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7 Best Places to Visit in South-East Asia

South-East Asia is one of the world’s top adventure destinations, boasting everything from fiery volcanic peaks to fragrant markets. Vietnam, Cambod... Read more
7 Best Places to Visit in South-East Asia
South-East Asia is one of the world’s top adventure destinations, boasting everything from fiery volcanic peaks to fragrant markets. Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand are top choices for an unforgettable South-East Asian adventure. In Vietnam, explore the ancient streets of Hoi An and the breathtaking Halong Bay, Cambodia offers the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor Wat and lush jungles and Thailand boasts both bustling cities and serene beaches to explore. Each country promises a unique blend of adventure, culture and natural beauty.
Check out our 7 best places to visit in South-East Asia and which KE trips will take you there: 


Hoi An, Vietnam

Where mustard coloured shopfronts meet unique historical architecture

Hoi An is best known for its well-preserved ancient town, filled with hundreds of historical buildings, including the UNESCO-listed Hue Imperial Citadel, My Son Ruin Temples and Phong Nha Cave. This charming town is surrounded by beautiful countryside, dotted with rice paddies and boasts stunning white beaches perfect for relaxation and swimming.

Unlike Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, which are dominated by motorbikes, Hoi An is a historic trading town known for its tea warehouses and traditional tailors. The Old Town features iconic mustard-yellow shopfronts and with cars and motorbikes banned from the town centre, it’s a haven for cyclists.

On our Vietnam North to South Vietnam North to South active adventure, which starts at Halong Bay and explores the eastern coastline to the Mekong Delta, you have a free day to explore Hoi An and enjoy its lantern-lit bridges. On our family adventure holiday, which offers a complete Vietnam experience for all ages, you can visit the 200-year-old Tan Ky House, the Tran family home and chapel, the Japanese Bridge and the Fu Kien Temple.

For those who prefer exploring on two wheels, our Saigon to Hanoi and Hoi An to Angkor Wat cycling holidays include a two-night stay in Hoi An as part of the itinerary.


Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Where temples meets temples

Siem Reap, once a sleepy town and now the vibrant gateway to Angkor Wat, is a colourful and chaotic place to be. Even with the glorious temples of Angkor Wat as its main attraction, the city's lively street life is sure to leave a lasting impression on you. The majestic temples of Angkor are among the most iconic monuments in the world and are understandably high on many travellers' bucket lists.

Angkor Wat is the heart and soul of Cambodia, serving as a source of national pride. Unlike other Angkor monuments, it has been in virtually continuous use since it was built by Suryavarman II (r. 1112–1152).

Join our Hoi An to Angkor Wat cycling holiday and cycle to the entrance of the UNESCO-listed temple complex at the end of your great adventure. Explore by bike the temples of Tah Prom, Angkor Thom, the temple of Bayon and the majestic Angkor Wat. Alternatively, start your holiday with a visit to these outstanding temples on our leisurely Backroads of Cambodia bike tour.  


Chiang Mai, Thailand

In a world of its own

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Located 700km (435 miles) north of Bangkok in a verdant valley on the banks of the Ping River, Chiang Mai was founded in 1296 as the capital of the ancient Lanna Kingdom. Today, it is a place where the past and the present merge, with modern buildings standing alongside venerable temples.

Chiang Mai is a unique world within tropical Thailand, featuring lush rice terraces, dense forests and golden Buddhist marvels. Both our Self-Guided Holiday and Family Thailand Adventure begin in Chiang Mai and spend time exploring the fascinating city and the nearby national park of Doi Inthanon. Reaching an altitude of 2,565m, the park is famed for its cool climate, misty mountains, cascading waterfalls, indigenous hill tribes, manicured gardens and the two chedis (twin pagodas), built by the Royal Thai Air Force to commemorate the birthdays of the Thai king and queen.


Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam

A step back in history to the days of the Vietnam War

These fascinating tunnels are a 250km network of underground passageways, created and used be the Viet Cong during the American War to enable them to stay hidden and keep control of the area. More than just a means of moving around secretly and transporting supplies, the Cu Chi tunnels included hospitals, munitions stores, gun factories and living quarters. These tunnels have now become a tourist attraction, and when visiting Vietnam, travellers can crawl through some of the safer areas of the tunnels, view command centres and booby traps, fire an AK-47 rifle on a firing range and even eat a meal featuring typical foods that soldiers living in the tunnels would have eaten.

When travelling on our Vietnam North to South active holiday or Saigon to Hanoi adventure cycling holiday, you can visit these tunnels. You can even take the kids to experience this incredible piece of history on our Jungles and Junks family adventure.  


Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam

Where sleek skyscrapers meet ornate pagodas

Today, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), is the business and financial hub of Vietnam. It's a bustling, exciting and colourful city that is filled with fascinating culture, classic French architecture, sleek skyscrapers, ornate temples and pagodas. The Notre Dame Cathedral and Saigon Central Post Office are prime examples of French colonial architecture and there are Buddhist temples and traditional markets that have been operating for hundreds of years, both of which are fascinating to explore. 

When you cycle on KE's Saigon to Hanoi holiday, you'll spend your first few days in Saigon where you will have time to visit the macabre museum of war crimes, dine at the famous temple restaurant and have an evening to explore this exciting and vibrant city.  


Halong Bay and Cat Ba Island, Vietnam

A natural wonder and extraordinary area

Halong Bay is a beautiful, natural wonder in northern Vietnam that became a world heritage site in 1994. It's scatter of islands with towering limestone pillars, rise steeply from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Its karst outcrops continue north all the way up the coast to Bai Tu Long Bay and south-east to Lan Ha Bay, which is only a short distance from Cat Ba Island. Halong Bay offers spectacular, almost surreal scenery. 

The perfect way to experience the stunning Halong Bay is by setting sail on a traditional junk boat, where you'll be free to relax and take time to enjoy the magnificent scenery. You can check in to your comfortable cabin on a two-day junk cruise on our Vietnam North to South adventure and our Vietnam Self-Guided Holiday or enjoy a trip out to overnight on Cat Ba Island on our Secret Trails of the Tribal Heartland holiday

You'll get to explore the fantastic scenery of the bay and some of its 3000 islands, of which many contain caves and grottos and beautiful beaches. It's a really special experience. 


Mekong Delta, Vietnam and Cambodia

The 'rice bowl' of Vietnam

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The mighty Mekong River tumbles down through China’s Yunnan province, squeezes between Thailand and Laos, then slides through Cambodia before reaching Vietnam. It's a vast maze of rivers, swamps and islands, Khmer pagodas and villages surrounded by rice paddies. Often referred to as the 'rice bowl' of Vietnam, the Mekong River is famous for its floating markets, including the famous Cai Bae.

Here you'll see hundreds of boats packed with varieties of fruits and local people selling and trading their produce. There are few places in the world that really offer an eye-opening experience as to how people live in their local area - this is definitely one of them!

Enjoy a sampan river cruise on the Mekong on all of our Vietnam and Cambodia adventures.


If you would you like to know more about any of these holidays or any other KE's holidays, then give us a call on +01768 773966 or USA/Canada toll-free 1888 630 4415. You can email; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can also organise a face-to-face zoom meeting on request. We offer trusted holidays with financial protection and flexible booking conditions. 

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