Escape the Crowds: Southeast Asia’s Quieter Gems

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Daniel is a copywriter who has well and truly been bitten alive by the 'travel bug'. After ticking off several North American National Parks and exploring Europe by train, his sights are now set on South East Asia. Usually with at least one camera locked and loaded, you'll find Daniel wherever there are mountains, lakes or beaches.

Southeast Asia has been a hallmark for world travelers for decades. Because of this, it’s tough to find places away from the crowds and party island lifestyle. But if you look hard enough, you can still find some hidden, quieter spots, untouched by tourists. Let’s check them out!

Koh Rong Island, Cambodia

Koh Tong Island - Southeast Asia
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Undoubtedly, this beach stands out as one of the most exquisite in the world. Cambodia actually has two Koh Rong Islands, one is a popular diving location, and the other is a relatively secluded beach.

Its breathtaking jungle backdrop, vibrant coral reef, and the serene feeling of being nearly alone in paradise enhance its unparalleled beauty.

This spot is becoming increasingly popular with tourists, but for now, it is still worth traveling to if you get the chance!

Kapas Island, Malaysia

Kapas Island
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This spot has been hidden from tourists, with the Malaysian people rightly keeping it to themselves! However, outside of school vacation, you’ll have this spot to yourself. Don’t forget to pack your swimming gear and goggles; you’ll need them here!

Koh Lipe, Thailand

Koh Lipe
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Considered the Maldives of Southeast Asia, Koh Lipe offers a small-town experience with an awe-inspiring backdrop.

Divers and snorkelers will be able to spend weeks in this spot, enjoying its crystal clear waters and overflowing marine life. Not a fan of swimming? No problem, set yourself up on the white-sand beaches with a book in hand and prepare to unwind like you never before.

Sumatra, Indonesia

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Compared to its neighbors, Sumatra is a world away from streets and bars full of 20-something tourists. It offers unparalleled natural beauty, and you’re more likely to bump into locals than drunk Australians; what more could you want?

With Lake Toba and Lake Meninjau offering tantalizing fresh waters right in the center of a volcano crater, you can’t go wrong in this region.

Kuta, Lombok, Indonesia

Kuta, Lombok
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Far from the tourist trap namesake in Bali, Lombok’s Kuta offers peace and serenity for everyone. You’ll fall in love with the laid-back culture here, and if you’re a surfer, you won’t ever want to leave.

If you’re looking to get a bit more rural, grab a motorbike and venture over to the nearby villages and secluded coves that offer a real escape from tourists.

Sa Pa, Vietnam

Sa Pa, Vietnam
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Nestled in the northwest of the country, Sa Pa exudes a delightful blend of colors and charm, leaving a lasting imprint on your heart. Aptly referred to as the “town of clouds,” its cooler climate offers a welcome respite from the heat found in other parts of Vietnam.

Make sure to bring your hiking boots and make the most of the beautiful trails hidden in the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Luang Prabang, Laos

Luang Prabang, Laos
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Once the royal capital of Laos, Luang Prabang is home to some truly breathtaking architectural wonders. You won’t find the city overrun by cars or motorbikes either. Head out on day trips to local waterfalls, and in the evenings enjoy the night markets in the city center.

Palawan Island, the Philippines

Palawan Island
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Palawan Island is fast becoming a well-known spot for a slice of heaven on earth. So it’s best to head there before it becomes entirely overrun by tourists!

Expect to find the bluest of waters, trips to the coral reef, and a cocktail or two to round off the perfect day in one of the Philippines’ finest islands.

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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If you want to get away from full-moon parties and find some history and culture, Yogyakarta is the place to go.

Here you will find The Royal Palace of Yogyakarta, home to the Sultan of Yogyakarta, and other magnificent cultural wonders.

Bohol, the Philippines

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The Philippines is home to a vast array of mesmerizing islands, with Bohol being one of its finest.

Famous for its Chocolate Hills, a natural wonder that continues to defy full explanation. During the dry season, these hills undergo a remarkable transformation, donning a cocoa-brown hue that starkly contrasts with the surrounding greenery, creating an awe-inspiring and unforgettable view.

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