The most affordable exotic places to visit

A vacation where it is possible to relax in beautiful exotic surroundings is an attractive prospect, although it’s one that often goes hand in hand with enormous travel and accommodations expense. If you would like to take a vacation in an exotic locale but have a limited budget, do not despair. There are some destinations available that offer a real taste of the exotic and, if you plan carefully, are much more affordable. The secret is to seek out a cheap flight and pre-book reasonably priced accommodation.  It is also a good idea to research the cheaper places to eat before you travel and to only visit the attractions that are free or affordable.

Peru

Home to many ancient Inca ruins, Peru is a fascinating country with some stunning cities, such as Cusco, sometimes spelled Cuzco, the ‘Historical Capital’, and much-loved Iquitos – the ‘Capital of the Peruvian Amazon.’ The country’s most famous attraction is Machu Picchu, a historic sanctuary that dates from the 15th century that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Peru , Cusco

Peru , Cusco

Iquitos is in a remote location but nonetheless is fairly well developed. A great starting point for visitors who want to explore the Amazon rainforest, the cheap hotels here ensure it’s possible to enjoy lots of different attractions and to see all the sights, including La Casa de Fierro, or ‘Iron House’ which was designed by Gustave Eiffel, and now houses a social club and restaurant. There is a strong culture of high quality artwork in Iquitos and the nightlife is quite sophisticated.

Thailand

Chiang Mai, a city with a difference, is located in Northern Thailand. Situated on the Ping River with the Himalayas as an impressive backdrop, this is the most laid-back city in the country, where the cost of living is low and the culture is vibrant. The many Thai festivals that take place there are fabulous spectacles, with flowers, candles and sky lanterns turning the whole city into an exotic fairytale experience; they variously feature parades, good-natured water fights and beauty competitions, depending on the season and the event.

Chiang Mai Wat - Thailand

Chiang Mai Wat – Thailand

Nightlife here is lively and shopping in the famous night bazaar is a dream for vacationers on a budget. Chiang Mai is home to several Thai cookery schools and also massage parlors offering simple foot and face massages, and courses in how to carry them out. With open green spaces and many historic temples and monuments to enjoy, the relaxed ambience of Chiang Mai makes it a superb destination.

China

Chengdu is the capital of China’s southern Sichuan province and it has the fabulous Sichuan cuisine that every visitor should try.  It also benefits from its moderate and pleasant climate, stunningly beautiful hillsides and mountainsides forming part of the foothills of the Himalayas.

Chengdu

Chengdu

Chinese paintings often depict misty bamboo groves, and Chengdu has an abundance of them, plus an excellent air quality compared to many Chinese cities. There are many historic sights dating from the Wei, Jin and Qing dynasties and an amazing irrigation system at Dujiangyan.

Tips

Health insurance is always a good idea when traveling abroad and although vaccination is not mandatory for Peru, individuals planning to visit the jungle or the Amazon area are advised to get a Yellow Fever inoculation.

Northern Thailand can be cold around Christmas and New Year and is cool between November and February, so travelers should bring warm clothing at this time. The hot season is between February and July, whilst the rainy season is between July and September.

A visa is required to visit China, plus a passport with at least six months remaining before the expiration date.

Photo 1: Ianz, Photo 2: ludovicpierrefeu, Photo 3: Philippe Lejeanvre

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