Traveling in Asia can be ridiculously cheap and fun if you know what you’re doing. Cheap Asian travel is done by being intelligent with your cash and being well informed of what is going on. Last year when I was in Thailand the ratio of the dollar to the thai baht currency was about 40 baht to 1 dollar, now it is about 30 to 1! Paying attention to the local politics and what is going on in the world is just one of many ways that you can make Asian travel cheap.

One of the most basic things for cheap asian travel is to live like the locals. This doesn’t mean that you are going to be out the rice fields work from dawn to dusk like some of the locals, but you will have a similar lifestyle that will also add a lot of culture to your trip. Instead of eating at that nice Westerner restaurant go down and eat from one of the street stalls. You’ll have a blast eating with the locals and attempting to communicate with them and you’ll also get a chance to really sample some of the local flavor that is quite good. Don’t worry about getting sick, the locals wouldn’t be eating there if they were getting sick, so you shouldn’t either.

One of the biggest keys to cheap asian travel is how you decide to go about seeing asia. Clearly if you want to fly it’s going to cost you quite a bit more then the local bus. Now there are some tourist busses that are great and get you to where you need to go for cheap, but be warned, there is a reason for why they are cheap. One of the reasons is that they stop at specific locations for meals that are out in the middle of nowhere so they can jack the prices up. So if you do take these busses take a sack meal or bit the bullet and pay the jacked up prices. The best option in my opinion for cheap asian travel is to take the local bus. You’ll experience that countries culture up close and directly and you’ll be doing it for the same price as the locals themselves.

Asia Travel

Asian travel, particularly the independent kind, can not only broaden your horizons but also expose you to out-of-the-ordinary sights,

country hopping & border crossings into and out of Cambodia are not the hassle they used to be, but a bit of research means you will always be prepared

Since I was backpacking during my first trip through Cambodia, air transport was not an option. So I entered by boat from Vietnam using the four-day Mekong delta tour from Ho Chi Minh City through Chau Doc and up the river to Phnom Penh. It is sitll in operation and highly recommended).

I left Cambodia by boat from Sihanoukville to Koh Kong (now no longer operating), then took a moto from the dock to the Thai border. Until cheap flights from Bangkok began, I generally used overland crossings and still do on occasion. Whatever, it all goes to show that if you do a bit of research, going overland can be an enjoyable experience and is often cheaper, more scenic and include stops in communities that don’t get much in the way of tourist traffic.

However, these crossings can be fraught with difficulties. So find out ahead of time if entry visas are available at your crossing and be in a position to dispute arbitrary fees at the crossing. Knowing the “standard” prices can make a big difference.

The standard process usually involves checking out of one country and getting to the entry station of the next. At some crossings the stations are a short walk, but at others you need to have transport. There are numerous crossings between Cambodia and Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

Vietnam: to/from Phnom Penh the two most common crossings are Chau Doc (Kaam Samnor, Cambodia/Ving Xuong, Vietnam) and Bavet checkpoint (Bavet, Cambodia/Moc Bai, Vietnam). Chau Doc is often used on Mekong river trips and, as you might have guessed, is close to Chau Doc on the Vietnam side. From Chau Doc it is about five or six hours by minibus to HCMC. The Bavet route is a common crossing for bus and taxi trips between Phnom Penh and HCMC. It usually takes six to eight hours by bus and is a good option if you want to go straight to HCMC. The main bus companies start and stop in Pham Ngu Lau in district 1, HCMC.

To/from Kampot or elsewhere in southern Cambodia there are also two main crossings. Phnom Den, Takeo, Cambodia/Tinh Bien, Vietnam is closer to Kampot than Phnom Penh and also close to Chau Doc in Vietnam. In mid-2007 the Ha Tien crossing (Prek Chak, Cambodia/Xa Xia, Vietnam) opened for foreign travellers.

Thailand: the main northern crossing to/from Phnom Penh or Siem Riep is Poipet/Aranyaprathet, Thailand. This route is notorious for officials and transport people overcharging travellers, so do your research and stay calm. Many travellers book packages through tour ncompanies to simplify this trip, but it is not difficult to arrange for yourself. It has to be said, though, however, the packages are often cheaper. On the Thai side, a train takes you easily to or from Bangkok.

The main southern crossing used to/from Phnom Penh or Sihanoukville, is the Cham Yeam checkpoint (Koh Kong, Cambodia/ Had Lek, Thailand). With recent road improvements on the Cambodian side and the bridge to the border, this is a more manageable trip and my preferred crossing.

The Dom Kralor, Cambodia/Voeung Kam, Laos, crossing comprises two close deals: one overland, one over water. Both are accessible from Stung Treng, which is about an eight-10 hour bus ride from Phnom Penh. The crossing into Laos is fairly straightforward but many have talked of “fees” of a buck or two on each side of the border.

Traveling to Cambodia? The Cambodia Pocket Guide is always free! Get free copies everywhere in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Angkor Wat and Sihanoukville.

Definitely, if one takes some pains, mostly while surfing the internet, one can get very good deals while traveling to Asia-this could be Thailand, China, Taiwan, South Korea. There are various portals, like Make My Trip or cleartrip or Travelocity, where one can get deals which are cheap to travel to Asia.

Cheap Airfare to travel to Asia

One way of traveling cheap to Asia is to find out discounted airfares-this could be purchasing tickets on the internet, either through the websites of the airlines directly or portals like MakeMyTrip. One could go in for budget carriers like Jetstar in Australia or Oasis Airlines in Hong Kong which will cut the frills like generous meals but will certainly provide tickets which are considerably cheaper than established carriers like Cathay Pacific Airways or Singapore Airlines -these budget carriers may need you to pay for meals or board (even for mineral water) or their meals may be very basic-.the seating on these aircraft also may be more cramped since seating will be greater (in more numbers in order to fill in more passengers ).Of course, sometimes, if one monitors the newspapers carefully or television or is in touch with leading travel agents ,one is able to find attractive prices even on established airlines like Cathay Pacific Airways or Thai Airlines by buying tickets maybe when a promotion is going on well in advance when these airlines will price their tickets at lesser prices -this means that passengers will stand to gain since they can get the best of both worlds -cheaper tickets as well as all the frills that are usually available on the established airlines like full meals, modern on board entertainment, PTVs, good decors, comfortable seats, less cramped seating, etc.

How does one find cheap flights to travel to Asia?

One way is to begin your search at C fares.-this is very good site to find deals on cheap travel to most Asian countries; they offer deals which are truly amazing.
Discover huge discounts even for Business travel to China and Japan.

There is so much that Asia has to offer -the differing cultures, foods, manner of dress, language, customs, within different countries in Asia make it truly a fascinating continent to visit. It is sensible that before you embark on your journey to do a lot of research on the internet, especially since one can get a lot of very competitive fares -also the entire traveling experience can be more enjoyable since one knows more or less what to expect; the more prepared one, the more fun your trip can turn out to be.

Choosing a destination point in Asia for your next vacation means choosing between the following locations: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, East Timor, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen. Russia and Turkey are part of Europe and Asia, by the way.

How to choose the right destination spot is the focus of this article.

Where To Begin

There are really so many options here that you must narrow it down quickly or get overwhelmed. Exclude those countries that are at war or have a high level of violence associated with them at the moment. Then, break down the possibilities according to what interests you most. Is it religion, cuisine, architecture, art, crafts, natural phenomenon, history, a particular event, or even a particular animal? Choose a category or come up with your own and then consider further breaking down the chosen category.

Building On An Idea

For instance, an interest in the religions found in Asia could center around Hinduism and a trip focused on visiting the various areas where Hinduism is concentrated. Building on this idea add the category of architecture. Now you can locate and visit the Hindu temples in the regions you have identified. Further add the crafts that are associated with the Hindu religion and you now have something to collect on your trip.

Lets try another one. Start with cuisine. Maybe you love hot, spicy food. What makes food hot and spicy? What if your whole trip centered around chili? Discover which country has the kind of spicy food you love best and not only eat your way through the trip but visit the farms and people where these chili’s are grown and harvested. Build this trip further by learning about the history of the plant and discover whether there are particular tribes, a person or a location connected to the cuisine and worth adding to your trip.

Triggering The Travel Bug

In taking the first steps to plan a trip, you may stumble upon a new idea or path to follow. If a topic tugs at your interest, read up on it and see where it takes you.

Another way to choose an Asian destination is to plan a trip based on a favorite region. Even a trip like this can be overwhelming to plan due to the vast landscape of Asia. Again, break it down once you have chosen a region. What is it about the region that draws you in?

Plan your daily activities around a city, a district, or an idea. What if you were to follow in the footsteps of Genghis Khan? What if you have family history in Asia?

One visit is not enough when visiting Asia because its vastness and variety do not fall under one category. Each country, each city, each street corner is filled with something worth traveling to see. Be prepared to return again and again.

Nestled in the heart of the Himalayas, the mountain kingdom of Nepal with its beauty can hold anyone spellbound but if you look deeper, you will instantly see that the country needs some of the basic necessities like education, health and financial aid. Volunteering in Nepal is popular among the youth mostly because people get attracted to the idea of visiting the “Mt. Everest Country” and learning about a new alien culture. Nepal, for a long time has, enchanted and fascinated tourists and trekkers, mountaineers and scholars with the sheer beauty, mysteriousness and the mystical chants that arise from the monasteries in the deeper realms of the Himalayas.

In the recent past, Nepal has seen an increase in environmentally destructive activities and hence needs more and more volunteers to come forward and help in reducing the negative impact that tourism has left in its wake in this Asian country. The higher regions closer to the Everest base camp and other base camps and glaciers have also been negatively affected by such rampant growth in tourism.

Volunteering in Nepal to spread awareness on the environmental issues is gathering momentum. Overseas volunteer work is being seen by many people, as an opportunity to satisfy their need to participate for a good cause while gaining an invaluable experience.

One such organization is KEEP or The Katmandu Environmental Education Project. From time to time, KEEP looks out for volunteering in Nepal and is considered as one of the leading non profit organizations in South East Asia. There are many similar organizations who are not only focused on the impending issue of creating a safe and healthy environment but also help in providing medical aid, creating infrastructure, imparting education in village schools, enabling communication through the Internet and other modes of communication between far off villages, teaching the locals and tourists about damages caused to the environment and about global warming, and many more.

You can choose from a variety of volunteer programs that are aimed at different subject from protecting environment to eradicating poverty. Volunteering in Nepal is an interesting option because of the fact that you will get to travel to places, which are nestled deep in the heart of the mighty Himalayas, places which can be compared to paradise, places which are so remote that people there don’t have any educational facilities, water & electricity or better schools.

Volunteering in Nepal is a great experience and most non profit organizations requiring volunteers provide the following programs:

Restoration — of old buildings, cleaning up local villages and high altitude camps and protecting the biodiversity. As a part of this overseas volunteer work, you will be working with the existing staff in construction of local schools and restoration of the environment.

Teaching English overseas — includes volunteering in Nepal and other backward countries in Asia and Africa. Far off villages and small towns in Nepal don’t have the proper facilities to support the educational infrastructure. As a volunteer, you will get to teach different subjects including English so that it can empower the locals. You will be teaching English so that the locals are able to make a living by talking to trekkers, mountaineers and acting as tour guides within the tourism industry. Another section of teaching as a part of volunteering in Nepal includes learning how to provide first aid, information on health care, management skills and information related to conservation of forests and wildlife.

Another non profit organization that offers plenty of opportunities for volunteering in Nepal is United Planet. They have around 20 to 25 opportunities that vary from working with orphans, street children and disabled to working with women and empowering them so that they are able to earn a decent living. They generally have programs that range from 12 weeks to 12 months.

If you love traveling and want to help the people of the plant then volunteering in Nepal is a good place to start.