Southeast Asia is one of the most diverse regions in the world. Its collective population, at about 650 million people, makes up nearly 10 percent of the world’s population. The 10 countries of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam cover a land area of over 4.43 million square kilometres, about 3 percent of the world’s land area.
The cultural, religious, ethnic and social diversity of Southeast Asia guarantees visitors plenty of colourful festivities including traditional New Year water splashing festivals celebrated by Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand; lion dances and fireworks to welcome Chinese New Year in Chinese communities across Southeast Asian countries; the unique Hungry Ghost Festival, observed by Buddhists and Taoists; Laos’ one-of-a-kind Boun Bang Fai or Rocket Festival; and rip-roaring full moon parties in Bali, Cambodia’s Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem islands, and Thailand’s Koh Phangan.
With its dense tropical forests, majestic mountains, unspoiled islands, stunning beaches, cascading waterfalls, captivating lakes and more, Southeast Asia offers a tonne of opportunities for visitors to enjoy a wide range of adventure holidays as well as some of the most spectacular sights in the world.
Southeast Asia is also a melting pot of delicious cuisines, a mix of sweet, salty, spicy, sour, bitter and umami flavours that offer something for every palate. While there are core similarities for many of the dishes, there are also significant national and regional differences.
Get ready for a fun and mouth-watering adventure as some of Southeast Asia’s best foods are found in humble spots such as open-air food markets, night bazaars, street carts, roadside shacks and back lanes. No visit to Southeast Asia would be complete without a taste of each country’s national or most popular dish: Brunei’s ambuyat, Cambodia’s fish amok, Indonesia’s nasi goreng, Laos’ larb, Malaysia’s nasi lemak, Myanmar’s mohinga, the Philippines’ adobo, Singapore’s chilli crab, Thailand’s pad Thai, and Vietnam’s pho.
After having your fill, indulge in some retail therapy and you’ll discover that Southeast Asia is a treasure trove of quality artisanal and handcrafted goods as well as all things irresistible.