Top 5 places for a pauper to live like a king
Very Cheap Travel: The best destinations to eat, sleep and live well on a shoestring budget...
After a budget destination? Look no further. Here are our top five choices...
You can easily live off less than £15 a day in India. Good Indian food is massively cheap (helloo, curry fans) AND you get to see cows and elephants roaming the streets while you eat it. Holidaying in India will basically be like you’re own urban version of The Jungle Book, minus Bageera, Baloo and the need for you to wear red pants. Admittedly, that sounds a lot less fun but India more than makes up for it with the multitude of markets selling everything any king would ever need at budget, but still haggle-worthy, prices.
Once you’ve gawped enough at the Himalayan peaks, head to Chandni Chowk, the bustling main street in the walled section of Old Delhi for everything from paintings and luscious fabrics, to sumptuous pashminas and silverware. You might need to buy another suitcase while you’re out there to bring all your stuff home but at least you’ll be able to continue living like a king once you’re home and nursing those holiday blues...
Despite being a fairly long-haul journey, Thailand isn’t always hugely expensive to travel to. Loads of low cost airlines operate in the South East Asia area, so you can normally find a return flight somewhere within the 400 mark and once you’re there, you needn’t spend a fortune on going out and about. Eating out will normally cost between £3 - £7 but you can go even cheaper if you head to street vendors, who sell Pad Thai for around 50p.
When it comes to accommodation, there are some real budget gems - particularly on the Thai islands, where you can roll out of bed in a lovely private bungalow and be greeted by the ocean waves as you open your front door. The Jungle Club is a pretty special find up in the hills of Koh Samui, offering huts at £14 a night and an *infinity *pool which, let’s face it, every king or queen needs.
If you’re worried about splurging too much on buckets of alcohol (Full Moon party, anyone?) go to one of the lesser known islands, *not *yet overrun by bars. Koh Bulon Lae has a couple of places to drink but is much quieter than its neighbours and offers luxury private bungalows from £12 a night, with laundry services costing little over a quid.
Eastern Europe is a notoriously cheap destination and Romania is one of the best places to go for, beautiful landscapes, culture and cheap booze. Just three hours drive away from busy Bucharest lies Brasov, in the heart of Transylvania, set within the beautiful Carpathian mountains.
Climb Mt Tampa for free and visit the illuminated BRASOV sign that overlooks the city centre in all its faux HOLLYWOOD glory. Once you’ve exhausted the legs, you can head down to the main square (which has wifi and an information point with built-in email functionality so you can email a photo home, for FREE) and down half a litre of delicious Ursus lager for just 80p at one of the many cafes or bars, dotted around the centre.
When you’re not boozing or scouting for rogue vampires, you can head to Dracula’s castle (Bran castle) - and pretend you’re *actual *royalty - for just a £2 student entry fee and see where Vlad the Impaler once resided. It’s a pretty impressive sight.
Cambodia might be a well-trodden travellers haven but if you avoid Angkor Wat, you won’t bump into the crowds or be faced with bumped-up tourist prices. Ta Prohm and Bayon are equally impressive temples and draw fewer tourists. Almost everywhere else in the country is significantly less busy and - more importantly - cheaper.
It’s also easy to forget what else Cambodia has to offer, in terms of the rural countryside and pristine beaches found in Sihanoukville. Victory Beach, in particular, is central and sells cheap food at the markets so you don't have to worry about eating out all the time. Find private bungalows for as little as a fiver a night, complete with showers and mosquito nets (it'll seem just like you're sleeping in a four poster) and - in some cases - satellite TV. For when you need to catch up on ANTM.
Yep, it's South East Asia again. And did we mention the price of beer in Vietnam? At 9p for a half it would be plain *rude *not to indulge a little. Or a lot, even. The same goes for simple, traditional food like rice or chicken noodles.
Travelling around the country is easy too and an air-conditioned, soft sleeper train journey will only set you back around £15. We pay more for a half-hour journey to London and we don't even get beds! The cheek of it.
For those after a decent suit (and what kind of royalty wouldn't), then Hoi An is the place to head for fashionistas on a budget. Suits, dresses, shirts and shoes can all be picked up here, each designed to fit you. A pair of real leather shoes will cost about £25 and you can get about three shirts for the same price. Bargain.