There was a time when the whole of Southeast Asia was still off the beaten track, but nowadays so many travelers explore the Far East that this is no longer the case. A visit to one of the highlights in South-East Asia is therefore no longer the authentic experience that you may have had in mind. Nowadays almost everyone can travel, and we do that massively. Temples, nature reserves and cultural monuments are flooded by tourists from all over the world.
Fortunately, there are still destinations to be found where you encounter few other tourists. Exploring this place can be a very special experience.
1. Ha Giang in Vietnam
Where the mountains and rice fields of Sapa in Vietnam are flooded with tourists, you will almost never see any of them in Ha Giang. This undiscovered province in the north of Vietnam has the most spectacular mountain scenery and the most authentic minority villages. Mountains passes, hill tribe villages, authentic markets are some of the highlights and driving through this province gives you the feeling of traveling back in time.
2. Battambang in Cambodia
If you want to see the real life in South-East Asia, you rent a motorbike in Battambang, in the north of Cambodia. From here you can travel to various temples and ruins in the surroundings of this relaxed city. Along the way you pass quiet villages and beautiful local scenes, such as a group of fishermen who paint their boats with a new coat of paint, or a tiny factory where spring rolls are made.
3. Muang Ngoi Neua in Laos
If you really want to leave the beaten path, you will have to follow the river from Muang Ngoi Neua further north, to one of the hamlets that you will find there. You can also walk from Muang Ngoi to one of the hamlets in the area. In Huay Bo, for example, you can spend the night in a homestay where you really get an impression of the local life in Laos. Much more than being part of the simple country life and walking and enjoying the beautiful scenery is not possible, but it is certainly an experience that you will not forget.
4. Isaan in Thailand
The Isaan in Thailand is a bit of a forgotten province. At least for tourists. You encounter very few other travelers and that was precisely why it is such a charming place. A wonderful part of the real Thailand and also worth a visit without major highlights. Here you will find good vibes and wonderful, tropical nature. The small local temples and viewpoints, which you don’t have to share with anyone, are great experiences.
5. Negros in the Philippines
The Philippines is quite clearly present on the tourist map. Fortunately there are enough islands with plenty of unique places with few other travelers. The island of Negros is such a real off the beaten track destination in South-East Asia. If you travel via the much visited neighboring island of Cebu to Negros, you still have a fairly civilized feeling in Dumaguete, but as soon as you travel to the other coast of the island you feel you traveled back in time.