Song of Travel Hostel, Inle Lake, Myanmar

Song of Travel has everything you need in a hostel. Free breakfast and not just simple eggs and toast, well cooked, well presented breakfasts with potatoes and pancakes and delicious local teas. A rooftop with views of the sunrise and sunset, comfortable beds, rooftop bar with $1 cocktails, free bike rentals, which you’ll need to navigate the town, and some of the most attentive and caring staff we ever came across. The themed hostel caps it all off with a famous song quote on the wall beside every bed. I was lucky enough to have an absolute classic: ‘Imagine there’s no countries, It isn’t hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for and no religion too’. This hostel had it all and we cannot not recommend it enough to any traveller making their way through Inle Lake.

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Kuang Si Waterfalls, Luang Prabang, Laos

The Kuang Si Waterfalls are an unmissable natural delight when staying in Luang Prabang. We walked through the small bear sanctuary and spent more time than we planned, waving at the bears and staring at them as they played and climbed in front of our adoring faces. The falls can be fairly busy, though it being a much cooler day than usual there was plenty of room. A twenty-five minute trek to the top of the waterfall was done easily in a pair of thongs, though the climb down may be better suited to proper shoes- as we came to realise. The water was cold and clean and painted my arms and legs with goosebumps. A perfect way to spend the day waiting for the night markets to come around!

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Laos Spirit Resort, Luang Prabung

A unique experience and one that comes so rarely to budget-minded travellers, the Laos Spirit Resort was the ultimate combination of relaxation and indulgence. We waved at the elephants from across the river in the comforts of our balcony and ate breakfast, which was included, while they stomped and stamped along the embankment. The private outdoor shower was a rare treat, as was the bed, which provided the best sleep I had all trip.

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Koh Rong Samloem, Cambodia

A small island just a short trip from Otres Beach, Koh Rong Samloem features some of the whitest and most beautiful beaches I’ve ever come across. Just like Otres, the island is the perfect combination of soothing nothingness and lavish depravity, offering opportunities like snorkelling, kayaking and peaceful beach bungalows alongside Full Moon and Black Moon parties that run long into the nights.

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Ha Long Bay, Hanoi, Vietnam

Really any tour of Ha Long Bay on offer will expose its majesty; ours was booked through ‘Central Backpackers Hostel’ and was everything we wanted it to be. The view speaks for itself and the novelty of staying on your own ‘private island’ adds an extra sense of extravagance - even if you are still sleeping in bunk beds! Tours usually include boat trips to and from your accommodation, food and usually some kayaking and free swimming off your boats. If you’re looking for the booze cruise option, the ‘Castaways Island’ tour is your best choice, otherwise grab yourself a ticket from a tourist stall or hostel, set sail and soak up all the beauty of Ha Long Bay.

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Bun Cha, Hanoi, Vietnam

Bun Cha is an absolute must try in Vietnam, especially Hanoi which is the birthplace of this addictive dish. A mix of delicious grilled BBQ pork, sweet and sour dipping sauce, rice vermicelli and mixed fresh herbs and pickled vegetables. Recommended to me on a hostel city guide brochure, I had my choice for dinner made for me for the next 3 straight nights. Hanoi is known for its Bun Cha, so catch it at any small restaurant throughout Hanoi’s Old Quarter.

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