6 weekend holidays in Asia for adventurers on a budget

Scuba diving in Thailand, trekking in Malaysia or skiing in South Korea doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

The Asia-Pacific region has almost every activity you’d want just a short flight away.

Whether it’s scuba diving in Thailand, trekking Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia or skiing in South Korea, there are plenty of cheap destinations to escape to.

Since long-haul flights can take precious time away from a short vacation, opting for a destination closer to home can give you great results for cheaper prices.

The places explored here are within reach as a typical weekend costs RM600 to RM6,000 per person for a three-day stay. Booking your flight with a travel credit card could reduce costs even further.

3 top destinations for scuba diving and water activities

Malaysia’s Tioman Island is home to the beautiful Coral Triangle.

Some of the cheapest destinations in Asean also host some of the most exquisite coral reefs. If you’re looking for a quick getaway to explore the oceans, Tioman Island in Malaysia is home to the Coral Triangle and has some of the most biodiverse reefs in the world.

Indonesia is another great location for scuba divers. There are several locations in Indonesia you can explore that are considered to be some of the best dives in the world including Komodo, Raja Ampat and the Derawan Islands.

Lastly, Thailand boasts cheap accommodations and top scuba diving spots, including the Similan Islands and Phuket.

2 top destinations for skiing and snow activities

Hokkaido in Japan has some of the best snow resorts in the world.

If your idea of a great long weekend is to spend it skiing or snowboarding, you can do so without having to travel all the way to the Alps.

Though it costs around RM4550 to RM6,000 per person, the added convenience of being closer to home, as opposed to travelling to Europe or North America, make South Korea and Japan great destinations for quick winter adventure trips.

Hokkaido, Japan has some of the best snow resorts in the world, great for advanced and intermediate skiers.

Alpensia Resort in Pyeongchang, South Korea is where the 2018 Winter Olympics were hosted, so those interested in trying out the same runs as their favourite athletes can enjoy a long weekend getaway there for roughly under RM3,000.

For both destinations, you can expect to save around 50% as opposed to flying to the Alps or Central Asia.

4 top destinations for thrill-seekers

No matter where you’re travelling to don’t forgo travel insurance.

If you really want an adrenaline rush, there are many extreme adventure activities in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam or Indonesia.

For skydiving, try places like Chonburi and Pattaya in Thailand, which cost around RM1,800 for a quick round-trip flight and a skydiving ticket.

If falling 12,000 feet isn’t your idea of adventure, you can go kayaking in Thailand, Vietnam or Cambodia. For under RM200 you can have a kayak tour from Hanoi to Halong Long Bay.

For under RM300, you can have a Canoe tour in Phuket where you can go to James Bond Island and explore sea caves.

If you prefer hiking or trekking, there are many hiking experiences in Malaysia, including a two-day hike to the summit of Mount Kinabalu or a quick two-hour hike to the summit of Mount Bromo in Indonesia.

How to make the most out of a short trip

Even though you are travelling to a nearby destination and only for a short period of time, there are still precautions you should take, especially if you’re going to be participating in extreme activities.

Don’t forgo travel insurance just because it isn’t a long vacation

Even if you are going away for a weekend, it’s better to be safe than sorry and find a travel insurance plan that will cover your activities.

Though most insurance companies don’t cover extreme sports like off-piste skiing or rock-climbing, you can find sports-focused insurers that will cover you for sky-diving, kayaking, trekking, skiing/snowboarding and bungee jumping.

Do your due diligence to avoid financial mishaps

If you’re planning a guided tour or trek, you should make sure you are booking your excursion with a licensed company. You can research the company by reading reviews on trusted travel sites, talking to more experienced friends and family or read blogs and news articles about your destination.

You should also research what kind of expenses will be necessary for your trip so you can avoid overspending or getting sucked into buying accessories or package extensions you don’t need.

Not only will this help save you money, it will also help you avoid credit card fraud and miss out on an excursion because the tour company you chose was fraudulent.

Get the proper medical examinations

If you’re going to be travelling to less populated regions or participating in activities that require certain health levels, it’s important to check with your doctor to see if you can carry out your itinerary without being at risk of exacerbating an existing injury or suffering an adverse health effect i.e. heart attacks, strokes or epilepsy.

Make sure you’re properly vaccinated to prevent diseases that can land you in the hospital. If you want to prevent unforeseen medical costs, international health or travel insurance with comprehensive medical coverage.

This article appeared in thenewsavvy.com

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