My Southeast Asia Bucket List

As my time in Paris comes to a close, I can’t help but fantacize about my upcoming trip to Southeast Asia. And in order to hold myself accountable to having an amazing trip, I wanted to share my Southeast Asia bucket list. Considering I have fewer objectives on my Southeast Asia bucket list than I did on my French one, (which I failed at miserably by the way), I will hopefully be able to complete them all. I only have eight goals after all!

Southeast Asia Bucket List

Photo credits (clockwise): source, source, source, source

Take a cooking class in every country I visit.

True Life: I’m Obsessed with Food. And I know I won’t feel like I’ve really experienced Asia until I learn how to make local dishes from each region. Thanks to this blog, I’ve been able to set up complimentary cooking classes in Hong Kong, Singapore, Bali and Bangkok. As a backpacker with a limited budget this is such a blessing!

Volunteer at an elephant sanctuary.

As a child my favorite stuffed animal was a grey elephant named “Ellie.” (Judging by this and my blog title it’s clear that I’m really creative with naming things, ha.) I’ve sustained a lifelong fascination with our pachyderm friends, so I can’t imagine anything more fulfilling than spending a day with them at the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai.

Fight muay thai.

Muay thai is a far cry from my normal and serene yoga workout but I’m excited to give it a try. I’ve never tried martial arts so we will see how I fare- wish me luck!

Learn how to scuba-dive.

My dad and brother are both big scuba-divers who have dived everywhere from the Grenadines to the Great Barrier Reef. So after this trip to Southeast Asia my family will no longer be able to put me to shame because I’m getting certified! The company I’ve chosen to go with is Roctopus in Koh Tao- I’ve heard great things from other bloggers as well as TripAdvisor, and as any hardcore travel junkie knows, TripAdvisor can do no wrong.

Shopping Spree in Bangkok.

After living in Paris for a year and buying a grand total of three articles of clothing, I would love to go on a shopping spree in Asia for a brand-new and dirt-cheap wardrobe. I’ve heard there are particularly good clothes in the designer stalls at Chatuchak Market so you will find me there snagging lots of singlets.

Party at the Full Moon Party.

As a soon to be 23-year old, this is the time of my life for the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan. I can’t wait to deck myself out in neon, dance until the sun rises and sleep in the sand. Though I never thought I would pollute this space with this acronym, YOLO, right?

Tube in Vang Vieng.

Even if the party isn’t bumping quite like before, I’d still love to soak in the natural beauty of Vang Vieng from an intertube. Preferably with a bucket in hand.

Take a Thai massage course. And get lots of Thai massages.

As someone who suffers from really irritating neck, shoulder and back pain, there’s nothing I’d love more than to bliss out for an hour or two with a full-body massage. I’d also love to learn how to return the favor so taking a Thai massage course is definitely in order.

 

Is there anything else that should be on my Southeast Asia bucket list? I would love any tips! 

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About Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is a travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Uganda. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour Magazine.

30 thoughts on “My Southeast Asia Bucket List”

  1. Ashley, I’m going with two of my friends and basically doing a carbon copy of your bucket list were doing quite a lot in Cambodia as well! cant wait, great list by the way, I must say would you not consider doing the coast to coast scooter ride in Vietnam?

  2. Good on your for already securing those sponsorships! You are going to LOVE southeast Asia! The cooking class I did in Chiang Mai is one of my favorite memories, as was my visit to Elephant Nature Park. I also LOVED Vang Vieng. The area is incredibly beautiful and the more laid back tubing scene is stil a lot of fun (and probably more my style). I can’t wait to read about your adventures :)

  3. Dear Ashley,
    I’m exhausted just reading your list, but also impressed
    that you have such ambitions. All sound interesting and intriguing.

    Love,

    Gamma

  4. so overdone i know, but i promise if you do angkor wat, it will NOT let you down. it’s such a humbling and beautiful site.

  5. You’ve got some great plans for your Asia trip! And taking cooking classes in every country you visit sounds like so much fun! Much like you I really enjoy cooking, so I hope you’ll be sharing what you’ll learn with us! :)

  6. Hey Ashley, GREAT list! I just had to say if you are heading to Bali, definitely make some time for a shopping spree there as well. You can pick up some beautiful dresses on the street, and then there are the “real” stores in Kuta for you to shop until your heart’s content :) Have fun x

  7. Great list! Chatuchak has some amazing shopping, but I definitely recommend going early in the morning or later in the afternoon. It gets insanely hot and crowded mid-day.

  8. Great list. You will have a fantastic time no doubt! Where you considering Vietnam? I thought it was stunning! Rivaled Thailand for scenery and seemed much less touristy. (But that doesn’t mean I don’t LOVE Thailand, because I do). I saw your itinerary and Cambodia in 10 days to 2 weeks is very very doable. Maybe consider trying to fit some of it in! Getting clothes tailored, taking pics of the old buildings and eating at all the amazing but cheap restaurants in Hoi An totally seems like something you would enjoy :)

    • I’m definitely considering Vietnam, I just am concerned about my budget lasting that long. But we shall see! And Hoi An looks absolutely amazing, I would definitely enjoy all of those activities :)

  9. One of the cooler things I’ve done in my life. 4 years ago I spent 4 days in northern Laos ziplining from treehouse to treehouse. We slept in the treehouses at night and explored the endless system of ziplines by day. It was pretty incredible and my first solo adventure ever. Check it out… http://www.gibbonexperience.org/

    It’s not the cheapest activity in Asia but definitely worth every penny. Plus all the money goes towards funding security guards who protect the endangered gibbons and their beautiful habitat.

    Luang Prabang. Still one of my favorite places in the world. I tried to stay 2 days and ended up staying 6. It’s majestic and magical, you’ll see. Well maybe you’ve already seen. I can’t wait to get back there one day.

    Vang Vieng was insane and I’m sure they’re saving many lives by shutting down the bars. Glad I survived it.

    You must see Angkor Wat as well. Ahhhhh, can’t wait to get back there in December!

    • Hoi An is the place to get cheap/tailored clothing in SE Asia. Also, Ha Long Bay is a must see. I hear Sapa is amazing, I haven’t been yet but I will get there in December.

    • I will definitely be heading to Hoi An, Hanoi, Ha Long Bay and Sapa on my next trip to Vietnam… I’m trying to go slow because I’m working a lot and want to see as much as possible :). Thanks so much for the advice!

  10. If you found your way to visit my country… the Philippines I would be so happy to show you around the country. Since you are in Southeast Asia, try to visit our country and I guarantee you will not get disappointed!!!!

    Just beginning to read everything about this blog and I’m lovin’ it!!!! =D

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