Best Southeast Asia Travel Quotes

I (Paul Heller) love collecting the Best Southeast Asia Travel Quotes for my Fifty Plus Nomad blog. I spend hours searching to find quotes that:

  • Reflect how I feel about a place or a travel-related issue
  • Add a new or interesting perspective to a discussion about a place or issue, even if I disagree with the author’s viewpoint.
  • Make me laugh, cry, or smile.
  • Perfectly capture a place, emotion, or issue.

I don’t include quotes about unknown places or travel experiences.

All my blog posts lead off with a quote relevant to the post’s subject. I frequently post quotes on my Facebook group: Long Term Traveling and Living Abroad Over 50.

In addition, I have added several previously unseen quotes I discovered while putting together this page.

I hope you enjoy these Best Southeast Asia Travel quotes as much as I enjoyed putting them together.

Let me know if you have any additional quotes to add to this page.

6 Best Southeast Asia Travel Quotes

“Southeast Asia has a real grip on me. From the very first time I went there, it was a fulfillment of my childhood fantasies of the way travel should be.”
Anthony Bourdain

“I’ve always liked Southeast Asia a lot. It’s a wonderful place, an easy place. People are great, there’s a lot of history and culture, and I like the serenity of Buddhism there. It’s very beautiful. I find that to be a very nice place to visit.
Matt Dillon

“Going to Southeast Asia for the first time and tasting that spectrum of flavors – that certainly changed my whole palate, the kind of foods I crave. A lot of the dishes I used to love became boring to me.”
Anthony Bourdain

 Southeast Asia food uses many different types of spices which are quite new to me, like the curry leaves which I saw at the Kreta Ayer wet market in Chinatown. With such spices used in cooking, this usually imparts a strong aroma to Southeast Asian food, which appeals to the senses.
Joel Robuchon

“Nobody gives way to anybody. Everyone just angles, points, dives directly toward his destination, pretending it is an all-or-nothing gamble. People glare at one another and fight for maneuvering space. All parties are equally determined to get the right-of-way–insist on it. They swerve away at the last possible moment, giving scant inches to spare. The victor goes forwards, no time for a victory grin, already engaging in another contest of will. Saigon traffic is Vietnamese life, a continuous charade of posturing, bluffing, fast moves, tenacity and surrenders.”
Andrew X. Pham, Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam

¨We’d never seen anything as green as these rice paddies. It was not just the paddies themselves: the surrounding vegetation – foliage so dense the trees lost track of whose leaves were whose – was a rainbow coalition of one colour: green. There was an infinity of greens, rendered all the greener by splashes of red hibiscus and the herons floating past, so white and big it seemed as if sheets hung out to dry had suddenly taken wing.

All other colours – even purple and black – were shades of green. Light and shade were degrees of green. Greenness, here, was less a colour than a colonising impulse. Everything was either already green – like a snake, bright as a blade of grass, sidling across the footpath – or in the process of becoming so. Statues of the Buddha were mossy, furred with green.¨
Geoff Dyer

3 Best Bali Travel Quotes

´There is a saying in Bali: “We have no art. We do everything as beautifully as possible.” This reflects my philosophy of practice. I try to remember daily what a gift it is to have the privilege of living in this wondrous world.¨
Sam Keen

¨Bali is the sort of place where you can walk down the street and find something picturesque.¨
Henry Golding

¨Religious ceremonies are of paramount importance in Bali ( an island, don’t forget, with seven unpredictable volcanoes on it you would pray, too).’
Elizabeth Gilbert

2 Best Malaysia Travel Quotes

Malaysia is known as a melting pot of varied races, but really, the gastronomic imagery is at its strongest for its cuisine. It is in this cauldron of Malaysian cuisine that one finds a unique blending and marriage of cultural and culinary tastes.’ Wendy Hutton

¨Kuala Lumpur rises up out of steamy, equatorial, Southeast Asian jungle, Malaysia’s capital city — a chaotic, multiethnic, multicultural modern metropolis of Malay, Chinese, and Indian.¨
Anthony Bourdain

5 Best Philippines Travel Quotes

¨¨I love my homeland but it is an absurd country. Politics is like a spectator sport.¨
Miguel Syjuco

¨I knew my affection for the Philippines was equally as telling: a democracy on paper, apparently well ordered, regularly subverted by irrational chaos. A place where I’d Felt instantly at home.
Alex Garland, The Beach

¨You can’t bring an unwritten place to life without losing something substantial. Manila is the cradle, the graveyard, the memory. The Mecca, the Cathedral, the bordello. The shopping mall, the urinal, the discotheque. I´m hardly speaking in metaphor. It’s the most impermanent of cities. How does one convey all that?
Miguel Syjuco, Illustrado

¨Among the most easy-going and ebullient people anywhere.¨
Lonely Planet Guidebook

¨I think that the United States and the Philippines have always had a good relationship with each other. We were colonized by the Americans and we have their culture and our traditions even up to this day and I think that we’re very welcoming with the Americans. And I don’t see any problem with that at all.¨
Pia Wurtzbach

3 Best Singapore Travel Quotes

¨There’s nowhere that looks like Singapore; it’s absolutely beautiful on a purely aesthetic level.¨
Lisa Joy

¨Nobody in Singapore drinks Singapore Slings. It’s one of the first things you find out there. What you do in Singapore is eat. It’s a really food-crazy culture, where all of this great food is available in a kind of hawker-stand environment.¨
Anthony Bourdain

¨Singapore has been incredibly well-managed. It was created out of the swamp, with a strong emotional idea: a safe place for mostly Chinese, but accepting other cultures and other races.¨
Nicolas Berggruen

4 Best Thailand Travel Quotes

‘In essence, the Thai people are not materialistic at all. They’re not in the least driven by the kind of ambition that drives us. The more I got to know them, and the more time I spent with them, the more I understood that this was a totally legitimate attitude to life, and why not?
John Burdett

‘One of Thailand’s strongest selling points is your ability to visit on virtually any budget. Pay 200USD a night to sleep and dine like a king or queen, or get by on 10 – 15USD a night at a small hostel. Eat lavish steak dinners or buffets in five-star hotels or some humble noodles from a street stall.’
Chris Backe

‘Today, Bangkok cuisine can be described as an indigenous Central cuisine with heavy influences from a heady blend of foreign cultures – Chinese, Mon, Persian, Portuguese, modern European, North American, and more – resulting in a beautiful, quirky mix that locals and visitors alike can’t get enough of.’
Leela Punyaratabandhu

‘Bangkok, like Las Vegas, sounds like a place where you make bad decisions.’
Todd Phillips

3 Best Vietnam Travel Quotes

My ultimate getaway is Vietnam. It has a little bit of everything when it comes to culture, amazing food, beautiful people, exotic sights, sounds and profound history of love, bravery and resilience.’
Jeannie Mai

‘Vietnam’s century-old French villas and colonial-era government buildings are a draw for the 8 million tourists who visit the country every year. Even in France, we don’t have so many examples of the beautiful wrought-iron railings and staircases that you see here.’
Emmanuel Ly-Batalla.

‘I can’t say what made me fall in love with Vietnam – that a woman’s voice can drug you; that everything is so intense. The colors, the taste, even the rain.’
Graham Greene

Want More of the Best Southeast Asia Travel Quotes?

Check out these quotes from The Solo Globetrotters.

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Additional Language Learning, Long-Term Travel, and Expat Life Quotes from Fifty Plus Nomad

Paul Heller has been a lifelong avid traveler and language learner and teacher, Even as a child, he told Santa Claus that he wanted to visit all the children worldwide. At seven years old, Paul wanted to retire to Mexico. At eight, he memorized the name, capital, location, and some facts about every country worldwide. At twelve, he found a book "Lonely Planet: Southeast Asia on a Shoestring" and started developing his own itinerary for a future round-the-world trip. He remained obsessed with travel; after getting a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and working as an administrator, He spent his vacations going to different countries around the globe studying language, touring, and volunteering. In 1994, he quit his job and lived in Russia as a volunteer English instructor. He discovered that he loved teaching languages. In 2004, he decided to make a living out of his travels and founded a community of people who love to travel just like him. He developed 5 three-hour classes about living and traveling long-term worldwide which he taught in over 50 adult education programs throughout the US. After his parents passed, he realized his dream of traveling around the world; cruising and touring some of the most remote places like the North Atlantic, Patagonia, and Oceania; and learning new languages (he knows Spanish, Italian, French, and Russian). Paul encourages everyone to learn foreign languages. He knows that it can be frustrating and slow but that anyone can learn a language if they put in the work and, most importantly, learning a language is well worth the time and effort because it opens up a whole new set of people, ideas, and cultures. He is currently spending the next chapter of his life in Mérida, México. He is excited about using this blog and his classes and workshops to inspire and equip fellow Fifty Plus Nomads with the language, cultural, and psychological skills necessary to be successful and happy long-term travelers and expats over 50.

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