Food and travel go hand-in-hand. You cannot fully experience the best of one without the other. And as traveling the world has become so much easier with the aid of the Internet, there’s no better time to book a trip than now. But of course, planning can be a little daunting if you start adding up the cost of everything you need to spend on. Worrying about spending may even be a significant reason why you have yet to book a trip for yourself. And you’re not alone on this. Most people have trouble deciding on whether or not to actually book a ticket as it is a commitment that you definitely need to spend for. But this should never be a reason that stops you from getting the chance to see the world and try authentic cuisines. And lucky for you, Asia has an incredible variety of budget-friendly food destinations that can definitely give you all the best of what Asian cuisine can offer.
Budget-friendly food destinations in Asia
When you go to Taipei, you’ll see exactly what makes this a food capital for the budgeted traveler. It’s a city known for its night markets filled with street food. Dinner means going to different stalls and trying all types of food. And it’s all really affordable. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to have a world-class cuisine. The average cost of food is between $3-$10. It’s affordable without you ever feeling like you’re limiting your experience just for the price.
What to try: Flame grilled steak, Milk tea, Shaved ice, Xiao Long Bao, dumplings, and Baked pepper pork buns.
In Hanoi, you’re always only a few steps away from some form of food vendor offering anything from fried, grilled, sautéed, steamed, to even cold food or desserts. It’s not a menu that dictates your meals, but rather, your location. And Hanoi’s street food caters to local’s tastes and preference. So you know you’ll be getting the best of Vietnamese cuisine. Make sure you try different varieties of one dish as they usually are made in different ways by different vendors, cafes, or restaurants.
What to try: Vietnamese Pho (Rice noodles in a chicken or beef broth), Pho Cuon (Rice noodle wrap), Xoi (Sticky rice), Cha Ca (Grilled or Fried fish with rice noodles), and Banh Mi (Sandwich).
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bangkok may be your first stop in Thailand, but if you want the best of Thai cuisine, with a budget, Chiang Mai should be your main destination. Thai cuisine is particularly great at balancing sweet, sour, and spice in every dish. And you’ll most definitely be tasting the best of fresh ingredients. Chiang Mai is far less crowded than Bangkok. But the food scene rivals that of the capital.
What to try: Khao Kha Moo (braised pork leg over rice), Pad Thai, Khao Soi (noodles with a curry and coconut milk broth), roast chicken, tom sab (fragrant soup), and Mango sticky rice.
The best part about traveling to all of these budget-friendly food destinations is that getting a visa for all three countries are fairly easy to get. Taiwan, Vietnam, and Thailand are countries that encourage tourism and can guarantee an easy and affordable experience for all tourists who plan to stay for a short period of time. And it’s not just the food that’s affordable. You’ll find that with these South East Asia cities, accommodation and transportation are also budget-friendly.
For as long as you plan effectively ahead of time, you shouldn’t have to worry about breaking the bank when you visit these cities. And you’ll never feel deprived of great food just because your budget is limited. Get the best out of new experiences with new cuisine, at the cheapest prices when you visit Taipei, Hanoi, or Chiang Mai for your next travel adventure.