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Beyond Bali: Five Rising Gems to Experience in Southeast Asia

June 3, 2017 OTA News No Comments Email Email

Bali is the ultimate paradise spot with its beautiful beaches, luxurious villas and awesome nightlife, but as a melting pot of diverse cultures, where the historic mashes up with the modern, Southeast Asia has a lot to offer beyond this popular destination.

Nathan Graham, Regional Sales Manager at Cheapflights ANZ, said: “Attracting more than 15 per cent of searches to Asia Pacific each year, Bali is like a second home for many Aussies. Data from the latest Cheapflights Compass report shows however, that there are plenty of other affordable destinations worth a visit. For example, return airfares to Kuala Lumpur, the Philippines and Vietnam are all are within $100 of those to Denpasar.”

To help locals looking for their next getaway, the experts at have found these top five Southeast Asian alternatives to Bali.

1. Lombok – Many have started to refer to Lombok as ‘the new Bali’, and deservedly so. The West Nusa Tenggara island shares many similarities, such as breathtaking beaches, wide-ranging accommodation (including the very cool Jeeva Beloam Beach Camp or La Cocoteraie Eco Lodge), pulsating nightlife and great surf spots like Kuta. But this up-and-coming neighbour is comparably less populated than Bali – great for those looking to escape the tourist circuit. Flights to Lombok from $341

2. Kuala Lumpur – With its year-round tropical climate, buzzing food scene and rich history, Kuala Lumpur is where Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures come together. Get a bird’s eye view of the modern metropolis from the 41st storey SkyBridge at Petronas Twin Towers, discover the streets of Little India or indulge your tastebuds at one of many hawker stalls at Jalan Alor. Be sure to visit the famed Royal Selangor to get your own hand crafted pewter souvenir. Flights to Kila from $262

3. Phuket – Beyond the idyllic beaches, don’t miss the unique sites of the 30 metre Buddha sitting atop the Nakkerd Hills or the Wat Chalong temple with its glittering pagodas. You can also hop aboard a boat for a day trip to the famous Phi Phi Island or get off the beaten track and explore Phuket’s emerging dining scene. No matter what time of year you visit you’ll be blessed with warm weather, but travelling off peak (May-October) will mean you have extra spending money! Flights to Phuket from $266

4. Hanoi – Once occupied by both the French and Chinese, the influences of the past are still very visible in the capital city of Vietnam. Start with a strong Vietnamese coffee to prepare for a full day of sightseeing. Navigate through Dong Xuan Market where you’ll find souvenirs, traditional handicrafts and clothing, then don’t forget to stop by the Temple of Literature which was dedicated to Confucius. A trip to Hanoi also wouldn’t be complete without visiting Halong Bay – a World Heritage site, it is a mesmerising experience of Mother Nature at her best. Flights to Hanoi from $309

5. Cebu – Tucked away in the Philippines, Cebu has something to offer every type of traveller – from diving to new depths and exploring the wonders below Bantayan and Malapascua islands, to a day trip by to Bohol to explore mahogany forests, rice terraces, ancient churches and a walk across the bamboo Hanging Bridge. End your day feasting on the vast array of cuisines on offer – the hot ‘n’ spicy calamares at STK TA BAY! Sa Paolito’s Seafood House is a must! Flights to Cebu from $381

For more information or to search for your next holiday, visit

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