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The best countries to travel to in southeast Asia for 2023

The best countries to travel to in southeast Asia for 2023

After many of its countries remained inaccessible to Brits for much of the pandemic, southeast Asia is finally welcoming a growing number of UK visitor back this year.

A wider variety of destinations in this corner of the continent is also starting to appeal to holidaymakers; while places such as Bangkok and Singapore have seen high numbers of British tourists for decades, others have only started to attract a larger crowd in recent years. For example, the number of UK visitors to Indonesia rose from roughly 219,000 in 2012 to almost 400,000 last year.

The geographical region of southeast Asia is a melting pot of different religions, traditions and cultures, and is home to some of the most incredible temples, palaces and natural sights on the planet.

From Angkor Wat to Ha Long Bay, the southeast possesses some of the most famous attractions on the continent to add to sprawling cities, a section of the Himalayas, hundreds of beaches and pleasant tropical climates.

Below are The Independent’s picks for the region’s best countries to visit on holiday; read on to start planning your next long-haul getaway.


A panoramic view of Bangkok

(Getty Images)

From travelling youngsters to business people, Thailand is a long-time favourite on the continent for UK tourists and welcomes roughly one million Brits per year. Its capital, Bangkok (known locally as Krung Thep) was the most visited city in the world for several years in a row before Covid and is just a short journey away from the ancient city of Ayutthaya.

With dozens of famous white-sand beaches around the country (such as Railay and Ko Phi Phi), as well as several areas of natural beauty (one of the most unique being Khao Sok National Park) and dozens of temples and palaces, Thailand offers anyone visiting the country a diverse mix of sightseeing, city experiences and relaxation – not to mention the nation’s impressive cuisine.

Best time to visit Thailand

With a rainy season falling between July and October, the best time to visit is between November and April, when temperatures are higher (with average highs in the early 30s). May is usually a quieter time to visit, but the sunshine may be interrupted by short rain periods.


Ha Long Bay in northeastern Vietnam

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A similarly popular choice for Brits travelling around Asia, Vietnam’s various…

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