Southeast Asia Dominates World’s Friendliest Countries List

Rough Guides have been one of the most popular series of travel guides for a number of decades and recently published their 2021 top 10 list of the World’s Friendliest Countries which features six Southeast Asia destinations.

The list was compiled following a request for Twitter and Facebook followers of the guides to nominate the country that they thought was the friendliest in the world.

Here are the Southeast Asia countries featuring in the list.

1. Cambodia

Topping the whole list was one of my favourite places on earth, Cambodia.

With stunning beaches and marine locations in the south, the incredible capital of Phnom Penh, war memorials, and of course the world famous Angkor Wat Archeaological Park in the north.

Angkor Archaeological PArk, Cambodia

“Cambodia was by far the top answer in our poll, and a popular choice among staff members and Rough Guides Twitter followers alike.”

Rough Guides

Talking to the Phnom Penh Post, Thourn Sinan the chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association Cambodia chapter said tht the recognition was “good news” for the tourism sector in the country and hoped that it would inspire more foreign tourists to visit once restrictions are lifted.

“More or less, promoting such positivity will help make Cambodia’s tourism sector more visible and more attractive.”

“We have to remember that the more people compliment us, the harder we have to work to live up to those praises.”

Thourn Sinan, Chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association Cambodia chapter

Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents was far more upbeat saying that the pool would help to boost future travel in the country as consumers did far more research prior to planning these days, and thataccolades such as this one will only encourage more to visit.

Coconut Beach, Kh Rong, Cambodia

“the proportion of the population vaccinated, as well as the latest word from Rough Guides will be driving forces in attracting foreign visitors, luring them to visit Cambodia in the future.”

“This is another new light for the redevelopment of the tourism sector in Cambodia.

Chhay Sivlin, President of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents

More than 70% of the population of Cambodia is now fully vaccinated and more than 80% partially vaccinated and there have been increasing calls for the country to reopen to tourists.

2. The Philippines

Consisting of more than 7,600 islands and with a population of around 109 million people, the Phillipines offers an incredible array of experiences but almost always with wonderful people.

El Nido, Philippines credit Erwin T. Lim

“Cut off from the mainland Asia route by the South China Sea, The Philippines is often in danger of being overlooked by travellers, which would be a big mistake. @SaviorThere mentioned on Twitter that the country “was off the chart for friendliness & fun”.

Rough Guides

3. Laos

Rounding off the top 3 countries in the world is yet another Southeast Asia gem, Laos.

Less travelled than many of the locations, Laos generally offers a more authentic, traditional way of life than other areas with greater numbers of tourists.

The third most welcoming country in the world according to Rough Guides fans and followers is landlocked Laos in South East Asia. Twitter user @achapcalledjay remarked, “Friendliness seems a way of life. Three weeks there and not one raised voice”.

Rough Guides
Vientiane, Laos

5. Thailand

With Nepal at number 4 we return to Southeast Asia at number 5 with the “Land of Smiles”. A nickname well founded.

Another popular choice, Thailand slides in at Number Five. @halcyonnicole said on Twitter: “Friendliness is a two way street. While smiles are contagious, nothing beats the Land of Smiles”.

Rough Guides
Relaxing on Koh Yao in Thailand

Another popular choice, Thailand slides in at Number Five. @halcyonnicole said on Twitter: “Friendliness is a two way street. While smiles are contagious, nothing beats the Land of Smiles”.

Rough Guides

6. Myanmar (Burma)

A stunning country with incredible people that has recently been turned upside down by the coup which took place earlier this year.

“Myanmar (Burma) may have been off-limits for some time, but has been increasing in popularity of late. @Zoetipler deemed its inhabitants “welcoming, generous, and super hospitable”.

Rough Guides
Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, myanmar credit David Stanley on flickr

7. Indonesia

The final Southeast Asia country in the list is the wonderfly diverse and beautiful Indonesia.

“From Bali’s stunning white beaches and temples to the enigmatic ruins of Java and the jungles of Sumatra, Indonesia is populated with welcoming locals.”

Rough Guides
Beach life in Gili Air, Lombok, Indonesia credit Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

Rounding out the top 10 were Fiji in 8th, Scotland in 9th and Sri Lanka in 10th.

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Published by flyingdogtravel

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