If you’ve ever wanted to visit Southeast Asia (or go back) then November-April is definitely the best time to go. The weather is at its peak; warm temperatures and little rain, brings out the best of moods in everyone you will encounter.

No matter how many times you go to Southeast Asia, you’ll never have the same experience twice (unless you want to that is, and we wouldn’t blame you). There are countless numbers of things to do, places to visit, dishes to try and people to meet. You can stay in luxury villas and hotels or head down the budget track and backpack your way through this sub-tropical paradise.

If you consider yourself more of an adventurer, then Southeast Asia will provide you with some of the best opportunities to immerse yourself into local culture with hidden villages and communities dotted throughout this vast area. Perhaps this could even be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to escape your day-to-day life and trek through each and every country for an extended period of time.

There are a number of great countries with wonderful experiences awaiting you, but we thought we’d pick out our absolute favourite and let you tell us the rest! Share your experiences or tips in our comments section below.

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Thailand

songkran-festival-thailandSource: Takeaway

From the 13th-15th of April Thailand gets a little wet. We don’t mean from the rain, but from the nationwide water fight that breaks out in the homes, businesses and streets of Thailand called Songkran Festival. It’s so revered that even the animals start to get involved – watch out for those elephant trunks! The festival also takes a little inspiration from the European April’s Fools Day; the locals take every opportunity to play pranks and jokes on one another.

An added bonus is that Thailand is one of the countries that are effectively visa free for Indians. For 15 days Indians can enter the country without a visa, the only contingency is that the visa has to be obtained on arrival. This has to be done at the first point of entry into the country and 1000 Thai Baht (approximately 1832 Rupees) needs to be paid at that time.

We’ve compiled a handy travel guide for you about Bangkok, Thailand’s main city, so you can look at what else you’ve got in-store on your trip there. Alternatively, explore the things you can see on a budget in Bangkok and still have an amazing time.

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Singapore

chinese-new-year-singapore-shoppingSource: Calvin Teo

Chinese New Year in Singapore is somewhat of a wondrous spectacle. It is on the 23rd March, but celebrations tend to kick off in the weeks prior to that, so if you can’t be there for the actual day you won’t miss out completely. The main show is the Chingay Parade, where the streets come alive with vibrant colourful, floats, music and many theatrics.

There are light shows, parties and of course, Chinese New Year would not be complete without a gloriously, ostentatious fireworks display. For more things to do look at our top 10 attractions in Singapore article, and start planning your trip now!

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Malaysia

thaipusam-festival-malaysia-batuSource: Peter Gronemann

On the 23rd January the Thaipusam Festival begins in Malaysia, this Hindu festival is held in dedication and thanks to Lord Subramaniam for answering the prayers of committed followers. Additionally, there is a large procession to the statue of Lord Subramniam in the Batu Caves where those who have made a vow for the past year demonstrate this with dramatic displays of redemption. This include carrying kavadis (large decorative structures) which penetrate their flesh (ouch!), wearing saffron robes, covering themselves in ash and carrying milk to bathe the statue of Lord Subramaniam.

This is a great thing for travellers to witness, but Malaysia is also home to the iconic Petronas Towers, the beautiful Gunung Mulu National Park and the famous Kuala Lumpur Bird Park. There are a number of different hotel and flight options to suit everyone’s budgets, and Sham’s Cooked With Love Indian restaurant is the cherry on top of a magnificent trip!

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Vietnam

hoi-an-vietnam-river-boatsSource: Loi Nguyen Duc

To commemorate the end of the Vietnam War on April 30th 1975, every year the Vietnamese celebrate Reunification Day. Celebrations include decorating the streets with bright banners, parades or national live shows and concerts.

Vietnam is also home to some of the most incredible natural and manmade sights, and we think the best way to see them all is to visit the Easy Riders. Instead of settling for the normal tourists routes, you can tour the beautiful country on the back of a motorbike, which will allow you to visit places no open bus tour could reach. Alternatively, jump on a cruise up the Mekong River from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap and experience the real culture and cuisine of the Vietnamese.

Vietnam is another country where Indians can get a visa on arrival, all you have to do is make sure prior approval has been obtained through a travel agency!

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Other Countries in South East Asia

angkor-wat-cambodia-southeast-asiaSource: Mark Fischer

These are just a few of the amazing countries in Southeast Asia just awaiting your visit. Other countries include Indonesia, the Philippines, East Timor, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

Featured Image Source: Fabio Achilli