Franz Kafka once said, “Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old”
Every one of us has this desire to stay young, forever. It is a ‘wistful‘ thinking. There is no time like being in the prime years of life. A time where responsibilities don’t burden you. Travelling is about experiences and stories that never quite leave you. You may forget who said what to you. Sometimes you’ll forget precisely what happened, but if an experience touched you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit. But as soon as you start to plan your next adventure, your next travel, you start to realise that being young won’t take you places, money will. And money is something that most young people are often short of. But we’ve put together a list of some of the most inexpensive cities in the world that offer cheap stays, affordable accommodation, and a good public transport system. The airfare, of course, is not part of the deal. Here’s hoping you have enough air miles to redeem to make the journey possible. Because A Traveller belongs to no city.
1: Hanoi – Hanoi – The foodies and the culturists’ heaven. The city centre architecture is shaped by its French and Chinese past. Hanoi does not have any memorable landmarks but it has the culture. The people, the food and the simplicity make it a delight for any tourist.
Hostel beds: Rs 200 to 600 per night
Cost of a meal: Rs 130 to 450 (Pho, the traditional noodle soup, found almost everywhere is delicious and cheap, as are the local specialities found at the street stalls. Western food is available at a slightly higher price.)
2: Pokhara – Snow-capped landscape, a booming adventurous scenery, and great food define the laid-back but very enthralling Pokhara. Widely considered as one of the best paragliding venues of the world, Pokhara also offers some contrasts in the shape of a very peaceful Lake Pokhara, a mirror to the Himalayas in the background, a perfect set up to enjoy some downtime in one of the many colorful paddle boats.
Hostel beds: Rs 200 to 600 per night
Cost of a meal: Rs 150 to 300 (Most restaurants serve the locals meals and Indian food. This is usually cheaper than pasta and pizza.)
3: Cairo – The history of this city will make you forget its smog, chaos, and crowds. Cairo is like late winter’s love affair for it leaves you with memories that last long. The city offers everything from a grand landscape to magnificent mosques, majestic palaces, and all this against the backdrop of the pyramids of Giza.
Hostel beds: Rs 200 to 700 per night
Cost of a meal: Rs 40 to 300 (Native delicacies are cheap in Cairo. Dine at local restaurants and street stands for great deals.)
4: Anjuna – Goa is like a chameleon that you own. It can be whatever you need it to be. Vibrant or laid back, it suits to all moods. Sit all day lazing on a lounge chair with a beer in hand at its many beaches by the day and hitting a beach rave at night. And if you’re here around Christmas or New Year, be prepared for the best of sun, sand, and seafood, along with one of the world’s biggest EDM festivals.
Hostel beds: Rs 100 to 300 per night
Cost of a meal: Rs 100 to 400 (A good meal, including seafood and the local spirit Feni can be cheap or expensive, depending on where you are eating.)
5; Amman – Very new and very hot among tourists of all shapes, sizes, countries, and affordable at the same time. Even though Amman isn’t as popular as Petra, Wadi Rum or the Dead Sea, a halt in the city is necessary for a Middle Eastern experience, featuring Roman ruins, coffeehouses and souqs.
Hostel beds: Rs 500 to 900 per night
Cost of a meal: Rs 200 to 700 (If you stick to the local falafel and hummus, you’ll get by without spending too much. The alcohol isn’t cheap, though.)
6: Chiang Mai Thailand – People who visit Chiang Mai after visiting Bangkok, often find the later as overrated in comparison. A refreshingly alluring atmosphere that is significantly different from the popular Bangkok. Explore the country-side on a scooter and the downtown on foot because the climate is cool and the air is clean. And moreover, it is one of the least chaotic places in South East Asia.
Hostel beds: Rs 250 to 700 per night
Cost of a meal: Rs 90 to 500 (Street stalls are the way to go here, for they have great food at cheap prices. Even local restaurants offer amazing bargains.)
7: Colombo – A hidden gem in India’s backyard. Colombo is very popular among Europeans for its spectacular scenery, refreshing 1,340-kilometer coastline and cheapest railway network makes you wonder why it still stays off most itineraries among Indian Travellers. Colombo’s architecture is reminiscent of its colonial(Portuguese) past but it is magnificent.
Hostel beds: Rs 500 to 1400 per night
Cost of a meal: Rs 100 to 550 (The classic rice and curry is cheap and found everywhere. You might not have the same luck with the elusive Lion Beer, which is otherwise delicious.)
8: Kuta – Travel to Kuta but stay away from fancy luxury hotels and be impressed by this city’s many travel bargains and great deals. Sitting around at the beach or spending time surfing is one of the best things to do here. But beware! This loud city with its cheap cafes and loud clubs is not for everyone.
Hostel beds: Rs 580 to 850 per night
Cost of a meal: Rs 130 to 500 (The local combination of rice or noodles and chicken is available readily and is easy on the pocket. Restaurants also offer western food at reasonable prices.)
9: Marrakesh – Marrakesh is highly underrated but intriguing. Spend a day in Marrakech and you will be gasping for more. Expect magical experiences such as sipping cocktails on top of an 18th-century raid, an exciting lesson at a magic shop, a session of henna tattooing and a night learning how to shimmy.
Hostel beds: Rs 250 to 1500 per night
Cost of a meal: Rs 150 to 700 (Street stalls and restaurants at the bazaar offer authentic and inexpensive food. The local wine is decent and affordable.)
10: Phnom Penh – Remember Clint Eastwood and his Wild West escapades. Well, travel to this very exotic and attractive capital of Cambodia to experience the Wild West. You’re exposed to sounds of all natures – loud and friendly locals, whizzing motorbikes, and bustling bars. Whatever happens, when you leave, a part of you will be stuck here forever.
Hostel beds: Rs 270 to 400 per night
Cost of a meal: Rs 100 to 600 (Budget restaurants serve the local and Western fare. An unmissable treat though are ‘Happy pizzas’, which are regular pizzas topped with cannabis, served at the usual price.)
Read more: Best places to visit for your honeymoon
Now that you have the list, ensure that you carry the local currency with you as it is a hassle to procure exchange currency in most of these places. But BookMyForex – India’s first and largest online marketplace for foreign currency exchange – will sort that out for you. Just visit our site or give a call at 9212219191 to get the best rates for your INR.
Now go and explore…