You will be hard pressed to beat Asia for budget travel using everything from cheap flights from Singapore, tuk-tuks in Thailand, boats from Manila, trains in Vietnam, horse carriages in Myanmar to Pedi cabs in Cambodia, travel in Asia is always a trip!
One of the neater things in Asia is the different modes of travel available to you on vacation. You want to see the scenery, so taking land transportation is going to be the cheapest, really allowing you to see the country and save money to boot.
In most of Asia the two most common budget stretching modes are buses and trains.
Buses today in most of the region are in fairly good condition going from the major cities on major routes. On a cost per mile basis they usually are the best performers. First class buses will have rest room facilities on board as well as air-con. Most buses in Asia will have some sort of entertainment usually popular films on DVD or VCR players.
Trains in the Asian region are all over the place as far as comfort and how modern they are. For the most part expect the trains to be older. The first class on most trains are comfortable if a little pricy, but if you take over night trains you can save on a hotel night stay which will bring the real cost down, but depriving you of viewing all the scenery. Another benefit of night trains that I like is that most night trains will you get into a city early, so you can find out by examination and by talking to other travelers where the best deals are on cheap accommodations.
For the horses, Pedi cabs and tuk tuk’s those are best for local trips only, but they will almost always be the cheapest you will find in Asia and great for the photo albums.