10 Awesome Adventures in Southeast Asia

Pack your bags.


If exploring new destinations, diving into diverse cultures, and getting off the beaten path are your jam, then there's no better place to travel than Southeast Asia. Famous in traveling circles for its welcoming locals and inexpensive transport and accommodations, Southeast Asia has developed a serious following among the backpacking crowd.

But don't be turned off if living on the rougher side isn't your style—there's something for everyone here. Beaches, volcanoes, ancient temples, island hopping, jungle, waterfalls...what's not to love? 

Pack your Eagle Creek bag, and let's get going. Here are ten adventurous destinations to explore in Southeast Asia.

Myanmar

Adventure by Joseph Gulizia

Soar over 4,000 temples in the town of Old Bagan in Myanmar. Be sure to book for sunrise, when the aerial views will be bathed in that perfect early-morning light.

Laos

Adventure by Kyle Wenzel

Beautiful, terraced waterfalls are the reward for making the short trek on the Kuang Si Waterfall Trail outside of Luang Prabang in Laos. Be sure to make a stop at the Moon Bear sanctuary on your way to the waterfalls.

Vietnam

Adventure by Christopher Rivero

The views of Halong Bay are out of this world at the top of the hike to Bai Tho Mountain in Vietnam. The trail is only 3-miles long, but it'll challenge your physical fitness on the way up and the way down. 

Adventure by Kyle Frost

Islands, beaches, snorkeling (and maybe even a little partying) await on a 4 Islands Boat Tour. Spend the day swimming in the clear waters around Nha Trang while you take an all-inclusive island-hop with food, drinks, and plenty of new friends for company. This is the perfect opportunity to show off your superior skills with chopsticks.

Indonesia

Adventure by Jake Birch

The hidden gem that is the Sekumpul Waterfalls lives in the dense jungle of northern Bali. Hire a private driver from busy Kuta to give you a lift, and hike the 3.7-mile (roundtrip) route to the base of the falls. 

Adventure by Erik Nilsson

Zip up this active volcano for incredible views over the Banda Islands, and to walk around the rim of the jungle-filled crater at the top. Looking for hot vents pouring out steam? Gunung Api has those, too.

(Also, check out these five epic hikes in Indonesia!)

Malaysia

Adventure by Eric Bennett

Explore like a local on Pangkor Island, a destination only three hours from Kuala Lumpur. Accessible by public transit, this island is super laid back and has enough amenities (hostels, hotels, dining) to be comfortable for a weekend or longer.

Thailand

Adventure by Pat PT

Seven tiers of waterfall await inside Erawan National Park. The highest tier—the Erawan Waterfall—is worth the climb to get there. This natural wonder is only 3.5 hours from Bangkok, and can be reached via car hire or bus. Photographers will want to arrive early in the morning to avoid the crowds...this is a popular destination.

The Philippines

Adventure by Tiffany Young

Relax for the day in an open-air beachfront cottage at Caluwayan, and take advantage of the on-site standup paddle board rentals for a cruise in San Pablo Bay. Paddle to a small beach and float in the shade of small islands, then return to your cottage to eat and chill.

Adventure by Tiffany Young

Get off the grid—way off the grid—with a camping trip to Kalanggaman Island. The island only welcomes a certain number of tourists a day, which keeps the destination wild and the beaches uncrowded. Bring your gear to camp for the night, or simply enjoy the island for the day.

Cover photo by Tiffany Young

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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