Drew Binsky

I'm Drew Binsky

I’ve been to
ALL 197 Countries Now I want to help you become a better traveller & save money

YouTube
3.3M

Facebook
4.5M

Instagram
810K

TikTok
525K

Snapchat
573K

LinkedIn
15K

Twitter
71K

14 Reasons Why I Love Southeast Asia

14 Reasons Why I Love Southeast Asia

Contents

Written by Drew Binsky

Southeast Asia (SEA) is my favorite region in the world.

I’ve been to this region many, many times, and I’m planning more visits in the near future. Like the Black Eyed Peas, I just can’t get enough.

Southeast Asia is the geographic area that is south of China, east of India, and north of Australia. Countries include Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Brunei, and East Timor.

Here are 14 reasons why I keep coming back for more!

1. Affordability

A street food meal for $1? A haircut for $2?  A hostel for $3? A one hour massage for $4?

This is pretty much the standard across all countries in Southeast Asia — with the exception of touristy districts and activities (nicer hotels, restaurants, tours, etc). Everything is super cheap.

The cheapest countries that I’ve found in Southeast Asia are Vietnam and the Philippines. These attractive prices allow you to travel longer and have more unforgettable experiences.

2. Delicious Food

Some countries’ cuisines are notably tastier than others (hello Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia) — but as a general rule, the food all around Southeast Asia is spectacular.

If you like meat (mostly beef and pork), spicy & sour noodle soups, and tasty rice dishes — then you are going to be a happy camper while traveling around Southeast Asia!

Also, 95% of the meals I’ve eaten were less than $5 USD.

3. Heart-Warming People

They say “Thailand is the land of smiles,” — but really, it’s all of Southeast Asia.  This is probably the biggest reason that keeps drawing me back. Smiles.

Everywhere I go around SEA, I am usually greeted with a big smile and a “hello sir.” I rarely feel sketchy or uncomfortable in any situation. Frankly, it’s energizing.

4. Buddhism Will Change Your Life

I didn’t know much about Buddhism before I visited Southeast Asia, but now, I have a major appreciation for the religion.

Country by country, I’ve explored dozens of Buddhist temples, interacted with monks, and immersed myself into the culture so I could learn about the religion. I quickly figured out that Buddhism is all about peace, love, and kindness.

Simply put, Buddhists take all negativity and recycle it into positivity and life, turning it around by cultivating a serene state of mind.

You can really learn something.

5. Massages

Southeast Asia takes pampering to a whole new level. They are all about the service and taking care of the body.

You can get cheap massages in any country for $3-8 per hour. The best massages that I’ve had were in Thailand and Myanmar.

There’s no better way to spend an hour in SEA.

6. Motorbike Culture

Here, motorbikes nearly outnumber cars!

It is people’s transportation of choice because they’re cheap, small and efficient.

I always rent motorbikes ($5-8 per day) and love exploring around the country. In Laos, I biked to some welcoming, hidden villages that I otherwise would never have known about!

It’s called FREEDOM!

7. Tropical Climate

Given that SEA hovers around the equator, you can find warm temperatures almost year round. So, throw out your jeans and jackets, because you won’t need them!

Try to avoid the monsoon season from May to November. It rains a lot and can put a wrench in your travel plans. The best season to visit SEA is from December to April!

8. Natural Landscapes

I’m talking about picture-perfect beaches and luscious green countrysides.

Did you know that Indonesia has more than 17,000 islands, and likewise, The Philippines has over 7,000? That means there are hundreds of thousands of untouched beaches in these two countries alone!

Or you might want to check out the rainforests in Malaysia or Borneo Island (Ulu Temburong National Park in Brunei).

Trust me when I say these landscapes will make you feel alive.

9. Scuba Diving

I got SCUBA certified in Coron, Palawan, Philippines and I’ve been hooked ever since. If the warm turquoise ocean waters of The Philippines don’t do it for you, then check out the world famous diving at Sipadan on Borneo Island, or on the Thai Island of Koh Tao.

10. Diverse Wildlife

Southeast Asia has incredible wildlife — both under the sea and on land. The massive rainforests, humid climate, and rain means there is a lot of biodiversity. You can see elephants, tigers, monkeys, cobras, crocodiles, buffalos, orangutans and more!

11. Everything is Negotiable

You can bargain for everything, just like this motorbike taxi ride that I took in Bangkok!

Head over to a local market and cut the price down half of what they first tell you.  My best trick is — if they decline your offer, then just turn and walk away, and you’ll see them chasing you down the street with a new price.

Make sure to bargain with taxis. They’re notorious for ripping tourists off.

I even bargained for a haircut in Vietnam!

12. Tuk Tuks

A Tuk Tuk, or an auto rickshaw, is a three-wheeled go-kart taxi that is a common form of public transportation. They all have their own decorations, music, and vibe — and it’s always a fun experience!

In many countries around SEA, you can hire someone to take you around all day for $10 or less!

13. Casual Lifestyle

People are down to earth and less judgemental than most places I’ve been.  Nobody cares about your social status or how much money you have.

Also, there is no need to dress up to go to clubs and bars – unlike most places in Europe and the USA!

14. World Heritage Sites

Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, Rice Terraces of The Philippine Cordilleras. This is just for starters — there are about a hundred more.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you are inspired to visit my favorite region on earth! Please comment below with any questions or experiences.

Top offers

Get Access To Exclusive Travel Tips &
My Travel Secrets In Your Inbox

Get Access To Exclusive Travel Tips &
My Travel Secrets In Your Inbox

Everything I Recommended

Sony a7R III A Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera with FE 20mm f/1.8 G Full-Frame Lens and Accessory Bundle (6 Items)

Sony Alpha a7 III - 24MP UHD 4K Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only) - AC-UUD12 AC Adapter - ALC-B1EM Body Cap - Accessory Shoe Cap - Eyepiece Cup - Micro-USB Cable - NP-FZ100 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery (2280mAh) - Shoulder Strap - Sony 1 Year Limited Warranty - Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS E-Mount Lens
Newly Developed - Full-frame 24.2MP Back-Illuminated Exmor R CMOS Image Sensor with Evolved Image Processing
Wide ISO range - of 100 - 51200 (expandable to ISO 50 - 204800 for still images) and 15-Stop Dynamic Range at low sensitivities
World Class AF system - featuring 693 phase-detection AF points covering 93% of image area, 425 contrast AF points and fast and reliable Eye AF
Continuous Shooting - at up to 10 fps with either Mechanical Shutter or Silent Shooting and full Auto Focus/Auto Exposure tracking
Details

2021 Apple MacBook Pro (14-inch, Apple M1 Max chip with 10‑core CPU and 32‑core GPU, 64GB RAM, 1TB SSD) - Space Gray - Z15H00109

10-core - CPU, 32-core GPU
64GB - Memory
1TB - Storage
Details

TEVA Men's Hurricane Xlt2 Sandals with EVA Foam Midsole and Rugged Durabrasion Rubber Outsole

Quick-dry webbing - made from recycled plastic using traceable, verifiable REPREVE polyester yarn by Unifi supports your foot and stands up to abuse
Injection-molded strap - ends for quick and easy grip and adjustability, Easy hook-and-loop closure comes on and off quickly and gets the fit just right
Robust EVA footbed - for enhanced comfort built for all-day wear
Nylon shank - stabilizes and supports your foot on uneven terrain
Best for - day hikes, light hikes
Details

Sea to Summit Ultra-SIL Stuff Sack 3-Piece Set (2.5L, 4L, and 6.5L Ultralight Stuff Sacks)

Set of three ultralight - water-resistant stuff sacks for organizing gear and clothing in a backpack or bag, for any outdoor or travel adventure
Manufactured - from lightweight 30D Ultra-Sil Cordura nylon; slippery finish makes it easy to slide bags into tight spaces for better packing
Drawcord top opening - with durable pull tab for quick and easy access to bag contents
Round base - has a reinforced webbing pull handle for easy carry; stress points are bartacked and seams are double stitched for durability
Includes three stuff sacks - 2.5 liter (open dimensions: 4 x 10 inches, weight: 0.5 ounces), 4 liter (open dimensions: 5 x 12 inches, weight: 0.5 ounces), 6.5 liter (open dimensions: 6.5 x 13 inches, weight: 0.6 ounces)
Details

LaCie Rugged USB-C 4TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD & Rugged Mini 2TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD - USB 3.0 USB 2.0 Compatible, Drop Shock Dust Rain Resistant Shuttle Drive, Orange

Product 1: - Quickly and easily connect to the latest Windows and Mac computers with Rugged’s reversible USB-C cable, or legacy computers using the included USB 3.0 adapter
Product 1: - Enjoy fast USB-C 5Gb/s file transfers, backups, and image browsing
Product 1: - Confidently tackle any terrain with drop, crush, and rain resistance
Product 1: - Take advantage of a complimentary one-month membership to the Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps Plan for access to awesome photo and video editing apps
Product 2: - Shock, drops up to 4 feet, dust and water resistant for all-terrain use
Product 2: - For Mac compatibility this Hard Drive requires reformatting. Refer to Application Guide for more details
Product 2: - Password protection built in
Product 2: - Uses USB 3.0 which is up to 4 times faster than USB 2.0 (USB 2.0 compatible)
Details

OlimpiaFit Quick Dry Towel - 3 Size Pack of Lightweight Microfiber Travel Towels w/ Bag - Fast Drying Towel Set for Camping, Beach, Gym, Backpacking, Sports, Yoga & Swim Use

COMPACT DESIGN - This sports towel set is packable for the gym, beach, and anywhere else you need them. They can easily be condensed in size 4x smaller than a camping towel of the same size.
FAST DRYING - Made with fibers that are much thinner than a standard microfiber towel, our quick dry towels have 4x as much surface area, allowing them to absorb more water and dry up to 3x as fast.
MULTIPURPOSE - Each set includes 3 lightweight travel towels in the sizes 50"x30", 30"x15", and 15"x15". Use them as swim towels to dry off, gym towels during a workout, or small beach towels on vacation.
HIGH QUALITY - Every microfiber travel towel is made with premium material that shares the same smooth qualities as satin. They're also super absorbent, odor-resistant, and won't smell after drying.
SOFT - If you're looking for a packable beach towel or swim towel, give this one a go! It has a slip-resistant surface and extra plush microfiber that is oh-so-gentle on your face, body, and skin.
Details

GoPro HERO10 Black

More Power. More Clarity - More Stability. Revolutionary Processor: Faster. Smoother. Better. The powerful new GP2 engine changes the game—snappy performance, responsive touch controls and double the frame rate for amazingly smooth footage. Designed specifically for the demanding nature of the GoPro, the GP2 “system on a chip” is by far our fastest ever.
MORE STABILITY - Groundbreaking HyperSmooth 4.0 is our most advanced stabilization ever. 8X SLO-MO. - HERO10 Black captures up to 240 frames per second for astonishing 8x slo-mo. MORE ACCELERATION. - Record mesmerizing time-lapse videos with LIVEBURST - Record 1.5 seconds before and after your shot. Find the best pic or share it as a short video.
KEY SPECIFICATIONS - SCREEN SIZE - 23MP GP2 Chip with Improved Performance - 5.3K60/4K120/2.7K240 Video, 23MP Photos - New Front Display/Rear Touchscreen - Cloud Connected, 1080p Live Streaming - Enhanced Low-Light Performance - HyperSmooth 4.0 Image Stabilization - 33' Waterproof without a Housing - Time-Lapse & Night-Lapse, 8x Slo-Mo - Built-In Flip-Out 2-Prong Mount - 1720mAh Capacity Battery
Night-Lapse Video - In-Camera Horizon Leveling; Live View Front Display & Intuitive Rear Touchscreen; Webcam Mode & 1080p HD Live Streaming. Standard, Activity, Cinematic, Slo-Mo & Custom Presets; Voice Control; Portrait Orientation; RAW Photo Mode; Built-In Mounting
Bundle Includes – 1 x GoPro HERO10 Black - Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD and Touch Rear Screens, 5.3K HD Video, 23MP Photos, 1080p Live Streaming, Stabilization | 1 x Compatible Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery | 1 x Extreme Pro 64gb microSDXC Card | 1 x 6AVE Electronics TM Microfiber Cloth
Details

Osprey Porter 46 Travel Backpack

Meets carry-on size - restrictions for most domestic airlines - Dimensions 21.5h x 14w x 9d IN.
U-zip - zip access to main compartment with lockable zippers on main and laptop compartments - 46L total volume
Shoulder straps - and hipbelt can be tucked away when the bag is checked
Protected rear - panel zip laptop sleeve and front panel vertical zippered pocket for books or other documents
Tuckaway web loops - to attach a shoulder strap (sold separately)
StraightJacket compression - straps compress the bag to a smaller size when it isn’t full
Dual internal zippered - organization side pockets and front panel organization with zippered pocket and key clip
Reinforced cord loops - to attach an Osprey Daylite daypack (sold separately)
Details

Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones for Apple devices - Black (Wired 3.5mm)

Apple compatible devices - Applies to: QC 25 noise cancelling headphones Apple devices The remote and mic are compatible with the following Apple devices: iPhone 3GS or later iPad iPod touch 2nd generation or later iPod classic 120GB, 160GB iPod nano 4th generation or later
Deep, powerful sound - for the music you love
Lightweight, comfortable around - ear fit you can wear all day long
Control your music - and calls on Apple devices with inline mic/remote
Details

Top Offers

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Earn 60,000 points

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Earn 60,000 points

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Earn 60,000 points

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Earn 60,000 points

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Earn 60,000 points

Explore More Travel Tips

Travel Tips

Advertiser Disclosure

Drew Binsky has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Drew Binsky and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

Editorial Disclosure

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

Editorial Disclosure

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.