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  • 5 reasons to backpack in Southeast Asia

    Makati

    Makati

    If that old and worn out travel cliche, the country/city/place of contradictions is to apply to anything in the world, that place must surely be Southeast Asia. Even among the many wonders of the vast and varied Asian continent, Southeast Asia stands out as one of the most colorful, rich and poor, modern and traditional and simply vibrant parts of the Earth.

    If you are an outsider, Southeast Asia is never quite what you’ve expected, and it will likely keep surprising you each time you return. For a backpacker, Southeast Asia is the stuff travel dreams are made of, but deciding to invest a lot of time, energy and travel funds into a tour of this region is not a decision that should be taken lightly. If you need a nudge, here are 5 reasons to backpack in Southeast Asia.

    The budget

    Money is an issue in most backpackers’ case – surviving on a shoestring and still managing to have the time of your life is not just a necessity, it’s part of the fun when it comes to backpacking! Naturally, prices vary across countries in Southeast Asia, but for many travelers food, accommodation and travel in Southeast Asia is cheaper than in their home country. Getting there might not be very cheap if you live on the other side of the globe, but once you get to the backpacking part, budgeting is easy.

    The cuisine

    photo by palindrome6996 on Flickr

    Not all travelers are interested in trying out all sorts of local foods, but in Southeast Asia few can resists the temptation. The cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia or the Philippines are finger-licking good, and you never have to dine at a fancy restaurant to taste the best dishes. Street food is common in most Southeast Asian countries, and is enjoyed by locals as well as tourists.

    Nature

    If you like to explore the wild and get out of the city as often as you can, in Southeast Asia a natural wonder is never too far away. All countries in Southeast Asia have hundreds of natural sights, countless national parks and interesting wildlife.

    Some of the most fascinating species of plants and animals on the planet live in the wilderness of Southeast Asia, and booking a tour or setting out on your own to catch a glimpse of them has never been easier.

    Culture

    Pha That Luang, Laos, photo by anaru on Flickr

    It would be crazy to speak of a Southeast Asian culture (there is just too much variety and differences between countries), but one thing that the many cultures in Southeast Asia have in common is their complexity and richness.

    Local, Chinese and Indian influences are very common though, and the mark of European colonists can also be felt in many parts of the region. The best places to experience the local culture is at religious sites and shrines, at markets, and ancient historical sites, all of which can be found in great numbers.

    Technology

    No one travels simply for the speed of wi-fi internet, but the fact that most countries in Southeast Asia are very technology friendly is a huge advantage. Most hostels will have free wi-fi, which is great for keeping in touch with friends and family.

    The big cities are monuments of modern technological and engineering prowess that will make you feel like you’ve traveled forward in time, and yet they can still accommodate the needs of backpackers.

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    Comments on 5 reasons to backpack in Southeast Asia

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    asiatica wrote on October 7, 2013:

    That is nice summation and lovely reasons. I am now, living in Hanoi, Vietnam and i always feel so proud of our region in general and my beautiful country in particular. Thank you for loving Southeast Asia

     
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