Top 5 South East Asian Countries with Cheapest Living Costs

If you were to ask people what they’d be happy to get for free, chances are you’ll hear them saying ‘Traveling’. Traveling is one of the happiest hobbies there is. The feeling of wearing a backpack and traveling across the world can be unmatched. However, travelers back out of their dream often because of the cost involved with it. But if you ever dreamed of traveling to picturesque locations in South-east Asia, you should know that they have one of the cheapest living costs. Here we bring you the top five south-east Asian countries with living costs.


Sapa Vietnam

If you are an adventurous person and a foodie, Vietnam should be at the top of your travel list. Vietnam is the cheapest destination in Asia. The country is filled with beautiful beaches, picturesque mountains, the friendliest people, mouth-watering street food, and handicrafts. By taking the right decisions, you can stick to your budget while you’re staying at Vietnam.

Travel and Accommodation

Motorbikes are dead cheap and can be used to explore the country. If you’re scared of the Vietnamese roads, you could always take a bus, which again is budget-friendly. There are multiple backpacker hostels and some cost as low as 4$ per night. There are hotels that are cheap too.

Getting around

Vietnamese street food is tasty as well as cheap. So, while visiting, throw away your desire for foreign food and taste the local cuisine, especially the Pho soup. Hotels offering foreign foods won’t necessarily fit your budget.  Access to museums and other monuments are also cheap.

Overall, if you take the right decisions, you can enjoy your time in Vietnam by spending the least possible money.

Budget per person/day: $18-20



Laos is known for its eco-tourism. The ever-present waterfalls, the fresh vegetables, the green and lush lands, and the less pollution makes Laos one of the must-visit destination and another cheapest destination in South-east Asia.

Travel and Accommodation

There are buses connecting the entire country of Laos. They are quite cheap to come by. Hitch-hiking is highly prevalent in Laos, and you can travel at the back of delivery trucks or pick-up vehicles. Hotels are cheap as well. But the prices will be extremely low if you plan your travel in the months of July – October. The months of November to February sees an influx of tourists and hence the fair can be a little high. If you’re a single male, you can get to stay at a monastery in exchange for service. This can save your money completely.

Getting Around

There are multiple temples, caves, and other attractions across the country. However, most come with a nominal entry fee. There are free-entries in some locations and you got to check it out. Residing in towns is also advised as the cost can be extremely low. Some families allow tourists to use their lawns. Hence, carry a hammock. Stick to street food and you will find your trip inexpensive.

Budget per person/day: $19-22



If you’re looking for adventure and peace at the same time, Nepal should be your first destination. Nepal is known for its adventurous treks, beautiful lakes, diverse culture, and its wildlife. The small nation has multiple UNESCO Heritage Sites and is also the place where Buddhism was born. What more? It’s yet another cheapest country in South-east Asia.

Travel and Accommodation

There are multiple backpacker hostels that have sprung up of late. There are a few lodges in Nepal which are family-owned as well. This will help you to learn about the Nepalese culture and also save some money. The local transportation is the best way of getting around the country of Nepal.

Getting Around

The costliest part of your trip will be trekking. But if you trek on your own, it will save you enormous money. The food is also dead cheap. Try the local cuisine and do not resort to restaurants that provide foreign foods. The charges are high. You could embrace the culture by visiting multiple temples in Nepal. The entry is absolutely free.

If you keep all of these in mind, you will also find peace with your budget.

Budget per day/person: $20-25


chiang mai thailand

Thailand is also called the ‘Land of Smiles’ and is always seen on a backpacker’s list of countries to visit. The reason is simple. It has everything to offer to a backpacker. Be it friendly people, low budget, great adventures, amazing nightlife, rich culture, distinct markets, you name it and Thailand offers it.

Travel and Accommodation

Public transportation is the easiest and cheapest option for getting around. The buses, the sky trains and MRT’s are cheap. There are also Khlong boats that can take you from one place to another at the lowest price. Even if you hire a taxi, do not accept them if they don’t have meters. There are multiple backpacker hostels across the country since it’s almost every travelers’ destination.  You can hire beds for as low as 5$ per night.

Getting Around

Thailand has a lot to offer. The country has amazing markets. However, it is essential to barter with every shop/market. They tend to hike the price for foreigners. So, ask for the best price. The nightlife is one of the key things of Thailand. There are clubs that allows free-entry. Of course, they do not have free drinks. But the drinks are extremely cheap at Thailand.

Fulfill your dream with the least budget possible.

Budget per day/person: $20-25 



The Philippines is another picturesque location that has been inviting travelers from all around the world. The Filipino’s are very friendly and sometimes invite travelers to dine with them. It’s dotted with beautiful beaches, diving spots, beautiful mountains and karaoke, which is their national hobby. Above all, it’s another cheapest destination in south-east Asia.

Travel and Accommodation

Travel and accommodation in the Philippines are cheap. However, it depends on the season. If you’re traveling during summer or Christmas week, the accommodation costs will be high. The cheap hotels in the Philippines are called as Pension Houses. You can get Pension houses as low as $5-10 per night. If you’re traveling for long distances, it is advisable to take a night bus to save money on that night’s hotel.

Getting Around

Eat like a local. This is the best way to get cheap food in the country. Supermarket chains sell groceries at lower prices. Stock up as much as you could find. Always carry coin and cash as there are not many places that accept credit cards.

Budget per person/day: $22-25

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get ready. The most important thing to check out for is the flight fares. Keep checking for offers from budget airlines and enjoys your days exploring South-east Asia.

Bon voyage!

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