Let’s admit it – time and money seldom go hand in hand! Quite obvious then that if you want to be a vagabond, it’s better to choose a relatively inexpensive place. But that doesn’t mean lack of beauty, though. There are scores of places that one can visit and have an everlasting holiday while ensuring there’s no burden on the pocket and yes, the place is not overrun with tourists. Here’s an assorted selection of 7 such locales:
1. Koh Lipe, Thailand –
A gem of an island in the Andaman Sea in southern Thailand, Koh Lipe has all the flavours of a quintessential Thai vacation – budget and low priced accommodation, amazing food, an excellent nightlife – all topped with the usual whitish beaches, bikini friendly environs and dazzling marine life. Top that with uninhabited islands of the nearby Buton Archipelago where you can always go for day trips in local boats, that once again are open to bargains.
2. Hanoi, Vietnam –
While Thailand takes away the first prize for tourism in south east Asia, the other contenders like Vietnam and Cambodia offer no less a bounty for the wanderlust. The former is blessed with a long coastline and beautiful islands, though less commercialised and touristy. The stays and food are once again quite inexpensive and you can plenty of trips starting from Hanoi. Two wheelers can be rented at a nominal price and that is an excellent way to let the vagabond in you loose all over the countryside through paddy fields, tropical rain washed landscapes and of course the spectacular coastline (don’t forget to tick off the famous Halong Bay!)
3. Varkala, India –
If you have heard enough of India’s coastal paradise – Goa, then forget it for good and head further south to the haven of Varkala in Kerala. Stunning landscapes with acres of coconut plantations, long finger heads jutting into the sea (where you can stay easily at low rentals) and long sunny days will make you want to adopt Varkala as your second home. Add to that the bounty of Indian seafood and ayurvedic massages and your holiday is bliss!
4. Lifou, New Caledonia –
Far from the madding crowd lies the beautiful islands of New Caledonia in the Pacific. Retaining the tropical charms of more popular but expensive cousins like Fiji and French Polynesia, Lifou is a lesser known paradise. Travelling to new Caledonia may be a tad expensive given its remoteness, but once you are here, you can bargain a lot on almost anything from accommodation to transport and souvenirs. Renowned to have the second longest reef in the world after the Great Barrier Reef, the New Caledonian Reef is no less a marvel – so do not forget to pack that snorkelling gear as well!
5. Kandy, Sri Lanka –
The tear drop shaped island in the Indian Ocean is another tropical paradise. Head in the winter months to escape from a hot and humid summer, and while here, regale in an experience like never before – escape to tea gardens in charming hills and hamlets, go for an elephant ride (and an elephant shower as well!) explore the two millennia old Buddhist heritage and don’t forget the beaches on the west of the island, and easily accessible from Kandy. These sensual beaches are apparently as beautiful as the Maldivian ones not far off (only that these are easier to reach and surprisingly less touristy than the coral atolls of Maldives)
6. Lombok, Malaysia –
Yes, we have all heard of Bali, but if you cross the Bali Sea, then behold, you land yourself in a different country and another realm altogether – the Malaysian Island of Lombok. Renowned for its diving experiences, the sea life is stunning while the sunsets are as laidback as you want. Lombok has a beauty of its own, and if you want a bit of seclusion of your own, head here as the larger crowds get pulled over to nearby Bali.
7. Split, Croatia –