Top 5 Cheapest Countries to Visit in Asia

by 22 Feb 2024Asia

Asia, a continent of unparalleled diversity, offers some of the most affordable travel destinations that don’t skimp on beauty, adventure, or cultural experiences. Whether you’re on a tight budget or simply looking to stretch your pounds further, the continent’s rich tapestry of cultures, landscapes, and histories ensures there’s something for every traveler. In this guide, we explore the top 5 cheapest countries to visit in Asia, highlighting not just the cost-effective nature of these destinations but also their unique attractions. And when it comes to finding a place to stay, Holiday Swap provides an innovative accommodation option, allowing travelers to enjoy more for less. Discover your dream destination with Holiday Swap.


Vietnam: A Blend of History and Natural Beauty


Vietnam, a country where ancient temples meet natural wonders, offers a captivating blend of history and beauty. From the bustling cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh to the idyllic beaches of Da Nang and the cultural heritage of Hue, Vietnam is a dream destination for travelers on a shoestring budget. Street food, such as pho and banh mi, provides cheap meals without sacrificing flavor, making daily budgets stretch further.


  • Daily Budget:
    • Food: Street food meals cost around $1-3, while a meal at a local restaurant can be between $5-10.
    • Transportation: Local city buses cost under $1 for most routes, while motorbike rentals are about $5-10 per day.
    • Activities: Entrance fees for most historical sites and museums are between $2-5, with some exceptions like Ha Long Bay tours, which can range from $20-50 depending on the length and type of tour.
  • Highlights: Explore the UNESCO-listed ancient town of Hoi An, cruise the stunning Ha Long Bay, and traverse the vibrant streets of Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Seasonal Tip: Visit during the dry season for the best weather.


city skyline during night time

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


Cambodia: Ancient Ruins and Untouched Landscapes


Cambodia, home to the magnificent Angkor Wat, invites travelers to explore its ancient ruins and pristine landscapes. Beyond its temples, the country’s beautiful countryside, vibrant cities like Phnom Penh, and untouched beaches on islands like Koh Rong offer a rich tapestry of experiences for those on a tight budget.


  • Daily Budget:
    • Food: Enjoy delicious Cambodian street food for as little as $1-2 per meal. A sit-down meal in a restaurant can range from $3-7.
    • Transportation: Tuk-tuks are a convenient way to get around, with short rides costing about $1-3. Longer journeys can be negotiated for a bit more.
    • Activities: The Angkor Wat pass is $37 for a single day, with other temples and historical sites generally having lower entrance fees.
  • Cultural Heritage: The ancient city of Angkor offers a glimpse into the country’s rich history.
  • Natural Beauty: From the Mekong River to its white sand beaches, Cambodia’s natural beauty is breathtaking.


a city with tall buildings and a clock tower

Phnom Penh, Cambodia


Nepal: A Trekker’s Paradise


Nepal, the land of Mount Everest and countless trekking trails, is a paradise for adventurers seeking cultural experiences and natural wonders on a budget. The capital, Kathmandu, is a hub of rich culture, with beautiful temples and bustling markets. Trekking in the Himalayas or exploring the ancient streets of cities like Pokhara can be done on a shoestring budget, making Nepal a perfect destination for those looking to experience the great outdoors.


  • Daily Budget:
    • Food: Meals can cost between $2-5 in local eateries, with trekking area prices slightly higher due to transport costs.
    • Transportation: Public buses between cities can cost $4-10. Local transport within cities is very cheap, often under $1.
    • Activities: Trekking permits vary by region but expect to pay around $20-50 for most conservation area permits. Everest Base Camp Trek permits cost about $30, not including guide or porter fees.
  • Adventure: Trekking in the Himalayas presents unforgettable experiences at every turn.


aerial view of city buildings during daytime

Buddha Stupa, Nepal


India: Diverse Cultures and Experiences


India, with its diverse cultures, experiences, and landscapes, offers something for every type of traveler. From the historical wonders like the Taj Mahal to the pristine beaches of Goa and the vibrant cities like Mumbai and Delhi, India is an affordable country that dazzles visitors with its rich cultural heritage and delicious food.


  • Daily Budget:
    • Food: Street food and local meals can be enjoyed for $1-3, with restaurant meals ranging from $5-10.
    • Transportation: Train travel is highly affordable, with long-distance sleeper trains costing as little as $4-15 depending on the class. City rickshaws and taxis have negotiable rates, often $1-3 for short distances.
    • Activities: Entrance fees to major sites like the Taj Mahal are around $15 for foreigners, with many local sites costing less than $5.
  • Cultural Diversity: Every region in India offers a unique cultural and culinary experience.


photo of Taj Mahal

Agra, India


Indonesia: Tropical Islands and Cultural Wonders


Indonesia, a beautiful country known for its idyllic beaches, ancient temples, and vibrant cities, is an affordable destination that offers a mix of natural and cultural wonders. Bali’s pristine beaches, the cultural heritage of Yogyakarta, and the natural beauty of Komodo National Park are just a few highlights that make Indonesia a popular destination for budget-friendly travelers.


  • Daily Budget:
    • Food: Street food and local warungs (cafes) offer meals for $1-4. Western-style meals at restaurants are more, ranging from $5-15.
    • Transportation: Local transport like bemos (minibuses) cost under $1 for short trips. Motorbike rentals are popular and cost about $5-7 per day.
    • Activities: Entrance fees to temples and cultural sites are typically $1-3. More significant attractions like Borobudur may charge up to $25 for foreign tourists.
  • Natural and Cultural Sites: From the beaches of Bali to the temples of Borobudur, Indonesia is full of wonders waiting to be explored.


silhouette photo volcanoes during golden hour

Mount Bromo, Indonesia


Discovering Asia’s Riches with Holiday Swap


Exploring Asia’s affordable destinations has never been easier, thanks to Holiday Swap. Offering a unique take on accommodation, Holiday Swap allows travelers to discover the continent’s vibrant cities, stunning beaches, and ancient temples without worrying about the cost. From the bustling markets of Vietnam to the majestic landscapes of Nepal and the cultural richness of India, Holiday Swap is your gateway to an unforgettable adventure in Asia. Start planning your journey and find the perfect place to stay with Holiday Swap.

Discover the wonders of Asia without stretching your budget thin. The continent’s rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and delicious street food await. And with Holiday Swap, finding affordable, comfortable, and unique accommodations is simpler than ever. Whether you’re trekking through the Himalayas, exploring ancient temples, or soaking up the sun on pristine beaches, Asia’s cheapest countries offer experiences that are rich in adventure and light on the wallet. Start your journey today and explore Asia’s treasures with the peace of mind and convenience that comes with choosing Holiday Swap for your accommodation needs.

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