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Let’s face it; as much fun as a holiday to Southeast Asia sounds, it’s going to be a completely different experience to many of the typical holiday destinations that you might visit in the western world. The culture is vastly different, the food is distinct and the atmosphere is a change of pace compared to what you might be used to.
So to help you out, we’ve put together a list of five Southeast Asian destinations to visit if you’re a complete beginner to this part of the world.
To kick-start the list, we’re going to mention Singapore as a top destination for newbies to Southeast Asia. The biggest reason we recommend Singapore is because English is spoken throughout the entire country, with only a few smaller areas where English is used less often. Singapore is full of excellent places to visit; from hawker stalls that sell some of the world’s best street food to cultural destinations that show off the country’s cultural mix, you’ll always have something to do here in Singapore. It’s a fantastic place to visit because of how accessible it is, and it’s not entirely different from countries in the west.
If it’s beaches and sun that you’re after, then Bali is a great destination to visit. Look for accommodation from places such as Bali Villas Holiday Vacation Rentals to make the trip even more memorable and comfortable. Bali is also home to some of the world’s most exotic foods, and the locals are friendly enough that even if they don’t understand much English, they’ll help you get around with ease.
As the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is a beautiful place to visit but planning your first trip can be quite a challenge. All the main attractions are accessible by foot and there are plenty of cultural hot-spots and historic locations to visit. It’s also home to a multicultural community with plenty of western influences, so you’ll see a lot of familiar foods and attractions that you’ll get in the west, making it a great beginner’s location in Southeast Asia.
Penang is an excellent foodie destination in Malaysia and it’s also very easy to get around. Many of the signs and locations in Malaysia have mixed English, making it quite easy to travel from one place to another. Accommodation is affordable and most of the tourist attractions can be enjoyed even if you’re not a huge fan of the heritage sites and colonial-era scenery. A huge tip to keep in mind that there are four major religions in Malaysia, so it’s very likely that there’s some kind of festival going on during your visit.
Thailand’s capital has developed a lot over the past couple of years and it’s one of the most accessible locations to visit in Southeast Asia. There are plenty of cultural sights to experience, many unique local dishes that you won’t get anywhere else and plenty of luxurious destinations to visit as well. From grand hotels to cheap apartments, there’s also a wide range of accommodation and amenities available too.