The end of the calendar in Southeast Asia finds the region enjoying cooler, drier weather, and it’s a beautiful time of year to discover the magic and history of an array of cultures. Easily combine multiple countries into one journey and consider Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar this year.
Remnants of the legendary Angkor Empire permeate the ruins of Angkor Wat, the massive complex which shelters a number of ancient structures. Don’t miss Ta Prohm, a temple that over time has been reclaimed by the gnarled roots of trees. After temple-hopping, there are countless cultural villages to visit, Khmer cooking classes, shopping and entertainment options.
Once the royal seat of the Lane Xang Kingdom, this city blends tradition and contemporary culture while remaining quiet and charming. The city is the gateway to a number of silk weaving villages and hill tribe settlements along the Mekong River. Enjoy a glimpse into the Buddhist religious practice and traditional lifestyle of hill-tribe groups in region, considered the center of Lao culture.
Escape to the exotic Andaman Sea on the southwest coast of Thailand. Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, is nestled among beautiful forests and mountains and holds some of the region’s most peaceful sandy beaches. The waters off the coast of Krabi are full of natural wonders such as colorful coral reefs, caves, and waterfalls waiting to be discovered. Slow down and relish in island life on the white beaches of Ko Samui while sipping from a hand-picked coconut.
Inle Lake, Myanmar
Myanmar’s landscape is rich in natural and man-made beauty. Take in the amazing scenery and mountainous surrounds 900 feet above sea level at Myanmar’s highland Inle Lake that more than 30 hill tribes call home. Renowned as fisherman, the men have developed a unique one-leg rowing technique.