Everyone knows about Angkor Wat, Halong Bay, and other Asia adventures, but today’s Guest Post by Sofia von Porat from AsWeTravel provides information on five lesser known destinations.
Traveling in South and Southeast Asia is a chaotic, crazy and awesome experience, and it’s so different from the West that just visiting the local morning market for breakfast is a culture shock in itself.
The best thing about Asia is that everyday is an adventure, and by simply leaving the map at home you will stumble upon some awesome places that many others seem to miss.
Here are some fun things to do and places to visit in South East Asia for those looking for something a little different …
Lesser Known Temples in Thailand
It would be impossible to visit Thailand without seeing a temple, as they are literally everywhere you go.
With colorful glass mosaics glimmering in the sun, and stupas painted in gold, the temples are a beauty to behold. However, after a while you’ll find yourself bored of the extravaganza and yearn for something more simplistic and different.
If you’re in Bangkok, we highly recommend a visit to Wat Prayoon, a quirky little place tucked away close to the Chao Praya River.
Nicknamed the Turtle Temple after the large pond filled with turtles, and mound covered with miniature spirit houses and dollhouses in the middle – these are shrines to departed loved ones.
Another amazing temple is Wat Umong in Chiang Mai, a green oasis dating back to 1297, where nature has completely taken over the temple grounds covering statues in moss.
Pilgrimage in Sri Lanka
Those willing to take on a challenge, climbing Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka is an unforgettable experience we definitely recommend.
Adam’s Peak is a mountain which is considered sacred by Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and Muslims, making it an incredibly important place for people of all religions.
The climb, which takes about 4 hours, is exhausting, and yet so empowering.
Being surrounded by thousands of devoted pilgrims climbing in the middle of the night to make it to the top in time for the sunrise, is unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before.
Biking in Luang Namtha, Laos
Biking in South East Asia is really fun as you get a chance to get off the main road and explore all the small streets and corners of the area.
In Laos, we grabbed two bikes and rode off into places way beyond the paved city roads, stopping off by waterfalls and small villages along the way.
The only thing to be careful with is to be respectful to the locals in the villages you pass – we found a big difference in the way people treated us from place to place.
Sometimes the children would run up to us waving and smiling, in other villages they would be curious but keep themselves on a distance.
But all of this really made it such an amazing adventure and experience.
Civilization Detox – Perhentian Islands, Malaysia
Our favorite escape islands were the Perhentian islands in Malaysia. Surrounded by crystal clear waters and pristine beaches, it’s a place for pure relaxation, snorkeling and scuba diving.
If you’re looking for a place to get away from it all and perhaps go on an “internet detox”, there is no better place to be than here.
I hope you found these tips useful and that you take the opportunity to explore the lesser known gems of Asia!
Sofia’s travel blog shares travel tips, videos, guides and inspiration from around the world – you can follow her at www.aswetravel.com on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube.
The goal of Traveling Ted TV is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then enter your email in the box to get email notifications for each new entry. Daily travel photos are excluded from your email in order to not flood you with posts. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).
We did the Luang Namtha biking about 10 years ago, It was a blast riding through the villages. I’ll bookmark this post for future ref! Thanks.
Jules recently posted..Photo Friday
I can imagine how amazing it would be riding through the Laotian countryside.
Sign me up for the hike in Sir Lanka. It sounds beautiful. Biking in Laos would also suit me just fine.
Leigh recently posted..Dazzled by the Lake Louise Ice Sculptures
Loving these pics, Ted! There are so many hidden gems in SE Asia one can spend a lifetime exploring them.
jill recently posted..Getting Naked Jjimjilbang Style
As We Travel rocked this post out. I am inspired to travel Southeast Asia after their interesting prose and pictures.