Known for its perfect beaches, enchanting cultures, tasty foods, friendly people and low cost of living, Southeast Asia is also blessed with traditional villages worth visiting. These hidden gems are tucked away from the rush of modern towns and filtered civilization. Taking a little effort to reach the following 6 settlements, you will realize your sweat will never be in vain.
Ban Na Ton Chan, Thailand
This throwback worth visiting is located in a small district of Sri Satchanalai, Sukhothai province. It’s a good opportunity to start off your rural trip here as there are homesteads to offer. Visitors can learn not only how to live like locals, but how to enjoy life through weaving fabrics, practising unique traditions as well as consuming what they cook. Highlights? It’s the local dish made with noodles, sticky rice cream, soft pork, home-grown vegetables and steamed eggs. Don’t miss it!
The Abatan River Community Life Tour, Philippines
Take a 10-minute road trip from Tagbilaran and you will reach the serene community of the Abatan river fisherfolk and farmers. Here you will be permitted to look not one village, but five different towns: Antequera, Balilihan, Catigbian, Cortes, and Maribojoc. Creating your own experience is possible, whether you’ve got only one hour or a whole day to spend. A traditional banding (boat) will leisurely stroll your around the lively neighbourhoods.
Kyaing Tong, Myanmar
Believe it or not, this one little village in Eastern Shan State of Myanmar is a cultural hub for 13 tribal communities where distinct cultures and different lifestyles are harmoniously choreographed. Get lost in Buddhist temples built around the community. Step in the dynamic scene where traders from nearby hill tribes gather to exchange goods and news. Never miss out to sneak peak at the buffalo market as local traders trade their cattle twice a week. Night-time activities can also be enjoyed by cafe-hopping, dining under the stars and visiting the lake.
Tra Que Vegetable Village, Vietnam
If you want to transport back to a time when you were having an agriculture class in high school, you should visit Tra Que Vegetable Village located near Hoi An, Vietnam. Help locals grow lettuce, water spinach, cabbages, basils and corianders. It’s a good opportunity to remind yourself how to use a hoe, plant seeds, and water them. What makes this escape from the bustling city worth visiting is you can enjoy dishes from veggies possessing outstanding tastes and flavours. Miss this and you will make a big mistake. It’s only 15 minutes by cycling from Hoi An old quarter.
Kampong Sungai Matan, Malaysia
Want to have a unique experience in cultural immersion in Brunei? Then head off to Kampong Sungai Matan. This fishing village will let you live on a house set above the river, learn how locals make a living, see them at work and help the villagers prepare the catch for dinner. If you want to venture in to something more exciting, go trekking into the jungle as there’s mangrove forest nearby. If you love celebrations, you should visit the spot in May. There will be dozens of booths selling local products and a galore of activities to enjoy.
Muang Sing, Laos
Ringed by a fortress of green hills and mountains, Muang Sing can be billed as a star destination: amazing scenery, relaxed atmosphere, unique culture and multi-coloured community. Wandering on foot or cycling are the two options to explore this peaceful village, and it’s worthy. Since the place is rarely on traveller’s wish-list, you can enjoy the whole village that is yet unspoiled by tourism and urban modernity. Rainy season that lasts from November through February is the perfect time to witness the true beauty of the place. Imagine yourself be in the middle of golden rice paddies with the fresh green mountains in the background. Let alone the cool breeze that gently blows past your face.