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5 Underrated Destinations in South East Asia

The "backpackers loop" in South East Asia has become a popular destinations for many gap-year students and travelers to branch out and see the world with fellow backpackers. This loop consists of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. Which is great... unless your like me and get a bit sick of the tourist crowd. So, here is a list of 5 Underrated Destinations in South East Asia to get away from the crowds and have gorgeous places all to yourself!

Krabi, Thailand

Thailand Underrated Destination | Krys Kolumbus Travel Blog
Instead of facing the huge crowds and high prices of Phuket, I suggest heading 100 miles East to the beautiful town of Krabi. With roughly 200 islands nestled just off the coast, it’s the perfect place to rent a boat, which you can do from Krabi town or Ao Nang.

There are plenty of hidden gems here, but Railay Beach comes highly recommended if you want some peace and quiet. For those who are more adventurous there is the chance to enjoy a half day rock climbing session for around $40 USD per person. You can also go visit a temple in the warren of caves at Wat Tham Sua - with over 1,200 steps to climb to reach the exquisite "Footprint of the Buddha."

Kapas Islands, Malaysia

Kapas Islands Malaysia Underrated Destination | Krys Kolumbus Travel Blog
​​​​​​​This lesser-known tropical paradise still remains largely unblemished by the long arm of tourism. Check out budget accommodation at Captain’s Longhouse - it will cost as little as RM40 per night, although previous visitors have said they have bartered them down to around RM30 ($5.60 USD). Snorkeling is also a massive attraction here, and you’ll be able to hire the gear if you need. A boat trip will cost around RM40, but remember to bring all your cash with you as the island has NO ATMs!

If you want to make sure you keep active during your trip you might elect to hike the island. Keep in mind that this island is not large, and you could walk it in a couple of hours, but it is a really interesting way to soak up the atmosphere of the island.

​​​​​​​Koh Kood, Thailand

Koh Kood Thailand Underrated Destination | Krys Kolumbus Travel Blog
So off the beaten track you almost have to get lost to find it, Koh Kood is one of the last unspoilt islands in Thailand. While you’re here, head through the tropical rainforest on a 10 minute hike to reach the iconic Khlong Chao Waterfalls - it’s the perfect place for a swim and some Instagram photo ops!

You also need to check out family-run Koh Kood Divers, located on the shores of Bang Bao Bay. They offer wonderful diving opportunities that allow you to come face-to-face with the stunning marine life beneath the ocean waves. A 1-day dive + snorkeling experience is available from around ฿2,500.

Kep, Cambodia

Koh Kood Thailand Underrated Destination | Krys Kolumbus Travel Blog ​​​​​​​
Kep is a snoozy, unassuming seaside town in the South of the country. Kep National Park is one of the biggest draws here, with some stunning scenery. Entry is as little as $1 USD, and I would recommend the Stairway to Heaven trail all the way of to Sunset Rock viewpoint. Simply magnificent.

If you don’t fancy the national park, there’s the 250m long Koh Tonsay beach to check out. There is also an impressive crab market where you can get away from some of the more unusual food. Cambodian tarantulas are a delicacy, as detailed by 1Cover... No thank you! I think I’ll take the crab market all day long, and enjoy some delicious seafood.

​​​​​​​Châu Đốc, Vietnam

Chau Doc Vietnam Underrated Destination | Krys Kolumbus Travel Blog ​​​​​​​
As you’ll see from my Vietnam Travel Guide, I love this country, and I spent around 3 weeks here. Châu Đốc is one of the most underrated Vietnamese destinations, and blends Vietnamese, Khmer, and Cham cultures. Find a boat operator and book a slot to go visit the floating market. Aim to get there as early as possible (around 6am would be ideal); get a taste of some delicious local food. Also, consider booking a trip (through a guide) to the vibrant Tra Su Bird Sanctuary. The 800,000-hectare forestry is home to all manner of birds, and it’s well worth spending a few hours here.


These are 5 unique places to visit in South East Asia that are a little off the beaten track. They give you a stunning snapshot of these countries and fill you with incredible and unmatched experiences, and you’ll hopefully never look at travel the same way again.
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