Top 12 Countries for First Time Backpackers

Best Destinations for First-Time Backpackers

Batad Rice Terraces by @yumievriwan via Flickr cc

Top 12 Backpacking Countries for Beginners

Nothing beats the feeling of visiting a new country—one that you’ve never been t, where everything is unfamiliar, from the environment and culture to the languages and people. Traveling involves risks, but that’s what makes it an adventure.

Desiring to travel the world but don’t know where to start? Worry no more! Here is a list of the top 12 countries for first-time backpackers.

Thailand - One of the best Countries for First Time Backpackers
Thailand – One of the Best Countries for First-Time Backpackers

Thailand

Why Thailand? Named the Land of Smiles due to the friendliness of its citizens and abundance of sights and attractions, Thailand is undoubtedly one of the best places for first-time backpackers. Thai people’s friendly nature and warm welcome make this a great place to begin a wonderful journey. With so many backpackers visiting this country, there is no doubt that Thailand is one of the best backpacking countries for beginners.

What to do? An outside power has never ruled Thailand, making it mellow, hospitable, and patient. On any main street, you can drink a buck-a-beer with new backpacker friends, sample tom yum soup, or get a Thai massage (they stretch you, too, so you can call it a workout). Most massage parlors have reclining chairs for foot massages — a fun drinking outing (BYOB).

Philippines

Why the Philippines? The Philippines is the kind of place that will never lose its ability to amaze people. It’s a place that you’ll always keep coming back to. It’s a place that you’ll never get bored visiting. The Philippines is an archipelago that can be found in Southeast Asia. It is made up of more than 7,000 islands that are scattered across the Pacific Ocean. The Philippines is blessed with extensive stretches of pristine white sand beaches surrounded by azure waters thanks to the country’s unique geographical features.

Batad Rice Terraces by @yumievriwan via Flickr cc
Batad Rice Terraces by @yumievriwan via Flickr cc

What to do? The Philippines is a great winter escape, making it one of the best backpacking destinations among Europeans. The Philippines have two seasons: dry and rainy. November to May is the dry season, and June to October is rainy. Except when there’s a typhoon warning, the rainy months are sunny and warm. You can still enjoy outdoor and indoor rainy season activities in the Philippines, like surfing, waterfall tours, river adventures, food tours, and swimming.

Indonesia

Why Indonesia? It doesn’t matter if you want to spend your vacation relaxing on a deserted island, partying on a beach, or even hiking up a live volcano; Indonesia has it all. Wide swaths of unspoiled land in Indonesia contribute to the country’s status as having one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world.

Local Festival in Bali
Local Festival in Bali

What to do? Indonesia boasts a staggering number of islands: 17,500. You could take a backpacking trip through Bali. Don’t stop exploring Indonesia just because you’ve seen Bali. This is a great place for inexperienced hikers to learn the ropes because the routes have been so meticulously calculated by bloggers and backpackers in years past. Java or Sumatra would be a good place to begin. Also, they ought to eat fresh fruits. Nothing else quite like it exists. The use of a scooter is highly recommended. Getting around town this way is quick, easy, and doesn’t break the bank. The daily rate for renting a scooter shouldn’t be more than $5.

Guatemala

Why Guatemala? With its diverse indigenous culture, rich Maya heritage, and colonial charm, Guatemala is an enticing adventure for both seasoned and novice tourists. Guatemala is a very accessible and welcoming country, and with a little forethought and the right knowledge, you’re in for an enchanting ride.

Souvenirs from Guatemala
Souvenirs from Guatemala

What to do? Guatemala is a beautiful and affordable country for backpackers in Central America. Public buses and shuttles are affordable and easy to use. Guatemala’s charms are attracting more and more backpackers. There are Spanish classes. Some backpackers take Spanish classes. For USD 55, you can stay with a local family for up to seven days (including meals). Some say solo Guatemala backpacking is possible. With hostels starting at $5 a night, a few extra bucks may get travelers an upgrade and some privacy.

Furthermore, ancient Mayan Tikal is a must-see. You can also find cheap movies and street food. Others prefer the Volcan de Fuego area. Volcano erupts frequently. On the other hand, Central America is also a popular backpacking destination. Guatemala is fun, delicious, and beautiful. Honduras or El Salvador pair well.

Vietnam

Why Vietnam? Vietnam is at the top of the list of must-visit destinations for many tourists due to its dazzling cities, tranquil islands, and vast national parks, not to mention its world-famous cuisine. There are countless amazing things to see and do across the nation, but a few locations simply must not be missed.

Ban Gioc Waterfall, Vietnam
Ban Gioc Waterfall, Vietnam

What to do? Start in Ho Chi Minh City, the former capital of South Vietnam, and ride a scooter past French colonial buildings and food stalls. A cynic will tell you that Vietnam is loud, chaotic, congested, and full of aggressive touts. True. Vietnam has more to offer than any other Southeast Asian country, though. Don’t wait until you’re creaky to hustle. You can visit the Cu Chi tunnels from Ho Chi Minh City, where Viet Cong fought American soldiers. You can ride with the Easy Rider motorcycle gang from Da Lat, a northern hill station, through Vietnam’s central highlands.

India

Why India? Backpacking the world will not be complete without visiting India. Endowed with various natural wonders, India can entice millions of tourists from all over the world throughout the year to make the journey to India. There is a wide variety of things to see and do in India, whether you are interested in the country’s mountains or plains, beaches or backwaters, wildlife or adventure activities, secluded islands or bustling metropolitan areas, culinary delights or local drinks, spiritual holidays or romantic vacations. India has it all. The tourist destinations in India provide first-time visitors to India with a multitude of reasons why they should extend their time spent in the country. These visitors may leave India wishing they had more time to spend in India.

Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal

What to do? Traveling in India will not strain your finances in any way. In exchange, you will have the opportunity to indulge in mouthwatering cuisine, witness breathtaking panoramas, and participate in the most incredible activities. India is one of the top countries to visit if you are interested in its cuisine. People always warn you not to eat on the streets and to be extremely careful with your food and drinks.

The cost of meals at restaurants is $2, while lodging at a hostel ranges from $3 to $5. Some cities may be too much for you to handle at first, but most have areas where you can get away from the hustle and bustle for a while. If you have a slightly larger budget, there is no reason for you to stay in hostels during your trip. In India, nice accommodations in the middle range can be between $8 and $15 per room. How much does it really cost to backpack in India? No more than twenty dollars per day.

Sri Lanka

Why Sri Lanka? Sri Lanka’s tropical climate, beautiful beaches, and incredible cuisine are just a few reasons to add it to your travel bucket list. If you immerse yourself in the local culture, Sri Lanka is one of the best countries to backpack. It is possible that it is not one of those backpacking destinations ideal for beginners because getting around can be both an exciting adventure and a hassle at times. Still, at least English is widely spoken, which makes things a great deal simpler.

Tea Plantation in Sri Lanka
Tea Plantation in Sri Lanka

What to do? In this island nation known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, you can study history at the ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya, observe a massive gathering of Asian elephants at Minneriya National Park, or catch some waves at Arugam Bay or Hikkaduwa. Those who have traveled to Sri Lanka know that the island is a natural beauty and a backpacking gem, even though it is frequently overshadowed by India, which is located nearby. Traveling from jungle-covered mountains to beaches with white sand is made relatively easy by a rail system that is slow but scenic, and the vibrant array of local dishes that are available will send almost every traveler to foodie heaven.

Georgia

Why Georgia? Georgians believe that a guest is a messenger sent from God, and as a result, they treat visitors to their homes with the same warmth and hospitality as any close friend or family member. If you make friends with a resident of this area, you can be certain that they will invite you into their home and treat you like royalty if you become their friend. They might even tour the area and tell you stories about the nation’s past. During the nine days you spend traveling through Georgia, take the opportunity to partake in a traditional Georgian meal with a local family.

Tbilisi Old Town in Georgia by Mariusz Kluzniak via Flickr cc
Tbilisi Old Town in Georgia by Mariusz Kluzniak via Flickr cc

What to do? The country’s landscapes range from glaciers to beaches. Georgia is the place to go if you want a varied vacation. The country’s breathtaking nature makes for a memorable trip. Moreover, visiting the Black Sea would certainly make this trip memorable.  They say the first view of the Black Sea is absolutely phenomenal. Batumi is Georgia’s Black Sea metropolis, promenades abound. Relatively, Georgia is for foodies. You’ll love this if you like hearty dishes, fresh vegetables, great herbs, great meat, and great gatherings. Georgians value food highly. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to make and eat Acharuli Khachapuri. Additionally, Georgia is an ancient wine-growing region. Georgians grew wine 8,000 years ago. For Georgians, their wine is a national treasure. They’re happy to share it with visitors.

Peru

Why Peru? Peru is a country full of contrasts that come to light after discovering its diverse culture, history, geography, biodiversity, and gastronomy, from the coastal lands of the capital and the dunes of Ica, crossing the Andes Mountain Range up to the Peruvian Amazon. Peru is a destination that is one of a kind, multicultural, and vibrant in color.

Backpacking in Peru
Backpacking in Peru

What to do? Peru is one of the few places in the world that can be described as having everything to offer. A trip to Machu Picchu should be on the bucket list of every traveler interested in backpacking. Other essential activities include paddling through the Amazon in a dugout canoe and learning about the vibrant culture of the Andes.

When it’s time to recharge, make your way to one of the backpacker hangouts on the Pacific coast for some surf, sun, and laid-back beach parties.

Laos

Why Laos? Laos is known as the “Land of a Million Elephants,” and it is renowned for the breathtaking landscapes, ethnic villages, and unexplored lands that can be found there. It is best known for some of the most spectacular waterfalls in Southeast Asia, such as Tad Fane and Dong Hua Sao, which are located there. Furthermore, the people of Laos are undeniably the country’s greatest asset, and the fact that visitors to our website have ranked Laos so highly on this list says a lot about the country as a whole. When you visit this region, you enter a new world filled with adventure and cultural immersion opportunities around every corner.

Luang Prabang in Laos
Luang Prabang in Laos

What to do? Laos is meditative. Mindful living, soulful cuisine, and a blissful atmosphere. Laos offers temples, caves, forests, waterfalls, mountains, and adventure sports. 49 ethnic groups live in the country’s wild terrain. Laos’ tropical climate allows year-round travel. During November-January, a river cruise is possible when water levels are higher. Here are some must-see places in Laos.

Cambodia

Why Cambodia? Cambodia is a country in Southeast Asia that caters to tourists of all types and satisfies their every whim. The country has a reputation for being a party destination for backpackers and for preserving Southeast Asian traditions. Cambodia’s sleepy cities and towns are excellent places to learn about the country’s complicated history. In contrast, the beaches and palm-fringed islands are unspoiled and frequently uninhabited.

Angkor Wat by Laurentiu Marariu via Unsplash
Angkor Wat by Laurentiu Marariu via Unsplash

Its more remote regions beg to be explored by those with an adventurous spirit, as do its ancient temples, which are unrivaled in their crumbling grandeur.

What to do? Cambodia is a relatively small country, but it has everything one could want. You should consider going to Cambodia for two primary reasons: 1) It has an incredible amount of history and culture; 2) The natural scenery is breathtaking, ranging from the breathtaking national parks to the tranquil islands. 3) The food is delicious.

Nepal

Why Nepal? Nepal’s people are warm and welcoming, and the land is dotted with magnificent temples, monasteries, and historical monuments at virtually every turn. Nepal is a land where gods and humans live side by side in harmony. Mount Everest and the other snow-covered peaks that make up the Himalayas are native to this region. Together, they are known as Sagarmatha, which translates to “Goddess Mother of the World.”

Backpacking Nepal
Backpacking Nepal

What to do? The Himalayan nation of Nepal is a fantastic travel destination for families, groups, or solo travelers because it provides a wide variety of activities for people to participate in, including individualized wildlife safaris, rafting, nature hikes, and cultural outings.

Traveling to a foreign country for the first time is like a roller coaster of emotions. There are so many exciting experiences that it can be hard to take them all in. From experiencing new tastes and sounds to seeing new sights and meeting new people, your senses will be overloaded with myriad new experiences.

Follow #TeamOutofTown, on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest for more travel and backpacking-related stories. Do you have other backpacking destinations that you can recommend to first-time travelers? Please share your recommendations by posting a comment below!

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