10 Most Amazing Experiences Whilst Travelling Southeast Asia

Last month my friend, Evie, and I spent 3 weeks traveling Southeast Asia. I’d of loved to keep a daily blog of my experiences, but I was simply too busy taking it all in – and trust me, there’s a lot to take when travelling Asia – so I thought I’d share my absolute favourite experiences from my travels now, as a collection of tweets, BuzzFeed style.

1.) Visiting Elephants at the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand

If you’re in Thailand, I definitely recommend visiting WFFT. We saw all sorts of rescued animals, including gibbons, macaques, bears, langurs and, of course, elephants. After that we had an excellent Thai buffet lunch. Then we spent the afternoon feeding, walking and washing one of the elephants, and then visiting the other elephants on open back trucks. It’s an absolute must-visit! Not to mention, the money goes back into caring for the rescued animals.

2.) Exploring the Angkor Temples

I’m not usually interested in historic or religious sites, but the temples in Siem Reap are absolutely incredible. We watched the sunrise over Angkor Wat (even though it was raining ?) and then returned later with an incredibly friendly and informative tour guide to explore the temples. We also had a delicious Khmer lunch.

3.) An Evening in Pub Street, Siem Reap

Pub Street is the main entertainment street in Siem Reap, Cambodia, with restaurants, bars, clubs, souvenir shops, markets, tuktuks, fresh fruit smoothie stalls and plenty of places to get a cheap massage lining the street and its surrounding area. This place is small, but it’s lively (without feeling pushy). We had cheap drinks (beer = $1), a lovely dinner, bought souvenirs, picked up a fresh fruit smoothie for $1 and had a 15 minute foot rub here for just $2! The Cambodian people are some of the friendliest I’ve ever met, and we had a right laugh with the people rubbing our feet!

Oh, and as you can see,  I got myself an Asian farmers hat. $2!

4.) Tuktuks

To travel between the airport, the hotel, Pub Street and the Angkor temples we used tuktuks. They’re the easiest, cheapest and funnest way to get around Siem Reap. Every time we travelled in one I felt giddy with excitement, and I just HAD to capture a timelapse of the experience on my GoPro.

5.) Overnight Train (Johor Bahru to Kuala Lumpur)

After getting a train from Singapore into Johor Bahru, Malaysia, we then got on an overnight train all the way up to Malaysia’s capital – Kuala Lumpur. This was right at the start of our trip, and made me feel as giddy with excitement as the tuktuks did in Cambodia. This was where the adventure started.

7.) Eating on Jalan Alor

On our penultimate night in Kuala Lumpur, fed up with McDonald’s but trying to stick to a budget, we ended up on Jalan Alor. This street is filled with food stalls and restaurants serving Asian cuisine, and though some may see it as dirty and chaotic, it’s definitely worth a visit. We stopped for a meal here and paid no more than £6 for everything.

The meal was so delicious and the staff were so friendly, that we ended up returning to the same restaurant for our final evening in KL!

8.) Thean Hou Temple

This temple is a bit out of the way, so you’ll need to take a taxi, but it’s definitely worth a visit. The Chinese architecture is really quite something, and there’s a lovely view back to the city.

8.) Batu Caves

The Batu Caves are located just outside the city, about 30 minutes by train from KL Sentral.The Hindu statues and sculptures are impressive, so it’s well worth the trip, but watch out for the monkeys on the steps!

9.) Singapore Views at Night

Singapore and I had a bit of a fallout, mostly due to the crazy prices (1 beer + 1 cider came to the equivalent of £17) and the difficulty of getting a taxi in certain places (over an hour we waited), but I must admit – it’s a beautiful city. It’s clean, it’s full of funky evening venues and it’s got some very pretty areas all along the river. My particular favourite is round the back of the Fullerton Hotel with the Merlion and the business buildings in the background, though the camera on my phone doesn’t do it justice.

10.) Amazing Asian Toilets

I couldn’t do a “Top 10 Asia Experiences” without mentioning these babies, could I? We had one in our hotel room in Bangkok and there were more in the shopping malls (which are incredible, by the way). After you’ve done your business these toilets will clean you with water, and then dry you off. That’s some pretty magical stuff right there!

So, there you have it, those are my 10 best experiences from travelling Southeast Asia. We had many others, but those are the best. I’d strongly recommend traveling SEA, and I know I’ll definitely be returning to see Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia and more of Thailand. Cambodia, in particular, has a special place in my heart and I’d happily go back and do it all again.

The wonderful thing about travelling is that it helps you see things in a different way. I’ve definitely learnt a lot about culture, religion, wildlife and so much more. With my Australia trip before it, I was out of the UK for a good 6 weeks. I was stressed then, but now I feel cultured, I feel refreshed and I definitely feel happy with life. I guess it’s true, travelling really does help you find yourself.