Some of the best travel bargains are still in Southeast Asia. Prices are still incredibly low there. The dollar has become stronger against many Asian currencies. Inflation was also low for most of these cities. Airfares are also reasonably priced. Here are cities in Southeast Asia to watch out for:
Phnom Penh in Cambodia in Cambodia might be missed if not for the fact that it's a handy stop between Siem Reap and the Mekong Delta, but its convenient location has helped it develop a large tourist area, and it's an interesting stop. The main attractions are all quite cheap, and so are the happy-hour at the pleasant restaurants along the river.
Thailand in general is pretty cheap compared to other tourist destinations. Even in Thailand's northern city (Chiang Mai, Pai) is comparatively cheaper, as it has a huge vast regions of arable land, so fruit and vegetables are a plenty and cheap too. Living in Northern cities is also affordable, apartments you can rent from as little as $40 USD a month! Typical street food you can buy from less than a $1 per meal and nearly half the cost of the same meal in Bangkok.
If you don't want to trek, then you can just admire the volcano and the lake from a distance. Tagaytay City in the Philippines offers the best views, with a lovely, cool atmosphere to boot. Visit the newly opened Sky Ranch and get into their giant Ferris wheel, overlooking the lake. Spend a morning in one of the city's parks and gardens. The People's Park in the Sky has not been maintained well but you might still want a 360-degree view of the city.
The Price of Travel's Index (priceoftravel.com), ranking 31 Asian cities by price, confirms what many travelers have known for a while -Vietnam's cities are budget options. Both Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi (third and second in the list respectively) are in that price brackets for the budget traveler: US$20 per day or less for food, lodging and sights. Finding these prices will take you firmly into the territory of living like a local, which is another vote in favor of making a super-cheap city trip at some point this year.
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