Like everyone else, before entering the workforce and starting to earn some dough, we are pretty much broke. However, here are 5 affordable countries to explore as a student or NSF to create some memories of your youth before life hits you with a dose of responsibility, bills and taxes. Do take note that these are not the conventional countries to visit on a low budget. We have managed to tour these countries without burning a hole in our pockets and it is possible.
1. Hong Kong / Macau
These 2 countries are in the same spot at number 1 because of its convenience and distance to each other. The lack of a language barrier and transport systems similar to Singapore are a huge plus point. Be prepared to experience Disney in Cantonese if you are heading to Hong Kong Disneyland. Not to mention the shopping and awesome street food! What do you do when you can’t afford to go to Las Vegas? At only one ferry ride away, visiting Macau is a must when you are in Hong Kong. A common destination for casino-goers on a budget.
2. Boracay, Phillipines
Ah, Boracay island. The one destination every beach-lover must visit. A variety of water sports such as Flying Fish, Jet Skiing, Sunset Sail, Helmet Diving and Cliff Diving are available along the entire beach. For the less adventurous, a vibrant night market and beach-side massages await. On top of that, be sure to have a seafood dinner at the local seafood market and chill at the many bars along the coast.
3. Bali, Indonesia
Bali’s beautiful resorts are perfect for those who want to relax on their vacation. Most resorts will provide a local guide to show unfamiliar tourists around. From warehouse sales to the soft sandy beaches, Bali is sure to keep you wanting more. Some resorts and restaurants also have a scenic view facing a now dormant volcano.
4. Seoul, Korea
Korea is known for its numerous scenic locations and yes, THEME PARKS! The biggest 3 being Lotte World, Everland and Seoul Land. The most popular form of accommodation for budget travellers and backpackers are the local hostels. Many options are available from single rooms to a dormitory for 6 pax. Don’t forget the street food vendors who serve amazing food and are more than happy to tell you more about their country.
Some of you lucky NSFs will get to travel to Taiwan for exercise or may be posted there depending on your vocation and unit. If you manage to get a few nights out or days off, you should visit the numerous night markets and food streets. The availability of street food in Taiwan is just unbelievable. Kaoshiung and Hualien have many scenic locations in the mountains. One of our favourite activities in Hualien was the river trekking! You can travel to Kaoshiung and Hualien via bullet train. Not to mention the cheap accommodation everywhere. From home stays to hostels to backpacker inns.
Check out a more in-depth review of these 5 countries in our future posts! For now, happy travelling!
– The Camera Bank