#Financial, #Travel

5 Amazing Asian Travel Destinations for When You Are on a Tight Budget

The depreciating ringgit marks dark times ahead for Malaysians, especially for those who want to expand their horizons by travelling. Further conundrums like increasing air fares make it difficult to see the world, especially for people with less disposable income like millennials. However, with a bit of thinking, there are ways to get the most bang for your buck when planning for travels. To help with some of that planning, here are 5 travel destinations packed with fun but easy on the bank account. 

1. Georgetown, Malaysia

In a list catered to Malaysians, where better to start than our own backyard? With Malaysians preferring to go abroad for their thrills, putting the Penang hotspot on the list is a good reminder of our country’s treasure trove of culture and food. Head to places like Ayer Itam and savour local street food like assam laksa, char koay teow, rojak, and more, followed by a walk around the UNESCO World Heritage Site city, to see the cannons at Fort Cornwallis and the cultural crossroads of the Street of Harmony.  
 

2. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Up north in the Land of Smiles, budget travellers rejoice with travels to Chiang Mai, Thailand’s capital of the north. Compared to the tourist trap of Bangkok, Chiang Mai is cheaper to frolic in but similarly rich in culture. Buddhism enthusiasts are treated to a smattering of temples in this region, with attractions like Wat Phan Tao and Wat Phra Singh which are open to tourists and devotees alike. Those who feel like shopping on a budget can also hit up markets like Warorot Market to pick up trinkets on the cheap. 
 

3. Xi’an, China

Avoid the hustle and bustle (and overwhelming price tag) of trips to Beijing and Shanghai, and travel northwest to Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province. Despite being far removed from the Forbidden City of Beijing, Xi’an is historically significant, being the resting place of Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Terracotta Army as well as the start of the Silk Road. Marvel at over 7,000 terracotta troops, hit up the local museum, or wander through the streets of the Muslim Quarter. Dining options are also aplenty, with roadside stalls dishing out local delicacies at an affordable price. 
 

4. Pokhara, Nepal

Pokhara is Nepal’s tourism hub, teeming with tourists who want to avoid the busy capital of Kathmandu. The city offers majestic views of the Himalayas, complete with clouds and gargantuan peaks amidst a lazy, laid back atmosphere. Guided treks up the mountains can be pricey, but stay in the city and experience other attractions like the bobbing boats atop Fewa Lake, the International Mountain Museum, and the Gurkha Memorial Museum. 
 

5. Hanoi, Vietnam 

And now, the capital city of Vietnam. Hanoi is the cheaper alternative to neighbouring Ho Chi Minh City, and is known for being the cheapest city in Vietnam for backpackers. Brave the traffic there and be rewarded with a city that blends post-Communism and French colonialism into a unique package with good food and rich culture. Enjoy a bowl of Phở before venturing to Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the Old Quarter, or a series of museums. 

There you have it, 5 ideas for “where to go next” without breaking your bank account. A reminder though: air fare is cheaper when booked way in advance. Buying last minute seats is also cheaper, but reserved only for those who like to live on the edge (also you might not have a seat for travelling buddies). 

 

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