Talk:Southeast Asia

Active discussions

To user jpatokal!

Why do you keep removing my link? It's good website with many visitors everyday. It offers an in-depth view about the area visited. It serves as a complement to Lonely Planet books and websites such as this. I was also thinking about writing some articles here, but that may not be welcome either? Explain yourself!

Greetings and welcome to Wikivoyage. You are very welcome to contribute your own content here, but Wikivoyage has a fairly strict policy for external links: basically, all Wikivoyage articles should be self-sufficient and we do not link to secondary sources (like other travel guides or image galleries). (WT-en) Jpatokal 11:14, 29 Dec 2004 (EST)

Splitting Southeast AsiaEdit

I wonder if it would be at all of value to split Southeast Asia into its insular and peninsular subsections. --(WT-en) Evan 00:31, 8 Dec 2005 (EST)

As someone who lives and travels extensively in the regions, I would say no. It's a fairly coherent whole, there is no natural dividing line, and 11 countries is reasonably close to the 7+/-2 ideal. (WT-en) Jpatokal 01:18, 8 Dec 2005 (EST)
That's what I think, too. --(WT-en) Evan 01:41, 8 Dec 2005 (EST)

Cities listEdit

There are now 9 cities, but there is no city from Vietnam. I see Laos is featured twice, with both Vientiane and Luang Prabang. Two questions: which city of Vietnam should be included, Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City? And which of Laos should we let go? --(WT-en) globe-trotter 17:35, 14 January 2010 (EST)

I vote for Luang Prabang and Ho Chi Minh City, they are not the capitals but IMO they are the most interesting cities of the two countries, (WT-en) ClausHansen 17:45, 14 January 2010 (EST)
I thought the same, will apply this for now. If anyone objects, I'll hear it here. --(WT-en) globe-trotter 13:31, 17 January 2010 (EST)

Should Penang be on the list? No doubt it has a very rich cultural heritage, good food and should be on the destination of any traveller but it is not a particularly big city. I would say maybe Hanoi be on the list instead of Penang as it is a much bigger city. Penang can be sufficiently covered in the Malaysia article. (WT-en) Superdog 11:58, 20 January 2010 (EST)

Agreed. I have never really looked at that list carefully. I cannot think why Penang is there - it is not much of a city by Asian standards, nor an especially interesting one for travellers. Hanoi (especially), Vientiane or Phnom Penh could replace it.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 11:59, 20 January 2010 (EST)
Penang's not a city at all, we should be listing George Town (Malaysia) if anything, but I agree it doesn't really belong here. Hanoi is probably tops of the three you list, although I could be argued into supporting Phnom Penh as well (it's a bit funny for Vietnam alone to get two cities, when Cambo, Brunei and East Timor have none and way bigger Indon manages with one). (WT-en) Jpatokal 03:37, 21 January 2010 (EST)
One per country is a better idea I think, having 2 from Vietnam is a bit strange. I'd go for Phnom Penh. Before Vientiane was listed, we could put it back, but then Laos would have 2 cities (though that is more acceptable as Laos has no listing in the "other destinations" list). --(WT-en) globe-trotter 04:54, 21 January 2010 (EST)
Very good point that Penang is not a city at all! I would be happy with any of the three Indochinese cities suggested previously. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 04:59, 21 January 2010 (EST)
I'll be happy with any of them, but I think if you factor in economic importance, it should be Hanoi on the list. In fact, I would think that Luang Prabang should be covered under other destinations, while Vientiane or Phnom Penh replace Luang Prabang. (WT-en) Superdog 11:14, 21 January 2010 (EST)
LP is an interesting one, but it is a city. It is just an insanely charming, clean and unusual city. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 11:18, 21 January 2010 (EST)

vietnam and capitalismEdit

Vietnam ist totally not on the road to capitalism ,it's an communist country —The preceding comment was added by (WT-en) (talkcontribs)

Officially, yes; in reality, only in part. - (WT-en) D. Guillaime 16:19, 20 January 2010 (EST)
No, but i know why you think that, the american new agencys tell that lie. —The preceding comment was added by (WT-en) (talkcontribs)
I think those of us who have actually been there (and don't get our news from American news agencies in the first place), can also testament to the fact that Vietnam is very much trying their best to follow in the footsteps of China, which while also officially communist, is very much a Capitalist Technocracy in reality. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) talk 17:21, 20 January 2010 (EST)
It is a rampantly capitalist country as any recent visitor will testify. In places this is even out of control - the Vietnamese are less proficient than the Chinese at imposing centralised technocracy. That's probably a good thing. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 21:43, 20 January 2010 (EST)
Why should they want to be capitalists? —The preceding comment was added by (WT-en) (talkcontribs)
Don't know, ask them? In either case, a much better solution than trolling around, is to think up a neat replacement that everyone can agree on - provided of course you are looking for a solution rather than conflict. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) talk 13:08, 21 January 2010 (EST)
Hey why not just say, "Firmly marching down its own road forward" ?

Burma updateEdit

Should our article be updated now that Aung San Suu Kyi [1] encourages tourism [2] to Burma ? -- (WV-en) Alice 08:38, 4 November 2012 (CET)

That sounds reasonable to me. (WV-en) Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:12, 4 November 2012 (CET)
I see nothing in this page that is outdated with regards to Burma. As for the article on Burma itself, add a mention of the new info if it can be confirmed from a mainstream source (such as a major western newspaper) but please don't remove information that's already there. I notice that you'd removed some information from North Korea - namely that the reason the ROK shut down all Kumgang tourism is that the DPRK military shot and killed a South Korean tourist. I also see you removed all mention of amateur radio being banned in the country. I disagree with the removal of cautionary information; this is serious as we do get situations where a destination has long represented a hazard or problem, someone promoting that destination pops up claiming "but we've changed" (usually because the country is getting desperate for hard currency) and we have no way to be certain how accurate the claim may be. To blindly assume that everything is fine would be like removing all mention of racial discrimination from a description of United States of America the day the Civil War ended, instead of acknowledging that black travellers were the target of continued discrimination well into the 1960s. Report the original warning, report what can be verified independently as to any change in the situation, let the readers decide for themselves. K7L (talk) 12:06, 4 November 2012 (CET)
I agree entirely with the general points you make so cogently, K7L.
(I deleted the passage about the demise of the single ham radio operator not because it was untrue or un-verifiable but from an editorial judgement that, in a country-level article, it was of only marginal interest to the traveller (especially as all radio transmitters are seized upon entry) to North Korea.
I would have no problem with you re-inserting the killing of the tourist. That is a salutary reminder of the dangers of ignoring requests by officials in the DPRK. Please do not think that I excised that passage because I am an apologist for the odious and repressive regimes present in most countries and of which the DPRK is probably the worst example in terms of pervasiveness and the detail of its repression. Please remember that it was I who added (in that same edit) the reading suggestions of: "Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden" and "The Aquariums of Pyongyang, by Kang Chol-Hwan and Pierre Rigoulot: An account of the imprisonment of Kang Chol-Hwan and his family in the Yodok concentration camp in North Korea". I edit other travel wikis and you should note that it was I who added government=Socialist Republic (de facto hereditary totalitarian dictatorship) to the info box there and I would encourage you to make the same clear in our article here.)
However, returning to the changing situation in Burma, I do think we should respect and reflect on the public position of the most recently democratically elected leader of Burma (and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize) as reported by the BBC. -- (WV-en) Alice 20:58, 4 November 2012 (CET)

I changed to the description of Burma under Southeast_Asia#Countries. Comments? Further changes? Pashley (talk) 14:13, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

I think it was a neat move to introduce the contrast between the two empires. I've slightly changed the word order to (I think) make it read less as if we are saying that the military dictatorship has definitely ended, since it's still early days yet. Feel free to revert without further discussion if you think it's worse. -- Alice 06:51, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Water sports?Edit

This section currently includes:

  • Try wakeboarding at Southeast Asia's largest wakeboarding centre in Camarines Sur, Philippines.
  • Explore one of the world's longest underground rivers in the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park located in Palawan, Philippines.

I am inclined to remove both. The first does not strike me as notable enough to be mentioned in a continent-level article. It is not mentioned in Camarines Sur, though that is where we link. Nor is it in Philippines and it is only a one-liner in Naga. The second is not a water sport, just a tourist site, and we already have a link to Palawan under Southeast_Asia#Other_destinations.

Other opinions? Pashley (talk) 13:52, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

I agree with your first point when we have some alternative content there; right now would not be the best of times since that section is looking a little thin. Perhaps save it there as a kind of artificial duck lure to encourage more notable listings.
For the underground river, it does seem a bit strange to list it in the current section title. However, I do think we need to find a prominent place for this amazing natural feature as to do otherwise would be as if we had an article about Egypt without the Pyramids or the US without the Grand Canyon. Please would others (not Pashley - I think he's already seen this website and made an assessment) look here for why I think that way: new 7 wonders of nature -- Alice 07:02, 2 February 2013 (UTC)


So if I'm reading this right, SEA is pretty much usable except for the other destination bits like Ha Long Bay, Krabi Province and Palawan? That's a pity then, since they're all pretty diverse regions which will take a long while to get up to speed. Besides that, should See and Do be prose or bullet points? I could probably fill in Eat, but I'm not so sure what other improvements can be made.

For the images, I hope I'm not being too biased towards Singapore, but I just couldn't find a nice fitting picture of Petronas Towers or something that makes KL identifiable. Maybe something from Bangkok would be a good choice though. Also lacking a photo from Mynanmar. -- Torty3 (talk) 16:12, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Naming the country a city is inEdit

In this context:

The main international gateways to South-east Asia are Bangkok (Thailand) and Singapore, with Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) in third place and Jakarta (Indonesia) following suit. Manila (Philippines) also offers ...

Alice just deleted (Philippines) as redundant; she thinks people will know Manila is in the Philippines. She is likely right in most cases, but I want to re-insert in anyway. It is cheap (printed on 100% recycled electrons!) and some people won't know.

I have encountered some amazingly ignorant folk in my travels — a Canadian who did not recognise the name "Gandhi", two Americans who were convinced Indonesia was a Buddhist country, ... — and there is some indication such things are widespread. For example [3]: 60% of surveyed Americans cannot find Iraq on a map, Forty-seven percent could not find the Indian subcontinent on a map of Asia, and about a third could not find Louisiana on a US map. Another link: [4]

This sort of issue was discussed once before Talk:Grand_old_hotels#Do_we_need_countries.3F.

Other opinions? Pashley (talk) 17:49, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

Also, I'd have:
The main international gateways to South-east Asia are Bangkok (Thailand) and Singapore. Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Jakarta (Indonesia) and Manila (Philippines) also offer ...
I think this is more accurate as well as shorter & easier to read. Other opinions on that? Pashley (talk) 18:09, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
Interesting. User:Ikan Kekek took out all the other country names in the lines quoted above (diff [5]); if one is redundant, they all are. That is true, but I'd say put them all back in. They may be redundant, but that does not mean they are unnecessary.
He or she also says in the edit comments "Also, the name of this guide is "Southeast Asia," so "south-east" shouldn't be used." I agree. At least in my dialect, south-east is simply an error; it should be replaced by Southeast everywhere. I suspect that may not be the case for other dialects, though.
Other opinions on those questions? Pashley (talk) 20:16, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
My opinion is that either all the country names should be there or none of them; I don't really care which. I would confirm that "south-east" is incorrect in American English, but it seems to be standard in British English. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:20, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
I agree we should aim for consistency (the main purpose of my sloppy edit was to counteract the strange idea that Philippine Airlines was renowned for either its safety or service standards (!)}
In most varieties of Commonwealth English that I am familiar with, there is a predilection for capitalised ordinal points of the compass and to either hyphenate or use two separate words for the the subsequent combinations of direction. I think that using the article title of "Southeast Asia" neatly sidesteps these varietal differences. -- Alice from a dodgy Internet connection: 04:23, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

Fast trainsEdit

Bullet trains from China to Singapore seem to be coming, either on a Yunnan-Laos-Thailand route [6] or Guanxi-Vietnam-Cambodia-Thailand [7], perhaps both. There has also been some talk of a route from China through Burma to India and a high-speed Beijing-Moscow line. There is info on WP.

I do not think this is far enough along we need to put it in the article yet, but it seemed worth noting. One report I saw said Yunnan-Vientiane would go into service 2014, another said 2020 for the route through Vietnam. Pashley (talk) 14:32, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

Fantastic news! (Despite my job, I hate air travel - unless it's in First Class). -- Alice 15:33, 28 April 2013 (UTC)


This article now has an infobox on "Singlish", a rather unusual dialect found in Singapore. I'd say it belongs in the Singapore article, not this one. Other opinions? Pashley (talk) 23:37, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Yeah, definitely not here. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:55, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

See sectionEdit

The 'See' section currently states "It's difficult to choose favourites from a region as varied as Southeast Asia, but picking one representative sight per country:", with then twice a warning "that's ONE (1) per country, alphabetical order by country name". Is this a rule for continental regions? (I see different practices in other articles). Personally I think it would be nicer if the section could be written as prose, rather than a rather random list of see listings. Would it be allowed to change the section to prose, with several subheadings (as for example I have done for the See section for Western Java). I have not been to all Southeast Asian countries, so certainly I couldn't write all of it, but would it be okay to start writing it with a few subsections? I would think of for example the following (I don't know suitable titles for all the subsections):

  • Landscapes and nature: key national parks/nature areas in the region: volcanoes; wetlands; rainforest; rice fields; etc.
  • Beaches/coasts/islands/marine life: think of Ha Long Bay, Raja Ampat, Krabi, etc.
  • Ancient temples and related old structures: Angkor Wat, Borobudur, Bagan, etc.
  • Colonial sights and architecture: remains of the colonial times, such as Malacca, Vigan, Singapore/Riverside, Batavia, the Art Deco of Bandung, colonial forts, etc.
  • Museums: the several national museums and other key museums in the region.
  • Modern sights: the skyscrapers of Singapore and other cities, modern monuments, etc.
  • Places of worship: the largest mosques, churches, temples, etc. (although I realise there will be overlap with some other sections).

Another section could also be City life, but that would also give overlap with some other sections perhaps. Also the sections above do not directly have a place for war memorials and related things. Any input would be much appreciated. --ErwinFCG (talk) 13:38, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

Go for it. Unlike "Cities" and "Other destinations", which are normally limited to 9 listings in non-bottom-level region articles per 7+2, "See" and "Do" are indeed envisioned as prose sections. See WV:Region article template. Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:51, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
Sure, go ahead. There is a balance to be struck, though. For example Angkor Wat is worth a mention at this level, but most of the lesser temples should be left to country, region or city articles. Pashley (talk) 05:08, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
I agree with what you're saying. Mentioning and linking only a few really outstanding sights in each category would be the way to go. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:31, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
It indeed is best to have See as prose. South_America#See is a good example (yup, written largely by myself so of course it's exactly the way I prefer See sections to look :)). ϒpsilon (talk) 05:59, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for your replies! I understand the point of linking to only a few of the most important sights. I will attempt to start the section. As I mentioned, I have not been to all countries in Southeast Asia, so additions from others will be welcome! Thanks also for the South America example. --ErwinFCG (talk) 07:58, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
I haven't been to Laos, but my brother liked the palace in Luang Prabang a lot and just liked the town in general. That was in 2003, so a lot has probably changed, but of course the castle is still there. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:22, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
I have now 'completed' the See section with prose on the main sights of Southeast Asia. I have counted how many times each country is mentioned to keep some balance, but of course the larger countries are mentioned much more often than the small ones (e.g. Indonesia 28 times, Vietnam 17 times, East Timor only once). I have attempted to at least include all World Heritage Sites. Maybe I have in some instances gone a bit too much in detail on Indonesia, while perhaps leaving out important sights for the countries I am not so familiar with (such as Myanmar). Nevertheless, I hope this section provides a good basis. I will try to write similar prose texts also for the 'Do' section. --ErwinFCG (talk) 15:07, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

Mount Mayon VolcanoEdit

I've added this tourist destination of the Philippines. Mayon V (talk) 07:51, 11 January 2020 (UTC)

And I've reverted it because per Wikivoyage policy, there are supposed to be no more than 9 "Cities" and 9 "Other destinations" in country and sub-country regional articles, and that's even more true of multi-country regions and continents. If you think that volcano should replace one of the current 9 "Other destinations", please make an argument about which one it should replace and why, and wait to see if you can convince a consensus. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:59, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
Also, read the discussion on the "See" section right above this thread. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:00, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
Return to "Southeast Asia" page.