When you’re travelling around, sometimes you want to get away from your fellow tourists and really immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the local area. You don’t want to fall for the moneymaking schemes invented to bring in the tourists and sightseers: you want to see the real Off the Beaten Track in Southeast Asia.
To do that you have to do a bit more research, looking around for the less obvious places to visit and really learning about your intended destination. By doing this you’ll also save money: heavily tourist areas tend to raise prices for the visitors, whereas quieter places are more reasonable. Even if you’re flying to South East Asia with well-known companies like First Choice, you can still take these lesser-known ideas for a unique experience.
The north part of the country is the best region to visit if you’re looking to truly lose yourself in a tourist-free adventure to Thailand. Visit Isaan for the oldest temple in Thailand at That Phanom, or explore the national parks, mountains and rivers of the region. Nan is also a great destination in the north, and a good gateway into Laos if you’re travelling there next.
No visit to Thailand is complete without a visit to Bangkok, and even though this city is a bit of a tourist draw it is possible to find lots of off the beaten path activities and sights here. Visit the Rod Fai open-air bazaar to comb through collectibles laid out on the ground, or see a very sinister exhibition at the Bangkok Forensic Museum.
The best areas to visit in Bali are off the beaten track, so rent yourself a motorbike or a car and visit places like Munduk village in the northern mountains, or Seranga beach in the south. To get even further afield, visit Nusa Penida Island off the south of Bali, full of quiet villages and spectacular scenery.
Go to Calaguas Island, where you can’t find phone signal and you can lounge on the beach away from everything. If you’re looking for some cultural sights away from other tourists, the oldest mosque in the Philippines is Masjid Sheik Makdum, which was built in 1380.
Finally, rediscover Kalinga, a beautiful remote province secreted amongst the Sierra Madre Mountains.
It’s truly rewarding to step off the well-trodden routes when you’re travelling, because if you stick to the tourist trails you’ll never see anything fresh. When you step away from the familiar, you’ll find new things, spend less money, and see destinations that many people will never see in their lifetime.