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First Trip to Southeast Asia? A Simple Guide for your First Journey to the S.E.A

Hey, there! Thanks for dropping by to this post. First of all, congrats! If this is your first journey to the SEA, then heads up – now, they can’t stop you from chasing the sunsets anymore. This is your first step towards many – and I’m really excited to the journey that awaits you THERE!


I’ve had my first flight when I was 22 – after that, I’ve been backpacking (and teaching) to Southeast Asia ever since. Anyway, enough of my stories but below, I listed some recommendations of the countries you may want to consider when buying your first flight ticket to Southeast Asia. Enjoy!


Sawadee ka, tuk-tuk and pad thai – the three things Thailand is remarkable about. Let’s add Buddha and shopping! Bangkok is the cheapest travel I’ve had back in 2013 – and if you’re a backpacker like I was, I spent $300 for two weeks of my stay here, including cheap hostels and street foods. Say Hi to Bangkok and define another market experience!

Best Marketplace in Bangkok? Click here! 

Bangkok Floating Market


If you’re a little fancy, HK fits you. There are a lot of activities to do here – from the affordable Kowloon town to the luxurious Hong Kong Island, its an absolute getaway for those who wants to chill at the top of world (118th F, Ozone at Ritz-Carlton) or just have a quiet coffee afternoon nearside the Victoria Harbour.




Noisy, dirty and lovely – this is Hanoi. If you’re environmentally flexible like me, you will enjoy sitting on the little chairs and tables in the middle of the streets – meeting other backpackers and friendly locals. 



Just because I’m a Filipina doesn’t mean I have to recommend this but really, if you have not been to my country yet then you don’t know what you’re missing. Check it out, from scuba diving to chasing butterflies, you will for sure come back again. I guarantee it.

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— and the number one on my list, is the all time famous, Bali. Go there to know why – if you’re looking for a place full of life, cheap great foods and memorable first time adventure, then you won’t regret choosing this island.  


Felt the fun while reading? Well, the next thing you know, I’m already the one browsing your post! Let me know once you’ve done your pick!

and hey, I’m on IG. Let’s follow each other! 





15 thoughts on “First Trip to Southeast Asia? A Simple Guide for your First Journey to the S.E.A”

  1. A good selection of places to visit. Many are our favourites. Thailand is definitely a cheaper holiday abroad. But some people may be a bit intimated with the language barrier on a first trip abroad. We are in Hong Kong now and this would be an interesting first trip. Language is not an issue. But as you say, cost may be a bit higher. The Philippines are still on our travel wish list after travelling for many many years. It really needs to move higher on the list. Especially since we are scuba divers. Bali is always a great option.

  2. I haven’t been to any of those countries, but I’ve heard so much! I’m sure I would love a visit. It’s so easy to catch the travel bug, and I love to explore any new city I can.

  3. Some great choices for peoples’ first trips abroad. Here in the UK, first trips are often within Europe, with shorter / more affordable travel being a factor. I’d say that Hong Kong is a great choice for English-speakers nervous about somewhere too overwhelming — although Hong Kong is super exciting, it’s also a combination of Chinese and European (British) culture. Thailand another fantastic choice!

  4. I have been travelling for over 8 years now and I still haven’t been to two of the cities you’ve listed – Hanoi & Hong Kong. Having said that, I completely agree with Bangkok as one of the first countries you can consider visiting, given that it’s cheap and touristy. Also, Bali is pretty awesome, I love it. Palawan Philipppines is another gorgeous place to go to!

  5. I’ve been to a few places on your list and I can definitely recommend Bangkok as being the cheapest. I also really loved Bali because it was just so beautiful. I’ve heard the food in Hanoi is really amazing though, so I’d love to go there. I’m sure anyone traveling to SE Asia for the first time would like any of these though.

  6. They’re all fun places to visit in Southeast Asia. I’ve been to all except Palawan, which is a destination I’d really like to go. I’d also include Singapore and Malaysia on your list.

  7. Thanks for the tips. Hopefully I will have covered all of those in about three months time. Really looking forward to returning to Phillipines after 2 years which is when I first visited. I did a lot of surfing in Siargao and diving in Boracay (which I heard is now closed for tourists). Very nice country!

  8. I have heard great things about Philippines and seen many beautiful pics. Are there dangerous fishes in the sea?

  9. You definitely have some amazing places on your list. Southeast Asia is a must for us some day. We want to go to all of the places you listed plus more. Vietnam seems like it may be the most exciting culturally for us.

  10. It’s a great experience to leave your country for the first time and explore the world. South East Asia is my fav part of the world and I am glad you have shared your part of experience in this countries. Thanks for the share.

  11. Being a solo traveller, I’ve been to some of these places and they were really easy to travel even for a single women. What’s pretty shocking is the picture of the pigs on the motorbike. I’m no vegetarian, but that’s horrid.

  12. You’ve picked some fantastic locations in Southeast Asia to explore! I haven’t been to Hanoi and Hong Kong as yet but they’re on my list. I love travelling to Southeast Asia, my particular favs were Palawan and Bali. I also loved Malaysia.

  13. Great suggestions for those considering where to visit for a first trip to SEA. I have been to Hong Kong and Bangkok and absolutely loved them. But the rest of your suggestions are still on my wishlist!

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