South-East Asia is a traveler’s Mecca with more than just ancient forests, dramatic landscapes, color-changing lakes, and sandy beaches to offer tourists. If you look keenly enough, you can still find some amazing unknown gems that are not overrun with tourists and persistent vendors.
5 Unknown Gems in South-East Asia
#1 Cheow Lan Lake, Thailand
If you think waking up to a sunrise over a foggy lake mirrored with lustrous reflections of towering limestone cliffs capped with dense rain forests happens in movies, then chances are you’ve never heard of Cheow Lan Lake.
It is one of Thailand’s best-kept secrets—a stunningly beautiful location that is tucked away from the multitudes of Phuket. Some fun things to do here include fishing, kayaking, bird watching, and extended wildlife viewing.
You will also find several luxurious floating resorts and an annex of the ethical elephant sanctuary.
#2 Encounter Jakarta’s Old Town, Indonesia
Traffic-choked Jakarta hides an interesting historic heart in Kota, its Old Town. The ancient location is home to historic colonial buildings, like the Portuguese churches, Dutch townhouses, and Art Deco banks. In the backstreets, Hindu and Muslim arts and theatre thrive.
If ever you visit this hidden gem, make sure to wear comfortable shoes to cope with the cobbled square walkways.
#3 El Nido’s Glowing Lagoon, Philippines
El Nido is a world of islands and limestone peaks with wild jungle ruffs. Tucked amid its forty-five islands is a glowing lagoon that is incapable of dimming its palette even by night. Under a full moon, this lagoon glows like pale jade.
Rent a kayak or hire a boat to take you to this unspoiled, other-worldly beauty.
#4 Atauro Island, Timor-Leste
The raw, sun-blasted paradise of Timor-Leste boasts of some of the best diving and snorkelling destinations in South-East Asia. Located about two hours’ boat ride from Dili, Timor-Leste, this island is rarely visited.
The isolation means you will be rewarded with magnificent untouched reefs filled with turtles, small sharks, endangered dugongs, and technicoloured corals, among other things.
#5 Ipoh City, Malaysia
While Penang is renowned for its tantalizing street food, two hours south lies the little-known Ipoh City.
Visit this hidden gem to explore its exotic cave temples, and colonial charm with beautiful structures like the Birch Clock Tower, the Old Post Office, and the Railway Station set around the slow-flowing Kinta River.
Don’t forget to savour some of its cheap, local delicacies like char kway teow (prawns with stir-fried noodles) and ayam tauge (fried chicken and beansprouts). Also, you will get to experience one-of-a-kind architecture that stands side by side with rickety coffee shops among colonial buildings.
Off the Beaten Path
When touring South-East Asia, getting off the beaten path at least once. The experiences are unique and memorable, and we guarantee that, if you try any of these hidden gems, you will not be disappointed.
The best part is that while you’re here, you can still have a relaxing evening playing your favourite casino slot games at 918kiss (on your smartphone) without spending a dime on outside entertainment.