Best for what?
If you haven't been to Asia before Thailand is a good "first" country to visit. Thailand is tourist friendly. They welcome tourists because they make lots of money off of them! Transportation is pretty good throughout Thailand. In Bangkok they have city rail service as good as what you find in the west.
Google up what to see and do in Thailand and you will get quite a few hints. If you are planning a trip to Asia you should at least visit a library and check out some travel guides on this area. Or, buy one. Read up on visa requirements, transportation from the airport, currency, customs, what to wear and scams. From Thailand it is easy to visit nearby countries. In other words - do a little research on your own too.
Use the travel forums to answer particular questions you come up with. Visit Bangkok for a few days at the beginning of your trip. You can buy your plane tickets or ground transportation at that time. Travel agencies in Thailand are the places to go to for tours. They will have a selection of tours popular with many tourists. Sometimes you can get a tour on the same day but most of the time you can leave on a tour the following morning. Tour company picks you up at your hotel and will return you there at the end of the trip.
For hotel recommendations always mention how much per night you want to spend on a room so you get suggestions you can afford. You have to plan a budget out ahead of time. Thailand has accommodation for cheap backpackers all the way up to wealthy tourists. You will be able to find cheap simple meals and fancy expensive sit down restaurants and all in between. Lots of modern malls, street vendors, nightlife, elephants, jungles, etc.
Besides Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket are popular with women tourists. Try not to waste an entire holiday only at beaches!
Bali is a great place to visit, not a country in itself but part of Indonesia. Beautiful nature, very interesting culture and first and foremost the very hospitable and friendly people. Beaches, surfing, diving. Lot's of resources for tourism, tours, hotels whatever. If you want to you can visit areas where not many tourists go. Really a fantastic introduction to Asia.
I dont think there is a best country or countries. There are ones that are more used or less used to a lot of tourists. Thailand for example is exotic, but gets so many tourists that you will find it easy to travel there with all the services provided.
And, there are the visas: You can go to countries where the entry requirements are minimal for many nationals, to save yourself some inconvenience if you dont have a preference for any country in particular.
If you are thinking about adventure and discovery, but dont know anything about any of the countries, then maybe you could do what I often do, and just pick any of them, and then go find out what it is like there. Or fly into Thailand and then visit one of its neighbouring countries.
A useful purchase for you might be South East Asia on a Shoestring, by Lonely Planet. It covers all the countries in SE Asia, and as well as giving useful travel information for when you are there, it could also be used to help you decide which countries you want to visit.
Also, consider how much time you have for travel. If you have less than a month, it might be worth spending all of it in one country, or 2 maybe.
Anyway, post here a little of what you are hoping for from your travels, and then we will be better able to give opinions for your trip.
Welcome to Travel Blog. This is a very personal answer for each of us. My favorite is Laos. It is my favorite because it is not as crowded and touristy as some of the other locations. The towns are easy to navigate. The people are friendly, the food is wonderful and it is green and lush.
When we did our around the world trip the first country we touched down in was Singapore. There are plenty of things to do. There is a large expatriate community so they cater to foreigners.
Let us know where you decide to go. We will enjoy reading your blog.
For us the Philippines came top. We loved each and every country we visited for a multitude of reasons but the Philippines just had everything we were looking for. Like others have said this is such a personal question as everyone is looking for different things.
No doubt you will enjoy all the countries you visit.. sure you will dislike some things but you can't have it good all the time!
It is a fabulous part of the world with lots to offer so have a great time whereever you go.
I'm biased, but I would choose Vietnam!
Despite Vietnam's premier place in the history books, this country still has the 'undiscovered country' feel to it and it never fails to amaze or surprise you. Tourists numbers are still moderate although this is rapidly changing. Vietnam is also the cheapest country in SE Asia, probably with the exception of Laos (I haven't been there....yet!). The people are wonderful, the food is very tasty and the beer is always cold, not to mention that wherever you go, Vietnam is generally a very safe place to travel in where crime is concerned. The traffic though is another thing altogether.............
Lombok island will be my choice ! Cheers.
Hi, i could personally suggest to first visit countries with no visas cause it is much easier. Singapore an Philippines <snip> are very tourist friendly countries. There will be no best cause each countries have their beauty to offer to the world. Also it depends on your preference whether if you enjoy beaches or you enjoy parks.
[Edited: 2011 Apr 30 11:52 - Jabe:6222 - No URL drops on forums, please.]
I agree with Nick c. Vietnam is my favourite, the people are lovely. Try going down the Meekong by slowboat in Laos. See Vietnam and go to Cambodia by boat up the Meekong Delta. This is a fabulous trip , cheap, safe and great people.
Go to the Philippines. You'll meet a lot of hospitable people in the country plus the beautiful tourist spots. Try Palawan's coral reef attraction. You'll travel by end of the year, that's the time Baguio City is much visited place because fo the very cold weather (with clouds covering everything).Or you can also visit historical yet very interesting places like Ilocos and Cebu. If you feel like going to the shores, you can go to Boracay or Puerto Galera, two of the best beaches in the world. And hey, I almost forgot you can have wake boarding activities in Camarines Sur. There are lots of thing Philippines can offer. And while in Metro Manila you can stay at one of it's budget hotels. It is cheap but very much worth it, try <snip>. One advantage of staying there is it's in the very heart of Quezon City, very close to transportation terminals. Also while in Manila you can try to visit the famouse SM and Ayala malls that flock just around the hotel. Good luck on your trip!
[Edited: 2011 May 14 08:41 - Jabe:6222 - No advertising on forums, please]
This is a very hard question coz' every one will give their own personal ideas. I think you should google to get to know abt each country and then choose your favorite.
Personally, Vietnam is my favorite destination. That country is amazing. A lot to see and feel there.
If you're a beach lover, i may suggest you some awesome beaches. They're all marvelous, stunning and inspiring.
-My Khe beach in Da Nang
-Phu Quoc in Khanh Hoa
-Mui Ne in Binh Thuan
-Halong Bay in Quang Ninh
I promise all of them will make you strongly impressed.
If you prefer something peaceful and romantic, Sapa and Dalat will be good choice. Hanoi (Vietnam capital) and Ho Chi Minh city (the most developing one in Vn) are worth to see as well. Hanoi is a small city with the combination of tradition and modern whereas nightlife in Ho Chi Minh seems to never stop. Both of them are interesting enough to keep you stay longer than you expect.
Hue, Hoi An, My Son are some other stops that you should not miss. Prepare yourself a new wardrobe when you're in Hoi An. You may carry a new shop fr Hoi An to yr country.
SE Asia is full of interesting things to see. You may gradually see them all.
hey there! welcome! ^^
i would totally chose malaysia. it has such a complex mix of food, cultures, and views. you can head to the beach, cool off in the highlands with lots of tea, and, of course, you can party it up in kuala lumpur. one of the best weeks of travel i ever had!
I would also prefer Malaysia, It has stunning natural beauty and magnificent architectural wonders, Kuala Lumpur one of the most attractive destinations of travellers. I found a website www.airticket.co.uk where you can get all the travellers information like booking flights, hotel etc.
thank you so much all for the responses! they are all very helpful and I love hearing personal reviews of a place from real travelers!
Well each country has its specific set of attractions and is unique in itself. Personally the Southeast Asian countries that I like are Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
Well, i think east java of indonesia is a good choice to visit.
Imagine you can visit Mt Bromo, with is spectacular sunrise.
Or Ijen Crater, the most acid crater in the world.
Or Baluran National Park to enjoy Africa-like Safari.
Or G-Land one of the best surf paradise.
or Jember Fasion Carnaval : the longest catwalk of fashion show
and many undiscovered beauty
Southeast Asia is unique place in this world. There are so many countries for visit in Southeast Asia. Thailand, Indonesia, Phillipens are the best country for visit.
Agree its a personal decision really.
Cambodia would be my personal pick of favourite countries for reasons I cant quite put my finger on.
Thailand is easy travelling - as Hal has mentioned its a diverse and tourist friendly country.
Indonesia - I love the outter islands heading west from Bali but really dislike Bali itself..Lombok, Lembongan, Gili islands, Komodo are more to my liking and less "tourist orientated" although Lombok has a very good understanding of tourists needs/wants.
For me Philippines still the best destination in South East Asia, almost all of the provinces from north down to the south of the Philippines has lot of beautiful places to offer not to mention the sumptuous delicacies and very accomodating people.
I just love the beaches especially in Boracay and Puerto Galera.
[Edited: 2011 Oct 17 10:51 - Rat on the Road:23681 - No advertising on forums please]