How to Spend 10 Days in Southeast Asia - United Hub

How to spend 10 days in Southeast Asia

By Matt Chernov

A veritable feast for the senses in every conceivable way, the 11 countries and 20,000 islands that comprise Southeast Asia offer a travel experience like no other. Whether you're an adventurous foodie looking to sample some of the most deliciously pungent flavors on Earth, a thrill-seeking globetrotter hoping to test your mettle in the region's dense tropical rainforests, or a leisure-loving sunbather in need of a pristine beach to enjoy, you'll find exactly what you're searching for – plus so much more – in this remarkable destination. Yet with such an endless variety of things to do, see and eat, planning your travel schedule ahead of time is essential. To maximize your vacation throughout Southeast Asia, here is a 10-day itinerary that will help you see more than you ever thought possible.

Days 1 & 2

Explore Bali's scenic temples and rice paddies

Begin your journey on the Indonesian island of Bali, which is the southernmost destination on your trip. Justifiably famous for its spectacular volcanic mountains, white sand beaches, and iconic rice paddies, Bali is the perfect place to acquaint yourself with the region. After checking in to one of the island's stylish hotels – like the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan – you'll spend your first day exploring the area's many natural wonders. Although the street food in Bali is second to none, there are also dozens of highly rated restaurants to choose from, like the beach-side La Lucciola, which specializes in Asian food with an Italian twist, and MÉTIS, which is part restaurant, part art gallery. On your second day in Bali, it's time to check out a few must-see attractions, including the cliffside Uluwatu Temple, the Ubud Monkey Forest, and a visit to the archeological treasure known at the Elephant Cave.

Days 3 & 4

Get crazy in Singapore

On the third day of your trip you'll head west towards southern Malaysia. Fans of the recent hit movie “Crazy Rich Asians" will definitely want to add the stunning island nation of Singapore to their Southeast Asia travel plans, since many of the most colorful scenes in the film were shot there. Arguably the most thrilling destination in the entire region, the only problem with visiting Singapore is trying to decide what to see, do and eat while you're there. The expert concierge at the historic Raffles Hotel will gladly point you in the right direction, but be sure to include the dazzling Marina Bay entertainment complex, the Clarke Quay riverside shopping and dining area, and the world's largest observation wheel – known as the Singapore Flyer – during your stay on the island.

Day 5

Return to the past on Penang Island

Temple of snakes with real snakes inside on the island of Penang, Malaysia

Next, you'll travel north to Penang Island, just off the Malay Peninsula, where you'll discover an enormous variety of cultural influences on display. This type of dynamic aesthetic mixture is a common feature throughout most of Malaysia, but especially in Penang, where amazing Indian restaurants abound and Chinese elements can be seen and felt across the entire region. Spend your day exploring the capital city of George Town, which is named after England's King George III. It's a multi-cultural destination famous for its historic British colonial architecture. Perhaps more importantly, it's also home to the one-of-a-kind Snake Temple, which proudly features a massive number of slithering pit vipers living in a sacred religious space.

Day 6

Shop the markets in Yangon

On the sixth day you'll head east to Yangon, which was formerly known as Rangoon. This capital city of Myanmar combines ancient cultural history with modern sophistication, making it the best of both worlds for virtually every type of traveler. Major attractions include the elaborate golden temple called Shwedagon Pagoda, the fascinating National Museum, the 2600-year old Sule Pagoda, which is incongruously nestled in the center of the modern downtown district, and the vibrant Bogyoke Aung San Market where visitors can sample deliciously distinctive Burmese foods while shopping for gorgeous handicrafts, clothing and artwork. If you're in the mood for 5-star luxury accommodations, the lavish Strand Hotel in Yangon is the ultimate place to stay while exploring this unique city.

Day 7

Say hello to Koh Samui's Big Buddha

Heading back south again on day seven, you'll arrive at Koh Samui, which is the second largest island in Thailand. This is a solid choice for budget-minded travelers who want to experience all the natural beauty of Southeast Asia without spending a fortune. Instantly recognizable for its lush rainforests, palm-lined beaches, and endless coconut groves, Koh Samui also features a towering golden Buddha statue (nicknamed “The Big Buddha") that has to be seen to be believed. Hungry travelers who want to enjoy a romantic seafood meal directly on the beach at sunset should plan to visit Fisherman's Village in Old Town Samui. If the Thai temperatures get to be too much for you, head to the majestic Namuang Waterfall in Nathon, the island's capital, and take a quick dip in the rejuvenating waters.

Day 8

Relax with a swim on the Cambodian South Coast

On the eighth day of your adventure you'll probably be ready for some swimming, snorkeling and relaxing, and the Cambodian South Coast is an ideal spot for these kinds of low-stress activities. This resort area has seen an influx of tourism lately thanks to foreign investors helping to re-develop it. Visitors can explore the banks of the Sanke River, admire the historic Old French architecture in the capital city of Kampot, or hike up to the ruins in the Bokor National Park. For some fun in the sun, the coastal city of Sihanoukville – often referred to as the Cambodian Riviera – offers several popular beaches to choose from. For lunch, the nearby town of Kep is the perfect place to go for incredible local seafood, especially their spicy blue crab dishes. And while you're there, be sure to take a short side-trip north to visit the astonishing Angkor Wat temple complex, which is one of the largest religious monuments in the world.

Days 9 & 10

Expand your horizons in Ho Chi Minh City

The final two days of your trip will be spent marveling at the unforgettable sights in and around Ho Chi Minh City, which is one of Vietnam's top attractions. This historic city – formerly known as Saigon – is the ultimate Southeast Asian melting pot. Offering everything from luxurious spas and 5-star hotels to delicious casual street food markets and world-class coffee houses, Ho Chi Minh City will present you with an overwhelming sensory experience that will change the way you see the world. In between mouthwatering meals, make plans to visit the Vietnam War Remnants Museum and the Saigon-Notre Dame Cathedral, both of which rank among the most popular destinations in the city.

Getting there

Whether you want to plan your Southeast Asian adventure for 10 days or less, United Airlines can get you there. Visit united.com, or try the United app on your smartphone, to book your trip.

Why we fly

By The Hub team, November 27, 2020

In October 2019, we launched a first-of-its-kind airline miles donation platform, Miles on a Mission. In the inaugural year, MileagePlus members donated over 70 million miles, with United matching over 20 million miles, to 51 organizations. These miles have allowed for these organizations to do important, life-changing, life-saving work in the communities we serve around the globe.

United cargo connects products to people all over the world this holiday season

By The Hub team, November 23, 2020

Critical medical shipments – Check.

High-tech electronics – Check.

2.7 million pounds of lobster? Check.


While this year's holiday gatherings will look a little different, millions of people around the world will still carry on the tradition of celebrating the holidays with a meal.

As the appetite for different types of food from all over the world increases, so does the need for safe and reliable transport. Fish caught in the United Kingdom can depart at breakfast and arrive in Washington D.C. in time for dinner. Thanks to United Cargo's expansive network, we are longer constrained by global distance or the seasonality of a product,

United Cargo plays a big role in transporting shipments with a limited shelf life around the world. Packed in between the latest electronics from Asia and the hottest fashion items from Europe, our aircraft carry a variety of perishable shipments like flowers, fruit, meat and vegetables, where speed and careful handling keeps them fresh. Whether it's cherries from Washington State or vegetables from Peru, our temperature-controlled shipping processes and vast global network helps move these commodities all over the world.

While the holidays are an exceptionally busy time of year for shipping perishable items, United Cargo transports these critical goods for people all over the world year-round. Earlier this year, United Cargo moved nearly 190,000 pounds of fresh produce to Guam for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program to support communities impacted by COVID-19. Additionally, with the holiday season here, we anticipate the cargo holds of our aircraft to be full of grocery store replenishments, including staples like turkey and ham, hitting shelves across the globe.

We take pride in our role to make sure perishables and produce arrive on time and at the peak of freshness. These products sustain, feed and nurture the world, and consumers around the globe depend on them every single day.

Since March 19, United has operated nearly 8,000 cargo-only flights, moving over 272 million pounds of cargo on those flights alone. United Cargo is proud of the role we play maintaining the global food supply chain and helping people access commodities from all over the globe.

Bon appetit!

10 travel tips for the holiday season

By The Hub team, November 19, 2020

Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your holiday travels, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive travel-ready:

1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, payments and more

Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check and touch-free onboard payments.

2. Read and sign the Ready-to-Fly checklist

Before completing check-in, all United travelers will need to read our Ready-to-Fly checklist and confirm that they understand and agree to our policies. These include:

  • Acknowledging that you haven't had any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • Agreeing that you will not fly if you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 21 days
  • Confirming that you will follow all policies regarding face coverings, social distancing and other health and safety measures we've adopted

3. Get familiar with CleanPlus

United CleanPlus℠ is our commitment to delivering industry-leading* cleanliness, plus putting health and safety at the forefront of your experience, in partnership with Clorox and Cleveland Clinic. We've implemented CleanPlus in a number of ways that you'll notice throughout your trip, as well as with some behind-the-scenes enhancements like:

  • Disinfecting high-touch areas on board and in the terminal
  • Using electrostatic spraying, Ultraviolet C lighting wands and more advanced measures to clean aircraft cabins before boarding
  • Redesigning our mobile app to allow for touchless check-in and contactless payment, along with enhanced travel assistance features

Studies show COVID-19 exposure risk is minimal when air filtration systems and masks are in use, so you can rest assured that the steps we've taken to keep you safe truly make a difference.

4. Don't forget essential documents

We've made a list of travel requirements and restrictions for every destination that you can check twice, or as often as you need before your trip. Just visit united.com/travelrequirements to get the details on COVID-19 testing, health documents and other things you may need before you fly.

5. Wear your mask

You may not notice our smile behind our face covering, but you can be sure that we're appreciative of all our travelers who arrive to the airport with their mask on, and continue to wear it over their nose and mouth at all times in the airport and on board. Make sure you review our requirements for face coverings, including what an acceptable face covering looks like. Bonus points if your mask infuses some holiday cheer!

6. A better boarding process for your safety

If you haven't flown with us in a while, you might want to get familiar with our new boarding process. To make boarding even safer, we now have travelers board their aircraft from back to front. At the gate, just listen for your row number to be called – we'll ask a few rows at a time to board, starting with the last row of the plane. This helps everyone maintain a safe distance from each other during boarding without slowing things down. As you step onto the plane, flight attendants will hand each passenger a sanitizing towelette, which you can use to wipe down your seat to ensure it's extra clean.

7. Pack smart

Before packing your bags, check to see what exactly you can carry on and what you should plan to check. You can also copy your confirmation number into our Baggage Calculator tool to learn about the bag allowance included with your reservation, as well as the cost of checking any additional bags.

8. Check your flight status, important notices and weather

Check the United app regularly for the latest updates, weather conditions, flight status, gate and seat assignments. You can also visit our Important Notices page to find essential information and updates about travel waivers, international travel, TSA and security, airports and United Club locations.

9. Arrive early; avoid the stress

Airports can be busy, especially during the holidays. The TSA advises arriving at the airport two hours before your flight for domestic travel and three hours for international travel in anticipation of long security lines. This can help ease the stress when navigating busy check-in areas, security lines and crowded boarding gates.

10. Relax and enjoy your flight

Once you're on board, it's time to sit back and enjoy your flight. Our flight attendants will be happy to help you with anything else you need.

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