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The 5 cheapest cities in the world to visit

ZUU Online SG logo ZUU Online SG 10/2/2017 Natalie Tan

Travelling is super fun and something almost everyone enjoys. Thankfully, the Singapore dollar is strong enough for us to travel without feeling too much of a pinch (sorry, Malaysians!). But that doesn’t mean we don’t also drive a hard bargain when we travel.

Here are 5 of the cheapest cities in the world to visit (after buying the plane tickets which can’t be helped!), according to Price of Travel’s Backpackers Index 2017:

1. Pokhara, Nepal


Breakaway from the monotony of travelling to overly crowded and touristy places and put Pokhara on your next holiday destination. Pokhara is located in central Nepal and is a city on Phewa Lake known as a gateway to the Annapurna Circuit, a popular trail in the Himalayas. So if you’re an outdoorsy person, this might just be one of the best places for you to visit. You could stay in a hostel for as low as $4 a night while food will probably cost you less than $7 a meal on a budget. Even the taxi ride from the airport to the city centre won’t cost you more than $4!

2. Hanoi, Vietnam


Now this will definitely be a budget trip for you. With return flights from only $200+ and hostels for only $10 a night, you could potentially spend less than $500 for a week’s trip to Hanoi. You can easily get foot long banh mi sandwiches for $3 and that could last you up to two meals. It is also relatively easy to get around Hanoi by taxi or by foot around the Old Quarter with plenty to explore. Vietnam is one of the most underrated holiday destinations in Southeast Asia, which includes the city of Hanoi.

3. Chiang Mai, Thailand


With its rolling rice terraces, beautiful Loy Krathong festival when lanterns light up the night sky, stunning temples and delicious street food, Chiang Mai is one of those places that should be on anyone’s bucket list. Chiang Mai is also surprisingly cheap compared to its other Thai tourist spots like Bangkok, Ko Samui or Phuket. You could get accommodation from $10 a night, enjoy street food from $1 and grab an Uber from the airport to the city centre for $7. A little traveller insider tip: If you’re worried about an upset tummy from street food, try their local offerings from a 7-Eleven. It is just as delicious, clean and affordable!

4. Vientiane, Laos


Laos is yet another underrated destination within Southeast Asia. Though AirAsia flights have easily connected the whole ASEAN to each other, many have yet to explore Laos. Though not as cheap as Chiang Mai or Hanoi, Vientiane, Laos’ national capital should be one of the top places to visit for its budget-friendly accomodation (also from $10 a night). You get to experience the mix of  French-colonial architecture with Buddhist temples such as the golden, 16th-century Pha That Luang, a national symbol in Laos. Enjoy breakfast from $2, lunch from $4 and dinner from $8. A taxi from the airport to the city centre will only cost you about $10.

5. Goa, India


Goa is actually a really quaint coastal state in India that attracts quite a number of tourists. Compared to the rest of India, it may not be that cheap since it does command high traffic in tourist numbers. But compared to the rest of the world, it is a bargain that budget travellers will love. If you enjoy sitting around on the beach all day, or going to bars and clubs at night, then this will be your paradise. Or if you love getting in touch with nature, try going for a vegan yoga retreat here too. Accommodation at a hostel will set you back up to $12 a night while taxis from the airport to the beaches will charge you almost $30. However, meals are cheap from only $1.50 to $9.


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