Majestic mountains, verdant rice terraces and glorious beaches, combined with a vibrant culture and the gentle charm of the Balinese, are just some of the reasons why Bali is the main attraction in indonesia. A stay in one of the southern beach resorts is ideally combined with a visit to the artists' town of Ubud or the less developed east coast. For even more relaxation head to the neighbouring island of Lombok with its beautiful beaches, or visit the wonderful coral reefs surrounding the Gili Islands to the north.
Cross the South China Sea from Peninsular Malaysia to explore the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, better known collectively as Borneo. Famed for its lush tropical jungles filled with diverse wildlife, wide sandy beaches and oceans that abound with rich marine life, Borneo is a nature lover's paradise.
Thailand's most popular island, Phuket is surrounded by the pristine waters of the Andaman Sea. Much of its appeal is the palm-fringed, white sandy beaches, secluded coves and long sweeping bays. Phuket's best beaches are located on the west coast with Patong, Karon and Kata being the most popular. Patong is the livelier resort, with an abundance of bars and non-stop entertainment. Those looking for a more relaxed atmosphere can head for the seclusion and tranquil beach of Mai Khao or the exclusive Bang Tao Bay for a round of golf.
It is well worth exploring the towns and villages of this delightful region. The gateway to the North, Chiang Mai is scattered with ancient Buddhist temples and holds some of Thailand's best night markets. Chiang Rai is a small attractive town and a good base from which to explore the many hilltribe villages and the picturesque Golden Triangle on the borders of Laos and Myanmar.
The best-known town in Outback Australia, Alice Springs is really the town of any size for hundreds of miles in any direction. This lends 'The Alice' a lively energy far greater than its population would otherwise sustain, even in summer when the mercury hovers around the 100F mark.
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