A Region in Review: Southeast Asia (Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia & Vietnam)

Introduction

Hi all! I know, it’s been a hot sec. I took a break from blogging (or whatever I was doing with this) because you know, college. I finally graduated from Syracuse and will have the next few weeks free until I start my job so I figured…hmm…let’s get this thing started again. I’ve had this video for a while now and totally forgot to share it. Mostly because I thought YouTube blocked this video for copyright issues because I used OneRepublic’s song, Connection. What a bop.

Anyways, enjoy the short 2-minute ish video of me and my friend Chris’ trip to Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Vietnam. There is also some clips from my Christmas trip to the Philippines.

Our Favorite Place

Chris didn’t join me in the Philippines and of course, it’s one of the countries I never rank because it’s one of my homes. So in the end, we asked ourselves which place was our favorite among Bangkok, Thailand; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Siem Reap, Cambodia; and Hanoi & Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.

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Bangkok was out of this world. We visited the city during the days leading up to New Year’s Day and the energy was just electric and the food, amazing. It’s one of those large cities that never really felt overwhelming. It definitely helped that we visited in January so the weather was perfect. Out of all the cities we visited, it just felt like it was the only one that I really could see myself live in. And oh, it also ruined me. I know it sounds dumb and obvious but damn, the Thai food in Thailand REALLY is so much better than the greasy fusion mess that we have in the US. But like, you know I’m still ordering it on GrubHub.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia literally felt like one giant mall that sprouted in the middle of nowhere. Which isn’t really a bad thing. What was most memorable however was the food. We went on a four-hour street food tour in the city and damn, one of the best curries, noodles, and nasi lemak I ever had. We even got these really refreshing local style lemonade served in little plastic bags with straws which of course reminds me of my childhood in the Philippines. Then, my favorite part: we stayed at this incredibly affordable hotel in Downtown with an infinity pool in the rooftop that overlooked the Petronas Towers. Definitely worth the $45 a night for that dope Insta shot.

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Siem Reap, Cambodia! Oh. What an absolute gem of a place. Wow. Wow. Wow. The sights, the people, the food. I will write an entirely separate post about how incredible Cambodia is because it deserves it. But this was hands down our favorite place no doubt.

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Hanoi & Ha Long Bay, Vietnam was a mixed experience for me. First, I got food poisoning which is really just a risk you have to face if you go to Southeast Asia. Even though I was born and raised in the region, my now North American stomach really can’t handle a lot of things anymore. Second, man…I really didn’t expect for Northern Vietnam to be as cold as it was. But that was a dumb mistake on my part and I was a bit underdressed. The weather didn’t cooperate our entire stay which I guess, now that I think of it, made Ha Long Bay look very mystic and eating Pho so much more better in Hanoi. I definitely want to go back when it’s sunnier, Ha Long Bay is just out of this world and overnighting in a small wooden boat was awesome.

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Final Thoughts

Southeast Asia is such an incredible place. Of course, I’m biased but it’s so worth the long flight. Pick the cheapest city to fly to in the area from the US and start from there. I highly recommend visiting all of the above places. Next time, I definitely want to go to Laos, explore more of Thailand and Malaysia and spend like…maybe two to three weeks in Cambodia. LOVE. THAT. PLACE. Stay tuned for that post!

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