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Backpacking South East Asia

Updated on September 12, 2013

Travelling To Thailand, Malaysia And Singapore

South East Asia is one of the most popular travel and backpacking destinations in the world and for good reason. The more popular countries in the area are experienced hosts for overseas visitors, greeting them with a warm welcome and friendly hospitality. It's a very affordable part of the world to visit, with costs much lower than most countries in the western world, which makes staying here and enjoying all that the countries have to offer more possible. If it's experiences that will stay with you forever that you are after, South East Asia will not disappoint. The area boasts some of the most beautiful beaches and countryside on earth, has amazing cities with anchient monuments and modern skyscrapers, and the cultures will surprise, delight and entice you with their tastes, smells, sights and sounds.


This is the most popular of the countries in South East Asia, and understandably so. Thailand boasts magnificent beaches, a friendly, welcoming people, exquisite food and is one of the most established countries for backpackers. It’s a country that is cheap and easy to get around and to travel on to other countries.

Bangkok is a great start for anyone starting their backpacking experience. It has a glorious array of fine temples and bustling markets but is also home to buildings and shops which would be at home in any modern country. Travellers in Bangkok can either dip their toe in gently into the new culture and experiences but still have the familiarity of the western world, or can dive in head first and experience all that the traditional Thailand has to offer.

A trip to Thailand should include time on at least one of the beautiful islands that dot both sides of the peninsular of southern Thailand . If you can’t get enough of temples, a trip up north to Chang Mai should be on the itinerary. Up here you can also participate in one of the well known treks to hill tribe villages, though these are now very touristy, so you may be hard pushed to discover an authentic experience.

Thailand Beach
Thailand Beach | Source
Malaysia | Source
Singapore | Source


This country has been a melting pot of different peoples from other countries and this is reflected in the countries varied cultures, represented in its food, its buildings and its customs. It has some wonderful beaches and perfect dive sites, and wonderful areas for trekking, such as the Cameron Highlands.

The capital Kuala Lumpur is a futuristic city with its iconic Petronas Towers as its impressive landmark. The further south you go in Malaysia, the more you will experience the origins of the Malay civilisation, whereas, if you head north, you will see the British influence, particularly on the island of Penang.

Malaysia is easily reached from Thailand, either by flying, which is relatively inexpensive or by trains which link the two countries. Temperatures in Malaysia are similar to those in Thailand but the humidity is higher, especially so in K.L.

Singapore. More often than not, this country is used as little more than a stopping off point, midway between travels. It is a modern clean country, but on the expensive side compared to other south eastern countries.

A visit to the famous Raffles hotel is an enjoyable way to spend a few hours but apart from that, a few days is probably all you would need to get a flavour of this country. Saying that, it is a gentle introduction into South East Asia, being a link between east and west, with it's modern clean environment and international influences.

Which country would you recommend for a first time visitor to this part of South East Asia?

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    • ienjoythis profile image

      M Carnahan 4 years ago from Nevada

      Great hub! I've read that SE Asia is a great destination for young backpackers. Very resourceful hub, thanks!