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Travel in Southeast Asia remains a popular trip for tourists from all over the world. Rich diversity, amazing cuisine, fusion of culture and modernity, and above all – affordability – make the region one of the most frequented places around the globe.

There is no dearth of mesmerizing tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. From fun-filled beaches to world-renowned Buddhist monasteries, Southeast Asia offers something to the preferences of the modern-day traveler. Sightseeing, shopping, indulging in adventurous activities, relaxing at a quiet retreat – whatever is your liking, Southeast Asia will not disappoint you! If you need further convincing, check out our guide to the most beautiful yet affordable tourist destinations in Southeast Asia.



Thailand is one of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia on a low budget. The affordability does not compromise with an amazing travel experience, as the country offers everything – from wonderful beaches to chic nightlife. Combine this with the amazing food and friendly people, and you have a travel experience that’ll remember with you forever.

Key tourist attractions in Thailand are Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Ko Phi Phi, and Ko Lipe. Sensing the needs of backpackers and low-budget travelers, a number of tour agencies have started offering really cheap Thailand tour packages, ensuring tourists only focus on the travel and sightseeing without having to worry too much about finding accommodation.


Philippines is another Southeast Asian country where you can eat, shop, relax, and have fun without having deep pockets. Considered one of the cheapest tourist destinations in Southeast Asia, Philippines is full of amazing attractions and some really lively karaoke sessions. Philippines has the world’s largest island groups, which means tourists are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a beach. Sure enough, the White Beach in Borocay remains the crowd-favorite, and it truly is worth a visit.

In addition to Borocay, other key affordable places to visit in Philippines include Chocolate Hills, San Agustin Church, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Rizal Park, and Mactan.


Another southeast Asian country that is amazingly beautiful and surprisingly affordable, Indonesia has gained popularity among western backpackers. World-famous restaurants, exotic beaches, towering skyscrapers, and mouth-watering cuisines – all this is on offer to tourists at really affordable prices.

The best places to visit in Indonesia are Jakarta, Mount Bromo, Bali, Lombok, Baliem Valley, and Komodo National Park. As a pocket-friendly tourist destination, Indonesia offers an eclectic mix of modernity and cultural heritage. Contributing to the overall effect is the delicious yet affordable Indonesian food; we highly recommend you to try nasi padang, nasi uduk, bakso, and ayam bakar.


Vietnam has quickly gained the attention of tourists on a budget. Affordable accommodation, combined with low-priced public transport and street food have made Vietnam a preferred southeast Asia holiday destination. The country is witnessing a boom in terms of infrastructure development, connecting many remote parts with the mainland.

Breathtaking landscape, exquisite cuisine, and all-year round traditional festivals add to the overall experience of visiting Vietnam. The key tourist attractions in Vietnam include Ha Long Bay, Hanoi, Hue, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City.


If you are looking for a really affordable trip in southeast Asia, Cambodia is the place for you. Budget travelers love the super-affordable food and drinks, along with the low spending on traveling from one place to another. The country has a lot to offer, whether it is the pristine beaches or stunning architectural feats.

Angkor Wat remains a beautiful tourist attraction and receives heavy footfalls all year round. Other key destinations include Koh Ker, Koh Rong, Kratie, Mondulkiri, and Koh Tonsay.

Myanmar (Burma)

Myanmar is another affordable tourist destination in Southeast Asia that offers has recently gained some backpacker love. Of particular significance are the pagodas of Yangon and wild hills of Shan Kings. Shwedagon Pagoda remains the premier tourist attraction owing to its aesthetically-pleasing architectural design and its rich history.

The mountain town of Kalaw is another key tourist attraction, especially for those interested in trekking and hiking. Other key tourist attractions are Mandalay, Inle Lake, Ngapali, Hsipaw, and Hpa-an. Myanmar offers all this and more at a price that will not burn a hole in your pockets!


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Laos is for the adventurous backpacker who doesn’t mind roughing it up in the dense forests. The beautiful tourist attractions, spread all over the country, are the prime reason why tourists want to keep coming back for more. The fact that affordable accommodation and cheap food are always a stone’s throw away mean backpackers and budget-travelers get the maximum value for their bucks.

Most tourists start from Luang Prabang, the historical city which once served as the capital of the erstwhile kingdom. Today, the place has become a sprawling tourist center, with waterfalls, elephants, and Buddhist monks to be seen intermittingly. Staying at one of the lodges or one-room hotels at Luang Prabang is affordable and you can travel to nearby attractions easily. Other key attractions in Laos include Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Phonsavan, Si Phan Don, and Wat Phu.


Last, but not the least, Malaysia may be relatively pricier than other countries on this list, but it is still affordable compared to other western destinations. A melting point of diverse cultures and religions, Malaysia offers an array of sightseeing and adventurous activities at affordable costs.

From the skyscrapers of Kuala Lumpur to the white beaches of Redang, Malaysia offers something to meet the varied tastes of tourists. In addition to these well-known places, tourists also head to Pulau Pangkor, Pulau Tenggol, Pulau Mabul., Pulau Tioman, and Langkawi.

These were some of the most affordable yet beautiful places to travel in Southeast Asia. Traveling to the capital cities of these countries is pricier, but you can always find cheap lodges and street food to go on a tight budget.


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Article submitted by Priya Ghatol (travelworldguide35@gmail.com)


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Owner of TravelDefinition, travel agent for 10 years, father and husband and passionate photographer.


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