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Landmark Pagoda, Doi Inthanon National Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand
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Backpacking is the cool term we use for budget travelling, and travelling without going broke is everyone’s dream now. Being constantly run over by the steamroller of deadlines, responsibilities and events we’d rather not attend, backpacking can be a sweet relief for the young, old, and carefree alike. Here’s a rock solid map of places you can easily go backpacking to, this year!

Thailand

Thai food and the luxurious resorts of Thailand are popular all over the world, but what makes it all the more special is the kind of diversity and elements it offers, when it comes to backpacking. Not for forget, the wide range of cheap options available in terms of hostels, home-stays, and food! From floating markets to glittering Buddhist shrines, to funky hostels, epic street food, and breezy rice fields, Thailand is a sheer treasure trove waiting to be explored by backpackers.

Must-do activities for backpackers:

  • Street-shopping at Khao San road – the shopping capital for backpackers!
  • Go temple-hopping in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
  • Spend a morning at the floating markets in Bangkok.
  • Gorge on delicious street food – don’t forget pad thai and banana pancakes!
  • Dance away at a Fool Moon party at Koh Phangan.
  • Hike, swim, and find wild elephants at Khao Yai National Park.
  • Scuba dive at Koh Tao – one of the best diving spots in the world.
  • Lose yourself at Chiang Mai’s night bazaar.
  • Explore deep, stunning caves in Krabi.
  • Get your share of bargains at Chatuchak market, Bangkok.

Not in a mood for backpacking? Check out Family Holidays in Thailand instead!

Nepal

If you’re a true backpacker, Nepal should be one of the top destinations on your list. This breath-taking Himalayan country lures tourists with its scenic treks, raw natural beauty, unique culture, soaring peaks, and majestic wildlife. Adding to the natural elements, are ancient clock towers, incredible monasteries, and classic temples. What’s more, accommodation is super cheap! You can find basic accommodation for as less as $5!

Must-do activities for backpackers:

  • Discover the beautiful temples and squares of Kathmandu.
  • Look for Rhinos at Chitwan National Park.
  • Soak in the local culture by living at a local home-stay.
  • Taste adrenaline with Nepal’s numerous, otherworldly treks.
  • Spend time at Thamel, Kathmandu – party, shopping, and cheap accommodation!
  • Catch a sunset by Pokahara Lake.
  • Visit Lumbini – the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha).
  • Enjoy a thrilling plane ride in Lukla – a town 2680 meters above sea level!
READ MORE: 10 Surreal Places to Visit in Nepal!

India

If you want variety in your plate that can be accommodated easily, India is the place to go to. Mountains, deserts, rivers, waterfalls, metropolis, ethnic cities – there is nothing that India doesn’t have. Being a land of cultural festivities, India will provide you with comfortable hostel and hotel services and amazing delicacies at probably the cheapest rates in the world. The Indian government buses and railways are safe, fast and cheap as well, making it easy to visit various parts of this big, big country.

Must-do activities for backpackers:

  • Soak in the history, palaces, forts, architecture, and desert of Rajasthan.
  • Chill and party on the beaches of Goa.
  • Stay in a house-boat in Alleppey, Kerala.
  • Discover unparalleled natural beauty and treks in the hill stations of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
  • Stare in awe at the ruined temple complexes and magnificent stone structures in the town of Hampi, a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Do a road trip from Manali to Leh, in Northern India.
  • Tour the ghats of Varanasi.
  • Explore the breath-taking natural beauty of the states of Northeast India.
  • Go crazy street shopping and sampling street food in Mumbai and New Delhi.
READ MORE: 5 Tourist Places in India You CANNOT Miss!

Vietnam

Laced with an ageless charm and sporting a perfect blend of old traditions and modern spirit, Vietnam is a paradise for backpackers. Glistening pagodas, lush rice paddies, magnificent limestone rock formations, amazing caves, bustling food markets, idyllic mountains, shimmering coastlines – that’s Vietnam for you! Super cheap accommodation and all soul-satiating food at cheap rates, make it all the more tempting for backpackers!

Must-do activities for backpackers:

  • Take a cruise along Ha Long Bay and get bedazzled by the stunning limestone peaks jutting out from the serene green waters.
  • Enjoy a tour of Mekong Delta and explore some of the floating markets.
  • Take a trip to Phu Quoc Island and discover its immaculate beaches.
  • Lose yourself amidst the vibrancy and hustle-bustle of Ho Chi Minh.
  • Explore some old fishing villages along with the colourful fishing boats.
  • Excite the explored in you by visiting Hang Son Doong, the world’s largest cave!
  • Hire a scooter or a bike, and explore the stunning countryside.
  • Party like there’s no tomorrow at any of the clubs or bars dotting Nha Trang beach.
  • Binge on Vietnamese cuisine, especially the lip-smacking street food.
READ MORE: Stunning Images of Vietnam That Will Leave you Amazed!

Cambodia

The ancient, mysterious, and breath-taking vine-clad temple complex of Angkor Wat is one of the most mesmerising sights you will ever set eyes upon. Such is the rustic beauty and appeal of Cambodia, that once you backpack across its mystical terrain, a part of your soul never leaves from there. Replete with charming floating villages, enchanting temples, stilted houses, cheap accommodation options, cheap food, and an eccentric nightlife, Cambodia is a holy grail for backpackers.

Must-do activities for backpackers:

  • Watch the sun rise over the Angkor Wat and experience sheer Zen.
  • Rent a motorcycle and head out towards the countryside, encountering glistening paddy fields, charming floating villages, unique stilted houses, and of course, the friendly locals.
  • Soak in the country’s history by exploring the myriad temples and ancient ruins speckled across.
  • Lounge on the pristine beaches of Sihanoukville.
  • Live up to the eccentric nightlife of the country, a get a taste of pure hedonism.
  • Pique your taste buds with local delicacies laced with unique Cambodian flavours.
  • Hit up the exotic markets and night markets in Phnom Penh.
READ MORE: 10 Awesome Reasons Why You Need to Visit Cambodia Right Now!

Laos

The offbeat, less-visited land of Laos is a paradise for backpackers, offering every ingredient required for fully satiating backpacking experience – irresistible gastronomy, undiscovered wilderness, spell-binding scenery, mysterious river village, adrenaline-pumping adventure activities, and budget-friendly travel options across the country!

Must-do activities for backpackers:

  • Explore the fascinating UNESCO World Heritage city of Luang Prabang.
  • Admire the beauty of Kuang Si Waterfall – one of the prettiest waterfalls of Asia.
  • Revel in a riveting hot air balloon ride in Vang Vieng.
  • Take part in a cooking class in Luang Prabang and learn how to cook some Laotian delicacies!
  • Enliven your senses by visiting a local food market.
  • Speed away on a motorbike and explore the mysterious ‘Plain of Jars’.
  • Savour Laotian cuisine, which is a sizzling, irresistible twist of Vietnamese and Thai ingredient.
  • Wander around the ruins of the Wat Phu temple complex.
  • Marvel at the magnificent Golden Stupa in Vientiane.

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