One thing you must realize about Asia before planning a trip is that it is huge. This continent stretches from the Middle East to Japan and has vacation destinations among both the cheapest and the most expensive in the world. For what a week would cost you in Tokyo, you could easily survive for a few months in India.
Despite a few overly expensive places, Asia in general is very affordable. In fact, the most recent Cost of Living Index conducted by The Economist showed that 10 of the world’s 20 cheapest cities to live in were located in Asia. If you are looking for the best travel bargains for your next vacation, check out the Asian countries and regions below.
When it comes to cheap vacations, Nepal is currently beating out the whole world. In this small, remote country you can easily get by on a backpackers budget of as low as $15/day. For that you will find yourself waking up to gorgeous Himalayan mountain scenery, enjoying the company of some of the friendliest people in the world, and having an endless number of outdoor activities to choose from. Trekking trips through the mountains are both affordable and a great chance to experience the local culture.
With just a slightly higher per day budget than Nepal of around $20, you can easily enjoy all the magic that is India. Up your budget a bit more and you can live like a king! From the Taj Mahal to the fields of Kerala to monkey filled jungles, you can see nearly everything in India. The larger cities are often the most expensive places but they can also be quite overwhelming so you probably won’t mind skipping over them for countryside destinations. With such low prices and such a large country to explore, India makes a great destination for longer multi-month trips.
This isn’t a country but a region consisting of a number of countries including Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos. I have combined them together since recommended daily budgets vary only slightly between them. With around $20-25/day, you can enjoy everything that Southeast Asia has to offer. Public transportation between the countries is cheap, hostel beds can be found for as low as $3/day and 3 full meals out a day will still come in under $10. The extra money in your budget can be used to book elephant rides, tours of ancient Buddhist temples, or be used to enjoy a few nights splurging on a beach-front villa.
China is a very large country and as such prices can vary greatly. In the major cities, prices are much higher and entrance fees into the major attractions can add up. In small towns, you can get sometimes 3 or 4 times more for your money in terms of accommodation and food. A good bare-bones daily budget in general for China should be around $45. You might have to splurge a bit for sites such as the Great Wall of China or the Terracotta Warriors but you’ll save money enjoying the Chinese countryside and the amazingly cheap, local food.