The Best Cities in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is an exciting and diverse place to visit, which is why tourism is one of the biggest industries in many of the countries here. Not only are these stunning places home to some of the most spectacular natural and man-made wonders in the world, but they are also highly skilled at catering to the millions of tourists that visit them every year. While the beaches and mountains of Southeast Asia tend to take the limelight, the cities are also well worth exploring. Whether you’re looking for ancient temples or street food, these cities have everything you could need and more.

Phnom Phen, Cambodia

Budget-conscious travelers will revel in the glorious affordability of Cambodia’s capital city. The rich culture, crumbling temples, bustling bars, and world-class cuisine of Phnom Penh are a delight for the senses. Exotic scents from the markets drift through the streets, while the ancient temples of Angkor Wat draw tourists from all over the world to take in their splendor, particularly at sunrise. Visit the Royal Palace and the National Museum before heading to the market to peruse the silk, carvings, paintings, and antiques on sale. Just a short drive out of town will take you to the famous beaches of Cambodia, so remember to pack your swimsuit! From street food stalls to five-star cuisine, there is something to suit every taste and budget in this bustling city.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Located on the banks of the Red River, Vietnam’s capital city is one of the most ancient capitals in the world. Classical French colonial buildings sit alongside ancient Vietnamese pagodas and contemporary architecture in the center of the city, while the surrounding countryside is filled with green parks, stunning mountains, and traditional villages. The famous Ha Long Bay is a short drive away so there is plenty to see and do outside of the city as well. There are loads of activities to enjoy in the city center, however, from delicious street food to traditional entertainment. Wander the beautiful streets of the Old Quarter to take some artistic Instagram-worthy photos and sample the street food on offer, before taking a Vespa to explore the lush green parks outside of town.

Taipei City, Taiwan

Although it is a small island nation, Taiwan is filled with so many things to see and do, especially in its capital, Taipei City. Whether you’re looking for night markets, temples, beaches, or food then Taipei City has all of that and more. Explore the historical neighborhoods, nearby volcanoes and temples by day and then at night sample Taiwanese cuisine at the street food stalls and night markets. There are plenty of accommodation options to suit every budget, from the budget-friendly Old Door Hostel to the comfortable Formosa where the first PokerStars Live Asia event was held  Take a day trip from Taipei to visit the nearby waterfall and famous cat village and make the most of the highly efficient public transport systems around the city while you’re there.

Bangkok, Thailand

One of the most visited cities in the world, Bangkok tends to be a stopping point for travelers seeking the white beaches of the islands in the south or mountainous adventures in the north. However, anyone flying through Bangkok without so much as a sleepover is missing out. Bangkok is a truly diverse city with centuries-old Thai homes and gold-spired temples sitting alongside huge modern malls and contemporary skyscrapers. Street food stalls line the sidewalks while long-tail boats sail down the canals. Visit the National Museum before taking the BTS (Skytrain) to Sukhumvit to explore the local nightlife. Bangkok is a city where anything can happen, and it is well worth staying for as long as possible to soak it all in.

Whether you’re looking for a cosmopolitan short break or a long adventure filled with culture, the cities of Southeast Asia have everything you could possibly need. With warm climates, stunning views, and plenty of things to see and do, the only trouble you will have is choosing which city to explore first!