If you've always been a budget traveller, this one's for you. With cities rich in culture and amazing sceneries for you to enjoy, we've narrowed down our top 5 picks!
[Check Out: Top 18 Places You Need To Visit in 2016]
1. Malaysia – Ipoh
Mouth-watering halal food has always been a major draw for those who visit Malaysia, with a blend of Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisines to choose from. Penang Island would usually be the port-of-call when it comes to good food, but we say that the town of Ipoh in Perak is also a contender! Cheaper than its more famous cousin up north, Ipoh is up and coming with affordable boutique hotels, yummy (and cheap!) food options (think finger licking nasi kandar, halal Chinese hawker dishes, traditional ice balls and even hipster cafes) and is central to lots of other attractions that Perak has to offer, from the hot springs of Tambun to the to the cool climate of Cameron Highlands.
[Check out 14 Halal Hipster Cafes in Johor Bahru]
#HHWT Tip:Like Penang, Ipoh now has a number of mural artworks and street art around town depicting Perak in the old days, popular Malaysian culture
and even classic children’s games. Hunting for murals and taking a photograph or two is a fun way to spend the afternoon in Ipoh, before enjoying a cup of coffee at their many cafes.
2. Cambodia – Siem Reap
If you’re a history buff and love visiting ancient ruins, the amazing Angkor Wat in Siem Reap is definitely a must visit. We’re in awe of the structures and intricately carved patterns in the solid rock of the temples. There’s also plenty to see and do beyond Angkor Wat of course, from bargain hunting at their street markets, visiting the floating villages to watching an amazing sunset over the Tonle Sap lake. Best part is, there are also halal restaurants and Muslim-friendly accommodations in Siem Reap!
Bring US dollars if you’re travelling in Cambodia – most attractions and dining places accept USD. Also, it’s easier to exchange any extra cash you have leftover back into your home currency!
3. Thailand – Chiang Mai
Credit: golforientWe’ve been to Chiang Mai and we love it! With great street food like mango sticky rice (who can say no to fresh mangos?), markets to bargain to your heart’s content, culture you can’t wait to immerse yourself into (we love the
Bo Sang Umbrella Village) and even a sanctuary for abused and injured elephants that you can visit and give back to the community (you’ll know why you should NEVER ride elephants after visiting the sanctuary), Chiang Mai is the northern Thailand gem that you should be exploring right now!Credit: saveelephant
If you’re not afraid of heights (or even if you are, it’s time to conquer that fear!), you should definitely check out zip lining in Chiang Mai. It’s loads of fun and the adrenaline rush you get from zipping from tree to tree will make you feel just like Tarzan :P
4. Vietnam - Hanoi
Want a budget trip but not willing to compromise on experience? Hanoi is just the place you need to visit with its vibrant culture! With numerous scenic sites and cultural relics, there’s plenty to see in Hanoi on a budget. Yes, you can expect to spend around USD20/day (or less) for your food, lodging and sightseeing.
Hop on a scooter taxi to truly experience Hanoi like a local! A typical 10 min ride should cost you less than a dollar (USD).
5. Indonesia – Lombok
Credit: trekkingrinjaniBali getting a little touristy for you? Head on
over to Lombok, also known as the island of 1000 mosques. Unlike Bali, halal food is easily available in Lombok, which also boasts great beaches, diving spots on the nearby Gili Islands and a local vibe that you can’t get in Bali. You can enjoy a private villa with unbeatable prices, kick back and relax as you soak up the beauty of Lombok and the Gilis.
[Read our review of Bale Udang Mang Engking in Bali]
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Lombok, tropical Nippah Beach[/caption]
Fret not if sandy toes aren’t really your thing and adventure is more your game. Lombok also has amazing waterfalls and even an active volcano that you can trek up to (or take a helicopter up…but that’s not really for budget conscious travellers). Lombok has got it all 😉
So there you have it! You don't have to break the bank to travel to these places! If you have travelled to any of these cities, let us know how it was for you! :)