Tourism in Asia is growing at a faster pace than anywhere else on the planet, according to travel industry experts. One of the most famous backpacking routes in Southeast Asia is the Banana Pancake Trail. It isn't so much a specific path marked out on a map. This historic trail, created by scores of counterculture explorers of the 1950s and 1960s, is a network of traveler-friendly, inexpensive hostels, cafes, bars, restaurants, and guest houses in popular backpacking areas such as Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos.

01Why Backpacking?

Photo of a tourist, travelling by foot and eager to learn about local lifestyle. He is capturing rememberable moments on his mobile phone. AleksandarNakic / Getty Images

Not all backpacking experiences require sleeping in a tent in the wilderness or on a beach or trekking through jungle terrain. The definition of "backpacking" has evolved in recent years. For most people, backpacking is a flexible, less-expensive way to explore the world, and Southeast Asia offers an amazing backpacking experience. The Banana Pancake Trail has established a reputation as one of the best backpacking experiences because of the variety of places to explore along the routes. Whether you plan on a two-week trek or a 9-month adventure, backpacking allows you to create a travel plan geared for the type of experience you choose.