There’s a ton of information and resources out there about traveling in Southeast Asia, butI tend to find a lot of it generic or outdated. Whenever I’m traveling around Thailand or the rest of the region however, I always consult these websites and resources because I know they will be helpful and and accurate as possible for an area where things are always changing.
If you’ve been traveling in Southeast Asia and not using Travelfish, you’ve been doing it wrong! The independent travel guides from Travelfish focus solely on Southeast Asia and are regularly updated by writers living in the regions they’re talking about. Everything listed on the site has been visited and well researched and they don’t beat around the bush – if a place is boring they’ll say it’s boring. Instead of wasting time in elaborate descriptions and hyperbole, Travelfish just cuts to the chase. You can also download FREE customizable PDF guides for the locations you’re interested in.
Coconuts Media runs a network of localized websites for:
The sites share news and events from the cities geared toward English-speakers with an emphasis on the strange and ridiculous. (Some recent headlines from Coconuts Bangkok include, “Hooters Helps Orphans Celebrate the Breast East Ever”, “Checkbook Buddhism Offer Thais Stairway to Heaven” and “Murdered Sheep Gets Proper Funeral at Laksi Farm”.) While many of the articles seem irreverent, they actually help shed some light on what the heck is going on in these destinations that foreigners aren’t usually privy to. There are also large food and dining sections, so instead of taking your guidebook’s recommendations check out the latest new eateries here!
Though many smaller guesthouses and hostels don’t have listings on booking sites, if you’re looking for accommodation that’s more mainstream Agoda is an excellent site to start with. (That said, you can still find some hostels, guesthouses and apartments too.) The hotel booking site lists properties around the world but specializes in the Asia-Pacific region and always seems to have some of the best deals around. I’ve booked multiple times through the site (like for this hotel), always take a look when I’m headed to Bangkok, and have been perfectly pleased with the price and service. (Booking.com also seems to have a wide range of Southeast Asia accommodation listings.)
This online magazine is free to download and packed with stories and tips written by backpackers for backpackers. Not only are the stories interesting and varied, but the website also offers a number of forums, travel buddy match ups, tours, travel insurance and helpful country information (including details on currencies, key phrases and important holidays) to help you plan your trip and better understand the areas you’re traveling through. (The company has also started a site for South America Backpacker.)
Despite the unfortunate incident in December, AirAsia has a high safety track record and continues to provide some of the cheapest fares to the most destinations in Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. The company regularly runs special deals so it’s best to look at the regional website of the destination you’re flying in. (For example, I usually look at the Air Asia Thailand site, but if I’m going out of the country, like to Bali, I’ll check out the Indonesia site.) That said, be careful when you book – AirAsia is a budget airline and the site tries to trick you into purchasing add ons like baggage, insurance, and even choosing your own seat. Did I miss anything? What other online resources do you turn to for traveling in Southeast Asia? (Also, if you’re heading to Southeast Asia soon, check out this article on what to pack.)
Hey! I'm Alana and I've spent nearly the past decade living in Chiang Mai, Thailand, working as a writer and photographer. I started Paper Planes as a place to share local insight, special places, and how to travel well through a range of experiences — from hostels to high-end hotels, street meat to multi-course meals.
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These are all such good resources. Ha, how am I living in Jakarta and didn’t even know about Coconuts Media? It sounds hilarious. And as someone who struggles with finding English-language information about what is going on in Jakarta, this site sounds perfect for me. Thanks for the tip 🙂
Glad I could help! It’s hard to find info in English on what’s really going on in Thailand too…Coconuts isn’t the most ‘serious’ new source but I feel like they do a good job pointing out and explaining a lot of things English speakers would be completely oblivious to otherwise.
Agree about Coconuts. Always funny stuff on there.
Agoda is my Favourite! We use it all the time and build up points for free nights later on too. Plus you can search for pet friendly places.
But my go to airline now days is Bangkok Airways because of that swanky free lounge and free luggage allowance 😉
It is nice flying on them! Even Nok air is pretty nice with free WiFi at the airport and a snack 🙂
5 Comments on 5 Online Resources for Traveling in Southeast Asia