From the jungle-fringed beaches of Southeast Asia to the wide expanses of the northern deserts, the continent of Asia offers a wide range of possible vacation destinations for budget travelers. And although the urban centers in some countries in Asia like Japan, China and Korea are as expensive as in Europe or North America, budget-minded vacationers will find that deals abound in the countryside.
Perched on the slopes of the highest mountains in the world and home to one of its richest cultures, Nepal has long been a mecca for budget travelers. Outdoor enthusiasts will find ancient footpaths that wind through craggy passes, connecting ancient villages with each other. Spiritual pilgrims can spend time studying time-honored Buddhist scriptures and learning the arts of self-cultivation. Wildlife enthusiasts will find that this Himalayan paradise hosts a wide array of exotic fauna, including tigers and rhinoceros.
Although Nepal offers a large variety of accommodation options in every price range, budget travelers will have no problem spending next to nothing if they stay with local families and eat local food. Nonprofit organizations like earthfoot allow travelers to arrange home stays with local families in advance of their trip.
With an endless coast of white sand beaches that wraps around a lush mountainous interior, Vietnam is a Southeast Asian getaway that attracts budget travelers from around the globe. Outdoor adventure enthusiasts will find Vietnam offers an tremendous array of active pursuits on the cheap, including kayaking the South China Sea, scuba diving in the coral reefs off of Nha Trang and kite surfing in Mui Ne, just to name a few. More culturally minded visitors can soak up the flavorful and eclectic cuisine in Hanoi and explore the many villages along the Mekong Delta by riverboat.
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Although the mega-cities of Shanghai and Beijing are the points of entry into Chinaimmense interior, savvy and budget-minded travelers head into the heart of Southern China& countryside for spectacular scenery and authentic culture on the cheap. Yangshou County, which is surrounded by the dramatic Karst peaks and is fed by the meandering Li River, has become something of a backpacker and budget traveler community. The mountains offer world-class rock climbing opportunities, and the scenic country roads are perfect for extended bicycling trips.
Yangshou is an example of a town in the area that has scores of low-priced hostels and hotels, as well as traditional Chinese eateries.