Looking for a new travel destination?

Contemplating your next escape from the hustle and bustle of the city? Or maybe you would like to plan a surprise holiday for your significant other?

Well, look no further as we have compiled a list of the top 10 budget travel destinations for millennial travelers.

 

1. Phuket, Thailand

 

phuket beach boat
Image via SoleneC1

 

When it comes to budget-friendly destinations, you can never go wrong with Thailand. Beaches, street food, and nightlife are the main attraction of this beautiful kingdom formerly known as Siam.

Phuket, in particular, is certainly a must-see place that you should absolutely visit on your next trip to the country.

 

phuket sandy beach
Image via littlestepsasia.com

 

Phuket Island is known for its white, sandy beaches and lively resort towns. The island boasts over 30 beaches of all shapes and sizes for you to explore at your leisure.

Patong Beach

 

Phuket Patong Beach Sign
Image via homeiswhereyourbagis.com

 

Patong Beach, located on the central west coast, is arguably the most popular and overcrowded spot on the island. Other than that, Karon Beach, Kata Beach, and Kata Noi Beach located South of Patong are also great alternatives if you are looking for somewhere less packed.

 

Patong Beach Signboard Nightlife

Phuket Bangla Road
Images via phuket.com

 

Speaking of Patong Beach, it is also the epicentre of nightlife in Phuket. We would recommend heading to Soi Bangla to have a taste of what Phuket’s nightlife has to offer.

A seemingly ordinary road, Soi Bangla really only comes to life once the sky turns dark. Upon entering the road at night, your senses will immediately be attacked by the bright neon lights and loud music.

 

Phuket Beer
Image via summerbeerreview.com

 

Oh, and have we mentioned that you can get really cheap beer here? We would definitely suggest stopping by if you are looking for a fun and lively night out.

 

The Sights

 

Phuket Beach
Image via qimono

 

However, if the loud and chaotic environment is not your cup of tea, you may instead opt for some sightseeing around (and off) the island.

No holiday in Phuket would be complete without taking in the natural splendor of the island. While some of the sights can be found on the island, others may require you to take a short boat trip.

 

Phang Nga Bay

 

Phang Nga Bay Phuket
Image via phuket101.net

 

Phang Nga Bay, northeast of Phuket is a must-see attraction. Caves adorned with limestone cliffs, collapsed cave systems, and even archaeological sites give off a mystifying atmosphere to the bay.

 

James Bond Island Phang Nga Bay Phuket
Image via mythailandtours.com

 

Also, do remember to visit James Bond Island and Koh Panyee as these are the two more famous spots in the bay.

 

Similan Islands

 

Similan Island Phuket
Image via hym330

 

The Similan Islands or Koh Similan lie to the northwest of Phuket. Located around 84 km away from the island, Koh Similan is one of the better-known island groups in the Andaman Sea.

 

Phi Phi Islands

 

Phi Phi Island Phuket
Image via suyashdixit

 

Of all the places we have mentioned so far, world-renowned Phi Phi island is the most popular, and not just among island lovers.

Part of Phuket and Krabi province, the Phi Phi Islands offer a natural beauty unmatched by any other island groups in the world. It’s also surrounded by beautiful seas that are ideal for divers and snorkelers alike. This is what makes it an ideal destination for the adventurous.

 

2. Bangkok, Thailand

 

 

Bangkok CIty Thailand
Image via AdenArdenrich

 

When we mention the city of Bangkok, we think of nightlife, food, and shopping. We are also inclined to mention that everything is cheap in Bangkok.

You can basically get anything from accommodation, food, tours, shopping, and transportation at a cheaper price if you look (or haggle) hard enough. It is an easy city to explore and has a rich culture to immerse yourself in.

 

The Grand Palace

 

Bangkok Grand Palace
Image via Tivistar

 

While in Bangkok, do make it a point a visit to the Grand Palace. As the official residence of Thailand’s King, the sprawling complex is sprinkled with jaw-dropping architectures, gardens, and pavilions.

There is an entrance fee to get into the complex, but we would argue that it’s well worth the price of admission as you will get to visit Wat Phraew and Dusit Palace with the same ticket.

 

Wat Pho

 

Bangkok Wat Pho Thailand
Image via gerbilfarmer

 

Wat Pho Reclining Buddha Bangkok Thailand
Image via bangkok.com

 

Situated within walking distance from the Grand Palace, Wat Pho is a famous temple known for its enormous 46 m long reclining Buddha. It also houses the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand. Interestingly, the temple is considered the earliest public education centre in the country.

If you are interested in Thai culture, you should definitely make the time to visit the temple on your next trip.

 

Malls & Markets

 

Bangkok Market
Image via Daniel_Nebreda

 

If you have been to Bangkok, you would know that it is THE shopping haven.

From clothes to handicrafts, you will be able to buy them at a reasonable price from the many malls and markets littered throughout the city.

 

Platinum Mall Bangkok
Image via grandsukhumvithotel.com

 

If you are looking for cheaper clothes, Platinum Fashion Mall is the place to be. The six-storey complex specializes in fashion apparels and accessories that are sold wholesale.

Moreover, other malls within walking distance such as Terminal 21, Pantip Plaza and Central World offer plenty of variety to the shopaholics.

 

Chatuchak Weekend Market Bangkok
Image via tripsavvy.com

 

However, if you prefer bargain hunting, Chatuchak Weekend Market would be the better place for you. This market has over 15,000 stalls selling products ranging from plants, antiques, foods, clothing and even pets.

 

Bangkok Floating Market
Image via terimakasih0

 

Bangkok is also famous for its floating markets. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market being the most famous and is worth making a visit to on your next trip.

Though keep in mind that the wares sold at the floating market tend to be a bit pricier due to its status as a tourist area.

 

Food

 

Street Food Bangkok
Image via zenobresson

 

As a foodie, you will be spoilt for choice by the amount of street food found in Bangkok.

Pad Thai, Moo Ping, and Thai duck noodles are just some of the exquisite street food you can get to satiate your hunger. We recommend savouring each of the popular Thai street dishes while you are exploring the city.

 

Asiatique Bangkok Thailand
Image via novotelbangkokimpact.com

 

If street food is not your thing, there are also restaurants and food outlets offering the same dishes in a comfortable, air-conditioned environment. We would also suggest heading to Asiatique for some food and entertainment.

 

3. Siem Reap, Cambodia

 

 

Angkor Wat Siem Reap
Image via activityfan.com

 

The Angkor temples quickly spring to mind each time we mention Siem Reap. Indeed, tourism is the lifeblood of Siem Reap. What was once a quiet town has now become a thriving tourist destination due to the discovery of the temples.

Siem Reap is a budget-friendly destination, to say the least. The sights and the food make it especially worthwhile to pay a visit.

 

Angkor Temples

 

Angkor Wat Ticketing Office
Image via siemreap.net

 

To get into the temples, you will need to purchase the Angkor Temple Pass. You will be able to obtain the pass from the APSARA office on the way to Angkor city.

The prices of the pass range from 37 USD (1-day Pass) to 72 USD (7-day pass). If you are not in a rush, we would recommend buying the 3-day pass (62 USD) in order to fully explore all of the temple grounds.

Do keep in mind however that you would need to fork out additional transportation fees to travel to and fro the temples each day.

With that out of the way, let us explore the must-see attractions of Angkor.

 

Angkor Wat

 

Angkor Wat
Image via jameswheeler

 

This is the primary reason you are in Cambodia. It is the main attraction and it should be the first destination on your itinerary when you arrive.

We would propose an early morning tour in order to catch a glimpse of the sunrise. The magnificent scenery makes the loss of sleep all the more worthwhile to us.

With that out of the way, you can then take your time to explore the temple grounds. Other sites such as Phom Bakheng, Baphuon, Bayon, Elephant terrace, terrace of the Leper King and Phimeanakas are also great places to pay a visit while you are there.

 

Ta Phrom

 

Ta Phrom Siem Reap
Image via jameswheeler

 

Arguably, Ta Prohm is also on par with Angkor Wat when it comes to attractions. The awe-inspiring sight of the trees and roots growing out of the brick structures is truly a marvellous sight to behold.

 

Siem Reap City

 

Siem Reap City
Image via trip101.com

 

After visiting Angkor, you may fancy a meal and some light entertainment.

The streets of Siem Reap are filled with food vendors that offer local delicacies at low prices ranging from 1 USD to 5 USD per dish.

 

Pub Street Siem Reap
Image via livingnomads.com

 

Alternatively, Pub Street and Angkor Night Market are also great places to hunt for food. If you are more interested in entertainment and nightlife, Pub Street is the place to be.  

Pub Street is home to a majority of bars and pubs in Siem Reap. A normal street by day, it comes alive at night with lights and music. Tourists, both local and international alike flock to this street, giving it a street party vibe.

 

4. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

 

 

Ho Chi Minh City
Image via nonrevtravelnews.com

 

Next on our list is the city known as Ho Chi Minh. Once the capital of the country, the former Saigon is located in southeastern Vietnam.

 

Ho Chi Minh Architecture
Image via thehoneycombers.com

 

At first glance, you will notice that the city has a lot of western influence in their architecture. Particularly, French-style influences are found in most of their buildings. The reason being, Saigon was once conquered by the French and Spanish in the past.

Nowadays, the rising number of tourists has transformed Ho Chi Minh into a flourishing city full of interesting gems for you to uncover. Streets and alleyways are now lined with new hotels, bars, galleries, and restaurants that are catered towards tourists.

While you can explore the city on your own, we would recommend looking for a guided tour as the frenetic pace of the city can put some people off. But you do not have to worry about budget constraints as the tours are considerably cheap here.

Here are some of the famous spots in and around the city:

 

Ho Chi Minh City Hall

 

Ho Chi Minh CIty Hall
Image via dangerousbiz.smugmug.com

 

Built in a French colonial style, the Ho Chi Minh City Hall is an elegant building that is a feast for the eyes. Though the building is inaccessible by the public, the majestic structure is still a popular destination for tourists for the interesting photo ops.

 

Ho Chi Minh City Post Office

 

Ho Chi Minh Post Office
Image via citypassguide.com

 

Another fantastic photo spot is the Ho Chi Minh City Post Office which was constructed in the late 19th century. It was built with gothic, renaissance, and French influences in mind.

 

Notre Dame Cathedral

 

Notre Dame Cathedral Vietnam
Image via citypassguide.com

 

The cathedral is located in the downtown district of Ho Chi Minh City. It was established and constructed by French colonists between 1863 and 1880. The 58 m tall cathedral truly stands out as one of the more photogenic spots in the city.

 

Shopping

 

Ho Chi Minh city is a bargain hunter’s paradise. From local markets to upscale luxury malls, the city has it all. Although, we do suggest that you pay a visit to the local flea markets instead.

 

Saigon Square Ho Chi Minh
Image via citypassguide.com

 

Shopping malls such as Vincom Plaza, Diamond Plaza, Takashimaya, and Saigon Center are a dime in a dozen. What you can find in Vietnam’s malls, you will most likely be able to get at home too.

For a taste of local culture, you will need to immerse yourself in the crowded, smelly, and loud environment of the local markets. These markets typically sell all sorts of products such as war memorabilia, household supplies, fabrics, and apparels. Specifically, Ben Thanh market is a must go when you are in the city.

 

Cu Chi Tunnels

 

Vietnam Cu Chi Tunnels
Image via getyourguide.com

 

For a taste of Vietnam’s history, head on over to the Cu Chi Tunnels. We would suggest at least planning a day trip in the area to fully cover all the exhibits.

The tunnels are located some 60 km to the northwest of Ho Chi Minh city. It comprises an extensive labyrinth of underground tunnels which stretch all the way to the Cambodian border. Built over a period of 25 years, the tunnels were first used as a means of communication, and as an escape route for the Vietnamese to evade soldiers scouting the area.

 

5. Komodo Islands, Indonesia

 

 

Komodo Island
Image via opickamikom

 

For the more adventurous people, the Komodo Islands are a great place to plan your next trip around. But don’t let its name fool you, there is actually a lot more to see and do on the Komodo Islands other than trying to get a selfie with the massive lizards.

The good news is that most local boat tour packages are inclusive of the best activities to do on the islands. These activities range from boat tours, diving trips, and hiking through scenic routes.

As its name implies, the Komodo Islands are a cluster of islands. These islands are surrounded by beautiful seas which are ideal for diving. There are also several splendid beaches and scenic hikes scattered about the islands.

The Dragons

Komodo Dragon
Image via DaFranzos

 

With that said, the main reason to venture out onto the islands is the actual Komodo Dragons themselves. You will find most of them in the Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has also been declared as one of the New 7 World Wonders of Nature.

There is something to be said about observing wild animals in their own habitat and outside of an enclosure. Komodo Island is the only place in the world where you will be able to see these massive lizards in the flesh and in their own domain. To us, that alone should be reason enough to head out to the islands.

 

6. Lombok, Indonesia

 

 

Mountains Lombok
Image via activedragon

 

Lombok is often overlooked and skipped over for its more famous island neighbour, Bali. But we personally think that Lombok has its own unique charm and appeal.

Being the larger island, Lombok is a mountainous and less crowded destination as compared to Bali. Lush green jungle, towering waterfalls, and breathtaking viewpoints make Lombok an excellent alternative to its neighbouring island.

While on the island, you can make your way to Flores if you fancy some off-the-beaten-path adventure.

To be honest, Lombok is a little on the pricier side but we believe that the island is well worth a visit if you love natural landscapes, trekking, waterfalls, and beaches.

 

7. Bali, Indonesia

 

 

Bali Beach
Image via keulefm

 

You would think that an island destination as popular as Bali would cost you an arm and a leg. But you would be surprised at how budget-friendly Bali truly is.

By all accounts, Bali is an unexpectedly affordable getaway if you know where to look. Luxury accommodations such as private villas can be found at surprisingly cheap rates on the island. Alternatively, there are also hostels around town if you would prefer those instead.

Activity wise, we would recommend that you pick up a tour guide along with an island tour package to ensure that you get the most out of your stay. These packages are quite cheap and would include transportation, entrance fees and even meals.

Just make sure that your bases are covered before agreeing to purchase a tour package.

 

Ubud

 

Ubud Bali Indonesia
Image via Mariamichelle

 

If you are interested in immersing yourself in Bali culture, head towards Ubud. Situated towards the north of Denpasar, Ubud is the island’s cultural, arts, and culinary centre.

 

Tanah Lot Bali
Image via jimmy3652003

 

While there, you can also pay a visit to Tanah Lot temple. The rock formations here are known for its picture-perfect scenery of Balinese temples that are facing the sea.

 

Shopping

 

Denpasar Bali
Image via balisuryatour.com

 

If you are more of a shopping fan, head on over to Denpasar. Being the provincial capital of Bali, you will find souvenir shops, flashy malls, and assorted stalls here so you can shop to your heart’s content.  

 

8. Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

 

Nurawa Eliya Sri Lanka
Image via lonelyplanet.com

 

Located high in Sri Lanka’s hill country, the city of Nuwara Eliya is surrounded by a majestic green landscape with a variety of natural marvels and countless tea plantations. The city, fondly referred to as Little England, has become an increasingly popular tourist destination in recent years.

 

Waterfall Nurawa Eliya
Image via hillparadisenuwaraeliya.com

 

One of the most breathtaking scenery that you may find in Nuwara Eliya is the many waterfalls that adorn the side of the vibrant green hills.

 

This destination is indeed very friendly towards millennial travelers in terms of the experiences it offers and the cost to afford said experiences. The accommodations will not cost you a fortune and you get to fully immerse yourself in the temperate climate of nature.

9. Laos

 

Laos
Image via visit-laos.com

 

Laos is an underdog when it comes to budget travel destinations in Asia. Most people are not aware that the country is home to gracious residents, and boasts an impressive cultural heritage. It is definitely an idyllic getaway for millennial travelers.

From the party haven of Vang Vieng to the jungles of Luang Prabang and the remote mountains in the north, Laos has a little bit of something for everyone.

10. Pulau Langkawi, Malaysia

 

Langkawi Eagle Square
Image via langkawi-info.com

 

The little island of Langkawi on the west coast of Malaysia is surrounded by turquoise sea. The island is also home to picturesque paddy fields and emerald-coloured hills.

If you are looking for cheap alcohol, cigarettes, and chocolate, this is the place to be. Pulau Langkawi is one of the few duty-free islands in the country.  

Nevertheless, nature lovers will feel right at home on the island as its shoreline features powder-fine sand and swaying coconut trees. The island is also a popular destination for divers all around the world.

 

Underwater World Langkawi
Image via easytraveltransport.com

 

langkawi skycab
Image via tripcarte.asia

 

Other attractions such as Underwater World Langkawi and the soaring Langkawi SkyCab makes this island an exciting destination that you won’t want to miss.

 

Conclusion

 

As far as travel destinations go, our list is only the tip of the iceberg. There are still countless budget travel options that are definitely worth making the trip to. We implore you to go out and discover how far you can truly go to make a worthwhile trip on a budget.