You’ve spent six months backpacking through South East Asia having the time of your life and a mere mention of going back to the ‘real world’ makes your toes curl at the thought of having to put on a real pair of shoes and your back tense at the thought of not having at least one massage a week…
So where next?
If you’re running low on funds, you may be thinking of heading down under to earn some money fruit picking? Or, after surviving the spicy cuisine of Thailand, perhaps you feel ready to tackle India’s colourful delights?
We’ve compiled a short introduction and highlights for every country within a quick flight of Bangkok… that will surely give you a taster of where you can continue your once in a lifetime adventure… there is so much to see, so much to do, why stop now?
10 Popular Destinations for Backpackers after South East Asia
Australia has often been a place that travellers from South East Asia settle for a while to relax in a first world country after backpacking, and earn some well needed dosh to continue their travels. Looking for work fruit picking? Mining or working in a cafe? Or be honest, are you just looking for a fit Australian surfer type? (Okay, that’s just me!) With amazing climate, incredible diving and some of the best beaches in the world, Australia has always been a fantastic destination for backpackers. But beware, after picking up your dinner for $1 USD in South East Asia, prepare for a culture shock of the financial kind! Check out our Australia guide here.
Are you heading to Australia to work? Find out more and read interviews with 5 backpackers about their experiences in Australia & New Zealand…
Land of spectacular mountains, mile-long beaches and awesome adventures – this is an adrenalin-junkies paradise! White-water rafting, bunjee jumping, sky-diving, snowboarding… this small slice of perfection boasts some of the worlds finest scenery and is a heaven for backpackers with enough money to appreciate it. Many backpackers also find work here in bars or hostels, and some end up never leaving! Check out our bitesize guide here.
The highest mountains in the world, a reincarnated Goddess, an abominable snowman, a road called Freak Street and a temple where Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles used to chill in the 60s – where else but mesmerizing, hypnotic Nepal. Check out our guide here and read our editor’s inspiring article about her experience in Kathmandu, Pokhara and trekking the Annapurna Sanctuary Trail. If you’re ready to start booking a trip, check out the following group trips on our website Backpacker Bookings…
- The Nepal Experience – An introduction to the unique and mesmerising country.
- The Annapurna Sanctuary Trek – A 16-day adventure taking you through varying scenery from rice paddies to forests and finally to a high-altitude basin with spectacular views of some of the highest peaks in the world. Highly recommended.
- Everest Base Camp Trek – Reach the base camp of the highest mountain in the world on this awesome 16-day trek.
Is one ever ready for India? The biggest democracy in the world, home to 1.2 billion people, 122 different languages and numerous religions, even the most experienced travellers find themselves lost and feeling like a newbie in India. If you’re heading there after South East Asia, download this issue of South East Asia Backpacker Magazine and refer to the Where Next section for a comparison of travel in India and SE Asia in terms of budget, food, accommodation and travel tips.
India is far too enormous, complicated and varied for us to cover in a bitesize guide here. We’d need a whole new website! (We’re working on it). Check out our guides to the hectic city of Mumbai and the sun-drenched hippie hub of Goa.
Nine hours from Bangkok via Calcutta, a paradise awaits. Incredible beaches and clear turquoise sea, mysterious cultures… these islands, which are part of India are certainly worth the trek to get here. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are an archiapelago of over 300 small crops of land in the Andaman sea, closer to Burma and Thailand than mainland India. Some islands are uninhabited and others are off-limits to tourists due to the protection of the indigenous population, who have long had a reputation as being fierce warriors. Check out more info on this fascinating archipelago here.
A country with Seoul! South Korea has been slowly climbing its way toward becoming a tourism magnet since Korea and Japan co-hosted the World Cup in 2002. This tiny peninsular continent is affordable for backpackers, culturally interesting with amazing landscapes to explore, and has some of the most underrated cuisine on earth. Check out our excellent overview and guide to the capital city, Seoul here.
It’s an island with a troubled recent history but if you’ve ever fancied a trip to Sri Lanka now couldn’t be a better time. On arrival in the capital Colombo the links to colonial Britain are still there with products such as English breakfast tea, ginger beer and even Marmite on sale! Beautiful beaches, surfing, a rich culture, motorbiking adventures and picturesque tea plantations – Sri Lanka is fast becoming a popular destination for the adventurous backpacker. And the best thing – it’s not overcrowded – yet! Check out our travel guide here
They call it the New York of Asia. Skyscrapers, world class restaurants, shopping and cocktail bars. But did you know that within a short ferry ride you could be eating seafood on a beautiful beach or trekking in a national park? There’s definitely more to Hong Kong than meets the eye… But how will you make your backpacker budget stretch in one of the most expensive cities in the world? Here’s our guide to doing Hong Kong Backpacker Style – including a stay in the legendary Chunking Mansions of course.
24-hour non-stop futuristic cities, high speed trains, beautiful cherry blossoms, an obsession with cuddly toys and computer games, elegant Mount Fuji, expensive ski resorts, Japan is an intriguing destination for travellers. How can we even begin to write an introduction to a country that confuses many a well-heeled traveller. Read our short guide and Deputy Editor’s humorous account of her struggle with culture shock in Japan here. Backpacker beware the most expensive accommodation in Asia!
After travelling in South East Asia, you may fancy a change of culture and landscape and feel ready to tackle a whole new continent! That’s just what we did and built a whole new website to document our adventures and record the experiences of other travellers in this colourful and varied destination. Head over to South America Backpacker to begin your next adventure!