15 incredible experiences in Southeast Asia | Qatar Airways
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Enjoy the tropical tranquility of Uluwatu, Indonesia

 Image of a beach in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Known for its clifftop views, giant waves and luxurious resorts, Uluwatu is a beach destination that meets the needs of adventurous travelers and relaxed vacationers alike. It is one of the world’s best surfing hotspots and it is also known for its stunning limestone cliff-fringed peninsula.

We recommend heading to Dreamland Beach – it is the first surfing beach that brought attention to this area of Bali. The picturesque, tropical scenes are certainly something to dream about.

Uluwatu is also situated within close proximity to Seminyak, Ubud and Mangus – for those looking to explore a few more areas of Bali. Fly from the US to Denpasar and make the short car journey to experience the wonders of Uluwatu.

Splash around the island archipelago of Langkawi, Malaysia

Jetty in Langkawi at sunset

Pulau in Langkawi comprises of over 100 islands and islets, making it one of the best places to visit for a beach fix. The unique jungle-fringed beaches are a big drawcard for Langkawi travelers as the coastline is not only a beautiful spot for basking in the sun, but it is also a destination for adventurers.

One of these adventurous spots is Telaga Tujuh, which is one of the most beautiful freshwater rock pools in Langkawi. Trek through the jungle to the top of the falls – and look out for the odd cheeky monkey along the way!

There are many tours to undertake that will lead you to discover new islands. Take a tour over to Pulau Dayang Bunting and enjoy jet-skiing, trekking and a splash in Malaysia’s largest freshwater lake.  

Dance like no one is watching in Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is known for its thriving nightlife. Whether you choose to spend the evening indulging in local delicacies at the street food markets, dining at a luxurious restaurant or dancing the night away at a nearby rooftop - there is plenty of entertainment in Thailand’s capital.

The Mahanakhon Bangkok is one of the best places to visit to enjoy a meal with the incredible view of Bangkok’s skyline. The Banyan Tree Hotel is another one to check off the bucket list – the ambience is almost as spectacular as the view. 

Awaken your cultural senses in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Phnom Penh is an exotic mix of luscious Mekong scenery, fascinating historical culture and an alluring food scene. The city encompasses all that South East Asia is typically known for, with its bustling city streets laden with aromatic food markets and historical monuments that lie between commercial enterprises.

If you are looking to learn about the history of Phnom Penh, ensure that a visit to the Tuol Sleng Museum and the Fields of Choeung Ek are on your itinerary. 

After a big day discovering Cambodia’s historical culture, we are certain your stomachs will be grumbling. The street markets provide a great place to purchase a bite to eat, whether that is fish, barbequed meats, noodles, spiced clams or authentic chet chien (deep fried banana).

Delve into the Spanish Colonial era in Manila, the Philippines

In contrast to Manila’s modern city center, Intramuros is known for its Spanish Colonial landmarks and old-world vibe. It is home to both Fort Santiago and the Manila Cathedral, which can easily be found whilst wandering around the old district or riding on a calesa (a popular form of horse and cart travel in the Spanish Colonial era). If you would like to further indulge in the local culture, there are plenty of museums to visit too.

After whetting your cultural appetite, take a walk down the streets of Binondo for an authentic snack or affordable Chinese delicacies such as dumplings and hand pulled noodles. Eat adobo whilst you are there – it is the national dish comprising of meat and fragrant spices.

Relax and rejuvenate on a wellness vacation in Phuket, Thailand

Phuket’s main attractions lie outside of the town, on the island’s jungle-clad tropical shoreline. This paradisiac Thai island is laden with coastal spas and retreats just waiting for you to discover. Check yourself into a beachfront villa or a rainforest retreat and explore the natural beauty of one of Thailand’s most beautiful destinations.

If you are typically a yogi, take part in daily beach yoga classes and achieve ultimate Zen. If you are more of an active traveler, discover the local sport of Muay Thai – whilst considered an active martial art, it is also known amongst locals as a meditative sport. 

Visit a UNESCO World Heritage site in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Whilst there is plenty to do in the evolving city of Siem Reap, the temples of Angkor Wat are the primary reason travelers visit this Cambodian city. Angkor Wat is comprised of multiple temples constructed in the times of the Khmer people. The older the temples get, the even more intriguing and awe-inspiring they become as they are overgrown with jungle vines and unique ruins. One of the temples even featured in the action film, Tomb Raider.

After a full day exploring, there is nothing like returning to your hotel retreat to relax and enjoy the facilities. Siem Reap is a destination brimming with beautiful hotels in the most unexpected areas, and the genuine, inviting hospitality you will encounter is unmatched.

Shop until you drop in Singapore, Singapore

Image of the Marina Bay Sands hotel at the marina bay area in Singapore.

Whilst there are an abundance of fashion gallerias in Singapore, it is the more authentic shopping experiences that we recommend you seek. Take a walk through Kampong Glam, also known as Singapore’s Muslim quarter. This eclectic, vibrant shopping spot is not only gorgeous to photograph but it is also a great place to shop for trinkets to take home and to try a famous sweet treat from the Rich and Good Cake Shop.

For a unique window shopping experience, try and squeeze in a visit to The Intan. Housing some of the country’s most unique artifacts, this private home is open for the public to peruse a collection that the owner has spent over 30 years curating. 

Adventure through the tropical coves in Krabi, Thailand

Located in the Andaman archipelago, Krabi is known for its astonishingly divine scenery due to its beautiful beaches and stunning limestone cliffs. The crystal waters make it the perfect destination to experiment with some water sports. Sail away on one of the wooden boats parked on the shoreline or board something a little faster such as a jet ski. Tham Lod and Viking Cave are two spectacular caverns that are well worth exploring by boat.

If you feel like adventuring through a cove by foot, take a walk through the Diamond Cave, a series of illuminated caverns with hypnotic limestone configurations.

Hike through the rice paddy fields in Sapa, Vietnam

Terraced rice field landscape stretching across the mountainside, near Sapa in Vietnam.

There is no shortage of incredible, beautiful scenery in Sapa. The town located in the northwest of Vietnam (easily accessible via train or bus from Hanoi), is surrounded by luscious greenery and striking mountains. Set foot on a guided tour through the Muong Hoa Valley for an unforgettable experience discovering unique places. You will pass through townships where you will have the opportunity to meet some of the friendly, local tribes. Many of the locals even run authentic homestays, where visitors can spend time with the families getting to know the way they live.

Not afraid of heights? Take the great adventure to the top of Mount Fansipan, the highest point in Indochina. On a clear day there is a spectacular view from the top, as well as many striking statues to admire on the way up. 

Purchase a few tailor-made outfits in Hoi An, Vietnam

Image of colourful fabric at a shop in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Travelers are flocking to Hoi An to access the city’s affordable skilled tailors and leather goods workshops. Easily accessible from Da Nang, Hoi An is located on the coastline of Northern Vietnam. Do your research before you travel and come equipped with photos or sketches of what you would like made. You will also need to provide the tailor with all of the finer details such as measurements and the kind of material, as well as what stitching  you would like. Spend at least a few days in Hoi An to ensure there is enough time for the artisans to make your items.

Not all needles and thread, Hoi An is a beautiful coastal destination where you can relax on the beach, indulge in some incredible Vietnamese cuisine and even explore the nearby rice paddies.

Hike the ‘Chocolate Hills’ of Cebu, the Philippines

Take the short hike to the peak of Osmena for a beautiful sight of grassy capped hills and a 360-degree view of Southern Cebu. Trek in the late afternoon to see the view at sunset, as the most picturesque view is towards Moalboal - the direction of where the sun sets.

For those looking for more adventure and incredible sights to see, take an extended hike from Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls. Known as one of the most stunning waterfalls in the Philippines, Kawasan is a naturistic sight not to be missed. The milky, turquoise color of the waters is extraordinary, surrounded by luscious greenery from the Mantalungon Mountain Range.

Indulge your culinary senses in Penang, Malaysia

George Town in Penang is known for its abundance of eateries with the most delicious and diverse cuisine. Streets are laden with a delightful mix of cultural influences from Malaysian to Chinese, Indian and everything in between. Some of the best -and most affordable- food is from the street side markets, where you can try any kind of Asian delicacy from dumplings to lok-lok (boiled skewers), noodles to rojak (Malaysian dessert).

For a more unique culinary experience, visit the Tropical Spice Garden on Jalan Teluk Bahang. It is home to an abundance of herbs and spices that are native to Penang. You can even take a cooking class in the garden to discover how these are used in popular Malaysian dishes.

Set foot on a cultural exploration of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Titiwangsa Park, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Explore the wonders of Batu Caves, home to mischievous local monkeys and bats, impressive shrines and extraordinary limestone formations. Take the 272 steps to the top of the cavern where you will enter the largest cave to marvel at the incredible limestone shapes and colors. The cave is also home to multiple shrines that tell a story of Malaysia’s past. If you take a tour, you will have the opportunity to learn about the cultural significance and religious history of Batu Caves.

Batu Caves is also the location of a three-day local festival in January or February, when the cave comes to life with color and is bustling with local indigenous crowds. A processional march takes place leading from Chinatown to the caves.

Discover the history of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

The Cu Chi Tunnels are not an activity for the claustrophobic, but they are quite spectacular to witness, even if you do not have the nerve to climb into them. The crawl through the tunnels is 100 meters in length and has been widened to make it less harrowing than it would have been during the war.

There is an onsite restaurant, a shooting range and more activities to undertake at the Cu Chi Tunnel home base. After working up a sweat in the tunnels, we are certain you will be feeling hungry. Venture to the city center to discover a range of restaurants, from pan-Asian fusion to traditional Vietnamese pho or bun cha. The city is also home to multiple temples and museums that explain the history of this magnificent Vietnamese city.

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