The Banana Pancake Trail is a famous backpacking route through Southeast Asia that many travelers view as a rite of passage. There are four core countries that make up the route: Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. These countries are easy for backpackers to travel as a loop, which is why they are now considered the essential part of this trail. The route was affectionately nicknamed The Banana Pancake Trail because of the banana pancakes commonly served at guesthouses in this part of the world.

For long-term travelers, the Banana Pancake Trail is an affordable backpacking route with lots to see and do. Beyond the most common path, there are various extensions to the trail that take travelers to lesser-traveled parts of Asia, including Myanmar and Nepal. When following this trail, visitors might find themselves in one of these 10 countries.

10 Thailand

Thailand is a quintessential backpacking destination and has always been an essential part of the Banana Pancake Trail. Bangkok is the central hub for backpackers in Thailand with areas such as Khao San Road attracting travelers for its nightlife and cheap accommodation options. The Thai Islands, especially Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, and Koh Tao are also well-traveled by international visitors.

Northern Thailand has also become a hub for backpackers and digital nomads in recent years. Accommodation prices in Chiang Mai are typically lower than in the south of the country and there are plenty of authentic restaurants and activities to enjoy here. Take a Thai cooking class or visit the Elephant Sanctuary before boarding a slow boat to Laos via the Mekong Delta.

9 Laos

Laos doesn’t get as much attention among international travelers as Thailand or Vietnam, but it’s a budget backpacker’s dream and an important part of the Banana Pancake Trail. When completing the classic loop of the Banana Pancake Trail between Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia, many travelers arrive in Laos via a slow boat from Thailand. This starts their Laos adventure from Luang Prabang in the country's north.

One of the top things to do from Luang Prabang is to visit the Kuang Si Waterfalls. After exploring Luang Prabang, many travelers make their way to Vientiane. From there, it’s possible to take an overnight bus to Hanoi, Vietnam.

8 Vietnam

Vietnam wasn’t always part of the Banana Pancake Trail, since much of the country was war-torn until the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. Today, Vietnam has a booming backpacker scene from its northern capital of Hanoi to the bustling Ho Chi Minh City in the south. Travelers often choose to drive the country from North to South (or South to North) on a rented motorbike, sleeping at trendy yet affordable hostels along the way.

7 Cambodia

Cambodia links Vietnam and Thailand on the Banana Pancake Trail while offering many of its own attractions to travelers. Siem Reap is a backpacker hub with many people choosing to visit for the experience of watching the sunrise of Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is a collection of stunning temples that make up the largest religious structure in the world. Cambodia also boasts islands to rival Thailand’s, with lower prices and fewer tourists. Koh Rong is a popular island destination that travelers can reach from Phnom Penh.

Related: Everything You Need To Know About Angkor Wat, Cambodia's "Lost City"

6 Malaysia

Malaysia is a great addition to any trip around the Banana Pancake Trail. It’s easily accessible from Bangkok by flight or train to Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia has much to offer visitors and is 16.6% more affordable than Thailand, making it budget-friendly. Visit the Batu Caves on a day trip or explore Malaysia’s relaxed side by venturing out to the Perhentian Islands.

5 Myanmar

Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) opened to tourism in 2011, allowing travelers to experience the natural marvels of this country for the first time. Travelers frequently fly into Myanmar from Bangkok, starting their journey in Yangon or Mandalay. From there, one of the top things to experience is a sunrise in Bagan, where hot air balloons fly high over the many temples dotting the vast landscape. River cruises up the Irrawaddy River are also a popular choice for travelers who have a bit more money to spend on this luxury experience.

4 Indonesia

Indonesia is most well known among travelers for the Island of Bali, located West of Lombok and East of Java. Bali is a beautiful destination with a lively backpacker and digital nomad culture. Common areas to stay when passing through (or staying a while) are Canggu, Uluwatu, and Ubud. Canggu is a remote worker’s paradise with many cafes, co-working spaces, and gyms. Uluwatu is a coastal town that’s great for surfing and relaxation, offering a slower pace of life. For those traveling to Bali for its spiritual appeal, Ubud is where they’ll find yoga studios, healers, and other holistic practices.

Related: 10 Ways To Visit Bali On A Budget (With Tips)

3 Philippines

The Philippines is an archipelago of over 7000 islands offering travelers a chance to island-hop on a budget and enjoy some of the bluest waters in the world. International flights arrive in Cebu or Manila and from there, travelers will need to plan their route to various islands by domestic flight. Popular choices for those on the Banana Pancake Trail include Siargao, Palawan, or Boracay.

2 Nepal

Nepal is the farthest north travelers can go on the Banana Pancake Trail. Nepal borders China to the North and India to the South and is home to Mount Everest in the Himalayan Mountain Range. While Nepal is a great destination for trekking, most people traveling on the Banana Pancake Trail will simply stop off in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city, before heading south to India. Kathmandu has plenty of beautiful temples to visit, like Boudhanath Stoupa.

1 India

India is sometimes included on backpackers' journey along the Banana Pancake Trail if they have the time to get there. Though not as easily accessible from Southeast Asia as some other countries on the list, India has incredible food, budget-friendly prices, and amazing sites that attract visitors to explore the region. Travelers looking for budget accommodation and a chance to experience the yogi lifestyle head to Rishikesh. Others who are chasing warm waters and sandy beaches will prefer spending time in Goa, on India’s west coast.