Asia Trends for the Budget Traveler

I’ll admit I haven’t been covering Asia travel as much the past couple months since living in Latin America has made me pay more attention to what’s outside my door. So in an attempt to make up for it, here are some things worth knowing if you’re heading off to that part of the world sometime soon.

Asia is the biggest travel growth market this year. Tourism is up 7 percent overall this year so far, but it’s not Europe that’s seeing a jump. The growth in Asia tourism has been nothing short of phenomenal, thanks in no small part to those restless Chinese. Here are the official year-over-year increases in some of the cheap destinations: Sri Lanka (+49%), Vietnam (+35%), Myanmar (+35%), and Thailand (+14%). For Thailand to be up that much after a coup and riots is especially amazing.

Just ask Stuart at He’s got a great chart on accommodation bookings made through their site after the riots started and subsequent actions got worse: What happens when you set your capital on fire. I presume it’s been rising nicely again.

Arthur Frommer says Japan is crazy expensive now that the yen has risen 30% against the dollar in the past two years after already being strong before. With China’s currency artificially low, that’s a much better option.

Some people will pay $11 to do this just to brag about it on Facebook: Singapore’s airport now has a huge slide inside that’s 40 feet high.

One of the great things about traveling in Southeast Asia is you can feel much richer than you really are. Here’s a current guide to getting custom clothes made in Hoi An, Vietnam.

Only part of Istanbul is in Asia, but I more than half like this post from Alison Stein Wellner: Staring at the evil eye in Istanbul.

  1. Smaur

    Asia is a wondrous place full of vivid, diverse cultures and fascinating people. Traveling around Asia doesn’t need to be expensive. Many Asian countries are downright cheap, and there are bargains even in the pricey countries. There are even inexpensive ways to travel the vast distances between the countries of Asia. Choose your destinations carefully. The cost of a trip to Asia can vary drastically depending on where you go. Japan is one of the most expensive places on Earth to travel. Taiwan is nearly as pricey. China can be expensive, because organized tours are usually required. Places like Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea can be affordable if you know where to look. Countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines are downright cheap. By choosing a destination that suits your budget, you can minimize costs. Do plenty of research. Look at budget travel guides like “Lonely Planet” or “Let’s Go.” Avoid mainstream travel guides like “Fodor’s” or “Frommer’s.” You won’t be staying in five-star hotels and dining in fine restaurants, but you will soak up the culture and have a great time.

  2. kotal

    Yes Asia is a place where you can travel in your budget as there are so many places to visit where you can spend less and enjoy .

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