Live Life Unexpected at these Underrated Southeast Asian Destinations

For the 50th anniversary of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), AirAsia launched its Live Life Unexpected campaign to urge travellers to look beyond the usual sights. The Airline Partner of the Visit ASEAN @50 campaign, AirAsia is the only airline to fly direct to 80 destinations across 10 Asean countries.

We encourage you to find your own path, but if you would like a little shortcut, follow the footsteps of our intrepid traveller. Here’s a cheat sheet of the places she visited in the ad that you can visit independently on your next Southeast Asia trip.


The Queen City of the South, Cebu is an island province in Central Philippines known for its islands, beaches and mangoes. Cebu City is the country’s second largest metropolis, but outside of the urban area, there are numerous towns with their own charms.

Cebu 1

Head out to the Camotes Islands, a group of four islands accessible from the main island of Cebu by ferry. For an adrenaline rush, go cliff jumping at Buho Rock Resort.

Cebu 2

Take a tricycle (a motorbike with a sidecar) to explore Timubo and Bukilat Caves. Prepare to swim in the freshwater pools within.

Cebu 3

Back on the main island of Cebu, ride a colourful jeepney and snorkel with the whale sharks of Oslob town.

If you have more time, tour Cebu City’s heritage sites, including Magellan’s Cross, Basilica del Santo Niño, Fort San Pedro and Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House.

Hanoi, Vietnam

The largest city in North Vietnam, Hanoi is a treasure trove of Vietnamese tradition and modern history.

Hanoi 2

Cross the rusty Long Bien Bridge on foot. The bridge, which opened in 1903, is used mainly by trains, motorbikes and a handful of pedestrians.

Wanna get lost? Roam the Old Quarter, popping into small alleys, temples and shops, and stopping for a cup of Vietnamese coffee or a bowl of pho (noodle soup) whenever you feel like it.

Hanoi 1

Follow the railroad tracks and observe how the locals live as the train speeds past. The thrill is in discovering the sights and signs you won’t find in any guide.

Hanoi 3

From Hanoi, you can do a day trip to the famous Ha Long Bay or stay longer in the northern provinces for trekking and hill tribes.


If you haven’t heard of Luang Prabang yet, it’s about time you learn more about it. This ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage Site up in the mountainous north lies on the banks of the Mekong River.

Luang Prabang 1

Zip past gilded temple after gilded temple on a motorbike. Better yet, visit each one on foot and enjoy the scenery and the cool weather.

Luang Prabang 2

Further afield, the green countryside is a refreshing change from your usual views. Don’t miss the river cruise on the Mekong, the epitome of slow living.

Luang Prabang 3

The not-to-be missed Kuang Si waterfalls is a fitting way to end your LP escape. Look for the secret pool, if you’re up for an adventure.

live life unexpected

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