Avoiding the major tourist traps means you get to explore and see destinations and sights which are hidden from the crowds. What does this mean? A more authentic travel experience, and untouched beauty.
SE Asia is full of amazing places, however there’s no denying that most of them are full of backpackers. If you’re looking for somewhere off the beaten track, or simply unspoilt destinations to visit in this cultural and beautiful region of the world, then check out these five suggestions.
Ko Rong Island, Cambodia
The beaches here are simply stunning, totally beyond words. Whilst the island itself isn’t the easiest to get to, it’s certainly worth the effort, as you will be rewarded with a slice of paradise which is totally untouched by tourism. White sand which stretches for around 8km is backed by lush, green jungle landscapes, and diving opportunities that will make your jaw drop.
You may still know it as Burma, but Myanmar is still relatively untouched; how long it will stay this way is up for debate so it’s worth heading there now before it all changes! Very cultural, and one of the last few places on earth to have retained total authenticity, the natural sights in Myanmar are amazing, such as Southern Inle Lake. As the country slowly opens up to tourism, more and more people are seeing these sights for themselves.
Off the radar, and again, untouched, Sumatra has plenty to see and explore. Lake Toba is a sight to make you wonder why more people don’t head here, as well as Lake Meninjau, situated in the middle of a volcanic crater. You’ll find authentic culture in abundance here too, with friendly locals happy to help you educate yourself a little more about their way of life.
Don Kong Island, Laos
Laos is of course backpacking central, however there are a few destinations which aren’t so well-trodden, including Don Kong Island itself. The forests are perfect for walking and exploring, with small villages to check out, and outdoor activities in abundance. Again, you can meet many locals, try some local cuisine, and basically bask in the raw beauty of the island.
If you’re a keen surfer then Sumbawa is a destination you should be heading to quick time. Perfect beaches and perfect surfing conditions await anyone who heads here, with small authentic villages to explore too.
SE Asia isn’t all about the main tourist traps; if you head a little off the beaten track you will be rewarded with serious beauty in abundance.