With the winter weather getting a lot of us down, many people are looking forward to their summer holiday. If you’re sick of the bog-standard hotel chain full of lager louts and cheesy entertainment, it’s time you spread your wings and headed further afield. Yes, it’s time to wave bye-bye to the package holiday, and hello to Southeast Asia.
Made up of beautiful countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia to name but a few, here’s everything you need to know to plan the perfect Asian escape.
Planning your route
The first thing you’ll need to decide when it comes to your Southeast Asia vacation is where exactly you will be going. Will you be spending all of your time in one place or will you be exploring the region to see everything it has to offer?
If you are planning to visit more than one location, it will pay you to fly into Bangkok Airport. From here, you will be able to get a connecting flight to your chosen destination. Usually these flights will be reasonably priced.
What to pack
When it comes to packing, you’ll need to take into consideration when you are travelling. If you are visiting between April and May, you can expect hot and dry conditions. However, from May to around October, it is monsoon season in much of the country. The cool winds arrive in November. (Some areas of Thailand have a different monsoon pattern – check it out here)
If you intend to travel during monsoon season, it is recommended that you take a waterproof jacket, to avoid getting soaked. As the weather will still be incredibly humid, you should choose a thin, non-insulating one to prevent you from getting too hot. An umbrella would also be handy too.
Whether you’re visiting the metropolis that is Bangkok or are simply enjoying the region’s magnificent landscapes, you won’t want to forget all of the sights you see. That’s why you should invest in a high-quality digital camera or at least have a smart phone with a decent camera.
In the monsoon season, mosquito bites can be common. As a preventative measure, invest in an insect repellent with a high DEET factor to keep the bugs at bay.
What to do
The activities you partake in and the sights you see will be influenced largely by the type of holiday you are after. If you’re looking for a lively nightlife and bustling party scene, head to Bangkok for some of the best bars and clubs the region has to offer. Or, for a one-off experience, take advantage of one of Thailand’s many full-moon parties on the island of Ko Phangan.
If you’re looking for a more cultural experience during your Southeast Asia trip, head to Thailand’s Chiang Mai. Here, you’ll find a plethora of exquisite Buddhist temples. Likewise, Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, the largest and oldest temple ruins on earth, won’t disappoint.
For more inspiration on must-visit Southeast Asia attractions, take a look at this post on the Reader’s Digest website.