Cheap Asia vacation spots are often the same locations where you will find the rich and famous being pampered on over-the-top luxury vacations. The difference is primarily in the type of accommodations chosen. First, you have to get there. If you are from the United States or Europe, cheap travel to Asia is not necessarily cheap. It is a long trip, and flights to that continent can be quite expensive. But do remember that this is a huge continent. On the west, it borders both Africa and Europe. Its southern islands in the Pacific reach as far as the coast of Australia. Its far eastern coast stretches almost to the state of Alaska. The continent's attractions are just as varied as its geography. What all this means is that the best cheap Asia destinations really depend on your point of origin and what it is that interests you.
Some of the most popular cheap Asia vacation spots are great cheap beach destinations, and many of these will be found in Southeast Asia—particularly Thailand—where tourists have been coming in large number since the 1960s. Since the end of the American Vietnam War, this country has also been a place where those looking for cheap travel to Asia turn. Excellent examples of cheap Asia destinations here include Phuket Island in Thailand and the emerging scuba diving and surfing resorts around Nha Trang in Vietnam. Both of these destinations have properties that cater to young backpackers and those looking for clean, safe, and comfortable accommodations for their cheap vacations on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Virtually every country in Asia is part of the developing world, meaning that prices for almost all goods and services most everywhere are quite low. Once you've reached the best cheap Asia vacation spots by air or sea, you will find that costs for everything from lodging and meals to souvenirs are very affordable. Two exceptions to this rule are China, where independent travel is difficult and discouraged by the government, and Japan, which is known as one of the world's most expensive places to live and visit. In China, you are generally limited to more upscale tourist hotels in the larger cities such as Beijing and Hong Kong and the most available getaways are vacation packages that include Yangtze River cruises on luxury ships. However, careful shoppers can find travel deals on these packages during off-peak seasons, and they include virtually everything from international flights to sightseeing tours and most meals.
Southeast Asia—and to some extent India and Nepal—have been popular cheap Asia destinations since the 1960s. Especially in India, the extensive (and inexpensive) rail system means you can get around the huge subcontinent with relative ease. The cheapest tickets are on extremely crowded trains, but upgrading even to first class is affordable. Lodging and other vacation costs in both these countries are also very inexpensive. There are only a handful of luxury hotels in Nepal (all in or near Kathmandu), but there are numerous budget guest houses and inns with safe, clean, and comfortable basic accommodations.
Finding cheap travel to Asia can be challenging if your origin is the United States. Ironically, some of the most prestigious and luxurious airlines in the world are Asian airlines, and flights from the United States are not cheap. Again, it pays to look for vacation packages or look to travel during off-peak season times. For many, the price of an air ticket to Asia is the biggest part of the budget. Bangkok is one of the centers for cheap travel, and there are several budget airlines based here. Once you get yourself to Bangkok, you'll find that you can travel elsewhere and sleep most anywhere very frugally. Another source for cheap Asia vacations is to look for study/teach abroad and volunteer programs in the region.