The Asian Trail starts in Thailand, and slowly snakes its way up to Laos, passing through Vietnam and the temples of Angkor Wat before finally going back to Thailand, where people go to party in the Thai islands to the south and then move on to Singapore and Malaysia.
The biggest crowds come to the Trail during the warm months of November to April, when they want to escape from the cool climate in Europe. Although the region is vast, the trails in south east Asia are more uniform than those that are found in Europe. The general travel advice has little variations, and the same can be said about the transportation and other prices too.
Here are some of the costs that are involved:
Accommodation in south east Asia is quite low. In Cambodia and Laos, rooms can be booked for only £1.50. You will spend about £4–8 when you are in Thailand, $3.25 in Vietnam, and £4-7 in Indonesia.
Activities to enjoy here are pretty low cost. For only £10, you can enjoy day tours and sometimes pay less. You will spend a few hundred dollars if you want to learn how to scuba dive but only £20 for a pass to Angkor Wat.
Transportation is very cheap since you can access any area in south east Asia by means of buses. No matter the distance you have to cover, a bus will take you anywhere in the region. Since many people visit the Trail, there is an established bus service that will take you anywhere.
Food is also very cheap in Asia, and you can get by on a few pounds per day when you sample the local food. At the delicious street stalls, a meal goes for less than a pound.
Tips on how you can save money:
Although south east Asia is very cheap and you can spend as little as £10 per day, you should budget to spend at least $16. You will not run into situations where you have to spend a lot of money, but many people still spend a lot of money by eating western foods and buying drinks.
You need to avoid the western alcohol and eat local food if you want to save some money. A burger is not the reason why you came to this part of the world, is it? You can expect to spend about £23 a day if you eat Western foods and drink a lot.
Things that you can do and see:
Trek in the Jungle: Most travellers love trekking in the jungle, and here you will find amazing jungles teeming with assorted wildlife. Malaysia and Laos provide the best trekking experiences, but you will find the ones in Thailand enjoyable too.
Tour Bangkok: Travellers to south east Asia will usually visit Bangkok, and then you can get anywhere you want. You will find affordable shopping outlets, have a lot of fun at night, and eat exotic meals. Although some people initially dislike Bangkok, most warm up to it after a few days, mainly due to the lovely people there.
Go to the Full Moon Party: This is the greatest party to be held in a single night in the whole world, with over 30,000 people attending. You will be covered in glow paint and dance the night away, making new friends, on Ko Phangan in Thailand.
Take a diving course: South east Asia has some awesome dive sites and you can learn how to dive in much less time than you would take to do so at home. Thailand, Sipidan (Malaysia), Philippines, Ko Tao and Indonesia offer the best sites.
Dine in Singapore: If you thought that the food in Thailand was great, you should try the hawker stalls in Singapore. The food is superb and you can also visit Chinatown and Little India for some of the cheapest and most delicious foods in Asia.
Angkor Wat: This is a temple complex and one of the best works of human art in the world today. The place is breathtaking, even if you do not like temples. After spending three days here, you can still feel as if you have not covered the whole area properly.
Visit Halong Bay: Halong Bay is known as the inside passage of Asia and is a short distance from Hanoi. The bay is full of islands, and sailing in this area will make you appreciate the beauty of Vietnam. You should travel with a reputable company since there are some scammers who operate here. In this area, cheaper is not necessarily better.
Visit the tropical islands: Here you can get to lie on the beach, swim in azure waters and soak up some sun in some of the best tropical islands in this region. Rabbit Island in Cambodia, Ko Tarutao National Park in Thailand, Ko Lanta in Thailand and Perhentian Islands in Malaysia are some of the best.
Go Diving in the Sipidan: Being one of the best diving sites in the world, you do not want to miss the Sipidan diving experience. You can even dive here if you do not have a diving certificate.
Go to the temples: South east Asia has a multitude of temples, and it is hard to go for a few miles without seeing one. Visit as many as you can in this so-called 'region of temples' and you will soon be able to spot the subtle differences which makes each one unique.
Go to Bali: In Indonesia, Bali is the most popular tourist destination. The Kuta Beach is popular for its surfing and crazy parties. Wonderful food and traditional dance displays are two more reasons to visit.
Go to Ho Chi Ming City: This is a crazy, frantic and chaotic city found in Vietnam. This is a true testament to the controlled chaos found in south east Asia and you will be amazed at how so many cars and people can move through the streets without colliding.
Photo Credit: Flickr - mksystem