27 Reasons to Visit Southeast Asia in 2017
It's never too late to start planning ahead. Here's why you should make sure Southeast Asia is on your ultimate travel list!
Treat yourself to an amazing stay and save 20% off at participating Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts across Southeast Asia! Make sure to book by October 31, 2016. #LetsGoToShangriLa
1. Come for the experience of a lifetime
From beaches to mountains, temples to skyscrapers, Southeast Asia has it all. What are you waiting for?
2. It's affordable
Street food often costs less than US$5, as are beers and drinks. Accommodations can come in under US$10, and massages are oftentimes a fraction of the prices in Europe or the States.
3. Ride a tuk tuk
Cheap and ubiquitous, tuk tuks are THE iconic mode of transportation in Southeast Asia.
4. Go on a cruise
Halong Bay, Boracay, Yangon River, and more: what's on your list?
5. The fruits are nothing like fruits in the West
Snakefruit, wood apple, mangosteen, santol... The list goes on! But of these, there's definitely one that you can't miss...
6. Try durian, king of the fruits
Some hate it, some love it, but it's a must-try either way.
7. Get underwater
Both the Philippines and Thailand are premier destinations for underwater activities. Koh Tao in particular is one of the top places to become a certified diver.
8. See the iconic buildings of the region
Only a five-minute walk from the Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur (and visible from its SkyBar), the Petronas Tower is the world's tallest twin towers. Its surrounding area includes a skybridge, KLCC Park, and Suria KLCC, one of Malaysia's largest shopping mall.
9. Get your shopping fix
Whether you're looking for clothes, gifts, or souvenirs, the night markets and street vendors are always a great place to start. Alternatively, splurge on products that showcase Asian craftsmanship and design. We recommend the retail center at Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila.
10. Visit a UNESCO World Heritage site
Southeast Asia is home to 31, including Mt. Kinabalu, Angkor Wat, and Luang Prubang in Laos.
11. Relax on a beach
There's Boracay and Thailand, of course, but for a less touristy alternative, we recommend Batu Feringgi Beach, or "Foreigner's Rock," where Shangri-La's Golden Sands Resort, Penang (" target="_blank">a favorite of Kim Jae Kyung) is located.
12. Experience Yangon in its original beauty
With the country opening up to tourists, here's no better time than now to visit Myanmar and its natural landscapes, ancient monasteries, and colonial architecture. See these landmarks and the Yangon River from the centrally located Sule Shangri-La, Yangon.
13. Get a massage
Massages here are only a fraction of their costs elsewhere, and you can choose from a variety of massages, including full body, fish spas, and even treatments with a view.
14. Brilliant sunsets
Nothing beats a relaxing afternoon spent on the beaches of Southeast Asia and watching the sunset on the horizon.
15. Get into shape
Want that fit, toned body? A full body workout like Muay Thai just might be the answer. Learn straight from the source by joining a Muay Thai camp in Thailand.
16. Dine on a private riverboat
Book through Shangri-La Bangkok, and cruise along the Chao Phraya River on a private riverboat while dining on an international buffet.
17. Explore temples
Southeast Asia is home to a variety of temples, from the strange to the beautiful to the historical. Go to understand this part of any country's past, or go to relish its architecture. It's time well spent either way.
18. Get closer to wildlife
Borneo, Malaysia, is especially well-known for its diverse wildlife. If you're looking for to get closer, you can also ride elephants or see tigers in Thailand.
19. Eat as much delicious street food as you want
Eat up; the food will only throw you back a couple dollars.
20. Try your hand at a cooking class
If you love eating, why not sign up for a cooking class and learn how to recreate the cuisine at home?
21. Spend the night under the stars
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Southeast Asia has some of the world's most beautiful natural landscapes, all worth waking up to in the morning.
22. Test your heat intolerance
How spicy can you handle your food?
23. Escape from the city whenever you want
Tired of seeing skyscrapers everywhere in Singapore? Take a stroll through Orchids, the city-state's famous 15-acre "second botanic gardens" established by Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore in 1971.
24. Beautiful lakeside hikes
Hike along the two trails at Putrajaya Lake, a stunning backdrop to the city that doubles as a recreational site, or visit the Taman Wetlands for another glimpse into the wildlife of Malaysia. The lake is easily accessible from Putrajaya Shangri-La.
25. Give back to the environment
Explore the underwater world at Shangri-La Marine Education Centre at Shangri-La Hotel, Fiji, where visitors can learn more about and contribute to marine conservation through activities like fish house building.
26. Try something new
Traveling brings a wealth of unexpected surprises, and you never know what's around the corner. One of our favorite events is Jen's Kitchen On-the-Go at Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore hosts its popular #NextJen pop-up events regularly, featuring coffee workshops and foodie features.
27. Experience a festival or holiday
From Lunar New Year to Songkran to the Lantern Festival and more, festivals are an eye-opening way to experience each nation's unique cultures and traditions.