If you want to travel but your budget is not that high, then maybe you need to consider going to Asia. As other travelers can probably tell you, Asia has some of the cheapest places you could go to. And apart from being cheap, Asia is also a land full of adventure and amazing culture. Today’s blog highlights some of the best cheap places to travel in Asia.
When it comes to Asia, you have plenty of destinations to choose from. This is, after all, the largest continent on our planet. Its surface makes for a third of the whole land on Earth. You can find everything in Asia: exotic beaches, mountains, jungles, ancient historical monuments, famous movie destinations… You name it!
Asia looks especially attractive nowadays to location independent people from Western countries. For many digital nomads, Asia is the perfect place where they can work on building their businesses while living a life that costs them significantly less than it would cost them in their home countries.
Prices quoted in this blog are rough averages as of summer 2019. Prices are quoted in GBP£ and USD$ for our main British and American audience, but if you want to convert these prices, you can use xe.com. We have quoted for beer prices, meal prices and accommodation (low end, mid range and luxury).
Top Cheap Places to Travel in Asia
The Philippines is a fabulous archipelago in the Western Pacific ocean. With over 7000 islands, the Philippines offer some of the best beaches in the world. The capital city, Manila can be busy and quite polluted. See the main sites including Intramuros and then head to a more laid back destination such as Iloilo or Cebu. Z Hostel is a great place to stay in Manila and you can usually book a dorm room for around £12.00 a night. Prices for accommodation outside Manila can be even cheaper. The price of a beer in Philippines is usually just under £1 (just of 1USD!). Anywhere where you can get a beer for around a dollar is good in my book!
Iloilo and Cebu are good bases to travel out from to explore the scenery and beaches. One of the best islands in the Philippines is Palawan – it has been voted as one of the best islands in the world. When visiting Palawan, make sure that you visit the bat cave in the Puerto Princesa underground river and Honda Bay and Starfish Island.
£1/$1 beer? YES!
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) – £2.50 or $3
- HOSTEL – Z Hostel in Manila approx £12 per night in 8 bed dorm
- BASIC ROOM – Zen Rooms Vista Taft, Manila approx £20+ per night
- MID-RANGE HOTEL – The Alpha Suites Manila from £100 and up for one night
- LUXURY – The Makati Shangri-La from £163 and up for one night
- Similar prices in Cebu and other main cities in the Philippines.
Reasons why I love Philippines: Eating Adobo and going to Jolibee for a Chicken Joy! Beautiful Churches and Beaches.
Thailand is one of the most obvious choices of places to be included on this list of cheap places to travel in Asia. It is a tourists’ favourite and the place to go for uninhibited fun. Tourism season is year long in Thailand. And, although the prices have been going up a bit over the last years, life in Thailand is still cheaper than in the West. Chiang Mai, seems to have gained a lot of popularity lately, and it is one of the cheapest places in Thailand. But if you are not into jungle covered hills that much and you prefer a more sandy environment, choose one of the more distant islands. You might have to take several flights and a boat ride to get there, but you’ll have more privacy and the prices will be really low for everything.
£1/$1 beer? YES!
Meal at Inexpensive Restaurant: £3-£5 ($4-$6.50) and street food or market food £1 Pad Thai (Chiang Rai!)
- HOSTEL – Bedstation Hostel Khao San approx £10 a night for dorm room.
- LAYOVER HOTEL – Bangkok Airport Layover Hotels £20-£40
- HOSTEL CHIANG RAI – Connect Hostel Chiang Rai from just £5 a night! ($6-7)
- 5 STAR HOTEL CHIANG RAI – Approx £73 per night
Reasons why I love Thailand: eating Pad Thai, amazing beaches fabulous Buddhist temples and the friendliest people on earth.
India is the kind of destination that will appeal more to those in search of their spiritual roots. Don’t miss the world famous Taj Mahal. The country attracts meditators, yogis and all kinds of healers who go to India to learn from the source. India is also quite cheap, provided you stay away from the more high-end places. If you like the beach life, Goa could be great for you. It has a nice multicultural crowd and plenty of activities and learning opportunities for those interested in the study of holistic subjects. Rishikesh is great for yogis and meditators and allows you to enjoy the greatness of the Ganges as well as the beautiful energy of the Himalayas.
£1/$1 beer? YES!
Meal at Inexpensive Restaurant: £2-£3 ($3-$5) and street food or market food 20-50 Rupees which is 30p-60p!
- HOSTEL DELHI – Joey’s Hostel New Delhi from £7 a night (cheaper Delhi hostels start from £5)
- HOSTEL BOMBAY – Bombay Backpackers £6 a night
- BUDGET TO MID RANGE – Green Park Haveli PUSHKAR – from £18 a night
- LUXURY – JW Bombay Mariott Juhu from £139 a night
Reasons why I love India: soothing energy, in spite of the crowd and the whole visual mess on its streets; spirituality and yoga.
When we say Nepal, we say Everest. Yearly, the country is visited by thousands of tourists whose main purpose is to go hiking in the Himalayas and get as close as possible to the highest mountain peak on Earth. Once you get to Katmandu, the capital city of Nepal and one of the oldest cities in the world, it is easy to find a tour or a guide who can take you up in the mountains. Always be careful who you are going with, though! Also, if you are not very keen on hiking, you can rent a helicopter that can take you on an unforgettable ride over the Himalayas. And don’t think that all these activities will break your piggy bank! You will not believe how cheap Nepal is…
£1/$1 beer? Can be found, but most beers are around £2 for local and £3 for imported. Beer isn’t as cheap in Nepal as the other Asian countries.
Meal at Inexpensive Restaurant: £3-4 ($4-$6). A packet of cookies can cost just 40p in Kathmandu but maybe 4 x more expensive in the mountains.
- HOSTEL – Rest up Kathmandu Hostel dorms from £3.
- BUDGET SINGLE – Avalon House KTM from £11 (single with en suite)
- MID RANGE – Hotel Roadhouse private room from £52
- LUXURY (5 Star) Gokana Forest Resort from £126 per room per night
Reasons why I love Nepal: Kathmandu temples, the fresh mountain air, friendly people.
Of of the top cheap places to travel in Asia is China due to the abundance of cheap and amazing cuisine! China has some of the most famous historical and religious sites in the whole world. From the Forbidden city of Beijing to the Terracotta Warriors of Xian, there are so many amazing highlights of China not to be missed. If you love scenery, head to the naturally beautiful Jiuzhaigou national park. If you are seeking more spiritual serenity, head to China’s religious mountains such as Emei Shan.
In China, food and drink is very cheap – drinks are around half the price that they are in the UK/USA. However, regarding accommodation, it is harder to find dorm rooms and and when you do find them they can still be pricey. And so China can be more expensive than somewhere like Thailand if you are a solo dorm room traveller. Always pre-book you room – hotel touts can be rife at train stations.
Budgeting for China? This article will help to plan food costs.
£1/$1 beer? YES!
Meal at Inexpensive Restaurant: £2-£3 ($3-$5) and street food or market food such as dumplings 10 yuan which is around £1 or $1.50.
- HOSTEL – Leo Great Wall Hostel from £9 (dorm)
- MID RANGE – Beijing Shanshui Trends Hotel (Qianmen Branch) – standard double £60 a night.
- LUXURY – The Peninsula Beijing from £227 a night
Reasons why I love China: Amazing historical and religious sites including Forbidden City, Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors and the Summer Palace.
At the moment, Indonesia might be the most popular destination for digital nomads. The Templeseeker’s highlight is Borobudur, a temple complex built around the 8th and 9th Centuries AD, that lies at the footsteps of the Kedu Valley, which is located right in the heart of the island of Java. The temple has three tiers built around a hill and includes a total of 72 bell-shaped stupas with a statue of Buddha inside.
And no other island in the world is as popular as Bali. With beautiful beaches, surfing waves, good weather and great wifi, Bali is a winner for hundreds (or maybe thousands?…) of location independent folks out there. And what increases its appeal even more, is the price of the living standard in Bali. Depending on which side of the island you choose to settle, you can expect to pay as low as $1000 for a whole month, including rent, food, transportation and activities (like yoga classes).
£1/$1 beer? YES!
Meal at Inexpensive Restaurant: Soup and rice dishes at local eatery less than $1. Fish curry £1.50-3 ($2-5)
- HOSTEL – La Boheme Canggu from £7.50 a night
- BASIC PRIVATE ROOM – Kawali Homestay Kuta from £27
- LUXURY (5 Star) – Hillstone Uluwatu Villa from £81
- LUXURY (5 Star) – The Wolas Villa & Spa Seminyak from £186 per night
Reasons why I love Indonesia: beautiful nature, good vibes, inclusiveness.
Go to Vietnam if you are looking for a place that is a mixture of modern and traditional. The city of Ho Chi Minh is already quite popular among location independent individuals due to the low living costs and also due to the speedy internet connections. Some of the things Ho Chi Minh has to offer: history, culture, cool cafes with fast wifi and diverse social scene. And if you like an atmosphere that is more low key, then maybe Hanoi would be a better choice for you. With colourful streets and its interesting French influences, Hanoi is one of a kind.
£1/$1 beer? YES!
Reasons why I love Vietnam: the interesting history, the mix of old and new, the coffee.
Cambodia is as cheap as, if not cheaper than Thailand. It’s home to the largest and most famous temple complex in the World: Angkor Wat. You can fly into Siem Reap airport, but most international flights will require you to go via Bangkok. Another option is to fly into Phnom Penh and travel overland to Siem Reap for Angkor Wat. The Angkor Wat Sunrise is simply not to be missed. There are some fantastic Cambodia tours – other key places to explore in Cambodia include the temples and archaeological sites of Phnom Penh and Tonle Sap (floating villages).
Regarding costs, you can pick up a local beer for less than £1 ($1 beers are easy to find!) and a dorm room for as little as £3-4 ($5 a night!). You can eat out in an inexpensive restaurant for just £3-4 and street food for £1 is easy to find, meaning that you can easily travel in Cambodia for a budget of £20-30 a day (less if you scrimp and save and don’t drink!)
£1/$1 beer? YES!
If you are looking for somewhere that is full of amazing temples and relatively untouched as far as tourism goes, Myanmar is an excellent choice. One of the most popular Myanmar Itineraries is to travel from Yangon to Bagan to Mandalay. Yangon is home to hundreds of temples, the most famous being the Schwedagon Pagoda. I highly recommend one of the Bagan Tours, especially the balloon ride over the Bagan temples.
The currency of Myanmar is Burmese Kyat (Burma is the former name of Myanmar). You can buy a local beer for around 1800 Kyat which is around £1! It’s certainly one of my top cheap places to travel in Asia.
£1/$1 beer? YES!
There are many reasons to Travel to Cheap Places in Asia!
The reasons why you should love Asia go beyond the low living costs. By traveling to Asia, you don’t only save money, you gain a whole new opening to the world. You have amazing nature, you have traditions and interesting culture, you have fun, kind people, you have fantastic climate. Asia is the low budget traveler’s paradise, with temples that are out of this world!