Asia under $1200 for the 18-29s!

29 January 2016

ASIA under $1200 for the 18-29s!



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A few years back, a (pseudo respectable) online American magazine published an article outlining what they thought the 12 smartest things one could do with $1,200. Among these things were:

  • ‘Investing in your career’
  • ‘Investing in a low-risk mutual fund’, and
  • ‘Buying a portable generator in case of natural disasters’

To these suggestions we say simply the following:


Sure, things like careers can come in handy at times… but blowing $1,200 on one? In an age where you can buy pretty much any qualification you want online for, like, fifty bucks? Hush that rabble. And when did you last have to bust out the portable generator because a hurricane stole your non-portable one? Hopefully not recently is when.

What is a fun thing to spend $1,200 on, on the other hand, is TRAVEL. Small group travel especially. You get to see new stuff, try new things, eat new eats and meet new peeps. You get someone showing you around who knows your destination like they live it every day, because they do, yet loads of free time to do with whatever you will. Sound pretty orright, right? And all for under 1,200 smackeroos? You’d best believe it, comrade. Check out these cheeky monkeys currently going cheap…


The Real Cambodia – 6 days from $495

A rollicking rounding-out of Cambodia’s highlights. Get to know the country’s capital, Phnom Penh, from the back of a cyclo on a city tour, then bus it up to Siem Reap for street-side snacking, temple tour and optional boat cruises out on Tonle Sap Lake.


Vietnam Traveller – 11 days from $965

Traverse South East Asia’s most enthralling land on this top-to-tail adventure of road and rail. Potter your way through Hanoi’s Old Quarter, cruise around Halong Bay’s limestone karsts by boat, see where royalty erstwhile resided in Hue and be hopelessly romanced by atmospheric Hoi An. Then mellow out ocean-side in Nha Trang before being swallowed whole by bustling Ho Chi Minh City.


Nepal at a Glance – 8 days from $890

No one talks about nowhere like they do Nepal. This country’s mountain scenery has been known to make grown men weep (sometimes from physical exhaustion, more often from beauty overload). Make your acquaintance with Kathmandu, set off white water rafting down Trisuli River and put your hiking boots through their paces on a trek outside Pokhara.


Super South Thailand – 9 days from $960

Just wanna get your beach on? Nowhere caters better than the islands of Thailand. After spending a day sussing out Bangkok’s buzz, train it south to Surat Thani for the ferry to Koh Samui. Swim. Snorkel. Bask on beaches. Bathe in waterfalls. Slurp up curries, sip down cocktails, and then cross over to Khao Sok National Park where the wild things hang. Finish up with three days exploring Thalane Bay and Krabi’s surrounds from your Ao Thalane base.

Ultimate Cambodia – 12 days from $995

Kick things off with a bang in Thailand’s Bangkok, then zip across the border to Cambodia’s Siem Reap. This city’s surrounds are renowned for its temples of Angkor. See ‘em and weep. Do travel the local way on a public bus up to Kompong Cham, which is chilled as chilled can be. Check out Phnom Penh, log up some lazy beach days in Sihanoukville and finish things off in ever-heccas Ho Chi Minh.

Northern Thailand at a Glance – 8 days from $795

Travellers have been hitting Thailand for decades, but that hasn’t made the land any less worth visiting. Markets for shoppers, chow for foodies, temples for history buffs, adventures for adventurers, massages for hedonists – this joint knows how to treat its travellers. Cycle round the ancient city of Sukothai, visit the trunked residents of Lampang’s elephant hospital, sample a little China in Doe Mae Salong and enter the country’s famed Golden Triangle.


North India Explorer – 11 days from $765

Delhi, Varanasi, the Ganges, the Taj, Agra Fort, Jaipur and Bundi… in 11 days… and all for under $1,200? Could such an offer truly be true? Indeed it could. Watch life and death play out along the Ganges’ ghats, tour Rajasthan’s ‘Pink City’, explore Jaipur’s Amber Fort, tramp up and down Bundi’s stairwells and be dazed and confused by Delhi. ‘Regretteth life not’ said some wise Indian yogi probably once. Heed his words.


Essential Cambodia – 12 days from $995

South East Asia often feels like it was custom-made for backpackers. The goods are cheap, the folks friendly, the weather balmy, the beers yum (and everywhere) and the kicks to be had many. Experience the best of Cambodia – and bits of Vietnam and Thailand – on this 12-day trip that’ll have you homestaying with local families, beaching out in Sihanoukville, versing up on Cambodia’s history in Phnom Penh and exploring the jungle-draped temples of Angkor.