There are the tourist experiences everyone does in South East Asia. Tubing in Vang Vieng, petting tigers in Chiang Mai, partying in Khao San road.
Then there are the experiences even the most adventurous don’t get to experience. The ones people talk about around a dinner table and the whole room goes quiet to listen in.
Here are 18 of the most radical adventures in South East Asia.
When you begin to approach Nam Et, signs for tigers start appearing every few km along the roads. In this jungle reserve there is a hike most tourists never even hear about.
Local guides take you into the heart of the jungle and give you a pretty extreme tour including a boat ride into the jungle and a night safari.
The highest point in Borneo sticks out like a thumb above the world. From the top, on a clear day, you can far out into the jungle of Borneo.
This mountain is sacred among the local tribes and promises a spiritual journey for anyone who goes.
Arguably in the top 3 most beautiful places to balloon in the world. Bagan is already an incredible place to visit with its 100's of temples. To see them from above is a view most people will never get to experience.
Raja Ampat is a very remote and often very expensive destination to reach. This also means the reefs around this area are perhaps the most untouched in the world.
Raja Ampat is home to perhaps the most bio diverse sea life and is guaranteed to be the best diving experience of your life.
Ton Sai is home to some very radical climbs. There are a few beginner level climbs on Railay, but if your after a climb for the ages, head to Ton Sai and team up with the other extreme climbers looking for that once in a life route.
The Mekong is among the largest rivers in the world and is extremely important to the economy of the countries it flows through.
Starting in Tibet and ending at the South China Sea in Vietnam, the Mekong is a monstrous river that rarely sees foreigners travelling down save for a few long tail taxis.
There are a few stories of travelers who have ran the entire river...very few.
The pipeline of the east is not to be taken lightly. This is where some of the best surfers in the world go to experience big waves. While this area gets a lot of attention by tourists who come to watch the surf, there are rarely surfers in large numbers in this spot.
Papua has it's fare share of indigenous islands and many of them are friendly to tourists. This is an incredible place that will turn your perspective of humanity upside down.
One of the windiest roads in the world. The Mae Hong Son Loop can be traversed in four days, but with as beautiful as this area is your probably going to want at least nine.
There are thousands of islands in the Philippines. Many of them are now home to resorts, small villages, and fishing businesses. But, there are still plenty of islands out there where you can spend a few days completely alone to live off only the few items you bring with you.
Just recently opened to the public, Myanmar still has many places forbidden to outsiders. Travelling by motorbike is mostly forbidden as well. The way to experience this country for now is by bicycle. Hop on a bike and travel through some of the most beautiful back country in the world.
This is definitely among the most challenging adventures on this list. Son Doong Cave is the biggest cave in the world. You could air lift an entire Manhattan city block into the cave and it would fit with room to spare. Access to the cave is extremely limited and has a two year waiting period assuming you can afford the entrance fee.
Known as the Gibbon Experience this zip line trek through the jungle all but guarantees you a sneak peak at those tiny gibbon monkeys. Parts of the tour require physically demanding and muddy treks so be warned this isn't your average zip line canopy tour.
While hopping from island to island by boat is one thing, traversing major bodies of water by kite is certainly another. This sort of adventure is almost unheard of, but if you look hard enough, you can find a small number of crazy people doing it.
This rain forest covered mountain range is among the last untouched zones in all of South East Asia. A hike in this region would likely mean crossing paths with wild Asian elephants, visits with local tribes, and a change to preserve a region under constant threat of deforestation.
This is the sort of adventure a lot of people joke about around the communal hostel table, but there are places where you can do it. Most notably Sri Lanka and the Himalayas.
Java is home to some very impressive volcanoes. Instead of being a rock harsh trek, several volcanoes have developed rich sand dunes perfect for sliding down with an old snowboard.
Perhaps the ultimate adventure for lovers of there area is to move to the region and start a business. Starting a business in South East Asia is not about doing it for the money. There are other regions in the world where making a buck is much easier.
Starting a business here is about having a passion project and building up the area for both the locals and future tourism.