Cheapest countries to travel in Asia: Top 23 budget-friendly options

Cheapest countries to travel in Asia

The cheapest countries to travel in Asia offer a gateway to a world of wonders without putting a strain on your wallet. Asia, a continent renowned for rich heritage, diverse landscapes, and culinary delights, is also a paradise for budget-conscious travelers. In this guide, we will look through some of the most economically-friendly destinations this continent has to offer. Join us to uncover affordably authentic Asian travel experiences.

1. The cheapest countries to travel in Asia: The top picks in the Southeast

In Southeast Asia, affordable travel is not just a possibility; it is an invitation to explore the richness of culture, history, and nature without straining your finances. Whether you are drawn to the mountains, bustling markets, or serene beaches, these countries offer an array of budget-friendly experiences that will leave you with lasting memories.

Cheapest countries to travel in Asia

1.1. Thailand

Thailand, often referred to as the “Land of Smiles,” is a favorite for travelers seeking cheap Asia travel destinations. This enchanting country boasts a rich heritage, lush jungles, beautiful beaches, and vibrant cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Visitors can explore ancient temples like Wat Pho and Wat Arun, savor delicious street food, and enjoy activities like island hopping. The cost of traveling in Thailand is remarkably affordable, with an average daily budget of around $25 – $30, covering accommodation, food, transportation, and entertainment.

1.2. Vietnam

Vietnam travel is a treasure trove of affordable experiences waiting to be explored, offering a mix of history, culture, and cuisine. Tourists can immerse themselves in the vibrant streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, stroll around the ancient town of Hoi An, take a cruise in the stunning Ha Long Bay, and savor delicious food in Phu Quoc and Nha Trang. Tourism in Vietnam is incredibly budget-friendly, with an average daily budget starting from $15, making it one of the most economical destinations in Asia.

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Cheapest countries to travel in Asia

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1.3. Cambodia

Another country offering an exceptional Southeast Asian travel experience is Cambodia, which neighbors Vietnam. Cambodia is best known for its awe-inspiring Angkor Wat temple complex, but you will be glad to know that there are also plenty of other picturesque landscapes, friendly locals, and low travel costs. With a daily budget of $10 – $20, you can explore the country to your heart’s content. Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are among the most popular destinations for history and culture enthusiasts in Cambodia. 

1.4. Laos

Laos, often referred to as the “Land of a Million Elephants,” is one of the cheapest countries to travel in Asia for those seeking natural beauty and spiritual tranquility. Places like Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, and the capital city of Vientiane all offer affordable accommodations, trekking opportunities, and glimpses of the traditional life along the Mekong River. Travelers can get by in Laos on a daily budget of just under $15.

Cheapest countries to travel in Asia

1.5. Myanmar

Myanmar, also known as Burma, is another culturally rich destination in Southeast Asia. While it is not as cheap as some neighboring countries, you can still explore its historic temples, serene lakes, and diverse landscapes without overspending. You can spend as little as $20 – $35 per day. While food is particularly inexpensive here, accommodation and transportation expenses can be pricier.

1.6. Malaysia

Malaysia is one of the countries in Asia that combines a mix of modernity and tradition. Kuala Lumpur, the capital city, is a bustling metropolis with iconic landmarks like the Petronas Twin Towers, while Penang offers a taste of history and cuisine. In line with its reputation as one of the cheapest countries to travel in Asia, Malaysia’s travel costs average between $25 – $50 per day, making it slightly more expensive than some other Southeast Asian countries. Still, Malaysia offers great value for what it has to offer. 

Cheapest countries to travel in Asia

1.7. The Philippines

The Philippines is a tropical paradise that offers some of the best Asian beaches for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. With an archipelago of over 7,000 islands, it offers countless opportunities for relaxation and adventure. From the beautiful beaches of Boracay to the breathtaking landscapes of Palawan, the Philippines provides a budget-friendly travel experience with an average daily cost of $25.

1.8. Indonesia

Indonesia, with its diverse culture and stunning nature, is another great Southeast Asian destination for budget travelers. Bali, Java, and Lombok are popular destinations in this country, offering everything from surfing to temple exploration. The daily expenses in Indonesia vary from $25 to $50, allowing you to enjoy its vibrant cities and scenic wonders without breaking the bank.

Cheapest countries to travel in Asia

2. What are the cheapest countries to travel to in South Asia?

You will find an array of the cheapest countries to travel in Asia that offer affordable opportunities, allowing you to immerse yourself in the cultures and landscapes without straining your wallet.

2.1. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, often referred to as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean,” is a budget traveler’s paradise. This island nation boasts pristine beaches, lush tea plantations, ancient temples, and more. The cost of travel in Sri Lanka is quite affordable. An average daily budget ranging from $25 to $50 can cover accommodation, dining, and diverse activities, from exploring the cultural gems of Kandy to surfing on the southern coast.

2.2. Nepal

Nepal is a land of towering peaks, tranquil lakes, and ancient temples. This country is a haven for adventurers, with the famous Annapurna and Everest Base Camp treks drawing enthusiasts from around the world. The travel costs in Nepal are low, with an average daily budget of $25 – $50. Whether you are strolling through the charming streets of Kathmandu, visiting ancient sites, or embarking on an epic trek, Nepal offers unforgettable experiences without the added burden of high expenses.

Cheapest countries to travel in Asia

2.3. India

India is a country of staggering diversity with a rich tapestry of cultures, landscapes, and traditions. It offers a wide range of budget options, from backpacker hostels to luxury hotels. That being said, traveling in India can be extremely cost-effective. You can spend from $20 to $40 each day. Exploring the majestic palaces of Rajasthan, delving into the spiritual heart of Varanasi, or savoring the delicious street food of Delhi – there is no shortage of things to see and do in India.

2.4. Pakistan

Pakistan is a travel destination that is increasingly gaining recognition for its natural beauty and historical sites. Besides being one of the cheapest countries to travel in Asia, Pakistan is known for hospitable people, serene mountainous landscapes, and bustling bazaars. The average daily budget in Pakistan is around $15 – $20, allowing budget travelers to experience the ancient architecture of Lahore, hike in the scenic Swat Valley, or explore the diverse landscapes along the Karakoram Highway.

Cheapest countries to travel in Asia

2.5. Bangladesh

Bangladesh, with its lush countryside, vibrant cities, and the world’s largest river delta, offers an off-the-beaten-path experience that is light on the wallet. Dhaka, the capital city, is a bustling metropolis with a rich history, while the Sundarbans provide unique opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts. The daily expenses in Bangladesh can range from $20 to $50, making it one of the best places to visit in Asia for budget-conscious travelers.

3. The least expensive Asian countries to visit in the East

These countries also offer budget-conscious travelers a chance to explore rich heritages and stunning landscapes. Their affordability will ensure that you can experience their vibrant offerings without straining your wallet.

3.1. China

In China, while some major cities like Beijing and Shanghai can be more expensive, there are many options for travelers on a budget. You can spend as little as $30 to explore iconic attractions like the Great Wall, the Terracotta Army, and bustling street markets. Sampling delicious street food, taking scenic train rides, and visiting ancient temples are other activities that offer budget-friendly experiences in China.

Cheapest countries to travel in Asia

3.2. Taiwan

Taiwan is an option for budget travelers in East Asia. This culturally rich destination boasts stunning landscapes, bustling night markets, and a wide range of affordable accommodations. A daily budget of around $30 is generally sufficient to explore the vibrant streets of Taipei, visit the famous Taroko Gorge, and indulge in delectable street food. Taiwan’s affordability, along with its friendly locals, makes it an excellent choice for travelers looking for a unique East Asian experience without breaking the bank.

3.3. Mongolia

Mongolia, a land of vast wilderness and nomadic traditions, is also a captivating yet affordable destination in East Asia. While the country’s remoteness may pose some logistical challenges, the unique experiences it offers are well worth the effort. With a daily budget starting from $20, you can explore the vast Gobi Desert, visit nomadic families, and witness the Naadam Festival, a celebration of traditional Mongolian sports. Camping under the starlit skies and riding horses across the vast steppes will add to the authenticity of a Mongolian adventure.

Cheapest countries to travel in Asia

>>> Read more: Best countries to visit in Asia: 16 destinations to add to the bucket list

4. Other cheap countries to visit in Asia

4.1. Georgia

Nestled in the South Caucasus, Georgia is a country of dramatic landscapes, ancient churches, and a rich wine-making tradition. With an average budget of $20 – $40, travelers can explore the vibrant streets of Tbilisi, hike to the stunning Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta, and indulge in the traditional Georgian cuisine. The country’s affordability, combined with its hospitality, makes it a hidden gem for budget travelers.

4.2. Iran

Iran, with its stunning architecture, historical cities, and diverse landscapes, is another excellent choice for those seeking an affordable Asian adventure. This country is known for its well-preserved ancient sites like Persepolis and the stunning mosques of Isfahan. An average daily budget of $25 – $50 covers accommodation, dining, and entrance fees to many attractions. You can rest assured that Iran’s rich heritage and welcoming locals make it a unique and budget-friendly destination.

Cheapest countries to travel in Asia

4.3. Armenia

Armenia is a lesser-known Asian destination where there is a lot on offer for budget travelers seeking a blend of history and nature. With a daily budget of $20 – $40, you can explore the capital city of Yerevan, visit the stunning Geghard Monastery, and hike in the scenic mountains of the Caucasus. Armenia’s affordability and hospitality make it an underrated gem for Central Asia travel.

4.4. Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is the world’s largest landlocked country, boasting diverse landscapes, modern cities, and rich heritage. Exploring this country is generally affordable, with an average daily budget of $20 – $40. You can check out the contemporary city of Nur-Sultan, visit historical sites like Otrar and Turkestan, and immerse yourself in the traditional nomadic culture of the Kazakh people.

Cheapest countries to travel in Asia

4.5. Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan, a land of towering mountains and pristine lakes, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts on a budget. With an average daily cost ranging from $25 to $50, you can embark on trekking adventures in the Tien Shan Mountains, stay in yurts with local families, and experience the nomadic way of life. The country’s affordability and natural beauty is ideal for anyone who wants a rugged, budget-friendly escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

4.6. Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is a country with a rich history of the Silk Road and well-preserved Islamic architecture in Central Asia. You can explore its awe-inspiring ancient cities like Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva and stay at charming guest houses with a daily budget of just $30 – $60. Uzbekistan’s unique blend of history and hospitality makes it an enticing option for those looking for an affordable adventure in the cheapest countries to travel in Asia.

Cheapest countries to travel in Asia

4.7. Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan offers a mix of modern and historical charm. With an average daily budget of $25 – $50, you can explore the vibrant capital city of Baku, visit the ancient petroglyphs of Gobustan, and enjoy the local cuisine. Azerbaijan’s affordability, along with its unique blend of cultures, makes it another intriguing destination for budget-conscious travelers.

>>> Read more: Asian food: 40+ culinary masterpieces for the ultimate foodie bucket list

Whether you are drawn to the historical marvels of India, the pristine beaches of Vietnam, or the rugged beauty of Kyrgyzstan, the cheapest countries to travel in Asia hold the promise of unforgettable journeys. As you traverse these lands, you will find that cost-effective travel does not mean compromising on experiences. The memories you create in these countries will be as priceless as the cultural treasures you uncover. So, whether you are a seasoned globetrotter or an aspiring adventurer, consider these budget-friendly Asian destinations for your next journey.

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