My Travel Resolution.
discover hidden myths, taste diverse food and sleep below a sky full of shooting stars and galaxies every night

Why do so many of us thirst for travel? Is it our desire to explore other cultures from the inside out or just to add another stamp in our passport? Is it to mingle with people from far away countries who may speak different languages? Is it to worship different gods and eat different foods but are just like us in so many ways?

Is it our yearning for novelty, and the desire to be surrounded with new and exciting sights, sounds tastes and smells? Or is it simply that we yearn for beauty and will travel far and wide to see it writ large in huge monuments of brick and stone built centuries ago, azure blue oceans and gorgeous, sprawling examples of nature's architecture?

Or perhaps there is something deep within us that far-flung destinations call to. It is a yearning of the soul that is nourished when we step outside of our comfort zone. Whatever it is that lures us overseas time and again, we are definitely in love with travel. Travel teaches us more about the world and about ourselves.

By removing ourselves from the familiar we think and behave in different ways. We learn more about who we are outside of the context of our studies, our jobs, and our social circles. That is why international travel is so incredibly important for young people.

While some may be content to travel to the same destinations year in and year out staying at the same hotels, eating the same foods and hobnobbing with the same people, for seasoned travel bugs familiarity is anathema. The more exotic and adventurous the better.

Life Changing Experiences In Southeast Asia

For those with exploration and adventure in their hearts, it is easy to understand the appeal of Southeast Asia. The region offers not only warm weather, friendly locals and pleasant conditions. It also offers some of the most extraordinary areas of natural beauty on the planet.

It boasts of some of the most diverse, fascinating and beautiful flora and fauna in the world. If you love animals, appreciate nature, crave adventure and yearn for a vacation that nourishes the mind and the soul, the region is an ideal choice for you.

That is why we have compiled this list of some life-changing experiences from across Southeast Asia. If you want a vacation that allows you to grow as a person and expands your mind even as you relax and unwind, you could do worse than add any of the following to your travel bucket list.

1. Malaysian Borneo with Gaya Island

In some islands bordering the coast, Gaya Island is the most imposing, allowing both to enjoy the beach and hiking in the interior jungle land for those who prefer to play sports to rest. You only need a few minutes to leave the urban environment of Kota Kinabalu to reach this preserved and relatively beautiful island. Do not hesitate to tour the island, instead of settling for the first beach you find when you arrive. Maybe you can find a small resting place for yourself. Rest on a white sand beach north of the island, not forgetting a little snorkeling.

Life Changing Experiences In Southeast Asia

2. See orangutans in their natural habitat in Borneo

Borneo is one of the most arboreally gorgeous places on the planet and is known for its diverse wildlife. For those who harbor a love of nature and exploration, there are few locations so perfect. While many locations in Borneo offer a chance to view the regions incredible animals, among the most fascinating, are the native orangutans.

These playful and intelligent primates give off a sense of serenity and wisdom and deserve to be treated with love and respect. This is especially as we are responsible for the widespread deforestation that has led to significant habitat loss for these noble creatures. Like Phuket Elephant Sanctuary, Camp Leakey Orangutan Rehabilitation Reserve was devised with the welfare of the animals rather than profits or tourism in mind.

Located just off the banks of the Sekonyer river inside Tanjung Puting National Park, the reserve has earned quite a reputation for itself since it was first founded in the 1970s. While it sees an influx of tourists, the facility is also an active research facility where scientists come together to protect and observe the orangutans.

The park itself is one of the most naturally beautiful of its kind with a wealth of beautiful and fascinating plant life. The orangutans here are treated with respect with minimal human interference, although in some cases tourists are invited to help feed some of the orangutans. But the park doesn't just stop at primates. It is also home to stunningly beautiful clouded leopards and Malaysian sun bears.

Aside from the life-affirming greatest adventures Southeast Asia also has a plethora of luxurious hotels, sumptuous Thai foods and no shortage of luxurious beaches. Here you can sun yourself, relax and recuperate. Make sure you add these destinations and activities to your bucket list. Your life will be all the richer for them.

3. Cruise on the Malacca River

Without a doubt, all cities open to the sea or with a river always have a special charm. Malacca could not be less. But do not be fooled, the Malacca River is much bigger than you might expect and it was much deeper that turned the city ​​into one of the largest ports in all of Southeast Asia. There passed all boats from Europe, Asia, China, India.

After the conquest of the city by the Portuguese, the Dutch arrived. They were there for 200 years and definitely left their mark in the center of the city. The so-called Red Square or Dutch Square is one of the most photographed places in Malacca with its simple and smooth reddish walls with shutters, its clock tower and even a mill next to the bridge that goes in the direction of Jodamer Street.

On Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock street you will find a famous craft shoe store. Today you can still buy hand-made nine-centimeter shoes. During the 19th century, for Chinese women, having small feet was synonymous with beauty. So the feet were bandaged from girls to stop their growth and to be able to wear those tiny shoes.

4. Base jumping in Kuala Lumpur

While Southeast Asia offers outstanding natural beauty, don't be fooled into thinking that the pleasures of the region are solely rural. Indeed, the area is also home to thriving cities that are teeming with activity virtually 24 hours a day. For the adventurous spirit, however, the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur has a whole lot to offer.

You can enjoy a day of water slides and a whole lot of splashing at the Sunway Lagoon Theme Park. You can climb the Kuala Lumpur tower to see the city's incredible skyline from the greatest heights. Or you can surround yourself with fluttering beauty at the Butterfly Park. But for the true adrenaline junkie, the greatest challenge will be base jumping from the tallest towers in this sprawling city.

The Petronas Twin Towers stand at almost 1,500 feet. These giant monoliths are the most incredible place to see this beautiful city before you plummet down towards her busy streets. It doesn't get much more extreme than this. But if you are looking for a life-changing experience there are few that can match this adrenaline-soaked adventure. If you are feeling brave enough, you can book right here.

5. Meet the Goddess of Mercy in Penang

Malaysia certainly has a lot of luxury to offer tourists. From opulent hotels to an affordable but luxurious Penang apartment stay, the region has a lot to offer tourists who want to enjoy the champagne lifestyle while they travel. You can also quench your thirst for a meaningful experience.

But if you feel particularly blessed or lucky to be in this vibrant and beautiful city, it may be an idea to pay your respects to Guan Yin, the goddess of compassion and mercy. Located in the Kek Lok Si temple complex in George Town, you will find Guan Yin's statue. To be honest, it is pretty difficult to miss. She is rendered in bronze and stands a Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas filled with alabaster and bronze Buddhas which can also be found at Kek Lok Si.

The temple complex is actually one of the largest in Malaysia and is well worth a visit whatever your faith if only for the majesty of its construction. It was built over the course of 40 years, beginning in 1830. It provides a humble and life-affirming testament to what can be created when one has devotion, dedication, love, passion, and skill.

6. Walk with elephants at Phuket Elephant Sanctuary

You can visit Thailand at the cheapest packages from the USA. Thailand is Southeast Asia's most popular travel destination where you can find cultural, historic and natural attractions. Thailand is also famous for the most beautiful beaches and islands throughout the world. Beach lovers across the world visit Andaman Phuket and Koh Phi Phi, as this place is heaven for them. Phuket is Thailand's largest and most developed island.

Khao San Road is a famous tourist street for cheap shopping, dining, and nightlife. Buddhist Temples with monks surrounded emits spiritual energy around. You can trek to the hills and have a view of lush green landscapes around. Thailand is also known for its nightlife. If you are visiting Thailand don't miss out to enjoy its lively nightlife. You can get a visa for Thailand from USA in any Thai embassy.

Thailand's numerous islands have a great deal to offer visitors. There is a reason why Thailand is called the land of smiles. The locals have a great deal to smile about including gorgeous surroundings and a plethora of awesome native animals like elephants. Elephants are incredible creatures to behold.

They live long lives and are extraordinarily intelligent. When you spend time with them, it is easy to feel a sense of kinship with these gentle giants of the jungle. Unfortunately, however, while the Asian elephant is a significant figure in the culture of Southeast Asia, not all of the area's inhabitants are as respectful of them as you would think.

In fact, many elephants in the region endure sad, painful and hard-working lives. In their youth, they are made to endure the Phajaan, a barbaric ritual in which a wild elephant's spirit is broken to make it more submissive to their owners. After having endured this, the elephants spend decades typically working in the logging industry, bearing extremely heavy loads every day.

Moreover, they are often beaten, tortured and even shot if they show any signs of non-compliance. When they grow too old and weak to work in the logging industry, they usually transition to carrying tourists on their backs. It is enough to make animal lovers shed a tear, but fortunately, there are people in the region who are dedicated to changing this status quo.

What makes Phuket Elephant Sanctuary such a wonderful place to stay is the respect, compassion, and love with which their rescued elephants are treated. These elephants have known only toil and pain all their lives but at the sanctuary, they are able to roam free. They also have the constant care and supervision of their Mahouts (carers) who keep a respectful distance and help the elephant only when needed. They share a bond of trust with their charges.

You won't be able to ride or swim with elephants here, as unbeknownst to some tourists these are actually strenuous and upsetting for the animals. Here, guests are invited to observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat (although there are some who are happy to be fed by guests).

As soon as you set foot in the sanctuary, the love and passion that the management and staff have for the elephants and giving them the best possible quality of life are palpable. The sanctuary is a truly life-changing place to visit, especially for animal lovers.

7. Siem Reap and the Temples of Angkor Wat

Are you traveling to Cambodia on your own and still do not have a defined itinerary? How many days to dedicate to this country if you are traveling through Southeast Asia? If your plan is to travel Cambodia in 3 days and to visit only the Angkor temples, the organization of the itinerary is simple, and this post will not be of great help.

The base for visiting the famous temples of Angkor Wat is the city of Siem Reap, which is 6 km away. Many say that with 1 day is enough, and I think it depends on how much you like this type of places. The Bayon Temple is one of the wonders that can be found in the Angkor Thom complex. The Koh Ker site is dominated by the Prasat Thom, a 30-meter-high mountain temple rising above the plain and the surrounding forests.

It is said to have been created by Vishwakarma. At the top was a linga, a gigantic cylinder of stone over four meters high and one to two meters in diameter, a phallic symbol representing Shiva. Siem Reap is a quiet city, full of hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and agencies that sell tours.

Accommodation in Siem Reap is very economical like in the rest of Cambodia, but it has an advantage. The price to quality ratio seemed much higher than the other cities we visited. We stayed near the Siem Reap market, which had a bar on the terrace which was fine to rest after a day of walking temples like crazy. There are also things to do in siem reap besides angkor wat.

At night the most lively area is Pub Street, full of bars and restaurants. It will be the closest thing to the Khao San Road in Bangkok that you will find while traveling Cambodia. Read drunken foreigners, beer at ridiculous prices, music that is intermingled between different places, lights and prostitution. Everything has to be said.

8. The Soul of Hong Kong

A Hong Kong trip tend to be mainly business, shopping or as a complement to a long-term getaway in China. Hong Kong, one of the most modern cities in Asia, is full of huge and modern skyscrapers, streets crowded with people in a hurry, a multitude of signs and luminous neons and an intense smell of sauces, oil and meat. From the modern skyline at Victoria Harbor to the traditional Tai'O fishing village and bustling Stanley markets, Hong Kong is a wonderful mix of many cultures and offers countless things to do and see.

Hong Kong is a city of contrasts in which stands out a mixture of Chinese tradition and modernity that make it a unique place in your itinerary of Hong Kong. The Man Mo Temple is one of the most revered of the island of Hong Kong. It is not very spectacular inside, but it is worth entering if you are in the area of Sheung Wan and see its huge incense spirals. It is located on the corner that divides Hollywood Road with Ladder Street.

For architecture lovers it is essential to compare the HSBC Main Building of Norman Foster with the Bank of China Tower of Ieoh Ming Pei. The Wong Tai Sin Temple is located north of Kowloon. You are not a tourist in Hong Kong until you take your picture with the statue of Bruce Lee on the Avenue of Stars and then you enjoy the light show over the bay. In the heat of this powerful film industry, world-class stars such as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Chow Yun-Fat, or directors such as Wong Kar-Wai and John Woo have emerged.

To practice the noble art of bargaining or go hunting and catching the most kitsch objects in Asia you have the Temple Street night market or the Mong Kok markets. Watches, jeans, cheap shirts, lighters of vulgar and obsecene forms, imitations of anime merchandising, sunglasses, a huge blanket top, alarm clocks, sex toys, tripods for cameras. The mixture is explosive and the atmosphere very overloaded. Asia in its pure state.

Another of the essential places to travel hongkong is the Po Lin Monastery on the island of Lantau and where you can see the immense Buddha of Tian Tau. If your trip coincides with a holiday such as the Chinese New Year, look through the streets to see if you come across any Chinese Lion and Dragon dance. For the bravest, a helicopter tour is ideal to see the spectacular skyline of Hong Kong from the sky.

9. Macau, the Asian Las Vegas

Without being Hong Kong or Shanghai, Macao has one of the most attractive skylines in the Far East. Constantly ferries from various companies leave from Hong Kong to Macau terminal in the central port. There are also boats to Macau that can be taken at the Hong Kong International Airport itself.

Macao is a place where fados are heard and Port wine is drunk while the incense flies over a Taoist temple on a mountain. This essential port in the spice route belonged to Portugal which now lives its own present keeping the traces of its history.

The Macao-Malacca-Goa axis was essential for the Lusitanian interests in the spice route. This Special Administrative Region also has something of Las Vegas with its clear commitment to casinos, five-star hotels, entertainment and a great offer of Asian luxury. Macau has become a wonderful option for those who travel from Hong Kong to Macau by ferry both on their own and in an organized way through a guided tour.

Macao, in addition to the peninsula, has two small islands joined by bridges such as Taipa and Coloane. In the merger of both in a land reclaimed from the sea and that already unites them completely, is the area of ​​Cotai. And it is there where the largest number of casinos and luxury hotels in the region is concentrated, being the reason why this place is called Las Vegas of the Orient.

The Venetian, for example, is to the largest hotel complex on the planet (has more than 3000 rooms), with a reproduction of the canals of Venice (there is even a gondola) and the most emblematic buildings of the Italian city in a commercial megacenter. But there is also a small Paris in The Parisian (with a Eiffel Tower half the size of the original) or a hotel-casino.

Whether you like the game or not, at least try playing a few patacas (official currency of Macao) at roulette. It is possible to have been minutes before visiting a Confucian temple and inhaling incense to later sit inside a typical Portuguese tavern to try a rice with seafood, bacalhau a brás (grilled cod), to bake in bread the sauce of delicious amêijoas (clams) and pair with an excellent Alentejo wine preserved in a typical adega (cellar).

Rua da Felicidade is the typical Chinese street with red windows and doors that has barely been touched in decades since it was part of the Macanese red light district.

The Lou Lim Ieoc Garden is undoubtedly the most Chinese of the gardens in Macao. It has the Suzhou style with pavilions, a pond and a bridge in the shape of a dragon tail. It is one of the favorite places for the locals to go out in the morning to do tai chi, practice the dance of the fans or sing popular songs or even of Chinese opera.

It is highly recommended to go to the other side of the bridge that crosses the Nam Van Lake, climb the Macau Tower when the afternoon falls or look for an elevated floor in one of the surrounding skyscrapers if you have the possibility.

Getting wifi in Macau is almost as easy as finding a signal with your mobile phone. If you are in Hong Kong and you do not want to go to Macao for free, it is possible to hire from there an organized excursion with a guide in your language.

Both Macao and its neighbor Hong Kong do not require entry visas for stays of less than 90 days. It is necessary to only be in possession of a passport with a minimum validity of six months. The Macao Tourism Office offers on its website a valuable information for travelers who wish to know not only its attractions but everything that is happening of interest in the region.

10. Taipei 101

Located in the north of the island of Taiwan, the capital of the country, Taipei, is today one of the most modern cities in Asia. Considered one of the five most famous museums in the world, National Palace Museum houses more than 650,000 works of art from almost all periods of China's five thousand-year history. The museum building is built in the style of the palaces of Beijing.

It has unique works of the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, of painting, calligraphy, and all kinds of artistic objects that show the richness and beauty of Chinese culture and art. It is a sanctuary of art that has become a must for anyone traveling to Taipei. There are places of rest and coffee shops, as well as two old-style Zhishan and Zhide gardens that make the visitor appreciate even more the spirit of Chinese art.

The Taipei 101 skyscraper, until recently was the tallest building in the world. From the 85th floor observatory it offers an unparalleled panoramic view of Taipei and its surroundings. Despite its height, it gives the impression of great flexibility, and It is a harmonious blend of traditional Chinese architecture with typical elements of Taiwan.

The 101 skyscraper shopping center houses several banks, shops of the main international brands, bookstores, several Asian and Western restaurants, as well as small coffee shops and tapas and refreshment stands. It is located in the center of the commercial area of ​​Xinyi, and being surrounded by the World Exhibition Center, the International Congress Center, financial centers, five-star hotels, department stores, cinemas, nightclubs.

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Building is a majestic construction built in memory of the late former president. The night markets have become the main attraction of tourists visiting Taiwan. Shilin night market is the largest of its kind and also the most visited by students to buy clothes and food at affordable prices in the city of Taipei. The temple of Confucius honors the most famous master of China.

The Jianguo Flower and Jade Market, located under the overpass of section 3 of Xinyi Avenue and Jinan Avenue, is only held on weekends and holidays. Yangmingshan National Park is located north of Taipei, in the central area of ​​Datun volcanic areas. Famous for its thermal springs, Beitou is an area north of the city of Taipei, surrounded by green hills and close to the Shamao Mountain.

11. Manila, the city of the seven deadly sins

Manila, capital of the Philippines, is located on the Luzon island. It is located in Manila Bay, in the South China Sea, and the Pasig River flows through the city. Metro Manila is the metropolitan area with the most population in the Philippines, placing in the tenth position in the world ranking. Within Metro Manila, Makati stands out.

Also Pasay City, bordering Makati City, is another of the cities that make up Metro Manila, and it should be noted for its convenience given its proximity to the International Airport of the capital. One of the tourist enclaves of the capital is Intramuros, a popular walled and restored area, which clearly combines this fusion of the classic and the modern.

From Manila you can make excursions to nearby places such as the town of Piñas, the Corregidor island or visit the Taal volcano in Tagaytay, where you can also find the deepest lake in the Philippines and taste the marang fruit. Batangas is famous for its white sand beaches, marine life and flora. Walk through the towns of Calayo in Nasugbu, Mabini, Lipa City and the city of Batangas. Anilao is one of the favorite destinations for underwater photographers from around the world who travel to meet the best macro shots.

Other tourist destinations in Luzon are Ifugao, where the magnificent Banaue rice terraces, Legazpi, on the west coast of the Philippines, or Puerto Galera, diving and resting destination located on the neighboring island of Mindoro or La Union, Kalanggaman Island, sipalay beaches, anawangin cove, coron in palawan, tukon, puerto princesa, el nido, bantayan island, vigan, pangasinan, Fortune Island in nasugbu, boracay, burot beach, beach resort at calatagan, laiya, masasa beach, zambales beach, verde island and siargao.

In its gastronomy it is remarkable the great variety of fruits and also the Philippino food. The food of the Philippines cuisine is a great mix of Spanish, Malay, Chinese, Japanese and American food so do not miss trying its culinary riches.

12. Cebu

Located in the center of Cebu island, is the city of Cebu, which after the city of Manila is the most important. The best beaches near Cebu are located on Mactan Island. There are many hotels, resorts and chillouts where you can rest a few days sunbathing, snorkeling, learning to dive or doing many other activities that these centers offer.

The variety of reptiles and birds that live in Cebu Zoo located in the Beverly Hills neighborhood, east of Mandaue City stands out, although there is also room for many mammals from the Philippines and other Asian regions such as the Bohol Tarsiers, numerous species of monkeys from the Philippines or the Bengal tiger.

Malapascua is a world-renowned destination for scuba diving. About 90 kilometers south of Cebu is Moalboal and Oslob, two of the best places for diving in the central Visayas. As it happens in Legazpi, in Moalboal and Oslob it is possible to carry out the sighting of a fish characteristic of the Philippines, the whale shark. It is also possible to see one of the most particular sharks of the animal kingdom, the thresher shark.

Imagine a bar that you can reach by sailing if the tide is high, or walking on the sand if the sea retires. But in both cases we speak of a unique natural space that at high tide resembles a gigantic natural pool, where the crystalline water will reach us little more than the waist for hundreds of meters. It's called Manjuyod White Sandbar and it's one of the most original bars in Southeast Asia in the Philippines.

The safe way to get to the bar is on a boat from the south bay of Bais, from where the excursions depart. For its part, Bais is a Filipino city in the province of Negros Oriental.

13. Breathtaking Batanes

Batanes Islands is the smallest province in the Philippines. The capital city, Basco, is north of Apari, Cagayan (the tip of Luzon Island), while it is south of Taiwan. Batanes consists of 10 tiny islands and islets namely Batan, Sabtang, Itbayat, Mavudis, Siayan, Diogo, North Island and Y'ami. Only the first three islands are inhabited.

But the most remarkable aspect of all is the architecture of the houses - the walls made by stones and thick roofs to withstand strong typhoon. The climate of Batanes is calm and windy. There are many things to do in Batanes, swim on the beach, see the fishing villages, churches and lighthouses, and the best of all, Batanes in Philippines is a place to reflect and admire nature.

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