Asia on a budget

From India to Bali: Asia is a continent where you can calm down. Where you can dangle the soul and come to peace with yourself. At the same time, it’s a continent full of adventures and spirituality which is the reason why so many people travel to Asia every year. It doesn’t just fascinate people, it’s a real life-experience to travel through the Asian countries. So you can walk the Great Wall of China, visit the temples of Angkor or enjoy the beaches at the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand. The diversity of nature is big and so is Asia.

The continent is the largest and most populous one in the world and counts more than 4.5 billion humans. So when it comes to Asia a lot of people think of the big cities with millions of inhabitants living in skyscrapers. But the continent has beautiful coastlines and snow-capped mountains which many forget. It’s the tremendous nature that amazes people – not just locals, but also you and me. As diverse as the landscape is the Asian cuisine. Especially for backpackers the cheap Asian food options are a dream to any traveler. So whatever it is you will explore in Asia, it will definitely never get boring.

Top sights in Asia

Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Great Wall of China, China
Taj Mahal, India
Mount Fuji, Japan
Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Burj Khalifa, Emirates
Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Uluwatu Temple, Indonesia
Kyoto, Japan


Typical Costs When Traveling

Accommodation – Asia is one of the cheaper continents. So you can already get a room in a dorm for 5€/6$. But even fancier hotels don’t cost much. Especially in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam you usually pay around 20€/23$ for a nice and comfortable room. In locations such as Singapore or in the Emirates you can expect a little more.

Food – Food costs can vary depending on your interests. In some countries you get your satisfaction on the several street markets where it’s fast and cheap. If you prefer dining in a restaurant, prices will be a little higher there. So on the streets it will cost you around 3€/3$ for a meal, in restaurants it’s twice as much.

Transportation – In no other continent traveling is so easy and cheap than in Asia. You can rent private drivers for a day which just costs you 80€/90$. But even taxis, tuk-tuks and busses are cheaper compared to Europe or America.


World Map


Suggested daily budget p.p. – 20-30€ / 23-34$ for Asian countries (Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a hostel, eating out a little, cooking most of your meals, and using local transportation. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. However, if you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out more often, expect this to be higher!)

Money Saving Tips

Take local transportation If you want to visit one of the top sights, just see how you can get there by bus or other transportations. It’s mostly much cheaper this way (than booking a tour) and you will have more time at the location, because you’re not tied.
Don’t drink too much alcohol Drinking alcohol everyday can empty your pockets. Especially in countries like Malaysia, Bali Singapore or the Emirates alcohol is expensive and is not comparable with the cheap beer in Thailand.
Stick to local food Pad Thai, banana pancakes, sticky rice with mango… the list of typical Asian food is long and so delicious. So make sure you try it out and save some bucks instead of eating pizza or burritos in a non-Asian and expensive restaurant.
Negotiate for everything Whether tours, tuk-tuk drivers or other transportation – negotiation is the key. Even if you stay in a hostel for more than a week you can ask for a cheaper rate when you first checked-in.

Tips for traveling Asia

There are some things to keep in mind when or even before traveling to Asia. One of them is to concentrate on just a few countries in a short time. Asia is huge and from one country to another you easily fly more than five hours. So stick with two or three countries that are close to each other. Then you don’t rush and can enjoy your vacation even more.

Before you go on your trip, make sure you are well prepared with visa requirements. In several Asian countries you need one to get in.

Also make sure you pack light and wisely. Asia is the perfect continent for a backpacker trip. So a couple of shirts and shorts are fine. Make sure you also bring something to cover your shoulders and legs. Due to the many temples, you will definitely need them.

If you travel to Asia with the intention to do some adventures like canyoneering, hiking or driving a scooter by yourself, you should think about travel insurance. Medical treatment can get really expensive, so it’s always good to be secured in these cases (but hopefully it won’t ever happen).

Last but not least, changing money is a big topic when it comes to traveling. In Asia almost every country has its own currency. While the ATMs at the airport have a huge fee, you should go to an ATM in the city center where it’s always much cheaper to get money. I also recommend carrying cash with you. Although many tour organizations and hotels accept credit cards, they usually charge you a 3 % fee on the total price.

But even if something happens like you pay too much or you get food poisoning, as long as you have your passport and you’re save, anything else can be managed. Just don’t stress yourself and enjoy your vacation as much as you can.

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Hi, I'm Verena, the creator of this travel blog, and I'm in love with traveling. If you share the same passion, this blog is for you! Grab a cup of tea, relax and enjoy reading!

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