The most affordable destinations in Asia Pacific


Australians are historically some of the world’s highest spenders when it comes to travel,but this year, more and more Aussies are exploring cheaper travel options closer to home, writes Andrew Shelton.

Analysis of almost 649,000 searches on across January 2016 shows that 70 per cent of all flight searches were to Asia Pacific destinations, with Aussies spending more than 54,000 hours collectively (the equivalent of around six years) following their wanderlust.

These findings formed part of the Cheapflights Compass, a new annual research piece revealing the most affordable destinations across the Asia Pacific region. We know that getting the ultimate travel deal requires balance across affordable airport, departure day and booking time, and this study provides an inspiration point, uncovering hidden gems that will allow you to expand horizons, not your wallet.


While the most popular search options were New Zealand, India, Philippines, China and Sri Lanka, bargain hunters can nab huge savings by instead looking to the most affordable airports – Indonesia, Thailand, Fiji, Malaysia and Singapore. For example, by choosing Singapore (one of the cheapest) over Manila (one of the most popular), you could save around $268 ex Perth, $263 ex Melbourne, $205 ex Darwin, $167 ex Sydney. Selecting Kuala Lumpur for business or adventure over Shanghai (one of the most searched destinations) could also deliver savings of $228 ex Brisbane, $241 ex Adelaide, $179 ex Melbourne and $149 ex Sydney, per fare.

The Cheapflights Compass breakdown also showed Bali’s airport ranked as the most affordable across every state bar Queensland (where it ranked second) and Myanmar’s Yangon emerged across the board as a highly affordable option, well ahead of more traditional off the beaten track destinations like Cambodia.

Departure days

With most Aussies seeking to fly out on Thursday or Friday, if you’re flexible on timing, shifting your departure day to a Wednesday could also help you save $25 per fare, while booking two to six months in advance rather than one to two months ahead will get you around $22 in savings per fare.

Check out the below summary to find how you could save more on your next holiday.

Top 10 most affordable Asia Pacific airports

From Sydney to:

Denpasar-Bali, Indonesia $482
Singapore $559
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia $561
Port Vila, Vanuatu $597
Nadi, Fiji $623
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea $643
Bangkok, Thailand $644
Langkawi, Malaysia $650
Penang, Malaysia $651
Phuket, Thailand $705

 From Melbourne Tullamarine to:

Denpasar-Bali, Indonesia $494
Singapore $511
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia $558
Penang, Malaysia $630
Langkawi, Malaysia $649
Bangkok, Thailand $655
Phuket, Thailand $656
Nadi, Fiji $673
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam $674
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia $683

 From Brisbane to:

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea $542
Denpasar-Bali, Indonesia $569
Port Vila, Vanuatu $609
Nadi, Fiji $657
Singapore $688
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia $715
Honiara, Solomon Islands $733
Noumea, New Caledonia $792
Manila, Philippines $804
Penang, Malaysia $844

 From Adelaide to:

Denpasar-Bali, Indonesia $482
Singapore $695
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia $722
Johor Bahru, Malaysia $786
Port Vila, Vanuatu $805
Nadi, Fiji $805
Bangkok, Thailand $843
Phuket, Thailand $854
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam $868
Manila, Philippines $890

 From Darwin to:

Denpasar-Bali, Indonesia $479
Dili, Timor Leste $500
Singapore $510
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia $569
Bangkok, Thailand $645
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam $646
Phuket, Thailand $657
Manila, Philippines $715
Phnom Penh, Cambodia $758
Balikpapan, India $767

 From Perth to:

Denpasar-Bali, Indonesia $284
Singapore $347
Penang, Malaysia $378
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia $379
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam $461
Phuket, Thailand $477
Bangkok, Thailand $478
Langkawi, Malaysia $480
Yangon, Myanmar $520
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia $536

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