The secrets of the East have long tantalised Australian travellers. Holidaying in Asia has promised a magical mix of mystical and modern, where old meets new in a brilliant clash of cultures. From the mouth-watering food to the high end shopping, not to mention exotic accommodation in some of the world’s busiest cities, Asia is brimming with opportunity. It’s also the kind of place where you can get luxe for less. Thanks to a strong Australian dollar and a booming tourism industry, there’s never been a better time to travel like an A-lister in Asia.
Gordon Bayne, Head of Travel at Scoopon reveals 5 cities in Asia where you can get luxe for less.
1. Bali, Indonesia
Perhaps one of the best places to live the luxe life – without breaking the bank – is in Bali. Indonesia’s island gem is cheerfully cheap, but there’s also plenty of high end fun to have on your holiday. Set up shop in Seminyak and our pick is The Kayana. It’s got all the trimmings – 24-hour room service, private pools – without the terrifying price tag. Meanwhile Seminyak is a town bursting with fancy ways to be budget friendly.
2. Bangkok, Thailand
It’s hard to ignore the buzz of Bangkok the minute you land in the Thai capital. The sights, the sounds, the smells – Bangkok is Thailand’s international city. The city also has a vibrant art community, with small galleries popping up around town. Given the relative infancy of its art scene, you can pick up pricy pieces for a fraction of their worth. The Bangkok Art and Culture centre is a great place to start, as is the Museum of Contemporary Art. Check into the aptly named Rembrandt Hotel in Bangkok while you’re in town. The upscale hotel is right in the art district and offers seriously good discounts.
3. Nha Trang, Vietnam
Five-star fun offers come with a five-star price tag, so how can you have the luxury holiday of a lifetime without draining your account? Welcome to Nha Trang, Vietnam’s version of a paradise playground. The coastal city is home to some of the most beautiful bays in South East Asia and a magnet for travellers who prefer a more up-market holiday. It also means you can get out on the water and spend a day sailing into the sunset. Now, that’s luxe living. With so many competing vendors you can get nautical for next to nothing! Last but not least, be sure to leave Vietnam looking like a million dollars. While you’re in town be sure to visit Nha Trangs’ famous tailors. You can pick up three piece suits or fancy formal wear for an absolute steal!
4. Beijing, China
China’s capital may not have the sexy edge of Shanghai or the big money mystique of Hong Kong, but Beijing is magnetic in its own way. A city brimming with history and on the brink of a cultural shift, there is an eclectic mix of old and new in Beijing. Retail fans will be in heaven, with shopping a popular past time in the capital. Given its role as the engine room of world fashion you can find sales galore in the shopping districts. Try and coincide with Chinese Fashion Week – 25-31 Mar and 25-31 Oct – for one-off savings on Chinese couture.
5. Selangor, Malaysia
Malaysia may not be top of your list when thinking of luxe travel, but the South East Asian nation is full of hidden hot spots. Grab your suitcase and head for the coastal city of Selangor. Home to the famous Batu Caves and featuring some of Malaysia most epic shopping malls, there’s something for everyone. Here you will also find the Avani Sepang, a breathtaking resort that redefines luxury. Floating on the Straits of Malacca, this is the kind of resort that demands repeat visits. Avani Sepang also offers up year-long deals and discounts for families. It looks like you just found luxe for less!
Gordon Bayne is Head of Travel at Scoopon. Scoopon is Australia’s leading Daily Deals Company and an integral part of Australia’s Number 1 Online Shopping Group.