Countries like Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam report record visitor numbers year after year. And just after tallying the first quarter 2017 statistics, these countries, again, are on track to break last year’s records. But what makes this region such a special place for travelers?
Backpackers have been flocking to Southeast Asia for many years. Recently though it has been the mid-budget and luxury guests that are steadily representing a growing group of the tourist demography. Regardless of one’s budget, most travelers list the same main reasons for visiting and returning to Southeast Asia
Food is where SE-Asia mostly always leaves a lasting impression. Hardly any visitor will stick to three standard meals a day while traveling here. The varieties of fruits, starches, styles of cooked protein, and the myriad of combinations that play with different textures, heat, flavors, etc. leaves a traveler’s pallet longing for more – constantly.
It’s the freshness of the seafood, the myriad of never before seen colorful fruits and vegetables, and the way they are cooked and consumed that provide travelers with an experience they just couldn’t find anywhere else.
And the beauty of it all is that there are subtle and more severe differences in food-culture between different countries. I.e. travelers visiting Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam will have several uniquely different food experiences to remember and write home about. Beyond that, the regional differences of a single dish, like Vietnam’s Pho, can be like an extensive food exploration in itself.
Some may argue that the real beauty of Southeast Asia is in its people; hardly anyone could reasonably disagree. The waves of smiles, openness, and hospitality can be overwhelming at times; but never cease to amaze.
Observing, experiencing, and interacting with people can have a soothing effect, and overall contribute to the internal relaxation many travelers aim to experience during a vacation.
There is so much this region’s people and their cultures can teach us about the value of a smile, friendship, community, and most importantly, finding happiness in the more simple and subtle things in life.
History buffs as well as those who usually take a lesser interest in history will absorb a substantial amount of history while traveling here. And much of such history education does not necessarily need to be transmitted through a tour guide, but can be the result of interest in and interacting with country and people.
Many Southeast Asian countries have unique histories as they pertain to foreign occupations/colonization, trade, war, religion, etc. And it often are these unique histories that helped form different styles or architecture, mentalities, customs, and of course landmarks/sights. Just scratching a bit below the surface of a country’s history reveals rich and interesting facts about the past that help explain much of a travelers daily experiences, sights, and impressions.
Through the sheer variety of picturesque landscapes this region offers, a visit to Southeast Asia comes with no shortage of photo-ops. Whether it is the limestone karst formations that line many of Thailand’s beaches, famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Laos’ Luang Prabang, Vietnam’s Hoi An, or Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, each country offers different and amazing rural as well as urban landscapes; each with unique topographical features, flora and fauna.
Given the region’s richness of experiences and beauty, it is advisable to book a trip to Southeast Asia through an experienced travel operator with a strong regional relationship. Ansova Travel has years of experience offering handcrafted South East Asian journeys of discovery through Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, while weaving the regional diversity into a tailored journey of exploration.