You don’t want to spend everyday doing what all tourists do, you want to step out of your comfort zone and do not be a part of the beaten path. And you’re pretty sure you want to stay in contact with nature. Good for you traveler! Well, this incredible part of the world will make you live the best experiences while standing out of the crowd. This is my selection for you of adventurous destinations in Southeast Asia:
Laos for caving
This is the country for those of you who want to find hidden caves that will blow out your mind with their natural beauty. A good idea would be to talk to locals to ask for specific information, since most of the most impressive places don’t even appear in a regular map. One of the best spots to go is the lovely small village of Vang Vieng, near the Nam Song River (where tubing is a thrilling experience, by the way!
My two recommendations here are Lusi Cave, where you have lagoon to swim in after a half and hour walk in the dark! Pretty exciting!
Another good one is Pha Thao Cave, very easy to visit, due to its flat floors and ladders to help get through ledges.
Thailand for camping
Starting from the fact that you can camp, hike and trek almost everywhere in Thailand, one of the best places is definitely Doi Pui National Park, in the north of the country where sunsets are something from the outer world. You will find the perfect background to escape from the daily problems, just focusing in setting your fire and tent. And if you feel adventure and adrenaline running through your veins and want to to further know this amazing area, head over to Khun Chang Kian village to be welcomed by the kindest and most smiling locals. Plus, it will be a delight to wander around the lovely coffee shops and local markets.
Read this Sustainable Thailand Tour Guide for getting the most out of the country.
Cambodia for trekking
Your place to go here to warm up your legs is Stung Treng, where taking a boat you can easily get to the Mekong River (Preah Rumkel town), very close to the border with Laos. Try to catch the perfect timing for a sunset here, since they are unbelievable, as well as the huge waterfalls you can trek to, where pink dolphins are usually seen. Everything is so magical here!
The way to go is staying one night at this beautiful landscape, with anything else than your tent or hammock. When crossing the forest to come back to the town, if the river level is low, all the roots from the enormous trees will appear to the surface, becoming one more great thing to explore here!
Indonesia for diving
Concretely, do it in Bali. Yes, the paradise for nature lovers. Here, almost every adventure begins and ends with water, especially if you head to places like Amed, in the East coast, where one of the most recommended activities to do is freediving. This is great to try because when going down in the deeps, all kinds of treasures can be spotted, such as sunken statues and ships from the Second World War.
This experience would be perfect for anyone who wants to be totally unplugged, since diving in these waters always become a 100% “spiritual” adventure, connecting with your inner self and letting everything else go.
Vietnam for cycling
Cycling through Vietnam is a really nice adventure for those travelers who take things slower. You can find some incredible offbeat paths to travel to, like Ho Minh Highway, which will offer amazing views, but it’s not that practical if you are not really used to practising this sport. Instead, Highway One is perfect to cycle and not getting lost or stuck in a rough hill, since you will be able to stop in quite some top destinations of central Vietnam like Hoi An or Nha Trang. If you want to get really local, just get off the main road and visit the small villages that surround it. This is, hands down, the best way to get to know any culture from the inside!