My Top Adventure Destinations in South East Asia


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Ever since I started traveling, I’ve been looking for exciting adventures that go hand in hand with my travels. My first tryst with adventure in Southeast Asia came with my trip to Thailand. This opened up a wonderful world of adventure ideas and bucket list things to do in Southeast Asia and I can say with surety that it is indeed the best place for adventure junkies like me to escape life and go out of their comfort zone for that adrenaline rush! While staying in plush hotels is a super cool way to unwind for some, I prefer the thrill of the outdoors and returning back to the hotel with a deep sense of satisfaction after a long day of adventure!

Without further adieu here is my small list of adventure destinations in Southeast Asia that range from super scenic options for beginners to advanced level options for those who love extremes!

Ziplining in Phuket, Thailand

Thailand is big on all the major sea adventures starting from deep sea diving, snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing and so on but it also has a cool ziplining scene going on. While you visit the country’s southern island of Phuket, make a trip to it’s western side where you can zipline from tree to tree, cross high sky bridges, and fly through the lines all this while you experience the lush green rainforests of Thailand. Ziplining doesn’t require any special training and it is indeed a great way to experience the scenic beauty of the rainforests and get a bird’s eye view of them! A harness and a keen sense of adventure is all you need to be whisked away from the mundane hotel life of the metros to the calls of the wild.

Flying Hanuman Ziplining Adventure Phuket Thailand

Zip through the lines in Phuket

Parasailing Adventure in Penang, Malaysia

Malaysia offers a whole bunch of adventure activities from hiking to caving to water activities. For the mountain lovers there are rainforest treks and for the sea babies, Sabah offers a variety of water activities. One of the most memorable experiences for anyone who loves flying is the Parasailing activity in Penang. It is a great way to experience a bird’s eye view of the Batu Ferringhi beach and the turquoise waters of the Andaman sea. Best time to do it is either the sunrise or the sunset where you can see the ochre colors of the sky reflected in the waters.

Photo enthusiasts can capture the moment in their GoPros while they circle in the air and experience the magic of flying over the shoreline of Penang! So when you surf the internet for the best hotels in Penang make sure you find a one close enough to the beach so you don’t miss out on this must do adventure! Here are some Penang hotel offers and deals for your quick reference.

Parasailing in a Penang Sunset

Parasail your way to a Malaysian sunset at Penang. Image courtesy: Flickr/emandernie

Trekking Mt. Batur and catching the sunrise in Bali, Indonesia

Mt. Batur is a sacred volcano for the Balinese and if you want some breathtaking views of the sunrise, indulge in this challenging yet fulfilling trek that takes you to the summit at 1717 meters!
A memorable experience when you start in the wee hours of the morning and climb all through twilight to arrive at the summit and catch the breathtaking sunrise over the sacred volcano and admire the stunning views of the pristine Lake Batur. Catch your breath, savor a coffee and soak up the scene. This is a definite must do adventure activity when in Bali! Skip that fancy buffet breakfast of your hotel and have brekkie on top of the world!

Sunrise from Mt. Batur

Catch the sunrise from Mount Batur in Bali. Image Courtesy: flickr/jakhei89

Marble Mountain Rappelling tour and Cave Exploration in Vietnam

Have you ever imagined what it would feel like when you hang over the edge of cliffs from only a rope? Isn’t thrilling?
Vietnam isn’t only about Hanoi Bay and if you have the adrenaline to do it, it offers a great adventure for those who want to do something offbeat!

This adventure activity requires professional guidance and when you get your basics right you are ready to rappel over exotic scenery with fantastic views of the ocean. And if you thought that was it, hold on! You can also rappel over the mystic caves in the Marble Mountain which is holy and was a hideout in the earlier days! Most tour operators arrange a pick up right from your hotel and arrange for a whole day tour to Marble mountain.
Indulge in cave explorations and feel like an explorer. This is one adventure straight out of fables!

Make sure you don’t miss out on some of these excellent hotel booking rates in Vietnam.

marble mountain cave explorations

Cave explorations and rappelling in Vietnam. Image courtesy: Flickr/Richard Hopkins

Hot Air Ballooning in Bagan, Myanmar

What would it feel like to be a part of that iconic image of Bagan which every photographer wishes to capture? Magical isn’t it. Hot air ballooning is no doubt an extremely adventurous activity but to do it over the thousands of temples in Bagan is quote a bucket list item. To float away over the ancient pagodas in the wee hours of the morning surrounded by complete silence except for shutter sounds. This is what the experience feels like. Mystical, adventurous yes. But soul fulfilling and extremely satiating too! If you have a fear of heights, what better than to unshackle it by taking this magical ride over a centuries-old city.

Hot air baloons in Bagan, Myanmar

Hot Air Ballooning in Bagan. Image courtesy: Pixabay

Deep Sea Diving in The Philippines

Situated south-east of Asia’s mainland, the Philippines boasts over 7100 islands with a gorgeous shoreline and rich biodiversity, diving in the Philippines is a dream for lovers of the ocean! What makes the Philippines stand out from other Southeast Asian dive destinations is the variety it offers! Adventure lovers can take dive holidays in the Philippines to satiate their thirst for adventure under the seas!

Puerto Galera has the highest amount of dive operations in the Philippines. The strong currents in the Verde Island passage make for exciting wall and drift dives for the experienced diver. Boracay diving is surprisingly varied for such a small destination, offering dive sites for beginners as well as experienced divers, including reefs, walls, and wrecks.

Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park, situated in the Sulu Sea, is a world-famous dive site. Boasting the highest biodiversity in the Philippines, this reef is home to a wealth of species, like jackfish, tuna, barracuda, rays, sharks, and turtles.

Diving in Philippines

Deep Sea Diving in the Philippines. Image courtesy: Flickr/Kamal Karim

Which of these activities have you tried in Southeast Asia? Do you have any more to add to the list? Let me know in the comments!

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My Top Adventure Destinations in South East Asia | escapinglife.com


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Travel Blogger from Kochi, India. An inspired traveler, a travel writer, a photographer, an aspiring mountaineer, a positive thinker and a minimalist.

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3 Comments

  1. This is my kind of post! SO many of these are bucket list items! I went to Bagan and couldn’t do the hot air ballooning coz of the weather. This calls for another visit! Canyoning in Vietnam and Diving in Philippines are dream adventures!

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