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The rising cost of touristy locations prevents many from taking a holiday. However, there are a variety of beautiful and fascinating countries around the world that offer affordable accommodations and meals. Whether traveling as a couple or a family, consider planning a getaway to an exotic destination.

Penang, Malaysia

The island lies off the northwestern coast of Malaysia and earned the nickname “Pearl of the Orient.” The soft sandy beaches of Tanjung Bungah provide a chance to relax, enjoy the view and catch some sun. Gourmet cooks enjoy touring the Tropical Spice Garden. Learn more about Buddhists by visiting the exquisite Kek Lok Si Temple in Georgetown. Explore local culture by touring the Khoo Kongsi clan house, which is more than six centuries old. Dining options range from fancy restaurants to the street vendors that are popular with locals and visitors alike.

Xi’an, China

The capital city of Xi’an was established in the north-central region of the country and at one end of the historic Silk Road. Thirteen dynasties ruled the land for thousands of years, which makes the metropolis rich in culture and history. Guests have the chance to explore local heritage by visiting the Shaanxi History Museum. Exhibits include everything from items derived from emperor’s tombs to artifacts from the Silk Road. The Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum remains one of the most popular places to visit in order to see the amazing Terracotta Warriors that date back to 221 B.C. Art enthusiasts make a point of touring the Tang Bo Art Museum where you might also attend a calligraphy workshop.

Kochi, India

The metropolis remains an important port city along the country’s southwestern coast. The Indian spice trade made Kochi popular with many world countries for centuries. Venture to the old part of the city, which is known as Fort Kochi. Tour the Mattancherry Palace that dates back to 1555. The building features Dutch and Portuguese design and was a gift to the Raja. Bird watchers enjoy making a trip to the Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary. The location encompasses 2.74 hectares and cares for 35 species of birds, 17 butterfly species and six mammal species. The Museum of Kerala History enables guests to explore the heritage of the city. The facility also has an art gallery and a doll collection.