Kuala Lumpur is full of bargain hotel rates, including the award-winning Capri by Fraser, Kuala Lumpur, which can be had for $70 per night. (Courtesy: Capri by Fraser, Kuala Lumpur/Malaysia)
It’s well known by now that Europe is a cheaper place to travel this year. But if you’ve been putting off a trip to Asian countries, which are often associated with hefty price tags, this might be your year as well.
TripAdvisor on Tuesday announced its TripIndex rankings of the best value destinations in Asia, finding that travel to the continent overall is 12 percent cheaper than last year. And if you drill down even further, you’ll find some great bargain cities for hotel stays – and they don’t just have backpacker accommodations, either.
The following cities have average daily hotel rates that are under $70 on TripAdvisor, with sample rates for hotels if you book on the site for a one-week trip from Dec. 1-Dec. 8:
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Average nightly rate: $48.73
2014 average rate: $66.13
If you want to live large on a small budget, you can’t do much better than Kuala Lumpur. While the average hotel rate is under $49, for a little more you can stay at four- and five-star hotels that will spoil you silly. TripAdvisor reports the cost of a one-week visit to the city, airfare included, has fallen 26 percent year over year.
The stylish Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral can be had for under $100 per night, and the five-star Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur was going for just over $100 in November. Or consider the Pacific Regency Hotel Suites, going for around $50 per night.
Another great value: the Capri by Fraser, Kuala Lumpur/Malaysia won a TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award this year, and it’s going for $70 a night.
Average nightly rate: $50.01
2014 average rate: $51.01
You’d have a hard time booking a hotel anywhere for over $100 per night, and many attractive options fall in the $50 range. For a ridiculous bargain, there’s the Hanoi Charming Hotel: it gets a 4.5 out of 5 rating on TripAdvisor, with rooms for just $16 per night. That’s a lot of money left over for pho.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Average nightly rate: $56.12
2014 average rate: $56.07
Another prime Vietnamese bargain, Ho Chi Minh City is actually 5 cents more expensive than last year. Consider the Minh Chau Hotel, which is ranked 20th out of 399 hotels in the city and includes a kitchenette, yet is only going for $18 per night.
Average nightly rate: $57.50
2014 average rate: $69.73
Bali and its beaches get most of the traveler love in Indonesia, but Jakarta is an urban destination with one of the best values in Asia. In fact, according to TripAdvisor’s report it’s seen the largest year-over-year cost decrease: 32 percent. The Hotel Novotel Jakarta Gajah Mada, ranked 28th of 376 hotels in the city, can be had for $56 per night. But if you want to get swankier, the The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Mega Kuningan, is going for $159.
Average nightly rate: $59.59
2014 average rate: $61.36
This is the first of two Indian cities on the list, and the only expensive part is getting here: average round-trip airfare costs $1,787, making Bangalore the priciest flight on the list. For a filthy-cheap deal, consider the Trinity Suites, ranked fifth out of 592 hotels on TripAdvisor, and available for just $36 per night.
Related: 20 Best Budget Destinations for Fall
New Delhi, India
Average nightly rate: $60.69
2014 average rate: $62.76
The city may be chaotic, but the hotel rates are peaceful. The WelcomHotel Dwarka is a five-star stay going for $63 per night, and the Shanti House boutique hotel won three Travelers’ Choice awards this year – it’s going for $80.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Average nightly rate: $62.77
2014 average rate: $65.11
When you’re done exploring the city’s temples and night market, you can sleep for cheap at lodgings such as the Varada Place, which gets a 4.5 rating but will only set you back $17 per night.
Average nightly rate: $67.38
2014 average rate: $71.16
You can bounce straight from Chiang Mai to this Thai city for almost as cheap. The Bangkok Loft Inn has a 4.5 rating but costs a paltry $29 per night. Or if you want to splurge, the five-star Peninsula Bangkok is going for $232.