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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Monkey Maya, Ream, Cambodia

A little ways out from Sihanoukville and Otres, Monkey Maya is in a remote location that allows it to be perfectly serene and quiet. We stayed in a bungalow with its own glorious beach views that opened up below to a long stretch of private shoreline barely inhabited by the few that were present at the hostel. No electricity except for a small window in the afternoon, no wifi - and yet, no worries. We drank with the staff whose personalities were infectious and ate with all other travellers as the restaurant provided offers the only means of food. And after a lazy, drunken swim in our secluded beach with glowing blue plankton shimmering on our arms, we were totally sold.

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Bioluminescent Plankton, Otres Beach, Cambodia

Need I say more? Present at most beaches along Otres Beach 1 & 2 and in the surrounding Sihanoukville area, the dazzling blue glow of the plankton at night is a sight like no other. Keep an eye out for particularly cloudy night when the moon is hidden and let yourself be swooned by the thousands of transient blue lights that twinkle along the Cambodian southern coast.

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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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