Off the Beaten Track in South East Asia

Published: 11/21/2012

A trip to South East Asia gives people the opportunity to really try something new. Many tourists end up following a well-trodden route, and this means that they spend most of their time with other tourists. That’s fine if people want the same old, same old, but it does not have to be that way. The more adventurous type of tourist is going to find that kind of holiday to be a bit tedious. Here are a few suggestions for where these people can get off the beaten track in South East Asia.

Chiang Khan, Thailand

Chiang Khan is a riverside Town in Loei Province. It is beginning to attract plenty of backpacker types, but it is too out of the way to attract the usual tourist crowd. This is a great place to go and relax for a few weeks. There is plenty of cheap accommodation and places to eat. Visitors are still rare enough here that they get treated a bit like celebrities.

Kep, Cambodia

Kep was once the most popular beach resort in South East Asia. This was decades ago when the French ruled this part of the world. The old colonial resorts are still there, but they are now mostly just ruins. Slowly though, tourists are returning to this area because it has so much to offer. The beach is far less crowded than Sihanoukville (the current popular beach in Cambodia), and there is plenty to see in the local area.

Mai Chau, Vietnam

It is surprising that Mai Chau is not that popular among foreign visitors to Northern Vietnam. It is hugely popular with the Vietnamese, but tourists usually choose the mountainous area of Sapa instead. Mai Chau is a wonderful place, and there are plenty of hill tribes here to visit. It is arguably nicer than Sapa, and it has not been spoiled by too much tourism.

Savannakhet, Laos

The Thais flock to Savannakhet because there is a large casino here – this type of gambling is illegal in Thailand. Savannakhet is mostly ignored by the foreign tourists though. This is a laid back city with some interesting European style buildings – a reminder that this was once a part of the French Empire. The town is right on the banks of the Mekong River, and this greatly adds to its charms. There is not much in Savannakhet that is directed at tourists, but this is part of the charm of the place.

Cha Am, Thailand

Cha Am is one of the most popular beaches in southern Thailand, but it is mostly visited by Thais. Foreign visitors prefer to stay in nearby Hua Hin. This is a bit of a shame because Cha Am has so much to offer tourists. There is a real party atmosphere on the beach at the weekends with hordes of Thais enjoying picnics. The bars and restaurants here are also much cheaper than Hua Hin. There is a reasonably sized ex-pat population here, and they seem to prefer that Cha Am is off the beaten track.

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