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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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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Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia

An easy day trip from Seminyak, visiting Nusa Lembongan should be at the top of any to-do list for Bali. Described as what Bali was like 40 years ago, Lembongan has an 'untouched', raw feeling with its unpaved roads and simple beachfront. Lembongan is an excellent spot for snorkelling, fishing, surfing and watersports. Tours of the island can be easily arranged on arrival and resort accommodation is plentiful should you want to stay longer than the day.

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UNESCO Jatiluwih Rice Fields, Indonesia

The Jatiluwih Green Land is a 19,500 ha world heritage protected site. The Rice Terraces date back to the 9th century and are of great significance in traditional Balinese culture. My driver dropped me at one end of the terraces and allowed me time to wander through the various levels. The green landscape and coolness of the wet fields are so inviting and soothing.

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Kebun Raya Bali, Indonesia

When in Ubud there is the temptation to keep heading east to the volcano - which is amazing to be sure - but the vistas as you explore the north west are even more dramatic amongst the mountains. Viewing Bali's commitment to conservation at the Kebun Raya Botanical Gardens is a cultural and ecological feast.

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Indus, Ubud, Indonesia

For a fancy night out in Ubud it is worth the trek to the top of the hill for Indus, especially if you cut through the Monkey Forest on your way! Offering a modern Indonesian menu, dishes are beautifully presented. The restaurant is open air, set above the Tjampuhan River; aim to arrive mid-dusk so you can take in the spectacular views.

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