South East Asia – Three Destinations You Should Check Out!

South East Asia is an alleged popular region for backpackers to travel to. You’d often hear backpackers raving about their crazy experiences in South East Asia, ranging from awesome ones to downright bad experiences.

People choose to go to South East Asia because it has a good backpacking infrastructure. It also has easy access, meaning to say most South East Asian regions don’t require a visa for most nationalities. Even if you need visa access, it can be easily acquired at the border by just paying the fee. Most South East Asian countries are well connected hubs, should you need to know. We should mention it is budget friendly too.

On a lesser note, South East Asia is a region where there is something for everyone. From crazy parties to cultural richness, there’s something to please everybody. South East Asia is the perfect combination of culture, laziness, and fun. And it’s cheap too.

Here are our top three budget South East Asian destination picks we love. Check them out, as we are hugely impressed by these three locations.

 

1. Malaysia

 

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Image via Enchanting Travels, Financial Times, and Lonely Planet.

 

Malaysia provides a unique travel experience that is quite different from its neighboring countries. From the urban jungles of Kuala Lumpur to untouched beaches of Perhentian Islands, this country is a beautiful and often underrated country. Spend a day chilling with the traditional tribes or in a tea plantation in the Cameron Highlands. Trek through the huge national parks of Gunung Mulu and Taman Negara where you encounter incredible wildlives such as tigers and orangutans.

Head over to the Borneo side of Malaysia. Explore the tropical jungles, dive at Spidan, and has one of the best diving spots in the world. Take this country slowly. Enjoy the food it has to offer, get off the beaten path to get the country to yourself.

Costs

Accommodation: Prices start at RM25/night for dorms and hostels. Expect to pay more for accommodations in larger cities. For high-end, brand-name hotels do expect to pay close to RM200 a night.

Food: Street meals usually start under RM5, rarely cost more than RM15. Fast food like McDonalds will cost anywhere from RM12 and above for a set meal. Mid-range restaurants cost around RM25/person or more.

Transportation: Bus trips costs around RM5 to RM15 an hour. Taxi fares can be expensive and Kuala Lumpur is especially notorious for that. Choose ride-hailing transportation like Grab, and it works like Uber.

Activities: Most attractions in Malaysia are quite cheap. Trekking costs RM35 to RM75/day. Diving costs anywhere from RM250 to RM300 for a 2-day dive; RM830 to RM1325 for a full PADI course. Entry into most national parks will cost less than RM20.

 

2. Thailand

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Image via Thailand Bitcoin News, Intrepid Travel, and TUI

No Asian destination is complete without mentioning Thailand, not especially in South East Asia! Thailand is the travel hub of the region. Most visitors fly into Bangkok to establish their bases there before doing circuit as they backpack around Southeast Asia. It’s the most visited country in the reason and for very good reasons too.

When one mentions Thailand, people will think about beaches, jungles, and food. With lush jungles, famed beaches, world-class diving, amazing food, cheap prices, it is easily people’s favourite country. It’s a well-worn destination after all, where everything is convenient and easy. Although it’s a very popular destination for visitors, there are still many off the beaten path destinations so different from the tourist traps.

Visit Thailand’s Grand palace and Wat Pho. Its royal palace was built by King Rama I by the end of the 18th century. The royal palace is the official residence of the current monarch, but he doesn’t live there. It’s used for ceremonies. Inside the royal palace are numerous temples including the Wat Pra Kaeo, where the 15th century Enerald Buddha is.

Go around the ancient capitals. Between Chiang mai and Bangkok are three ancient capitals – Sukhothai, Lopburi, and Ayutthaya. Visiting them, you get to learn about ancient Thailand and see rural life.

Relax on one of Thailand’s many beautiful tropical islands. Some have way too much development, whereas some others only have a single bungalow on them. Some of the best islands are Ko Samet, Ko Taruato, Ko Lanta, Ko Chang, to name a few.

Shop at the floating markets. Whimsical, you can find these thorough the country. You can find rickety boats filled and piled high with colourful goods and food to eat. You will get plenty of great photos too. Do mind it has become a tourist-packed area and you may not want to miss morning shopping from boat to boat.

Costs

Accommodation: Prices start as low as 100BHT/room a night and upwards of 1,700BHT a bungalow on the beach.

Food: Street food costs as little as 20THB to the 120-170BHT range. Most western dishes are priced at the 170 to 340BHT range. Mind that knowing their target customers are primarily tourists, Western food venues can be pricier compared to local food.

Activities: Day tours are priced at 500-1200BHT depending on what activities you have. Jungle trekking costs 1000-1685TBH a day. A PADI dive certification course costs around 10000THB, but often includes accommodation. Always book your tours and activities when you arrive. Stick to travel agents who are selling on the ground. If travel agents don’t want to negotiate, move to the next one. Booking your online tours is allegedly always more expensive.

 

3. Indonesia

 

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Image via Media India Group, Spot My Dive, and Trip Savvy

 

Indonesia is the biggest nation in South East Asia with over 13,000 islands spread across the region. It’s country size amounts up to 1,904,569 square kilometers, and for a country with such a size it has plenty to offer. Just keep in mind not to offend religious people, as Indonesia is a Muslim majority country.

With cool white sandy beaches, raucous volcanoes of Bali to vibrant city of Jakarta and the untouched lands of Sumatra, you can easily find something different here. Indonesia is known to have a vast array of indigenous animals, including the Komodo dragon. A little bit like its South East Asian countries, food and accommodation is relatively inexpensive here. Also, be sure to visit some lesser known areas too.

Costs

Accommodation: Prices for accommodation costs anywhere from 120,000IDR per hostel room and upwards of 400,000 IDR for chain hotels. The prices are charged on a per night basis. Airbnb is widespread across the nation so you don’t have to worry too much.

Food: Local food is extremely affordable, with street food costing under 10,000 IDR. For inexpensive food at local restaurants, prices usually start around 14,000 IDR and up. Mid-ranged restaurants, do expect to pay around 80,000 IDR and up. Western food starts at 125,000 IDR for meal and drink. Fast food cost around 45,000 IDR. Do eat out as often as possible while in Indonesia as kitchens are hard to come by.

Transportation: People often travel between islands by using ferries. Ferries cost at least 7000 IDR and up – and that is for a ticket from East Java to West Bali. Rates may differ from there for different routes. The average 8-hour bus trip costs around 70,000 IDR. Overnight buses may cost a bit more, with tickets costing around 130,000 IDR and up.

Activities: Attractions are not overly expensive. Visitors and tourists pay around 220,000 IDR for entrance into Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park and the same price applies for Bunaken. Entry fees to Borobodur costs 275,000 IDR, and the famous Mt Batur hike costs between 500,000 to 900,000 IDR.

Travelling to South East Asia is relatively cheap and affordable. It is an unanimous agreement you won’t have to break your bank when visiting this region. With the right budgeting and planning will get you a long way in the South East Asian region. Be adventurous. Try new foods. Mingle with the locals. Take plenty of pictures. Get out of your comfort zone for a bit. After all, the world is your oyster.

 

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