This post was created in partnership with ASEAN. As always, all words and options are my own.
ASEAN, a diverse group of Southeast Asian nations, turns 50 this year, so we’ve partnered with Visit ASEAN to give away a chance to win your very own trip. Keep reading to find out how to enter!
There are so many ASEAN adventures to take part in throughout the diverse number of countries that make it up. I recently visited two countries in ASEAN – Thailand + Indonesia. I love Thailand for it’s food and the people there are some of the most wonderful and welcoming I’ve met while traveling abroad! Equally as beautiful, you have Indonesia which is composed of more than 17,000 islands. I particularly felt at home in Bali – in part of the essence it breathes in spirituality. I actually produced my first film there.
Let me guide you through some of my favorite special and some of them smaller experiences on the vastly different countries.
When you land in Denpasar (that’s where the airport is), you’ll experience hustle and bustle from the traffic, but there’s this beautiful spiritual essence in the air as you make your way into Ubud. This probably why so many people flock there to take a break from daily life and practice yoga. Yoga aside, you’ll want to take full advantage of getting as relaxed as you possibly can while you’re on this island through hands on body work…because the massages are so incredible, and can also incredibly inexpensive in Ubud. Reflexology is also on point – pun intended.
And if you really want to disconnect while connecting with local culture off the beaten path, spend at least two nights up in Tabanan at Bali Eco Stay. Reflect among waterfalls, learn how to make coconut oil by hand from a local in the village and eat some of the best food cooked by Mini, the local on-site chef.
A place where cars just can’t go, step off your boat and onto the island. For ease of access, Gili Trawangan is the mist easily accessible of the three islands, great for a more an upbeat atmosphere. There’s plenty to do from trying scuba diving for the first time, kayak around, or even riding your bike around the island and getting a feel for local life throughout. The water is clear and the sunsets are stunning.
I love Thailand, but first and foremost, why is because of the food and the people. I’ve visited three times and would make it a fourth in a heartbeat.
No Thailand visit would be complete without stopping for atlas a night or two in Bangkok. If you at to get outside the typical more frequented tourist areas, make sure you stay, or at least wander around the Dusit District for a coffee and some instagram-worthy luxury hotel photos at The Siam, one of the most unique hotels I’ve ever stayed at. Also, rooftop hopping around is a must.
There are three hotel bars with a view you just need to see for yourself. The Sofitel overlooks the most beautiful greenery in the park and the staff is dressed to the nines. If you love a good vertigo challenge, don’t miss Banyan Tree. And you can never go wrong with lounging at Lebua.
Full of handicrafts, handmade, there is so much history in the Isaan Region, you could take a few weeks to explore it all. I loved Udon Thani, exploring their market – you can even see Laos just across the river. In Sakon Nakhon, you can try your creative hand at indigo dying, a beautiful tradition of the region.
I’m a firm believer in always spending your last days of a trip on an island. It’s the perfect time to reflect and really soak in all that you’ve experienced throughout your adventure. Koh Yao Noi is a Thailand island I immediately fell in love with thanks to my stay at Ani Villas. There are far less tourists giving the island that off-the-beaten-path. This island offers a variety of luxury experiences through accommodation and experiential activities like visiting a local who will harvest you fresh coconuts, Muay Thai boxing, traditional cooking classes, and active adventures like kayaking, rock climbing, and cruising around in a long tail boat to explore and swim.
SO...ARE YOU READY TO TRAVEL TO ANY OF THESE PLACES YOURSELF?
ENTER THE ASEAN BLOGGER AMBASSADOR CONTEST!
You could win a trip similar to mine. So how can you enter you ask?
1. Submit photos of your best travel experience via Twitter or Instagram that shows why you deserve to travel to ASEAN.
For example: Share...
- A photo of you riding a bike in your hometown
- An image of yourself sitting by the beach in Thailand
- You enjoying a morning coffee at your favorite local cafe
2. Include the hashtag #ASEAN50Ambassador and tag @AseanTourismOnline via Twitter or Instagram. ASEAN is looking for photos to show off your passion for traveling!
Winners will be selected based on their creativity. Winner will be required to document their travels, so the content can also later be featured on the website and social. Winner must confirm their preferred travel dates no earlier than 8 weeks in advance. Prize includes a roundtrip airfare ticket to two of the countries along with hotel covered by ASEAN. All other expenses will be on the winner. All entries must include #ASEAN50Ambassador and our respective username can be tagged as well.
The contest runs from September 15 through October 15.
Winner will be chosen on October 20th.