I'm sure you've heard of the great 7 Wonders of the World- usually top bucket list items for travelers around the world. Well, I made a list of the 7 wonders of China, and thought I should make one for Southeast Asia too. There are so many amazing sights to see in every part of the world that trying to pick only 7 wonders for the entire world is quite difficult. Even trying to pick for one region, like Southeast Asia, is difficult and definitely subjective. But, here is my personal list of the 7 natural wonders you MUST see when backpacking Southeast Asia:
1. Kuang Si Falls
Luang Prabang, Laos
The main attraction in Luang Prabang, or arguably even all of Laos. It's a three-tiered waterfall with smaller turquoise pools at the bottom that are overflowing into one another, and a 60 meter-high waterfall at the top. If you go during the wet season, it truly is one of the most magnificent things you'll ever see. Definitely my top choice for a natural wonder of Southeast Asia!
2. Ha Long Bay
This UNESCO World Heritage Site in North Vietnam is famous for its thousands of towering limestone islands topped with rainforests. The total area is around 1,553 km2 (About 600 sq mi), which includes about 1,960–2,000 islets. The evolution of the karst islets in this bay has taken over 20 million years under the impact of the tropical wet climate. You can take a cruise through the famous bay, or even just go on a hike with an awesome viewpoint. Either way, you'll be blown away.
3. Kelingkling Beach
Nusa Penida, Indonesia
This is an icon for Nusa Penida, a small island just off the coast of Bali, Indonesia. It is nicknamed as the "T-Rex" beach because of the unique shape of the cliff formation. You can even go down the cliff and enjoy a day at the beach with extremely white sand and turquoise waters. It's so unique and definitely a natural wonder!
4. Chocolate Hills
These amazing dome-shaped hills in Bohol that turn brown in the winter (hence the name!) surrounded by green, lush forest. There are at least 1,260 hills but there may be as many as 1,776 hills spread over an area of more than 50 square kilometers. It is often referred to as the 8th wonder of the world! (Not just Southeast Asia). It truly is such an amazing sight to see.
5. Namo "Long" Beach
There is another beach in Indonesia called "Pink Beach," but it is not even close to being as pink as Namo Beach. The pink sand is caused by the Foraminifera, a microorganism that produces the pink/red color pigment in the coral reef. The broken coral reef pieces then wash up on this beach and affect the sand color- making it bright pink! On top of the awesome sand, the water is crystal clear and the snorkeling is great.
6. Padar Island
This uniquely shaped island is a part of Komodo Island National Park. It is formed by rolling hills that stretch out and make almost an "X" shape with the island. When you climb to the top of the highest hill, you can see panoramic view of this natural wonder and the beautiful, blue sea encompassing it. I highly recommend going for a sunrise hike because watching the sun come up with this background is mesmerizing.
7. Railay Beach
The most iconic beach in the Krabi area. It offers panoramic views of cliffs overlooking the coastal line with bright blue water and white sand. It truly is a picture-perfect area, and amazing way to spend a day when traveling Thailand.
Pin this to read it again later!