#JOM! Cheap but cheery destinations

As many people look forward to long weekends and holidays in the upcoming weeks Agoda unveils a list of the least expensive destinations to aid travellers on a tight budget.

Data on the travel booking website show that Sibu has one of the most competitive average hotel rates in the Asia-Pacific and lowest in Malaysia at RM136.

The other top affordable destinations in Malaysia are Alor Star, Kuala Terengganu, Kota Baru and Taiping.

Khon Kaen in Thailand leads the list of places with the most affordable average hotel rates, with hotel rates as low as RM120.

Coming in third is Surakarta in Indonesia followed by Puri in India, Bacolod in Philippines, Ninh Binh in Vietnam, Chiba in Japan, Gwangju in South Korea, Kinmen Islands in Taiwan and Brisbane in Australia.

Agoda partner services (Malaysia and Brunei) director Cleland Robertson said many people were looking for a well-earned vacation, but were also trying to be frugal with their money because of the high cost of living.

"I'm hopeful that these Agoda findings will help travellers discover some exciting destinations and save money along the way."

Despite being the lowest priced tourist destinations, the researched locations have lots to offer to visitors and are nothing short of hidden gems.

From bustling beaches and thrilling theme parks to spiritual sanctuaries and foodie Valhalla's. Here are some of the highlights from the top three cheapest destinations in the researched markets.


Khon Kaen is famous for its dinosaur fossils and is also a modern university town. It is also boasts an abundance of trendy coffee shops, a city lake that hosts festivals year-round, and the Ton Tann Night Market with its many food stalls and live music.

Khon Kaen is also an ideal base from where to explore the surrounding countryside, to dig for Jurassic treasures, for example, or to make merry at the breathtakingly beautiful hilltop temple of Wat Tham Saeng Tham.

Planning a visit in April? Be sure to bring water balloons and a super soaker, because from April 13 to 15, Khon Kaen is home to one of Thailand's biggest Songkran (Thai new year) parties.

Visit the Kaen Nakhon lake and prepare to get wet during one of Asia's most spectacular water festivals.


Sibu is often overlooked with a lively food scene, rich historical and cultural heritage, and stunning natural wonders.

Immerse yourself in the ancient traditions of the Tua Pek Kong Temple and discover this haven for nature lovers with numerous parks, nature reserves and walking trails like the Bukit Lima Nature Reserve, Sibu Lake Gardens and the Sungai Merah Heritage Walk.

Like anywhere in Malaysia, food in Sibu is in abundance, from the local kopitiams (old-style coffee shops) to the Sibu Night Market.

For an authentic experience, try Sarawak's popular Mee Sua (fine noodles in rich herbal soup), Kampua Noodles, or the popular kompia (flat pastries often filled with meat).

Go ahead and explore the budget friendly gem of Sibu for yourself and don't forget to take home souvenirs from the Sibu Central Market!


Historically, Surakarta — commonly known as Solo — was a centre of power in Central Java.

In 1745, the Mataram court was transferred here from Yogyakarta and since then, the city has built a reputation as a cultural hub.

From Solonese dance and wayang puppetry to handcrafted batik, Solo remains a city that prides itself on its traditions of elegance and refinement.

This city has received greater attention in recent years as the birthplace of President Joko Widodo.

Anyone would enjoy a becak ride through the old city, but Solo is especially attractive to traditional music aficionados.

Plan your visit around one of two upcoming events worth enjoying — Solo Menari and Solo Keroncong Festival. Solo Menari (translated as Solo Dancing) is an event commemorating World Dance Day on April 29 every year.

Similarly, Solo Keroncong Festival (July 22 to 23) is an annual event to introduce, guard and empower the traditional folk music unique to Solo.

Book a flight to popular places in South East Asia with Malaysia Airlines Discount Code to enjoy extra rebates.

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