As South East Asia continues to increase in popularity, it has started to become harder and harder to find destinations that are not only off the beaten path, but also worth exploring. If you want to explore an area that is free of nightclubs, full English breakfasts, and sunburn tourists, keep reading. We have come up with a list of four places that are hardly ever discussed in travel magazines, or online.
Ko Rong Island, Cambodia
Ko Rong is the second largest island in Cambodia, but definitely the most beautiful. Virtually untouched by tourism, the island’s commune has only been in existence for 15 years. There are four villages on the island, and most of the residents there make their living by fishing or farming. But what most tourists will be impressed by are the 8km of beautiful beaches. The jungle backdrop, the coral reefs, and the fact that there are hardly any other tourists around at all, makes this an awesome off the beaten path location.
Bagan is one of the most historical locations in Myanmar, however due to its location, it is rarely visited by tourists. Said to be, at one time, the centre of Theravada Buddhism, Bagan has never been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With temples dating back to the 11th century, however, there are lots of great archaeological wonders to see in the area. Just remember that the area lacks many of the modern amenities that most tourists are used to – though that’s what you expect from an off the beaten track location, right?
Okay, okay, so we know that Sumatra is a huge area, however it is still pretty much classed as being off the beaten track (especially as most tourists visiting Indonesia head to Bali). The majority of Sumatra has not been developed for tourism, so whilst you will find guest houses here, more often than not you will find you are the only visitor. And with some amazing sites, such as crystal clear lakes, and volcano craters, you’ll have lots to see and do on your travels.
Ko Kood, Thailand
Ko Kood in Thailand is so far off the beaten track that we don’t really advise that you visit the area for more than a few days, unless you plan on taking a long sabbatical. Tourists visiting the area will be provided with a hut located on a powdery white beach – bliss. The huts are more comfortable than they look, and you may feel like an extra on The Beach! Ko Kood is pretty much deserted all year round, even during the peak season, so if you want to truly relax whilst taking in some of the most gorgeous scenery you will ever see, this is the place to visit.
South East Asia is a popular continent, and one that many people feel has been ruined by tourism. If you want to get a glimpse of what it used to be like, consider visiting one of the above locations. You won’t regret it!