Planning your next getaway? Here are the 8 most affordable cities according to Agoda

Our very own Iloilo City makes it to the list!

Are you now on the lookout for your next vacation destination? To help you decide on where to go next without breaking the bank, Agoda, the travel booking platform, has released a list of budget-friendly destinations guaranteed to make your wallet happy while satisfying your nagging wanderlust.

More than just affordable destinations, most of the cities on the list are off-the-beaten-track gems that have some pleasant surprises for just about every kind of traveler.

Let’s get to know these eight budget-friendly cities you may want to consider for your next holiday.

1. Udon Thani, Thailand

The Red Lotus Sea in Udon Thani Province never fails to mesmerize.
Photo by Georgios Kaleadis from Unsplash

Leading the pack of the most affordable cities in Asia is Udon Thani in Thailand. This lively Isaan city, the capital of the eponymous province, has the best things about the Kingdom like delicious street food and stunning temples—but with more affordable accommodations. You can book a room in this underrated city for as low as USD31 a night!

Within Udon Thani Province is the World Heritage–listed Ban Chiang, the mesmerizing Red Lotus Sea, and the fascinating Phu Phrabat Historical Park.

2. Surabaya, Indonesia

Surabaya is known for its Dutch colonial structures.
Photo by Lvuvisual from Wikimedia Commons

This bustling metropolis in East Java has quite a number of surprises up its sleeve. It’s one of those places in Indonesia where the past meets the future, a lively port city that prides itself in its Dutch colonial buildings and shiny skyscrapers. 

There awaits a rich cultural experience in Surabaya, thanks to its mix of Javanese, Chinese, and Arab influences. Make sure to visit its Pasar Atom market, with its traditional crafts, and be sure to have a taste of its culinary delights like Lontong Balap and Sate Klopo. Its historic Arab Quarter and Chinatown are great places to get lost when hungry. 

3. Hue, Vietnam

Hue is Vietnam’s old imperial capital.
Photo by Gian Reto Tarnutze from Unsplash

This atmospheric city in central Vietnam is steeped in a long and rich history. The former imperial capital of the Nguyen Dynasty, the city boasts a plethora of historic monuments, including the Imperial City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its grand palaces and temples. Many of its finest buildings were destroyed during the American War but the city still retains much of its mysterious allure.

Meandering through Hue is the Perfume River where visitors can take a boat cruise while taking in the beauty of the surrounding heritage architecture. Oh, and since its Vietnam, expect to eat lots of cheap yet sumptuous food.

4. Kuching, Malaysia

Bako National Park in Kuching, Malaysia is a must-visit for nature lovers.
Photo by Ir-One M from Unsplash

The state capital of Sarawak in Malaysia is known as a creative hub, renowned throughout the country for its arts and crafts. Its Main Bazaar, Carpenter Street, and the Sunday Market are the places to check out to discover local handicrafts and keepsakes you can bring home as pasalubong.

Situated on the island of Borneo along the Sarawak River, nature lovers will not run out of things to see and do. Bako National Park, with its pristine rainforests, wildlife, and beaches, is a must visit. 

5. Iloilo City, Philippines

Iloilo City prides itself in its bevy of Spanish colonial churches and stately old houses.
Photo from Wikipedia

One of the Philippines’ culinary powerhouses, Iloilo City is more than just a foodie haven—it’s got everything for every kind of traveler, from culture vultures to thrill seekers. The city is home to Spanish colonial churches and stately old houses and some of the cleanest parks in the archipelago. 

About an hour or so to the west, the 18th-century Miagao Church, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with its ornate sandstone facade is a sight to behold. And as a bonus, the charming island province of Guimaras is just a quick day trip away.  

6. Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore), India

Bangalore Palace needs a little facelift but it still retains much of its old splendor.
Photo by Alpesh Jogia from Unsplash

This “Silicon Valley of India” brings together contemporary comforts with historical charms. It’s known for its thriving dining and shopping scene, artsy cafés, and hip nightlife. 

Though there are no world-class sights like the Taj Mahal, Bengaluru has some stunning Victorian architecture, tranquil parks, and the splendid Bangalore Palace, modeled after England’s Windsor Castle, and Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace, an impressive 18th-century teak structure. 

7. Narita, Japan

Narita is more than just the gateway to Tokyo. It has temples, shrines, and parks aplenty, too.
Photo from Visit Chiba

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Narita is Japan’s main airport. But this unassuming city in Chiba Prefecture is more than just a gateway to Tokyo. Narita offers many of the quintessential sights Japan is famous for—with lesser tourists.

There’s the lovely Shinshoji Temple, one of Japan’s largest; the traditional Naritasan Omotesando Road and its traditional craft shops; and the serene Naritasan Park. 

8. Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Kaohsiung is known for being a bustling yet peaceful metropolis that is rich in history and good eats. Photo by Dave Weatherall from Unsplash

Taiwan’s second biggest city and largest port is easily accessible thanks to its international airport and high-speed rail connection to Taipei and Taoyuan. Kaohsiung, just like big sister Taipei, is a thriving metropolis of chic cafes, waterside parks, street art, bike lanes and cultural spots. 

It is also home to world-class museums, hip jazz bars, and artsy establishments. There are two swimming beaches within the city, a forest right on its doorstep, and great food at just about every corner.

Associate Editor

The new lifestyle.