If you have been considering a trip to south east Asia but money is a concern, you may be asking yourself which country is cheaper to visit. For instance, Thailand, Malaysia or Singapore, which country offers the cheapest holiday and the best quality for the price? Luckily, that’s not too difficult to figure out, with several clear cut reasons why one country has been consistently cheaper than the other two for decades and remains the same today. Read on for why.
Location and Plane Ticket Costs– If you are flying to Thailand, Malaysia or Singapore, most of the time it doesn’t matter which country you fly to as far as airfares are concerned. All three countries usually have airlines offering cheap plane tickets throughout the year and, as each country is close to the other two, the distance you travel will be about the same.
Singapore – One of the most expensive countries I’ve visited anywhere in Asia, Singapore simply is not cheap. For anything. In fact, if you want an expensive vacation, Singapore would be your best bet.
In Singapore, you will usually find the prices of hotels, restaurants, shopping and tours are the same price as in the US or Europe and, in some cases, even more expensive. Quality, of course, is high but when I go on a holiday in south east Asia I don’t expect to have to pay over $100 a night for a standard of hotel that I could stay at in many other south east Asian countries for $30 or less.
You can cut your eating costs by eating some meals at one of Singapore’s ‘hawker centers’ (an indoor or outdoor area where Singaporean authorities have relocated what used to be street stall owners — it’s boring but cheaper than a typical Singapore restaurant) but, as everything else is still so high priced, you are not going to have a cheap holiday in Singapore. That’s for sure.
Malaysia – In the 10 years I have been visiting Malaysia, prices have not increased that much. You can still find cheap hotels, eat out at inexpensive restaurants and take dirt cheap modes of transportation to get around Kuala Lumpur or out to other Malaysian towns.. All of these things, plus Malaysia’s cheap shopping, means a cheap holiday in Malaysia is easily possible.
Compared to Singapore, in many instances, Malaysia is half the cost of a typical hotel, restaurant or shop and, compared to Thailand, Malaysia is slightly more expensive on some things but not so much that you would really notice.
Meanwhile, check out what CNN has to say about Malaysia. They love it just as much as I do, and have some excellent suggestions as to places to stay and where to eat.
Thailand – Decades after it became one of the world’s favorite tourist destinations, Thailand still offers the cheapest holiday in south east Asia, particularly compared to Singapore and, to a far lesser extent, Malaysia.
In Thailand, you can stay in a four-star hotel for $30 a night, or a beautiful independently-run guest house for less than $25 a night. You can eat meals at food courts and street stalls for as cheap as $1, buy t-shirts for as cheap as $2, or take a boat up the Chao Praya River for an hour for as little as 30 cents.
Taxis in Thailand are some of the cheapest, cleanest and most reliable in the world, with an average taxi ride costing around $1.40 and, even if you take a bus, the underground train system or the sky train system in Bangkok, you will still be paying for tickets in just pennies.
You can even fly from Bangkok to many places within Thailand including Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Phuket and Koh Samui for as little as $80 round-trip on Air Asia.
What it all boils down to is, if you are looking for a cheap tourist destination in south east Asia and are thinking about Thailand, Singapore or Malaysia, your best bet for the cheapest south east Asian holiday is to choose Thailand, followed closely by Malaysia.
Singapore? Don’t even think about it unless you want to pay American orEuropean price or, put simply, a price you really cannot afford.