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8 Must-Visit Budget Destinations In Southeast Asia For A Weekend Getaway

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Cheng Sim  •  May 27, 2019

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A weekend getaway is never far away when you’re in Southeast Asia. At this side of the world, there’s an adventure for every traveller, ranging from tranquil beach vacations to historical holidays. The best part is you can travel on a shoestring budget too!
Credit: Giphy If you’re dreaming of a budget getaway, Indochina is your best bet! With AIRASIA’s direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Can Tho, Sihanoukville, Phu Quoc and Nha Trang, you can enjoy discounts up to 70% Off! Book now before promo ends on 2 June 2019. Are you ready? Let’s see what’s exciting in Southeast Asia, shall we? Vietnam
1. Can Tho
Where to go
Credit: @zhao_zhuoran on Instagram Staying close to Mekong Delta is the best way to explore Can Tho. After all, it’s called ‘river of poems’ for a reason. If you’re travelling as a first-timer, start with the symbol of Can Tho city, Ninh Kieu Wharf. In the day, you’ll see boats cutting through the Hau river to deliver street food, fresh fruits, and coffee powders to the nearby Cai Rang Floating Market. At nightfall, the river reflects the twinkling and bustling towns along the riverbank.
Credit: @jonnyrouse7 on Instagram For architecture aficionados, spot traces of the French, Vietnamese and Chinese influences on the exterior of Binh Thuy Ancient House. Built in 1807, step into this century-old ancient house that comes complete with antique furniture, classic tiles and 18th-century chandeliers. Come in the morning to take great Instagram snapshots of this bright yellow home with fewer visitors around. Where to eat Quan chay Bach Thao
Credit: @sauraubeou on Instagram Savour the flavours of Vietnamese cuisine at Quan chay Bach Thao. If the fresh water ‘crab’ hot pot and shumai rice noodle put a smile on your face, you’re going to love the bamboo shoot vermicelli noodle and fresh spring rolls. Don’t be surprised to find Korean and Thai-style dishes too. Address: Quan chay Bach Thao, 86E De Tham, Tan Ah, Ninh Kieu, Can Tho. Operating hours: Daily, 10AM-10PM Halal status: While the restaurant is not halal-certified, they serve an all-vegetarian menu. The menu may mention ‘beef’, ‘pork’ and ‘seafood’, but the mock meats are made entirely from vegetables. We recommend that you dine at your own discretion. Website | Facebook Com chay Oanh
Credit: @nguywen on Instagram If you’re craving for greens, browse the all-vegan menu at Com chay Oanh . Since you’re in Vietnam, embrace the heart-warming flavours of pho (Vietnamese rice noodle soup). Otherwise, there are fried spring rolls, veggie rice porridge and fish rice vermicelli broth to try too. Address: Com chay Oanh, 102 De Tham, Tan An, Ninh Kieu, Can Tho Operating hours: Daily, 7AM-10PM Halal status: While the restaurant is not halal-certified, they serve an all-vegan menu. The menu may mention ‘beef’ and ‘pork’, but the mock meats are made entirely from vegetables. We recommend that you dine at your own discretion.  
2. Phu Quoc
Where to go
Credit: @chanchan.94 on Instagram If there’s one thing we know and love about Phu Quoc, it’s the beach life. The locals might point you to the popular Long Beach, but there are fewer crowds at Sao Beach (and it’s still as scenic!). Circled with greenery, Instagrammers would walk towards the north end of Sao Beach for the picture-perfect palm tree swing.
Credit: @tse.fei on Instagram You can follow the beach goers if you like but getting a 360-degree view of Phu Quoc from the world’s longest oversea cable car ride is worth a shout out. Catch a glimpse of the emerald sea, fishing villages and An Thoi Archipelago from your 30-minute ride in the Phu Quoc Cable Car. For a walk on the wild side, say hello to the lions, hyenas and giraffes roaming freely (not in restrictive cages) at Vinpearl Safari. Patterned after international safari models, this is Vietnam’s first and only open zoo with wild animals from South Africa, India, Australia and more. Where to eat Loving Hut Thai Duong
Credit: @phuchan92 on Instagram Cosy and low-key, Loving Hut Thai Duong is all about vegan delights. While it’s a decent place to try pho (Vietnamese rice noodle soup), keep your hunger at bay with vegan ‘fish’ braised in a pot, cauliflower with flour and Szechuan tofu. Address: Loving Hut Thai Duong, 10 Le Loi, TT. Duong Dong, Phu Quoc Operating hours: Daily, 6AM-2PM, 4.30PM-10PM Halal status: While the restaurant is not halal-certified, they serve an all-vegan food selection. The menu may mention ‘meat’, ‘pork’ and ‘fish’, but the mock meats are made entirely from vegetables. We recommend that you dine at your own discretion. Nan n Kabab Restaurant
Credit: @frostwazovski on Instagram While it’s not easy to find halal food in Phu Quoc, we can count on Nan n Kabab Restaurant ’s Middle Eastern cuisine to keep us satiated. Fill up your table with chicken sheesh kebab, garlic naan and chicken shawarma wrap for a satisfying meal. Address: Nan n Kebab Restaurant, 99A Duong Tran Hung Dao, Duong To, Phu Quoc Operating hours: Daily, 10AM-10.30AM Halal status: Halal-certified Website | Facebook  
3. Nha Trang
Where to go
Credit: @zte11ah on Instagram For a balance of city life and the seaside, Nha Trang is your kind of paradise. The rise of travellers to this coastal city also proves that many people feel the same way, and it’s possible to fall head over heels with Nha Trang Bay. With emerald waters and scenic greenery, it’s described as one of the most beautiful bays in the world.
Credit: @hailwarjunit on Instagram If you prefer to steer away from the beach crowd, we suggest ramping up your adrenaline by cliff jumping at Ba Ho Waterfalls. Tranquil and scenic, it takes 45-minutes’ worth of motorbiking and a 15-minute climb to get there. It’ll be quite a day, but nothing stops an adventurous daredevil from reaching this three-tier waterfall. On the next day, take a morning taxi ride to Long Son Pagoda that is famous for its large Buddha statue and lovely city view. Skip the afternoon visit because it can get scorching hot at this pagoda. Where to eat A&M Café & Fast Food Halal
Credit: A&M Fresh ‘N Fast Food on Facebook Quick and easy Middle Eastern delight is A&M Café & Fast Food Halal’s speciality, so pop over for banh mi panini, kebabs, wraps and falafel. The restaurant also has its fast food side in the form of juicy beef burgers, French fries and cold sodas. Address: A&M Café & Fast Food Halal, 1/39 Tran Quang Khai, Loc Tho, Thanh pho Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Operating hours: Daily, 7.30AM-3AM Halal status: Halal-certified Facebook Eden Fusion Restaurant
Credit: Eden – Asian Fusion Restaurant on Facebook Just around the corner from Starcity Hotel, Eden – Asian Fusion Restaurant serves a variety of fusion cuisine. You won’t find pho, but there’s Mongolian beef, Korean galbi bowls, lamb masala and ginger soy sesame fish to keep you happy and full. Address: Eden Fusion Restaurant, 24 Tran Quang Khai, Loc Tho, Thanh pho Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Operating hours: 24 hours Halal status: Halal-certified Facebook   Cambodia
4. Siem Reap
Where to go
Credit: @xia.ash_r on Instagram Whether or not Tomb Raider has put Siem Reap on the map is debatable. However, this Cambodian province could have done it on their own, thanks to the magnificence and mystery behind Angkor Wat, the ancient capital of the Khmer Kingdom between the 9th and the 15th century. Start as early as sunrise because this temple complex is one of the world’s largest religious monuments.
Credit: @fox._on_the_road on Instagram The history of Cambodia will intrigue you at some point, so take the remork (Cambodian tuk-tuk) to Angkor National Museum. Besides learning more about the Khmer civilisation, you can spot a collection of Angkorian artefacts, including a standing statue of Vishnu from the 7th century. After a day of adventure, swing by the Angkor Night Market. Great for last-minute shopping, we heard you can buy silk scarves, cheap t-shirts, paintings and leather carvings from this night market. Where to eat Muslim Family Kitchen
Credit: Muslim Family Kitchen on Facebook If you chanced upon Muslim Family Kitchen , we recommend going local with spicy Khmer soup, beef lok lak, amok fish and banana flower salad. Beef climbing mountain (lembu naik bukit) may sound funny, but you’re going to love the peppery beef topped with tofu and vegetables. Address: Muslim Family Kitchen, #069, Steung thmei Village, Svaydangkum Commune, Siem Reap Operating hours: Daily, 7AM-9PM Halal status: Halal-certified Website | Facebook Cambodian Muslim Restaurant
Credit: @miera_atory on Instagram You can count on Cambodian Muslim Restaurant to serve authentic Khmer flavours. Once you grab a table, nudge the wait staff for beef lok lak, ox tail soup, amok in coconut, beef stew, steam fish with noodles and crunchy spring rolls. Yes, they serve beef climbing mountain (lembu naik bukit) too. Address: Cambodian Muslim Restaurant, No. 086, Steng Thmey Village, Svaydangkum Commune, Siem Reap Operating hours: Daily, 6AM-9PM Halal status: Halal-certified, Muslim-owned Website | Facebook Where to pray
Credit: @krisnamputra on Instagram Siem Reap has approximately seven local mosques that you can visit. Masjid An Neakmah is around the corner from Muslim Family Kitchen and Cambodian Muslim Restaurant. Other mosques include Masjid Ar-Rafee’ah and Masjid Rahmah Psar Leu.  
5. Sihanoukville
Where to go
Credit: @olga_arkadiya on Instagram Once you’ve covered Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in Cambodia, your next stop is Sihanoukville. This destination is famous for its beaches, so spending the afternoon at Serendipity Beach is a must-do. It may not be tranquil thanks to their tourist-friendly status, but it’s nice to bury your feet in the sands and watch the lapping waves. For those who prefer a quiet beach, the white sands of Otres 2 beach is your best bet.
Credit: @pjmaste on Instagram If you’re not afraid of heights, you can meet Mother Nature at High Point Adventure Park, which is situated in the rainforest of Koh Rong island. Get an all-day pass and experience their zip-line canopy tour where you can spot a troop of monkeys and other wildlife amid tall trees. Where to eat Borobudur Restaurant
Credit: @brbdresto on Instagram It’s tough to spot a halal eatery in Sihanoukville, so it’s good to see Borobudur Restaurant on the map. Specialising in Indonesian cuisine, you can get ayam bakar, beef rendang, ayam penyet and sate ayam that promises to delight every hungry traveller. Address: Borobudur Restaurant, Phumi3, Sangkat1, Preah Sihanouk City Operating hours: Daily, 10AM-10PM Halal status: Halal-certified Website | Facebook   Myanmar
6. Yangon
Where to go
Credit: @candyboytum on Instagram Culture meets old-school charm in Myanmar’s largest city, and Yangon is your next destination. Take out your map and start on a high note at Shwedagon Pagoda . Bell chimes will soundtrack the steps you make in this world-famous gold-plated pagoda, and it’s no surprise why it’s Yangon’s popular landmark. For a culture with a dash of history, the National Museum of Myanmar has five storeys worth of artefacts, historical memorabilia and traditional Burmese art.
Credit: @gabi_villalba on Instagram You can still shop on a shoestring budget at Bogyoke Aung San Market. If you bargain well (and with a smile), you can score textiles, handbags, t-shirts, lacquerware, paintings and jewellery at the best prices. The shops may be repetitive here, but there’s a good chance you’ll find cheaper souvenirs as you explore deeper into the market. Where to eat Mai Thai Restaurant
Credit: @winpildeu on Instagram To fill up your belly in Yangon, pop over to Mai Thai Restaurant for their seafood selection. Whether you prefer deep fried butterfish with garlic or steamed crab, remember to pair it with deep fried fish cake and Thai fish spring roll. Address: Mai Thai Restaurant, Shwe Gon Taing Street 3, Yangon Operating hours: Daily, 10AM-10PM Halal status: While the restaurant uses Muslim-friendly ingredients, do note that alcoholic beverages are served on the premise. We recommend that you dine at your own discretion.  Shwe Htoo Halal Chinese & Thai Restaurant 
Credit: @librajung on Instagram Walk several streets from Thein Phyu Market, and you’ll find Shwe Htoo Halal Chinese & Thai Restaurant. Featuring a mix of Burmese, Thai, Chinese and Western selections, they have prawn curry, tom yam soup, and rolled murtabak to satiate your hunger. Follow the locals and complete your meal with a cup of Burmese tea. Address: Shwe Htoo Halal Chinese & Thai Restaurant, Bo Min Yaung Street, Mingalar Taung Nyunt Tsp, Yangon Operating hours: Daily, 5AM-10.30PM Halal status: The restaurant uses Muslim-friendly ingredients Where to pray
Credit: @thariqnoor on Instagram To perform your prayers, visit one of the 20 mosques in Yangon. If you’re around the city centre, make your way to Tachampe Mosque and Arakan Masjid (near Yangon Central Railway) as well as Narsapuri Moja Sunni Jamae Mosque and Dawoodi Bohra Saifee Masjid (near Bogyoke Aung San Market).  
7. Mandalay
Where to go
Credit: @fhurryy on Instagram For a change of scenery, Mandalay is famous for its history and cultural diversity. Besides being the second largest city after Yangon, this destination is perfect for soul seekers. Start with Mandalay Hill that is peppered with two-century-old pagodas and monasteries. Book lovers will be amazed by the Kuthodaw Pagoda, known as the world’s largest book thanks to the 729 Burmese inscribed marble slabs and pavilions. Written in the ancient Pali language in 1860, the texts comprise the teachings of Buddha that took eight years to complete.
Credit: @pauchoir on Instagram Ever wondered how it’s like to explore the last royal palace of the last Burmese king? You can revisit history at the Mandalay Palace. Most parts of the palace are restored after the British and Japanese invasion, and it remains true to the traditional Burmese architecture. Stop by the ornately detailed Shwenandaw Monastery, which is the only building in the palace that survived both invasions. Where to eat Marie Min
Credit: @izama_14 on Instagram For a fuss-free meal, Marie Min is all about Indian-style vegetarian dishes. Out of the things you see in the menu, the pumpkin curry, coconut and tofu curry as well as papaya salad might win over your appetite. Address: Marie Min, 74th-75th Street, 26th-27th Street, Chan Aye Tharzan Tsp, Mandalay Operating hours: Daily, 8AM-9PM Halal status: While the restaurant is not halal-certified, they serve an all-vegetarian menu.  Daw Khin Than Restaurant 
Credit: Daw Khin Than Restaurant on Facebook Myanmar traditional curries and Chinese food collide at Daw Khin Than Restaurant, so try both! You can spice it up with Myanmar’s mutton curry and steamed duck curry. Then, mellow it down with Chinese sweet and sour chicken as well as beef with cashew. Address: Daw Khin Than Restaurant, 77th Street, Chanayethazan Tsp, Mandalay Operating hours: Daily, 10AM-10PM Halal status: This restaurant uses Muslim-friendly ingredients Facebook Where to pray
Credit: @amarharun on Instagram It’s wonderful to note that Mandalay has approximately 20 mosques dedicated to the Muslim community. Performing your prayers are convenient at Joon Mosque, North Mosque, Suriti Mosque and more.   Laos
8. Vientiane
Where to go
Credit: @tou_traveladdict on Instagram The serenity of Vientiane is what makes travellers return for more. Famous for its Buddhist temples, you can relive the same tranquillity at Pha That Luang, an impressive gold Buddhist stupa that’s also known as Laos’ national monument. Enchanting you further is the 19th-century Siamese-style temple called Wat Si Saket and the five-decade-old war memorial named Patuxai that are both worth exploring.
Credit: @romane.rougegrez on Instagram Make the most of your Vientiane vacation by taking a 4-hour bus ride to Vang Vieng. Your bus ticket will transport you to a charming town on the Nam Song River known for its scenic touches. Looped by tropical karst terrain, explore the peaceful river by inner tubing and kayaking. Otherwise, you can hit the Blue Lagoon, which is next to Tham Phu Kham Cave, for a refreshing dip after hours of caving. Where to eat Taj Mahal Halal Restaurant
Credit: @sitisarahgan on Instagram For tasty and reasonably priced Indian cuisine, you can count on Taj Mahal Halal Restaurant for a pleasant meal. While the chicken biryani and crispy garlic naan are perfect for keeping you full, you can amplify the flavours further with various curries of your choice. Address: Taj Mahal Halal Restaurant, Yonnet Road, Vientiane Operating hours: Mon-Sat, 10AM-10PM; Sun, 4PM-10PM Halal status: While the restaurant uses Muslim-friendly ingredients, do note that alcoholic beverages are served on the premise. We recommend you dine at your own discretion. Reunion Café Vegetarian and Vegan Food
Credit: @lotusartichoke on Instagram If you’re searching for plant-based lunch and dinner, head over to Reunion Café Vegetarian and Vegan Food for a fuss-free meal. Ask the wait staff for sweet and sour ‘duck’, deep-fried wonton, veggie spaghetti, soya ‘laab’, wild rice and more. Address: Reunion Café Vegetarian and Vegan Food, Soi 3, Khauluang tai Village, Chanthabouly District, Vientiane Operating hours: Daily, 8AM-9PM Halal status: While the restaurant is not halal-certified, they serve an all-vegetarian menu. The menu may mention ‘meat’ and ‘pork’, but the mock meats are made entirely from soy protein. We recommend that you dine at your own discretion. Facebook
Credit: Giphy For travellers who are gearing up for an exciting weekend getaway, you know adventure awaits in Indochina. From exploring the beautiful bay of Nha Trang to discovering the magnificence of Siem Reap, book your next flight to Indochina with AIRASIA! Score this unbelievable discount of up to 70% Off before promo ends on 2 June 2019. Travel period: Now – 31 Oct 2019. There’s no better time for an adventure than now! This article is brought to you by AIRASIA.