For many young graduates staring down that first time being out of school, their first idea is often either to search for that trademark 9-5 job or first hit the major spots in Europe. Checking off Paris, London, Rome and Barcelona from the list sounds pretty good, and Europe seems like a pretty “safe” journey to take. But I’m here to tell you that Southeast Asia is not only safe to travel, it’s an incredible, exotic adventure at a way lower price than a Europe backpacking trip.
So if you’d rather sit at home on the internet job-searching, head over to Glasses.com website to pick up some bifocals; you’re going to need them! But if you’re ready for a real adventure in the “real world” here are 7 (of many more) reasons to pack your bags and head to Southeast Asia:
Traveling on a budget is a huge factor for many travelers. You won’t believe how much you can get for so little in SE Asia; in fact, you may never want to leave. In Thailand, for example, a typical meal including pad thai and a smoothie would cost you about $1.50 followed by an hour-long massage for $5. Hostels generally run from $3-15 depending on what you’re looking for. You can get by for about $6-10 a day in most of Southeast Asia; compare that to Paris, where you might spend up to $75 per day, and SE Asia is looking pretty good!
No matter what time of year you decide to travel, you’re always going to need your shorts and swim gear in SE Asia. The region is tropical with 3 main seasons: wet, dry and hot. So as long as you don’t mind a bit of tropical downpour during that rainy season, you should be good to go. If you do travel during hot season, make sure to stay hydrated! But just make your way down to the beaches and you should be fine. Now you’re on your way to making all your friends at home jealous of your new suntan!
The friendly people
Maybe it’s the warm weather, but the people in Southeast Asia are known as some of the friendliest in the world. Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles, after all! You’ll be greeted by warm smiles and hospitality when you travel in SE Asia. Tip: if you learn some of the local language before you arrive, be prepared to make friends with the locals! They will love you for putting in the effort to speak with them in their language, and you’ll be rewarded with a memorable experience and maybe even lasting friendship.
Southeast Asia has some of the most beautiful beaches and jungles in the world, so if you’re into outdoor adventures then look no further. Landlocked Laos is actually the only country in SE Asia without a gorgeous coastline. From the beaches of Malaysia and Indonesia to the jungles of northern Thailand, this is the place to revel in natural beauty. Try an elephant expedition, jungle ziplining or even bungie jumping for some truly unforgettable adventures.
Need we mention it? The food in SE Asia is flavorful, fresh, spicy, and mouthwateringly delicious! Not to mention cheaper than the price of a single bottle of water back home! You can eat like a king for pennies, whether it’s pho noodle soup in Vietnam or spicy khao soi curry in Thailand. Try the local specialties at street stalls, or just watch where the locals go eat. Wash down your meal with a cold mango and pineapple shake or freshly cracked coconut (the water inside is nature’s delicious electrolyte!)
Break out of your comfort zone and come explore a country with a culture exotic to your own. Much of SE Asia is Buddhist, so you will experience majestic temples, serene monks and a very peaceful air about the people. If you venture out into the mountains or jungles, you’ll see elephants just hanging out with some of the locals. Motorbikes zip around at breakneck pace, food markets display everything from chicken heads to cockroaches and the contrast between serene, spiritual waterfalls and random chaos of the city could not be more distinct. This is what makes SE Asia beautiful, and what will make it so unforgettable to visit.
There’s something for everyone
I mean it: whether you’re into checking out the cultural sights, going for a jungle adventure, laying on the beach with a foot massage or partying the night away, you’ll find it in SE Asia. And not only that, but you’ll meet plenty of other friendly backpackers on the traveling path as well. Swap traveling stories over a beer at the guest house, explore night markets, hilltop temples, elephant camps and coral reefs; the choice is yours! Southeast Asia awaits, so pack your bags and buy that ticket because there’s no way you’ll regret it!