the POSH guide
The best of Southeast Asia

POSH Destinations

Bangkok Demons
A 'demon' decoration in Bangkok's spectacular Grand Palace. One of the city's many unique cultural attractions.

 
There's an amazing array of choices to select from when considering a vacation in Southeast Asia, from glittering modern cities, to sprawling ancient monuments, to some of the best beaches and islands in the world.

Thailand's capital Bangkok is a teeming metropolis of more than 10 Million people, with high rise offices, huge shopping complexes, an increasingly sophisticated night life and 24 hour traffic jams. Yet, at the heart of the city is a gleaming royal palace surrounded by an old city full of colonial era buildings, museums, art galleries and glittering Buddhist temples. South of Thailand, at the tip of the Malay peninsula, is the thoroughly modern city-state of Singapore. Although some wags have labeled it "Asia for beginners", Singapore has its own charms, which increase almost daily as the country sheds its old straight-laced image. Hanoi may lack the modernity and glitz of the other Asian capitals, but more than makes up for it in a cool sophistication that combines Asian style with European charm.

While Southeast Asia's modern cities have their fair share of impressive sights, none yet matches the grandeur that can still be seen in the ancient capital of the Khmer kingdom, popularly known as Angkor Wat. The base for exploring the old temples and palaces is the rather small town of Siem Reap, which nonetheless has more than a few of Asia's finest hotels. Ancient temples are also one of the primary attractions of the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai. However, unlike Angkor Wat, Chiang Mai was never totally abandoned, and today its temples are as popular as ever. But 700 year old Buddhist temples aren't the only draw. Chiang Mai is one of the leading centers of contemporary Thai design, as well as a great base for adventures ranging from white-water rafting to elephant training.

A rich and exotic culture is also one of the main draws of the Indonesian island of Bali. Although perhaps better known as a sun and sand destination, Bali's many villages and impressive temples are worth exploring, as is the island's thriving modern art scene. Thailand also has a wide variety of islands and beaches on offer. Perhaps the most developed destination is the country's largest island, Phuket. However, depending on the time of year, other islands such as Samui or Koh Chang may be better choices. You don't have to go to an island to find a pleasant beach though. Why not find out what has attracted Thailand's royalty to Hua Hin for more than a 100 years.

 

Travel Insurance
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