24 In Cambodia/ Indonesia/ Laos/ Malaysia/ Recaps/ Southeast Asia/ Thailand/ The Philippines/ Travel/ Travel Talk/ Vietnam

Xoxo, Southeast Asia

My trip to Southeast Asia was an incredible adventure. It was one of those trips that made me grow as a person, that made me see the world in a different way, that pushed & challenged me and that I will truly never forget. To sum it all up into blog posts has been a challenge (in fact, that’s why I’m currently working on a book that has the more personal & detailed adventures) but to go along with my recaps of individual countries, I thought I would attempt to summarize this trip with some of the top experiences and the financial summary / averages of the entire trip.


⋙ Top 10 Sites & Experiences

» VISITING [almost 50] TEMPLES «

I studied Eastern Religion in college, so visiting Buddhist, Hindu, Islam, Confucian and Taoist Temples never ceased to make my heart race. I loved seeing this beautiful aspect of culture that I enjoyed studying in practice. These visits never got old for me and I cannot wait to experience moments like these over and over again. Thank you to all of the monks, devotees, priests & everyone else at these temples that made my experiences so incredible.



This was on my must-do list for SE Asia, and if I have one regret about this experience, it’s that I didn’t do it twice! Getting to not only see these beautiful giants, but getting to swim next to them was unreal. I was proud of myself for overcoming my fear of the ocean and jumping in. Unbelievable. Must-see!



Oh, Safari Park, there are so many amazing things I could say about you. Cuddles (and bites) from leopard cubs, feeding monkeys, bathing elephants, getting drooled on by giraffes and even more than these experiences – the amazing people that I met. Thank you to everyone at the zoo for making this experience what it was, for empowering me to do things I never thought I could have, to Salapong for being the most amazing Thai teacher & sneaking me extra elephant-time every day and to Stacey for finding this amazing place!



Trekking through the mountains & the rice terraces with the sweetest teenage guide was one of those unforgettable experiences. Seeing this view, talking with locals, meeting our amazing new Canadian friends and even had some rice whiskey at our homestay. This beautiful experience in northern Vietnam is a MUST and when I go back to Vietnam I plan to do this again.


» UBUD «

I had a hunch that I was going to love Bali, but it was even better than my highest expectations. This one island in the most densely Muslim country in the world is almost all Hindu. Because of this, Balinese Hinduism is so unique. Ubud was my favorite spot in Bali. It was near here that I had the best experiences: visiting gorgeous temples set in the most lush environments, walked through rice terraces, had delicious Balinese food and soaked up the amazing spirit of this culture.

Ubud Ubud1


This was an adventure-junkie experience! As soon as I heard about this, I was all in. I repelled down waterfalls, jumped off cliffs & from waterfalls into pools of water, sliding down waterfalls that made waterslides and so much more! Craving an adventure in Vietnam? This is it!



While in the Philippines I heard about this ‘Cave Connection‘ which took us in one cave and out another cave. We walked crawled, climbed, were pushed & pulled by our guide and waded the whole way through areas with lots of bats and loads & loads of beautiful cave formations. If you’re nearby it’s a MUST.



My time in Luang Prabang brought so many beautiful and unique experiences. I got to swim in waterfalls, visit a massive cave temple, temple-hop, take in sunsets, visit with monks, eat massive bowls of street food for less than $2 and splurge on myself at their amazing night market.



I love natural sites, so visiting waterfalls was always a fun experience for me. The best was getting to swim in them and under them. My four favorites were Tumalog Falls in the Philippines, Kachanh & Katieing Waterfalls in Cambodia and Kuang Si Falls in Laos.


» SONGKRAN [Thai New Year] «

Songkran was the one festival that we really took part in. Volunteering at Safari Park Zoo meant that the Thai staff LOVED to make sure we got to experience this fun (and wet!) celebration. We had multiple small Songkran experiences around the zoo and at our local beer hangout. The big celebration was when we spent the last day of Songkran in Kanchanaburi. We had a few Changs, got soaked and shared a ton of laughs as we were drenched with water and smeared with baby powder!  Happy New Year! Haha



⋙ MONEY BREAKDOWN (101 Days + Prep)


* Many of these costs could have been lowered in different ways. To read more about how click [HERE].


It’s hard to summarize this wild adventure I took throughout seven countries in Southeast Asia. Of course, I had to share a round up my favorite experiences and I wanted to let you see my financial breakdown for the 101 day trip. I’d love to answer any questions you have or hear about your experiences in these places. 

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  • Reply
    Angelina Hue
    November 5, 2015 at 9:45 am

    What a journey and cool to read about some of these experiences/places that I’m not familiar with (even though I spent most of my life in Singapore)!

  • Reply
    November 5, 2015 at 10:49 am

    I’m so excited you’re working on a book!!! But I’m also so happy for you that you were able to have such a life-changing/growth experience. Your trip sounds like it has been amazing and I’m eager to catch up with the last few posts I’ve missed. Hope you’re well!

  • Reply
    November 6, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Great post, and thanks for including the costs too! I’m planning on going to Asia next year, this has certainly given me some inspiration about where to go, I’ve wanted to go Canyoning for ages… maybe I will actually get to do it on my next trip, it sounds brilliant! As does the cave tour! Such a unique experience! 🙂


    • Reply
      November 14, 2015 at 9:57 am

      Thanks, Gemma! What parts of Asia are you wanting to visit? Canyoning & the Cave Connection were both incredible. It’s amazing how much you can do over there because it’s so affordable. There are all those blog posts about how you can travel for $20 a day, which is totally possible, but I think that they’re missing out on a lot of things that are a little more “expensive”. I obviously could have cut back a lot (especially with those souvenirs) but I was pretty pleased with the budget. I would love to hear where you’re going and I can’t wait to live vicariously through your blog!

      • Reply
        November 16, 2015 at 11:46 am

        Thanks Paige. I’m heading to Malaysia for chinease new year (I have a friend who lives there) and then I’ll be heading up to Thailand to meet my bestie from home 🙂 after that… I don’t know.
        I completely agree in terms of budget, sure eat cheap food stay in cheap places, but the point of traveling is to see and do the things you want to, I’d rather cut my trip short than feel I missed out by not doing something!

        • Reply
          November 23, 2015 at 12:37 am

          That sounds so incredible! I totally agree about the seeing and doing! You’re so doing it the right way, in my opinion! I cannot wait to see your posts and hear all about your adventures!

          • gemmajaneadventures
            November 23, 2015 at 12:51 am

            Thanks Paige! It’s a bit of an emotional Rollercoaster as I’m sad to leave, ready to leave, and excited about traveling too! Glad you’re looking forward to reading more! 🙂

  • Reply
    Shelby Vogl
    November 12, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Thanks for the article! I’m dying to travel around Asia and it’s definitely reassuring that you seemed to have had such a great time! Thanks for including the costs of everything. Happy travels!

    • Reply
      November 14, 2015 at 10:39 am

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment, Shelby! Asia was even more incredible than I imagined. There were definitely some tough moments and loads of culture shock, but it was such a beautiful growing experience during those moments. Xx

  • Reply
    Claire Summers
    February 1, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    What an incredible adventure you have been on! I really want to try and be in Thailand for Songkran it looks so much fun. Fab pictures, especially of the temples!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      February 3, 2017 at 2:32 pm

      It was really amazing! It was a lot of fun! A lot of people love being in the bigger cities, but I thought it was nice to be in a smaller place because there was a lot less traffic and it was just less hectic. Where are you planning on celebrating?!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    I did a trip like this round SE Asia a few years back and visited many of these places. It was truly awesome. Luang Prabang was one of my favourite places ever especially as you could experience very different climates from morning to dusk

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      February 3, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      How cool! I was definitely on a lot of the banana pancake trail 😉 I’m totally with you. LPB is one of my very favorites even still! I can’t wait to take my husband later this year!

  • Reply
    Laura Nalin
    February 2, 2017 at 2:22 am

    Aw I loved reading this as it took me down a trip to memory lane! My partner and I spent almost 5 months traveling Southeast Asia last year and I miss it! I am currently in New Zealand, but planning on moving to Vietnam in July, actually! Thanks for sharing this – made me smile!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      February 3, 2017 at 8:54 pm

      I’m glad you could think back on your own trip! New Zealand sounds amazing – I’ve not been there! Vietnam was a lot of fun and one of my dear friends lives there right now, although she’s moving soon. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

  • Reply
    Susanna Kelly
    February 2, 2017 at 2:54 am

    You made some great memories in SE Asia, it’s such a beautiful place. I loved that you were able to swim with whale sharks, what a cool experience, also the canyoneering looked like a blast! I went to Songkran last year I LOVED how it brings out the entire city or town together for fun.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      February 3, 2017 at 9:20 pm

      Swimming with whale sharks was a very cool experience – one I will never forget! Canyoning was a blast too! My husband was super jealous of that one. Songkran definitely does bring everyone together and it was just so much fun! Did you have any accidents?

  • Reply
    February 2, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Eastern religion? What an interesting study! It’s so cool that you went on a 101 day trip and did so many amazing things! I recently visiting Thailand and knew that the temples would be one of the best sights. There are so much details in every door frame, window, statue, everything!

  • Reply
    Sandy N Vyjay
    February 2, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Loved reading the quick reminisces about your Asia travels. What an inspiring voyage of discovery and a great mosaic of varied experiences. All the best for the book, sure it will be fascinating.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      February 3, 2017 at 9:22 pm

      Thank you so much! It’s still a work in progress, but it’s getting closer to being finished. Cheers!

  • Reply
    Sally E
    February 3, 2017 at 12:44 am

    Looks like you got to do SO much while in SE Asia which is awesome! Such cool experiences – I personally love Ubud and even though it has a ton of tourists, I’d go back in heartbeat. And swimming with whale sharks?! That’s something I def need to check out!

  • Reply
    February 3, 2017 at 5:57 am

    wow! you did a lot in 101 days. I thought the costs were pretty good. I can’t believe you went to 50+ temples. It also looked like you did plenty of outdoors activities!

  • Reply
    February 3, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Ooh South East Asia is a place I’d love to explore – even more so after seeing your pictures! I’m going one continent at a time at the moment, so when I’ve finished with Central/South America I think I will head to Asia. What an incredible place!

  • Reply
    The Soul of Seoul
    February 4, 2017 at 4:32 am

    That’s awesome that you were able to keep a budget of $50 a day! That whale shark experience must have been amazing. Those pictures from the water festival also looks hilarious! hahaha We’re headed to Bali in October. I love temples too so I’ll definitely have to check out your posts on that area. ^^

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