My Ultimate South East Asia Bucket List

My Ultimate South East Asia Bucket List

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Ever since I moved to San Francisco a few months ago, I’ve had my heart set on flying over the Pacific to South East Asia. Therefore, it’s no surprise that I was able to compile this list in a mere hour or so. It’s also no surprise that I’m planning my dream trip to South East Asia a few years too soon.

I’m a planner, what can I say?! Are there any other experiences I should add to my list?!

South East Asia Bucket List

  • Angkor Wat at sunrise
Sunrise at Angkor Wat, Cambodia
  • Battambang and ride the Bamboo Train.
  • Visit Siem Reap
  • Visit Royal Palace
Royal Palace, Phnom Penh  - 029
  • See the beautiful Silver Pagoda
  • Take a Tuk-Tuk to Downtown Siem Reap
  • Pub Street and Siem Reap Night Market
  • Eat a spider
  • Witness The Killing Fields
Killing Fields - Silent Witnesses
  • Take A Boat to the Floating Villages


  • See Komodo Dragons on Komodo Island
  • Witness Kelimutu Lakes
Kelimutu Sunrise
  • Go volcano trekking
  • Trek in natural rainforest in search of Orangutan
  • Gili Islands in Lombok
Gili Lawa
  • Surf in style at Mentawai or Panaitan
  • Swim in one of the world’s largest crater lake – Lake Toba, also known as Danau Toba
  • Ride a motorbike around Nusa Lembongan
  • Go diving with manta rays
  • Be at Uluwatu for sunset


  • Bolavean Plateau and Tad Fane Waterfall
  • 4000 islands
  • Hmong Village
entrance to hmong village
  • Luang Prabang
  • That Luang, or the Great Stupa
  • Bokeo Nature Reserve
Bokeo Nature Reserve
  • That Ing Hang Stupa
  • The Plain Of Jars
  • Vientiane
  • Go tubing down the Mekong River
Tubing Down The Mekong


  • Penang
  • Batu Caves
  • Mt Kinabalu
  • World’s tallest twin towers – Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur
Petronas Twin Towers | Kuala Lumpur | Malaysia
  • Entertainment that never stops – Genting Highlands
  • Afternoon tea and scones – Cameron Highlands
Tea Plantations, Cameron Highlands
  • Tioman Island, Pahang
  • Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Sabah
Pulau Gaya - Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo DSCF9417
  • River safari – Kinabatangan River
  • Langkawi, Kedah


  • Shwedagon Pagoda’
  • Inle Lake
  • Take a hot air balloon ride in Bagan
Birmania (Myanmar) 2014. Bagan al atardecer. Sunset in Bagan. (Explore, septiembre1, 2014)
  • Ngapali Beach
  • U Bein Bridge
  • Mrauk U Ruins
  • Ngwesaung Beach
  • Golden Rock Pagoda
Monk and the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda - Kyaiktiyo, Myanmar
  • Pindaya Caves
  • Spot elephants and water buffalos at the Irrawaddy river


  • Palawan Island (El Nido or Coron)
El Nido, Palawan
  • Diniwid Beach and White Beach, Boracay
  • Mayon and Taal Volcano
  • Chocolate Hills
Chocolate Hills
  • Manila
  • Banaue Rice Terraces
Rice Terraces near Banaue.
  • Rizal Park
  • Go snorkeling in Cebu
  • Apo Reef National Park
  • Malapascua Island


  • Take a Thai cooking class in Bangkok
  • Volunteer With Elephants
  • Get scuba certified in Koh Tao
  • Fight Muy Tahi
  • Songran water balloon and fight festival
  • floating raft houses on Cheow Laan Lake in Khao Sok National Park
  • Grand Palace, Bangkok
Grand Palace Bangkok
  • Phang Nga Bay
  • Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
  • Khao Yai National Park
  • Ayutthaya
  • Railay Beach, Krabi
  • Phi Phi Islands


  • Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
  • Halong Bay Cruise
  • floating markets in Mekong
  • Sapa
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • see the ancient town of Hoi An
Silk Lanterns of Hoi An, Vietnam
  • Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum
  • Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
  • The Sand Dunes of Mui Ne
Mui Ne sand dunes
  • Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Hoàn Kiếm Lake
  • Have some drinks at Chill Skybar
Let’s face it — sometimes it’s just easier to have someone else do the planning!  I went on a small group tour when I visited Israel, and had hardly anything to worry about!  With transfers, accommodations, activities, and food choices to plan for, the ease and peace of mind is worth the extra cost, at least to me, depending on the trip.  If you only have a short period of time to travel to South East Asia, I suggest you choose a country (or two) and, for example, book a group Vietnam tour.  Just pack your bags and go! That’s my kinda trip!
Have you been to this part of the world?! 
I would love to hear about your experience!

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