Tropical Paradise-13 Natural Wonders of Southeast Asia

Komodo Island, Indonesia

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Home of the Komodo dragon, the Komodo Island is just one of the 17,508 islands that make up the Republic of Indonesia. It’s the center of what was once a myth about the creatures, when Dutch sailors believed that the reptile could measure up to 22 feet in length and spit fire. Of course, they soon realized – after killing one of them and getting a good look at it – that while Komodo dragons are, as the world’s largest lizard, pretty impressive at about six feet in length, they aren’t exactly mythical creatures. Another interesting feature of Komodo island is that it has a pink sand beach, one of only seven in the world.

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, Philippines

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One of the ‘new seven wonders of the world’, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River is found within a limestone karst mountain landscape in the city of Puerto Princesa. The subterranean river cave actually has two stories and a number of small waterfalls. The river winds through the cave before emptying into the South China Sea. The whole area is known as the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National park, and includes one of the largest cave rooms in the world.

Mekong Delta, Vietnam

(images via: mckay savage)

Making up a large portion of southwestern Vietnam, the Mekong Delta has been called a ‘biological treasure trove’ thanks to the recent discovery of over 10,000 new species. The delta is located at the point where the Mekong River empties into the sea and stretches out to cover over 15,000 square miles. Many different landscapes come into play here including flood plains and mountains. THe whole Mekong Delta region could be particularly at risk as climate change causes sea levels to rise; many of its provinces may be flooded by the year 2030.

Tubbataha Reef, Philippines

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Nominated to be one of the new 7 wonders of the world, Tubbataha Reef can be found within the Sulu Sea in the Philippines. A marine sanctuary made up of two coral atolls divided by a 5-mile-wide channel, Tubbataha is considered the best dive site in the Philippines, with coral ‘walls’ where the shallow coral reef drops off abruptly into vast depths full of hammerhead sharks, manta rays, parrotfish and many more species. It’s also home to the endangered hawksbill sea turtle.