Whether it’s New Year’s Eve, Christmas, school holidays, or simply because of a quiet time at work, tourism booms globally during the final ten days of the year. To help travelers find the best deals, Agoda reveals this year-end’s cheapest destinations around Asia Pacific.
Always on the lookout for the best possible deals and most competitive prices, Agoda analyzed the average room rates of tourist destinations between 22 – 31 December. In the Philippines, Baguio is the most affordable tourist destination, with an average room rate of P5,400.
The destinations with the lowest average accommodation rates across the Asia Pacific region are Hat Yai in Thailand, Yogyakarta in Indonesia, Kuching in Malaysia, Dalat in Vietnam, Goa in India, Baguio in the Philippines, Nagoya in Japan, Taichung in Taiwan, Melbourne in Australia, and Busan in South Korea. Average room rates vary from P2,450 in Hat Yai to P9,000 in Busan.
“2023 has seen a great resurgence in travel across Asia as people reconnect with friends, family, and loved ones, and that special end-of-year holiday window is likely to be no different” said Enric Casals, Associate Vice President at Agoda. “But whether you’re on a solo adventure or making memories with loved ones, traveling during peak season means higher demand, so finding that special bargain can make all the difference. By highlighting the tourist destinations with the most affordable average accommodation rates, Agoda helps travelers, whatever their budget, celebrate the year-end in style.”
Despite being the lowest priced tourist destinations, the researched locations have lots to offer to visitors and are each on their own a great place to spend the final days of 2023. From bustling beaches and thrilling theme parks to spiritual sanctuaries and foodie Valhalla’s. Here are some of the highlights from the ten most affordable destinations in the researched markets:
1. Hat Yai, Thailand (Average room rate: 43 USD)
Hat Yai is home to an abundance of trendy coffee shops, a vibrant nightlife scene, and delicious seafood. This southern city is also known for its local cuisine and delicious seafood. Hat Yai is an ideal base from which to explore the surrounding countryside, visit the stunning waterfalls of Ton Nga Chang Wildlife Sanctuary, or experience the traditional Thai culture of the Songkhla Old Town.
Planning a visit in December? Be sure to bring your Christmas spirit, because Hat Yai is home to a variety of festive events and decorations throughout the month. Visit the CentralFestival Hatyai shopping mall to see the giant Christmas tree and enjoy the Christmas lights show. You can also visit the Kim Yong Market to find unique gifts and souvenirs.
2. Yogyakarta, Indonesia (Average room rate: 56 USD)
Yogyakarta, often dubbed the “Cultural Heart of Java,” is a captivating December vacation destination, pulsating with rich Javanese culture and remarkable historical sites, including the iconic Sultan’s Palace, Keraton Yogyakarta. The rich heritage blends seamlessly with its diverse population. Explore beautifully adorned churches and witness local Christmas traditions that showcase the harmony between diverse cultures.
For a serene year-end, explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Prambanan’s ancient temples. Or head just 25 km north to Kaliurang, where tranquil moments await with the stunning Mount Merapi as your backdrop. On New Year’s Eve, don’t miss the Alun-Alun Kidul (Southern Square) for the Yogyakarta Night Festival, where a dazzling firework show transforms the night into pure magic.
3. Kuching, Malaysia (Average room rate: 60 USD)
Kuching, the delightful capital of Sarawak, is famous for its lively street markets, delicious street food, breathtaking natural scenery, and historic landmarks like the Sarawak Culture Village. It’s the perfect family getaway to embrace nature and make the most of your extra vacation days.
In December, Kuching turns into a festive wonderland, adorned with colorful lights and decorations. Stroll along the scenic Kuching Waterfront or join the annual Kuching Christmas parade for some festive fun. Don’t miss the iconic Padungan Roundabout Cat Statue that never fails to dress for the occasion. Locals and visitors alike gather at the lively Carpenter Street, where the vibrant nightlife scene takes on an extra layer of excitement during New Year’s Eve.
4. Dalat, Vietnam (Average room rate: 68 USD)
The charming mountain town, Dalat, is a popular tourist destination year-round, but especially worth a visit during the Christmas and New Year seasons. The town is transformed into a winter wonderland, with twinkling lights, festive decorations, and a joyful atmosphere.
The cool weather is ideal for exploring the town’s hotspots, like the Crazy House, Xuan Huong Lake, and the flower-filled Valley of Love. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, a family-friendly vacation, or a festive celebration, Dalat, Vietnam, is the perfect place to visit during Christmas and New Year.
5. Goa, India (Average room rate: 92 USD)
Goa, the party haven of India, is renowned for its pristine beaches, bustling nightlife, vibrant marketplaces, and mouth-watering seafood. Often overlooked, the state also boasts a tranquil side full of hidden treasures, making it an ideal spot for Christmas and New Year celebrations.
This year, pack your bags and fly off to embrace enchanting Goa. Rejoice in the state’s lush wilderness at Dudhasagar Waterfalls, or visit the Artjuna cafe for immersive workshops, live music, and yoga sessions. Let your hair down at the Bonderam festival and celebrate New Year’s Eve the local way; or take a ferry down to Divar island for a laid-back day spent visiting heritage churches and gorging on local delights.
6. Baguio, the Philippines (Average room rate: 95 USD)
The cool, crisp air of Baguio sets it apart from the rest of the tropical country, earning the moniker “Summer Capital of the Philippines.” But make no mistake about it: Baguio and its varied idyllic and commercial offerings are travel hotspots all year long. Take in the sight of pine trees as you travel through the landscape for perennial tourist favorites such as Mines View Park and Camp John Hay. Baguio also has its own heritage of crafts and folk art, which recently earned it another distinction as a UNESCO Creative City. The city also has a vibrant thrifting scene at the Baguio Night Market, where you can find the best vintage items.
Don’t leave Baguio without treating yourself to strawberries, which thrive in the city’s unique topography. From celebrating Christmas morning with strawberry taho (a Pinoy snack comprising soft tofu, syrup, and small pearls called sago) to ringing in the new year with a toast of strawberry wine with your loved ones, a holiday in the highlands will surely be a core memory for the whole family.
7. Nagoya, Japan (Average room rate: 107 USD)
Nagoya, the fourth-largest city in Japan, is a vibrant and cosmopolitan destination that offers something for everyone. During the Christmas and New Year’s Eve seasons, the city comes alive with festive illuminations, special events, and a festive atmosphere.
Nagoya is known for its stunning winter illuminations, which are some of the best in Japan. The city’s main thoroughfares and parks are transformed into magical winter wonderlands with millions of twinkling lights, like the Nabana no Sato botanical garden and the illumination of the Sakae and Osu districts.
8. Taichung, Taiwan (Average room rate: 115 USD)
Taichung not only boasts a rich historical and cultural heritage but is also brimming with awe-inspiring natural beauty. Known for its diverse range of tourist attractions and activities, Taichung caters to travelers of all types, whether you’re fond of exploring cultural relics, savoring delicious cuisine, or indulging in the wonders of nature.
Furthermore, Taichung is set to host the Lishan Guguan Light Art Festival this December, spanning a month of enchanting light artistry. Alongside the spectacular light displays, the festival features a plethora of performances and musical events, infusing a lively ambiance into the entire celebration. Visitors can bask in the beauty of the illuminated artworks while enjoying live music performances or partake in dance shows and art workshops.
9. Melbourne, Australia (Average room rate: 155 USD)
Melbourne has long been dubbed Australia’s “Cultural Gem” boasting a dynamic art scene, lively sporting events, world-famous artisan coffee, and thriving nightlife all with charm. During Christmas time and the school holidays, the seaside metropolis comes alive with family-friendly delights, too. From Christmas markets to world-class sporting events like the Australian Open Tennis Tournament, Melbourne caters to all budgets.
With the world’s fourth largest tram system, Melbourne is a great destination to explore on foot. Whether it’s the glorious beaches you’re after or to get lost in bustling Federation Square, there’s always something happening in vibrant Melbourne.
10. Busan, South Korea (Average room rate: 158 USD)
Busan is a coastal destination true to its name with a combination of beautiful beaches, modern skyscrapers, traditional markets, and cozy café alleys. For a rare chance to see the diverse cityscape at a single glance, you can visit Busan X the SKY, the observatory on the top floor of the second highest building in Korea, located on Haeundae Beach. If you prefer a more tranquil experience, take a walk along the Dalmaji-gil Road, dotted with small, charming cafes that boast magnificent views of the blue ocean.
How about a unique winter festive lights experience by the sea? Gwangalli Beach holds the Gwangalli Marvelous Drone Light Show, a Saturday evening weekly spectacular that displays a jaw-dropping array of drone lights spread across the clear winter night sky.
In addition to picking the most affordable destinations, Agoda helps travelers get the biggest bang for their buck with features like Price Freeze, Price Alerts, shopping cart discounts, social media deals, and more, helping people see the world for less.