Southeast Asia is the perfect destination for every type of traveler. If you love backpacking, Vietnam and Laos are easy and cheap countries to travel through, experiencing cheap but hospitable hostels and delicious food cooked by the side of the street. If you like traveling with your family, The Philippines can be a wonderful child friendly destination with plenty of stunning beaches and family orientated activities such as water sports, nature trips and cultural spots. For couples, there is no better destination than Bali, with its dreamy jungle surrounded resorts and dinners wit a sea view.
Whether you’re traveling solo on an extreme backpacker budget or you and your new hubby are celebrating your honeymoon, there is a spot in Asia for you.
Southeast Asia is generally thought to be the ultimate place for backpacking travelers. With months’ worth of clothes crammed inside a backpack and a not so high budget, backpackers are always on the move, hopping around from one city to another following the cheapest routes, often involving long bus journeys.
Take the common Vietnamese Halong Bay to Ninh Binh transport route as an example. This route takes you directly from the popular Halong Bay to the stunning Ninh Binh comfortably, and even more important, safely. The trip takes about five hours from start to finish and everything is 100% organized for passengers. And the best part of all is that it costs less than £8.
But cheap travel is not the only thing offered by Southeast Asia. This part of the world also features mouthwatering cuisine; just imagine having access to all of the authentic Pad Thai or Pho you could ever ask for. On top of a satisfied belly, the rich cultural heritage of the area never seizes to impress.
To experience all of this and more, check out these top SE Asia destinations for backpackers on a budget:
Bangkok might be the best place in the world for sticking to a budget and also the best place to start your backpacking Thailand itinerary. It is completely possible to find a cheap yet comfortable place to stay most of the times only for a few pounds a night. Walking through the city is the best way to experience authentic Thai culture. Don’t be afraid to try the strange food all throughout the street markets; this is the best place to venture out of your comfort zone.
Similar to Bangkok, Hanoi is another major Southeast Asian city. The capital of Vietnam is both charming and fascinating, due to the strong French influences but also the Chinese heritage. Would you imagine visiting a cathedral that looks just like a smaller replica of the famous Notre Dame from Paris, but in Hanoi?
During my trip first trip to Vietnam, I kind of fell in love with Hanoi and I wished I had time to return last year, when I visited again the South of the country. Ho Chi Minh City is beautiful as well but it lacks the allure that Hanoi has.
In Hanoi, Backpackers will love the cheap food, cheap hostels, and friendly locals.
Penang is an island just off the eastern coast of Malaysia. It’s a nice change from the fast-paced lifestyle experienced by the majority of Asia. A trip to Penang is the ultimate way to slow things day and experience some salt and sand while in Malaysia. George Town is a perfect example of of a heritage city in Asia, where the rich culture embraces with the historical architecture.
For an even quieter island, I recommend stopping by the Perhentian Islands in the East of Malaysia as well. My top tip is to experience diving in the Perhentian Islands – it was the highlight of my trip there.
For Luxury Seekers…
Some travelers are surprised to find that SE Asia isn’t just about sticking to a budget but it’s also about experiencing luxury in a way that you never have before. Many destinations here cater to travelers seeking a luxurious experience.
A huge perk of experiencing this luxury is that it won’t necessarily break the bank. You can easily book a 5-star hotel for less than £80 a night and eat in a top rated restaurant for less than £15 per meal, as long as you do a little bit of research before your trip.
Staying in Bali is the epitome of luxury. Bali is by far the most touristic destination in the Indonesian islands, and it’s obvious why. You can stay in a luxury villa and feel like a king, then grab a taxi to a restaurant down the road that serves nothing but high-quality food (without the high price tag).
Maybe the thought of bringing the entire family to Southeast Asia doesn’t sound that appealing. You’re probably thinking that the entire travel process will be 1,000 times more difficult with the kids but think about how much they will be able to learn by experiencing different cultures and traditions than at home. Southeast Asia is a very child friendly destination.
The island of Palawan has been dubbed one of the most family-friendly destinations in the world. Part of the reason for this is the influx of kid-friendly hotels and resorts, especially in Puerto Princesa. Almost all of the restaurants and establishments in Puerto Princesa not only allow children, but welcome them with open arms.
Singapore might not be within your family vacation budget since it is one of the most expensive destinations in the world. If it does fall within your budget, though, consider this as your next family vacay spot. There are tons of activities that the kids will love, including the Universal Studios and the Wild Wild Wet Waterpark.
Have you been to Southeast Asia yet?
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