What: Thailand is a hit with backpackers thanks to its dreamy beaches, jungle treks, rich culture – and the fact that everything is super cheap. Whatever you want can be acquired for next-to-nothing: pancakes, beach bungalows, massages or ladyboys. The country’s most famous backpacker ghetto is Bangkok’s Khao San Road.
What: Back in the Sixties, Kathmandu was a haven for hippies and dope-smokers. Fast forward a few decades and the streets are still full of travellers, especially in the Thamel district. But dig deeper and you’ll find World Heritage Sites and tasty food.
What: Top-notch surfing, shedloads of hashish and guaranteed sun make Morocco a hit with young travellers. The hippy beach resort of Essaouira is a pretty spot to chill out, do a cooking course and drink mint tea.
What: Sleepy Dahab is a mecca for backpackers thanks to its super-low prices and chilled atmosphere. When you’re not diving in the Red Sea, while away your time by sipping fruit juice in a beach cafe. You’ll come for a week and end up staying a month.
What: Delhi’s Paharganj neighbourhood is where the budget-conscious travellers head for cheap hostels, which can be tricky to find in India’s big cities. There’s an outdoor food market which merits exploration, but watch out for the hustlers.
– Janine Kelso