10 Best South/South-East Asia Destinations for Chill Yet Adventurous Budget Travel

2. Sapa, Vietnam

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Sapa is a beautiful tribal village in North Vietnam that is home to people from the H’mong, Dao, Tay and several other minority tribal groups.  The accommodations in Sapa tend to be very affordable and are comfortably clean.   Although North Vietnamese food doesn’t have quite the reputation that Thai cuisine does, the eateries in this village are better than most in the area; and of course it’s very inexpensive.

The beautiful, verdant mountains that surround this town can be easily accessed. Just work out a price with a local for a moped ride to your trailhead of choice.  Plus, if you’re coming from Hanoi, there’s an overnight train to Sapa that is comfortable and fun. (Splurge and take the Pumpkin train to Sapa. The regular train beds are more like prison beds.)

Locals are very charismatic and friendly in this town.  A major source of income for the native tribal women is to sell tourist goods.  Even if you have no interest in buying their trinkets remain polite and friendly (as you would in general).  If these ladies feel that a tourist is acting rudely or aggressively repelling them, the situation will get very unpleasant.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Ahhh this post stirs my travel fever! I’ve only been to Bangkok on this list, but would love to get back and explore all of these places. I would add Koh Samet to the list while I’m on a Thailand theme, although it’s a bit touristy, it’s still gorgeous and cheap…

  2. Thanks for the tip Jen. I’ve added this to our list so we can look into it further. I plan to do another trip to Thailand very soon so maybe I’ll swing by Koh Samet, :).

    • Thanks so much for the tips! They both sound like awesome places (I’ve heard from others that liked these places too). Appreciate you sharing your experience.

  3. Another awesome place is lahore,pakistan contrary to popular belief its actually a really cool city with awesome food to offer.

  4. You should definitely look at adding a beach in the Philippines called El Nido. It was by far one of the best places we went and was not ‘too’ touristy as it takes a few hours by car to get to from any major airports.

    We also did a local fishing trip during our travels there and it made the experience much more local! We wrote an article about our stay if anyone is considering going there! http://www.whoneedsmaps.com/fishing-el-nido-palawan/

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