins are a sort of scaly anteater that look a bit like Sandslash from Pokemon! They’ve become extremely endangered due to the usual destructive forces of poaching and habitat loss. The zoo that houses the rehabilitation is located 45km from Phnom Penh.
Chiang Rai, Thailand
Treks are offered through the jungle near Chiang Rai where you’ll see hill top villages, take a speed boat cruise, bathe in a hot spring and finish up at Huay Kaew Waterfall.
By Ruth McDonald
Image credits: Tom Jones Coaley, Yusuf IJsseldijk, www.sondoongcave.org, condaovietnam.net