The word “wanderlust” is defined as a strong desire or impulse to travel and explore the world. With technological advances in transportation and widespread use of the internet and social media, this lust to visit foreign land is compounded even further.
Due to its vastness, the continent of Asia alone has plenty to offer in terms of unique culture, landscapes, cuisines, and happenings. Furthermore, with proper planning, some destinations can turn out to be relatively affordable in cost. In fact, some of you can even afford to travel overseas multiple times in 2019.
As for what time of the year you should travel, check out this guide to help you make the most of Malaysia’s public holidays in 2019.
Here are 6 gorgeous yet affordable destinations in Asia you must visit in 2019.
1. Hanoi, Vietnam
A bustling street in Hanoi, Vietnam. Image source: ahau1969/Shutterstock
With a unique combination of French colonial and Asian-post communism, the city of Hanoi has plenty to discover while remaining easy on the pocket. You can choose to move around via taxi, motor-taxi, public buses, train, private transfers, or even rent private car or motorbike with reasonable price.
Accommodation is also cheap while the variety of food will keep you hungry and wanting more.
- Meals: Approximate cost is VND201,600 (RM36.08)
- Accommodation: Hotels can start from VND90,830 (RM16.28)
- Attractions fees: Some can be as low as VND20,000 (RM3.57)
2. Luang Prabang, Laos
The iconic Wat Xieng Thong temple in Luang Prabang, Laos. Image source: Wuttichok Panichiwarapun/Shutterstock
Situated in northern Laos, the ancient town of Luang Prabang is considered by many to be the heart of Laotian culture. Encircled by mountains and located 700 metres above sea level at the confluence of the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers, it was designated a UNESCO World
Heritage Site in 1995.
- Meals: Approximate cost is LAK66,000 (RM32.21)
- Accommodation: Cheap hostels can start from LAK58,190 (RM28.39)
- Attractions: Some can be as low as LAK25,000 (RM12.20)
3. Colombo, Sri Lanka
Buddha statues in Seema Malaka temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Image source: TRphotos/Shutterstock
If you’re a city person, the capital of Sri Lanka is one of the cheapest cities you can visit in the world. A bustling port city chock-full of history, culture and colour, a holiday in Colombo is light on the wallet but heavy on enjoyment.
- Meals: Approximate cost is LKR1,392 (RM31.59)
- Accommodation: Cheap hostels can start from LKR1,688 (RM38.31)
- Attractions: Some can be as low as LKR300 (RM6.81)
4. Siem Reap, Cambodia
Stone Gate of Angkor Thom in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Image source: karinkamon/Shutterstock
Take a short flight to the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh and continue on a bus over to the province that is home to the internationally acclaimed Angkor temples as well as the majestic Tonle Sap Lake, largest freshwater reserve in Southeast Asia.
There, feast your eyes upon the majestic Angkorian ruins, one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia and a UNESCO World Heritage site (that includes world-famous Angkor Wat, a religious monument from the 12th century and the largest of its kind in the world).
- Meals: Approximate cost is USD9 (RM37.38)
- Accommodation: Cheap hostels can start from USD3.75 (RM15.58)
- Attractions: Some can be as low as USD15 (RM62.30)
5. Taipei, Taiwan
Taipei skyline at twilight. Image source: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock
Taiwan is not just about its bustling megapolises. The gorgeous island state, home to over 23 million people, is resplendent with breathtaking landscapes, iconic temples, towering cliffs across the mighty Pacific, dense jungles and culture so gracious that “have you eaten?” is what people say to greet here!
In fact, we’ve even written a blog post titled “6 Reasons Why Taiwan Should Be Your Next Holiday Destination” that you should check out.
- Meals: Approximate cost is TWD204 (RM27.62)
- Accommodation: Cheap hostels can start from TWD348.65 (RM47.21)
- Attractions: Some can be as low as TWD250 (RM33.84)
6. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Landscape of two pagodas on the top of Inthanon mountain, Chiang Mai. Image source: Take Photo/Shutterstock
When most people think about vacations in Thailand, they normally visualise images of sandy beaches and clear seas in their heads. However, the truth is that this jewel in our neighbourhood has plenty more to offer and Chiang Mai is a testament to that.
Situated at the foot of mountains, Chiang Mai is known as the “Rose of the North” to locals.
It has a piece of city vibes but has managed to retain a blissful, calm, and laid back atmosphere.
- Meals: Approximate cost is THB198 (RM25.29)
- Accommodation: Cheap hostels can start from THB120 (RM15.31)
- Attractions: Some can be as low as THB100 (RM12.76)
How to save more on your international holidays
Truth be told, international holidays will turn out to be expensive if you don’t manage your spends smartly. One of the best ways to cut down on your expenses is using the right travel credit card. You earn reward points on most of your spends charged to such cards, and these points can be converted to Frequent Flyer Programme miles like Enrich Miles, KrisFlyer Miles, AirAsia BIG Points, Asia Miles, etc.
You can then redeem your pool of air miles for discounted or even free flight tickets, seat upgrades, discounts on hotel bookings, etc. The other key benefits of travel credit cards include complimentary travel insurance coverage, free lounge accesses, purchase protection, among others, giving you peace of mind.
PremierMile for every RM3 spent on local transactions, and 2 PremierMiles for every overseas spend and purchases made with participating online travel merchants. You’ll also get 10,000 never-expiring PremierMiles as a bonus when you pay the annual fees of RM636.
Your pool of PremierMiles can then be redeemed at the rate of 1500 PremierMiles for 1000 FFP miles with over 90 partnering airlines!
Bonus Points on overseas transactions and 2x TBPs for local spends. You can then redeem 6,000 TBPs for 1,000 Enrich Miles and 3,000 TBPs for 1,000 AirAsia BIG Points. You also get travel accident & inconvenience insurance up to RM2 million and travel medical expenses coverage up to RM50,000.
Also, the Standard Chartered WorldMiles World Mastercard (full review here) gives you 3 WorldMiles for every RM2 spent overseas and 1 WorldMile for every RM3 spent locally. The FFP mile conversion rate stands at 2 WorldMiles for 1 Asia Miles, KrisFlyer Mile, Enrich Mile, or AirAsia BIG Point.
Written by BBazaar Malaysia
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