12 Cheapest Asian Cities (you should visit) 52

Asia is the world’s largest and most populous continent, with an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres, that is about 30% of Earth’s total land area, it houses more than 4.4 billion people. Given its size and diversity, Asia varies greatly across and within its regions with regard to ethnic groups, cultures, environments, economics, historical ties and government systems.

#1 Pokhara, Nepal

Phewa Lake, Pokhara, Nepal

Visit the Phewa Lake, Pokhara in Nepal. Image Credit: Wikipedia

Pokhara is considered as the most beautiful tourist destination in Nepal. It is less hectic than Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. April, May, October and November are considered the peak season. The non-peak season could get you the rates that are half or even less. Mountain hiking and trekking could add significantly to the cost.

Daily Estimated Cost: NPR1,688 = US$15.75/day or SG$21.60/day

#2 Hanoi, Vietnam

St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi Vietnam

St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Hanoi Vietnam

Hanoi is a very picturesque city, since 2014, Hanoi has been voted the top 10 world’s destination on Tripadvisor. Most of the cheaper hotels are located in the old city. Peak season usually starts from October to April, but the difference between peak and non-peak is about 10%.

Daily Estimated Cost: VND381,800 = US$17.20/day or SG$23.40/day

#3 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Saigon City Hall, HCMC Vietnam

Saigon City Hall, HCMC Vietnam

Prices are pretty similar to Hanoi, Vietnam. Backpacking travellers most often frequent the Phạm Ngũ Lão Street and Bùi Viện Street, District 1. Food and Drinks are relatively cheap in Vietnam. Peak season usually starts in December. Check out their Free Walking Tours managed by university tourism students.

Daily Estimated Cost: VND408,000 = US$18.30/day or SG$25.00/day


#4 Goa, India


Goa is located at Southwest of India, it is one of India’s richest states. The state of Goa is famous for its excellent beaches, churches, and temples. High season is from November through March, with a major spike during the weeks around Christmas and New Years. During this peak season Goa hotels will often double or even triple their rates, and still most things get booked up, so if you are coming then it’s best to book early. During April and May it’s mostly domestic tourists, and from June through August the area is mostly empty due to the dramatic monsoon season.

Daily Estimated Cost: INR1,238 = US$18.50/day or SG$25.25/day


#5 Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Phra, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Phra, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai is Thailand’s second largest and second most popular cultural city, after the capital of Bangkok. Most of the attractions are free or quite cheap. Peak season runs from November through March, while April through October you can often find excellent bargains at the fancy places. Check out the 7 wonders of Chiang Mai

Daily Estimated Cost: THB668 = US$19.15/day or SG$26.20/day


#6 Kathmandu, Nepal

Kathmandu Monastry

Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal. Many Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world visit Kathmandu’s religious sites such as Pashupatinath, Swayambhunath, Boudhanath and Budhanilkantha. Peak season starts from April through November. Hotels usually offer bargain rates, sometimes half their peak season prices during the non-peak period.

Daily Estimated Cost: NPR2,106 = US$19.71/day or SG$27.00/day


#7 Vientiane, Laos

Vietiane Laos

Vientiane is yet another great bargain for travellers to Southeast Asia, with nearly everything cheaper than Bangkok. Peak season starts from October through February. Local dishes based on rice and noodles are cheapest, while sandwiches, pasta dishes, and pizza are slightly more expensive. Check out the 7 wonders of Laos

Daily Estimated Cost: LAK161,600 = US$20.00/day or SG$27.38/day


#8 Luang Prabang, Laos

Luang Prabang Laos

Luang Prabang has both natural and historical sites. The Town of Luang Prabang is the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town is well known for its numerous Buddhist temples and monasteries. Every morning, hundreds of monks from the various monasteries walk through the streets collecting alms.

Daily Estimated Cost: LAK184,200 = US$22.80/day or SG$31.20/day


#9 Colombo, Sri Lanka

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Colombo is the capital and the largest city in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is quite cheap overall and it’s good value even compared to neighbouring countries, but it does lack a real budget traveller infrastructure. Food can be incredibly inexpensive if you eat rice and curry like most locals. Peak season starts from Christmas to  March with most of the rest of the year being the off season.

Daily Estimated Cost: LKR3,360 = US$23.08/day or SG$31.60/day


#10 Delhi, India

India Gate, New Delhi

India Gate, New Delhi

A fine blend of old and new, ancient and modern, Delhi is a melting pot of cultures and religions. Most of the city’s attractions are free or cheap, but Delhi is still a relatively more expensive city compared to the rest of India. Peak season lasts generally from October through March, while non-peak season runs from April through September.

Daily Estimated Cost: INR1,576 = US$23.50/day or SG$32.15/day


#11 Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The beauty that made it a ‘Paris of the East’ before 1970 is hidden beneath the reality of modern day Cambodia. Understand the Khmer Rouge and the Cambodia Genocide. Peak season is definitely December through February, plus a spike in visitors during the July and August holidays.

Daily Estimated Cost: US$23.75/day or SG$32.50/day


#12 Manila, Philippines

Rizal Monument, Manila

Rizal Monument, Manila

Manila is the main gateway to the Philippines’ many destinations, it is a blend between UNESCO World Heritage Site and modern architecture. Most of the tourist attractions are free or cheap, the transportation and food tend to be a bargain as well.

Daily Estimated Cost: PHP1,162 = US$24.24/day or SG$33.16/day


Looking to Travel to Asia? Check out this 12 Cheapest Asian Cities that you should visit Looking to Travel to Asia? Check out this 12 Cheapest Asian Cities that you should visit

*Estimated cost is based on Price Of Travel, One night in the cheapest 3-star hotel, One 3-kilometer taxi rides per day, One cultural attraction, such as a popular museum, per day, Three meals + Three beer per day

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52 thoughts on “12 Cheapest Asian Cities (you should visit)

  • Michi

    Hey, beautiful post. I’m actually preparing for a trip to SE Asia.
    I will be staying in Bangkok for 3 months and travel afterwards.
    Do you have any tips for cheap, but safe transportation within SE Asia?
    Would love to hear from you.
    Greetings from Canada

  • Tim

    I want to visit Nepal but want to wander the mountains instead of only sightseeing in Pokhara or Katmandu. How much budget should I expect? What other activities can I do in Nepal? Thank you

    • Sweta

      Depends which mountainous sight you want to visit. The whole range of Mountains can be viewed even while landing on Kathmandu airport. If you want to hike up, first briefly study where you would like to go in Nepal. If you go to Annapurna Base Camp hiking, the cost will be not much. If you go to Mustang, the permit cost is little bit high for foreigners.

    • Rizal G

      In Nepal, you can do everything except snorkeling in the ocean.
      Come with a good budget to be confident.
      You can take back what you don’t spend.
      It’s time now to go nearest to the mountain, Winter is just over.

  • Chloe

    Nice article Bernard but I just wanted to tell you that the picture of Goa you used definitely isn’t Goa – I live in Goa and nowhere do we have water that clear or any jetties like that. I wish we did….
    Just some feedback for you

  • John Rodgers

    You have two on here that for us were not cheap. Laos as a whole was much more expensive than other cities especially Luang Prabang. Pokhara was twice to three times the cost of Katmandu. Very curious as to why you do not have any of the Myanmar cities they were very cheap.

  • Albert Barton

    I would like some information about Pyin Oo Lwin ( Maymyo ) near Mandalay.Burma (Myanmar )
    Of course I would like to know the reasonable cost per day in local hotels and guest houses.

  • Sonali Chauhan


    Thanks a lot for sharing thee best Cheapest Asian Cities that should never miss. I’m from India & I never been at some of these Asian Cities but I been Goa so many times & I really love to Goa. This is my best Asian city.

  • Jill Allen

    Have been to 9 of the 12 Asia places you mention , amazing places with rich and diverse cultures , the most fantastic people and the best cultural heritage sites !

  • samuel

    actually after i spent 2 monthes in nepal, and lived good in ktm/pokhara i can say that 1500 rs for a day is if u r realy going out to good resturants and not booking a dorm room.
    think of it, just 1500 rs a day including the cost of a room and 3 meals in a nice resturants, and the aint bad at all.

    i love nepal.

  • Sverre Lunde

    There are not many times I could read a credible case on which cities or countries you may travel to. This I can confidently recommend. My definite favorite city in Asia Hanoi. To explore it on your own is very exciting. And the people of North Vietnam are incredibly hospitable and sympathetic.

  • Leela

    I think your assessment of Goa is out dated. It was like that.But has totally changed and is nomore the charming easygoing State that it was. The crime rate has gone up and the wrong tyoe of oeople have poured in.It is no “in season” all year round.


    dont forget Cebu, Philippines.Central to beautiful beaches and home of the Sinolog festival held in January where 1 million fiesta goers meet to celebrate Santa Nino.

  • John Kong

    good list of recommendation, but as an expat working in laos, i’d have to disagree on the expenses. USD20 is barely enough for one day’s ‘tuk tuk’ ride. A 3 star hotel in tourist locations of both Vientiane and Luang Prabang would easily cost above USD30 for non peak season. If want to maintain the expenses below, I’d suggest a USD10/night stay at the backpacker hostels and renting a bicycle at about USD2/day.

  • Crystal Luminescence

    I’ve been to Vientiane, Phnom Penh and Hanoi, they are very cheap for beer and cigarettes, all three places have good cheap food too. Bia Hoi corner in Hanoi has some of the cheapest beer in the world and Phnom Penh river front is a pretty cool place to hang out.

  • Ferdinand Manalad

    for me still Cheapes in Philippines we went to Thailand expensive im here in Laos is very Expensive i give Example Why still Cheap in Philippines. BEER LAO is 1 Dollar. Beer in Philippines like red horse same size of Beer lao its only 26 or 30 pesos how much 1 dollar in peso change 49pesos… same in thailand 1 beer is 1 dollar….. so what do you think? Philippines still cheap for me…

  • Angel

    Hi, you SHOULD visit the Philippines. If you love beaches and nature, go to any province of the Philippines especially in…
    – CEBU (so much beaches to explore including Bantayan island, Oslob whaleshark watching, Camotes canyoneering, Kawasan Falls canyoneering, etc./Party wild in Mango Avenue city proper/Try eating Tuslob Buwa and Pungko Pungko/food so cheap),
    – SIQUIJOR (Majestic Island, and some Filipino tourist is afraid going here alone/food so cheap)
    – BOHOL (Panglao Island is the popular white sand beach, outdoor sports/Go see Tarsier, Bee Farm and Chocolate Hills)
    – CAMIGUIN (I have little to no idea about Camiguin but they said this is a very good place)
    – DUMAGUETE (Manjuyod Sanbar in Bais/DIVE IN APO ISLAND/Best Silvanas in the Philippines found in the city proper/food so cheap)
    – BICOL
    – LA UNION (surfing/chill place/food so cheap)
    – SIARGAO ISLAND (cloud 9 surfing contest usually 2nd week of September/chill place/food so cheap)
    – BORACAY (party wild place, water sports, recommended for singles)
    – PUERTO GALERA (mini boracay style island recommended for both singles and couples but when it’s peak season summer, the place too crowded do not go)
    – BATAAN (recommended for singles, so expensive airline ticket fare and you have to go in Manila City to book a flight to Batanes via Philippines Airlines or Skyjet/Visit Stoned Houses/Rainy weather/Cellphone site signal is not pretty stable here and that’s why it is good for solo travellers who want to breathe out alone)
    – PALAWAN EL NIDO/CORON (recommended for couples). If you want a special and exclusive date with your love one, take a trip to HUMA PRIVATE ISLAND. So expensive but it’s really worth it!

    But if you want to go in modernized lifestyle, malls, have a party in superclubs and go on a food tripping, it’s all in Metro Manila City (mainland of the Philippines in which I currently living right now). Thus, one of the best experience in the Philippines is the people are hospitable and friendly especially in province locals.

    I love nature, I love food, I am a Filipino.


    Thiruvananthapuram, India, should also be included in the list. It is the cheapest city in India; also with the least pollution. There are a number of historical monuments, a beautiful zoo & museum, etc. Also one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Kovalam is also in the vicinity.

  • Pinky sia

    I’m interested in touring Nepal and Laos. Could you please furnish me info re these tours e.g. visa requirements, if direct flights from Manila to port of entry, etc.

  • Rosies

    Pretty nice information. I’ve traveled to Southeast Asia and all of the city have similar living cost which is awesome for us. I love most Vientiane and Ho Chi Minh. Great food and people!

  • kunal

    this list is amazing & quite helpful in planning the next trip. I had four of these cities in Nepal & India.
    this is the new travel bucket list for me.
    thank you & keep sharing.