- Chiang Saen (Thailand): Crumbling 11th-century temples take you back to the birthplace of the Lanna Kingdom, one of Thailand's wealthiest and most influential. The nearby Golden Triangle, a notorious trade point for the international opium industry, has an opium museum and riverside views of Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar.
- Luang Prabang (Laos): This town, proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its glorious Buddhist temples, is also a charming retreat. Shady lanes are lined with French-style country homes that have been restored and converted to house cafes, galleries, shops, and some quaint guesthouses. The sunset over the lazy Mekong is the perfect end to a day spent in Luang Prabang.
- Hoi An (Vietnam): The small size of Hoi An belies its importance to Vietnam; it was once a major trading port, with canals leading right up to merchants' quarters for easy delivery of goods. The canals are now peaceful streets, but little else has changed. Almost every building in central Hoi An is a historic Vietnamese-, Japanese-, and Chinese-influenced residence or meeting hall.
- Phnom Penh (Cambodia): Few countries' capitals could be called quaint or fall under the category of a "town," and that's the very charm of this riverside burg. They say you either love it or hate it, that it's a place for expats and not tourists, but in a short stroll through the town center, you'll come across a unique mix. First you'll encounter a row of tourist cafes, the streets buzzing with motorbikes and choked with dust, but turn the corner and you'll find a quiet alley, a row of colonials, a lone kid kicking a soccer ball, and a grim-looking grandmother breaking into a smile as you walk by. There's something special here.
- Ubud (Bali): This is the cultural heart of Bali, bursting with art and greenery and some of the best food on the island. Even though it's dependent on tourism and is far from a typical Balinese village, you still get a sense of a real town, with real life going on around you. Ubud is the richest region in Bali for art production and, because of its central location, the town is the perfect base for exploring the rest of the island.
Things to Do
- The Best Luxury Hotels
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- The Best Museums
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- The Best After-Dark
- The Best Small Towns and Villages
- The Best Beaches
- The Most Intriguing Historical Sites
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- The Most Unforgettable Travel Experiences
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- Planning a Trip
- In Depth
- Suggested Itineraries