Southeast Asia has proven the world that it’s a beautiful summer destination. And just as beautiful as it is during the sunny days, the region is also a good place to spend Christmas as most of the countries here have grand Christmas celebrations to spread holiday cheer!
Looking for best places to spend Christmas in Southeast Asia? We’ve got you covered!
1. CHRISTMAS IN THE PHILIPPINES
There’s nothing in the world quite like the holiday season in the Philippines. Preparations begin months in advance, that’s as early as September! Families celebrate the holidays together at home, and decorations often contain Christian themes and symbols. There are also lots of light shows performed during the Christmas season at different parts of the country. No wonder, the Philippines is the best place to spend Christmas in Southeast Asia.
Best places to celebrate in the Philippines
This island needs no introduction as this is a world-famous beach! Boracay has been listed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Best places to eat in Boracay
Jonah’s Fruit Shake & Snack Bar, Spice Bird, Los Indios Bravos, and Halowich
What to love in Boracay
You’d never run out of things to do in Boracay— from island hopping, water activities, bar hopping to just chilling at the beach. Everyone loves Boracay’s pristine beaches because of its fine white sand and clear blue water.
Where to stay in Boracay
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La Union has been a favorite weekend destination for many Filipinos who want to escape the bustling city life. Most people come here to surf, while others enjoy LU’s best food spots.
Best places to eat in La Union
Gefseis Greek Grill, Halo Halo De Iloko Balay, Makai Bowls La Union, and El Union Coffee
What to love in La Union
Though the beaches aren’t white sand, you can still relax here or surf the big waves. Aside from the beach life, people come here for the Instagram-worthy cafes in the area!
Where to stay in La Union
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If you’re looking for a place that offers a mix of modern city living, old traditions, and island life, Cebu is the place to be. One should not miss touring the city and Northern (for a relaxing tour) and Southern (for a thrilling adventure) parts of Cebu.
Best places to eat in Cebu
House of Lechon, The Pyramid, The Oriental Spice Gourmet, Rico’s Lechon, and Big Jel’s Cebu
What to love in Cebu
Cebu may not be the capital of the Philippines but you’d see the modernity and progress of the province. Tourists can enjoy many activities Cebu has to offer— from the city tour, island hopping at Bantayan Island and even swimming with the whale sharks in Oslob.
Where to stay in Cebu
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Aside from being famous for its undeniably delicious cuisine, Pampanga is also known for its Christmas celebration. Every year, they hold a Giant Lantern Festival where huge and colorful lanterns are paraded together with the dynamic street dance performances.
Best places to eat in Pampanga
25 Seeds, ESTOS Kitchen + Cafe, Piccolo Padre, L.A. Bakeshop, and Al Bacio Ristorante
What to love in Pampanga
When in Pampanga, you’ll never feel out of place as the locals are friendly. There are also many tourist spots to visit and the Kapampangan cuisine is something anyone should never miss!
Where to stay in Pampanga
Being the central business district of Metro Manila, Makati has everything to offer. From the fine dining restaurants, best party hubs, or just a place to unwind and be one with nature, then Makati is the place to be. A must-visit place in Makati during December is the Ayala Triangle Gardens where you can watch the annual Christmas Light Show.
Best places to eat in Makati
Tapenade, Wildflour Café + Bakery, Early Bird Breakfast Club, Blackbird Makati, and The Wild Poppy
What to love in Makati
You can feel the festive environment during the Christmas season, there are many good hang out places especially in Poblacion, nice restaurants to try, and establishments and museums are walking distance.
Where to stay in Makati
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2. CHRISTMAS IN INDONESIA
Indonesia may be one of the top summer destinations but it could also be your best bet to spend Christmas in Southeast Asia! Indonesia has about 17,000 islands and because of this, it’s hard to know which vacation-worthy spots should be visited first. From volcano climbing, island hopping and white-water rafting in Bali to temple hopping in Yogyakarta and searching for Komodo dragons in Komodo— you wouldn’t run out of things to do here. Indonesia definitely deserves to be on the top Christmas destinations in Southeast Asia.
Best places to celebrate in Indonesia
Dubbed as the Island of the Gods, Bali gives its visitors a dose of sun-kissed skin, sandy cheeks, spirituality and cultural pleasure all in one! This place also never disappoints to amaze tourists with its Balinese culture and architecture.
Best places to eat in Bali
Motel Mexicola, Bali Asli, Warung Babi Guling Pak Malen, and Chandi
What to love in Bali
What’s not love in Bali? It has everything we need for island life! Bali has many beautiful beaches, temples, and Instagram-worthy cafes.
Where to stay in Bali
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Jakarta is also the best place to spend Christmas in Southeast Asia because of its charismatic beauty and tons of activities that you can enjoy with your friends or family.
Best places to eat in Jakarta
Bunga Rampai, Naughty Nuri, Hakkasan Jakarta, and Smarapura Resto
What to love in Jakarta
Jakarta offers some of the best shopping, dining, and nightlife in Southeast Asia. Aside from these, you’ll also love Jakarta’s natural landscapes, cool mountainous climate, and rich culture.
Where to stay in Jakarta
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Yogyakarta is the historical epicenter of Javanese art and culture. This place is the Cultural Hub that you should visit next.
Best places to eat in Yogyakarta
Abhayagiri Restaurant, Canting Restaurant, Mang Engking Soragan Castle, and Via Via
What to love in Yogyakarta
One thing to love here is the contemporary art scene that really sets this historic city apart from others. You’d also love the shopping districts here as you’ll find the best bargain buys!
Where to stay in Yogyakarta
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The city of Surabaya is not as well known on the tourism scene as other places in Indonesia. For most foreign visitors, the city is merely a transport hub but for locals, Surabaya is the bridge to the birth of the Indonesian nation because this is the place where the battle for independence began.
Best places to eat in Surabaya
BU Kris, Domicile Kitchen & Lounge, Layar Seafood, and Soto Ambengan
What to love in Surabaya
Its historic Arab Quarter, like mazy old Arabic town centers, is a fascinating complex of lanes, and the city has one of Indonesia’s biggest Chinatowns and some disintegrating but impressive, Dutch colonial architecture.
Where to stay in Surabaya
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Dubbed as the “Paris of Java,” Bandung has its old-world charm that captivates the hearts of the tourists. Bandung is also popular for being home to some of the best known indie rock bands in the country.
Best places to eat in Bandung
Dapur Dahapati, Batagor Kingsley, Tahu Susu Lembang, and Martabak San Francisco
What to love in Bandung
You’d fall in love with Bandung’s lush mountainous backdrop and its abundance in greenery. Another thing you’d admire is Bandung’s art deco buildings of Dutch colonial heritage.
Where to stay in Bandung
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3. CHRISTMAS IN SINGAPORE
While it’s not snowing in Singapore, that doesn’t mean the Yuletide season will be less fun. In December, the city’s streets are turned into a whimsical land with its Christmas decorations. Singapore also offers a lot of festivities and amusements for everyone— from parties, concerts, art exhibits and of course, shopping bargains! That being said, Singapore is in the list of the top Christmas destinations in Southeast Asia.
Best places to celebrate in Singapore
Gardens by the Bay
When in Singapore, you should never miss Gardens by the Bay. It’s an iconic sight in Singapore thanks to the photogenic Supertree Grove and impressive indoor waterfall. This place surely will make your Christmas in Southeast Asia a December to remember.
What to love in Gardens by the Bay
Everything! You can spend a day and not get tired of walking around to see the spectacular views of the different gardens and parks, and the best shopping spots are found here. This place is surely a feast for the eyes.
When it comes to shopping, Orchard Road in Singapore is a must-visit. With its seemingly endless row of malls, Orchard Road is surely a shopaholic’s haven.
What to love in Orchard Road
Aside from its popular retail scene, there are other things Orchard Road has to offer. You can enjoy its green parks, a view of the presidential palace, and sidewalk cafés.
Universal Studios Singapore
Universal Studios Singapore is Southeast Asia’s only Universal Studios theme park. The theme park is 20 hectares, that’s about the size of 25 football fields combined.
What to love in Universal Studios Singapore
The theme park offers some of the world’s most thrilling rides. If you’re feeling too adventurous, experience the thrill of the world’s tallest dueling roller coasters – Battlestar Galactica: HUMAN vs. CYCLON.
Haji Lane may be one of the narrowest streets in Singapore but it will surprise you in so many ways! There’s an abundance of fusion restaurants and bars all around. Also, it’s hard not to notice the incredible artwork on the building walls.
What to love in Haji Lane
This place is best for indie-minded shoppers interested in trendy, youthful, affordable brands. Art lovers will also find this place more amusing rather than plain. Haji Lane is a great photo wall for the Instagrammers as it has so much vibrancy and quirkiness in the area.
Joo Chiat is known for being one of the first heritage towns in Singapore. This town is a mix of old and new. From traditional heritage shophouses to hipster bars and shops, this is definitely an area not to be missed when you are visiting Singapore.
What to love in Joo Chiat
You’ll be amazed at how colorful and lively the place is. Every corner in Joo Chiat is Instagram-worthy and perfect for your OOTD shots! You can also find the cheap and authentic street food here.
Best places to eat in Singapore
Latteria Mozzarella Bar, Alley on 25, and Brotzeit
Where to stay in Singapore
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4. CHRISTMAS IN MALAYSIA
Just like other top Christmas destinations in Southeast Asia, Malaysia’s celebration is filled with warmth, cheers, and excitement. During the Christmas season in Malaysia, everyone can enjoy the best bargain buys, music festivals, night parties or just a chill day.
Best places to celebrate in Malaysia
This place never fails to amaze tourists with its colonial architecture, countless natural attractions, jaw-dropping skyscrapers, and dazzling skyline. But more than these things, Kuala Lumpur’s locals are what also make the city a must-visit.
Best places to eat in Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Alor Night Food Court, JOLOKO, Serena Brasserie, and Devi’s Corner
What to love in Kuala Lumpur
You’ll be amazed at the traditional and whizzy modern skylines and skyscrapers of Kuala Lumpur. Though you’ll see the modernity of the city, they manage to progress without losing their rich culture.
Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur
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Langkawi is off the grid for most tourists but others won’t let their Malaysia trip go by without visiting here. It has 99 islands, enough to call the attention of those in-the-know.
Best places to eat in Langkawi
Pia’s the Padi, Orkid Ria Seafood Restaurant, The Cliff Langkawi, and The Gulai House
What to love in Langkawi
Langkawi’s heavenly islands always amaze its visitors as the views are breathtaking. The place is rich in tapestries of culture, wildlife, and vibrant rituals.
Where to stay in Langkawi
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Penang is best known for its glorious and mouth-watering street food. Some say Penang is Asia’s next foodie city.
Best places to eat in Penang
Kheng Pin Cafe, Gerai Gerai Padang Brown, Air Itam Asam Laksa, and First Famous Federal Restaurant
What to love in Penang
Forget the city but never miss trying Penang’s street food! Aside from its famous food scene, you’ll also love Penang’s street art and its unique blend of architecture.
Where to stay in Penang
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Together with George Town, Melaka has been named by UNESCO as Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca. It is rich with heritage buildings, ancient landmarks, and colonial structures— the imprints of British, Dutch and Portuguese forces left behind.
Best places to eat in Melaka
The Baboon House, Geographer Café, Veggie Planet, and Seri Nyonya Peranakan Restaurant
What to love in Melaka
Explore and get lost to Melaka’s historic streets as it brings you back to the past. The place has an amazing architecture that mesmerizes tourists. Thus, becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Where to stay in Melaka
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If you’re looking for a very laid-back and relaxed city in Malaysia, consider visiting Kota Kinabalu (KK). This place is ideal if you’re looking for an adventure as it has a lot of things to offer whether it be diving, tanning at the beach, wildlife watching or Mt. Kinabalu trekking.
Best places to eat in Kota Kinabalu
Little Italy, Brass Monkey, Kohinoor North Indian Restaurant, and Welcome Seafood Restaurant
What to love in Kota Kinabalu
KK is easy to get around, but more than this, you’ll love the friendly locals, breathtaking fiery sunsets, lively arts, and music scene and a rich culinary spectrum spanning street food to high end.
Where to stay in Kota Kinabalu
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If you want to make the most out of your Christmas vacation, choose to Travel More and Pay Less when you book quality budget accommodation with ZEN Rooms. Book Smart!
Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.
Make your summer break fun and exciting with these summer holiday ideas that are definitely worth considering and sharing with friends.
From outdoor adventures to indoor activities, you can make your vacation more wholesome and memorable with these summer ideas.
1. Screaming your hearts out in an amusement park
No time to go to the beach this summer? Go on a trip to an amusement park with your friends instead! Try all the exhilarating and thrilling rides like the roller coaster! But if you’re not up for those kind of rides, you can just try the ones that won’t make you throw up like the carousel, giant flying swing, or Ferris wheel.
2. Having fun at the beach with friends
What’s summer without hitting the beach? Pack your best swimsuits and get ready to be baked and have your dream tan lines! Make sure to make the most out of your beach trip by booking the best island tours.
3. Hosting a pizza party
A pizza party never goes wrong! Call your friends and host the most fun pizza party ever! You can do this after work or in a slumber party with your gals.
4. Trying a new skin care regimen
Still having breakouts or your skin’s dry? Maybe it’s time to switch to a new skin care so you’ll be summer-ready when you hit the sun!
5. Creating a summer playlist.
Be your own DJ and create your summer playlist whether for the road or for the beach. We recommend making several summer playlists like the ones with the upbeat songs and the ones with the mellow songs to cater everyone’s music taste.
6. Traveling out of the country
This is the perfect time to finally go out of the country! Explore a place you’ve never been to whether you’re alone or with someone. Try all the new dishes and visit every local tourist spots.
7. Jumping in the ocean
Don’t be a kill joy and just jump in the ocean, with caution of course. It’s fun when you do it together with your friends.
Summer break means more free time. This means, you can already do what you’ve been wanting to do for so long. Cooking or baking is a good thing to try this summer. Enroll in a short course class or even a workshop. There’s nothing more fulfilling than tasting the fruit of your labor!
9. Going out for some ice cream
Enjoy life’s simple pleasures and have the best time of your day. Go for an ice cream date with your partner or friend and order a flavor you’ve never tried before. Who know? It could turn out to be your new fave flavor!
10. Binge-watching a series
Feeling lazy to go out? Binge watch a new TV show or K-Drama and go kilig all over again! Our favorites so far are: Descendants of the Sun, Kingdom, Crash Landing on You and, Cheese in the Trap!
11. Decluttering your room
Need a room makeover? It’s now time to declutter it. Summer is the perfect time to do it because you have your time on your hands. Clean your room and you’ll be surprised how big your space it once you decluttered everything.
Watch the stars with your loved one, hold hands together, and when you see a falling star, close your eyes and wish. Isn’t it romantic?
If ever you need a place to stay in summer, book only the best budget hotel so you can enjoy a quality accommodation at a very affordable price!
Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.
Holy Week in the Philippines is the best time to travel and spend a fulfilling getaway with your family. This prestigious holiday takes place on Palm Sunday, April 5 and ends on Black Saturday, April 11. While Holy Week Philippines 2020 serves as a break from the fast-paced lifestyle in the city, it also serves as one of the longest and most anticipated holidays in the Philippines.
People all over the country perform rituals and traditions in celebration of his death and resurrection. Deciding where to go this holiday is a cause for much excitement, so we’re giving you a number of churches to visit and traditions you can partake in while enjoying your week-long vacation.
1. Simala Church, Cebu
If you wish to get far away this holy week, Simala Church in Cebu is a great destination. Simala Church is a prestigious castle-like structure in the heart of the province. Home to the Monastery of the Holy Eucharist, people from all over the world flock to this pristine church to witness traditions and religious gatherings.
Not only will you find yourself seeing some of the prettiest churches in the Philippines, but you’ll also be greeted by a number of beaches and activities you can do during the trip! It’s no doubt you can enjoy Holy Week Philippines 2020 and summertime here all at once!
2. Moriones Festival in Marinduque
Marinduque’s Moriones Festival is one of the most colorful festivals in the country. It is an annual week-long commemoration of the life and death of Jesus Christ every Holy Week.
In this folk religious festival, locals wear costumes and masks replicating biblical Roman soldiers, reenacting scenes from the Passion of Christ. The festival also celebrates the life of Saint Longinus, the half-blind Roman soldier who speared the crucified body of Jesus. Longinus is believed to have regained his vision when Jesus’ blood hit his eye, restoring his vision.
It does not only serve as a tourist attraction but also a good way to remember the suffering of Jesus Christ.
3. Laguna Province
Another popular Holy Week destination in the Philippines is the province of Laguna because it is home to historic and remarkable churches built during the Spanish Colonial era.
Many devotees opt to do their Visita Iglesia in Laguna because it is just a short drive south of Metro Manila.
4. Quiapo Church, Manila
Most people fast during the Lenten season, while others attend mass every day. Quiapo Church is worth the visit this Holy Week if you’re planning to stay in Manila. This grand church is home to the famous shrine of the Black Nazarene. This church is usually packed during Maundy Thursday, where a large group of devotees carry crucifixes and recreate the scenes of the crucifixion.
5. Via Crucis at San Fernando, Pampanga
Every year on Good Friday, tourists flock to San Fernando, Pampanga to witness the world-renowned staging of Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) for Holy Week. Devotees imitate the suffering of Christ and participate in real-life self-flagellation, Passion Play which culminates with the crucifixion penitents.
Re-enacting the crucifixion is a way for devout Catholics to express their faith in the most extreme way.
Witness this reenactment for a one-of-a-kind Holy Week Philippines 2020 experience.
6. Baguio Cathedral, Baguio City
If you’re in Baguio City for Holy Week, there are several churches for you to visit while enjoying the cool climate and the fresh scent of pine trees and highland flowers. These include Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral which is just located at the city’s most popular street, Session Road and the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Church in Burnham Park.
7. San Pedro Cathedral, Davao
The oldest church in Davao City, the San Pedro Cathedral is now recognized as a National Cultural Treasure. It’s famous for its architectural structure, a curved roof reminiscent of the traditional vinta— a traditional outrigger boat from the Philippine island of Mindanao. This is one of the many churches that people visit when celebrating Holy Week.
8. Tukon Church, Batanes
If you want to reflect on things and just have a retreat, Batanes is the perfect place. Its scenic views and peaceful surroundings make up a tranquil retreat. The best place you can visit in Batanes is the Racuh A Payaman, Tayid Lighthouse and the Tukon Chapel in Basco.
9. Mt. Apo, Davao
For those who want to have a different type of pilgrimage, climbing Mt. Apo in Davao is something to try. It usually takes two days to reach the summit. While the trek can be challenging, you’ll be rewarded with gorgeous sights like the 150-feet Tudaya Falls and a breathtaking view. It’s perfect for those who want adventure while showing their devotion to tradition.
10. Manila Cathedral, Manila
The Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, also known as Manila Cathedral, is the cathedral of Manila and basilica located in the historic walled city of Intramuros. Aptly honored as the Mother Church of the Philippines, one should not hesitate to visit this pristine church during the holidays. You’ll find yourself admiring the beautiful structure, especially its religious mosaic art that can be found inside. It should definitely be one of the churches that you and your family will be visiting this Holy Week!
If you wish to travel to these holiday destinations this Holy Week Philippines 2020, don’t hesitate to book ZEN Rooms in Davao, Bohol, Manila, Cebu and Baguio City!
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Make the most of your summer break with these ZEN travel ideas in Southeast Asia. It’s time to go out of your comfort zone and take your summer plans to the next level! And if you’re looking for the best things to do in Southeast Asia in summers, we’ve got you covered!
Here are the 13 most fun activities to try this summer!
1. Jump into the pool in Bali, Indonesia
Find yourself in an indoor paradise when booking ZEN Rooms on your next trip to Bali, Indonesia. Relax, unwind and get into that bikini vibe as summer rewards you with an endless supply of calm, peace and comfort! There’s no better way to spend the summer than to slip into a zen mode and float on a pool of peace and serenity. Click here to view other properties that offer a relaxing indoor pool.
2. Enter the underwater world of the S.E.A. Aquarium in Singapore
Home to more than 100,000 marine animals, with over 1,000 different kinds of species found across 50 habitats, this aquatic conservatory hosts the latest conservation efforts and promotes a unique underwater experience to its visitors. Adventure-seekers can swim just inches away from some of the ocean’s stealthiest predators in their Shark Encounter program, and try a once-in-a-lifetime experience of walking and breathing freely underwater in their Sea Trek adventure.
3. Feast on Penang, Malaysia’s street food
The abundance of street food in Malaysia can be overwhelming, yet satisfying. Stalls upon stalls can be spotted in Penang, and the same dishes repeat themselves but never falls short of delicious. However, this is where you can find the entirety of the authentic Malaysian cuisine. The streets of Penang City are known as a food paradise mainly due to its diversity in ethnicity, culture, and religion. From noodle soups to laksa, and Indian curry to crepe-like snacks! There is a wide variety of food options that’s definitely worth the visit! Don’t miss this as this is one of the best things to do in Southeast Asia in summers.
4. Witness installations in the ArtScience Museum in Marina Bay Sands
The ArtScience in Marina Bay Sands beautifully pushes the boundaries between art and science. When technology and knowledge are fused with art, a wide range of innovative designs emerge from the ideas of world-renowned creatives. A multitude of works from the arts and creative fields are displayed, which features eye-catching exhibitions and installations that perfectly demonstrates the possibilities of technology when combined with art. Visitors can immerse themselves in a dynamic 1,500-square-metre digital universe of interactive art installations revolving around the themes of Nature, Town, Park, and Science.
5. Go kayaking in El Nido, Palawan
If there’s one thing that tops the list of things to do in Southeast Asia in summers, it’s the combination of kayaking, sight-seeing, and snorkeling all in one hot summer day! It wouldn’t be a summer worth reliving without a sweet escape to the beautiful island of El Nido, Palawan. Surrounded by limestone karsts protruding from the sea, you’ll discover lagoons and giant rock formations that can only be accessed by hidden entrances and secret passageways. This island is full of hidden gems under the sea and on land.
6. Go shopping in Hong Kong
There’s no doubt that Hong Kong is a popular shopping district among fashion lovers and designer brands. From high-end luxury items to street bazaars with reasonable bargains, this shopping haven offers a wide variety of shopping districts and avenues that are certainly worth visiting and spending money on! Like walking straight into a fashion catalog, this city meets the standards of those with lavish lifestyles and designer dreams.
7. Climb Sigiriya in Sri Lanka
One of the “Eight Wonders of the World”, Sigiriya is one of the most valuable historical monuments of Sri Lanka. This ancient palace and fortress complex has significant archaeological importance and attracts thousands of tourists every year, mostly for its story and the breathtaking view when you reach the top. Sigiriya rock plateau, formed from magma of an extinct volcano, is 200 meters high in the jungle. Its view astonishes visitors with its unique harmony between nature and human imagination. Missing this adventure is like ditching the best things to do in Southeast Asia in summers.
8. Visit the magnificent Ulun Danu Beratan Temple in Northern Bali, Indonesia
A summer trip to Bali isn’t complete without visiting its temples! Ulun Danu Beratan Temple complex is located on the shores of Lake Bratan in the mountains near Bedugul and looks as if it is floating on water. Due to the importance of Lake Bratan as a main source of irrigation in central Bali, the temple is used for offerings ceremony to the Balinese lake river goddess Dewi Danu. This hidden gem in the north continues to attract visitors for its sacred waters and shrines, finding harmony between man and nature in one magnificent complex.
9. Pass through Khao San Road in Bangkok, Thailand
Khao San Road in Bangkok, Thailand is a backpacker’s trail and a traveler’s perfect stopover. You can find cafes, bars, restaurants, massage parlors and market stalls along its vibrant and colorful streets. You might even find yourself listening to tales of traveling and become inspired to take on a random adventure around the country. Tourists can definitely feel the openness and infectious vibe of this road, for it is popular among locals, foreigners, and art students. Spend a culture trip, eat some food, and buy yourself some souvenirs upon passing through this lively avenue and include this to your list of things to do in Southeast Asia in summers.
10. Escape to Phi Phi Islands in Thailand
Summer days would not be complete without the sand, beach and the sea! Featuring tropical beaches, stunning rock formations, and vivid turquoise waters, this paradise in the Phi Phi Islands of Phuket, Thailand is one of the loveliest places in Southeast Asia. The islands are teeming with rich and vibrant marine life and provide a great choice of tours and activities to vacationers. This picturesque nature destination is the ultimate tropical getaway for a sweet summer vacation.
11. Shop for souvenirs in Little India, Singapore
Radiant and lively, you can immerse yourself in the ethnic district of Little India in Singapore for a colorful and festive vibe. The busy streets of this brightly-colored neighborhood are filled with malls, jewelry stores, and tailor shops that are perfect for souvenir shopping. Discover tasty Indian cuisines, Indian ornaments, Hindu temples, spice shops and so much more. It’s always a treat to dive into the culture and traditions of different countries and bring a little piece of it back home for the memories.
12. Bask in the beauty of The Sam Poh Tong Temple in Ipoh, Malaysia
Malaysia is home to dozens of astonishing temples, one of which is the Sam Poh Tong Temple, also known as the Three Buddhas Cave. Built within a raw limestone cave in the mountains, it is the oldest and the biggest Chinese Buddhist temple cave in Ipoh, Malaysia. Until today, nuns and monks who dedicate their lives to Buddha still occupy the Sam Poh Tong. Statues of Buddha are displayed among the stalactites and stalagmites. It is brimming with spirituality and is considered a work of art between man and nature.
13. Watch the sunset in Boracay
It wouldn’t be a summer worth remembering if it doesn’t involve a beautiful sunset at the end of the day. Sit back, relax and enjoy a stunning, colorful sky on the island of Boracay, Philippines. You can peacefully watch the sun bid farewell to the ocean and its seaside lovers, while enjoying the view of sailboats and tourists ending the summer day with a beer on one hand, and a phone to capture the natural beauty of nature. It’s time to party afterwards, or maybe stargaze as the ocean welcomes a warm, summer evening in paradise. It’s definitely one of the best things to do in Southeast Asia in summers!
If you wish to travel to these destinations at a low price, we’ve got budget hotels that can cater to your travel needs! Book now at www.zenrooms.com!
Calling out all food lovers out there! We’re giving you 15 budget-friendly, drool-worthy, and super delicious menu items to try out in these best affordable restaurants in Manila! Get your camera phones ready, your tummies rumbling, and PHP200 ($4) worth of cash. We’ve got your cravings (and budget) covered!
The Burgery is known for its juicy, medium-done patties and overflowing nachos. Considering their cheap prices, they offer more than what is expected from a budget-friendly meal, with each bite releasing a sweet amount of meat juice that’s perfect for meat lovers. We will not include this in the list of best affordable restaurants in Manila for nothing!
Bugsy Burger – PHP145 | Fat Tony Burger – PHP185
Location: Circuit Lane Makati, Riverfront Drive, AP Reyes St, Carmona, Makati
Formerly known as Chubs Steak at Manok, Chubs Chasers is the same casual Filipino-American diner serving their signature Divine Steak and Carvilicious Chicken. With the expansion of their menu, they have now included ribs, burgers, pasta, desserts, and other entrees into their menu.
Parmesan Flaming Wings – PHP 199
Location: 86 Visayas Avenue Extension, Tandang Sora, Quezon City
Lagrima, located in Legazpi Village Makati, offers authentic tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. With a wide selection of fillings for both your burrito and taco, you are free to customize the flavors to your liking. Their amazing Horchata (Rice Milk) is loved by many too and it’s surely a must-try in their delicious menu. Get ready for an explosion of flavors when dining in this yummy taco and burrito joint.
Super Taco – PHP 190 | Quesadillas – PHP 150 to PHP 200
Location: G/F BSA Mansion 108 Benavidez St, Legazpi Village, Makati
Chef Lau’s Pugon Roasters is a fast food-type of restaurant that specializes in Pugon Roasted Chicken and other savory dishes, such as Kaldereta Mac n’ Cheese, Angus Beef Steak, and Sinampalukang Sopas. Guests are welcome to order unlimited rice for only Php 6.00, making their menu budget-meal worthy and perfect for unli-rice lovers. With a powerful distinct taste, you can easily tell from the flavor that it’s from Pugon’s. Even their Atsara is good. For anyone needing a hot meal served quickly, this dining spot is perfect for a quick dine out.
Pugon Roast Chicken – PHP 99 to PHP 119
Location: Ayala Triangle Gardens, Salcedo Village, Makati City
Esquinita Kitchen & Pub is a hole-in-the-wall, casual restaurant along Estrella in Makati offering affordable Filipino-Mexican cuisine, such as tacos, quesadillas, and burritos. Perfect for a group meal, this dining area will keep your tummies filled and satisfy your cravings.
Sisig Rice – PHP 99 | Crispy Sinigang PHP 169
Location: 78 A Estrella St. Bel Air, Bel-Air, Makati
The Wild Poppy is a hip garden rooftop inspired restaurant that serves modern Asian specialties like fried baos, other small bites, and signature cocktails. The ambiance of this bar & restaurant emits a cozy vibe that puts you in a relaxing mood while enjoying meals and cocktails. The interiors have a vibrant and warm contrast, giving guests a great time with great food.
Chicken Ren Damn – PHP 120 | Hoi Belly – PHP 140
Location: 2/F 5666 Don Pedro Street, Poblacion, Makati, 1210 Metro Manila
Grape Escape is a wine lounge and kitchen and is the first of its kind in Maginhawa. It offers something far greater than the typical menu and is usually visited by students from nearby schools and institutions. They even have a wide selection of wines and a number of dishes to match the awesome food. If you’re seeking for a fancy but affordable place, Grape Escape if the spot for you.
Chicken Fritters – PHP 175
Location: 99 Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village East, Teachers Village, Quezon City 1101
Gata offers flavors of Bicolano cuisine, especially since most would consider it a piece of Bicol right in the middle of Quezon City. They serve authentic Bicolano dishes like Laing, Bicol Express, Adobong Bicol, all with fresh gata or coconut milk. All of these can be customizable so you won’t worry too much about the spice levels.
Adobong Bicol Rice w Egg | Homemade Bicol Longganisa with Garlic Rice and Egg | Crispy Danggit Bicol with Garlic
Rice and Egg – All for PHP190
Location: Unit 3 143 Mother Ignacia Ave. Brgy, Diliman, Quezon City, 1103 Metro Manila
Known to be truly authentic when it comes to Banh mi sandwiches, this hold-in-the-wall dining destination is owned by a Vietnamese couple and is said to make the best Banh mi in Manila. Everything in their menu is under PHP250 that’s why it is one of the best affordable restaurants in Manila! So it’s perfect for a budget-friendly dine out.
All Banhmi – PHP99 to PHP119
Location: Food Patio, 7th Floor, PBCom Tower, 6795 Ayala Ave cor V.A. Rufino St, Salcedo Village, Makati
If you’re looking for the best affordable restaurants in Manila, visit Tittos. It is a taco place located along the foodie strip of Kapitolyo. It serves a menu of unique Filipino dishes with a Latin American twist. The ambiance is nice and it doesn’t get too crowded, so it’s just right for a simple, casual dine out with some friends. You might even want to try out their cocktails, which are a great compliment to their outstanding dishes.
All Tacos – PHP125 to PHP155
Location: 16 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Bai Nian Tang Bao is a soup dumpling specialty restaurant that serves a wide array of Chinese comfort food. You’ll find yourself enjoying their Soup Dumplings, Fish, Scallops, Rice Bowls and Pork Dumplings. Everything on their menu does not disappoint!
Chicken Soup Pork Wonton – PHP119 | Shanghai Scallion Oil Noodles – PHP179
Location: Ground Floor, Uptown Parade, 9th Avenue Corner 38th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Bento & Co. is a neighborhood Japanese restaurant that thrives in their ‘make-your-own bento’ concept. You can modify your order based on your mood and hunger level. You can definitely feel the Japanese taste through their food and the ambience of the restaurant. If you’re down to customize your bento box to your liking, why not try out this awesome Japanese food spot.
Katsudon – PHP175 | Make-Your-Own Bento – PHP125 to PHP200
Location: No. 2 Scout Dr Lazcano, Paligsahan, Quezon City
Faburrito is a healthy Mexican restaurant that serves freshly prepared wraps, burritos and other Mexican specials. Some of their menu items include Steak Salad, Nachos, Mango Salsa, Fish Salad, Chicken Quesadilla, Tacos and Lemongrass Tea.
Chicken Quesadillas – PHP 169 | Battered Fish Bowl – PHP 195
Location: G/F The Columns, Ayala cor Sen Gil Puyat Ave, Salcedo Village, Makati
14. Bowl Master
Bowl Master lives up to its name by serving you fresh and flavorful bowls perfect for every meal! Their tipid meals are perfect for those who are always on a budget. Bowl Master is definitely one of the best affordable restaurants in Manila.
Rice bowls – PHP85 – 105
Location: Double Dragon Plaza The Meridian Pasay City
15. Kko Kko
Kko Kko is a modern Korean chicken house that uses traditional and contemporary recipes that came from Grace Lee and her mother. Their menu is divided into three main categories – Korean Fried Chicken, Korean Street Food, and Dosirak (Korean Lunch Cox), each narrating a story about the dining setting and customs of Korea. Find yourself enjoying authentic Korean cuisine in this sweet dining spot. Other food items include Onion Rings, Cheesy Chicken, Chicken Wings, Bibimbap, Bread Bowl, Beef Bulgogi, Soy Chicken.
2-pc Chicken with Rice – PHP118
Location: The Sapphire Bloc, Sapphire Road, Ortigas, Pasig City
If you find yourself craving for these dishes in the Metro, why not stay in a comfortable and relaxing place near these restaurants!
Book a room at ZEN Rooms, the leading budget hotel in Asia! No booking fee! Visit www.zenrooms.com or download our mobile app. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for news and updates!
Palawan itself is just so beautiful as it is. With the abundance of amazing views of the lakes, lagoons, and clear blue-green waters, what more can you ask for for a perfect island getaway? But in this day and age, there’s a saying that goes you’ve never really been there if you don’t have a photo of it. So, what better way to level up your feed game than taking photos at the most Instagrammable Palawan attractions?
From hidden lagoons to underground rivers, there are tons of picturesque spots you can visit and turn into your very own Insta-paradise! Check out our list of stunning destinations you can feature on your next social media feed.
Puerto Princesa, Palawan
1. Palawan Underground River
A protected area of the Philippines, the Palawan Underground River or Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is one of the 7 Wonders of Nature. It is also one of the longest underground rivers in the world that outflows directly to the sea. This tourist destination is loved by travelers and locals. You can find yourself becoming amazed by its mysterious and enchanting rock formations inside this beauty. That’s why this is one of the best Palawan attractions!
2. Honda Bay Islands
Island hop to witness stunning islands and white sand beaches in Honda Bay Island. It offers a day tour that allows you to explore dive sites and hidden gems all around Puerto Princesa, leaving you with glimpses and memories of the beauty of Palawan’s landscape. You’ll also enjoy being surrounded by corals and marine wildlife.
3. Cowrie Island
Cowrie Island is one of the best Palawan attractions you can explore during the Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour. Some of the activities you can try here are swimming, riding the banana boat, snorkeling, and other water activities. This charming island is perfect for adventure seekers and Instagram lovers looking to enjoy an exciting day at the beach.
4. Luli Island
Luli Island is unique because it sinks and rises depending on the tide. Famous among tourists for its sandbars and mangrove forests, it also has beautiful white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, making it the perfect place to grab a beer with some friends, take pictures and relax under the sun.
5. Sabang Waterfall
Mother Nature has a way of turning everything into something majestic and stunning. Sabang Waterfalls faces directly to the sea and is adorned by travelers and locals. It isn’t your typical waterfall because it’s 50-ft. high and has a rock pool at the bottom and it’s just a short walk from the beach.
6. Sabang Beach
Sabang Beach is surrounded by white sand, palm trees, and mountainous views. This small village in Puerto Princesa City has yet to be discovered by the mainstream crowd. Whether it be swimming or just soaking up the sun, Sabang Beach is the perfect place for some downtime because it’s not crowded with tourists.
7. Nagtabon Beach
Feel the summer breeze with these palm trees at Nagtabon beach. Keep calm and at ease at this ultimate destination. This quiet place is the complete opposite of the chaos in Honda Bay and Underground River. Here, you can easily spend the day eating delicious food and enjoying the relaxing tropical atmosphere.
El Nido, Palawan
1. Shimizu Island
Soak up the sun in Shimizu Island. This spot has fishes of different colors and is the perfect island getaway if you’re looking for rich marine life. You can also enjoy a seafood feast here with your friends.
2. Secret Lagoon
Separated from the ocean through a small keyhole-like opening, Secret Beach is only accessible by swimming through this door size opening through a narrow crevice in a rock wall. Here you’ll see a beach surrounded by limestone cliffs that cannot be seen from the open sea!
3. Taraw Cliff
Taraw Cliff is a giant limestone terrace overlooking the town of El Nido. It is the highest peak and it’s perfect for adventurous spirits who would do anything for a stunning view. A peak with this view of Palawan is definitely worth the hike. Climb and conquer the forests and terranes leading up to this rewarding landscape and don’t forget to capture your victory. It was worth it for the gram!
4. Las Cabanas Beach
Las Cabanas Beach is the perfect place to relax, sunbathe and swim! You can catch a beautiful sunset in this hidden gem. This Palawan attractions spot is very accessible to tourists and locals since it’s just a few minutes away from El Nido town.
5. Pinagbuyutan Island
Also called Inabuyatan Island, meaning “Enchanted Island,” this island holds one of the most outstanding landscapes in El Nido. The beach has soft powdery white sand, making it a great place to just stay in a hammock, and forget all your troubles and relax. There is also a colorful and thriving underwater ecosystem beneath its glass-like waters.
6. Seven Commandos Beach
Seven Commando Beach is a lovely place to relax under the coconuts or just swim! It’s an ideal place for a romance with the sun. It has a sandy shore that’s perfect for sunbathing or playing sports or lazing around. This destination is one of the stops in El Nido’s special day tour.
7. Nacpan Beach
Head out to Nacpan Beach for a less-crowded beach experience! Nacpan Beach is one of the most beautiful stretches of sand in the Philippines. It has surfable waves, a fishing village, coconut palms, and brimming white sand. You can also end your day in this special spot, for Nacpan’s sunsets are known for being absolutely spectacular.
8. Baquit Bay
Baquit Bay has clear blue waters that are teeming with marine life and nature’s most beautiful creatures. This place is filled with islands that are both occupied and uninhabited.
There are over 30 dive sites that can be explored, as well as activities that will allow you to become closer to nature.
9. Big Lagoon
Just like any other lagoons in Palawan, Big Lagoon is dotted with dark limestone cliffs. These limestone pieces are perfectly lined beside blazing blue waters, creating a pathway, and a panoramic view. Visitors are given the freedom to enjoy this paradise on their own. You can take a short swim in the shallow waters at the entrance or try kayaking through the waters. Don’t miss this as this is one of the best Palawan attractions.
10. Small Lagoon
Small Lagoon is usually the first stop to the Island Hopping tour. Some of the favorite activities here are kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling. You can swim to the other end of the lagoon where you can reach a small water-filled cave and enjoy a cool dive in its underwater paradise.
Want to visit these spots in Palawan? Book ZEN Rooms on your next travels! Visit www.zenrooms.com or download our mobile app to check out our properties all over the Philippines and Southeast Asia. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for updates and promos!
Many tourists are frequenting Southeast Asia because aside from having amazing destinations, it is also an affordable region to travel to. From visiting temples in Thailand to art-appreciation in the Philippines, the countries are definitely worth your time and if you’re looking for the cheapest places to travel in Southeast Asia, you’ve come to the right place!
We’ve listed 7 remarkable but budget-friendly spots to visit in Southeast Asia! Most of these destinations are either under $10 or FREE! Find out where you can spend your next budget-friendly trip!
1. Golden Temple of Dambulla in Sri Lanka
Location: Kandy – Jaffna Hwy, Dambulla, Sri Lanka
Entrance Fee: 9 USD
Dambulla Cave Temple, also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla, is a World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka. It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in the country. The caves are nearly 2,000 years, yet they still remain remarkable and fascinating. Dress codes are strictly implemented, which means you can’t wear shorts and the women should have their shoulders covered. If you don’t bring the appropriate clothes, you may borrow a wrap from the entrance. This is definitely one of the greatest and cheapest places to travel in Southeast Asia.
2. Pura Lempuyang Temple Bali (Gateway To Heaven)
Location: Jl. Pura Telaga Mas Lempuyang, Tri Buana, Kec. Karangasem, Kabupaten Karangasem, Bali 80852, Indonesia
The Gates of Heaven at Pura Lempuyang Temple is a stunning “split gate” in the style of Hindu Balinese architecture, which represents the boundary between the outer world and the outer realm of the temple. It is one of the oldest and most sacred temples on the island and it will surely leave you stunned and in awe. This wonderful landmark is definitely worth visiting when traveling to Indonesia and requires no entrance fee. However, they do accept donations. Don’t miss this tourist spot as this is one of the most beautiful and cheapest places to travel in Southeast Asia.
3. Singapore Botanic Garden
Location: 1 Cluny Rd, Singapore
Entrance Fee: 3 USD
If you’re seeking for a nice stroll in the city, then this urban garden is a must-see in the heart of Singapore! The Singapore Botanic Garden showcases the best and most spectacular tropical floral set. You can view 300 species of plants in the Ethnobotany Garden and see full-blown beauty in the middle of this landscape. 2,000 hybrid plants and 1,000 different kinds of species are displayed in the garden for all to see and admire. From ponds to rain forests, guests are free to explore the magnificent landscape for just a few bucks.
4. National Museum of Natural History in the Philippines
Location: Teodoro F. Valencia Circle, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila
The newly-opened museum is brimming with new pieces and historical artifacts. It houses the most important ethnographic, anthropological, archaeological and visual artistry of the country from the prehistoric period to the modern times. If you find yourself walking along the streets of Padre Burgos Avenue, Rizal Park, Ermita, Manila, this landmark is a must-see. Looking into the history of one’s country is vital in understanding its culture and people. So if you find yourself seeking a budget-friendly activity in the metro, we suggest you explore the National Museum of Natural History.
5. Batu Caves in Malaysia
Location: Gombak, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia
Situated in Malaysia, Batu Caves is a limestone hill with a series of caves and temples that are said to be 400 million years old. It is being guarded by the Hindu deity Lord Murugan, so it’s no doubt that this is one of Malaysia’s national treasures. A majestic scene can be witnessed upon entering these caves, such as monkeys welcoming guests, bats fluttering beneath a light that seeps through the hills, as well as glowing stalactites.
6. Wat Arun in Thailand
Location: 158 Thanon Wang Doem, Khwaeng Wat Arun, Khet Bangkok Yai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10600, Thailand
Entrance Fee: 4 USD
Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand is one of the cheapest places to travel in Southeast Asia and easily one of the most stunning temples in Bangkok. The designs are quite intricate and distinct from many other temples found in Bangkok. Situated near a riverside, this landmark is brimming with color and decor, whilst standing on water.
7. Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery in Hong Kong
Location: Pai Tau, Hong Kong
The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is a mid-20th century Buddhist temple located in Sha Tin, Hong Kong. It consists of multiple temples and shrines and requires a steep hike up the hill. This tourist attraction is one of Hong Kong’s most famous Buddhist temples and can be visited by all.
Want to visit these Southeast Asian destinations? Book ZEN Rooms on your next trip! Visit www.zenrooms.com or download our mobile app. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest updates and promos.
The numerous cheap, but enjoyable budget-friendly things to do in Southeast Asia prove that you don’t need to spend a lot to have fun! For just under $10, you can already enjoy delicious food, museums, performances, parks, and many more!
Here’s a list of affordable activities that you can do in Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore!
Watch the Kecak Dance
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Your visit to Bali will not be complete without watching some of the most captivating traditional performances. One of those is the Kecak Dance, a form of Balinese hindu dance and music drama that was developed in the 1930s in Bali, Indonesia.
Held in the open air at sunset, usually above a cliff facing the sea, the drama depends entirely on the natural light of day. What makes this dance unique is that the drama doesn’t use artificial backdrop and musical instruments. The focus is entirely on the concentric circles of about 50 to 60 men, bare-chested, wearing only distinct Balinese sarongs sitting cross-legged around a set of torches in the center.
Eat Babi Guling
Location: Everywhere in Indonesia
Cost: $4 – $10
Babi Guling is an Indonesian dish similar to the Philippines’ lechon. It is a roasted suckling pig. What people like about Babi Guling is its golden crispy skin and tender juicy meat. Don’t miss this when you’re in Indonesia.
Visit the Jakarta History Museum
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
The Jakarta History Museum, also known as Fatahillah Museum, is housed in the former City Hall located in the old part of the city now known as Jakarta Kota. The museum exhibits a collection of antique furniture, pieces about the history of the capital from Dutch colonization to the Japanese occupation, an underground dungeon where Indonesian heroes Pangeran Diponegoro and Untung Suropati were said to have been imprisoned, and more.
Stroll in Intramuros
Location: Intramuros, Manila
A trip to Manila isn’t complete without exploring its Walled City—Intramuros. Be amazed by the city’s preserved old hispanic architecture and cobblestone streets while riding a bamboo bicycle. The bamboo bike rental starts at $1. You can also go to Fort Santiago where the Philippines’ National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal was imprisoned before his execution.
Explore the National Museum of the Philippines
Location: Ermita, Manila
If you really want the best budget things to do in Southeast Asia, you should already include the National Museum of the Philippines in your list. You’ll love it here if you’re an art and history lover. The National Museum of the Philippines houses some of the country’s greatest masterpieces—from history, art, and culture. You can find here one of the most precious art pieces in the world, Spoliarium, by Juan Luna, that features a glimpse of Roman history centered on the bloody carnage brought by gladiatorial matches. With a size of 4.22 meters x 7.675 meters, it is the largest painting in the Philippines.
The National Museum of the Philippines also has other branches and galleries you can visit like the National Art Gallery and Planetarium.
Food trip at Chinatown
Location: Binondo, Manila
Cost: $2 – $10
Since you’re already in the Intramuros area, why not go straight to Binondo and have a food trip at Chinatown? Enjoy the Filipino street food and authentic Chinese food all in one place! From haka and toasted siopao to beef lamien and hopia. Plus, they’re so affordable so you can eat everything you want without breaking the bank. This is definitely one of the best things to do in Southeast Asia.
Ride a boat in the Floating Market
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Cost: $1 – $5
Complete your Thailand experience by riding a boat in the Floating Market. Shop like no other at the floating stores or just stroll around the area. The boat ride here is affordable but the goods sold in the floating market are kind of expensive compared to the ordinary markets. Also, don’t be too surprised when the river has a traffic, too because the floating market tends to get crowded due to tourist influx.
Visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Can’t think of what to do in Southeast Asia? Go to Thailand’s temples! The Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is one of the most sacred temples in Thailand. According to legend, the temple was built in 1386 to hold a Buddha’s shoulder bone. One of those bones was mounted on a sacred white elephant who then climbed Doi Suthep mountain. After trumpeting three times, the elephant laid down and died in the jungle. The place where he lay is where Doi Suthep’s temple was founded.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple also houses a meditation center where you can learn and practice meditation. And just a reminder, make sure you’re wearing proper clothes that cover your knees and shoulder before entering the temple as they are very strict with the dress code.
Eat Mango Sticky Rice
Location: Everywhere in Thailand
Cost: $1 – $5
Oh when in Thailand, don’t you dare miss its famous delicacy—mango sticky rice! The mango is paired with sweet glutinous sticky rice with coconut milk. It’s very delicious and very filling that could already be an alternative meal. If you’re an adventurous foodie, you can try different flavors of mango sticky rice. Some sell it with colorful sticky rice with different flavors.
Explore Batu Caves
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
One of the best things to do in Southeast Asia that you shouldn’t miss is exploring Batu Caves. It houses several caves and Hindu shrines. While you’re there, you can visit the three main caves composing the Batu Caves: Art Gallery Cave, Museum Cave, and Cathedral cave—the most famous cave. To reach it, visitors must climb to 272 steps. The interior of which is decorated with ornate Hindu shrines and features a large opening at the top where the sunlight streams through.
Visit National Planetarium
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
If you’re a science geek or just someone who loves astronomy, the National Planetarium (Planetarium Negara KL) is for you. It’s a fun and educational place to learn about the planet and universe. The main entrance shows a teleport chamber which leads into a series of halls containing two planetariums that have interactive exhibits: the touch-screen interactive computers and hands-on experiments, plus a Space Theater.
Eat at Purradise Cat Cafe
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Want a taste of a different cafe vibe? Check out the Purradise Cat Cafe where you’ll dine with cats of different breeds! Oh the cat moms are so gonna love this! While in the cafe, you may play with the cats, feed them and even take them home!
Watch a free movie
Location: Sentosa, Siloso Beach
On selected weekends and holidays, you can watch a free movie screening of popular movies at Sentosa. This is perfect for families and couples who want an unforgettable evening of entertainment under the stars. Watching a free movie by the beach is definitely one of the best budget things to do in Southeast Asia!
For more information about the movie screenings and date, check out their website.
Visit the Singapore Art Museum
Location: 8 Queen St., Singapore
The Singapore Art Museum exhibits international contemporary art practices, specializing in Singapore and Southeast Asia. SAM houses the world’s largest collection of modern Southeast Asian art. From film to experimental media, you won’t find the typical oil paintings here.
Explore the Gardens by the Bay
Location: Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore
If you don’t know what to do in Southeast Asia, just explore Gardens by the Bay and you’ll never be disappointed. It’s like being in a whole new universe when you enter. Entrance to this beautiful park is free and getting a glimpse of the giant SuperTree Grove is simply a Singapore-must. Come at night and enjoy a spectacular sight as the trees light up during the Garden Rhapsody lights show.
Keep ZEN Rooms in mind on your next adventure. Book your accommodation at a very affordable price so you can travel more and pay less!
Traveling to another country can cost a lot of money—flights, hotel rooms, food, and so much more. And when we finally see the expected expenses, the excitement fades. Good thing, there are so many free things to do in Southeast Asia! And we can help ourselves but be excited! Because let’s be honest here, who doesn’t want free things?
So if you’re on a budget or just a sucker for all things free (like us), here are the 12 activities in Southeast Asia that are totally free!
1. Appreciate the Philippine culture at the National Museum
Location: Manila, Philippines
Know and appreciate the history and culture of the Philippines through the National Museum. It houses the most important ethnographic, anthropological, archaeological and visual artistry of the Philippines from the prehistoric era to modern times.
2. Join a walking tour in Cebu City
Location: Cebu City, Philippines
Take a trip in the Queen City of the South, Cebu, located at the central part of the Visayas Island. Itinerary for the walking tour is a must for all tourists because Cebu has several historical sites that will take over your list. On the off chance that you are staying for a couple of days in the city, make sure to look at their occasions and talks that advance the neighborhood’s history. We suggest visiting the famous Magellan’s Cross when in Cebu because aside from being a historic site, you don’t have to pay anything!
3. Enjoy the beauty of nature at the Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls
Location: Langkawi Island, Malaysia
This is considered as Langkawi Island’s most wonderful natural attraction. Its name means Seven Wells Waterfalls, referring to a series of seven connected natural pools fed by seven separate waterfalls in Mount Mat Cincang. The beauty of the flora existing here gives the place a magical look.
4. Visit the Penang National Park
Location: Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
A great day trip while visiting Pulau Pinang is to travel out to the Penang National Park (Taman Negara), located on the north-west corner of the island in Teluk Bahang. The park is easily accessed from George Town or Batu Ferringhi by public transport. Even though Penang National Park is the smallest national park in the world, the area is home to an extraordinarily wide spectrum of tropical plants, animals, and geographical features!
5. Do sightseeing at the Malacca River
Location: Malacca, Malaysia
One extra charm of historic Malacca is the lovely Malacca River that meanders its way through the heart of the historic district. Walkways line both sides of the river for several km, making it a relaxing place to stroll especially in the morning hour and evening. Along the riverside, you’ll come across potted plants and gardens, benches, several public toilets, a few eating spots, a section of brightly painted cafes and bars which open in evenings. From the sidewalk, you can see small riverboats carry tourists up and down the river and the fee is less than $10! But if you don’t want to spend anything, walking on the streets is also okay! This is one of the best free things to do in Southeast Asia.
6. Interact with the locals in Jodipan Village
Location: Malang, Indonesia
This village is also known as the Colorful Village. There is a lot of interesting activities here aside from its many instagrammable locations. You can also interact directly with the people who live in Jodipan Village, the hospitality of the local residents will give you wonderful memories for your trip.
7. Get splashed by Water Blow Nusa Dua in Bali
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Nusa Dua Waterblow is located within Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) area, going here will only take 30 minutes travel time from Ngurah Rai Airport. Large waves and large coral reefs are a major attraction in this location. The best time to visit is at sunrise to see the waves swell into the air with the Indian Ocean in the background along with the majestic view of sunrise.
8. Get up close with the Komodo Dragons
Location: Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia
Relieve the Jurassic experience at the Komodo National Park. It is situated in the core of the Indonesian archipelago between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores. The park is made out of three primary islands (Rinca, Komodo, and Padar) and several little ones. These volcanic islands are inhabited by a populace of around 5,700 gigantic reptiles!
9. Wander through Gardens by the Bay
Location: Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore
Gardens by the Bay is an amazing vacation destination in Singapore. It’s like being in a whole new universe when you enter. Entrance to this beautiful park is free and getting a glimpse of the giant SuperTree Grove is simply a Singapore-must. Come at night and enjoy a spectacular sight as the trees light up during the Garden Rhapsody lights show.
10. Enjoy the amazing view at Marina Bay Sands Waterfront Boardwalk
Location: Bayfront Avenue, Singapore
Singapore’s Marina Bay area is a beauty of nature. The boardwalk gives locals and tourists an up-close view of the bay and is an excellent site for a number of fun and cost-free activities along the bay.
11. Read rare book finds at the Neilson Hays Library
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
This library is a cultural hub and popular destination in Silom that helps tourists and locals unplug from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Go here for a different view of the city and read unique book finds from their wide collection.
12. Lounge in Victoria Peak Gardens
Location: The Peak, Hong Kong
When visiting Hong Kong, it is a must to travel up to Victoria Peak or just The Peak. It is an oasis in the concrete jungle of Hong Kong with picturesque views you can’t find anywhere else in the city.
Now, you can definitely visit any Southeast Asian destination on a budget! When you do, let ZEN Rooms take care of your accommodation! Book budget hotels for as low as $10/night at www.zenrooms.com!
Traveling is always fun and exciting however, it could get pretty costly. But smart travelers like you always find ways to pay less! If you’re searching for free things to do in Southeast Asia, we got you covered!
Believe it or not, there’s a lot of activities you can do which are not only inexpensive but are actually free! We’ve rounded up some of the best free things to do in Southeast Asia that you will definitely enjoy and help you save thousands of bucks!
1. Watch dance performances in Central Market
There’s more to Kuala Lumpur than its temples and skyscrapers! What makes Malaysia truly colorful is its immersive culture as well as talented people. The weekly Cultural Performances at Central Market near Pasar Seni LRT Station are sure to entertain both tourists and locals alike, while increasing appreciation for Malaysia’s history and culture. Not only this is great but watching cultural dance performances is definitely one of the best free things to do in Malaysia.
2. Visit Batu Caves
If you’re wondering where the colorful stairs in Malaysia is, it’s in Batu Caves! And one of the best free things to do in Kuala Lumpur is exploring it! Yes, it’s definitely free! It houses several caves and Hindu shrines. There are three main caves you can check out at Batu Caves: Art Gallery Cave, Museum Cave, and Cathedral cave—the most famous cave. Visitors must climb to some 272 step to reach the peak. The interior of which is decorated with ornate Hindu shrines and features a large opening at the top where the sunlight streams through.
Some people spend too much for clubbing but in Malaysia, you can totally enjoy it without paying anything! Oh yes! Free clubbing exists in Malaysia! If you’re a party lover, you’d definitely enjoy this and help you save lots. Talk about free things to do in Malaysia! One bar to enjoy for free is the Club Kyō at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur. Entrance is free before 11:00pm, but the club has a RM40 cover charge, inclusive of one house poured drink, if you visit any later than that.
4. Shopping at Pasar Percuma
Pasar Percuma offers a totally different concept of shopping. You will shop here based on the barter system. Choose any item you want to get and in exchange, give something you own or something you don’t need anymore. No money needed! where you can bring anything, say old clothes, shoes, bags etc and exchange it for another item, no money needed. Everything is free in this market. If this doesn’t excite you we don’t know what will. Don’t miss this as shopping at Pasar Percuma is one of the best free things to do in Kuala Lumpur!
5. Stroll in the parks of Bonifacio Global City
Whoever said that the Philippines is the true face of a third world country hasn’t seen Bonifacio Global City yet. Bask in the beauty of the most modern city in Metro Manila when you explore the parks in BGC! Go jogging, walk your dog, or marvel at street art in Track 30th and Terra 28th. If you’re into football, join other casual athletes for a game or two at Turf BGC. No entrance fee is required. This is definitely among the most fun free things to do in Metro Manila.
6. Visit the National Museum of the Philippines
If you’re into history and culture, you should check out the National Museum of the Philippines. It is home to Juan Luna’s famous Spoliarium—the Philippines’ largest painting that’s more than four meters high and seven-and-a-half meters wide. The admission here is free! You will enjoy the National Museum because of its art pieces and of course, because it’s one of the best free things to do in Philippines.
7. Check out the only church in Manila that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site
If you’re looking for the best and meaningful free things to do in Philippines, you shouldn’t miss the San Agustin Church. It is the oldest church in the Philippines and the only church which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Manila. Everyone who visited was amazed at the masterpiece painted on its ceilings. One amazing fact to know about San Agustin Church is that the Philippines’ first governor-general, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, is buried there.
8. Have a picnic at Rizal Park
The city of Manila has a lot of parks to visit and one of these is the Rizal Park where the monument of the Philippines’ National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal is located. Jose Rizal was executed here thus, thus the park is considered as one of the most historical places in Manila. If you’re so bothered by the metro’s traffic but doesn’t want to go all otu and spend too much in hotels or restaurants, consider having a picnic at Rizal Park which is one of the best free things to do in Metro Manila.
9. Tour the Kota Tua Jakarta
Kota Tua means “Old Town” and is home to the remains of Oud Batavia, a walled Dutch settlement in Jakarta. Touring this neighborhood is sure to delight history and culture buffs. Featuring fantastic Dutch architecture, museums, and temples, you can unearth the former glory of Oud Batavia and learn more about Indonesian history. This is absolutely one of the best free things to do in Jakarta.
10. Watch the fountain show at National Monument
The Merdeka Square is not only home to the impressive National Monument but also a popular hanging out spot. Every weekend, the square gets even more lively with a spectacular fountain show, complete with dramatic lights and music that you can enjoy for free. Don’t miss watching the fountain show as it is among the best free things to do in Jakarta.
11. Visit the National Gallery
Even if the National Gallery houses many of Indonesia’s most monumental and prestigious artworks, tourists can enter the National Gallery of Indonesia free of charge. The gallery has more than 1,700 items in its collection for everyone to enjoy. If you’re an art lover, this should top your list of the best free things to do in Indonesia.
12. Lounge at Suropati Park
One of the best free things to do in Indonesia is going to Suropati Park. Suropati Park is tucked in the middle of Jakarta’s busy and modern streets, surrounded by elegant buildings of the upscale Menteng residence. The park is full of tall shady trees that will sway as the fresh air blows. It has a mix of nature, urban, and an artistic vibe that fits any personality. You will find doves here that consider this park as their home and you can occasionally see groups or individuals practicing their musical instruments under the trees.
13. Walk in the Southern Ridges in Singapore
Singapore may arguably be the most artificial and man-made city in Southeast Asia, but if you truly explore it, you’ll find green open spaces that will make you rethink the country’s stereotype. Known as one of the world’s most expensive city, there are also great free things to do in Singapore. The Southern Ridges is a Singaporean park spanning 10 kilometers presenting a wide-angle view of the city. You can take photos of the various plants and animals, have a picnic with friends and family, or observe the different types of birds flying overhead.
14. Stroll around Singapore Botanic Gardens
The Singapore Botanic Gardens is home to over 10,000 species of flora and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015. While strolling around the gardens, you might also see three-foot monitor lizards that sometimes bolt across the paths. Visiting the Botanic Gardens is one of the best free things to do in Singapore because you get to enjoy beautiful sightings without paying anything.
While traveling and engaging in free things to do in Southeast Asia, save even more by choosing ZEN Rooms as your accommodation. Whether you end up in Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, or Jakarta, we have different hotel options for you.