9 Best Budget-Friendly Countries to visit in Asia in 2019

Here is 9 of the most budget-friendly countries to visit in Asia! From Thailand, to India! All of the reasons why you should satisfy your Wanderlust by traveling to these beautiful, yet affordable countries. If you are looking for tips and tricks to travel on a budget, make sure you read my blog post on 31 Genius Ways to Travel on a Budget. So if you want to know what the most budget-friendly countries to visit in Asia are, read below!

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Asia

1. Thailand

Boat floating in crystal clear water in Thailand. Budget friendly countries to visit in Asia
Thailand – image via thecrazytourist.com

Top Reasons Why You Should Visit Thailand

  1. It’s budget-friendly. Yup. From the airfare to the accommodation to the food. If you plan properly, you could enjoy a luxury vacation for an extremely affordable price! Because Thailand depends heavily on attracting tourists, their prices are always competitive. There are so many options to choose from, so businesses and companies are forced to offer great deals and attractive bonuses!
  2. The people. Yes, most countries have friendly locals. But Thai people are a little different as they make you feel like you belong there. Traveling to a foreign country can be intimidating, but having kind and helpful locals around makes everything a lot less daunting. And as a result, Thailand is one of the most visited countries in the world.
  3. The food. If you’ve never had authentic Thai food before then I’m sorry to say that you’ve never lived. Mouth-watering food at shockingly affordable prices! A western meal could easily cost you 3-4 times more than a Thai meal. Who goes to Thailand to eat nuggets and pizza anyway?
  4. Festivals. Thailand has many, many (many) festivals. Ranging from religious events to everything that has to do with a lunar calendar. A lot of travellers who frequent Thailand even try and plan their holidays around these festivals so that they don’t miss them!
  5. Wildlife. In Thailand you will find national parks and plenty of beaches. You can visit Monkey Beach on Koh Phi Phi to spend some time on the beach with monkeys. Or visit Khao Yai National Park to see some beautiful animals. PS: Remember not to visit any tourist attraction that abuse animals!
  6. Lastly, Beaches and more beaches. Despite some of the more popular beaches being crowded by tourists, some beaches remain quiet and secluded. Some of these beaches include Sunset Beach on the island of Koh Kradan and Freedom Beach in Phuket.

For more information on Thailand

If you want more information on things to do in Thailand on a budget, check out this blog post.

A more detailed guide about why you should visit Thailand – here.

2. Indonesia

woman diving in the Coral Triangle in Indonesia. budget-friendly countries in visit in Asia
Diving in Indonesia – image via niasislandsurfcampindonesia.com

Top Reasons Why You Should Visit Indonesia

  1. Beaches. Indonesia has more than 17,000 islands and you’re right in thinking that those islands have some the best beaches in the world. You can also try out water sports, like learning to surf and parasailing for example. Kuta Beach in Bali is a popular beach, and the secluded pink beach which is found in the Komodo Islands is also breathtaking.
  2. The people. Throughout the country you will find very friendly and welcoming people. They are very proud of their culture, wildlife, history, and food.
  3. Food! Do yourselves a favour and try local Indonesian food! It’s mouth-watering. Literally. They have a huge variety of food and it differs according to which part of the country you’re in. Forget the pizza and pasta, please.
  4. Wildlife. They are home to elephants, tigers, and orang-utans. Be sure to check out Betung Kerihun National Park and Gunung Palung National Park are two wildlife sanctuaries that you should check out. Komodo dragons also call this their home. You can find them at the Komodo National Park – a whole park dedicated to the scaly skinned, muscular dragons.
  5. Diving. The Coral Triangle is one of the best (if not the best) areas for diving. It includes waters from around Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines (to name a few.) You can find up to 70% of the world’s coral species here as well as more than 2000 species of fish.
  6. Lastly. Our favourite words around here. It’s budget-friendly! When it comes to the cost of food and drinks, its beaches are among the world’s most affordable.

For more information on Indonesia

If you are looking for more information on things to do in Indonesia on a budget, check out this blog post.

For a more detailed guide on why you should visit Indonesia, see here.

3. Vietnam

Golden Bridge in ba Ha Hills. Tourists walking on the Golden Bridge in Vietnam. Budget-Friendly countries to travel to in Asia
Vietnam – image via thedailymaverick.co.za

Top Reasons Why You Should Visit Vietnam

  1. Food. If you are a foodie, you’ll fall in love with Vietnamese food. Street food is their trademark. From spring rolls, noodle soup, and sticky rice to mouthwatering seafood.
  2. Beautiful beaches. Not many people think of ‘beaches’ when they think of Vietnam, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised! If people knew how beautiful the beaches in Vietnam were, it would be flocking with tourists!
  3. Did someone say adventure? You can go kayaking on the bay, sledding down the Mui Ne sand dunes, or climb up the many natural karst walls. You’re bound to find something that gets your blood pumping.
  4. Glorious mountains. If you are a mountaineer, you should check out Sapa town in North Vietnam. A hiker’s paradise.
  5. The best coffee in the world. Vietnam has an excellent coffee culture and is the second largest coffee exporter in the world. From coffee with condensed milk, coffee with coconut milk, black coffee, coffee with egg yolk, to coffee with yoghurt. They know what they’re doing – try them all!

4. Philippines

boat floating in water in the Philippines. Budget-Friendly countries to visit in Asia
The Philippines – image via flashback.com

Top Reasons Why You Should Visit Philippines

  1. Islands. Each of Philippines 7000+ islands have their own unique features and beauty. If you are a party goer, go and have some fun on Boracay Island, Aklan. Are you a camper and adventurer? Add camping and braving some waves in the Caramoan Islands, Camarines Sur. If you are looking for some adrenalin-pumping activities, be sure to check out the sky diving in Bantayan Island, Cebu City.
  2. Swim with some turtles. Apo Island is one of the best marine sanctuaries in the world and it is absolutely breathtaking. You can feed and interact with giant sea turtles, as well as starfish, corals, and all the fish you can think of!
  3. Communication. The people in Philippines speak English quite well and communicating is pretty easy. About 90% of them speak and understand English, so you won’t have to worry about a language barrier.
  4. The people. Filipino people are some of the most kind, helpful, and humble people on the planet. They always try their best to make you feel welcomed.
  5. Volcanoes. You can trek to a volcano’s crater. Be sure to check out Mt. Albay in Bicol Region, and Mt. Mayon in Legazpi. Be prepared to be stunned.

5. China

Floating dragon festival in China. Budget-Friendly countries to visit in Asia
Chinese Dragon, China – image via debatingeurope.eu

Top Reasons Why You Should Visit China

  1. The Rich History. Firstly, The Great Wall of China and secondly, the Terracotta Warriors both fall part of some of the biggest tourist attractions in China. The Temple of Heaven in Beijing, and the Forbidden City is a must see to learn about Chinese culture and history.
  2. The Cuisine. Indulge in all the dumplings, rice noodles, and dim sum that you can take! China has a wide variety of food and each region has their own version of it. You will be in foodie heaven as you experience traditional Chinese cuisine.
  3. What’s white and black, and one of the cutest animals in the world? You guessed it – Giant Pandas! They are the world’s most endangered species. There are panda tours where you can see pandas in their natural habitat and even get to take pictures with them if you are lucky!
  4. Travel Convenience. China has entered the digital era and has highly developed transportation systems. Getting around in China has never been easier!
  5. Amazing Landscapes. From mountains, to deserts, to oceans, to rivers, too lakes. It will leave you speechless. There is something for everyone and everything is so picturesque. Instagram that!
  6. Budget-friendly. When you are on a tight budget, you will be delighted to know that the hotels, food, transport, and activity entrance fee is very affordable. If you are a larger group, even better! You will be able to get the best out of China and split the bill! All of this is what makes China one of the most budget-friendly countries to visit in Asia.

Extra budget-friendly tips for China

  • Public transportation is your best friend. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT rent a car. Make use of the bus, metro, and trains.
  • Avoid Chinese holidays. Hotels, flights, and pretty much everything else will be overbooked and overpriced. You can end up paying double (if not triple) what you would normally pay.
  • Book accommodation close to the big cities, but not in the city centres.

6. Sri Lanka

Peraliya Buddha Statue in Sri Lanka. Budget-Friendly countries to visit in Asia
Peraliya Buddha Statue – image via lonelyplanet.com

Top Reasons Why You Should Visit Sri Lanka

  1. The Weather. There is a tropical climate all-year round. The country experiences monsoon seasons which affect different parts of the country at different times. Check out where the monsoon season is before you travel and be sure to head to a different part of the country to enjoy sunny weather.
  2. Rare Animals. Leopards, birds species, crocodiles and other reptiles, to herds of elephants and sea turtles. Consider booking a safari and enjoying the wildlife up-close and personal.
  3. Surfing. Yup. You weren’t expecting that, right? You will find the perfect waves for amateurs and experienced surfers alike.
  4. Mouthwatering Dishes. Spice up your life and try their traditional Sri Lankan meals and fall in love with the experience.
  5. The People. The locals are rarely seen without a smile and will always welcome you with open arms.
  6. Budget-Friendly. Yep, the reason why it’s on our budget-friendly countries to visit in Asia list is because, you know, it’s budget friendly. You can have a delicious supper meal for around $2, and take some of the most gorgeous train rides for under $1! Most activities and excursions will be pretty affordable compared to what you might be used to.

7. Malaysia

Skyscrapers in Malaysia. modern architecture in Malaysia.
image via tripsavvy.com

Top Reasons Why You Should Visit Malaysia

  1. Beaches and Islands. Malaysia offers a tropical climate and miles of coastline. So if you are looking for a secluded beach to relax and unwind, head to Redang for perfect beach waters which also serves as a sea turtle sanctuary. If you are looking to go to a more popular location which included shopping and dining, head over to Langkawi.
  2. Modern Architecture. Kuala Lumpur has one of the best skylines in the world. Modern architecture meets contemporary skyscrapers and it’s sure to blow your mind.
  3. The Wildlife. Because most of Malaysia is still underdeveloped, animals are free to roam. You can admire the wildlife in their natural habitats at Taman Negara National Park where you can spot monkeys, deers, wild boars and much more!
  4. The Diverse Culture. Malay people make up half of the population, with Chinese and Indian people playing a big part in the other half. There are strong influences from each group of people and experiencing all of them living and working together harmoniously is a sight in itself.
  5. Friendly Locals. Because of the rich cultural history and background, Malaysians are very welcoming of foreigners and will treat you as one of their own from the get-go. People who visit Malaysia often say that the people are one of the main reasons why they loved it there and can’t wait to go back.

8. India

Taj Mahal in India. Most beautiful building in the world. Sunset at Taj Mahal.
Taj Mahal, India – image via thoughtco.com

Top Reasons Why You Should Visit India

  1. Our favourite words – Budget-Friendly. You can get around within the country by train for next to nothing. Luxury accommodation is relatively affordable and won’t cost you an arm and leg. Eating out will not even make a dent in your bank account. Yup – that’s why India should be on your bucket list. A no brainer for the ‘9 budget-friendly countries to visit in Asia’ list, honestly.
  2. The Taj Mahal. Arguably one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and most certainly the most popular. It attracts millions and millions of visitors each year – and we can see why!
  3. The Food. Yup, you knew this one was coming. India offers something for every tastebud – even the ones who shy away from the spicy sides of life. Try to go beyond the westernised favourites like tikka masala or a specific kind of curry that you are used to. Try new foods and flavours. You are guaranteed to fall in love.
  4. You might not have known this, but you can actually hike the Himalayas. The star attraction may be Mount Everest, but the Indian portion of the mountain offers great views and hiking experiences.
  5. The Wildlife. India has many great national parks where you will be able to see tigers, elephants, and even rhinos. Some popular national parks include: Pench, Ranthambore, and Kanha. (Please remember not to support any animals that are being kept in captivity. Do not ride on elephants.)
  6. Spirituality, Mindfulness, and Yoga. Because of ancient spiritual techniques and beliefs, yoga and meditation techniques are very popular. Many people flock to India to “find themselves” for this reason.

9. Cambodia

Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia. Beautiful temple in Cambodia.
Angkor Wat – image via mirror.co.uk

Top Reasons Why You Should Visit Cambodia

  1. Friendly Locals. Cambodians are known for their hospitality and will welcome you with an abundance of warm smiles.
  2. Jungle Fever (no, not an actual fever.) Cardamom Mountains is one of the most species-rich natural habitats that you will find. There are a number of tours that you can join to go hiking, cycling, and kayaking through this tropical jungle.
  3. Culture. You will find plenty of opportunities to witness the rich cultural heritage of Cambodia. Through traditional music, elaborate ceremonies, magical dancers, and stage shows – there is something for everyone!
  4. Food. If you are an adventurous eater, be sure to check out the food markets in Cambodia! You will find some odd choices, for example: deep-fried tarantulas (yep, the spiders), and crickets!
  5. The Landscape. Mostly known for its temples, many people are often surprised at how beautiful the beaches and rivers are.
  6. Angkor Wat. If you’ve heard of Cambodia, you’ve probably heard of this too. Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world. This religious structure dates back to the 12th century and is an architectural paradise.

That makes up our list of 9 budget-friendly countries to visit in Asia. if you want more information on budget travel tips and tricks, check out my blog post on 31 Genius Ways to Travel on a Budget.

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