Southeast Asia is one of the most popular backpacking destinations. From cheap flight tickets within the region to friendly locals and amazing food, there are many reasons to travel to the region.

bangkok cityscape, by evoflash
When to go

Southeast Asia is an ideal travel destination anytime of the year. The countries that make up the region are located within the Tropics and tend to be hot and humid most of the year. March to June is the hottest time of the year and temperatures can rise up to 35 degrees Celsius. The rainy season occurs from June to October in most countries in the region. The weather is most temperate from November to February.


Travelling in Southeast Asia is very affordable. The prices are a welcome surprise for any first time backpacker to the region. Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos are the most affordable countries. While Thailand is one of the more expensive countries in the region, the country serves as a good base for travel. With enough effort, cheap tickets to Bangkok can be found for a reasonable price if you look for it at least 3-4 months in advance.

A backpacker should be able to live on £10 a day. Local food is inexpensive and can cost less than 66 pence. Hostels can range from £4 to £8 per day in Thailand. In Vietnam and Laos, rooms can cost as little as £1. In Indonesia, hostel prices can go up to £7.

What to pack

Given the heat and humidity, backpackers should make sure to carry light short- and long-sleeve shirts and pants. Mosquitoes can be a nuisance while travelling, so it important to have light-coloured clothing. If possible, try to ensure that your clothing is made of fabric that wicks sweat away from the body.

Sandals and flip flops should be the footwear of choice during the day. At night, travelers should try to wear lightweight hiking or canvas shoes.

Safety is always an important consideration while travelling. A first aid kit is a must while travelling within Southeast Asia. The kit should include bandages, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipe, aspirin, and anti-diarrhea pills.

You should also make sure to bring some basic toiletries. A toothbrush, toothpaste, body wash or soap, razor, find out if you should use deodorant or antiperspirant, are all your friends while travelling.

Where to go

From temples to jungles to islands, there is a lot to explore in Southeast Asia. In Thailand, Bangkok and Chiang Mai are two cities that should be on any backpackers list. Chiang Mai is one of the most culturally significant cities in the country, while Bangkok presents the fast paced action of an emerging city. Backpackers who are looking for festivities should make sure to attend the Full Moon Party in the island of Ko Phangan

The Buddhist temple Angkor Wat in Cambodia is one of the most unique and beautiful religious monuments in the world.

Malaysia and Indonesia provide ideal settings to learn how to dive.

Bali is a good stop for backpackers who are looking to relax a little. The beaches are as great for surfing as they are for hanging out and meeting other backpackers.

Southeast Asia has many great sites and adventures to offer backpackers. While the countries and culture may seem foreign, they offer an opportunity for backpackers to learn more about other people and themselves.