When you think of travelling through Southeast Asia, chances are you imagine a backpack strapped to your back. Maybe you picture crowded overnight trains, Pad Thai that costs less than $1, and the general spirit of “roughing it” alongside your hostel mates.
Experiencing everything that Asia has to offer is an absolute must, especially if you want the adventure of a lifetime. But not every traveler is up for the backpacker lifestyle, and the idea of roughing it just doesn’t sound all that appealing. Let’s face it, once you reach a certain age, sleeping in a dorm room just doesn’t do it for everyone.
There’s good news – you won’t be forced to book hostel beds, eat cheap street food, or travel from point A to point B in crowded buses and trains. Of course, these things are all part of Asia’s charm, particularly for backpackers on a budget. But traveling luxuriously in style is entirely possible as well.
In fact, Asia is one of the best areas of the world for luxury travel that doesn’t come at a luxury price. If this sounds like your kind of travel experience, check out the top destinations throughout Asia for budget-friendly luxury.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Cambodia’s Siem Reap is quickly becoming known as a top destination for digital nomads. The entire city has amazing WiFi and is home to tons of adorable coffee shops, so this makes complete sense. On top of that, it’s just a quick trip to the famous Angkor Wat, the most visited attraction in all of Cambodia.
But you’ll find more than just good WiFi and the stunning Angkor Wat with a trip here. Siem Reap is considered a resort town, filled with luxurious accommodations. And these accommodations won’t necessarily break the bank. You can book your ticket from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap (many travelers fly into Phnom Penh International Airport).
Some people refer to Bali as the equivalent to Mexico for Americans, only for Aussies instead. Australians love Bali, and not just because it’s a quick flight to this small Indonesian island from the Australian continent. Bali is home to amazing 5-star quality food, only without the 5-star price tag.
You can still in a luxurious villa with your own private swimming pool for a decent price, especially if you split on it with a few fellow travelers. If you want to give surfing a try, check out either Canggu or Kuta Beach. For yogi vibes and healthy living within nature, Ubud is the spot for you. However, Bali is small enough that you should be able to see the entire island.
Traveling to India is certainly not on everyone’s bucket list. India draws up thoughts of dirty crowded streets, extreme poverty, and the slums of Mumbai. These things are not inaccurate, but they don’t paint the entire picture of the enormity of India. If you travel up north to the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, you’ll see what we mean.
There’s one Rajasthani resort in particular that regularly ranks as one of the top luxury resorts in all of Asia. Amanbagh Resort, which literally translates to peaceful garden resort, is an exclusive retreat spot, but it is better described as a palace. It’s not the cheapest place to stay in Asia on this list, but the value for the price is pretty unbelievable.
There is only one word to describe the Maldives: paradise. You could even pitch a tent on the beach and describe it as pure paradise. However, if you want something a bit more luxurious than a beachfront tent, you can find it. More specifically, you can find it at the Soneva Fushi Resort.
Soneva Fushi can be found surrounded by palm trees within the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The natural surroundings create the perfect atmosphere for a peaceful getaway, but there isn’t any shortage of things to keep you busy. The island offers some amazing snorkeling and exploration opportunities. Within the resort itself, you can find 4 restaurants, a bar and wine cellar, and a spa and fitness center.
Chiang Rai, Thailand
The entire country of Thailand screams of adventure. It is the ultimate destination for anyone looking for an adrenaline rush. Even if you fall on the other end of the spectrum and just need some chill time, Thailand has got your back. Chiang Rai in northern Thailand offers a nice mix of adventure and relaxation, especially if you stay in the luxurious Four Seasons Tented Camp.
The idea of staying in a tent might be a major turnoff, but these tents even go above and beyond the concept of glamping. The luxurious Four Seasons tents (if you can even call them that) are surrounded by the natural surroundings of three countries: Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos. You’ll technically be staying on Thai soil and sand, but you can easily step over the border into Myanmar or Laos as well.