Vibrancy means different things to different people. While some might associate it with the lush greenery of nature, to others, it may mean the gleaming skyline of a city. Irrespective of what the word means to you, if there's one place in the world that can be described as "vibrant", it's the ASEAN region.
From some of the world's most beautiful beaches to the most exotic and colourful street markets on the planet, the ASEAN region has a lot to offer. It's no surprise then, that the countries in this region are some of the top picks for travellers from across the globe.
For those of us living in Singapore, an ASEAN member nation itself, there’s even greater motivation. Visa-free entry, short travel times averaging 2-3 hours (it might be quicker to country hop rather than head to Orchard Road during a rush hour jam!), and low-cost budget flights make for compelling reasons to visit our ASEAN neighbours.
If you're not sure where to start, here are seven vibrant countries you must visit in the ASEAN region:
Most people associate vibrancy with the beauty of nature or man-made visual delights. However, Cambodia is proof that it can be found anywhere, even in ruins. Visitors can soak in the warm, muted hues of the country at popular destinations like Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, the architectural marvel that is the Banteay Srei, and at most of the other ruins that adorn Siem Reap. Moreover, Angkor Wat serves as the perfect observation deck for some of the most marvelous sunrises and sunsets in the world.
But that's not all Cambodia has to offer. Night owls can treat their senses to a visit to the dazzling Angkor Night Market, which is more than just the one-stop shop for one’s shopping and entertainment needs. It is also a sight to behold! All this, combined with the country's spellbinding beaches and buzzing nightlife, lands it a spot on this list
If there's one country in the world that can rightly be called a foodie's paradise, it's Indonesia. Nasi goreng, chicken satay and gado-gado have won over foodies from across the globe. However, few people know that Indonesia is also one of the largest producers of coffee in the world. In fact, one of the monikers for the drink - java - was derived from the Indonesian island of the same name!
However, that's far from all that Indonesia has in store. The world’s largest island country, Indonesia comprises over thirteen thousand islands. One gem of an island is Bali. With its perfect blend of modernity and traditional values, Bali serves as the perfect destination for backpackers as well as people seeking more indulgent vacations. The country also boasts other magnificent beaches, such as Bintan's Trikora Beach and the spellbinding Pink Beach in Komodo. This, combined with the enviable tropical weather, makes Indonesia every visitor's delight!
For anyone looking for a destination that offers value for money, Myanmar is the place to be. The country, which is home to some of the world's most dazzling stupas, has much to offer, without burning a hole in your pocket.
From the quaint Bagan temples to the hustle and bustle of Yangon, Myanmar offers a homely feeling in more ways than one. The country also boasts spectacular trekking trails, a unique cuisine and a host of natural and man-made wonders, which land it a spot on every itinerary.
The scenic locales of El Nido and Boracay, a love for karaoke that is almost infectious, and what is probably the most adorable public transport in the world - this is just a glimpse into what Philippines has to offer!
A visit to the country promises to be unforgettable; in part, because of the friendly locals, colourful jeepneys, lip-smacking delicacies and rollicking nightlife! But that's not all. Cities like Manila also boast architectural gems, making a visit to Philippines a well-rounded experience.
When most people think of Thailand, they think of an enviable nightlife and picturesque beaches. Vibrant as those may be, Thailand has a lot more to offer to visitors; including - but not limited to - scenic locales, lush greenery and a skyline that is an aesthetic delight.
While Bangkok is primarily associated with its nonpareil nightlife, the city also offers cultural liveliness in the form of quaint temples and floating markets. On the other hand, seaside towns like Krabi and Pattaya have something for everyone - from breathtaking stretches of the softest sands for people looking to unwind, to a nightlife that could put nocturnal beings to shame. Add to this the famously delectable Thai cuisine and the hospitable locals, and you have a country that deserves a spot on every bucket list.