MEMOIRS OF MY JOURNEYS IN ASEAN COUNTRIES – PART 3

ASEAN – UNITED TOURISM: PART 3:

CAMBODIA, INDONESIA, PHILIPPINES, VIET NAM

Association of South East Asian Nations Tourism Authority (ASEANTA) was formed by Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) with an objective of unite 10-Member countries as a single destination in tourism terms. The residence of the 10 countries enjoy the ease and freedom of travel within the region without a visa. The policy is underway (though remains unimplemented since a decade since it was first initiated) that an international tourist may one day avail the ease of traveling the region with a single visa of any of the ten member country, comprising of: Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam; and as featured in Part 1: Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore; and in Part 2: Thailand, Laos, Myanmar.

Combine the ASEAN countries offers a rainbow of amazing travel and tourism experiences with world class resorts and varied tourist’s activities from hard and soft adventure, leisure to health and wellness.

CAMBODIA

Looking back 20 years ago, Cambodia was a poor country, then tourism trickled around Siem Reap’s Angkor Wat. Now risen among progressive nations in the region, Cambodia has been on the tourist’s map to indulge into eco-tourism, historic, cultural and beach vacation. Sihanoukville is the venue for the ASEAN Tourism Forum January, 2022.

Today (Pre-COVED-19), Cambodia brave out among the fastest growing ASEAN nations on tourism receipts. Prosperity is visible in its capital Phnom Penh and world class resorts forms a part of an impressive tourism-friendly infrastructure, with neat and clean city character to meet the demand of international tourists, including Eco-Resorts like the Templation Siem Reap and Jungloo at Phnom Penh. Cambodia rural tourism offers 56 eco-tourism sites including Ratnakiri, Mondulkiri, Kratie, Phatsanday Fishing Community in Kampong Svay district. Ratnakiri is fully developed eco-tourism site with traditional resorts, ancient healing, local food, visit to villages and close encounter with tribal people adhering to aboriginal life style without adoption of modern lifestyle. The very definition of Eco Tourism has been embraced farther to its mundane concept of: “Leave nothing but foot prints and take nothing but pictures.” It must extend to “Giving something back” (to the local community); ensure the historic name of the village not let to corrupt the original name by some irresponsible content writer(s), care for environment, control mass tourism and respect tribal culture and customs.

Viceroy, Bali, Indonesia

INDONESIA

You dont know wher to begin when planning to travel to the world’s largest archipelago, which spans some 5,000 kms comprising of 17,000 islands (with only 6,000 inhabited islands). Indonesia is a paradise for scuba divers, beach lovers, culture vultures and art enthusiasts. Entering the capital Jakarta, you can take ferry boats or LCC flights to popular islands.

Begawan Giri Spa Resort, Bali

Bagus Jati Ubud, Bali/ Puri Bagus, Lovina, Bali

Novotel Benoa Beach, Bali

Mercure, Kuta, Bali

On the tourist’s radar, Bali is on top of the Bucket Wish List. The pioneer in luxury Spa Culture, Bali offers second to none some of the most exhilarating lifestyle spa resorts offering healing therapy and organic food concept in the ASEAN. After the Bali Bombing, I visited, on invitation, consecutively for three years and dedicated supported in its marketing campaign with my promotional features appeared in some of the world’s top publications. Then there was no internet and cut-paste culture. Consultancy and published work was related to first hand research, meeting locals and interviewing stake holders in travel and hospitality, which had me to visit some of the world’s most exquisite abodes including Bagus Jati Ubud, Puri Bagus Lovina, Puri Bagus Candidasa, The Viceroy, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency Sanur, Begwan Giri, Pita Maha Ubud, Maya Ubud, Westin, The Laguna, Nikko Bali, The Hilton, Novotel Benoa, Le Meridien Tanah Lot, Mercure Kuta, Hard Rock and traditional Home-Stays in Ubud. Nusa Dua is the high end resort district while art and cultural activities muster around Ubud. Temple art, art galleries, stone carving forms an integral part of Balinese art culture.

Bali also pioneered Agro Tourism in ASEAN. There are misconceptions in Agro Tourism relating it to visit to plantation and agricultural sites, and Sri Lanka Tea Garden Heritage Tourism is confused with Agro Based Tourism. Agro Tourism means a resort with bed down facility abound a large area of agriculture field growing crops and fruits and offering the guests to indulge into health giving organic food from the very gardens of the resort.Rewarding side trips by boat from Bali includes island retreat on the islands of Lombok, Komodo, Sumbawa and Flores.Other attractions in Indonesia includes Yogyakarta, Badung, Mount Bromo, Bintan, and farther east in the province of West Papua, Raja Amput Islands renowned among the world’s best dive sites.

Palawan Eco Islands

Boracay

PHILIPPINES – THE MUSICAL ISLAND OF ASEAN

The Philippines slogan “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” live up to its reputation of being a destination of friendly people. Music is in their veins – even in the most remotest village, you will find a karaoke music system. With its many islands getaway in a string of 7,100 islands, the country offers great beach vacations at places like Bohol, Boracay, Cebu, Leyte-Samar and cultural tourism at Manila, Mindanao and Davao.

Reopening of Boracay after a shut down for clean-up operation, the Philippines has set an example for other destinations over-run by tourism, to an effective action plan observing Responsible Tourism and Destination Sustainability. Pre COVID-19, Palawan was the next destination to be temporary shut down for tourists for maintenance and diverging tourists to destinations offering wellness and community-based tourism – and it seems the task well taken up by nature. Pre-COVID, Philippines Tourism Promotion Board also updated on its newly-opened airports, i.e. Bohol-Panglao International Airport, Mactan Cebu International Airport and Cagayan North International Airport.www.tourism.gov.ph

VIET NAM

Emerging as the regions fastest growing tourist destinations, Ha Long became a tourist hot spot soon after being endorsed the UNESCO Heritage Site. Pre COVID-19, over tourism at Ha Long Bay resulted in, seemingly, more cruise boats than the amazing karst formations.

The world’s 4th largest waterfall after the Iguazu Falls, Victoria Falls and Niagara Falls; the lesser known, Ban Gioc-Detian Falls on the Guichun River and Quay Son River sharing border of Eastern China is a gem of a tourist attraction at Trung Khanh district (Cao Bang Province), about 272 kms from Hanoi.

Content / Photos (except for self photos): Saifuddin IsmailjiFounder: e-Travelers Club travel update

Please Note: No part of the content and or images may be use for any purpose, whatsoever, without the written consent of the author.

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