Top Three Cities in… South-East Asia

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Hey ho! Time for a new series of posts. My three favourite cities of a particular region. Or towns, or spots, but probably cities. South East Asia seemed to be the logical place to start.

3/ Singapore

Above Singapore
Above Singapore

Singapore is a great city, the most sparkling spot in all of South East Asia, and a lot of fun. It’s the most modern of my three, with the best public transport. The island of Sentosa is a tourist trap, but a fun one, and there are some beautiful views from the gondolas that take you to the top of a hill, also providing wonderful views, especially at night.

Singapore at night.
Singapore at night.
Entrance to Universal Studios Singapore.
Entrance to Universal Studios Singapore.

Loads of dining options, cuisine from all around the world. You can have dirt cheap street food or a top restaurant meal should you want. Shopping, a little glitz, did I mention Universal Studios? There’s nothing you can’t find in Singapore.

universal singapore 1

2/ Luang Prabang, Laos

Main street of Luang Prabang.
Main street of Luang Prabang.

A large town, it’s hard to consider Luang Prabang a city but it certainly is one of the highlights of the region. It’s a sleepy town where you’ll see next to no activity in the middle of the day when the sun is beating down extra hard. But on the banks of the Mekong this place is the perfect spot in South East Asia to just chill out and relax for a few days.

Fashion show in Luang Prabang
Fashion show in Luang Prabang
Lao BBQ.
Lao BBQ.

There are temples to visit, a hill to climb for views and taking a trip down the Mekong is a must. I had a wonderful BBQ at an outdoor restaurant there and saw of all things a local fashion show, but the best thing was a trip out to the Kuang Si waterfalls where the water was cooling and perfect for the hot weather.

Kuang Si Waterfalls. Awesome to swim below. That IS me holding my arms up.
Kuang Si Waterfalls. Awesome to swim below. That IS me holding my arms up.

1/ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

men playing game hcmc

What can I say about the city formerly known as Saigon? This city is quintessential South-East Asia, full of bikes, activity and excitement. I found it to be surprisingly friendly and met a whole bunch of people here. There are plenty of interesting day trips to do from Ho Chi Minh City as well as plenty of sites in the city.

Seven storey pagoda? How'd you like them apples?
Seven storey pagoda? How’d you like them apples?
Scooter, bike or motorbike, Ho Chi Minh City is a city for the two-wheelers!
Scooter, bike or motorbike, Ho Chi Minh City is a city for the two-wheelers!

There are stunning temples and pagodas, parks, and the amazing post office. Then there is the slightly out there ‘Remnants of War’ Museum which is quirky, horrific and solemn at the same time. Watching life in HCMC is also another great pastime for the visitor, from the kids playing hacky sack in the parks to the older people on the side of the road playing draughts and other board games. Ho Chi Minh City is a pretty special and rewarding place!

Even more hats! Yes!
Even more hats! Yes!
Scooter, bike or motorbike, Ho Chi Minh City is a city for the two-wheelers!
Scooter, bike or motorbike, Ho Chi Minh City is a city for the two-wheelers!

What are your favourite cities in South East Asia? Honourable mentions to – Chiang Mai, Mandalay and Melaka. May the Journey Never End!

14 Comments

  1. I’ve been meaning to go to these places forever! I had a friend who lived in Laos for 6 years and can you believe it, I never even visited!!!! 😦 So bad of me. Now she’s in Brussels… (not as exotic!) Oh well…. c’est la vie… Great post!

  2. Hmmm…yes, Chiang Mai should be on that list. We personally enjoyed Vientiane as well. Bangkok is dirty and hectic but has interesting sights and was a fun place as a single guy. Choosing a favorite depends on the criteria. I’d say overall Chiang Mai.

    Frank (bbqboy)

  3. I’ve only made it to Singapore on this list and although I went to Vietnam, it was to Hanoi and Hoi An rather than HCMC so I’ve clearly been missing out on some highlights of this part of the world!

  4. Singapore and Bandung for sure, are my fave. I like Jakarta for its variety of food but I hate its traffic jam. I don’t fancy Manila, Cebu, Bangkok and KL so much.

    1. I havent been to the Phillipines but Manila doesnt have an enticing reputation. Cebu LOOKS nice in photos. its not that I dislike KL or Bangkok but KL is a bit… dunno. Bangkok was a brilliant city for the traveller 15-20 years ago but now it’s all sort of… standardised.

  5. Ooooh I do likes me a bit of Singapore! My favourites are Bangkok and KL, but I think KL would edge out Bangkok a little bit for just being a bit tidier.

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