Highlights Of South East Asia - Beaches, Monuments and Temples

Tropical Beaches And Islands

A major draw of this region for many is the beaches, as postcard-perfect white sand, blue sea beaches are dotted about throughout the region. Thailand has arguably the best and most wide-ranging, from numerous low-key beaches and islands around Krabi and Trang, to upscale resorts on Phuket, Ko Samui and Ko Phi Phi (of 'The Beach' fame). Malaysis is not far behind though, with popular beaches including Langkawi, Penang, the Perhentian islands and Tioman island. With over 13,000 islands, Indonesia has plenty of beaches but the most popular are those on or near Bali and nearby Lombok.

While the highest profile resorts can be moderately crowded, it's not hard to find a nearly deserted beach if that's what you're looking for. Spectacular scuba diving and snorkelling opportunities abound around these beaches and islands too.

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Ancient Monuments

The amazing 1000 year old temple complex at Angkor Wat in Cambodia is one of the modern wonders of the world, and undoubteldy the top attraction in this category. Just as ancient and almost as impressive are Indonesia's Borobudur and Bagan in Myanmar, definitely not to be missed sights if you're nearby. If you can't make it to Angkor Wat, Thailand's Sukhothai or Ayuthaya ancient cities offer some sense of it on a somewhat less dramatic scale.
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Temples, Mosques, Religious And Royal Sites

It's not only the ancient temples ruins that are worth seeing, as the glittering spires, pagodas and chedis of the modern day temples are another one of the region's most impressive sights. Thailand's top religious sights are Bangkok's Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho and Wat Arun, and Chiang Mai's Doi Suthep, though there are many, many others. The same could be said for Mynamar, where the impressive Shwegaon Pagoda in Yangon is similar in style and scale. The temples in Laos aren't quite as opulent as those in its neighbours, though the somewhat bizarre Buddha Park in Vientiane is like nowhere else. In majority-Muslim Malaysia, there are impressive mosques in Kuala Lumpur and Petrajaya along with Hindu and Chinese-style temples too.  
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