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Travel Southeast Asia: A sustainable guide

Article by GVI


Posted: December 15, 2022

Southeast Asia is a captivating and varied region that offers a wealth of travel experiences, from the bustling cities of Thailand and Vietnam to the idyllic islands of Indonesia and the Philippines.

Travel Southeast Asia: Start here!

Travel in Southeast Asia is relatively affordable

One of the key reasons that people travel Southeast Asia is the affordability. In many of the countries in the region, the cost of living is relatively low, making it possible to enjoy a high standard of living on a budget. This means that travellers can often stay in comfortable accommodation, enjoy delicious local cuisine and experience a range of activities without breaking the bank.

Travel Southeast Asia for perfect beaches

Travel in Southeast Asia means adventure or simply enjoying on some of the world’s most stunning beaches. The region boasts an incredible array of coastlines, from the crystal-clear waters and towering palms of Thailand’s Koh Samui to the powdery white sands and turquoise lagoons of the Philippines’ Boracay Island. Whether you’re looking to relax in a secluded cove, try water sports, or party the night away on a vibrant beachfront, Southeast Asia has something to offer.

Southeast Asian culture and history

In addition to its natural beauty, the region is also known for its rich cultural heritage. Southeast Asia is home to a number of ancient temples, palaces, and other historical attractions that offer a glimpse into the region’s fascinating past. In Cambodia, for example, travellers can visit the incredible Angkor Wat temple complex, one of the largest religious monuments in the world. In Thailand, the ancient city of Ayutthaya offers a glimpse into the country’s royal history, with its ornate temples and palaces.

Travel in Southeast Asia and the risks of overtourism

One potential downside to the popularity of travel to Southeast Asia is the threat of overtourism. In recent years, many of the region’s most popular destinations have drawn crowds of tourists. This has led to concerns about the impact on the environment, as well as the potential for overcrowding and other negative effects on the local communities.

Southeast Asia travel destinations that have struggled with overtourism

Bali, Indonesia

Bali is a popular destination for travellers from around the world, and in recent years the island has seen a significant influx of tourists. This has compromised roads and water supply, and has led to concerns about environmental degradation and overcrowding.

Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

Koh Phi Phi is a small island off the coast of Thailand that became well-known after the release of the movie “The Beach” in 2000. Since then, the island has seen masses of visitors, which has done damage to the landscape.

Boracay, Philippines

Boracay is a small island in the Philippines that is known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife. In 2018, the Philippine government closed the island to tourists for six months in order to address concerns about overdevelopment and environmental degradation.

Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Sihanoukville is a coastal city in Cambodia that has seen a rapid increase in development in recent years, as investors have built casinos, hotels and other tourist infrastructure. This has led to concerns about the impact on the local community.

Sustainable travel in Southeast Asia

Here are a few tips to help make your Southeast Asia travel more sustainable:

  • Choose accommodations and tour operators that are committed to environmental and social responsibility. Look for hotels and resorts that have received sustainability certifications, and consider booking tours and activities with operators that are committed to responsible tourism practices.
  • Support local businesses and communities. When you’re travelling in southeast Asia, try to eat at local restaurants and shops, and consider purchasing souvenirs from local artisans or cooperatives. This will help to support the local economy and ensure that the benefits of tourism are shared by the community.
  • Respect the local environment and culture. When you travel Southeast Asia, it’s important to be mindful of your impact on the places you visit. This means avoiding activities that could harm the environment, such as littering or disturbing wildlife, and respecting local customs and traditions. Better yet, join a conservation program to make the most of your trip.
  • Be prepared and plan ahead. Before you travel to Southeast Asia, research the destinations you’ll be visiting and make sure you’re prepared for any challenges you might face. This can include things like packing appropriate clothing and gear, learning a few basic phrases in the local language, and understanding the local laws and regulations.
  • Overall, sustainable travel in Southeast Asia is all about being mindful of your impact on the places you visit and making choices that support local communities and the environment. By following these tips, you can help to ensure that Southeast Asia remains a vibrant and sustainable travel destination for years to come.
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