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11 Favorite SE Asian experiences

1) Go on a junk boat cruise around Halong Bay, Vietnam. There's no worry of sea sickness here. The water is calm as a pond because of the thousands of mountains all around. The scenery is fantastic. I went in March. It was cold & foggy. The boats were all getting refinished and painted white. Go for at least 2 days. Its beautiful.

2) Get lost at Hanoi's old quarters, Vietnam. I think I got a headache from my head spinning all over the place just trying to make sure I don't get hit by a motorbike (I almost got hit once). There's minimal western influence. There's so much activity. Its lively, chaotic & distinctly Asian. It's an urban maze & you can just wander around the place for days.
3) Bike to the top of a temple in Bagan, Myanmar for the sunrise. It's amazing & like nothing else in the world!

4) Explore floating villages at Inle, Myanmar. The place is somewhat touristy. Still if you want to feel like you stepped back in time, do check it out. Spend 1 day doing a boat tour & another day doing a canal tour.

5) Make friends with locals & fellow travelers. I have a hard time finding travel buddies so it was great when I was able to meet so many wonderful people along the way. Don't let solo travel put you off. SE Asia is relatively easy & safe for tourists.

6) Horse cart ride around Inwa, Mandalay, Myanmar. Mandalay city itself is not so pretty. I think Inwa (a.k.a. Ava) is what those poets and writers romanticized about in their work. Spend the day exploring the ancient monasteries & temples in the island.

7) Indulge in Bangkok, Thailand. Perfect place to indulge yourself in spa treatments & delicious food. The city is as convenient as any major city in western countries. I didn't plan on spending much time here but ended up staying for 10 days. Half the time doing nothing, half sightseeing. You wont get bored.

8) shakes, mango cakes, mango everything. Actually that's a pineapple shake in the picture. Anyway, I would go back to Asia just to enjoy fresh fruit shakes everyday.

9) Tuktuk ride through ancient temples in Siem Reap, Cambodia.  Biking is fun and adventurous but the distances are great & the sun is really hot. Maybe I'm just getting too old, I don't know. I really enjoyed the nice, cool breeze while riding the tuk tuk to see the ruins of Angkor Wat.

10) Pig out in Bangkok, Thailand. There's street food everywhere & they all fancy themselves as gourmet chefs. It's goooood.

11) Wander around Old town, Hoi An, Vietnam. Ohhh! This is a very nice, quiet place. The old town is beautifully preserved. At night, the streets become even more alive. The lanterns are lit, there's free performances, good restaurants, really good artwork & cool clothing. Hoi An is definitely in my top 10 favorite cities in Asia.

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