Hidden Gems in Southeast Asia

  • November 13, 2019

Thinking of getting away this summer? Check out these gorgeous hidden gems scattered across Southeast Asia!


Aside from the delicious dishes Vietnam has to offer, another must see and experience are their sand dunes in Mui Ne. Yep, you read that right – you can now take beautiful desert landscape Instagram photos right here in Asia!

There are two dunes you can choose from, the first is an hour drive from Mui Ne, the white sand dunes. This vast and peaceful landscape will inspire you to meditate or to stop and think, or if that’s not your thing, you can drive around and experience the beautiful ride. The second is the red sand dunes, just twenty minutes away from the town center, this picturesque landscape will make you feel like you are in a whole different world, especially during sunset.

If sand dunes aren’t your thing, stroll in one of Vietnam’s hidden bamboo forests. With over 1.4 million hectares of bamboo forest, you’ll have an endless adventure exploring these beautiful serene sceneries. It makes for a perfect Instagrammable spot too, so make sure you bring something fun and fashionable like a cute dress or a playsuit from Forever 21!


One of the gentlest creatures on the planet are elephants, however, they’re slowly starting to become extinct. There are reportedly only 30,000 Asian Elephants left, that’s why in the Chiang Mai Elephant Sanctuary, their goal is to protect and rescue elephants. Unlike a zoo, this elephant sanctuary encourages its visitors to engage in volunteer work and not interfere with elephants doing their own natural routines.

Another thing to check out is the white temples in Chiang Rai, locally known as the Wat Rong Khun. This contemporary art exhibit is privately-owned by Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, who is known for using Buddhist imagery in his art. He considers this temple his offering to Buddha and is slowly expanding this exhibition.


One of the underrated spots in Asia is the ancient city of Bagan located in Myanmar. Sometimes referred to as the “sea of temples,” this old city used to have 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas, and monasteries that were constructed in the 11th to 13th century, however only 2,000 of those still remain standing. Although walking around the city is the best way to explore, there are hot air balloon rides that are being offered to see the city from a different point of view.


One of the hidden cities in Asia is the city of Yogyakarta on the island of Java in Indonesia. Described as a perfect blend of traditional and urban life,  you would be able to find modern structures like malls and cafes but also come across temples like the Candi Sambisari; which was buried under tons of ashes for hundreds of years and was only discovered and restored in the ’60s.

Aside from that, there are many other cultural attractions that they continue to present to maintain the city’s history alive.


Last on our list is the quaint little town of Kampot in Cambodia. There are multiple things to do whether you want an adventurous day or a chill relaxed day.

Check out Bokor National Park, a designated ASEAN Heritage Park located in the Dâmrei Mountains. The most popular site to see is the Bokor Hill Station, a series of buildings and structures built by the French during their occupation in the 1920s and one of the most interesting structures on there is a Catholic church which is a rare sight in Cambodia.

If you want something more adventurous, there are multiple caves and ruins that you can explore and even go rock climbing on some rock formations. A pro tip: make it a safe adventure and don’t forget to wear your trusty pair of World Balance shoes!

To wind down, there are firefly cruises available along the river where you can catch the beautiful sunset while watching the little bugs hang out and create a luminescent view that perfectly ends the trip.

Plan your Southeast Asia adventure at (632) 534-0116 or send us an email at inquiry@travelwithaccess.com.

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