10 Most Affordable Asian Countries to Visit in 2024

Find out which are the best Asian countries to travel to without leaving a hole in your pocket in 2024!

Ah, the travel bug bites again. You are longing to explore new lands somewhere in beautiful Asia, soak up captivating cultures, and gather experiences that will make your Instagram followers say, "Wow, where is THAT?".

This list serves as your passport to the best Asian countries to travel to without leaving a hole in your pocket, especially if you are planning to embark on a short travel haul this year.

1. Vietnam: Noodles, Motorbikes, and Majestic Mountains

Vietnam beef pho noodle

Craving a potent blend of historical wonders, mouthwatering street food, and breathtaking landscapes? Look no further than Vietnam.

From the vibrant chaos of Ho Chi Minh City to the otherworldly limestone formations of Ha Long Bay, or cruising down the Mekong Delta, slurping on delicious pho as you go. Bonus points for mastering the art of the motorbike taxi – just remember, the horn is your best friend.

2. Laos: Where Time Slows Down

View of Vang Vieng riverside village in Laos.

If you are a cultural explorer who enjoys exploring serene temples, breathtaking mountain scenery, and the occasional encounter with a curious elephant, Laos is your haven.

Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a tapestry of saffron-robed monks, colonial architecture, and charming night markets. Hike through untouched jungles, kayak down the Mekong River, and lose yourself in the slow and tranquil pace of life.

3. Cambodia: Angkor Wat's Awe and Beyond

Angkor Wat historic temple in Cambodia Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, the crown jewel of Khmer civilisation, needs no introduction. But Cambodia is much more than just this magnificent temple complex in Southeast Asia.

Explore the vibrant capital of Phnom Penh, delve into the harrowing yet important history at the Killing Fields, and cruise through the floating villages of Tonle Sap Lake. Get ready to be humbled by the resilience of the Cambodian people and the sheer beauty of their ancient legacy.

4. Thailand: The Land of Smiles (and Budget-Friendly Delights)

Songkhran water festival in Thailand

Thailand, renowned as one of the best affordable travel destinations in Asia, remains to be a top choice for its hospitality and warmth. Island-hop through turquoise waters in the south, marvel at the majestic temples of Chiang Mai, or indulge Bangkok’s vibrant street food scene.

From adrenaline-pumping activities to laid-back beach vibes, Thailand caters to every travel style – and most importantly, every budget.

5. Myanmar: Unveiling the Untouched

A group of leg rower fishermen catching fish in Inle Lake in Myanmar

Myanmar emerges as a destination with a unique charm, waiting to be discovered. Witness the awe-inspiring sunrise over Bagan's ancient pagodas, explore the serene Inle Lake with its leg-rowing fishermen, and trek through the untouched beauty of the Shan Hills.

Prepare to be captivated by the genuine smiles of the locals and the sensation of stepping into a time capsule of a bygone era.

6. Nepal: Where Mountains Meet Majesty

A monk standing in the Pashupatinath Temple in Nepal

For the thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts alike, Nepal beckons with its majestic allure. Hike through the towering Himalayas, conquer the Everest Base Camp trek for ultimate bragging rights (or choose a less strenuous option, we won't judge!), and witness the breathtaking beauty of the world's tallest peaks.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Kathmandu, a city bustling with ancient temples, lively bazaars, and the warmth of the Nepali people. Remember, altitude sickness is real, so be sure to pack your Diamox and embrace the adventure!

7. Indonesia: Island Hopping Paradise on a Budget

An eagle eye view of Manta Bay, Kelingking Beach on Nusa Penida Island in Indonesia

Indonesia, an archipelago of over 17,000 islands, offers a kaleidoscope of experiences to suit every taste. Trek up active volcanoes in Bali, dive into the vibrant coral reefs of Lombok or simply relax on pristine beaches with a cocktail in hand.

Explore the ancient wonders of Borobudur and Prambanan temples, wander through the rice terraces of Ubud, and get lost in the captivating energy of Indonesia's diverse cultures.

8. Sri Lanka: From Lush Tea Plantations to Ancient Cities

A group of elephants in the river in Sri Lanka national park.

Sri Lanka, known as the "Pearl of the Indian Ocean," offers a unique blend of stunning landscapes, rich history, and diverse wildlife. Hike through emerald tea plantations in the hill country, climb the iconic Sigiriya rock fortress, and spot elephants roaming freely in national parks.

Don't miss the chance to try a cup of the world-famous Ceylon tea and soak up the warmth of Sri Lankan hospitality.

9. Philippines: Beaches, Smiles, and the Allure of the Underwater World

A man snorkelling in the Tubbataha Reef marine park in the Philippines

The Philippines is an archipelago paradise famous for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and friendly locals. Island-hop through Palawan, Coron, or Cebu, and marvel at the diverse marine life while diving or snorkeling.

Explore the vibrant capital of Manila, indulge in the delicious Filipino cuisine (think lechon and adobo!), and experience the warmth and resilience of the Filipino spirit.

10. Taiwan: A Fusion of Tradition and Modernity

Stunning view of the Taipei skyline, overlooking the Taipei 101 tower at night.

Taiwan offers a fascinating blend of ancient temples, bustling night markets, and modern urban landscapes. Explore the iconic Taipei 101 skyscraper, hike through the lush mountains of Yangmingshan National Park, and soak in the hot springs of Beitou.

Immerse yourself in one of the most vibrant street food scenes in Asia, marvel at traditional temples, and experience the unique blend of Chinese and Japanese influences that shape Taiwanese culture, all in one destination.

So, there you have it! This list serves as a starting point for your affordable Asian countries to visit. With a little planning and a sense of wanderlust, you can create unforgettable memories in these incredible destinations without breaking the bank.

Remember, the cheapest Asian countries to travel to are not always about rock-bottom prices; they're about finding experiences that are rich in culture, natural beauty, and most importantly, personal fulfillment. So, pack your bags, fellow Malaysians, and get ready to embark on your next affordable Asian adventure!

But before you set off, remember – unexpected events can sometimes disrupt even the best-laid plans. To ensure your peace of mind and protect yourself financially and emotionally, consider investing in a comprehensive travel insurance plan. It's a small price to pay for a world of security and ensures you can focus on making the most of your adventure, knowing you are covered for unexpected situations. Now, go forth and explore! The world awaits your adventurous spirit.