Credit by Siem Riep, Cambodia © Lonely Planet
4 Places in Southeast Asia Make Forbes' Cheapest Places to Travel List in 2017
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4 Places in Southeast Asia Make Forbes' Cheapest Places to Travel List in 2017

Start packing your bag, 2017 is shaping up to be the banner year to travel in budget. So, where should you go for your next trip? Forbes interviewed travel experts, out of 30, 4 places in Southeast Asia make the list. Here are some of their favorites!

Boats sit in the harbor in Halong Bay, Vietnam. image: Shutterstock
Boats sit in the harbor in Halong Bay, Vietnam. image: Shutterstock

 

Where: Vietnam

Chosen By: Marybeth Bond, National Geographic writer, author, adventurer and founder of The Gutsy Traveler

Why: Affordable upscale accommodations, cheap and remarkably healthy food and beautiful sights make Vietnam a standout among budget-friendly South Asian destinations. Eat your way through historic Hanoi, kayak in the emerald waters of Halong Bay or relax in ancient Hoi An and the nearby beaches. There are clean, safe accommodations to fit everyone's wallet. In Hanoi, my favorite is the Tirant Hotel, near the old town, where you can bag a room for less than $70 a night. Don't miss the Hanoi street food tour: For just $20 per person, a guide will lead you on foot or by scooter through backstreets, markets and footpaths. You will eat like the locals and learn the names and ingredients in the dishes so you can order them again. And be sure to take the time to sip a bowl of steaming "pho" noodle soup in restaurants, push carts and food stalls, where a street meal and a beer can cost the same as a caramel macchiato at Starbucks.

Oh The People You Meet founder Michaela Guzy at Angkor in Siem Reap. Image: Oh The People You Meet
Oh The People You Meet founder Michaela Guzy at Angkor in Siem Reap. Image: Oh The People You Meet

 

Where: Cambodia

Chosen By: Michaela Guzy, Oh The People You Meet

Why: Sadly, the average income in Cambodia is about $950 per year. What does this mean for international travelers? Your international airfare might be expensive, but once you are in Cambodia, you can live well. Tuks tuks (a combo bike/taxi) and food cost just pennies. Even international hotel chains and luxury river boats down the Mekong are more affordable than other Asian destinations. Before visiting, I suggest doing your homework to support luxury companies like the Shinta Mani Resort, whose foundation plays a large role in its community, building water wells, schools and farms and providing the best healthcare in the country to its employees. Culturally conscious companies like Aqua Expeditions sustainably introduce their guests to the communities along the Mekong River, including the floating markets and the farmers in the rice fields; the company can even arrange a conversation with a local Buddhist monk to discuss the significance of his journey from childhood to monkhood. For advice on how to travel sustainably through the culturally rich Kingdom of Cambodia, see "Michaela's Map: How to Be a Responsible Traveler in Cambodia."

Waterfront in Bali. Image: Nastasia Yakoub, Dame Traveler
Waterfront in Bali. Image: Nastasia Yakoub, Dame Traveler

Where: Bali, Indonesia

Chosen By: Nastasia Yakoub, Dame Traveler

Why: If you're looking into an exotic long-haul trip, Bali offers a ton of high quality experiences for a great value. You can easily stay in a private villa overlooking stunning rice paddies with a private pool for around $50 per night. (Airbnb is a great way to go.) However, if you want to splurge a bit but not go overboard, a stay at a high-end luxury resort will still cost you less than a stay at a luxury resort, for example, in Maui. Not to mention, spa and transportation costs are quite low relative to other exotic locales, as well as the amazing and healthy food options that end up being a fraction of the cost elsewhere in the world. 

Borobudur. Indonesian temples. Image: Meagen Collins, Food Fun Travel
Borobudur. Indonesian temples. Image: Meagen Collins, Food Fun Travel

 

Where: Indonesia

Chosen By: Meagen Collins, Food Fun Travel

Why: With 17,000 islands, you are bound to find the ideal paradise to suit your travel style and budget in Indonesia. There are stunning untouched beaches that offer world-class snorkelling and scuba diving in Raja Ampat, fascinating Unesco World Heritage Sites dating back to the 9th century in Yogyakarta and — everywhere you turn — the friendliest locals. In Raja Ampat, we found a homestay that included breakfast, lunch and dinner — plus it was right on the beach for around $29 USD per person per night. For more, see Food Fun Travel's "Bali Food Guide."


Source : Forbes

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