If you want to escape from your everyday life and have the adventure you have always dreamt of, I suggest you pack your backpack and head off to Southeast Asia. As soon as you land on Asian soil you will feel the instantaneous rush and will be engulfed by the newly discovered paradise.
First and foremost, southeastern Asia is a friendly, affordable and incredibly diverse and beautiful place to spend your free time.
If you are not ready to break the bank but want to explore the world, this is the region you should visit when backpacking. Of course, the prices will vary depending on the city or country you choose, but overall you can expect to spend about $20-$30 a day in Cambodia, Vietnam or Laos. If you decide to visit Malaysia, Myanmar or Thailand, your daily costs can be as low as $25-$35. And if you have decided to spend your vacation in the Philippines or Indonesia, you should plan a budget of about $30-$40 per day.
In order to stay within a reasonable budget, you will need to plan ahead in order to find the most budget-friendly dwelling and also check the public transport, local meal and other costs.
If Thailand is the destination of your choice, you should be prepared to pay about $4-10 for a dorm bed, about $1-3 for a nice local meal, and pay about $2-10 for public transportation.
As for Vietnam, you can find a place to sleep for about $5-10, eat at a local restaurant or street food for $1-7 and take the bus for a price of $3-15.
If you are planning on backpacking in Laos, you can find a bed in a dorm or hostel with air conditioning for a price of just $4-6. The average local meal will cost you just $1-3, and the price for one hour on the bus is about $2.50.
A bed in Cambodia can be booked for a price of $3-8, and you can enjoy a delicious local meal for just about $1-4 and use the bus for about $2-7 to get to the destinations you want to explore.
The dorm beds in Myanmar are slightly more expensive but they are still reasonably priced at about $15-25. There you can eat for $3-8 and use public transportation at a cost of $3-10.
Your daily expenditure in The Philippines can be as low as $30 dollars if you get a bed for about $5-7, eat local food for $1-6 and spend $3 to $10 for the bus.
A night in Malaysia can cost as low as $5-10 and in Indonesia, you can sleep in a dorm for $10-15.
Of course, you should save up some cash if you want to enjoy some of the local special attractions such as balloon riding, scuba diving or enjoy a gourmet dinner with some local drinks.
You can further lower your travel costs by camping in any of these countries, and furthermore by sleeping in a hammock among the palm trees.
Naturally, if you prefer to spend the night in a bed or couch via Couchsurfing or Airbnb make sure that you check whether the room of your choice has at least a portable air conditioner because the nights can get seriously hot and humid in Southeastern Asia.
As for the local attractions – they are endless. Not only are the beaches beautiful, clean and eternal, but you can also enjoy and once in a lifetime scuba diving experience in Malaysia, try out some of the absolutely delicious Vietnamese street foods and smoothies, explore all of the ancient monasteries and temples, or have an exciting hike in the jungles of Laos. The Philippines have some beautiful uninhabited islands where you can go if you want to feel like a modern-day Robinson Crusoe, or you can have fun surfing or taking a relaxing yoga class in Indonesia.
For a person arriving from the western world, this area can seem quite chaotic, but for backpackers, this is definitely part of the charm of the whole experience.
It is a good idea to plan to stay for at least two weeks if you are going on a backpacking adventure to Southeast Asia. For two weeks you can actually visit two or three countries in the region, and of course base your stay on your personal interests. For some walking through the largely populated cities is the most enjoyable way to spend their vacations, while as for others a more remote area such as a beautiful beach, a magnificent temple or quiet monastery could be a better option for spending your time in Southeastern Asia.
If your time and budget are somewhat limited, it is advisable to pick a smaller country in the area such as Cambodia or Laos. You will have the time to explore them at a lower cost for the shorter distances.
For two weeks you can enjoy a few days in busy Bangkok, and attend one or more of the infamous full moon parties with the local ladyboys and girls. And then head off to Chiang Mai to have some fun in the small hippie town called Pai. If you prefer, you can always spend your vacation exploring the many Thai islands or to go visit Angkor.
When you are done with Thailand, you can take the slow boat to Luang Prabang and do some hiking or climb Mount Phousi. After that you can head off to Laos where there are a lot fewer backpackers and tourists, so you can get the feel of the real local experience when walking the streets or exploring the sights.
If your choice is Vietnam, then Hanoi is a must-see metropolitan. After spending some time in Hanoi, you can head off to Cat Ba and Halong Bay for an exotic vacation or take a walk through the stunning Ho Chi Minh City.
If you prefer to backpack in Malaysia, you can have an amazing time scuba diving in one of the many local diving schools on the Kappas and Tioman islands, enjoy the beauty of the UNESCO heritage city of Malacca.
In Indonesia, you can combine some surfing with relaxing yoga, along with trekking and eating the delicious local foods.
In Cambodia, you can see some of the most amazing beaches and impressive temples in the region too
For an unforgettable adventure in the Southeastern Asian region, don’t forget to go visit the Komodo National Park where you will be able to see the famous Komodo dragons in their natural habitat.
If you are a wreck diver, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the famous WWII wreck diving destination of Coron or Apo Reef.
To sum up
Overall, as you can see, you won’t spend one second feeling bored wherever you choose to go for your backpacking trip to Southeastern Asia. Just remember to plan ahead, so that you have time for all you have planned, and even for more!