Let’s face it – with the implementation of the GST back in April this year, the rise in toll rates, and the weakening Ringgit, not all of us can afford a nice holiday to a beautiful destination. And there are only so many times that we can go to Langkawi, Tioman, Cameron Highlands, Pangkor, Malacca, etc. in a year.
Fortunately, not all hope is lost!
Believe it or not, there are still some places left in the world that has gorgeous sprawling sceneries and bustling cities that Malaysians can afford to visit. Yes, this is despite our weakening currency. It’s only a matter of whether you have time to get away or not 😉
So, if you do, feast your eyes on these gorgeous but cheap destinations overseas and perhaps plan your next budget but fulfilling holiday:
Aside from cheap food and a rich history, Vietnam is famous for one other thing – Ha Long Bay in Hanoi. “Ha Long” means “Bay of Descending Dragons”, a bay is famous for its scenic ocean karst topography and is often included in lists of natural wonders of the world. The magical Ha Long Bay archipelago, a unique UNESCO World Heritage Site, is made up of 1,969 islands, both settled and uninhabited. It’s a popular place for tourists and it is good to know that large parts of Ha Long Bay are officially protected from development.
Kaohsiung is a massive port city in southern Taiwan. It’s home to many skyscrapers, such as the 248m-tall Tuntex Sky Tower, and is known for its diversity of parks. Its focal point is the Love River, with walking paths and cafes along its banks, and cruise boats navigating its waters. Shopping options range from high-end malls to the Liuhe and Ruifeng night markets.
Goa is a state in western India with coastlines stretching along the Arabian Sea. Its long history as a Portuguese colony prior to 1961 is evident in its preserved 16th-century churches and the area’s tropical spice plantations. Goa is also known for its beaches, ranging from popular stretches at Baga and Palolem to laid-back fishing villages such as Agonda. In recent years, it has also become home to Asia’s largest 3-day electronic dance music festival, Sunburn Festival.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
The resort town of Siem Reap, in northwestern Cambodia, is gateway to the ruins of Angkor, the seat of the Khmer kingdom from the 9th-15th centuries. Angkor’s vast complex of intricate stone buildings includes preserved Angkor Wat, the main temple, which is pictured on Cambodia’s flag. Giant, mysterious faces are carved into the Bayon temple at Angkor Thom.
Of course, we can’t escape Bali, try as we may. Bali is an Indonesian island known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. The island is home to religious sites such as cliffside Uluwatu Temple. To the south, the beachside city of Kuta has lively bars, while Seminyak, Sanur and Nusa Dua are popular resort towns. The island is also known for its yoga and meditation retreats.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is a city in mountainous northern Thailand that dates back to the 1200s. Its Old City area still retains vestiges of walls and moats from its history as a cultural and religious center. It’s also home to hundreds of elaborate temples, including 14th-century Wat Phra Singh and 15th-century Wat Chedi Luang, adorned with carved serpents.
Bagan is an ancient city located in the Mandalay Region of Burma (Myanmar). From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan, the first kingdom to unify the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar. During the kingdom’s height between the 11th and 13th centuries, over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas, and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains alone, of which the remains of over 2,200 temples and pagodas still survive to the present day. The Bagan Archaeological Zone is seen by many as equal in attraction to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It almost looks too surreal, like a fairy tale land.
Busan, South Korea
If you haven’t been to Busan, South Korea’s world-class port city and also second largest city, you need to go. Situated on the most south-eastern portion of the Korean peninsula, Busan is Korea’s first truly international city as it connects Asia, Europe, and North America. Busan’s most charming tourist point is its beautiful sea vistas, but shopping in this port city has also become quite popular! Lotte Department Store, Nampo-dong Street, Gukje Market, and Seomyeon market, located in the center of the city, are sought after places by tourists. More deets in our Busan travel post here.
Bohol, The Philippines
Actually, anywhere in the Philippines is still considered quite afforable for Malaysians. But Bohol definitely got our attention the first time we saw the pictures! Bohol is a province of the Philippines in the country’s Central Visayas region, comprising Bohol Island and 70-plus smaller surrounding islands. It’s known for its coral reefs, scuba diving, diverse wildlife, and unusual land formations. On the main island, near the town of Carmen, are the iconic Chocolate Hills, some 1,200 symmetrical mounds that turn cocoa-brown in the dry season.
And now the next question is, how to get ’em good prices? For most of the places listed above, it is possible to get a good 4D3N flight + hotel package for less than RM1,000* (per person, for 2 pax) via AirAsiaGo.
More importantly, when to go? Well, there are about 8 long weekends coming up in 2016. Don’t say we didn’t share 🙂 Go ahead, place your early bookings for a beautiful budget holiday via AirAsiaGo here!
*Prices are subject to change, so it’s best to book at least 6 months ahead to get the best deals.