If you’re a nature lover and you enjoy the beauty of the world around you then Southeast Asia is the place to go. Some of the most awe- inspiring natural phenomenon are in this region which includes the most unique features. Here is a list of the top natural attractions in Southeast Asia.
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Located around 65 km east of Hanoi, with an area of approximately 1,500 sq km, the legendary Halong Bay – whose name literally means “descending dragon” – is one of Asia’s most picture-perfect landscapes. It’s little surprise that this unusual area of natural beauty – whose natural features are paralleled only by the South Thailand province of Krabi or the Chinese city of Guilin – was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. A total of 2,000 weird and wonderful islets, many uninhabited, rise from the ocean waters to form the spectacular fairytale landscape. Monkeys and seabirds are the main forms of life on the limestone structures, some of which also play host to fishermen during the fishing season or harbor fascinating networks of caves. Cat Ba, a former pirate’s hideout and, at 350 sq km, the largest island in the region. It boasts magnificent beaches and forests that play home to endemic species of monkey. Passionate paddlers will appreciate the many opportunities for scenic kayak tours.
Located some 1,600 m above sea level, this picturesque spa resort nestles in the midst of a spectacular mountain landscape. Unforgettable trekking tours wind their way to the village homes of several of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities, including the Muong, Dao, Thai and Xa Pho peoples. Adventure-seeking tourists can hike up Fansipan, a 3,143-metre mountain that ranks as Vietnam’s highest.
Located at the north-west tip of the country, Rattanakiri province is one of the country’s most important natural destinations. The capital of Banlung, which is located around 330 km from Phnom Penh, entices visitors with volcanic lakes, adventure trekking, rafting and opportunities to meet the native people. Rattanakiri is nestled close to the Laos and Vietnam borders.
The Mekong, Cambodia
A quarter of the volume of Southeast Asia’s largest river is held in Cambodia. The Land of the Khmer, which accounts for an approximately 450-km stretch of the river’s total length, depends on the river as an agricultural lifeline, a rich source of fish and an important transport route. The region between Kratie and Stung Treng – where the river forms a labyrinth of countless miniature islands and waterways – is where the Irrawaddy dolphins can sometimes be seen at play. The dry season offers the best chance of catching a glimpse of these adorable animals.
Kuang Si Waterfalls, Laos
The Kuang si Waterfalls are not the tallest nor the largest in the country but the stunning cascades of the falls make the the waterfalls one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. Coupled with the fascinating journey to get to the waterfalls from Luang Prabang, you pass amazing views of rice fields and local hill tribe communities. The water itself is beautiful to look at but even better to swim in, with plenty of room to enjoy a relaxing swim or a refreshing shower under the the cascades.
Stay tuned to our next blog for part 2!
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