Take a glimpse into the diversity, culture and traditions of Southeast Asia with our In Photos series. Be inspired to explore this beautiful region with the help of a few snapshots from our resident travel expert Karen Hewell.

In Southeast Asia, tradition is everywhere. The folklore, the legends, the history, the festivals… so much of Southeast Asian culture is steeped in historical or spiritual significance, and that significance is passed down through generations of locals. It’s why you find beautifully preserved temples in Thailand with locals praying to centuries old Buddhas, and how children in Vietnam know the story of Mid-Autumn Festival by the time they’re old enough to speak. For most tradition and legacy in Southeast Asia, its impossible to touch, since most of what gets passed down through generations are stories, fables and beliefs sculpted through each passing decade.

But what about the traditions you can touch? While travelers can’t hold in their hand the stories of a local Thai family, they can run their fingers over the textiles that are woven by a woman who learned how from her grandmother. They can’t touch the ancient stories of a Vietnamese royal dynasty, but they can flip through a book filled with pages of calligraphy. Some testaments to heritage and tradition are made with two hands, and serve as tangible reminders of the histories that have made Southeast Asia the rich tapestry of culture and color that they are today. These are just some of the craftsmanship and artwork that has been passed down through generations, and continues today.

hoi an - vietnam - pottery

woman making pottery vietnam

man making pottery

chau-doc-cham-village-weaving textile

man in textile small vendor

ben-tre-mat-weaving-photography travel

Want to experience living history in Southeast Asia for yourself? Our tailor-made journeys are designed to help you discover people, places and traditions in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.

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Karen is a content guru at Buffalo Tours - which is fitting, since she's a travel addict herself. Although she hails from Arizona, she loves discovering hidden cafes, historic buildings and friendly locals in her chosen home of Hanoi, Vietnam – some of which she loves to share on Buffalo Tours’ travel blog!


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