13 BEST Places to Travel Alone in Southeast Asia

By: Author Julie Julien

Posted on Last updated: January 25, 2024

Julie Julien from the travel blog Julie Around the Globe is guest author with her article on the best places to travel alone in Southeast Asia. My first solo trip was a backpacking trip for seven months to Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. But Julie has traveled on her own since 2016 and visited many more countries in Southeast Asia. This is one of my favorite regions of the world, for the people, the food, and the beaches – which also makes for some of the best solo travel destinations. My backpacking trip to Southeast Asia is still one of my best solo travel experiences ever. Read Julie’s picks for best places to travel solo in Southeast Asia.

Best Southeast Asia solo travel destinations including Kelimutu in Flores Indonesia one of the best solo travel destinations in the world

Traveling alone can be tough at times, but don’t let the fear of being lonely stop you from doing so. Southeast Asia is the perfect destination to start backpacking on your own.

There, you’ll get tons of opportunities to make new friends or find a travel buddy. Here is a list of the best places to visit when you’re solo traveling in Southeast Asia.

Best Places To Travel Alone In Southeast Asia

1. hanoi – vietnam.

Apart from being home to one of the best cuisines in the world (and the famous egg coffee), Hanoi is a perfect example of organized chaos. If you want to settle your nerves for life, try driving a scooter there.

Hanoi is a great base to explore Northern Vietnam, from there you can quickly get to the Halong Bay, Sapa and Ha Giang.

It’s also the perfect place to chill for a few days, they are tons of backpackers, cafés, restaurants, and bars. If you want to take a cooking class, Hanoi one of the best places in Vietnam to do so.

There are also a lot of cultural activities going on for locals as well as for foreigners.

Tips: Hostels in Hanoi sometimes have bedbugs. The staff usually respond quickly to fix the problem, but checking the last few reviews before booking can be a wise decision.

Hanoi Vietnam is a popular stop on many Southeast Asia travel routes

In Hanoi, besides great food, is a great base for exploring Northern Vietnam

2. HO CHI MINH – Vietnam

Some travelers swear by Hanoi other by Ho Chi Minh, also known as Saigon. The food is just as good, and everything is cheaper.

It’s also a great place to meet people, it’s full of hostels, and the CouchSurfing community is really active. There are also tons of events for expats and travelers where you can get the chance to meet more people.

And you can visit the city’s numerous museums or take a day trip to the Mekong Delta, the Cao Dai temple or the Cu Chi tunnels.

You may also like: 52 Solo Travel Quotes to Inspire Traveling Alone

Mekong Delta boat tour in Ho Chi Minh City (also known as Saigon) is a hotspot for Asia travel

Ho Chi Minh City – also known as Saigon – is where you can do a Mekong Delta boat tour


You might feel a bit alone at times if you’re solo traveling in Laos, but Luang Prabang is a great place to meet people. It’s a must-go for people visiting Laos, and the city is mostly kept alive by tourism.

There are a lot of hostels as well as middle-range accommodations and a few luxury hotels. The town is pretty small, so you can easily meet people.

Don’t miss the alms giving ceremony (inform yourself on how to behave before going to one) where people offer food to the monks, it takes place every morning.

There are also several incredibly beautiful waterfalls in the area and a cave temple worth visiting.

Luang Prabang is the religious capital of Laos – in the city, you’ll find dozens of temples and monasteries, some built centuries ago.

Luang Prabang in Laos in known for being one of the best solo travel destinations in Asia

Luang Prabang in Laos is a small town where you can easily meet other people while traveling

4. KOH RONG ISLAND – Cambodia

Careful here, if you go to Koh Rong you might never want to leave. It’s not yet crowded by tourists, but it’s more and more on backpackers’ radar.

It’s definitively a place to relax.

Here in Koh Rong island, no roads, internet access is scarce, and electricity doesn’t run 24/7. The shore is gorgeous with more than 40 kilometers (24 miles) of sandy beaches and crystal clear water.

There all kinds of accommodation options and several bars and restaurants. If you like partying, every month there’s a full moon party on a secluded beach only reachable by boat.

Solo travel Asia island hop to Koh Rong Cambodia for the stunning sunrise and sunset on the beach

Koh Rong Island in Cambodia is waiting for you with 24 miles (40 km) of white sand beaches

5. KOH PHI PHI – Thailand

Koh Phi Phi is a great place if you like partying and going to the beach. The island is super small, and everything is concentrated in the same area.

In Koh Phi Phi, you can party all night long on the beach, gazing at the stars, if you don’t like the song then just walk a few meters to the next bar.

You can also join a party boat (or a regular one) and go island hopping for a day. Near Koh Phi Phi, you’ll find Maya Bay, also known as the beach from the famous movie “The Beach.”

The bay area has been closed off to allow its restoration as tourism has had a terrible effect on the environment here. You can now only see the beach from a distance.

It’s supposed to re-open, but there’s no set date and the number of people allowed on the island will be limited. Thankfully, the area is still full of breathtaking beaches you can actually visit.

Learn more about Solo Travel to Thailand

Koh Phi Phi Thailand is popular for solo backpacker travel in Asia due to gorgeous beaches

Koh Phi Phi in Thailand is known for partying – but also do some island hopping to explore

6. KOH PHANGAN – Thailand

What would be a visit to Thailand without going to a world-renowned full moon party?

The full moon party at Koh Phangan is one of the biggest open-air parties in the world, it’s a must-live experience if you like partying.

If you cannot make it to the full moon, they also have half moon and dark moon parties.

Koh Phangan is not all about partying, the landscape is beautiful, the island is mostly undeveloped and full of lush vegetation.

The beaches on Koh Phangan are pristine, with crystal clear water and white sand, perfect for snorkeling.

Backpacking Southeast Asia, Koh Phangan Thailand's white sand beaches make it popular, along with the Full Moon Parties

Koh Phangan is the island in Thailand with the famous Full Moon Parties and great snorkeling

7. BALI – Indonesia

Bali is a backpackers and expats mecca, if there’s a place in Asia that has been entirely built for foreigners it’s Bali.

Among the most popular spots are Nusa Penida, Ubud, and Kuta. You’ll find Bali is one of the best places to travel alone in Asia.

Kuta is by far the most crowded area of Bali, that’s where you’ll find all the night clubs and bars, the beach there has nothing exceptional so unless you want to party head for Ubud or Nusa Penida.

Nusa Penida is more of a beach destination, while Ubud more of a nature and spiritual destination. In Ubud, you can find a hostel surrounded by rice paddy fields, see a traditional Balinese dance show and rent a scooter to visit the nearby Hindu temples.

Tip:  Remember that Indonesia is a deeply religious country, even if the vibe in Bali is more relaxed, don’t walk around in swimsuits unless you’re on the beach and cover yourself when you’re outside of touristy areas.

Temple in Bali Indonesia - one of the best places to travel solo

Visiting temples is one of the things to do while in BALI Indonesia – one of the best places to travel alone

8. FLORES – Indonesia

What is great about Flores is that if you decide to explore the island, there’s only one itinerary possible, so you’re bound to meet people who are heading the same way as you. You can easily find a travel buddy for a couple of days.

In Flores you can do some diving and see the famous Komodo Dragons, a short boat trip from Labuan Bajo to Komodo Island.

You can also spend a few days in Bajawa and visit several Ngada traditional villages, and don’t miss the beautiful Kelimutu volcano and its three colored lakes.

Any Southeast Asia trip should include a visit to see these volcanic crater lakes at Kelimutu Flores

In Indonesia be sure to plan a visit to see these volcanic crater lakes at Kelimutu on the island of Flores

9. SIQUIJOR – Philippines

Siquijor is a great island if you’re looking for a place to relax. It’s quiet, yet you won’t get bored. And it’s filled with hostels and bars playing live music most of the nights. Plus it’s also a great place to learn more about the Philippines’ faith healers.

In Siquijor you can go diving to nearby Apo Island, enjoy the beach and go waterfalls hopping.

Many travelers come to Siquijor, yet it’s far from being crowded with tourists. Most people stay in San Juan, that’s where you’ll find all the hostels, bars and restaurants.

There are also a couple of nicer hotels if you want to treat yourself. From San Juan, you can easily rent a scooter and explore the island.

Tips: most of the boats arrive in Larena or Siquijor (the town), it’s a bit far from San Juan and a private tricycle is expensive if you’re alone. If you arrive before 5 pm, you’ll find shared tricycles in both cities, at the market. You’ll have to change tricycle in Siquijor if you arrive in Larena.

Philippines - could be the best country to visit in Southeast Asia - with tropical islands like Siquijor (pictured)

In the Philippines enjoy pristine tropical settings like this one in Siquijor – one of the best places to travel in Asia

10. BORACAY – Philippines

Boracay is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Philippines , it’s also where you’ll find the most fellow travelers. It’s a great place to enjoy the beach and buzzing nightlife. Boracay is full of party hostels, bars, and nightclubs.

It was recently closed off to tourism (in April 2018) due to environmental issues and has been through several changes before it reopened in late 2018.

To develop a more sustainable type of tourism, numbers of visitors have been limited, and drinking on the beach has been banned, among other rules since the reopening of Boracay.

On any Southeast Asia trip solo travelers find Boracay Philippines beaches a great place to meet others

Boracay Philippines boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the Philippines

11. SIARGAO – Philippines

Siargao, also known as the surf capital of the Philippines, is one of the country’s tourism hot spots. As almost every island in the Philippines, beaches are gorgeous, and locals are friendly and welcoming.

Most people come to Siargao to surf, but there are tons of other activities you can do such as diving, snorkeling, partying, or simply going to the beach.

It has a really laid back vibe, it’s not over-developed and crowded like Boracay, but still, most backpackers coming to the Philippines include a stop to Siargao on their itinerary.

Siargao island known for surfing, is in the Philippines, one of the cheapest places to travel in Asia

Stunning Siargao is the surf capital of the Philippines


Georgetown, on Penang Island Malaysia , is a great place to meet people. There are a lot of expats there, and the city has an important cultural scene, with regular events and festivals. The town is famous for its street art, but a lot of other things are going on.

The Couchsurfing community is really strong there, they organize a lot of meetups and events for backpackers.

The nightlife is great, there are no big night clubs but a lot of bars with live music, pool tables, happy hours and such. Georgetown is also full of cute little cafes with great internet connections.

If you like trekking, you can also visit the Penang National Park and its beautiful Monkey Beach.

Welcoming white sand beaches of Penang Malaysia - one of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia

Welcoming white sand beaches of Penang Malaysia – one of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia


Even though Singapore is a huge city, it’s a breath of fresh air when you’ve been traveling through SEA for a while. It’s clean, there are sidewalks, and public transportation is well organized.

Singapore is a cosmopolitan country, a blend of hundreds of different cultures. It has a lot to offer, and whether you like museums, nature, architecture, history, culture, gastronomy or partying, you’ll find something you like.

Most hostels are in Chinatown or Little India. Both are great neighborhoods to meet other backpackers and explore the city.

Hostels organize a lot of activities. You should try joining a walking or cycling tour of the town, it’s an excellent way to socialize.

Tip: if you’re coming by bus from Malaysia, there’s a scam going on where the bus driver won’t wait for you at the border, and you’ll be forced to buy another ticket to get to the center. To avoid this, make sure you keep your bus ticket and don’t take the last bus of the day, this way you can get on the next bus from the same company.

Singapore with its modern conveniences is a great choice when traveling alone in Asia

Singapore is a beautiful and modern city country in Southeast Asia

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13 Best Solo Female Travel Destinations in Southeast Asia

How about you? Do you have a favorite place in Southeast Asia where it’s easy to meet people while traveling solo ? Leave your comment below.

You may also enjoy reading Solo Traveler’s Guide to Surviving Japan and Melaka Malaysia Itinerary

Not sure you are ready to travel solo? Read these posts for encouragement and advice.

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About the author : Julie Julien has been traveling full time since 2016 and is always on the lookout for great destinations and travel hacks. She shares her best travel experiences on her blog Julie Around the Globe and aims to inspire others to travel more and to places less known. Follow Julie on Instagram .
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Southeast Asia Travel Guide For Solos

Southeast Asia travel guide

Types of Girls about the Globe (GatG) – Backpacker GatG, Beach GatG, Budget GatG, Cultural GatG, Nature GatG, Ocean GatG, Spiritual GatG

If you're looking to solo travel in Asia , Southeast Asia is a great place to start. In this article I cover everything you need for solo travelling in Southeast Asia

Asia is the largest continent and divided into several regions from the ‘Stans’ in Central Asia to Indonesia in the south. Buddhist temples and culture can be found all over Southeast Asia and this region is by far the cheapest on the continent.

Southeast Asia is made up of: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Lester, Vietnam, and Christmas Island.

This article includes the top destinations in Southeast Asia for solos, a summary of each country, the must-sees and how to get around. Discover the best tours for solos, how much to budget, and itineraries for Southeast Asia. Just click on the relevant section or scroll down for the whole article.

Southeast Asia Travel Guide

  • Christmas Island
  • Philippines
  • Timor Leste

Best Time To Visit Southeast Asia

Southeast asia tours, travelling around southeast asia, budget for southeast asia, southeast asia travel itinerary, travel insurance for southeast asia, related posts.

Southeast Asia is a traveller’s dream. It’s welcoming, cheap and very easy to get around. Many travellers follow a certain trail, so it’s easy to meet people and perfect for the first- time traveller. The most popular backpacking countries are Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Malaysia. There are so many places to see that you’ll be spoilt for choice: visit Cambodia for Angkor Wat, Vietnam for Halong Bay, Laos for Vang Vieng, marvel at the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, visit orangutans in Borneo and take a river cruise in Singapore, or enjoy an island beach holiday in the Philippines or Bali.

What countries are in Southeast Asia?

Southeast Asia is known for: Buddhism, culture, temples, martial arts, and diving. See the list below for which country to visit depending on your interests:

Cambodia – Angkor Wat, Pol Pot history, Mekong River, rice paddies.

Christmas Island – Red crabs, beaches, nature, diving.

Indonesia – Diving, Komodo dragons, fossils, volcanoes, surfing, islands, beaches.

Laos – Culture, trekking, mountains, adventure, tribal villages.

Malaysia – Petronas Towers, tea plantations, wildlife, primates, hiking, heritage, islands, tribes, motor racing.

Myanmar – Ancient ruins, temples, culture, hiking, floating villages.

Philippines – Islands, diving, adventure, palm-fringed beaches, festivals, whale sharks, shopping, nature, flora and fauna, spas.

Singapore – Shopping, Raffles Hotel, nightlife, quayside, Sentosa Island.

Thailand – Hill tribes, full-moon parties, beaches, cheap cuisine, Buddhism, temples, monkeys, cooking classes, fishing villages, limestone karsts, diving.

Timor Leste – Untouristy, mountains, reefs and ancient traditions.

Vietnam – War history, motorbiking, landscapes, lakes, Halong Bay, cuisine, Mekong River, hill tribes.

Southeast Asia Travel Guide

Cambodia – 4 stars

Types of Girls about the Globe (GatG) – Cultural GatG, History GatG, Nature GatG

There’s something about Cambodia that draws you in: its soul, its tragic past and its people will leave a mark on your heart. It is a country that still ranks among the world’s poverty hot spots yet the people seem so happy. For women travelling solo, Cambodia is cheap to travel through, has great value guest houses (with an honesty policy for food and drinks) and is miles away from the bustle of other Asian cities.

Cemented roads don’t really exist here and you’ll be travelling along dirt tracks past small villages with chickens and goats roaming around and children running out to wave and shout “hello.”

Cambodia tourism is no stranger to dark tourism and remnants of the rule of the Khmer Rouge three decades before are now tourist sites in the capital, Phnom Penh. The Killing Fields are now a tranquil place with a memorial of the 70,000 people killed here in a glass case of skulls. The S21 Prison, now a museum used to be a school until 1975 when the Khmer Rouge began their grisly regime. Visit the Cu Chi, a network of tunnels used during the Vietnam War.

The highlights of Cambodia are in Siem Reap. A visit to the Khmer temples at Angkor Was is simply magical especially at sunrise. Trek through the Cardamom Mountains, sail along the Mekong River and delve into the Khmer culture watching traditional dancing.

* Read more: Solo Travel in Cambodia

Southeast Asia Travel Guide

Christmas Island – 2 stars

Types of Girls about the Globe (GatG) – Nature GatG, Ocean Girl GatG

South-west of Indonesia lies Christmas Island. This island is pretty remote but you can fly to Christmas island from either Fiji or Perth in Australia. Christmas Island is definitely one for the ocean and wildlife Girl about the Globe with plenty of nature and culture mixed in too. Watch the red crabs on their migration, or dive in one of the many   dive sites. You can also see whale sharks if you time your visit just right. With walking trails, and a National Park nearly the same size as the island, this far away island is definitely one for the travel wish list (and you may even be one of the first of your friends to visit!)

* Read more: A Guide To Christmas Island

Southeast Asia Travel Guide

Indonesia – 3 stars

Types of Girls about the Globe – Party GatG, Spiritual GatG, Cultural GatG, Coffee GatG, Nature GatG

Think of Indonesia and you’ll probably think of Bali, one of the country’s thousands of islands and the most popular for solo female travellers. Indonesia shares its borders with Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and Timor Leste. The capital is Jakarta, the largest city in Indonesia and a sprawling metropolis. There are shopping malls here, a palace, cathedral and National Museum but the beauty lies in its tropical islands which you can reach from Ancol Bay. Learn about Betawi culture at Setu Babakan, explore the historical heritage in Old Jakarta or just spend a few days soaking up island life in your own beach hut.

Bali attracts all types of solo from party GatG to spiritual and cultural GatGs, and Its popularity has also increased since the book Eat Pray Love, where Elizabeth Gilbert found her spirituality. The island is now a mecca for those seeking meditation and yoga retreats. Its paradise location cultivates creativity and writing retreats draw those wanting to create their storytelling masterpiece.

Kuta Beach is overrun with travellers and Australian party dwellers, and you’ll find spiritual and creative solos in Ubud. The island also attracts couples who tend to stay in the Nusa Dua region. The island is known as the Island of the Gods and the Balinese will greet you with a warm welcome. Their religion is Hindu and they are mostly kind, gentle people. 

Other highlights of Indonesia are the Komodo Islands, just a short haul flight from Bali and home to Komodo Dragons which are a must-see if you are planning a trip to Indonesia. Just a ferry ride away from Bali is Nusa Penida with beautiful cliffs and tree houses to stay in. Then there’s Lombok, which is a larger island and less touristy where you can see the traditions of the Sasak people or swim with turtles.

Central Java is near Jakarta and home to Yogyakarta with UNESCO World Heritage Sites and ancient temples, as well as Mount Bromo, an active volcano that you can trek to (or take a motorcycle taxi to the base). Bandung is also reachable from Jakarta and is perfect for the nature Girl about the Globe with pine forests and beautiful mountains. There is so much more to Indonesia than just Bali.

* Read more: Solo Travel in Bali

Southeast Asia Travel Guide

Laos – 4 stars

Types of Girls about the Globe (GatG) – Nature GatG, Cultural GatG, Party GatG

Laos may not be as popular as its neighbours Thailand or Cambodia but this land-locked country in South East Asia is rich in Asian culture and shouldn’t be overlooked. Still a developing country, solo travel in Laos for a laid back vibe, UNESCO World Heritage and plenty to see and do.

Ventiane is the ultra cosmopolitan capital and largest city of Laos, with its tree shaded streets hiding an abundance of cafes, restaurants and bars. It is little wonder that Vientiane was the haven for many a spy during the Cold War years, with its French influences and steamy tropical heat inducing an almost sleepy utopia.

Sitting on the Nam Song (Song River), Vang Vieng is renowned as a backpackers' and extreme sport hunters' haunt. A mere four-hour bus ride from Vientiane, its limestone karst rock hill formations create a landscape that is breathtaking in its beauty. Known for its river tubing, kayaking, trekking and rock climbing, the backpacker market has held this town firmly in its grasp for years.

Luang Prabang is a gastronomist’s dream with its many bars, restaurants and cafes of differing cuisines such as Laos, Thai, French, Indian and Italian. It is the town of monks and markets and is rich in culture and history. If you’re planning to fly into Bangkok then I recommend travelling in a circle through Cambodia, Vietnam and finishing in Laos, before crossing the border back to Thailand.

* Read more: Solo Travel in Laos

Southeast Asia Travel Guide

Malaysia – 4 stars

Types of Girls about the Globe – Cultural GatG, Cuisine GatG, Wildlife GatG

Malaysia is a land of sweeping coastlines and coral-fringed islands where mountains meet dense rainforests and unspoiled wilderness. It may not have the exhilarating nightlife of Thailand or be as cheap but it is more laid back and less crowded and is bursting with heritage, culture, islands, beaches and Highlands.

Kuala Lumpur is a top Malaysia holiday destination. It is a beautiful city with a mix of architecture from the Victorian old train station to a mini Opera House. Spending time in the capital is a must if not just for the sparkling Petronas Towers, which were once the tallest towers in the world at 452 metres high.

From Kuala Lumpur you can take various day trips to places such as the Batu Caves, an important place of worship for Hindus. The limestone cave temples and tallest statue of a Hindu god in Malaysia is only a short train ride away. 

Other highlights of Malaysia are: the Temple of the Goddess of Heaven found in Kuala Lumpur, the city of Putrajaya with its 20th century architecture and mosque, and the Cameron Highlands where you can cool off from the Malaysian heat amongst tea plantations and bee farms.

For the adventurous Girl about the Globe you can climb Mount Kinabalu, the highest point in Southeast Asia, or get cultural at a colourful performance in Kuching. Borneo is one for the wildlife solo with orang-utans and proboscis monkeys. From UNESCO World Heritage Sites to highlands and wildlife, Malaysia is a good destination for solos.

* Read more: Solo Travel in Malaysia

Southeast Asia Travel Guide

Myanmar – 3 stars

Types of Girls about the Globe – Cultural GatG, Nature GatG, Spiritual GatG

Only recently opened to tourism, Myanmar is one of the world’s best-kept secrets; a relatively undiscovered country drenched in rich Buddhist culture that forms part of the Golden Triangle and borders the Northern tribes of Thailand.

No trip to Myanmar is complete without a visit to Bagan. This sacred plain is beautifully filled with 2,200 pagodas and temples which poke out from lush local plantations and palm forests. Apart from the Buddhist sites, Bagan is also a cultural destination with the fascinating Nyang Oo market, incredible mural arts and famous lacquer traditional workshops.

Inle Lake is a destination that should definitely be on your bucket list. While Bagan is full of Buddhist wonders, Inle showcases its unique lake through a captivating floating garden, and eye catching stilt villages.

Situated on a small hill in the heart of Yangon, the iconic Shwedagon represents the magnificence of Buddhist architecture. Reflecting through its giant, yellow dome, spacious praying houses.

Mandalay isn't just a charming place to visit. For those who like adventure, you will quickly fall in love with unpaved roads seemingly designed for mountain bike rides. When you need more inspiration, take a train journey over Goteik, once the highest viaduct in the world or trek to Anisakan Falls instead.

Other highlights in Myanmar include Ngapali Beach, a long strip of sand by the Andaman Sea, with hotels and resorts and plenty of rural tranquility.

Once, one of the most important ports on the legendary Silk Road, Mrauk U now is one of the third largest archaeological sites in Asia along with Angkor Wat and Bagan. Then there’s the core charm of Mandalay with its Royal relics and imperial sites. But you can’t go all the way to Myanmar without exploring the Mergui Archipelago and its hundreds of islands. Myanmar is definitely an interesting country to visit but make sure you see it soon before it becomes overrun with tourists.

* Read more: Places To Go in Myanmar

Southeast Asia Travel Guide

Philippines – 4 stars

Types of Girls about the Globe (GatG) – Beach GatG, Diving GatG

If you love a beach and an island vibe then the Philippines definitely has to be on your list. Don’t spend too much time in the capital, Manila. Instead, leave the hustle and bustle behind and head straight to one of the islands.

If you stay for a few days in the city, there are plenty of shopping opportunities and museums to keep you busy. Visit Luneta Park and the historic walled city of Intramuros, also located in the vicinity. A little bit further out, but well worth a visit, is the Pinto Art Museum at Antipolo, which features exhibits from a wide range of Filipino artists. The museum is spread out through a number of inter-connected mission-style buildings set in well maintained tropical gardens.

There are more than 7,000 islands here so white-sand beaches go without saying and some of these like the ones in Palawan or Siargao are nothing short of beautiful but there are so many more to island hop to. You can even find pink beaches at Zamboanga, Northern Samar, two in Sorsogon, Davao Oriental, Camarines Norte, and Palawan.

It’s not all about the beaches though as for the active Girl about the Globe there are plenty of mountain trails to hike and climb. There’s even a Treasure Mountain with views of the Sierra Madre ranges from the top.

If you love adventure, take an ATV off road in the Rizal province or along sandy dunes in Paoay, or see one of the country’s many volcanoes such as Mount Pinatubo in Tarlac or Mount Mayon in Albay, in all their geothermal glory.

If you prefer exploring caves, you can kayak from the Underground River to Palawan, or stay on land and see prehistoric drawings at the Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs Site. There’s a reason that the Philippines has 3 of the world’s top beaches: they’re amazing!

* Read more: Where To Go in The Philippines

Southeast Asia Travel Guide

Singapore – 5 stars

Types of Girls about the Globe – City and Sightseeing GatG, Shopping GatG

If you are thinking of solo travel in Singapore, you can’t pick a safer country to travel to. That's why we've given it 5 out of 5 stars. Laws are very strict and you can get fined for just throwing chewing gum on the floor. People are friendly so you’ll have no problems if you get lost and need to ask for directions. 

Sentosa Island in Singapore is the place to be. It is an island on the peninsula with a megazip adventure park and lots of other things to do, or choose to take the night safari at the Singapore zoo to see rhinos up close and personal.

One of the nicest buildings here is the gorgeous Thian Hock Keng Temple, an architectural masterpiece and national monument which is dedicated to the Taoist goddess of the sea. It is Singapore's most important Hokkien temple and dates back to 1839.

Sri Mariammam Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in the city. It is built in a Dravidian style, and located in Chinatown. Don’t forget to take photos of the Merlion, a mythical creature with the body of a fish and a head of a lion which you’ll find dotted all over the city.

If the city gets too much, there are plenty of spaces to escape to in Singapore. MacRitchie Reservoir Park has a suspended bridge through the tree tops as well as plenty of nature trails to hike. If you love flowers the Singapore Botanic Gardens has the most stunning orchid garden. This is Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a 80-hectare space of tropical paradise with waterfalls and a rainforest to lose yourself in.

Then there are the quays with international restaurants and bars where you can meet others and enjoy a picturesque walk along the river or on a river cruise. Don’t forget to pop into Raffles Hotel for a classic Singapore Sling or visit the Marina Bay Sands hotel for a spectacular view of the city.

* Read more: Solo Travel in Singapore

Southeast Asia Travel Guide

Thailand – 4 stars

Types of Girls about the Globe (GatG) – Beach GatG, Cultural GatG, Diving GatG, Party GatG, Spiritual GatG, Tribal GatG 

Thailand’s hospitality is known as one of the friendliest in the world. If you choose to travel solo here you are guaranteed royal treatment and service fit for a queen. Completely geared up for the tourist industry, Thailand is incredibly easy to visit, with great transport links, stunning accommodation and the guarantee of meeting many other like-minded solos.

However, Thailand has more to offer than hill-tribe treks and rice paddies. Surrounded by limestone karsts, the islands have a party atmosphere that will satisfy the hardest clubber or, if it’s tranquillity that you need, head to the lesser-known islands, south of Bangkok. Thais are especially friendly, but you need to be careful at night, as there have been cases of drink spiking, so don’t accept any drinks bought for you from strangers.

Unfortunately Thailand is now very touristy and the culture of Thailand is slowly vanishing as they tailor themselves too much for tourists in my view but if you travel north to the Golden Triangle to Chiang Rai and even Chiang Mai, you can visit hill tribes that live here. This is where the Karon tribe live and you may have seen the iconic pictures of the Long Neck Karon with gold rings around their necks. Taking part in a hill tribe trek helps the tribes sustain their way of life and goes towards schools and agriculture. Staying overnight in a wooden house on stilts with buffalos and chickens roaming below is such an experience and an insight into their humble lives.

Shopping in Thailand is very cheap and you'll find department stores in the capital and markets and outdoor street sellers in the smaller towns selling clothes, bags and accessories. The Thais do seem to be on the more petite side so the clothes seem smaller than European sizes. Be careful not to buy any fake goods from market sellers though. They may seem like a great bargain but you don’t know what your money may be funding and you may even get fined. If you're looking to relax, where better than on the amazing beaches of Thailand. You don't have to go far to get pampered either as the Thai ladies find you on the beach and offer you massages, manicures and hair braiding whilst you sunbathe.

* Read more: Solo Travel in Thailand

Timor Leste – 2 stars

Types of Girls about the Globe (GatG) – Diving GatG, History GatG

Timor Leste isn’t usually a destination visited by many solo females. It is very untouristy and off the beaten track but if you do come here expect plenty of nature of underwater life such as the dugong. The reefs here are ideal for the diving Girl about the Globe. History solos can delve into the country’s dark history in the capital’s museums, and see the Cristo Rei de Dili statue standing tall above the city. It is recommended to take a tour here rather than travel independently.

* Read more: Welcome To Timor-Leste

Southeast Asia Travel Guide

Vietnam – 4 stars

Types of Girl about the Globes (GatGs) – Cuisine GatG, History GatG, Sailing GatG, Nature GatG, Dark Tourism GatG, Cultural GatG, Tribes GatG.

If you are planning a trip to Southeast Asia, look no further than Vietnam. Although it’s often overshadowed by Thailand and Cambodia, its Asian neighbours, Vietnam is a surprising country with some areas still relatively untouched.

With a natural beauty, and a diverse terrain, you can spend time sailing on beautiful bays, trekking in the mountains, floating down the Delta, or exploring old French Colonial towns. Enough people speak English here to get by and you’ll have no problem being understood in Ho Chi Minh, the capital.

Ho Chi Minh is a city wired for action with a growing art and music scene. See the beautiful architecture by day and experience the nightlife when the sun goes down.

Spend time visiting old war relics, museums, the red-brick Notre Dame Cathedral, or just relax in one of the guesthouses along the riverfront. You’ll find company in the backpacker area of Le Loi and plenty of rooftops to mingle on.

For great views of the city head to the Panorama Saigon Trade Centre (which was once the highest building) or the Bitexco Financial Tower which is the highest. Close to the palace you can pick up cheap goods at Ben Thanh market.

Highlights of Vietnam include: staying with a hill tribe in Sapa, and the Cu Chi tunnels used by the Vietnamese during the Vietnam War as a way to transport supplies and as living quarters. Take a boat cruise in Halong Bay, sail along the Mekong River, or head to the beach in Nha Trang. With Central Highlands, lakes and old French towns to explore, Vietnam is a popular destination with solo female travellers.

* Read more: Solo travel in Vietnam

If you are planning a trip to Southeast Asia, there is a rainy season which is generally between June to October. Although seeing a country during its wet season is often cheaper and more spectacular with lush greenery and cooler evenings. Just because a country is listed as having a rainy season doesn’t necessarily mean it is monsoonal or that it rains constantly throughout the day. It may only rain for a few hours at night before the sun comes out, so you can still get on the beach during the morning or afternoons.

Here are the months when you can expect rain for each country. Bear in mind that this can differ though so check the forecast on Weather2Travel before you book. 

  • Cambodia – November to April
  • Indonesia – April to October
  • Laos – November to March
  • Malaysia – May to September
  • Myanmar – November to February
  • Philippines – December to March
  • Singapore – April to August
  • Thailand – November to March
  • Timor Leste – November to April
  • Vietnam – January to March

There are so many tours you can choose from in Southeast Asia. Sustainable tour companies such as G Adventures and Intrepid Travel both offer multiple trips to the region depending on which countries you want to travel to. The tours can differ according to activities and depending on who you have in your group, so check the daily itineraries to see which one is the perfect fit for your trip.

Backpacking Southeast Asia is easy but if you prefer some company for all or part of your trip here are our recommended tours from our solo female community.

G Adventures Southeast Asia

G Adventures is a responsible tour company which mainly caters towards budget travellers. Most tours have a maximum of 15 people and are 18-30 tours in Asia with an age limit to thirty somethings. Once you book your trip you pay extra for any excursions you want to do when you’re there.

G Adventures Asia tours range from an 8 day Southern Thailand Sojourn exploring the nightlife and national parks, a 14 day highlights of Sumatra full of beachside bliss and hot springs, to a 40 day Epic Bangkok to Kuta adventure seeing beaches, forests and volcanoes. I have personally used G Adventures and you can read my review here .

* Click here for all Southeast Asia tours, itineraries and prices: G Adventures

G Adventures Myanmar – 11 Days

If you love snorkelling join the Myanmar Islands: snorkelling and village hikes beginning and ending in Bangkok. Spend time in Thailand’s capital city before hopping on a short flight to Ranong in Myanmar for a trek to hilltop pagodas within this colourful port city. Take a river cruise on a traditional boat, kayak through canals, and mingle with the local villagers on your lunch stop.

The Mergui Archipelago is where you can island hop. You’ll get to experience waterfalls, and jungle before seeing the indigenous Moken community. The tour includes all accommodation in simple hotels, hostels or guesthouses and daily breakfasts plus some additional meals.

* Click here for tour information, prices and the full itinerary  

G Adventures Indonesia – 14 Days

See the best of Indonesia on their Indonesia: Hammocks & Hikes tour starting in the bustling city of Jakarta and ending in Kuta, Bali. See the floating villages at Cianjur, hike to Mount Bromo on the Ancestor Trail then party on the island of Bali.

You’ll be taking the scenic train to Yogyakarta to see Javanese temples, and spend the evening at a G Adventures-supported homestay. Accommodation is in simple and clean hostels and hotels with plenty of optional activities such as village walks and surfing lessons to keep you busy. This trip is an 18 to thirty something tour.

* Click here for tour information, prices and the full itinerary

Vietnam and Cambodia Tours – 17 Days

Join the Essential Vietnam & Cambodia tour for 17 days which begins in Hanoi and ends in Bangkok. Experience staying overnight on a sailing boat in Halong Bay, cruising the Mekong River, and witnessing the stunning temples of Angkor Wat.

Learn how to cook Vietnamese-style, visit the My Son ruins and visit a G Adventures-supported project in Hoi An. The tour is a mix of public and private transport including an overnight train in Vietnam and includes all breakfasts and some dinners too.

G Adventures Southeast Asia Reviews

“In 2016 I did the Best of Eastern Europe tour & in 2018 I did Classic Vietnam Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. Both were amazing trips with some wonderful people. In about a month and a half I will be doing the Best of Egypt tour with my parents and brother. I recommend this company to anyone that asks me about group tours or says they are nervous to travel totally solo. I really enjoyed both trips and wouldn’t hesitate to travel with them again. Loved my tour with G Adventures! It was a great way to head out “solo” for the first time and I met some amazing people along the way!” – Laura Hampton

“I have done India, Nepal, Thailand and Peru with G and I would recommend them to anyone who is a bit worried about travelling on their own or want a group tour. I was so worried about going on my own the first time, but G Adventures made it so easy and started my love of solo travel. I’ve met some amazing people who I still see and some who have become travel buddies! They operate sustainable tourism and always give back to local charities that you usually get to meet as well.” – Zoe, solo female traveller from the UK

“I've travelled with G Adventures multiple times. I can't recommend them enough! Everything is handled and you get what you pay for and so much more. They are amazing.   I’ve now travelled with them five times across the world” – Simone Starholm

best solo travel destinations south east asia

Intrepid Tours

Intrepid Travel is similar to G Adventures with an average of 12 people on each tour. Over 50% of people who book their trips are solo travellers. They tend to use hotels instead of hostels and have a more comfortable style of accommodation hence the trips can appear a bit more than G Adventures. 

Intrepid Tours Asia range from a 7 day Phuket sailing adventure in Thailand, a 9 day Cambodia: hike, bike and kayak, to an epic 30 day South East Asia loop travelling through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos exploring the heart and soul of the region.

With both G Adventures and Intrepid Travel you share a room with someone of the same gender. There is also the option to pay extra for your own room.

* Click here for all Southeast Asia tours, itineraries and prices: Intrepid Travel Asia

Intrepid Travel Myanmar – 9 Days

If you’re short on time, the Myanmar Highlights tour takes you to all the main sites in the country and ensures that you don’t miss out. This 9 day journey begins in Bagan and ends in Yangon. See the amazing Bagan temples on bicycle, witness the Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset, and canoe along Inle Lake past its floating islands and village industries.

You also have the opportunity to learn how to cook like a local and support a community library initiative at the same time. This tour is a great starting point to Myanmar but they also have a Best of Myanmar trip for 15 days if you have longer.

Intrepid Bangkok to Singapore – 15 Days

Fly into Thailand and out of Singapore on this 15 day trip, starting in Bangkok and travelling through Malaysia. This trip is perfect for foodie Girl about the Globes as you’ll be cooking authentic Thai dishes, and discovering a different side of Kuala Lumpur amongst the street food and the city’s cuisine. For nature lovers you can hike through Khao Sok National Park and take a traditional long tail boat through along its lake.

Kayak through mangrove forests at Ao Thalane, and wander past colonial buildings and street art in Penang. You’ll be travelling overland on this trip so there are some far distances to cover including on an overnight train but it’s a great way to see the best of this region in a two week trip.

Intrepid Best of Vietnam Cambodia Tour – 18 Days

If you have longer than two weeks, explore the best of Vietnam and Cambodia on their 18 day tour. Beginning in Hanoi in Vietnam this comprehensive tour takes you past the limestone karsts of Halong Bay on a boat tour before losing yourself in the charm of Hoi An, and learning more about this country’s history in Hue.

You get to travel on the back of a motorbike past historical pagodas and rural farms to meet local producers, and see the wonder that is Angkor Wat on a guided tour before ending in Bangkok. The tour includes all hotels, an overnight boat and sleeper train and daily breakfasts as well as some other meals. It’s a great way to see the best of these two countries.

Intrepid Asia Reviews

“I’ve been on a number of Intrepid trips including Burma which was good with Intrepid. My daughter has also used G Adventures in India and Sri Lanka and said it was good. The tour ended up being only females.” – Debi Slinger

“I’ve traveled with intrepid through turkey and Southeast Asia on 3 separate trips. I loved the small groups; they’re a great way to meet people without being overwhelming! Everything was always well organised with great leaders but without feeling too rushed. We always had plenty of free time, so you were never being herded around like a typical tour group. The company also has some great values in terms of the environment, animal welfare, and supporting the communities they travel to. I can’t recommend them enough!” – Rhiannon Hayhurst

“I just did an Intrepid Bali tour and it was great. I’m going to do Thailand in December!” – Laura McCo

Getting around Southeast Asia is easy. Air Asia regularly have cheap internal flights, which is perfect if you are restricted by time. As an example, you can fly internally to Kuala Lumpur from Jakarta for just $20 one way.

Throughout most of Southeast Asia there are good bus systems which take you across the border from Thailand to Malaysia. There is also a railway line here to Taman Negara National park and the Perhentian Islands. From Malaysia you can take the train to Singapore, which also has a reliable bus system. Local buses operate in Indonesia, along with tourist buses and boats to the islands. If you’re looking for a lift, climbing aboard a pick-up truck is common in Thailand.

Taking the overnight train ride from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is an adventure, but perfectly safe if noisy. Day seats transform into beds with plenty of air and the view of rice paddies as you ride north through the country. The train also heads to Surat Than and Trang in the south and Ubon Ratchathani in the east.

There are overnight boats that operate across the Andaman Sea from island to island. Prepare to be sleeping on a mattress on the floor close to other travellers. Long-tail boats take you across shorter distances, but they do get overcrowded. Don’t expect health and safety to be top of their agenda here.

The best way to get around the Philippines is by air and ferry. There are local jeepneys for short rides. Myanmar can be a bit of a bumpy ride, so you’ll find trucks and bumpy buses here as well as internal airlines.

In Vietnam you’ll find cyclos: three-wheeled bicycle taxis to take you on short distances. You can also hire a motorbike and a driver for a few days or a few hours to take you around the country. Vietnam can be time-consuming, so consider an overnight train journey if you’re travelling up to Hanoi.

In Cambodia, you can hire a motorbike driver to take you around. They are a great way of reaching the temples of Angkor Wat for sunrise or sunset. Tour companies operate buses around the country. Just walk into any tourist office and they can book one for you. Be prepared for bumpy roads.

In Myanmar, travelling by bus is the best way to travel economically to see the country. To some major tourist destinations, such as Bagan, Mandalay, Taunggyi (Inle), Naypyidaw and Yangon, the coaches have quite comfortable seats. You wouldn’t want to hire a car here as the road infrastructure isn’t ideal.

Travelling in Southeast Asia is definitely for the adventurous solo, but it is also the perfect continent to cycle around, especially in the rural areas of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia where you can cycle past rice paddies and small villages where locals live in wooden stilt houses.

Southeast Asia Travel Guide

If you are planning Southeast Asia travel it helps to know how much to budget. Backpacking Southeast Asia is cheap with the cheapest country being Laos. Thailand, and Indonesia are also good destinations for those on a budget. The most expensive is Singapore.

The costs below are for the most popular destination and are based on staying in hostels and more basic accommodation, eating 3 meals a day including some street food and travelling by bus. This doesn’t add into account any activities that you may want to do too. You can search day activities here.

  • Cambodia – $25 / £20
  • Indonesia – $25 / £20
  • Laos – $20 / £15
  • Malaysia – Average $40 / £30
  • Philippines – Average $30 / £23
  • Thailand – $25 / £20
  • Singapore – $50 / £38

To help you to plan your Southeast trip, here are some sample itineraries from one week to a month.

Southeast Asia Itinerary 1 week

Thailand – Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi, Bangkok, Ko Samet, Bangkok.

Cambodia – Siem Reap, Angkor Wat, Battambang, Phnom Penh. Indonesia – Bali, Kuta, Ubud, Lombok Island.

Southeast Asia Itinerary 2 Weeks

Thailand – Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pai, Mae Hong Son (via Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Surat Thani), Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Tao (Chumphon) via Bangkok.

Laos – Huay Xai, Pakbeng, Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Vientiane (side trip from Luang Prabang to Nong Kiau).

Cambodia – Siem Reap, Battambang, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Kep, Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham, Kratie.

Southeast Asia Itinerary 3 weeks

Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi, Bangkok, Ko Samet, Bangkok. Cambodia – Siem Reap, Battambang, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Kep, Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham, Kratie.

Southeast Asia Itinerary 1 month

SE Asia: Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Chiang Khong, Huay Xai, Pakbeng, Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Vientiane, Tha Khaek, Savannakhet, Pakse, Champasak, Don Khong, Don Dhet, Don Khon, Kratie, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang, Phnom Penh, Saigon, Mui Ne, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Sapa.

Southeast Asia is a fascinating region to explore but travel insurance is always recommended to cover you for any travel delays, medical assistance and accidents.

I recommend True Traveller for UK and European residents, and World Nomads for U.S. and worldwide citizens. Both companies allow you to buy insurance when you are already on the road, and offer different plans depending on your needs including additional adventure cover.

* Check insurance cover and prices for True Traveller

  • Solo Travel in Asia
  • Solo Travel in Bali
  • Solo Travel in Cambodia
  • Solo Travel in Laos
  • Solo Travel in Malaysia
  • Solo Travel in Singapore
  • Solo Travel in Thailand
  • Solo Travel in Vietnam

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  • Travel Destinations

The 10 Best Places In Southeast Asia For Solo Travelers

Published: September 25, 2023

Modified: December 27, 2023

by Anjela Marston

  • Budget Travel
  • Travel Guide
  • Travel Tips



Southeast Asia is a captivating destination for solo travelers. With its diverse cultures, rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality, this region offers endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. Whether you’re seeking bustling cities, pristine beaches, ancient temples, or vibrant markets, Southeast Asia has it all.

One of the great advantages of solo travel in Southeast Asia is the affordability and accessibility of transportation, accommodation, and food. With a wide range of budget-friendly options available, you can experience the wonders of this region without breaking the bank. Additionally, the warm and friendly nature of the locals makes it easy to connect with fellow travelers and create lasting memories.

Each country in Southeast Asia has its own unique charm, making it difficult to choose just one destination. To help you plan your solo adventure, we’ve curated a list of the top 10 places in Southeast Asia that are perfect for solo travelers. From vibrant cities to serene countryside, these destinations offer a blend of culture, history, and natural beauty.

So, grab your backpack and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through Southeast Asia. Whether you’re an experienced solo traveler or it’s your first time venturing on your own, these destinations will provide you with the perfect balance of excitement, relaxation, and cultural immersion. Let’s dive into the list and discover the 10 best places in Southeast Asia for solo travelers.

Singapore, a bustling city-state known as the “Lion City,” is a fantastic destination for solo travelers. This modern metropolis offers a mix of cultures, stunning architecture, delicious cuisine, and endless entertainment options.

When in Singapore, be sure to visit the iconic Marina Bay Sands, a luxury resort that boasts a rooftop infinity pool with breathtaking views of the city skyline. Explore the vibrant streets of Chinatown, indulge in mouthwatering hawker food at the bustling street markets, or take a leisurely stroll along the iconic Gardens by the Bay.

For nature lovers, Singapore also offers numerous green spaces and nature reserves. You can take a walk through the lush Botanic Gardens, visit the unique Cloud Forest and Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay, or explore the vibrant wildlife at the Jurong Bird Park.

Moreover, Singapore’s efficient public transportation system makes it easy to navigate the city and visit its various attractions. From the reliable MRT train system to the extensive bus network, getting around Singapore is a breeze.

As a solo traveler, you’ll also feel safe and secure in Singapore. The city has low crime rates and strict laws, making it an ideal destination for those traveling alone. Additionally, English is widely spoken, which makes communication easy.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience Singapore’s diverse cultural heritage. Visit the Arab Quarter, known as Kampong Glam, with its vibrant streets lined with traditional shophouses and hip cafes. Explore the historic district of Little India and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and flavors of this colorful enclave.

Whether you’re a foodie, nature enthusiast, culture lover, or simply want to indulge in some retail therapy, Singapore has something for everyone. Its dynamic blend of modernity and tradition will leave you enchanted and make your solo trip an unforgettable experience.

Bali, Indonesia

Bali, often referred to as the “Island of the Gods,” is a paradise for solo travelers. With its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, vibrant cultural scene, and welcoming locals, Bali offers a perfect blend of relaxation and exploration.

For beach lovers, Bali boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. From the popular Kuta Beach with its vibrant nightlife to the serene and pristine beaches of Nusa Dua and Seminyak, you’ll find the perfect spot to soak up the sun and enjoy water activities like surfing, snorkeling, or simply taking a leisurely swim.

But Bali is not just about its beaches. The island is dotted with picturesque rice terraces, ancient temples, and lush green forests. One must-visit place is the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, where you can marvel at the breathtaking scenery and learn about traditional rice cultivation.

Bali is also known for its vibrant arts and culture scene. Explore the artistic town of Ubud, home to numerous art galleries, craft markets, and traditional dance performances. Visit the iconic Pura Tanah Lot, a temple perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the ocean, and witness the stunning sunset view.

Another highlight of Bali is its spiritual side. With numerous yoga and meditation retreats, you can take some time to rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. Experience a traditional Balinese massage or indulge in a wellness retreat amidst the tranquil surroundings of the island.

As a solo traveler, Bali offers a safe and welcoming environment. The locals are known for their friendliness and hospitality, making it easy to connect with fellow travelers or strike up a conversation with a local. Additionally, Bali offers a wide range of accommodations, from affordable guesthouses to luxury resorts, catering to all budgets.

Don’t forget to savor the delicious Balinese cuisine. From street food stalls to upscale restaurants, Bali offers a vast array of dining options. Try the famous Nasi Goreng (fried rice), Satay, or Babi Guling (suckling pig) for an authentic taste of Bali.

With its natural beauty, cultural richness, and warm hospitality, Bali will captivate your senses and provide you with a truly memorable solo travel experience.

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, the vibrant capital city of Thailand, is a must-visit destination for solo travelers. This bustling metropolis is a melting pot of ancient traditions, modern innovations, and a lively street scene that offers a unique and immersive experience.

One of the highlights of Bangkok is its iconic temples. Visit the awe-inspiring Grand Palace, the home of the famous Emerald Buddha, and explore the intricate details of Thai architecture. Wat Pho, known for its reclining Buddha statue and traditional Thai massage school, is also a must-see.

Bangkok is a shopper’s paradise, offering a wide range of markets and malls. Explore the vibrant atmosphere of the Chatuchak Weekend Market, where you can find everything from clothes and accessories to handicrafts and delicious street food. For a more upscale shopping experience, head to malls like Siam Paragon or CentralWorld.

The city also has a vibrant street food culture, and indulging in the local cuisine is a must-do. From fragrant Pad Thai noodles to spicy Tom Yum soup, Bangkok’s street food stalls will tantalize your taste buds. For an authentic experience, don’t miss out on dining at the local night markets like Chinatown’s Yaowarat Road.

As a solo traveler, Bangkok offers a range of accommodation options to suit every budget. Whether you prefer budget-friendly hostels or luxury hotels, you’ll find a comfortable place to rest and recharge after a day of exploration.

Bangkok’s transportation system is also efficient and convenient. The Skytrain (BTS) and underground (MRT) networks make it easy to navigate the city and visit various attractions. Tuk-tuks and taxis are also readily available for shorter distances.

Beyond the bustling streets, Bangkok also offers serene and tranquil escapes. Take a boat ride along the Chao Phraya River and explore the traditional canal system, known as khlongs, to witness the quieter side of Bangkok. Visit the green oasis of Lumpini Park, where you can relax, exercise, or participate in free outdoor activities.

Bangkok’s nightlife is legendary, with a vibrant mix of rooftop bars, nightclubs, and live music venues. Experience the electrifying atmosphere of Khao San Road, known for its buzzing nightlife and backpacker scene. For a more upscale evening, head to a rooftop bar like Sky Bar at Lebua, which offers panoramic views of the city.

With its rich cultural heritage, mouthwatering cuisine, and vibrant city life, Bangkok offers a sensory experience like no other. As a solo traveler, you’ll be immersed in the energy and diversity of this captivating city.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is a captivating destination for solo travelers. With its rich history, charming old quarter, delicious cuisine, and warm locals, Hanoi offers a unique blend of tradition and modernity.

Exploring the Old Quarter is a must when visiting Hanoi. The narrow streets are lined with vibrant shops, traditional houses, and bustling markets. Wander through the maze of streets and discover fascinating temples, hidden cafes, and local street food stalls.

A visit to Hanoi would not be complete without exploring the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake. Take a leisurely stroll around the lake, visit the stunning Ngoc Son Temple situated on an island in the middle of the lake, and watch the locals partake in their morning exercise routines.

Hanoi is also known for its street food culture, and sampling the local cuisine is a must-do. Try the famous pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), or cha ca (grilled fish with noodles) for an authentic taste of Vietnam. Don’t forget to savor a cup of egg coffee, a local delicacy that will leave you craving for more.

Exploring Hanoi’s cultural and historical sites is a fascinating experience. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where you can pay your respects to the country’s revered leader. Explore the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first national university, and immerse yourself in the rich history and architecture.

For those seeking a peaceful escape, a visit to the Hoan Kiem Lake and the nearby Tran Quoc Pagoda is a must. Located on a small island in West Lake, Tran Quoc Pagoda dates back to the 6th century and offers a serene retreat from the busy city.

As a solo traveler, getting around Hanoi is relatively easy, with its extensive public transportation system. Take a ride on the iconic cyclos (three-wheeled bicycle taxis) or hop on a traditional Vietnamese motorbike taxi (xe om) to explore the city like a local.

When it comes to accommodation, Hanoi offers a variety of options, from budget-friendly hostels to boutique hotels. While staying in the Old Quarter allows for easy access to the city’s main attractions, other districts like Tay Ho and Ba Dinh offer a more tranquil stay.

With its bustling streets, rich history, and delectable cuisine, Hanoi is a destination that will leave you captivated. As a solo traveler, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture and create unforgettable memories.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, the vibrant capital city of Malaysia, is a captivating destination for solo travelers. With its modern skyline, diverse cultural heritage, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality, Kuala Lumpur offers a unique blend of tradition and innovation.

One of the iconic landmarks of Kuala Lumpur is the Petronas Twin Towers. These towering structures offer stunning views of the city from the observation deck. Explore the vibrant streets of Bukit Bintang, known for its shopping malls, street food stalls, and bustling nightlife.

Kuala Lumpur is a melting pot of cultures, with a mix of Malay, Chinese, and Indian influences. Explore the historic neighborhood of Chinatown, visit the colorful Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Little India, or immerse yourself in the vibrant Malay culture at Merdeka Square.

Food lovers will be in paradise in Kuala Lumpur. The city is renowned for its diverse and delicious cuisine. Sample local delights like Nasi Lemak (coconut rice), Satay, or Roti Canai at the bustling street food stalls or indulge in upscale dining at the city’s many restaurants.

As a solo traveler, getting around Kuala Lumpur is convenient with its efficient public transportation system. The Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Monorail networks connect various parts of the city, making it easy to explore the different neighborhoods and attractions.

For a dose of nature and tranquility, visit the Lake Gardens, a sprawling park in the heart of the city. It houses the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, Butterfly Park, and Orchid Garden, offering a serene escape from the urban hustle and bustle.

When it comes to accommodations, Kuala Lumpur offers a wide range of options to suit different budgets. From luxurious hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses, you’ll find a comfortable place to stay during your solo adventure.

Don’t miss out on the night markets in Kuala Lumpur, where you can experience the vibrant energy and street food delights. Head to Jalan Alor, a famous food street, or explore the night market at Petaling Street for a unique shopping experience.

With its modern infrastructure, cultural diversity, and warm hospitality, Kuala Lumpur offers a dynamic and enriching experience for solo travelers. Whether you’re exploring the city’s iconic landmarks, indulging in mouthwatering cuisine, or immersing yourself in its vibrant culture, Kuala Lumpur has something for everyone.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap, located in northwestern Cambodia, is a captivating destination for solo travelers. Known primarily as the gateway to the ancient temples of Angkor, Siem Reap offers a blend of history, culture, and adventure.

The highlight of a visit to Siem Reap is undoubtedly the magnificent Angkor Wat. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the largest religious monument in the world and a true architectural marvel. Spend a day exploring the sprawling complex, marveling at the intricate carvings and grandeur of the temples.

Beyond Angkor Wat, Siem Reap is home to a multitude of other temples, each with its own unique charm. Don’t miss out on Bayon Temple with its distinctive stone faces, Ta Prohm Temple, engulfed in tree roots, or Banteay Srei Temple, known for its intricate pink sandstone carvings.

Siem Reap offers more than just ancient temples. The town itself has a vibrant and eclectic atmosphere. Explore the lively Pub Street, filled with restaurants, bars, and night markets, where you can indulge in delicious Khmer cuisine and soak up the local vibe.

For a different perspective on Siem Reap, take a boat ride on the Tonle Sap Lake. Explore the floating villages and witness the unique way of life of the local communities. Visit the stilted houses, floating schools, and markets, gaining an insight into the daily lives of the people living on the lake.

Siem Reap is also an excellent destination for nature lovers. Take a bike ride through the countryside, where you can witness the scenic rice fields, local villages, and glimpses of rural life. Explore the bird sanctuary of Prek Toal and spot various species of migratory birds.

As a solo traveler, you’ll find Siem Reap to be a welcoming and friendly destination. The locals are known for their warm hospitality and are often willing to share stories of their culture and history. Additionally, Siem Reap offers a range of accommodations, from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury resorts, ensuring a comfortable stay for every traveler.

Whether you’re an ardent history enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or someone who simply wants to immerse themselves in a rich and vibrant culture, Siem Reap has something for everyone. With its ancient temples, vibrant local scene, and beautiful natural landscapes, Siem Reap promises an unforgettable solo travel experience.

Luang Prabang, Laos

Luang Prabang, nestled in the mountains of northern Laos, is a charming and enchanting destination for solo travelers. Known for its well-preserved traditional architecture, rich Buddhist heritage, and stunning natural landscapes, Luang Prabang offers a serene and immersive experience.

One of the highlights of Luang Prabang is the UNESCO-listed Old Town. Stroll through the quaint streets lined with colonial-era buildings, ancient temples, and vibrant markets. Explore the Royal Palace Museum, which houses a collection of artifacts showcasing the rich history and culture of Laos.

As the spiritual center of Laos, Luang Prabang is dotted with numerous Buddhist temples. The most renowned is Wat Xieng Thong, known for its ornate carvings and richly decorated interiors. Wake up early to witness the daily ritual of Tak Bat, where Buddhist monks make their way through the streets to receive food offerings from the locals.

Luang Prabang is also a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Take a boat trip down the Mekong River to visit the Pak Ou Caves, home to countless Buddha statues. Explore the stunning Kuang Si Waterfalls, where you can swim in turquoise pools and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. For a more immersive experience, consider joining a trekking or cycling tour to explore the surrounding villages and lush countryside.

One of the unique experiences in Luang Prabang is participating in the Alms Giving Ceremony. Wake up early to offer food to the monks as they pass by in procession, a spiritual and humbling experience that allows you to connect with the local culture and traditions.

Luang Prabang is also famous for its vibrant night market. Browse through the stalls that offer a wide array of handicrafts, textiles, and local products. Don’t forget to try the delicious street food available at the night market, offering traditional Laotian delicacies and other Asian cuisines.

As a solo traveler, you’ll find Luang Prabang to be a safe, relaxed, and welcoming destination. The locals are known for their friendliness and genuine smiles, making it easy to strike up conversations and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Accommodation options in Luang Prabang range from budget-friendly guesthouses to boutique hotels, many of which are housed in beautifully restored colonial buildings. Treat yourself to a stay at one of the riverside properties for breathtaking views and a tranquil ambiance.

With its blend of spirituality, rich culture, natural beauty, and warm hospitality, Luang Prabang offers a unique and soulful experience for solo travelers. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat, cultural immersion, or outdoor adventures, Luang Prabang will captivate your heart and leave you with memories to cherish.

Yangon, Myanmar

Yangon, the largest city and former capital of Myanmar, is a captivating destination for solo travelers. With its rich history, stunning architecture, vibrant markets, and warm hospitality, Yangon offers a unique blend of cultural immersion and urban exploration.

The centerpiece of Yangon is the Shwedagon Pagoda, a magnificent golden temple that dominates the city’s skyline. This sacred site is a must-visit, especially during sunset when the golden stupa glows brilliantly. Immerse yourself in the spirituality and serenity of this revered Buddhist monument.

Exploring the streets of Yangon is a delight for adventure seekers. Visit the lively Bogyoke Aung San Market, known for its diverse array of handicrafts, jewelry, textiles, and traditional Burmese clothing. Witness the vibrant atmosphere of the bustling street stalls selling local snacks and souvenirs.

Yangon is also home to a treasure trove of colonial-era architecture. Take a stroll through the tree-lined streets of the historic quarter and marvel at the grand old buildings influenced by British, Burmese, and Indian architectural styles. The Strand Hotel and the Secretariat Building are among the architectural gems not to be missed.

For a taste of local culture, head to the Yangon Chinatown, where you can sample a variety of delicious street food, mingle with friendly locals, and explore the colorful temples and markets. Don’t miss out on trying the famous tea leaf salad (lahpet thoke) and enjoying a piping hot bowl of Shan noodles.

As a solo traveler, you’ll find Yangon to be a welcoming and safe city. The locals are known for their kindness and hospitality, making it easy to connect with the locals and immerse yourself in Myanmar’s culture and traditions.

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city by exploring the serene Kandawgyi Lake. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the boardwalk, visit the Karaweik Palace, or simply relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. You can also take a boat ride to visit the nearby Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda and marvel at the colossal reclining Buddha statue.

Accommodation options in Yangon cater to various budgets, with a range of guesthouses, boutique hotels, and luxury resorts available. Stay in the bustling downtown area for easy access to major attractions or opt for a peaceful retreat outside the city center to relax and unwind.

With its mix of ancient traditions, colonial charm, and vibrant street life, Yangon offers a unique and authentic experience for solo travelers. Discover the heart and soul of Myanmar as you explore the city’s landmarks, interact with the friendly locals, and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage.

Manila, Philippines

Manila, the bustling capital city of the Philippines, is a dynamic and vibrant destination for solo travelers. With its rich history, cultural diversity, vibrant markets, and warm hospitality, Manila offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern urban experiences.

One of the must-visit attractions in Manila is the historic walled city of Intramuros. Explore the well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture, walk along the cobblestone streets, and visit iconic landmarks such as Fort Santiago and San Agustin Church. Immerse yourself in the city’s colonial past as you learn about its significant role in Philippine history.

As a melting pot of cultures, Manila offers a wide array of cuisines to savor. From Filipino street food to international delicacies, the city’s diverse food scene will surely tantalize your taste buds. Don’t miss the chance to try local favorites like adobo, sinigang, and halo-halo.

For those seeking a vibrant shopping experience, Manila has numerous malls and markets to explore. Visit Divisoria, an open-air market known for its bargain finds and wholesale goods. Experience the unique atmosphere of Greenhills Shopping Center, where you can haggle for everything from clothing to electronics.

Manila’s entertainment scene is also thriving, with a range of options for art, music, and nightlife enthusiasts. Catch a live musical or cultural performance at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, or check out the vibrant nightlife in popular districts like Makati and Bonifacio Global City.

As a solo traveler, Manila offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. From luxurious hotels in the central business district to budget-friendly hostels in vibrant neighborhoods, you’ll find a place that caters to your needs.

When it comes to transportation, Manila has an extensive network of trains, buses, and taxis, making it convenient for solo travelers to explore the city and its surrounding areas. Ride the unique jeepneys for a quintessential Filipino experience, or take a ferry to visit nearby attractions like Corregidor Island.

While Manila can be a bustling and sometimes chaotic city, it is also filled with friendly and welcoming locals. Filipinos are known for their hospitality, making solo travelers feel comfortable and at ease. Strike up conversations with locals and immerse yourself in the warm Filipino culture.

From historic sites to lively markets, delicious cuisine to vibrant nightlife, Manila offers a plethora of experiences for solo travelers. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, shopping, or simply soaking up the local atmosphere, Manila promises an exciting and memorable adventure.

Southeast Asia is a treasure trove for solo travelers, offering a multitude of fascinating destinations to explore. From the modern cities of Singapore and Bangkok to the ancient temples of Bali and Siem Reap, this region has something for every type of traveler.

Each destination in Southeast Asia has its own unique charm and allure. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, cultural immersion, or culinary delights, the options are endless. The affordability, accessibility, and warm hospitality of these countries make them ideal for solo exploration.

As a solo traveler in Southeast Asia, you’ll have the chance to connect with fellow travelers, immerse yourself in vibrant local cultures, and create unforgettable memories. The diverse landscapes, bustling markets, historic sites, and delicious cuisine will captivate your senses and leave you mesmerized.

It’s important to note that when traveling solo in Southeast Asia, it’s essential to remain aware of your surroundings, take necessary safety precautions, and respect local customs and traditions. It’s also advisable to research and plan your trip in advance to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of Singapore, enjoying the serenity of Luang Prabang, or marveling at the ancient wonders of Angkor Wat, Southeast Asia is a region that will enchant and inspire you. So, pack your bags, embark on an adventure, and discover the wonders that await in Southeast Asia.


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Solo travel

Solo travel in asia: the best places to go & tips.

best solo travel destinations south east asia

Table of Contents

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After many years of travelling alone as a woman , I’m here to help you discover the best places in Asia to travel solo.  When I first began my solo travel journey, I felt confused by the many lists of ‘best solo female travel destinations in Asia’ that already existed. It seemed like they were written by people who had travelled to those countries with partners – which is a very different experience from solo travel – or were big companies who hadn’t visited the countries they listed at all!

Solo travel asia vietnam

Read next: 30 best places for solo travel – world edition!

best solo travel destinations south east asia

I’ve also seen very experienced solo travellers recommend difficult countries for solo female travel in Asia (perhaps forgetting what it’s like to be a first-timer) for example, countries or islands that require tours to get around or have few budget hostel options.  Because, frankly, you can go most places in Asia solo (well, if you can get the correct visa). But there are a few destinations that are definitely easier for solo travellers in Asia than others. I’ve been travelling solo for almost 10 years from easy solo mini breaks in Europe like Portugal and Croatia to harder places like Mexico , Cuba , India and South Africa . Every destination on this list below has been visited solo by myself, with a couple of added suggestions from my friend Cassie, who’s been solo travelling in Asia for 5 years.

South korea where to travel solo southeast asia

What makes a good solo travel destination in Asia? 

Before I began travelling alone in Asia, Japan kept hitting the top spot of ‘places to solo travel in Asia’ again and again. However, after I visited Japan I realised that – although it was super safe, it was also lonely, expensive and had a tricky language barrier. Safety is only one element of solo female travel in Asia. What about ease of meeting people? You shouldn’t have to be an extrovert to make friends while solo travelling! 

Affordability is also a very important aspect when considering the pros and cons of travelling alone . If a country is significantly more expensive to get around on your own – or depends on luck over whether you meet other travellers to split costs with – then it’s probably not the best place for solo travellers.

That’s why I’ve created this list to reflect what truly matters to solo travellers in Asia: ease of getting around, affordability (specifically for solo travellers), meeting people, and solo travel-friendly attractions. Along with solo female travel safety of course, because it IS important. It’s just not the only element.

Read next: 101 solo travel tips

Best places in Asia to travel solo

You probably won’t be surprised to learn many countries in Southeast Asia are easy destinations for solo travellers. Don’t knock them!  Even these more commonly visited countries have their own unique day trips and authentic experiences to discover if you do prefer to avoid the crowds and do your own thing.

Read next: travel tips for Southeast Asia based on 2 years experience!

Ayutthaya thailand

Solo travel rating: easy For solo travel in Southeast Asia, it doesn’t get much better than Thailand. It’s safe, affordable and incredibly easy to meet other travellers. No matter what sort of activities you enjoy, you’re bound to find endless things to do in Thailand – from temple hopping and paradise islands to bustling cities and amazing street food.

Read next: guide to travelling solo in Thailand as a woman

Best places to travel solo in Thailand:

  • Chiang Mai – explore the temples in the Old Town and eat your way around the picturesque cafes and delicious street food . Don’t miss side trips to Chiang Rai and Pai also in Northern Thailand.
  • Bangkok – look beyond the throngs of backpackers on Khao San Road and you’ll find an absorbing city with brilliant galleries, temples, museums and even peaceful parks if you need to escape the crowds.
  • Thai islands – My personal favourite is laid-back Koh Lanta, but you could head to Koh Phangan for partying, go diving in Koh Tao, or relax on the beautiful beaches of Koh Samui. 

Safety: Aside from petty theft and pickpocketing, there isn’t much crime in Thailand. It’s also an LGBT-friendly destination. Meeting other travellers: Making travel friends when backpacking alone in Asia doesn’t get easier than in Thailand! Cost: Very budget-friendly. 

ha long bay solo female travel asia

Solo travel rating: easy Vietnam is one of those countries where there’s always have more to see! While the long, thin shape of Vietnam makes it convenient to choose a backpacking route, there are endless mountains, beaches and cities to visit in all corners of the country. Vietnamese food is excellent, the experiences are endless, and you’ll find plenty of other backpackers taking the same route as you.  Best places to travel solo in Vietnam:

  • Sapa – for trekking and staying with local communities in the foothills of the mountains. 
  • Hoi An – for laid-back days sipping coffee in charming cafes and marvelling at the stunning heritage buildings as you wind your way through beautiful alleyways.
  • Hue – to explore the Imperial Palace, dazzling temples and ancient tombs.
  • Hanoi – my favourite city in Asia is chaotic and charming in equal parts with out-of-this-world street food !
  • Ha Long Bay – it might be touristy, but it’s breathtaking enough to warrant the crowds!

Safety: you can’t get much safer when it comes to solo female travel in Asia. There’s almost no violent crime and the one thing to worry about is having your belongings pinched, especially on the streets of Hoi An after the bars close. Meeting other travellers: Easy.  Cost: One of the cheapest countries in the world!

Read more: Solo travel in Vietnam: everything to know!

TIP: If you’re solo travelling in Southeast Asia, it’s easy to visit multiple countries by cross-country bus or train (and the odd flight) all of which are affordable. Use 12GoAsia to book transport. In addition to the countries on this list, Cambodia and Laos are budget-friendly places for travelling alone in Asia where it’s easy to meet other backpackers. Read my complete Southeast Asia itinerary .

The Philippines

Philippines travel

Solo travel rating: easy

With breathtaking beaches and the friendliest locals I’ve ever encountered, it’s safe to say solo backpacking in the Philippines is an experience I’ll never forget. 

The islands are so varied that there’s truly something for everyone, whether you’re looking to party, relax, or explore.  Best islands in the Philippines for solo travellers:

  • El Nido (Palawan) – if you’re looking for paradise with a busy backpacker scene, El Nido is a popular spot, although experienced travellers will likely find it TOO busy and hectic. Take an excursion to Port Barton (also Palawan) if you want to avoid some of the crowds.
  • Surigao – for excellent surf, brilliant beaches and a more laid-back vibe.
  • Siquijor – this is one of my personal favourites and less touristic than Palawan, with plenty of stunning coastlines and inland waterfalls to visit. 

Safety: Manila feels sketchy and unsafe (in fact, I’d recommend skipping it entirely) but most islands popular on the tourist track are very safe. Meeting other travellers: Very easy, especially if you’re staying in hostels or going on island-hopping group tours. Cost: Generally budget-friendly, but if you choose to visit multiple islands then factor in the cost of multiple flights. 

Malaysia solo female travel southeast asia

Solo travel rating: easy For solo travel in Asia, Malaysia is a winner with its varied experiences and convenient travel routes. From glamorous big cities and charming historic towns to luscious jungle scenery and mesmerising beaches, you really can do it all in Malaysia. Best places to travel solo in Malaysia:

  • Penang – a colourful and diverse island where you’ll find some of Asia’s most impressive street art , world-famous street food and the coolest cafes in the capital, Georgetown. 
  • Melaka or Ipoh – take a day or overnight trip to one of these smaller cities for an authentic insight into Malaysia’s history and culture.
  • Cameron Highlands or Taman Negara – choose between drinking tea in the picturesque misty mountains or hiking and wildlife spotting in the jungle. Add at least one of these to your Malaysia itinerary !
  • Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia’s flashy capital is more Westernised than other capitals so it’s an easy spot to spend a couple of days exploring the museums and temples via its world-class public transport. If you’re travelling solo in Southeast Asia and need a break, you’ll get your home comforts here.

Safety: Crime rarely affects travellers. Malaysia is not particularly progressive towards women and LGBT people although this seldom affects tourists. Meeting other travellers: Easy, especially in backpacker hubs like KL and Penang. It’s one of my favourite places to travel alone in Southeast Asia! Cost: Very budget-friendly. Hostels, budget hotels, public transport and food are all affordable for solo travellers.

Read next: Malaysia solo travel – is it safe?

Bali, Indonesia

Hiking Mount Batur Bali

Solo travel rating: medium 

With a vibrant social scene for anyone drawn to lazy beach days and busy nightlife, Bali is one of the best places for solo female travel in Asia. Party, explore beautiful scenery and eat amazing food !

However, if you’re more of an adventurous traveller craving culture, you may be disappointed by how touristic Bali is these days. You CAN break off the tourist track but it’s harder than in some countries. Also, if you don’t drive a scooter, you’ll find that Bali is one of the most inconvenient places for solo travellers in Southeast Asia to get around. Due to a lack of public transport, the costs start adding up if you require booking a taxi or private car to get anywhere even vaguely remote. Best places to travel solo during a Bali itinerary :

  • Canggu and Seminyak – great food, surf and cafes. Just watch your cash if you’re a foodie – the Canggu restaurant scene is delectable (and often ‘Instagramable’) but also pricey. 
  • Uluwatu – for visiting some of Bali’s most beautiful beaches and getting stalked by monkeys at Uluwatu Temple. 
  • Nusa Islands – take a day or overnight trip to see Bali’s most extraordinary coastal scenery and exceptional snorkelling
  • Ubud – if you ride a scooter, Ubud is great for visiting waterfalls and rice fields . If not, Ubud is an ideal destination for yogis and meditation retreats, and you’ll find some wonderful cafes and warungs many serving vegan food.

Safety: Generally very safe for solo female travel in Asia.  Meeting other travellers: Easy for the average backpacker, especially if you’re looking to explore the bars or – on the opposite end of the spectrum – yoga retreats. However, some travellers report Bali as surprisingly lonely if they’re not into partying or yoga culture. Cost: Very cheap to stay in hostels and eat at local warungs. Costs add up quickly if you either want to treat yourself to brunches and floating breakfasts or travel outside of tourist towns (especially if you don’t drive a scooter).

Read next: complete guide to solo travel in Bali

Java, Indonesia

Borobudur Java

Solo travel rating: medium

Depending on where you visit in Java, the solo travel rating shoots up from easy to advanced. While key cities like Yogyakarta are very tourist-friendly, I was often the only foreign traveller on board the local buses when journeying across the country.

If you’re looking for an adventure, East Java’s volcanic landscapes are out of this world. In fact, I’d rate it as my favourite solo backpacking experience to date, although it’s trickier than most countries in Southeast Asia for solo female travellers. Best places to travel solo in Java, Indonesia:

  • Yogyakarta – walk around the charming old city before taking a day trip to Borobudur at sunrise (the world’s largest Buddhist temple).
  • Malang – see the multicoloured villages and take a day trip to see the mighty Tumpak Sewu Waterfall 
  • Bromo and Ijen Volcanoes – if you’re daunted by the local transport, it’s possible to visit these phenomenal natural attractions on a day tour . Trek up for sunrise for an unforgettable experience!

I also loved visiting Karimunjawa Island , but it was a headache to get to so it’s not what I would consider the best destination for travelling alone in Asia unless you’re up for an adventure! 

Safety: Generally very safe, aside from petty crime.  Meeting other travellers: Easy in Yogyakarta but fewer backpackers visit Java. However, I found the Javanese locals to be among the friendliest people in the world.  Cost: Very cheap! The local buses in Java were even cheaper than those in Vietnam but it will be pricer if you take private transport and tours.

South korea solo travel destination asia

Solo travel rating: medium If you’re looking for an exciting and cultural solo travel destination in Asia, you should definitely consider South Korea. The inner city and cross-country transport is generally brilliant, so it’s convenient for a city break to Seoul or a longer vacation, for example a 2 week trip to South Korea . I only gave Korea a medium solo travel rating because it’s a bit less affordable for solo travellers than other countries in Asia (although I do have plenty of tips to keep your Korea travel budget down). A few activities – like going for a Korean BBQ – aren’t usually accessible for solo travellers. Otherwise, it’s one of the best places for women to travel solo in Asia! Best places to travel solo in South Korea :

  • Seoul – the world-class museums, stunning temples, thriving nightlife, excellent street food and beautiful hikes should be added to your Seoul itinerary !
  • Busan – there are lots of cultural experiences to enjoy in South Korea’s second-biggest city, but it’s best for day trips and outdoor activities like hiking or relaxing on city beaches. 
  • Jeonju – visit this historical small city for an insight into a more traditional South Korea. 

Safety: One of the safest countries for solo female travel in Asia. Meeting other travellers: Easy to meet people travelling solo in hostels in Seoul or by joining tours in Busan or Jeonju.  Cost: Expensive compared to Southeast Asia, but cheap if you’re used to travelling in the USA or Western Europe. 

Read next: my South Korea travel tips

solo travel taiwan

If this list was only based on safety and ease of using public transport, Taiwan would definitely get an easy rating. However, I found it harder to meet people in Taiwan, so my experience was lonelier than when travelling alone in other Asian countries. If you don’t mind some me-time, Taiwan has some fantastic cities and many stunning natural attractions to visit, and a Taiwan itinerary will likely to a highlight of your Asia travels! Best places to travel solo in Taiwan :

  • Taipei and Kaohsiung – both are fun and modern cities with endless indoor and outdoor activities to enjoy – not to mention the brilliant Korean food !
  • Taroko – superb hiking and perfect if you want some reflective me-time in the great outdoors
  • Kenting National Park – breathtaking and untouched beaches!

Safety: 10/10. Taiwan is a safe place for women travellers and LGBT+ travellers. It was the first country in Asia to recognise same-sex marriage and you can find ‘gay hostels’ and tours in the capital, Taipei.  Meeting other travellers: Quite difficult. Although people were friendly, I didn’t meet many English-speaking travellers in hostels and spent a lot of time alone.  Cost: Accommodation isn’t very budget-friendly, but activities, transport and food are affordable. Follow my Taiwan budget trip guide for more details.

Japan (outside the main tourist attractions)

Japan safest countries solo travel asia women

Solo travel rating: medium I wouldn’t overly recommend Japan for solo female travel in Asia. However, if you’re looking for a specific sort of solo travel experience (such as hiking or foodie travel) and know what to expect, Japan might be the place for you. If you’re only concerned about safety, then Japan would top this list. But, honestly, Japan is the hardest country I’ve visited alone in terms of meeting people. Kyoto is the only place I’ve had stares for eating alone. Once I skipped the big cities – and made peace with the fact I wasn’t going to make friends on this journey – I had some very reflective and memorable experiences. Best places to travel solo in Japan :

  • Hiroshima – if you’re prepared to experience some big emotions, travelling alone in this peaceful city is a very reflective way to look back on the atrocities that happened here. A day trip to Miyajima is also easy for solo travellers.
  • Kyushu – see the best of Japan’s volcanic scenery with a trip around Beppu’s multicoloured hot pools and the active volcanoes at Aso and Kagoshima. 
  • Hiking – if you’re an experienced hiker looking to undertake your first solo trek, Japan is a great option. The scenery is spectacular and solo hiking the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail was a fulfilling and very cathartic experience. 

Safety: One of the safest places to travel in Asia – and the world! Meeting other travellers: …but one of the hardest countries to meet other travellers. Cost: Japan is not an especially affordable place for solo travel in Asia, especially if you have a long list of things you want to do. Hostel and food costs are reasonable but experiences and ‘touristy’ restaurants add up quickly. Reduce costs when travelling in Japan by eating at local restaurants and opting for free activities like hiking and exploring Japan’s breathtaking landscapes.

Mcleod ganj india

Solo travel rating: advanced

India can be a fascinating country to explore, but it’s definitely more suited to experienced travellers rather than those embarking on first-time solo travel in Asia.

The best place for solo travel in India (in my opinion) is Rishikesh. However, once you’ve got comfortable with travelling alone in India, you’ll find plenty to do elsewhere too.  Due to the attitudes towards women in India and many stares from men, it’s a harder place for solo female travellers in Asia than male travellers. But isn’t that the case everywhere! Best places for solo female travel in India :

  • Rishikesh – known for yoga retreats and meditation experiences, this stunning northern city has been a popular backpacker hub for decades and has excellent hostels and food to show for it. 
  • Pushkar – a sleepy Rajasthani town with a peaceful holy lake and lots of vibrant hostels – perfect if you’re in need of some downtime. 
  • Pondicherry – this attractive ex-French town on the southeast coast has lovely cafes, colourful buildings and chilled vibes. Take a fascinating day trip to Auroville , an alternative society in the Indian countryside.
  • Goa – beach towns like Palolem, Agonda and Arambol are fantastic for yoga and beach chills with many cafes offering modern vegan fare and delicious South Indian delicacies like Goan fish curry. The only downside is there’s little transport between towns so taxi bills for one tend to rack up.

Safety: have your wits about you, research common scams, be assertive, and don’t walk alone at night. Meeting other travellers: easy in hostels. I really valued having this community around me during solo India travel, especially when I was sick. Cost: Literally the cheapest place ever!

solo travel india asia

Tips for solo female travel in Asia

  • Plan your Asia route well so you don’t spend extra time and money going back on yourself. For solo travel in Southeast Asia, I’d suggest going from Northern Thailand to Laos by slow boat, from southern Laos to Cambodia via Four Thousand Islands, from Phnom Penh (Cambodia) to Saigon (Vietnam) by bus or boat, and then up Vietnam to fly out of Hanoi.
  • Stay connected with an Airalo e-SIM covering 200+ regions. Either get a SIM for the specific Asian country you’re visiting or their Asialink SIM covering 18 countries. Download it before you arrive to get connected immediately.
  • Use 12GoAsia to compare prices and durations of buses, boats, trains and flights, and use the website to buy your tickets.
  • Use local taxi apps like Grab and GoJek to get around cities cheaply
  • Download Maps.me for offline maps
  • Avoid burning seasons (Northern Thailand is a no-go from Feb-April) and be aware of local holidays like Tet in Vietnam when everything is shut.
  • Don’t be shy of street food! It’s the best.
  • Pack period products if necessary because you can usually only buy pads in Asia.
  • Use GetYourGuide and Viator for food experiences, bar crawls and day trips to places difficult to reach by public transport.
  • Read more Asia travel tips here.

Travel insurance for travelling solo in Asia

Despite Southeast Asia and East Asia being safe destinations in Asia for solo travel, you should never travel without insurance. It’s just not worth it! I use True Traveller (for UK & Europe residents) since it’s affordable but covers everything you’d need including various activities, valuables and pre-existing conditions. Unlike some companies, they insure you if you’re already travelling / don’t yet have your flight home booked. When I claimed, they paid out within 2 days! Get a free quote today . For travel insurance for other nationalities, I recommend Hey Mundo and for long-term digital nomad travellers, I suggest Safety Wing .

Thanks for reading!

Solo Europe travel guides:

  • Where to solo travel in Europe for women
  • Solo travel in Lisbon
  • Solo female travel in Portugal
  • Solo female travel in Albania
  • The best destinations in Italy for solo female travel
  • Solo travel in Croatia
  • Is Romania safe for solo travel?

Solo Americas guides:

  • Visiting New York city solo
  • Is solo female travel in Guatemala safe?
  • Solo female travel in Mexico
  • Is Mexico City safe for solo travellers?
  • Is it safe to travel alone in Cuba?

For more solo travel content, follow me on Instagram , Facebook , Twitter and YouTube .

SOLO TRAVEL ASIA RESOURCES Getting around by air – I use Skyscanner to find the best-value flights, using the ‘search by month’ tool to find the cheapest dates. You can also use the ‘to anywhere’ feature if you’re flexible on where you’re going. For Asia buses and trains , I use 12GoAsia . The search feature allows you to compare prices and durations. To stay connected, buy an e-SIM with Airalo and connect as soon as you land. Browse packages for different Asian countries or get their Asialink SIM for 18 countries. I use Booking.com for hotels, homestays and apartments. You can filter by review score and price to find the best-rated budget places. For hostels, I use Hostelworld . To save money on accommodation, I use Trusted Housesitters , a website that connects homeowners going away and travellers who can sit their homes & pets. For activities, I use GetYourGuide and Viator as they have a huge range of affordable tours. Check out my resources page for more travel discounts and tips!

best solo travel destinations south east asia

Rose is a solo traveller from the UK who has been on the road since 2015. She wants to show other women that solo travel isn't scary and doesn't have to be expensive! Rose has lived in Mexico, Canada and all over Asia, seeking out food, bubble tea and street art wherever she goes!

6 thoughts on “ Solo Travel in Asia: The BEST Places To Go & Tips! ”

best solo travel destinations south east asia

funny that your goal is to meet people while you travel alone.

best to be comfortable alone when traveling alone, and meeting new people should just be a bonus and not a priority.

best solo travel destinations south east asia

Well the beauty of solo travel is that you can do whatever you like

best solo travel destinations south east asia

One of the most sensible blogs on solo travelling aspects and factors to consider while planning a trip solo. Thank you for your insights and suggestions.

You’re welcome!

best solo travel destinations south east asia

I am about to do my first solo trip. I live in Thailand and I want to explore the rest of it while I can. What is your advice ? I am someone who has always been scared to do things alone so I am unsettled but I know it will be fun! How do I meet people along the way as well ? I think that is what I am nervous about!

Hi Kim, all I can say is go for it! I have a blog post about meeting people while travelling solo so take a look at that 🙂 have fun!

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Must-Visit Destinations for Solo Travellers in Southeast Asia

best solo travel destinations south east asia

Senior Travel Writer

Use the best Asian cities for solo travel as springboards for exploring beaches, jungles and bays on these awesome Southeast Asia trips.

Southeast Asia is a paradise for solo travellers. Imagine spending a week tasting your way through the street food carts of Vietnam . Picture yourself hiking through Thailand’s jungles in search of colourful birds that seem torn from the vibrant pages of encyclopaedias. Envision what life would be like on a Balinese beach with cocktails on tap and all your worries drowned out by spectacular sunsets. Now book these trips to Southeast Asia and explore the best Asian cities for solo travel in real life.

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Discover rural villages and epic waterfalls in Laos

Don’t discount laos on your southeast asian adventures. this beautiful country shares borders with thailand, cambodia and vietnam, but is often left out of gap-year summer plans. we spend the second half of our epic two-week thai-laos rail trip exploring laos, starting with a river cruise down the mekong. we’ll hop off at rural villages to meet whisky-making locals and discover sacred caves, before embarking on a hike to the stunning kuang si falls – the country’s most famous attraction for a reason. after that we’ll catch the high-speed train to vang vieng, from where we’ll go kayaking on the nam song river, before hopping on the overnight sleeper train back to bangkok., from us$2689, next available from 11th may 2024, secure your spot with a low deposit, trip highlights and details, bangkok, thailand, physical rating.

Angkor Wat at sunrise

Marvel at the ancient wonder of Angkor Wat in Cambodia

You only need one reason to visit cambodia, and that’s the largest religious structure in the world, angkor wat. this surreal temple complex is one of the most spiritually rousing places on the planet, especially if you visit at sunrise, which is exactly what we do on our border-crossing thailand, cambodia and vietnam trip. to watch the sun slowly appear from behind the temple’s intricately carved towers, reflecting a striking silhouette onto the surrounding moat, is an experience you’ll never forget. the rest of our time in cambodia will be spent gorging on the street food of phnom penh and watching a local phare circus show., from us$1999, next available from 20th apr 2024, ho chi minh city, vietnam.

This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Alex Jordan. Additional words by Gethin Morgan.

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The best destinations for solo travel in asia.

Are you looking for the best places to travel alone in Asia?

Then you’ve come to the right place. In my 30+ years as a female solo traveller, I have visited Asia on multiple occasions.

In my view, Asia is one of the best global destinations for your first solo trip .

Ready to dive into solo travel in Asia? This article will steer you through the best Asian countries for solo travellers, and arm you with essential safety tips if you are a woman travelling alone.

a blonde western women on solo travel in asia with two japanese women dressed as geisha

Some articles on this website contain affiliate links. This means that I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases . Read the full disclosure here .

Dreaming of your first solo trip? Click here to download your FREE solo travel toolkit . 

It’s just what you need to kickstart your plans!


Best Asian Countries for Solo Travellers

In a hurry? Here are the Asian solo travel destinations covered in this article.

South Korea

Why solo travel in asia.

So why is Asia a great solo travel destination?

It’s relatively safe , easy to travel around and offers a vast choice of cultures and cuisine . As there is a well-worn tourist route, it is easy to meet other travellers .

Many (‘tho not all) Asian countries are very affordable , allowing a splash of luxury travel for less money .

I love the diversity that Asia offers, which is why have returned time and time again. There is something for every solo traveller

Best Solo Travel Destinations in Asia

That said, there are some countries in Asia that are more suited to solo travel than others.

Public transport and infrastructure are better in some destinations. Other places offer a particularly vibrant and friendly local culture .

If your travel budget is a consideration, the cost of living is lower in some countries than in others.

With these factors in mind, I have put together a list of the best Asian countries for solo travel. Although fellow travel writers have helped compile this list, I have travelled alone in most of these places, some on multiple occasions.

For each country, I have indicated how easy and expensive it is to visit, and whether you should consider it as a first-time solo traveller.

>>> Get inspiration to book your solo trip to Asia with these best quotations about travelling alone and these inspirational books by solo travellers.

carved faces in Bayon Temple, Cambodia

Solo safety & ease of travel: 4 out of 5 Travel costs: Cheap Recommended for first-time solo travellers: Yes

As Cambodia’s dark past is recent, there’s so much to experience and learn during a visit to the country that you will leave here enriched and with new perspectives on the world. From seeing ancient ruins left by the powerful Khmer Empire to the twentieth-century horrors of the Khmer Rouge , every day in Cambodia is full of nuance.

Cambodia might seem daunting for a solo traveller, but if you take normal, common-sense safety measures the country is one of the best places in Asia to travel alone.

Reasons to visit Cambodia as a solo traveller

  • Many of the best activities are perfect for day trips on organized tours
  • It’s easier to process challenging material when you are alone
  • Easy to get between major destinations alone
  • Inexpensive accommodations and transportation eliminate the “solo tax”
  • You can spend as much (or as little) time in Angkor as you want

Top tips for visiting Cambodia as a solo traveller

  • Try to arrive in Phnom Penh and  Siem Reap  during the daytime to maximise safety.
  • Buy a Cambodian SIM card on arrival to allow you to more easily communicate with hosts (have your accommodation’s contact information available ahead of time).
  • Use rideshare apps to arrange taxis in Phnom Penh to get a competitive rate.
  • For photography opportunities when travelling in Angkor alone, ask your tuk-tuk driver. He or she will be used to taking photos of tourists; just tip accordingly for the extra service.

By Stephanie of History Fangirl

man working in lush rice terraces in bali indonesia

Solo safety & ease of travel: 3 out of 5 Travel costs: Medium Recommended for first-time solo travellers: Yes

With 17,000 islands,  6,000 of which are inhabited, Indonesia has no shortage of choices for solo travellers.

Although the small island of Bali is the most famous destination, there is so much more to discover. The variety of cultures and landscapes within this country is astounding; every island, from Sumatra and Java to Sulawesi and Flores, provides a different experience.

As the largest island in Indonesia, Sumatra rewards intrepid travellers with a little bit of everything.

Hike active volcanoes, explore the rainforest in search of wild orangutans and elephants, laze on deserted beaches, dive among pristine coral reefs, or discover an island set in the largest volcanic lake in the world – Lake Toba . In Sumatra alone, there’s an astounding array of cultures, cuisines, landscapes, and languages to lose yourself in.

The  best time to visit Sumatra  (and elsewhere in Indonesia) is during the peak of the dry season, during June, July, and August. This is high season for tourists, but the joy of visiting lesser-known areas such as Sumatra is that you’ll seldom run into crowds.

Reasons to visit Indonesia as a solo traveller

  • Friendly, welcoming locals who treat you like family
  • Affordable accommodation – even solo you can afford a private room
  • Safe – low crime rate against tourists

Top tip for visiting Indonesia as a solo traveller

  • Learn at least a few key words and phrases in Indonesian. Outside of the tourist hotspots, English may not be spoken.
  • Indonesian is super easy to learn, and the ability to communicate makes your life easier and helps you have a more authentic local experience.

By Carly and Agung of We Are Sumatra

men standing behind spice stall

Solo safety & ease of travel: 3 out of 5 Travel costs: Cheap Recommended for first-time solo travellers: No

There are many reasons to visit Iran .

It is an incredibly diverse country with vast desert areas, jungle, canyons and impressive islands, and is home to the highest mountain in the Middle East, Mount Damavand at 5,610 meters. Furthermore, the architecture is beyond beautiful.

There are endless things to add to your  Iran itinerary  with astounding mosques and shrines found in every city and you can follow the ancient Silk Road through old caravanserais and bazaars.

Reasons to visit Iran as a solo traveller

  • Extremely safe to travel as a solo female
  • Locals are super friendly and will help you with anything you need. Friendly locals also mean that it’s easy to get a good connection to people when you travel solo and you can expect to be invited for dinner or to other fun activities with locals – a true cultural immersion.
  • Easy to travel around by bus or to get a private driver
  • Very cheap accommodation, which means you don’t spend a fortune travelling solo

Top tips for visiting Iran as a solo traveller

  • A translation app between English and Farsi is helpful when travelling to Iran as you’ll meet people who don’t speak English. However, the people are so friendly and you get a long way with sign language and smiles.
  • Make sure that you are open to connecting with people and you’ll have the time of your life.

By Linn of Brainy Backpackers

Editor’s note

Due to ongoing security concerns, travel to Iran is not currently recommended. For current travel advice, check the advice of the UK FCO here .


Solo safety & ease of travel: 4 out of 5 Travel costs: Medium – Expensive Recommended for first-time solo travellers: Yes

If I was pushed to make a choice, Japan would be one of my favourite countries.

It offers an intoxicating mix of the ancient and the modern, retaining its rich culture and historical heritage whilst innovating and embracing technological advances. Japan is also home to some of the best food on the planet, from  okonomiyaki  in Osaka  to  Fukuoka’s legendary Hakata ramen .

Recent  solo travel surveys  point to Japan as an ideal destination for first-time solo travellers . And as a solo traveller, you won’t be viewed with suspicion or pity because you are travelling alone.

Reasons to visit Japan as a solo traveller

  • Japan is very safe
  • The country has a superb and efficient travel infrastructure.
  • Eating out alone  is a cultural norm
  • Japan is home to some of the tastiest food on the planet
  • For its specular landscapes and bubbling onsens

Top tip for visiting Japan as a solo traveller

Although English is spoken in popular cities, learning a few words in Japanese will go a long way. Failing that, have Google Translate at the ready.

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mountain overlooking sea and islands on langkawi malaysia

Malaysia  is a criminally underrated solo travel destination that offers a diversity of cultures and landscapes and has a rich historical heritage.

Peninsular Malaysia is more developed, and more touristed, and includes the capital, Kuala Lumpu r, along with other popular destinations, including Melaka and Penang . 

By contrast, Eastern Malaysia is quieter and may appeal to those with a more adventurous nature. This side of the country features white sand-fringed islands that offer sensational diving and the jungles of Borneo .

Reasons to visit Malaysia as a solo traveller

  • Malaysia is a relatively safe country
  • It is home to some of the best, and cheapest, food in Asia. We’re talking hawker stall heaven here.
  • It’s relatively cheap
  • There’s a great travel infrastructure
  • Malaysia offers a diversity of experiences, cultures and climates that is hard to rival.

Top tips for visiting Malaysia as a solo traveller

  • Malaysia is a vast country; don’t try to do too much. Unless you have a lot of time available, choose between Eastern Malaysia or Western (peninsular) Malaysia. 
  • The weather pattern favours east and west at different times of the year.
  • The best time of year to visit Western (Peninsular) Malaysia is in the dry season between November and February. To escape the monsoon season, you should travel to Eastern Malaysia between March and September.

yurt village in plains of mongolia

Solo safety & ease of travel: 2 out of 5 Travel costs: Cheap Recommended for first-time solo travellers: No

If you’re looking to escape from human civilization and reconnect with nature in wide-open spaces, there’s no better place than Mongolia.

The country offers diverse landscapes , including stark deserts, majestic mountains, and impossibly blue lakes.

Summer is the best time to visit Mongolia, as the weather can be unbearably cold at other times of the year. Luckily, Mongolia is pretty far off the beaten track, so you don’t have to worry about crowds at  Mongolia’s attractions  even in the high season.

In such a large and sparsely populated country, there is very little public transport, and often no real roads to speak of.

To explore the country, most visitors end up joining a budget tour in the capital, Ulaanbaatar. These are usually made up of five to eight tourists, and transport is by minivan or old Soviet off-road vans.

Reasons to visit Mongolia as a solo traveller

  • The whole country is very safe
  • Easy to make friends in guesthouses and ger camps
  • Can easily join with other travellers to create a small tour group

Top tip for visiting Mongolia as a solo traveller

  • Bring a sense of adventure! Accommodation is usually in gers (Mongolian yurts), either in ger camps specially built for tourists or in a nomadic family’s extra ger. If it’s the latter, the facilities will be very basic.
  • Expect to use squat toilets and go without showering for a few days. Even in the tourist camps, there aren’t many luxuries. Mongolia is best suited to budget travellers who don’t require many creature comforts.

By Wendy of The Nomadic Vegan

view of mosque through islamic arch at sunset in pakistan

If you’re someone who enjoys nature, history, architecture and culture, Pakistan is one of the best places to travel alone in Asia.

This country has something to offer to every kind of traveller. If you’re seeking adventure, go for a hike in the northern part of the country, such as in the Hunza Valley in Gilgit. The views of the mountains there are absolutely incredible.

For delicious local cuisine and majestic architecture, make sure to spend a few days in Lahore , the cultural and food capital of the country.

One of the best  places to visit in Lahore  is the Badshahi Mosque , an amazing jewel of the Mughal Empire. You’ll not only be amazed by the stunning architecture of the mosque but can also enjoy exquisite local dishes at the famous Fort Road Food Street nearby.

Reasons to visit Pakistan as a solo traveller

  • It’s a very safe country (contrary to what the media may feed you)
  • The locals are super friendly, kind, and welcoming
  • You won’t see crowds of tourists around and will have an authentic experience 
  • It’s a beautiful country with remarkable natural and architectural wonders

Top tip for visiting Pakistan as a solo traveller

Hire a local guide or go around with a local friend if you want to visit Lahore. It can be a big hassle to get around this city on your own, as the tourism sector there isn’t well developed.

By Jiayi of The Diary of a Nomad

small bridge leading to a pagoda in seoul

Solo safety & ease of travel: 4 out of 5 Travel costs: Medium to expensive Recommended for first-time solo travellers: Yes

South Korea is a country of contrasts.

The traditional temples and houses blend together with tall skyscrapers and office buildings.

A trip to Hongdae , Seoul or the famous  Haedong Yonggungsa Temple  in Busan is a perfect introduction to the rich culture and friendly people of South Korea. If you want to explore the beautiful nature of this country, head to Jeju Island and you’ll discover pristine beaches, hidden waterfalls, and intriguing lava tubes.

South Korea is full of incredible sights to please any kind of traveller. 

Reasons to visit South Korea as a solo traveller

  • South Korea is one of the safest countries in Asia to visit as a solo traveller. The crime rate is very low.
  • The locals are super-friendly
  • The country has a well-developed infrastructure of trains, buses, and subway systems
  • Most of the younger generation in big cities speak English so you shouldn’t have any problems asking for information or directions. However, in more remote destinations you’ll find fewer people speaking English.

Top tip for visiting South Korea as a solo traveller

You should take into consideration that South Korea is pretty expensive. Much like its neighbour Japan, the prices here are two or three times higher than in destinations in South East Asia. If you’re on a budget, you should consider skipping South Korea.  

By Aurelia of Daily Travel Pill

portrait of a Stilt fisherman, Unawatuna

Sri Lanka is one of the gems of Asia. An island paradise bursting with beauty on every corner, a trip to Sri Lanka will satisfy all types of solo travellers.

There is so much to see and do , from pristine beaches with lots of snorkelling opportunities, and ethical safari experiences, to ancient temples and World Heritage sites.

Sri Lanka is also a diverse country with regard to the climate.

There are two monsoon seasons that occur on each side of the island and, right in the middle, the weather is cooler in “Little England” where the tea fields flourish and the waterfalls and mountains rise. Sri Lanka is a great place to visit from August to October, but every month of the year has its benefits. 

Reasons to visit Sri Lanka as a solo traveller

  • Its size: Sri Lanka is relatively small which means you can explore everywhere safely
  • Friendly locals: Everyone in Sri Lanka is happy to help, and they don’t want anything in return
  • Strong backpacker vibe: You’ll have lots of opportunities to meet fellow travellers on the road as there are strong backpacker vibes in areas such as Ella, and Arugam Bay
  • It’s safe: Most trips to Sri Lanka are hassle-free and you’ll feel safe 

Top tip for visiting Sri Lanka as a solo traveller

Sri Lanka is one of the rare places where you can rent a tuk-tuk and self-drive around the country. This is an awesome way to get around and you’ll get to interact with locals, see sights that are off the beaten track, and be surrounded by beauty.

By Cazzy of Dream Big, Travel Far

>>> Get inspiration to book your solo trip to Sri Lanka with these beautiful images of Sri Lanka

entrance to pagoda like buildings behind a single cherry blossom tree

Solo safety & ease of travel: 4 out of 5 Travel costs: Medium Recommended for first-time solo travellers: Yes

Taiwan is one of the best places to travel alone in Asia as a first-time solo traveller. It has all the quintessential Asian experiences without being as overwhelming and busy as many other Asian countries. 

As Taiwan is a small island, it is quick and easy to travel between cities. I highly recommend visiting Taipei and Kaohsiung . If you have extra time, Hualien is the perfect city to visit if you enjoy hiking and exploring nature.

October and November are the best months to visit Taiwan. It isn’t as unbearably hot as the summer months and doesn’t rain very often. However, it is still quite hot during those months, so you’ll still get to enjoy the heat and humidity Taiwan is known for. 

Reasons to visit Taiwan as a solo traveller

  • A great public transportation system
  • English is widely spoken
  • Locals are incredibly kind

Top tips for visiting Taiwan as a solo traveller

  • Eat dinner at the  night markets . Taiwan is a foodie’s paradise and has some of the best night markets in the world.
  • Be careful where you sit on public transportation. There are designated seats on buses and trains for elderly people.  Don’t sit in them even if the bus or train is half-empty.

By Erica of Travels with Erica

traditional Thai wooden fishing boat on sandy beach with blue water at koh yao yai

Thailand is a great country for first-time solo travellers of any age, though experienced travellers can still get a kick out of its established digital nomad scene in cities such as Chiang Mai or by adventuring off-the-beaten-track.

Whether you want to take in the serenity of Khao Sok National Park , scooter around the hills and waterfalls in Pai or go  diving in Koh Lanta , both the hidden gems and established tourist trail of Thailand have something to offer.

Reasons to visit Thailand as a solo traveller

  • Easy transport options that are cost-effective for solo travellers
  • Generally safe. Just avoid getting too drunk as spiking is common. Stay with other backpackers and friends and don’t venture out to the beach alone when drinking. Also, watch out for theft on night buses.
  • Established tourist scene
  • A huge variety of cultural and natural attractions in one country
  • Great hostel scene with cheap private rooms too

Top tips for visiting Thailand as a solo traveller

  • Thailand also has an amazing food scene, even for vegan travellers, great hiking opportunities and ample historical temples for you to marvel at.
  • I was initially put off Thailand by the stereotype of drunk backpackers and a worn-out tourist trail. However, the country won me over. It is so much more than that. There is something for everyone in Thailand, and at a low budget too. 

By Cass of Cassie the hag

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blue and white tiled exterior of mosque in samarkand uzbekistan

Uzbekistan  is an up-and-coming destination since it introduced visa-free entry a couple of years ago. This is no surprise as this country is rich in history and culture and there are lots of things to see and do.

Weather-wise, spring and autumn are the best times to visit. 

Uzbekistan was once an important part of the Silk Road .

The ancient cities of Samarkand, Khiva and Bukhara retain their beautiful Islamic architecture and bazaars. It’s not hard to imagine camel caravans passing through when you walk through the scenic alleyways of these cities. People are still welcoming of visitors and will greet you with a smile.

Reasons to visit Uzbekistan as a solo traveller

  • Uzbekistan is one of the safest countries in Asia
  • New high-speed trains make it easy to travel between cities
  • Hostels are opening up throughout the country so it is easy to meet other travellers
  • Uzbekistan is still relatively cheap.

Top tips for visiting Uzbekistan as a solo traveller

  • Try not to skip Tashkent. The capital might lack the ancient Silk Road architecture, but is a great city to learn more about modern Uzbek culture. It is one of the best places to try Uzbek food.
  • Other worthwhile off-the-beaten-path destinations include the Fergana Valley, with its traditional handicrafts, and the ancient desert castles of Khorezm.

By Ellis of Backpack Adventures


Vietnam is one of the most well-known travel destinations in Southeast Asia for so many reasons. It offers a rich culture, as well as history. If that’s not enough to lure you into visiting the country, Vietnam is also one of the most budget-friendly destinations in the world. 

Reasons to visit Vietnam as a solo traveller

  • You can go far in Vietnam on a tight budget as the country is known as one of the cheapest places to travel. You can even book luxurious accommodation in a relatively affordable price range.
  • It’s relatively safe
  • It has an excellent infrastructure with many ways to travel around the country. Some travellers buy a cheap motorbike or scooter to move around, while bus and flight options are also available. 

Top tips for visiting Vietnam as a solo traveller

  • If you’re the kind of traveller who’s after vibrant local culture, visit Hoi An. Or why not have a luxury experience by booking a cruise trip around Ha Long Bay?
  • Sa Pa or  An Giang Province  are recommended if you’re seeking natural beauty. And if you’re into history, don’t miss the capital city Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. 

By Marya of The BeauTraveler

Top 10 Tips for Solo Female Travel in Asia

Travelling solo as a woman in Asia can be an exciting and enriching experience, but it’s important to prioritize safety and plan ahead. Here are my top solo travel safety tips .

1. Booking accommodation

Choosing the right accommodation is one of the keys to safe solo travel. Book well-reviewed, reputable hotels or hostels in busy areas. Read reviews from other solo female travellers on Booking.com or Tripadvisor .

2. Getting around

Use reputable transportation services, especially at night. Consider using taxi apps such as Grab , Bolt and InDrive .

3. Seeing the sights

Try to plan activities during daylight hours and avoid going out alone at night.

I’m a huge fan of day tours and activities and book these through GetYourGuide . They are a fabulous way of meeting other travellers .

a women moulding clay on a wheel watched by another woman

4. Dress Respectfully

Dress modestly to respect local customs and avoid unwanted attention. Take your cue from local women. I usually carry a sarong or scarf to cover my shoulders and knees for visits to religious sites.

5. Stay Connected

Carry a local SIM card or an international roaming plan for your phone and download maps and translation apps. I always share my itinerary with family back home.

6. Travel Insurance

Take out comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, theft and trip cancellations. I buy my travel insurance from Staysure .

7. Money and Documents

Lock up your valuables whenever possible.

Use an anti-theft backpack when you are out and about. I use  this PacSafe backpack  which has anti-RFID technology and a hidden pocket.

Make photocopies or digital backups of your documents.

8. Don’t shout about your solo status

Avoid telling strangers that you’re travelling alone.

Use gender-neutral language when discussing your travel plans.

9. Go easy on the booze

Limit alcohol consumption, especially in unfamiliar environments. Never accept a drink from a stranger unless you see it being made.

10. Trust Your Instincts

Above all, if a situation or person makes you uncomfortable, remove yourself from it. A little bit of common sense goes a long way.

READ THIS NEXT: 17 Essential Safety Tips for Travelling Alone

Asia Solo Travel: Final Thoughts

I hope that these recommendations inspire you to plan your solo trip to Asia. This is one of the easiest continents to visit as a solo traveller and one that reaps rewards many times over.

If you are not sure whether you are ready to explore Asia independently, why not join a  group tour ? These are particularly useful in Asian countries that are not easy to travel around independently (e.g. Mongolia), or that are daunting for the first-time solo traveller (e.g. Pakistan).

As well as being a relatively hassle-free way of travelling, there are many other  benefits of a group tour  as a solo traveller. There are lots of  group travel companies  out there but two companies that I have used and can recommend are  Exodus Travels  and  Explore Worldwide!

You’ll have an expertly curated itinerary and you often gain valuable insights into the country, the people and culture. Generally, there’s safety in numbers. Finally, if you fear solo travel loneliness, there’s the reassurance of ready-made travel companions.

single supplement group travel companies opt in image


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About Bridget

Bridget Coleman has been a passionate traveller for more than 30 years. She has visited 70+ countries, most as a solo traveller.

Articles on this site reflect her first-hand experiences.

To get in touch, email her at [email protected] or follow her on social media.

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Home » Southeast Asia » ULTIMATE Guide to Solo Travel in the Philippines | Destinations & Tips for 2024

ULTIMATE Guide to Solo Travel in the Philippines | Destinations & Tips for 2024

Solo travel in the Philippines is something I will be doing again very soon. Having just returned from an action-packed 30-day solo adventure in the Philippines, I couldn’t wait to write up an insider guide to help others experience this gorgeous country.

The Philippines is a wonderful, exotic and relatively simple place to travel. The country consists of over 7,000 islands and you know what that means… there is no shortage of perfect beaches, crystal-clear water, amazing snorkelling, diving, wildlife and waterfalls. It really is a magical place, let me tell ya.

Solo travel can be scary, overwhelming, and challenging at times – but that’s what it’s all about. Pushing your boundaries, growing as an individual, experiencing all experiences (good and bad) and really learning about yourself are my favourite part of travelling solo.

Solo travel in the Philippines (and Southeast Asia in general) is extremely common, popular, CHEAP, and safe. There’s such a wide array of places to go, things to do, and adventures to be had here. The locals are so friendly, plus they are so easy to make friends with as they speak such fantastic English.

Strap in solo travellers, I’ve compiled this in-depth guide of everything you’ll need to know about travelling solo in the Philippines. This is gonna be the best trip of your life.

Joe at coconut view in Siargao, Philippines

8 Things to Do in the Philippines When Travelling Solo

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There are so many amazing things to do in the Philippines as a solo traveller. But, speaking from my personal experiences, the following activities or things to do are things I can 100% recommend to most solo travellers backpacking in the Philippines .

1. Make New Friends

The Philippines is such a great country to visit as a solo traveller. Backpacking Southeast Asia is great, whatever country you go to. There are tons of travellers everywhere you go (many of them solo), and meeting like-minded and friendly people is super easy… Even for introverts like me.

Whether you have just arrived in Manila, or you are relaxing on a remote beach in Siquijor, you will find people from all sorts of countries who are on a solo mission and want to make friends, just like you.

cebu philippines nacho hostel friends

Filipinos are especially friendly and welcoming. They also speak fabulous English and making friends with locals in this country is a walk in the park. Grab a couple of San Miguels, offer one to a local, and have a good ol’ natter. What’s the worst that could happen?

2. Go Island Hopping

As the Philippines is made up of over 7,000 islands, what better way to explore a few of them than to go on an island hopping tour? Island hopping tours in this country are excellent. Activities as part of the tours range from snorkelling or fishing all the way to boozing and partying.

Looking down a shallow inlet surrounded by jungle covered limestone cliffs with clear turquoise sea water and blue skies in the Philippines.

Island hopping tours are incredible for solo travellers. Mainly because it’s a boozy affair and a bit of alcohol is a superb social lubricant and provides timid solo travellers like me with a bit of Dutch courage to approach people and start conversations.

Island hopping tours from El Nido , Coron, Boracay, and Siargao are all great. If possible, arrange with a hostel buddy to go on one together or join a full tour to improve your chances of finding cool people on the tours.

The Philippines probably isn’t the first place that pops into your head when someone says surfing. But let me tell you mate, there are some world-class waves to be discovered here.

The surfing capital of the Philippines is Siargao – my favourite island out of the lot! It is absolute heaven for any type of surfer.

Joe with a surfboard in Siargao, Philippines

The famous Cloud 9 surf break has the potential to unleash massive barreling waves over a stunning reef and is of such high quality it has hosted WSL (World Surf League) events. If you’re a beginner, never fear, there are a bunch of beginner reaks around the island including Secret Spot and Jacking Horse.

Some of the best friends I made in the Philippines were people I met out in the surf, bonding over a common hobby is so easy. Surfing with an instructor or solo is always fun too though!

4. Go Canyoneering

Canyoneering at Kawasan Falls on Cebu Island is an adrenaline-filled adventure that will live on in your memory.

Sending it off big jumps, slippery rocks, and rope swings into enchanting aquamarine water is certainly exhilarating. This is my idea of fun anyway, and not a single person on my tour didn’t have an epic time.

Friends pose amidst the beautiful scenery of Kawasan Falls during their canyoneering expedition

The Philippines is full of jungles, waterfalls, and hidden gems for you to explore and find your own spots to go cliff jumping and canyoneering. But to be honest, joining an organised tour such as the one to Kawasan Falls is probably the best, safest, and most fun option.

5. Scuba Dive, Freedive or Snorkel

The Philippines has some of the best snorkelling, scuba diving and freediving in the world; it’s also one of the cheapest places in the world to dive .

Will underwater being guided on a dive

Certain spots such as Moalboal, home to the Sardine Run are otherworldly. Wherever you are in the Philippines, getting in the ocean is a great idea. Scuba courses and fun dive tours are a great way to make friends and snorkel tours can be great for this too.

6. Relax at One of the Thousands of Beaches

With over 7,000 amazing islands in the Philippines , only god knows how many beaches there are in this place. Rent a moped or book a driver and go explore!

Tropical beach at Cloud 9 Surf Spot, Siargao, Philippines

There are a bunch of popular beaches but there are some seriously golden secret spots in this country. Get Google Maps out, speak to locals, or go off on your own and see what you can find.

7. Take a Cooking Class

Filipino food isn’t the best in the world, I’ll be the first to admit that. But, taking a cooking class in Manila is a great way to socialise as a solo traveller and learn a lot about Filipino traditions, culture, and cuisine.

jollibee philippines fast food manila

Wherever I travel, I love to take cooking classes. It’s fun to do alone, but also is a great way to meet others who also have a passion for food.

8. Visit a Volcano!

The Philippines is home to around 300 volcanoes and about 24 of them are active. Hiking volcanoes is such a powerful thing to do and it really fits with the personal development and deep sense of adventure that many solo travellers are seeking to embrace.

Will sitting on a rock topless in front of mountains

Going to Taal is one fantastic sight and makes for a memorable adventure. Other cool hikes include trekking Mount Pulag , Mount Arayat, Mount Hibok-Hiok and Mayon Volcano.

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“Ok, but if there are over 7,000 islands, where the hell should I go?” I can hear you already…

I’ve compiled a list of the best locations for solo travellers in the Philippines, based on my personal experiences and stories from backpackers I’ve met on the road…

Siargao is one of the best places to visit in the world . Is that excessive? No, I really think it is.

Now I will admit, I only left Siargao a couple of weeks ago, so this recommendation may contain some recency bias. But, there is no denying that it’s a magical place for any type of backpacker.

sunset in Siargao, Philippines

What makes Siargao solo travel so fantastic is the sense of community. There are so many amazing hostels in Siargao and the backpacking scene is seriously thriving.

My favourite hostel has to be Sinag Hostel though. The friendliness of the staff is just unmatched and it’s very affordable.

Siargao is a great place for backpackers looking to do things like chill on beaches, surf, party, and just rent mopeds and explore the stunning island. Siargao is island life defined.

El Nido on the island of Palawan is one of the most popular backpacking locations in the Philippines, and you know what that means… There are TONS of other solo travellers.

El Nido is most well known for its simply magical white sand beaches and stunning coral reefs bustling with marine life. It’s one of the best places in the Philippines to join in on island hopping tours.

Will taking a selfie on a traditional Filipino boat under the sun

The only thing about El Nido is that the entire island of Palawan is slightly more expensive than the rest of the country… but it’s like this for a reason. It’s one of the best places!

The most popular hostel for solo travellers looking to socialise in El Nido is definitely Mad Monkey Nacpan Beach .

If you don’t know how Mad Monkeys work, they are kinda party hostels that encourage social interaction (and drinking). They host a bunch of activities for people to get to know each other and have fun.

I hate cities. I loved Manila.

Well, I didn’t love Manila, but I did love my stay in the city . Why? Because of the people I met!

Manila is such a hub of backpacker activity in the Philippines due to the volume of people flying into, out of, and around the Philippines. (So is Cebu City to be fair, so that can be our imaginary number 4.5.)

Because of the guaranteed activity in the city, backpackers flood the hostels to make contacts, connections, and plans for their onward journeys.

philippines manila city skyline

It was in Manila that I met some friends that I ended up travelling with to other islands, who had also just begun their solo trips in the Philippines.

I stayed in Ola Hostel and loved it here, so I can defo recommend it to other solo travellers. They have fun games like beer pong and darts. They also have a nice rooftop bar which comes alive at 6 pm and is great for people looking to get their laptops out and do some admin during the day.

4. Siquijor

Siquijor may be small, but boy oh boy is it mighty. This little island is incredible and is close to Cebu. It’s a dream destination for many (myself included) boasting amazing waterfalls, beaches and lush jungles.

Siquijor is the perfect destination for solo travellers who are seeking the perfect blend of seclusion and action. The atmosphere is sublime.

The local people in Siquijor are largely responsible for this atmosphere. – they’re legends. They welcome foreigners as their own and I made some real connections with many of the locals I met here.

Local kids in Philippines making silly faces

Siquijor is so small that it makes for the perfect location for solo travellers to go off, explore, and soul search. All without any risk of wandering too far from the nest or getting into any real danger.

There are a bunch of great hostels in Siquijor , but your nest of choice should probably be Fable Hostel . This place is the perfect base for any type of traveller and is also great for solo female travellers in the Philippines as they have female-only dorm rooms.

5. Moalboal

Moalboal is a cute little beach town on the island of Cebu. It is famous for many things including its extremely unique marine life (notably the sardine run). Here, thousands of sardines can be reliably seen all over the coastline shoaling in spectacular fashion.

cebu moalboal beach philippines

Moalboal has a lovely soul to it and is a cheap place to visit . Solo travellers have plenty of cool activities awaiting them, including easy access to canyoneering at Kawasan Falls and island hopping tours.

Head over to Chilli Bar for a wild night out and to party with all your new friends. But just before that, get yourself over to MOHO hostel . They have free drinks between 8-8:30 pm and have all sorts of fun and games going on such as beer pong and quiz nights.

The atmosphere is perfect for solo travellers and the owner Roy is hilarious. I love you, Roy.

Having these terrific travel apps in your arsenal will give you superpowers. Trust me.

  • Google Maps – Do I need to explain this one?
  • Booking.com – Easily the best app for accommodation.
  • Hostelworld – A great alternative to Booking.com for finding the best hostels in the Philippines .
  • Google Translate – Such an easy way to speak every language.
  • Grab – Grab is the Uber of Southeast Asia. Use Grab to book cheap and reliable rides from A to B.
  • Foodpanda – Great for lazy takeaway days, especially in the big cities.
  • Tinder – Dating apps like Hinge, Bumble or Tinder aren’t just for hook-ups! You can make and meet friends on these things too.
  • GetYourGuide  – Book tours and meet other travellers.
  • Maps.me – The Philippines is notorious for dodgy wifi, download some maps offline – trust me.
  • Holafly – An e-SIM application that allows you to download an unlimited plan for your trip without installing a physical card.

Facebook groups are also a great shout for solo backpackers, and so is the Hostelworld chat for your location. My best tip though? Get off yo’ phone and go chat to people!

photo of a person holding a smartphone with Holafly logo

Stop stressing about your phone service when you travel abroad.

Holafly is a digital SIM card that works smoothly like an app — you simply pick your plan, download it, and voilà!

Roam around Europe, but leave the roaming charges for the n00bies.

Staying safe in the Philippines is relatively straightforward. As with most places, exercising common sense can take you very far. HOWEVER, there are bad people all over the world, so you shouldn’t be naive to the possibilities of danger.

Solo female travellers should be especially careful, as usual, but not paranoid. I met lots of solo female travellers here and besides the odd motorbike crash or catcall, nothing else negative happened to them.

Joe on a scooter with a surfboard and Osprey Farpoint 40 - Hand lugagge only

The US Travel Advisory suggests you exercise increased caution when visiting the Philippines. Whilst I believe this to be accurate for some locations such as the not so well travelled islands and places like Davao, it’s overdoing it for most places.

Places with a thriving backpacker scene are generally very safe. Filipinos are honourable, honest and hospitable people – you would be extremely unlucky to be a victim of any sort.

If this is your first big solo trip, don’t worry, these tips will help you have a killer time in the Philippines and could also save your ass.

red horse, philippines beer manila

  • Travel light and pick a trusty backpack over a rolling suitcase.
  • Book hostels . It’s the BEST way to travel solo. You’ll meet awesome people and they’re often nicer than hotels.
  • If you’re travelling on a tight budget , you can get cheap transport tickets if you book in advance .
  • Don’t just visit cities … please. Countries are more than just their tourist hotspots and Instagram-famous locations.
  • That being said… Still do the touristy things … there is a reason they’re popular.
  • Leave your heels at home . Good travel shoes are essential.
  • Book Tours – It’s one of the best ways to experience a country. Plus, it’s a great way to meet others travelling solo.
  • Get travel insurance for the Philippines . You never know what can happen, and we want you safe, not hundreds of dollars in debt and unable to get home safely.

My final tip would be to just go for it and also to go with the flow. Nothing ever unfolds exactly how you imagined it, but this is the beauty of travel. We love the mystery of surprises, don’t we?

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

best solo travel destinations south east asia

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

I hope this guide has equipped you with the knowledge, confidence and inspiration to embark on a solo adventure in the Philippines. If you made it this far, I know you’re reaaaally thinking about it, so you should defo just go!

If I could recommend one place to anyone it would have to be Siargao Island. I just fell in love with the place. It’s got such a friendly community feel to it and I never once felt alone here – despite arriving solo. Actually, I did take myself off on a few solo nature adventures, but you get the point.

Another place which is perfectly suited to every type of solo traveller is the island of Palawan. Check out popular spots like Coron, El Nido and Part Barton for some of the backpacking crowds and the best activities in the country.

Ok, folks. All that’s left to do is stop making excuses, book your ticket, pack your bag, and go to the Philippines. Good luck, you’ve got this.

Cebu Pacific Flight, Aeorplane, Airplane in Philippines

  • Check out the best Philippines travel guide on the net for all your inspo!
  • Prepare your wallet with our guide to the cost of living in the Philippines .
  • Find out where to stay in the Philippines to get the most out of your visit.
  • Don’t forget the essentials with our in-depth backpacking packing list .
  • And bring your travel camera to capture the breathtaking views Philippines has to offer!
  • Let’s get you ready for your next country with our Southeast Asia backpacking guide .

best solo travel destinations south east asia

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

Joe Middlehurst

Joe Middlehurst

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By Tommy with

8 Places in Southeast Asia Ideal for Solo Travel

Asia Best Destinations

In the past 7 to 8 years, Southeast Asia has become a beacon destination for solo travel . Initially lead by the lush shores of Thailand , now neighboring countries like Vietnam , Cambodia , Philippines and Indonesia are all major destinations in the region.

And who wouldn’t be lured by outstanding beaches , verdant jungles , fascinating wildlife , delicious food and affordable prices?

Thailand travel

Southeast Asia is THE place to travel solo . Whether you’re venturing on a loop from Thailand to Laos to Vietnam to Cambodia or staying in social hostels, you’ll always meet fellow travelers to share your experiences with.

Here are 9 of the best places in Southeast Asia ideal for solo travel :

Bangkok, Thailand

The gateway to Southeast Asia really needs no introduction. Bangkok , the capital of Thailand , is a perfect way to meet fellow travelers, many of which are starting out on their Southeast Asia adventure.

With long-standing and top-rated hostels like Nappark Hostel being at the forefront of social hostels, it’s almost impossible not to meet fellow solo travelers.

Bangkok is usually a place to explore for a few days and then head north to Chiang Mai or south to the southern Thai islands . That’s pretty much the itinerary for most solo travelers starting out in BK.

Khao San Road - Bangkok

Khao San Road is famous for travelers and although it isn’t what Thailand is about in general, it still has a reputation of a must visit.

Bali, Indonesia

The Bali boom is still blazing with record numbers visiting. Bali has turned into an eco-paradise that feels separate from the rest of Indonesia.

From rice terraces to surfing to historical temples to monkeys, Bali is certainly one to open all the senses . Kuta has often been the go-to place for traveler’s years ago, but with Seminyak and Lombok now popular destinations for solo travelers. You won’t walk many places without seeing someone on the road just like your solo self.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi is no stranger to busy streets and even though many of them are scattered with non-stop motorbikes, there’s still a vibrant scene here for solo travelers . Head to the Old Quarter for outdoor seating, backstreets and 50c beer.

If there’s any hostel group in Vietnam that is the best at bringing people together, it’s non-other than Vietnam Backpacker Hostels . There are two in Hanoi to choose from. The Original, smaller and more personable or Downtown, eccentric and exciting. Either way, you’ll definitely meet fellow solo wanderers for life here.

Koh Tao in Thailand

Known for being the best in Southeast for beginner scuba divers , Koh Tao in recent years has built up a good-vibe community . Although there has been some terribly unfortunate incidents in Koh Tao that have made the tabloids go over-board on the headlines, Koh Tao is still a great place to meet fellow Southeast Asia solo travelers.

Learn how to scuba dive , relax by the beach and congregate with fellow travelers is what it’s all about here.

5. Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan in Thailand

Koh Phangan is the home of the Full Moon Party so without question this is ideal for solo travelers. What started out as a small hippie-trance event has now turned into tens of thousands of travelers partying on the beach each month, to celebrate the full moon.

Full Moon Party in Thailand

Haad Rin is where the extreme action takes place and where everyone heads to for the Full Moon Party but in Baan Thai, 20 minutes out is a place where you can find balance. One of the original hostel companies, Dancing Elephant, has made the switch to Baan Thai, now Dancing Elephant Beach Club . It’s here where you can enjoy the beauty of Koh Phangan and take your pick when to catapult yourself into the party.

Boracay Island - Philippines

Back after a six-month shutdown due to environmental concerns, Boracay is back at the Philippines ‘ prime tourist location. The buzz is back on this tiny island with its white sand and turquoise waters . A paradisiacal place to meet fellow Southeast Asia solo travelers.

If you’re looking for that destination that attracts travelers who want a good time, Boracay fits the bill in the Philippines. Frendz Resort & Hostel is the place to stay for that with cool bamboo décor, a pool and a bar and restaurant for solo travelers to get together.

7. Siem Reap

Siem Reap - Cambodia

Angkor Wat , the most precious and popular historical site in the whole of Southeast Asia , is the staple of Cambodia. Situated on the outskirts of Siem Reap, this is a must visit.

While all kinds of visitors will pour into to experience this 12th century complex, this is one of the mainstays of Asia solo travel. Siem Reap is improving as a city and with the bubbling Pub Street the easy place to socialize and meet people; it’s easy to see why.

Mad Monkey Siem Reap has been around since 2011 and still stands as one of the main places to meet Southeast Asia solo travelers. Lub D , another social hostel chain in Southeast Asia, have also a fantastic hostel to stay in. Both are perfect for Southeast Asia solo travelers so you don’t have to be alone!

8. Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang - Laos

Laos is a funny country. Although it doesn’t have the tourism that neighboring Thailand or Vietnam possesses, its location is key. Often visited because it’s on the way to both neighbors, Luang Prabang is the stop you take from North Thailand or Hanoi in the North of Vietnam.

With a twist of France, but with a curfew, Luang Prebang is mellower than mayhem. Yet, Southeast Asia solo travelers still flock through here for a few days exploring waterfalls , caves and temples . The solo travelers here are more than likely travelling for several months, because it’s not a place many travelers fly to directly for a one off trip.

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We Are Global Travellers

22 top tips for solo travel in Southeast Asia

Updated On 3rd February, 2024

Top tips for solo travel in Southeast Asia

Solo travel in Southeast Asia is nowhere near as daunting as it sounds.

So many people do it and there are so many companies, hostels and tours that accommodate solo travellers, giving you a platform to meet other like-minded travellers en route. Solo travelling Southeast Asia, in my opinion, is one of the best destinations to do it in. It’s filled with so much colour, culture and adventure… you just need to dedicate a little extra time for planning so that you feel confident.

There are some great tips in my  top tips for travelling solo as a female in this post.

However, I get it. The idea can still be daunting, especially if it’s your first solo adventure. In this post, I’ve teamed up with my friend Jess (@jessicacoopertit) and we have put together our top tips for solo travel in Southeast Asia, based on our own experiences…

Here are 22 top tips for solo travel in Southeast Asia…

best solo travel destinations south east asia


1. spend enough time in each country..

It may sound silly, but it’s very easy to want to travel in as many countries as you possibly can, even if you only have a short amount of time in Southeast Asia. Quality over quantity. It’s better to really explore fewer places over longer amounts of time than it is to squeeze all of SE Asia into one itinerary!

2. Check visa and vaccination requirements.

Depending on where you’re coming from, you may need a visa to travel in certain parts of Southeast Asia;  check your local government website.

Each country also has their own rules on which vaccinations you need. Hepatitis A, tetanus and typhoid are all strongly recommended before travelling to Southeast Asia. Other vaccinations recommended for Southeast Asia include hepatitis B, diphtheria, cholera, Japanese encephalitis, rabies and malaria (a course of medication, rather than a jab).  Check with your local doctor to see which vaccinations you need before your trip.

3. Get travel insurance.

No one wants the worst to happen, but it’s better to be safe than sorry when you’re travelling.  Get your travel insurance here.

Check out  this post for tips visas, vaccinations and insurance for Southeast Asia.

4. Pack light and well.

Don’t pack too much as you don’t want to lug it round. Getting laundry done is really cheap in Southeast Asia so you won’t need as many clothes as you think! Having said that, make sure you have all the essentials. You’ll only spend unnecessary money on stuff you accidentally forgot!



5. choose a dorm that suits your vibe..

Single sex or mixed, large or small – one isn’t better than the other. It just depends on your personal preferences!

If you want peace and quiet, maybe opt for a small, single sex dorm. Single sex dorms are also great for a bit of extra privacy; a room of girls aren’t going to bat an eyelid at a bra!

If you want maximum encounters and party vibes, try a large, mixed dorm. Mixed dorm rooms allow you to socialise with every single type of person.

Make sure to book in advance if you have a real preference!

6. The best places to make friends are in the dorms and in the communal areas.

The dorm room itself is a small environment where you can easily start with the general ‘travelling questions’:  Where are you from? Where have you been? Where are you heading next?  Once you’ve started a conversation, it often leads to heading out to explore/eat/drink together, and that’s how many travelling friendships start out!

Additionally, most hostels will throw themed evenings or happy hours (Hanoi Backpackers had something going on every night), which encourage everyone into the bar area to mix and socialise. After a drink or two making friends is a piece of cake. The kitchen/dining area is also a great place to chat and meet people over dinner. Chances are people will be off out for the evening after eating, so dinnertime is prime time to bag yourself an invite!

Check out  this post for tips on making friends during solo travel.

7. To choose a good hostel, do research before your trip and get recommendations from other travellers as you go.

When choosing a hostel, I check TripAdvisor, Hostel World, Hostelbookers and travel blogs to compare the top recommendations. There are usually a few that will keep popping up and then its just ip-dip-do! You can still head to other hostels to the bars if you find yours is quiet.

Additionally, other travellers will recommend hostels along the way, which makes choosing really easy.

Here’s my full  guide to choosing the perfect hostel.

best solo travel destinations south east asia


8. organise your own airport transfer..

It’s not as easy as you might think to group up with other travellers and share a taxi to the airport. People usually already have plans in place or are so preoccupied with figuring out how to get somewhere that they do not stop to look around for fellow travellers. But there are often shuttle buses from the airport that either drop you off at your hostel/hotel or at least into the centre of town if you want a cheaper option than a taxi. Saying that, transport in Asia is super cheap, so whilst you may have to jump in a taxi alone, it’s not going to set you back much.

9. It’s easy to travel around SE Asia independently.

There are ‘tourist shops’ by the dozen on every street, selling everything you, as a traveller, will need. From bus tickets, train tickets, tours and day trips to boat parties and hostels, the agents will give you clear instructions on where to be and when. Everyone is always super helpful and accommodating, and they’re willing to help with directions or advice. For tours or transport, you’ll usually get picked up from your hostel (the driver will do the rounds) or you meet at the shop you booked in. South East Asia survives on tourism so they will cater to your needs.

For  top tips for travelling solo as a female, check out this post.

10. Public transport is the cheapest way to get around.

Another tip for solo travel in Southeast Asia is to maximise the cheap public transport for domestic travel. Buses and train tickets are readily available for travelling around Asia and won’t cost you extra as you are only purchasing your own ticket either way. Obviously it’s nicer to hop in a cool (on time) taxi, so if that’s you’re preferred mode of transport, it’s time to buddy up!


I haven’t done any group organised tours in SE Asia, so Jess is going to take these ones…!

11. There are several good group tour options in Southeast Asia.

Intro Travel  and  TruTravels  are both great group tours that run in several countries across the world. The size of the tour depends on how many people book; it could be anywhere from 3 to 20!

12. The tour is what you make it.

It doesn’t have to be party, party, party if you don’t want it to be! Granted, there are a lot of boozy based activities (booze cruises, bar crawls and some how a constant supply of beer) but if you don’t want to do anything, they will not make you.

Additionally, with the accommodation, it was great, but not always super lively. It’s down to you to decide if you want to keep the chill vibe or ramp up the party vibes with your new found friends!

13. The group tour leaders can parent you a little bit. It’s frustrating, but all for your own safety.

You have to remember that they are there for your safety and well being. For example, if you want to wander off to a different bar on a night out then you would need to let them know because if something would happen to you then they would lose their job. But, they are all in their 20s and share the interest of travel and are basically there to make sure that you have an awesome time! Group tours don’t restrict your freedom; these tours are more like travelling with a super organised buddy. They’re also great for future tips and advice as they have usually travelled a lot themselves, and they might become some of your lifelong friends!

14. Group tours are worth the money if you don’t want to plan or you’re worried about going completely solo.

To have a 2-week break, where someone else is there to think about all of the difficult things (where you’re going, how you’re getting there, where you’re staying) and the only decision you have to make is what you’re going to eat, it is definitely worth the money. Yes, you could probably do it cheaper by yourself, but the benefit of having someone else think for you, allowing you to 100% relax, is priceless. Also, if you are perhaps nervous about making friends but want to meet people, tours are a great way to kick start your trip and build your confidence.

15. You can go completely solo and have just as much fun.

Sometimes throwing yourself into the deep end and working it all out yourself is the best way to learn and evolve as a person. It totally depends on what you want to gain from your trip!

Still undecided about  group travel vs solo travel? Check out this comparison guide!


16. be aware of pickpocketers..

Not something unique to SE Asia, but something to be aware of. Keep an eye on your valuables in busy areas!

17. Street food is really cheap and good for saving money.

Do as the locals do and eat the street food! You’ll spend a lot of money if you try to eat a western diet in Southeast Asia.

18. Don’t drink the tap water.

With the exception of Singapore, you shouldn’t drink the tap water in Southeast Asia. Take a reusable water bottle, as most places will have a system for refilling your bottle.  Shop my refillable water bottle here.

Check out more  sustainable travel swaps you can make for your next adventure here.

19. Bargain and negotiate for a good deal.

One of my top tips for solo travel in Southeast Asia is to haggle. Prices are less fixed here than they are in the UK or the west. Put your bargaining powers to good use and see if you can get yourself a better deal!

20. Travel ethically and responsibly.

If we want to keep travelling around beautiful parts of the world, we have a responsibility to look after it. Top tips for ethical travel include…

  • Leave no trace – clean up all your rubbish.
  • Avoid animal exploitation (rides, shows, etc.).
  • Avoid human exploitation (trips to ‘watch the locals’ in a village, etc.)
  • Be aware of voluntourism and check that the money you put into volunteering goes to the locals, not a big western organisation.

For more advice on making good choices when you’re travelling, check out  this post on responsible tourism.

21. Get a local SIM Card.

Not only will you save a lot of money on data roaming, but you’ll be able to keep in touch with home easily. This is good for your safety, as well as curing any homesickness before it becomes a big problem!

For more tips on  staying safe when solo travelling, check out this post.


22. you are likely to get homesick at some point on your trip. recognise and acknowledge the feeling, and try to work through it to enjoy the rest of your trip..

To avoid homesickness, my top tips are…

  • Talk to everyone. People that you would never expect may become lifelong friends!
  • Only spend time alone when you need alone time. Alone time can be a blessing, but if you can feel homesickness creeping in then try and surround yourself with positive people as a distraction.
  • Stay in touch with home. They’re there to chat to you and support you, but remember they miss you too and they just want to see you enjoy yourself!
  • If it really gets too much, remember you can change your plans and go back home.

For more top tips on  working through homesickness, check out this post.

The ultimate guide to exploring Bali, Indonesia

The hardest things about solo travel are…

  • Organising everything: it’s a lot of pressure!
  • Experiencing things alone if you haven’t made new friends.
  • Feeling homesick.

The best things about solo travel are…

  • The freedom to be selfish and do whatever you want during your trip at your own pace and in your own time.
  • Discovering yourself and how strong you can be.

Read all the  lessons I’ve learned from solo travel and how it changed me here.

Have you been to Southeast Asia?

What are your top tips for solo travel in Southeast Asia? I’d love to know!

Love as always and happy adventuring,

Did you find this post helpful? I’d love you to share it for me.

I can’t do this without you.

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Top tips for solo travel in Southeast Asia




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Got My Backpack

My 4 Month South East Asia Solo Backpacking Itinerary

  • Post author: Kieren
  • Post last modified: February 14, 2024
  • Post category: South East Asia

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Quit your job and go travelling. It’s the cliche right? Well I did it and the 4 months I spent travelling around South East Asia were some of the best in my life. It was my first big trip as a solo traveller and after 4 months travelling alone I wonder how the heck I ever travelled with other people before.

Of course, travelling solo never really means travelling alone. I met incredible people, travellers and locals, who made the journey extra special. There were relatively few language barriers and the infrastructure for backpacking in South East Asia (hostels, buses and the like) made it super easy to travel.

With so many incredible places to choose from, deciding upon a travel route is a little daunting at first, but just seems to develop naturally as you move around. Nevertheless, I’ll provide some inspiration by sharing my own South East Asia 4 month itinerary (17½ weeks to be precise).

What is the Banana Pancake Trail?

Northern thailand [2-3 weeks], laos [3-4 weeks], cambodia [3 weeks], vietnam [4 weeks], south of thailand [2 weeks], malaysia + singapore [2-3 weeks], got longer in south east asia, related questions.

Backpacking routes through the region have been dubbed the ‘ Banana Pancake Trail ‘, a reference to the abundance of banana pancakes catering to us westerners. (If you’re a fellow pancake lover reading this, don’t get your hopes up – you’ll soon be returning to the Asian cuisine.)

My itinerary is a very typical journey along the Banana Pancake Trail. I began by heading north from Bangkok, working my way through Northern Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. From Hanoi, I flew back to Bangkok, ready to begin the second leg of my journey, this time heading south until I reached Singapore.

Average spend in Northern Thailand: £35/day

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Conveniently in the centre of South East Asia, Bangkok provides a great central hub and starting point for your journey. The best part about starting your adventure here is that you’ll meet many like minded travellers doing the same thing. I continued to meet up with friends I had made in Bangkok throughout my trip and even travelled with some of them for a few weeks.

There’s plenty to keep you occupied in this busy capital city, from the temples that line the river to the infamous Koh San Road where backpackers have partied the night away for decades. Check out some of the streets surrounding Koh San Road which have a better atmosphere these days.

Where to stay in Bangkok? I can highly recommend Nap Park hostel , especially for solo travellers. Read my full list of hostel recommendations for Bangkok .

Things to do in Bangkok

  • Party on Koh San Road
  • Chatuchak weekend market
  • Wat Pho and the Grand Palace
  • Floating markets
  • Day trip to the dragon temple ( Wat Sam Phran )

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2. Chiang Mai

With a less traffic jams and more scenery, Chiang Mai is known as Thailand’s ‘Rose of the North’. The central area of the city is surrounded by historic walls and a moat that date back to the city’s origins. Inside the walls lie a trove of temples, massage parlours, bars and restaurants making it the backpacker and expat haven it is today.

Things to do in Chiang Mai

  • Visit an ethical elephant sanctuary such as Elephantland
  • Grand Canyon water park
  • Visit Wat Doi Suthep
  • See a Muay Thai flight
  • Trekking with a hill tribe

Where to stay in Chiang Mai? I’ve compiled a list of the best

hostels for your stay .

best solo travel destinations south east asia

About 3 hours drive from Chiang Mai (a twisty journey to say the least), you’ll find the hippy paradise of Pai. A swathe of beautiful nature can be found in the surrounding areas, from stunning mountain backdrops, lush green paddy fields, waterfalls, caves, hot springs and more.

TIP : The region is best explored on a scooter or motorbike. If you can’t yet ride one then now is the best time to learn as it will benefit your entire trip, I’m speaking from experience. The quiet open roads around the area make it the perfect place to practice and most of the rental shops will offer a short lesson to newbies.

Pai also has a buzzing nightlife, from the party atmosphere of the towns main club, Don’t Cry, to the hippie vibes and fire shows at Paradise bar. Many backpackers visit Pai for a few days and have such a great time that they stay for weeks, it’s become known as getting ‘ stuck in the Pai hole ‘, hopefully it won’t happen to you.

Things to do in Pai:

  • Pai Grand Canyon
  • Bamboo Bridge
  • Hot springs
  • Bamboo raft through Tham Lod caves
  • Paradise bar

best solo travel destinations south east asia

4. Chiang Rai

Unfortunately Pai is a little out of the way, so getting anywhere else will usually require a journey back to Chiang Mai and maybe even an overnight stay.

The final destination I recommend in Northern Thailand is Chiang Rai. Whilst many backpackers will use it as a quick stop over on the journey to Laos, I recommend spending a few days to explore this laid-back little city.

It’s most popular attraction is undeniably the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) with it’s majestic design making it a hot spot for Instagram photo shoots. Look out for the pop culture references cleverly hidden in the interior artwork.

Things to do in Chiang Rai

  • Night food market
  • The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun)
  • Full list of things to do in Chiang Rai

best solo travel destinations south east asia

Taking the Slow Boat to Laos

From Chiang Rai, the most scenic way to get to Laos is via the 2 day slow boat. With an overnight stop in Pak Beng (an awful place but you won’t be there long), the boat cruises down the Mekong river through glorious landscapes until arriving just outside Luang Prabang.

Don’t overpay for the journey like I did, follow my slow boat tips to get a good deal.

Average spend in Laos: £21/day

best solo travel destinations south east asia

5. Luang Prabang

My first stop during my three weeks in Laos was the country’s cultural capital Luang Prabang. Having spent two days together on the slow boat, I had already met dozens of other tourists that would be in the city for the coming days, making it really easy to visit as a solo traveller.

Whilst in Luang Prabang, you need to see Kuang Si Falls, a stunning waterfall with turquoise blue water and triple tiered splash pools. It’s a tourist trap for sure, but well worth seeing.

Things to do in Luang Prabang

  • Kuang Si Falls
  • See the monks Giving Alms
  • Party at the bowling alley

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6. Vang Vieng

From the capital of culture to the adventure capital , Vang Vieng. There are now two roads from Luang Praband to Vang Vieng, one that cuts right over the mountains usually taking 3-4 hours in a minibus (this is the one I took and it’s a guaranteed bumpy ride) or the longer route which is usually favoured by larger buses but will take a few hours longer.

Despite being a small town situated amongst jagged limestone cliffs and beautiful rolling green fields, Vang Vieng still has a good nightlife with backpackers drawn to the open sale of marijuana, magic mushrooms and more at the towns bars. Originally famous for it’s crazy river tubing parties, this is now highly regulated but you can still enjoy the daily tubing trip along with other, more adrenaline-fuelled, activities.

Things to do in Vang Vieng:

  • River tubing
  • Blue Lagoons and caves
  • Kayaking, Zipling or Paramotoring (paragliding with an engine)
  • Cheapest hot air balloon ride in the world

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7. Vientiane

From the adventure capital to the country’s official capital city, Vientiane. With an unusually relaxed pace of life for a capital city, you’ll notice the distinct remnants from French colonization across the city, including French road names, an abundance of French bakeries and the large ‘Patuxai’ monument which is best described as a ‘mini Arc de triomphe’.

Things to do in Vientiane:

  • Vientiane night market
  • Buddha Park
  • Pha That Luang – Laos’ sacred stupa
  • COPE visitor centre

best solo travel destinations south east asia

8. Pakse and the Bolaven Plateau

From Vientiane, many backpackers on the Banana Pancake Trail will head up to Hanoi, but you’d be foolish to miss out on the beauty of southern Laos. In my opinion, the south was even better than the north.

Travelling from Vientiane to Pakse requires an overnight bus; an experience in itself. If you’re lucky you won’t have to share your bed!

The small city of Pakse is a relatively quiet affair with little going on. But, rent a scooter and you can see some of the best nature on this South East Asia route, especially if you head out to the Champassak highlands along the Bolaven Plateau motorbike loop.

Things to do in Pakse

  • Bolaven Plateau Motorbike Loop
  • Wat Phou – Temple ruins built in the same style to those at Angkor Wat

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At the southern border of Laos lies Si Phan Don, with a literal translation of 4000 islands. Here the Mekong divulges in to many smaller waterways creating an array of islands. Most are very tiny, but three are inhabited, the most popular one being Don Det where you’ll find restaurants and guesthouses in plentiful supply.

You’ll be able to purchase a combination ticket from Pakse to Don Det, including the bus and a return boat journey across to Don Det. There are no ATMs on Don Det so make sure you stock up on cash at the ATM’s you’ll find before getting on the boat.

The best part of this island is watching the sun set across the Mekong from one of the sun set bars.

Things to do in Don Det

  • Island tour with waterfall and kayaking
  • Watch the sun setting from the sun set bars

best solo travel destinations south east asia

Crossing the Laos-Cambodia border

Watch out for corruption at this border. You can expect to pay a few extra dollars for a ‘stamping charge’ which is pretty much non-negotiable. But, I also noticed someone selling Cambodian visas at the Laos border for an inflated price which many tourists were falling for.

Remember – You’ll stamp out of Laos at the Laos exit border, then walk across to the Cambodian entry border to get your visa and stamps for Cambodia. Don’t get your Cambodian visa at the Laos border.

Also, there are no ATMs here so ensure you have enough dollars for the visa and ‘stamping stamp’ before getting on the bus.

Average spend in Cambodia : £37/day

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10. Siem Reap

After the relaxed evenings in Laos, you’ll definitely be ready for the upbeat atmosphere in Siem Reap where it’s ‘Pub Street’ is reminiscent of Bangkok’s Koh San Road. With $0.50 draft beer and clubs open until early hours, you’ll have some unforgettable nights here.

Of course, you’ll need to find time to visit Angkor Wat, Cambodia’s most famous landmark. A 1 day pass should be fine for most people wanting to get a glimpse at the temple ruins but for temple-nerds, a 3 day pass will allow you to explore a wider variety of Temples within the vast complex.

Things to do in Siem Reap:

  • Floating Village

best solo travel destinations south east asia

TIP: Don’t visit Sihanoukeville – Some older South East Asia itineraries will advise a visit to Sihanoukeville on the way to Koh Rong, but this city is no longer the glorious destination it once was. Enormous Chinese investment has seen hundreds of ugly skyscrapers clogging the skyline, most only catering to package holiday tourists. There are few backpacker hostels, the beaches are flooded with litter and crime is high, it has gained the deserving nickname ‘shits-ville’ amongst travellers. I recommend heading straight for Koh Rong.

11. Koh Rong

By this point I’d spend over 6 weeks travelling in South East Asia and still hadn’t seen a real beach, luckily this is where the islands at the south of Cambodia did not disappoint. With a mix of beautiful white beaches and dense jungle terrain, your time on the island of Koh Rong can’t go wrong. Look out for some epic weekly beach parties at some of the island’s bars.

Things to do on Koh Rong:

  • Relax on 4K beach
  • Jungle trek to long beach
  • Snorkelling boat trip
  • Experience the beach parties

best solo travel destinations south east asia

12. Koh Rong Samloem

Just a short ferry journey away, the paradise island of Koh Rong Samloem is less developed and a little more easy-going than it’s sister island. There are plenty of resorts scattered around, including a secluded experience at Mad Monkey, but I would recommend staying near the main serendipity pier for easy access to everything you need.

Things to do on Koh Rong Samloem

  • Watch the sun set at Lazy beach
  • See the luminous plankton
  • Full moon party at Jungle Bar

best solo travel destinations south east asia

Cambodia has a huge variety of destinations and the sleepy riverside town of Kampot is an altogether different experience. Once the country’s many fishing port, today Kampot is better known for it’s pepper. Flouted by locals as the ‘best pepper in the world’, Kampot pepper was Cambodia’s first ever product to receive Protected Geographical Indication in 2016.

Things to do in Kampot

  • Visit a pepper plantation
  • Day trip to Kep
  • Bokor National Park

best solo travel destinations south east asia

14. Phnom Penh

Before leaving Cambodia, you’ll want to make a quick stop in the country’s capital, Phnom Penh. I’d recommend spending a little less time here than the previous destinations, but visiting the Killing Fields and S-21 museum is something you must-do whlst in Cambodia.

On a combined visit to the Choeung Ek Genocidal Centre (Killing Fields) and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21), you’ll learn about Cambodia’s dark and harrowing recent history as it lived through a genocide that wiped out a quarter of the population.

I found it to be quite emotional as we heard the stories of survivors on the audio tour but really interesting and hugely worthwhile to anyone who has even the slightest interest in Cambodian history.

Things to do in Phnom Penh

  • Killing Fields and S-21 museum
  • Speakeasy and rooftop bars
  • Royal Palace

best solo travel destinations south east asia

Crossing the Cambodia-Vietnam border

Vietnam is the only country on my South East Asia itinerary that you’ll need to apply for an e-visa in advance of arriving in the country . I recommend doing this about 5 working days before you plan to enter the country to allow enough time to receive it. You’ll be required to give a specific entry date which I recommend you stick to.

Average spend in Vietnam: £30/day

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15. Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)

Formerly known as Saigon , the city was renamed after Ho Chi Minh, the former politician who lead Northern Vietnam forces to success during the Vietnam war. Your visit to HCMC will be brimming in history as many of the attractions are dedicated to telling the story of the Vietnamese war.

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

  • Cu Chi Tunnels
  • War Remnants Museum
  • Visit the Mekong Delta
  • Ben Thanh street food market

Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City? Check out this guide to my favourite hostels

best solo travel destinations south east asia

Over 1,500m above sea level, Dalat provides a much needed break from the heat found in the rest of Vietnam. But it’s not just the temperate climate that attracts visitors to this hillside resort, Dalat has stunning waterfalls, beautiful lakes and a city that is oddly charming.

Things to do in Dalat

  • The Crazy House
  • Alpine Roller Coaster

Here are my best hostel recommendations in Dalat

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From Dalat, jump aboard one of Vietnam’s sleeper buses and head north to Hoi An. The sleeper buses in Vietnam are much nicer than neighbouring countries and provided you don’t sit at the back, you’ll be treated to your own individual reclining seat.

The ancient town of Hoi An will capture your heart. With the entire city centre designated a UNESCO world heritage site , it’s traditional architecture and local crafts have been well preserved. It’s become known for it’s lanterns which light up the city’s streets and rivers by night making it one of the most photogenic destinations in Vietnam.

Things to do in Hoi An

  • Explore the beautiful old town
  • Take a lantern crafting workshop
  • Cycle through Tra Que Vegetable village
  • An Bang Beach

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Hoi An to Hue via the Hai Van Pass

The journey from Hoi An to Hue featured on top gear where the Hai Van Pass was described as ‘o ne of the best coastal roads in the world ‘. I was really keen to make this journey for myself so rented a scooter from a rental shop in Hoi An that allows drop off in Hue, they even transported my backpack for me. The journey took a full day, with many other beautiful landmarks to stop off along the way, I can high recommend doing it.

Hue’s position in the very centre of Vietnam has seen it play a crucial role as capital of the Đàng Trong Kingdom and of the Nguyen Dynasty. It’s important historical role can be observed by the large citadel found in the city, with huge stone walls and a vast surrounding moat. The impressive tombs of former emperors can also be visited, each designed by the emperors’ themselves before they died.

Things to do in Hue

  • See the imperial city
  • Visit the abandoned water park
  • Royal tombs

best solo travel destinations south east asia

19. Phong Nha National Park

Phong Nha is an exquisite region that has been blessed with an incredible networks of caves, including the largest cave in the world . However, a visit to this record breaking attraction comes with a 2 year waiting list and a USD $3,000 price tag. Luckily, for us backpackers, Phong Nha also has some great budget caving options , including the Dark cave, Paradise cave and Phong Nha cave.

A trip to Phong Nha would not be complete without a visit to The Duck Stop . Here, you can play with over 100 friendly ducks that will follow you around and give you a ‘foot massage’ with their beak, this is the most I laughed during my trip.

Things to do in Phong Nha

  • Kayaking and mud bath at the Dark Cave
  • The Duck Stop
  • Boat trip through Phong Nha Cave

best solo travel destinations south east asia

20. Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh is often called ‘ Ha Long Bay on land’ due to the protruding limestone monoliths scattered across the landscape akin to those in Ha Long. One of my highlights of Vietnam was the Trang An boat tour where we took a small rowing boat around these beautiful cliffs and caves.

Things to do in Ninh Binh

  • Trang An or Tam Coc boat trip
  • Hang Mua caves view point

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21. Cat Ba Island

Many budget backpackers, including myself, now decided to skip Ha Long Bay which has become riddled with package tourists. Instead, I headed for neighbouring Lan Ha Bay which is part of the same geographical formations as Ha Long Bay but much more affordable.

Cat Ba Island is the launching destination for Lan Ha Bay cruises but also has a number of other attractions including a vast national park to discover..

Things to do on Cat Ba Island

  • Lan Ha Bay cruise
  • Hiking in Cat Ba national park
  • Sunrise at Canon Fort

best solo travel destinations south east asia

With over 1,000 years of history, Hanoi is bursting with culture from every corner. Navigating through the city and weaving between the chaotic traffic presents a challenge in itself.

Originally, there were 36 streets, each dedicated to a certain trade. Some of these streets have remained true to this, it’s baffling to walk down a street where every single shop sells the exact same items. Whilst exploring the city I came across a street for shoes, a street for kitchenware, a street for hand tools, etc.

No visit to Hanoi is complete without a visit to the legendary train street. Here, an array of quirky cafes line the edges of a train track. Twice a day they must rush around to bring their tables and chairs inside as they prepare for the train to speed past. It can become overcrowded when the trains are due to pass so visit earlier on to properly enjoy it.

Things to do in Hanoi

  • Train street
  • Explore the old quarter
  • The Note Cafe
  • Friday + Saturday night street market

Also read: The best hostels in Hanoi for solo travellers

best solo travel destinations south east asia

Getting from Hanoi to Southern Thailand

From the second part of my South East Asia trip, I’d be heading down the southern peninsular, starting with the south of Thailand . Whilst you could fly straight from Hanoi to the south of Thailand, it works out cheapest to fly to Bangkok and take a sleeper bus to the south.

Average spend in South of Thailand: £42/day

best solo travel destinations south east asia

23. Koh Tao

By now you’ll likely be over half way through your 4 months journey and ready for a little more beach action. The first stop in the South of Thailand is Koh Tao. Literally meaning ‘turtle island’, Koh Tao was originally an island for political prisoners.

Nowadays, the island is renowned for diving, it’s the perfect spot for beginners with more diving qualifications awarded here than anywhere else in the world. But the island also caters to more experienced divers with Sail Rock considered one of the best dive sites in the gulf of Thailand. Those looking for a more intimate diving experience may want to consider a Thai liveaboard , these usually depart from Khao Lak and head out in to the Andaman Sea for up to 10 days.

If diving isn’t your thing, it’s also a popular spot for snorkelling where you could end up swimming with baby sharks or turtles just off the shore.

Things to do on Koh Tao

  • Get a diving qualification
  • John Siwan View Point

best solo travel destinations south east asia

24. Koh Samui

Thailand’s second largest island has a raft of activities to keep you occupied in between some good beach time. From a coffee shop suspended up in the jungle to the delicious street food and boxing at Lamai saturday night market.

Tourists also flock in their droves to see Hin Ta and Hin Yai, rocks that are famed for their likeness to male and female genitals. It tickled me to watch some of the photo shoots that were taking place at these rocks.

Things to do on Koh Samui

  • Tree Bridge Coffee
  • Hin Ta and Hin Yai rocks

best solo travel destinations south east asia

TIP: Although I visited Phuket on my trip, I wouldn’t recommend it at all. Not only was it crazy expensive but also my least favourite place. There were some nice viewpoints and I met some awesome people, but it generally feels quite tacky and would be better suited for stag/hen parties (aka bachelor parties for my friends across the pond) rather than backpacking.

25. Koh Phi Phi

I’ll warn you now, the little island of Koh Phi Phi will steal your heart. From the extraordinary views straight from a post card, to the vibrant nightlife unlike anything else I’d experience during my 4 months in South East Asia.

Although the infamous Maya Bay, made famous by the movie ‘The Beach’, is closed to tourists, there’s an abundance of other remarkable beaches to explore by foot or by boat. In the evening, head to Reggae bar where amateur tourists are encouraged to try their hand at Muay Thai in return for a bucket of cocktail for their sportsmanship – get in the ring if you dare.

Things to do on Koh Phi Phi

  • Take a snorkelling day tour
  • Sunset at the viewpoint
  • Muay Thai at Reggae bar

best solo travel destinations south east asia

Average spend in Malaysia: £30/day and Singapore: £33/day

Note: I could probably have spent less but after being on the road for 3+months I ended up splashing out on a sim card in Malaysia , more upmarket hostels and eating in a few nicer restaurants, even still I thought it was cheap prices.

best solo travel destinations south east asia

The narrow streets of Penang’s capital, George town , is a destination famed for it’s multiculturalism. Here, Chinese, Indian and Malay influences come together to form an interesting array of architecture, art and cuisine unlike anywhere else in the region.

Look out for the creative Banksy-style murals found on streets throughout the city, some incorporating objects such as bicycles or swings making the art come to life.

Things to do in Penang:

  • Street art tour
  • Penang Hill
  • Batu Ferringhi beach and night market

best solo travel destinations south east asia

27. Cameron Highlands

If you love the great outdoors then a few days in the Cameron Highlands will be right up your street. The beautiful Cameron Highlands is a resort made up of a few small towns in the hills of Pahang district, the centre being Tanah Rata.

From here you can take one of the 13 hiking routes of varying difficulties or visit the numerous tea plantations that flourish under the warm climate with heavy rainfall.

Things to do in the Cameron Highlands

  • Tea plantations
  • Pick-your-own strawberry farms
  • Time tunnel museum

best solo travel destinations south east asia

28. Kuala Lumpur

In Kuala Lumpur, an eclectic mix of culture, architecture and cuisine fuse together to form the country’s capital city. Whilst you won’t want to spend too much time here, a visit to the capital with give you an insight in to the diversity of Malaysia. The city is in a seemingly endless battle to keep up with the rapid development of neighbouring Singapore which gained independence from Malaysia just 50 years ago.

Things to do in Kuala Lumpur

  • See the Petronas towers
  • Cocktails on a helipad at Heli-bar
  • KL Forest Eco Park – small jungle within the city

best solo travel destinations south east asia

29. Malacca

Once the capital of the Malay kingdom and an important trading port, Malacca has been through many regime changes including Portuguese, Dutch and subsequently British colonial rule which saw the demise of Malacca’s influence.

Things to do in Melacca

  • Visit Jonker Street weekend market
  • Sunset at the floating mosque
  • St Paul’s Church ruins

best solo travel destinations south east asia

30. Singapore

The final stop on my epic 4 month South East Asia itinerary is Singapore. This modern city at the southernmost point of continental Asia is a massive contrast to some of the other destinations in the region. Clean, green and full of incredible architecture, Singapore would almost blend in better in the west than it does in South East Asia.

Although generally more expensive than neighbouring countries, if you follow my Singapore on a budget recommendations it’s still possible to have a good time at an affordable price. I’d recommend spending 3-4 nights here to fully appreciate it.

Things to do in Singapore

  • Marina Bay Sands Light Show
  • Gardens by the Bay
  • Eat at one of the Hawker Centres

best solo travel destinations south east asia

If you move around quicker than me or have longer than 4 months in South East Asia, then you may want to consider these additional destinations:


Unlike the other destinations which can all be reached via land, you’ll need to fly to the Philippines which lies East of Vietnam, but there are plenty of cheap flights from most airports in the region.

Whilst you’ll probably begin your adventure in the capital of Manilla, the country is made up of thousands of islands to explore. Palawan and Cebu are some of the most popular spots to visit in the Philipines where you’ll also find some of the best diving in the world.

Bali, Indonesia

One of the most popular destinations in SE Asia is Bali which is known for its backpacker and digital nomad scene. An interesting fact about Bali is that many people wrongly assume Bali is a separate country whereas it’s actually the name of four islands (the main island of Bali plus 3 smaller islands) in Indonesia.

It’s full of temples, caves, museums, and waterfalls, with the top attraction being the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary.

How Much Does it Cost to Travel South East Asia for 4 Months?

During my 4 months backpacking in South East Asia, I averaged £32 per day (equivalent to USD $40 or €36) whilst living reasonably well. I stayed in mid-range hostels, ate street food or in average priced restaurants, didn’t hold back on the touristy stuff and got wasted alot experienced the nightlife culture.

My spending varied significantly between countries, from an average of £21 per day in Laos up to £42 per day in the south of Thailand, I’ve included my average spend for each country below which doesn’t include inbound/outbound flights, travel insurance or visas.

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best solo travel destinations south east asia

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7 reasons to visit southeast asia on your first solo trip, things to do in singapore on a budget, things to see + do along the mekong river, you might also like.

Read more about the article 7 Reasons to Visit Southeast Asia on Your First Solo Trip

Jessie on a Journey | Solo Female Travel Blog

25 Best Places For Solo Travel In Asia

By Jessie Festa. This article on traveling Asia alone contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Looking for the best places for solo travel in Asia ?

Then you’re in the right place!

Planning a solo trip to Asia can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience, as there are so many great destinations to choose from.

To help narrow down your search, I reached out to some of my favorite travel bloggers to get their top picks for where to enjoy solo female travel in Asia. I’ve also my personal favorite solo travel destination in Asia in spot #1.

Whether you’re looking to visit historic temples, relax on beautiful beaches, summit impressive mountains, or immerse yourself in local culture in a safe place, you can find it in the guide below.

From India to Southeast Asia to Indonesia and beyond, discover some of the best places to travel alone in Asia.

⏳Short on time? Here are some quick tips for traveling solo in Asia: ☔ Safety: Whether you’re traveling alone in Asia or elsewhere, it’s smart to pack travel safety essentials . One top pick is the She’s Birdie Personal Safety Alarm , which is TSA-approved and can help scare away potential attackers. Other recommendations include Clever Travel Companion Pickpocket-Proof Garments and Speakeasy Travel Supply Hidden Pocket Scarves . 🏨  Accommodation: This map  can help you pinpoint top-rated and budget-friendly accommodation in the Asian cities you’re visiting solo. It’s currently set to the Kuta in Bali, but you can easily change it to your intended destination in Asia. 💸 Save Money: Klook Pass , which helps you save big while getting access to numerous activities with one pass 🎉 Experiences: Klook (very popular in Asia), GetYourGuide , and Viator 🥘 Culinary Experiences: EatWith (cooking classes, food tours & dining in local homes) 🏥  Travel Insurance:  SafetyWing 📞  Staying Connected:  Airalo eSIM

Table of Contents

Explore The Best Places For Solo Travel In Asia With Confidence [Free Course]

But first, before we discuss some of the best Asian cities for solo travel , here is an invite to grab a seat in my  free Savvy Solo Traveler E-Course .

The 6-day course is designed to help you feel confident about booking your first solo trip and exploring the world alone.

course to help you enjoy solo travel in Asia

Lessons include:

  • Common solo travel fears and how to overcome them
  • How to choose your perfect solo trip
  • How to tell loved ones you’re hitting the road solo
  • Mentally preparing for your solo journey without losing your mind
  • Essential steps for staying safe on a solo trip
  • How to take amazing solo selfies

Once you’ve  grabbed your seat , read on to dive into the solo travel guide .

Without further adieu, let’s go over some of the top places to visit when traveling to Asia alone .

Keep in mind, this list is in no way exhaustive. Feel free to share your own recommendations for solo travel in Asia as where as your tips for how to travel solo successfully in the comments below!

1. Thimphu, Bhutan

beautiful views in Thimphu make it one of the best places for solo travel in Asia

If you’re looking for safe places to travel alone in Asia , Bhutan should be at the top of your list. In general, the country experiences very little crime, and even petty theft and pickpocketing are uncommon — though, of course, you should always keep general solo travel safety tips in mind.

Along with stunning Himalayan scenery, your trip to Bhutan will likely include lots of temple visits, cultural experiences, and some of the world’s best hiking .

Most visitors to Bhutan begin their journey in Thimphu, the country’s capital. There are many interesting things to do in Thimphu , from visiting one of the world’s largest Buddhas at Buddha Point to seeing the national animal (the takin) at Motithang Takin Preserve to taking a spiritual walk at the National Memorial Chorten.

Of course, as Bhutan is a very remote destination, you’ll also want to add other stops to your itinerary. A few of my favorite experiences during my solo trip to Bhutan included:

  • hiking to Bhutan’s breathtaking Tiger’s Nest in Paro
  • hiking around Jakar , the “Switzerland of Bhutan”
  • seeing rare black-necked cranes in the Phobjikha Valley
  • visiting the Lobesa District of Punakha , a village that worships penises as well as an interesting Buddhist Master known as the Divine Madman

While Bhutan should be at the top of any list sharing unforgettable and safe Asian countries to travel alone, the one downside is the price; you’ll need to pay a daily Bhutan visa fee , which can be expensive when traveling solo.

That being said, if you can swing the cost, you’ll be rewarded with an experience unlike any other in one of the best places for solo travel in Asia.

-Jessie Festa of Jessie on a Journey

Thimphu Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Thimphu tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Thimphu hotels .

2. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai Temple is a must-see when visiting Asia solo

Is solo travel fun ? It certainly can be, especially if you visit this popular destination. Situated at the foot of Doi Suthep Mountain in Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is a beloved destination for travelers and Thai food connoisseurs alike.

The city is surrounded by an ancient wall and a moat that encloses a lively old town full of cute cafes and fun bars — including a live jazz venue.

For solo travelers, this is an ideal city to visit because of the number of fun adventures that are available — such as visiting an elephant sanctuary like Elephant Nature Park and hiking to one of the seven hill tribe villages of Northern Thailand (and possibly doing a homestay!).

Another fun trip is to take a songthaew (red truck taxi) and head up the mountain to visit the sacred Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple that overlooks the entire city. If you enjoy hiking, you can also reach the temple via the Monk’s Trail.

With Chiang Mai being such a big hub for travelers and backpackers, the city is loaded with hostels that not only serve as an inexpensive place to sleep but also a fun spot to socialize.

Chiang Mai is also the jumping-off point for people heading to party in Pai and others that are planning to ride scooters around the scenic Mai Hong Song Loop. You might even consider joining one of these groups.

This all being said, the top reason for solo travelers to visit Chiang Mai is the food. Northern Thai cuisine is unlike anything you will try in the rest of Thailand and this region is the culinary center of the country.

The best food in the city can be tried at small shophouse restaurants around the old town and at the amazing street food markets that are set up each night near the north and south gates. Delicious!

Chiang Mai is truly an incredible destination for solo travel in Southeast Asia.

– Gabriel from Chef Travel Guide

Chiang Mai Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Chiang Mai tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Chiang Mai hotels .

3. Vientiane, Laos

Buddha Park in Vientiane is a must-visit attraction on a solo trip to Asia

The capital of Laos, Vientiane, is one of the best solo travel destinations in Asia boasting exciting architecture, culture, history, safety, and affordable living. 

The city is captivating with its cultural and colonial buildings, museums, and pagodas.

There are plenty of things to do in Vientiane, too, whether you are a city explorer, history lover, or outdoorsy person. 

The first stop on anyone’s Vientiane itinerary should be Pha That Luang — a 148-foot-high stupa covered in gold that is the most sacred monument in the country, with two adjacent temples.

Patuxai Victory Monument, also known as the Victory Monument, is a replica of the French Arc de Triomphe, representing the colonial history of Lao. Its ceilings and walls are adorned with gorgeous paintings of goddesses, gods, and other critical cultural elements. And those who enjoy panoramic views can even walk to the top for some sweeping views of the city. 

History lovers can visit the Lao National Museum to learn more about the city’s history from prehistoric to present.

And not far from the city lies quite an interesting and impressive Buddha Park with fascinating giant Hindu and Buddhist mythological statues. 

Like elsewhere in Southeast Asia, night markets are a fun way to spend evenings in Vientiane by wandering the stalls of various vendors and trying local street food. 

Finally, another reason Vientiane is great for solo travelers is that it’s relatively small for a capital city, with the main tourist action happening in the central part consisting of three primary roads parallel to the Mekong River. All the accommodation options are located within these areas too. 

-Baia from Red Fedora Diary

Vientiane Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Vientiane tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Vientiane hotels .

4. Bajawa, Indonesia 

visiting the Inerie Volcano in Indonesia during a solo trip to Asia

Bajawa is a cute off-the-beaten-path town in the middle of Flores Island in Indonesia. It’s a great destination if you are an experienced solo traveler who’s up for adventure and is not afraid to stray away from the tourist trail.

What makes Bajawa extraordinary is that it’s one of only six matriarchal societies in the world!

In Bajawa, women rule and are head of the clan. This means that when a couple gets married the man moves in with the woman and his life will be devoted to her and her family. If he makes a mistake, like cheating, he will be kicked out instantly, and all the possessions they have together will go to the woman and her family. 

There are some truly amazing things to do in and around Bajawa. If you’re visiting Bajawa in the low season, chances are you will have these places all to yourself. It’s the perfect place to experience that feeling of total freedom — one of the many benefits of traveling alone — if that’s what you’re after on your solo trip to Asia. 

Bajawa is all about traditional culture and natural beauty. Places to visit in and around Bajawa are the traditional villages of Bena and Luba if you want to experience local Ngada culture, Ogi Waterfall if you are a fan of waterfalls, and the Inerie Volcano that dominates Bajawa’s skyline.

For a good view of the Inerie Volcano itself, go to Wolobobo Hill — where you can enjoy a coffee after catching the sunrise from a viewing platform. If you’re an avid hiker, summiting Mount Inerie will take about six to seven hours round-trip.

Tired after hiking the volcano? Make your way to the Malanage Hot Springs and soak in the pleasant waters at the confluence of a hot and cold river in the middle of the forest. 

The best way to get around Bajawa is by motorbike. If you don’t dare to drive yourself, it’s also possible to hire an ojek (motorcycle taxi) or arrange a day trip with a car and a driver.

A great place to stay in Bajawa is Cinnamon House and for the best food in town head to Lucas Restaurant .

-Annelies from Travelers&Dreamers

Bajawa Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Bajawa tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Bajawa hotels .

5. Kolkata, India

Victoria Memorial in Kolkata, one of the best places for solo travel in Asia

Kolkata — India’s “City of Joy” — is a beautiful destination and one of the best places for solo travel in Asia.

Home to historic neighborhoods, bustling bazaars, remarkable architecture, and plenty of flea markets, it is a city full of culture everywhere you go. It is also one of the safest places in India to visit on your own .

Start your trip with an early morning visit to the Victoria Memorial Hall and spend some time wandering in the expansive gardens surrounding it. Victoria Memorial Hall is actually inside of Maidan, a giant greenspace with picnic spots, hiking trails, sports fields, racetracks, historic landmarks, and more.

The greenspace is also home to the massive St. Paul’s Cathedral, known for its stunning Gothic architecture. Nearby, you can grab lunch along buzzing Park Street.

Once you’re done exploring, hail yourself an iconic yellow taxi and head to North Kolkata for vibrant markets and colorful houses. Neighborhoods such as College Street, Shobhabazar, Shyambazar, and Kumortuli are where you will find colonial-era buildings and decades-old shops. You can take a stroll at your convenience or book a guided walking heritage tour.

The city of Kolkata is also popular for its culinary offerings. From tangy puchkas to stuffed kathi rolls , make sure to go on a food tour to taste the city’s numerous street food offerings.

If you are in the mood for a sit-down meal, you can also book an authentic Bengali thali dinner with a local, which includes a variety of different dishes served in small bowls on a platter. Yum!

-Charu from TravelwithCG

Kolkata Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Kolkata tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Kolkata hotels .

6. Ko Phi Phi, Thailand 

view of Koh Phi Phi, one of the best places for solo travel in Asia

Thailand is full of fun cities and beautiful islands, but one of the best places to go for solo travelers is Ko Phi Phi. The Phi Phi Islands are located off of Phuket and Krabi in the Andaman Sea and are an easy ferry ride over.

The main island, Phi Phi Don, is known for its long-tail boats and beaches that are perfect for a solo beach vacation . Because of the island’s size, there aren’t roads or cars here. Instead, you have walking streets throughout the town with lots of open-air bars and restaurants.

If you’re looking for safe places to travel alone in Asia, you’ll be happy to know this small island fits the bill. Plus, it’s really easy to meet people since everyone is usually congregating on the beach or wandering the shopping streets.  

Another bonus:

There’s always something going on and you’ll quickly find that Ko Phi Phi has a ton of other travelers doing the same thing you are — traveling alone. 

Staying at a hostel is the easiest way to meet people and most of them have organized boat tours (or booze cruises) where you are likely to meet other solo travelers. I actually met my husband at one of the hostel bars on the beach when I was traveling solo. Talk about a travel love story !

If hostels aren’t your thing, you can still hang out at the hostel bars or head to the beach for the nightly neon parties where lots of people gather to watch the fire shows and performers on the sand. And during the day, there are pool parties at different hotels.

In short, the destination features a social atmosphere with lots of opportunities to meet other people and take in the beauty of the island and the surrounding beaches. And, in my opinion, it’s one of the best places to travel solo in Asia .

-Ashley from Jetset Jansen

Ko Phi Phi Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Phi Phi Islands tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Ko Phi Phi hotels .

7. Siem Reap, Cambodia

visiting Angkor Wat on a solo trip to Asia

The jumping-off point for the legendary Angkor Archaeological Park , Siem Reap is a bucket list destination for travelers of all types. Safe, budget-friendly, and with no shortage of opportunities to get social, it’s one of the best places for solo travel in Asia.

Before hitting the temples, sign up for an Introduction to Buddhism tour with social enterprise Ayana Journeys, where you’ll learn all about Cambodia’s main religion by speaking one-on-one to monks and receiving a traditional blessing.

If you’re keen to link up with other travelers, there are plenty of day trips to the temples that don’t charge a single supplement. If you prefer to go solo, you can easily hire a tuk-tuk and guide for the day. 

Whether you opt for sunrise at Angkor Wat or sunset at Phnom Bakheng — or both — don’t miss visiting the rose-tinted Banteay Srey , which is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.

Spectacular as it is, there is so much more to Cambodia’s second-largest city beyond Angkor. Siem Reap also offers a huge range of interesting cultural experiences, vibrant local markets, and one of Southeast Asia’s best restaurant scenes.

In between tuk-tuking around the temples and lounging by the pool at your villa, participate in an Apsara dance masterclass, take a cooking workshop, or watch the silk weavers at work at Artisans Angkor.

Go shopping on trendy Hap Guan Street and hop between the many excellent cafes and restaurants, including social enterprise cafe Sister Srey , which contributes to demining efforts in Cambodia and employs young women from the local community.

Another must-do is a treatment at Bodia Spa, where traditional Khmer botanicals and herbs are used for all-natural treatments.

The solo travel adventure doesn’t stop there:

Beyond Siem Reap, there are dozens of hidden gems in Cambodia to discover — including the temples at Banteay Chhmar , three hours north-west of the city, where an innovative community tourism project runs guided tours and family homestays.

-Emily from Wander-Lush

Siem Reap Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Siem Reap tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Siem Reap hotels .

8. Mount Fuji, Japan

view of Lake Kawaguchiko, Fuji Five Lakes during a solo trip to Japan

As an easily recognized icon of Japan, Mount Fuji is the country’s most sacred mountain. Visible from as far as 300 kilometers (186 miles) away on clear days, lucky visitors will take in a view of her usual cloudy backdrop swirling with mystery and intrigue.

Additionally, this beautiful volcano is surrounded by numerous tourist towns and cities. In fact, it’s only a two-hour bus ride from Tokyo, making it an easily accessible solo travel destination.

Visitors will be spoiled for choice when selecting which areas to enjoy the best views of Mount Fuji, as there are so many!

Perhaps one of the most scenic (and popular) experiences is seeing the mountain’s reflection on the expansive Lake Kawaguchiko. Walk the surrounding paths under the cherry blossoms during spring, or frame a shot of Fuji amongst the fiery hues of autumn leaves.

Discover ancient pilgrimage paths at the beloved Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine, one of the starting points where worshippers once began their long climb to Fuji’s summit.

Later on, catch a bus to Oshino Hakkai’s 8 Sacred Ponds, which feature pure and clear water that’s been filtered through underground volcanic rock for over 80 years.

Nearby Gotemba is a foodie’s paradise as well as a haven for shopaholics with the Gotemba Premium Outlets, Japan’s largest shopping mall. Prefer to skip the shops? Enjoy a relaxing soak in the outlet center’s  onsen  (hot spring bath) instead.

Finally, there is never a dull moment spending time in the Hakone-Izu National Park. Take a combination of train, cable car, ropeway, boat, and bus around this scenic area. Even if Mount Fuji is hiding behind the clouds, the Picasso Museum, Open Air Museum, and beautiful gardens will make up for it.

Mount Fuji is truly one of the best places in Asia for female solo travel !

-Alyse from The Invisible Tourist

Mount Fuji Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Mount Fuji tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Mount Fuji hotels .

9. Siargao Island, Philippines

Guyam Island is one of the best places for solo travel in Asia

Nestled on the easternmost edge of the Philippines is one of the best places to travel solo in Asia , Siargao Island.

This small surfing oasis has been compared to what Bali was back in the 80s and many solo travelers flock here to surf one of the most famous surf breaks in the world, enjoy unspoiled island views, and relish in the island lifestyle. 

Exploring Siargao goes a little like this: wake up, surf, eat, party, sleep, repeat — while mixing in island hopping tours and visiting beautiful locations around the destination.

Base yourself in General Luna as it’s one of the most popular places to stay on the island and is close to all the hotspots.

While in Siargao, you can’t pass up the opportunity to learn how to surf at one of the most famous surf breaks in the world. Consider lessons at Cloud 9, Jacking Horse, and my personal favorite, Pacifico Beach!

The coolest thing about the nightlife in Siargao is that each bar takes turns hosting parties each night of the week. So if you want to know where the party of the night is, ask around and they’ll give you the location of the pre-party and then where the actual party is that starts around 11pm.

If you’re in town on a Friday, head to the “Jungle” for one of the most unforgettable parties of your life.

Among all of that, you’ll want to explore some of the best things to do on the island. Book any of the popular tours like the island hopping tour to Guyam, Naked, and Daku Islands as well as day trips to Sugba Lagoon, Corregidor Island, and Sohoton Cove.

Other adventurous things to do include:

  • cliff jumping at the Magpupungko Rock Pools
  • swimming the crystal waters of Alegria Beach
  • caving at the Tayangban Cave Pools
  • driving to the “Top of the Road” to look out over thousands of coconut palms
  • watch the sunset from Cloud 9 Pier

Siargao Island is an amazing place to visit for solo travelers who want to make lifelong friends, meet adventurous locals, and photograph cherished memories.

-Aaren from What Do You Sea

Siargao Island Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Siargao Island tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Siargao Island hotels .

10. Ubud, Indonesia

Ubud Palace in Indonesia is a must-visit on a solo trip to Asia

The town of Ubud is known as the cultural heart of Bali in Indonesia, and is a fantastic place for solo travelers. Bali solo travel in general is an incredible experience, and Ubud in particular is famous for its ancient landmarks, traditional arts, and green rice terraces.

Solo travelers will have lots of great things to do in Ubud and the surrounding area, which includes nearby places — such as the stunning (and very Instagrammable) Tegalalang Rice Terrace . Because of this, you’ll want to create a 3 day Ubud itinerary at minimum.

Around Ubud, you can find traditional markets, temples, palaces, spas, cafes, wood carving shops, and of course, the famous Ubud Monkey Forest , where you can see semi-wild monkeys in their natural environment (just don’t bring any food or jewelry).

There are also easy hikes around Ubud like the Campuhan Ridge Walk, and a bunch of nice waterfalls can be visited on short day trips with a car or motorbike. Two top Ubud waterfalls to see are Tibumana and Kanto Lampo — both of which are easy to reach within a short drive from town.

If you’re looking for a challenge, Mount Agung trekking is an option, and companies will typically pick you up from Ubud.

Bali is a very safe island in general, and the same is true of Ubud. Another huge benefit of traveling here is that it’s very affordable; meals can be as cheap as $3 USD, and private hotel rooms can be as low as $10 USD.

Obviously, this all depends on your solo travel budget , and there are plenty of high-end luxury hotels and fancy restaurants in Ubud too if you can afford it.

In short, whether you enjoy exploring on a budget or experiencing the finer things in life, those looking to travel Asia solo will be very comfortable in Ubud!

-David & Intan from  The World Travel Guy

Ubud Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Ubud tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Ubud hotels .

11. Seoul, South Korea

seeing a Changing of Guard Ceremony in Seoul during a solo trip to Asia

A great destination for solo travelers is Seoul, the capital of South Korea and a mega city with a diverse range of historic and modern experiences. 

Central Seoul is densely packed with things to do and is easy to get around via subway trains with good English signage. 

There are many centrally-located and budget-friendly accommodation options located close to subway stations too, which makes it easy for solo travelers to get around via public transportation. A few of my personal favorite areas include Myeongdong, Itaewon, and Gangnum.

Must-do experiences for solo travelers include visiting the historic palaces of the Joseon Dynasty, wearing a traditional hanbok (the Korean national dress), and taking a food tour to savor local culture. 

If you have become a fan of K-pop then check out the clubs in the lively Gangnam district.

Love Korean TV shows like Squid Game ? There are local tours that take you to see filming locations.

And if you’re looking to do a day trip, I recommend visiting the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to the north of Seoul when it is open. Or, for a more rural experience, head to the beautiful Nami Island to explore nature and culture.

-Anne from the  South Korea Travel Planning blog

Seoul Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Seoul tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Seoul hotels .

12. Pattaya, Thailand

visiting a Pattaya beach during a solo trip to Asia

The lively city of Pattaya is one of the best places to travel alone in Asia , and a popular option within Thailand for those traveling solo.

Getting to Pattaya is easy thanks to an array of private and public options to get from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok — which is less than two hours from Pattaya by car.

Pattaya is known for its legendary nightlife. To get a taste of it, head to Walking Street — a mile-long street lined with nightclubs, bars, and restaurants.

Another highlight is watching Tiffany’s Show Pattaya, a dazzling dance and music performance by some of the country’s most talented Thai-national transgender & transvestites. The glamour and the energy on display here are unmatched.

Along with entertainment, Pattaya offers solo travelers many opportunities to explore culture, architecture, and natural beauty.

Located by the ocean, Sanctuary of Truth is a unique temple dedicated to human values. The structure consists entirely of wood, a testament to architectural vision and skill.

Nong Nooch Tropical Garden is a perennial favorite of nature lovers. Spread over a massive 495 acres (200 hectares), Nong Nooch features many smaller themed landscaped parks within its bounds, from orchid gardens to French-style plots. Plus, the garden hosts cultural events regularly.

The Pattaya Floating Market is a perfect way to get up close to local culture. Float on a boat as you look for bargain deals on traditional Thai wares, wooden gift items, and hand-woven clothing.

As for accommodation, the city showcases hostels to suit every budget as well as hotels at reasonable rates. This only helps to cement Pattaya’s place as one of the best places to travel solo in Southeast Asia .

-Vidyut from Triplyzer.com

Pattaya Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Pattaya tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Pattaya hotels .

13. Puducherry, India

Paradise Beach in Puducherry is one of the best places for solo travel in Asia

Also known as Puducherry, the town of Pondicherry was a French colonial settlement until 1959 and in 1962 became a Union Territory of India.

Often touted as a gem of Southern India , Pondicherry is one of the country’s top travel destinations for tourists and backpackers — including those traveling solo to Asia.

Love adventure travel ? Here you can enjoy active experiences like mangrove kayaking and scuba diving. In fact, Pondicherry has 22 unique dive sites. One of the fascinating things about diving in Pondicherry is that there are many artificial reefs, which have helped to restore local beaches.

The town also has a surf school where travelers can learn how to ride a wave. There are plenty of beaches where the waves are smaller and calmer if you’re a beginner, too.

Now don’t worry if you’d prefer a relaxed solo trip, as Pondicherry is home to many beaches. This includes Paradise Beach and Eden Beach — the latter of which is the first local beach to get the coveted Blue Flag tag given to environmentally-conscious and clean beaches.

Both of these beaches are also perfect for witnessing breathtaking sunsets or walking along the beach, as is the coastal walk between the Kargil War Memorial and Old Port and Pier.

White Town, the district where the French formerly lived, is a great place to walk around and enjoy colonial-era villas, leafy streets, and delicious restaurants and cafes — like the highly-rated Coromandel Café , which has a breezy and elegant atmosphere.

For solo travelers who enjoy trying local cuisine, there are many food joints that serve idlis (rice cakes) and dosas (like pancakes).

Since Pondicherry is a popular spot for solo travelers, you’ll find many comfortable, safe, and centrally-located hotels and hostels catering to this group.

-Raksha from Solo Passport

Pondicherry Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Pondicherry tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Pondicherry hotels .

14. Tokyo, Japan

visiting Sensoji Temple Tokyo during a solo trip to Asia

Japan may just be the best Asian country for solo travel. And with delicious food, a plethora of things to do, and a reputation for being one of the safest cities in the world, Tokyo specifically is one of the best destinations in Asia for solo travel. 

Tokyo is Japan’s capital and largest city and is an amalgam of ancient and modern culture. The city’s architecture is a delightful mix of traditional buildings and contemporary skyscrapers, and the city retains its history while also embracing modern innovation.

Tokyo is the perfect city for solo travelers for many reasons.

First of all, Tokyo is one of the safest places in Asia to travel alone, making it perfect for solo explorers, especially females.

Japanese society also tends to be introverted — meaning it’s super common to see locals dining, visiting bars, and exploring alone.

Solo travelers visiting Japan do not have to worry about judgemental looks when eating alone. In fact, many restaurants are tailored for solo diners.

Additionally, Tokyo is full of affordable business hotels with small rooms that are perfect for solo travelers, especially those who prefer privacy over shared hostel dorms.

When visiting Tokyo, you won’t have to worry about running out of things to do. The city is home to countless shrines and temples, and you shouldn’t visit the city without seeing at least one or two. Sensō-ji is one of the most famous temples, and Meiji Jingu Shrine is a tranquil place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Make sure to see the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing at Shibuya Crossing. Pro tip: check out the Starbucks overlooking the crossing or the Mag Park Rooftop for a bird’s-eye view.

For panoramic views of the city, head to the top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. The observation deck is free and open for tourists to visit.

Hungry? Tokyo has some of the most delicious food in the world. Whether you’re at a street food stall or a Michelin-starred restaurant, it would be difficult to find a bad meal in the city.

My recommendation:

For amazing ramen, head to Tokyo Ramen Street in Tokyo Station. There, you’ll find eight different ramen shops, each serving up different varieties of the dish.

-Sydney from A World In Reach

Tokyo Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Tokyo tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Tokyo hotels .

15. Jaipur, India

visiting Hawa Mahal in Jaipur during a solo trip to India

Admire Jaipur’s culture, liveliness, and stunning pink architecture as you meander through the colorful capital of the Indian province of Rajasthan.

Known as The Pink City, Jaipur got its color to welcome the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria in 1876, as pink symbolizes hospitality.

That welcome can still be felt today as you taste the local street food, encounter friendly locals, and sightsee wondrous city architecture.

Part of the Golden Triangle circuit, Jaipur is one of India’s most popular destinations. And if you’re looking for the best places for solo travel in Asia, it should definitely be on your list, as its developed tourism industry makes sightseeing and transportation easy to navigate — even for first-time visitors.

As for any busy city, aside from common sense dangers and being alert to your personal belongings to avoid pickpockets , Jaipur is very safe for solo travelers.

Jaipur’s top sightseeing hotspots incorporate history and architecture. Just outside the city center, the scenic Amer Fort is the number one tourist attraction showcasing the palace’s history as the former capital of Rajasthan.

While there, don’t miss the Panna Meena Ka Kund Stepwell, a picturesque stair formation reminiscent of the Impossible Staircase illusion.

Another must-visit, Jal Mahal (Water Palace) is structured in the middle of Man Sagar Lake. At nightfall, the light reflections that mirror the palace against the stillness of the lake turn the scene into a site of extreme beauty.

If you’re looking for other impressive fortresses, find panoramic city views at Nahargarh Fort and large cannons at Jaigarh Fort.

No trip to Jaipur would be complete without visiting the Hawa Mahal , situated in the heart of the city center. Inspired to appear like the god Krishna’s crown, this five-story pink sandstone palace features 953 intricately designed windows.

End your tour at the Bapu, Nehru, or Johri Bazaars to taste local Indian cuisines and shop for textiles, leather, and jewelry. As a parting memento, bargain for specialty Jaipur souvenirs of gemstones, lac bangles, and many other handicrafts. 

-Catherine from Nomadicated

Jaipur Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Jaipur tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Jaipur hotels .

16. Beijing, China

visiting Lama Temple in Beijing while traveling alone in Asia

The Chinese capital Beijing is one of the most beautiful cities in China and the perfect destination for solo travel in Asia.

With its mix of old traditional neighborhoods, called hutongs , and modern districts with skyscrapers, trendy shops, bars, and restaurants, the city offers the ideal mix of history and modernity.

Beijing is a fantastic place for solo travelers because you’ll be able to easily talk to locals — even if you only know a few words of Mandarin Chinese. It is a very safe place to travel alone in Asia and the risk of getting robbed or attacked is lower than in other places in the world.

You will also find great accommodation for every budget here.

The major sights of Beijing are Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City , the Temple of Heaven, and the new Summer Palace. From Coal Hill in Jingshan Park — located behind the north exit of the Forbidden City — you will have a fantastic view over this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Furthermore, you should visit the Tibetan Lama Temple, also known as Yonghe Gong, where you can immerse yourself in Tibetan Buddhism. From there, you can walk to the nearby Temple of Confucius on Guozijian Street, which is worth a walk.

I also highly recommend taking a stroll through one of Beijing’s hutongs. Three of the most famous are Nanlougu Hutong, Mao’er Hutong, and Liulichang Street. You can combine a walk with a visit to Shichahai and its three lakes, the Drum and the Bell Tower, and the Beihai Park. Art lovers will get their money’s worth in the 798 Art District in the northeast of the city.

In Beijing, you will find a huge selection of dishes from a wide variety of Chinese cuisines.

Originally a street food from Sichuan, you should definitely try out malatang, a kind of spicy individually-made hot pot. You put your favorite ingredients in a bowl and pass it to the counter, where a chef prepares a delicious soup or meal for you.

Meat eaters will enjoy a real Beijing roast duck, the city’s most famous dish.

By the way, if you want to learn how to cook Chinese dishes yourself you should attend a cooking class .

No stay in Beijing would be complete without a visit to the Great Wall of China. Well-known restored sections are Badaling and Mutianyu. If you want to explore an unrestored wild part of the Wall you should take a hike on the Gubeikou, the Jiankou Big West, or the Longquanyu section of the Great Wall with a local hiking agency.

-Vanessa from The Travelling Colognian

Beijing Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Beijing tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Beijing hotels .

17. Taipei, Taiwan

viewing the Taipei skyline from Elephant Mountain while traveling Asia alone

Solo travel in Taiwan is an unforgettable experience, and the country’s capital city of Taipei is the perfect introduction to traveling alone in Asia. It’s extremely safe, English is widely spoken, and you get to experience Asian culture without feeling too overwhelmed.

Taipei has an extensive transportation system, which makes it extremely easy for solo travelers to navigate. The main tourist attractions in Taipei are spread out, so you’ll be relying on public transportation. 

There are plenty of things to do in Taipei, so you should plan to spend at least five days in the city. The top sights you should visit include the National Palace Museum, Longshan Temple, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Elephant Mountain, and Taipei 101 . 

If you have the time, you should also take a day trip to visit Jiufen, a seaside mountain area east of Taipei. It gets extremely busy in the afternoon so try to get there as early as possible. 

No trip to Taipei would be complete without visiting the night markets. Taipei is known for its incredible food, and night markets are the best way to try all the delicious options. 

Raohe Night Market is the most popular in Taipei. It opens at 5pm, and you should arrive close to that time to avoid the long lines. The two items you can’t leave without trying are the pepper buns and ice cream burrito. 

-Erica from  Travels with Erica

Taipei Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Taipei tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Taipei hotels .

18. Sarawak, Malaysia

Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building in Borneo, one of the best places to travel alone in Asia

There are many great places to enjoy a solo trip to Malaysia , though the capital city of Sarawak in Borneo, Kuching offers a truly unique experience.

While the origin of the city’s name is uncertain, many locals refer to Kuching as the “Cat City” as the word Kuching is similar to the Malay word for cat. 

Kuching is the home of many Indigenous people in Sarawak, including the Ibans, Dayaks, and Orang Ulu. There are many opportunities to better understand these cultures, for instance, through museums (like Kampung Budaya Sarawak and the Sarawak Museum ) and immersive tours and experiences (like staying at an Iban Longhouse).

Kuching is really the perfect place for solo travelers to connect with local people and learn more about the city’s history and culture. The city center is also relatively easy to explore, so many main spots to visit in the city are only within walking distance from one and the other. 

Stroll around the Kuching Waterfront with the view of Astana and Fort Margherita, along with the majestic Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building that you can enjoy for free.

You can also find many cat statues throughout the city where you can take a selfie or two. Stop by the Cat Museum to enjoy the cat city to the fullest. 

Love wildlife? Kuching is the main gateway if you’re planning to see orangutans in their natural habitat in Borneo. Semenggoh Nature Reserve is only an hour away from Kuching city center, and you can also enjoy trekking and seeing the wildlife at Bako National Park. 

-Marya from The Beau Traveler

Sarawak Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Sarawak tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Sarawak hotels .

19. Rishikesh, India

Rishikesh in India is one of the best places to travel solo in Asia

Known as the “Yoga Capital of the World”, Rishikesh is a place widely visited by tourists from all over the globe.

The city got popular when the famous English rock band The Beatles visited the city in the 60s to learn transcendental meditation. Yoga guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ji inspired them.

Today, Rishikesh offers yoga, meditation, adventure sports, religious temples, magnificent mountains, cultural diversity, and tranquil ashrams.

Every year, thousands of solo travelers visit the sacred city. Even as a solo female traveler, traveling alone in Rishikesh is relatively safe and secure.

You need to keep a few things in mind, like not consuming alcohol and non-vegetarian food near holy places and ghats (which are steps leading down to the water). These things are banned in Rishikesh to maintain the divinity of the city.

Being an important tourist destination in India, tourism contributes to a significant part of the city’s income. The people here are generous, helpful, and kind.

Things solo travelers can do in Rishikesh include yoga and meditation, which are offered at the many local centers like Parmarth Niketan and Sivananda Ashram.

The city is also heaven for adventure lovers, featuring river rafting, bungee jumping, paragliding, mountain biking, camping, and trekking. You can book a package with any tour operator located in the Tapovan and Jonk areas.

If you’re in Rishikesh, don’t forget to attend the evening Ganga Aarti — a worshipping of the holy Ganges River — at Parmarth Niketan Ashram and Triveni Ghat.

Rishikesh is also well known for its 5000-year-old tradition of Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems. There are various therapy centers in the city, like Braham Yoga & Natural Healing and Hemadri Ayurveda Center. The therapy includes an oil massage, scrubbing, and polishing of the body.

Pro tip: Rishikesh is also a great solo trip from Delhi , as you can reach it in about six hours via a direct bus.

-Abhishek from  Misfit Wanderers

Rishikesh Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Rishikesh tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Rishikesh hotels .

20. Osaka, Japan 

walking a vibrant street in Shinsaikei, Osaka while traveling alone in Asia

Japan is possibly the best country to travel alone in Asia, with Osaka being one of the best cities for solo travel.

Osaka is the second-largest city in Japan and is the hub connecting the Kansai Region with the outside world. Kansai has its own unique culture, cuisine, and tradition that makes it different from Tokyo and the rest of the country.  

Highlights in Osaka include the Osaka Castle, Universal Studio Japan, Dotombori, Umeda shopping area, and Shitenno-Ji Buddhist temple.

Osaka is a great place for solo travelers because, first of all, it’s easy to get around. The entire city is connected by metro and Japan Railways (JR), and a solo traveler can easily visit a number of attractions using public transportation. 

In fact, a JR Kansai Pass offers free or discounted entry and cut-the-line privileges to over 100 attractions: museums, cultural experiences, observation decks, and more.

Additionally, Osaka is surrounded by numerous important historic cities, including Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe. It is impossible for a solo traveler to run out of travel ideas.

Osaka is also known for its friendly locals, exciting nightlife, and safety. In fact, solo travelers will have no problem walking and enjoying the city at night. Plus, there is always an opportunity to get to know a new friend along the way!

Finally, you can’t miss the food in Osaka , a facet of local culture that makes it abundantly clear why the city is one of the best places to travel in Asia solo.

For a delicious yet educational experience, book a local food tour — which also allows you to taste a variety of local dishes like okonomiyaki (a type of savory pancake), takoyaki (octopus balls), fugu fish, and more!  

-Kenny from Knycx Journeying

Osaka Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Osaka tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Osaka hotels .

21. Hội An, Vietnam

walking under bright lanterns in Hoi Ann, Vietnam while traveling solo in Asia

Looking for the best solo travel destinations in Asia ? Hội An should definitely be on your radar!

Hội An, formerly known as Fai-Fo, is a coastal city south of Da Nang home to roughly 120,000 people. The Ancient Town became a National Cultural Heritage Site in 1985 and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 due to being a well-preserved trading port with both Indigenous and foreign influences. 

Many backpackers rave about buying handmade clothing here. In fact, one of the travelers I met in Thailand got a beautiful dress made and the shop even mailed it home to her in Belgium!

As a female traveler, I felt entirely safe in Hội An. I spent a few nights partying and never once felt uncomfortable or under threat, even on my walks back to the hostel with another female traveler.

Personally, I loved spending my time wandering solo through the narrow colorful streets of the Old Town. And the beach is only a 15-minute bike ride away.

Some of the other top things to do in Hội An as a solo traveler include exploring the markets (and picking up some incredible bargains), taking a traditional Vietnamese cooking class, hiring a bicycle to explore the countryside, and tasting the street food. 

Another recommendation: join a free tour run by university students where you visit a local carpentry village!

Other things you can do include booking a basket boat tour, taking a trip to My Son Sanctuary , visiting the Museum of Folk Culture, and checking out historical houses like Tan Ky and Duc An. 

Any of these activities are great for solo travelers, and if you feel more comfortable being on a tour, there are lots of options for that, too.

-Lana from Wallflower in Wanderland

Hội An Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Hội An tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Hội An hotels .

22. Singapore


Singapore is one of the coolest city-states in the world and is an excellent destination for solo female travelers in Asia.

Founded as a British trading colony in 1819, it’s since become a cosmopolitan melting pot of Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Arab cultures.

Today, Singapore is known as being a safe country to travel alone in Asia — as well as for its cleanliness, and efficiency.

It’s also incredibly easy to get around, even if you don’t speak the language. Almost everyone speaks English as it’s the language of the downtown businesses.

The variety of ethnicities living within this small city-state makes it feel like a tour of Asia within a week-long trip. You can easily go over to Little India for an afternoon before heading to a Malaysian hawker stall for dinner — all within an hour from the downtown core!

Solo travelers will love how easy it is to get around Singapore. Public transportation is cheap, clean, and efficient. You can also walk everywhere within the city center — though note it’ll be a sweaty walk as Singapore gets hot and humid.

There are plenty of things to do as a solo traveler in Singapore. Some of the best tourist activities include the Gardens by the Bay and walking amongst the Cloud Forest . Every night you can enjoy a free light show at the Marina Bay Sands.

You can also take the train to Sentosa for a beautiful beach day, complete with an amusement park for fun in the sun.

Shopping is plentiful in Singapore, but unless you’re a US size 0 and have lots of money to spend, you should avoid the popular malls downtown. Instead, head to the different communities outside of the downtown core for markets where you can find cheaper goods.

Trying local food is also a must-do in Singapore; not just for sustenance, but also for enjoyment.

You’ll love getting to try a Michelin-star meal at a hawker stall for under $5 USD. Try the variety of different dishes at a hawker market. And don’t forget to try the famous Singaporean chili crab!

One of the coolest experiences is the Night Safari at the Singapore Zoo . You can see the nocturnal animals in full glory on this activity. It’s also cool because you’re sheltered from the intense Singaporean heat.

In Singapore, prepare to wear light, airy clothes or you’ll be a pile of sweat within five minutes. Most people use the malls to navigate the city, as the air conditioning prevents them from melting on longer walks.

-Nina from  Ottawa Things To Do

Singapore Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Singapore tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Singapore hotels .

23. Bagan, Myanmar

hot air balloons over Bagan, one of the best places for solo travel in Asia

One of the most unexpected and best Asian destinations for solo travelers is Bagan, Myanmar. While it may not be the first country to come to mind when you’re planning to backpack Asia alone , it’s one that will surprise you when you’re there!

Ancient Bagan is known for its incredible landscapes and is home to over 2000 pagodas and temples.

Situated on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, Bagan can be reached from the city of Mandalay via river, plane, or road.

Bagan is a good way for solo travelers to experience coming off the well-traveled Southeast Asia backpacking route while also staying on a well-known path that guarantees you to meet other travelers.

There are plenty of backpacker hostels — the most famous being Ostello Bello — which all put on group trips during the day and fun activities in the evening!

Most of Bagan can be accessed with an e-bike or scooter, but if you want to meet other travelers, staying in New Bagan is perfect for lively hostels, restaurants, and shops. Most accommodations will organize sunrise viewings from the Shwesandaw Pagoda (which is rumored to house a hair of Buddha!), hot air balloon rides, and e-scooter hires for an easy way to get around.

One of the best solo travel activities in Bagan is a sunrise hot air balloon ride, which floats you over the mystical land of temples and dusty sky. This can easily be done alone or with new friends and is a memory that will last a lifetime.

If you’re looking for something where your feet stay firmly on the ground, you can take a traditional cooking class in Bagan. It’s the perfect way to meet other like-minded travelers as you’ll cook Burmese curries and traditional snacks in small groups.

If you book with the Pennywort cooking group , you’ll shop for your own ingredients in the morning, then walk to a local’s house in the afternoon to cook. It’s a day well spent eating good food and learning more about Myanmar’s history and culture from a local!

-Jennie from Jennie Wanders

Bagan Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Bagan tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Bagan hotels .

24. Gangtok, India

Seeing prayer flags in Northeast India during a solo trip to Asia

Located in Northeast India, Gangtok is the capital of the state of Sikkim, which is blessed by the mighty Mount Kanchenjunga, the third-highest peak in the world.

Gangtok is considered one of the cleanest cities in India. The name Gangtok refers to its hilltop location, which has an elevation of about 1,650 meters (5,413 feet) above sea level. 

Gangtok is a perfect city for solo travelers who love culture and nature. It offers a majestic view of the Himalayas and is home to diverse ethnicities such as the Bhutias, Gorkhas, Lepchas, and Kiratis — all of whom are known for their warm hospitality. 

There are also many things to do in Gangtok for solo travelers. First and foremost, you can take a walk down Mahatma Gandhi Marg (MG Marg), a pedestrian street in downtown Gangtok known for its markets, cleanliness, cafes, and upscale vibe.

To enjoy a panoramic view of the city, the Gangtok Ropeway cable car is a must. Additionally, the Lingdum Monastery pairs Tibetan Buddhism with a view of the misty hills.

Another monastery worth a visit is Rumtek Monastery, which sits at an altitude of about 1,500 meters (4,900 feet) and is the largest monastery in Sikkim.

To learn more about Tibetan Culture, you can also visit the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology near the Gangtok Ropeway.

Conclude your solo trip to Gangtok by going to the Tashi Viewpoint and Ganesh Tok Viewpoint. Both are known for their stunning scenery of the city backed by Mount Kanchenjunga.

-Joydeep from The Gypsy Chiring

Sikkim Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Sikkim tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Sikkim hotels .

25. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur is one of the best places for solo female travel in Asia

Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, is a bustling metropolis that always has something going on. Full of landmarks and constantly packed with tourists, this modern city is the perfect place for solo travelers to explore on their own or find new friends for exciting adventures. Being such an international city as well as a major flight hub, there is no shortage of interesting people to meet in Kuala Lumpur and the best place to do that is at a bar. Luckily, Kuala Lumpur has plenty.

The first place you should head if you are looking for nightlife is Changkat Bukit Bintang, the Times Square of KL.

Alternatively, Bangsar is the area where most expats hang out. Or head to Bridge Bar for an iconic experience: dining on the bridge between the buildings of the G Tower Hotel, 28 floors high! 

When you get hungry, head to Jalan Alor, the main food street in Kuala Lumpur where you will find hundreds of different vendors offering tasty cuisine.

Now, if you prefer to simply enjoy time to yourself while solo traveling, wander your way through the Old Market Square or Little India — both of which are full of shops and restaurants — and go hunting for street art around Jalan Alor at your own pace.

Regardless of whether you prefer to get out there and socialize or enjoy a quiet solo retreat, you cannot leave Kuala Lumpur without visiting some of the biggest attractions, including the world-famous Petronas Twin Towers (once the tallest building in the world). Catch the light show behind the towers each night for an impressive colorful light display.

And don’t miss exploring the underground world of the Batu Caves , a great place to experience real Hindu culture. The caves themselves are impressive, too, and you’ll be greeted by monkeys when entering.

-Yulia from Miss Tourist

Kuala Lumpur Travel Resources

Click here for a list of top-rated Kuala Lumpur tours .

Click here for a list of top-rated Kuala Lumpur hotels .

What best places for solo travel in Asia would you add to this list?

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This article is a fantastic resource for solo travelers looking to explore Asia. It provides a diverse range of destinations, from the serene beauty of Thimphu, Bhutan, to the vibrant streets of Kolkata, India. The recommendations offer a mix of cultural experiences, natural wonders, and delicious cuisine. It’s great to see the emphasis on safety and the inclusion of helpful travel resources. Whether you’re seeking adventure or tranquility, this guide has something for every solo traveler. Happy exploring!

Why none of your articles or posts ever include South Korea, Hong Kong nor Taiwan? Especially South Korea which has tons of attractions and things to do solo or in groups.

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10 of the Best Places in Asia for Solo Female Travelers

05/12/2022 by Emily Becker Leave a Comment

As a solo female traveler myself, I tend to look for destinations that have a welcoming atmosphere, plenty of things to do, and safe spots to find solitude in nature. Fortunately, Asia is full of places that tick these boxes, each with its own variety of activities, natural wonders, and delightful cuisine.

Generally speaking, most countries in Asia are quite accessible for solo female travelers. Even those that have occasional political unrest (for example, Thailand’s coup d’état ) remain relatively safe for tourists.

From the lush green mountains of Kyrgyzstan to the secret islands of Indonesia, this list has the absolute best countries in Asia for solo female travelers:

Table of Contents

Habushiura Beach Resort

Japan ranks as the ninth most peaceful country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index . This is one of the many reasons why this island nation is ideal for solo female travelers. Not only is it an exceptionally safe place, but Japan has a global reputation for its heartwarming hospitality. Locals are generally friendly toward foreigners, even if you don’t speak Japanese. Just make sure to download a translator app to help with the language barrier.

With everything from technicolor cities like Tokyo and Kyoto to the island paradise of Niijima , Japan has a huge variety of scenery and attractions. Its unique culture has been impressively preserved over the centuries, making it an intriguing destination to explore for any curious solo female traveler. There’s no wonder why it’s one of the best places to travel solo for the first time !

Find a complete guide to traveling solo as a woman in Japan here .

2. Thailand

thailand packing list

Thailand is an absolute dream for adventurous solo female travelers, especially those who are open to making friends on the road. As a top backpacking destination, it is one of the easiest countries to get around and receives the most international visitors of any other nation in Southeast Asia. Although scams are common in Thailand, it remains safe for solo female travelers, and locals are usually hospitable and friendly. After all, Thailand’s nickname is “the Land of Smiles.”

Thailand has a reputation for being a party spot, too, but there’s so much more to this outstanding country than that. From the lush jungles of the north to the pristine beaches in the south, the biggest challenge might be deciding how to spend your time, because there’s truly so much to do.

Find your complete guide to solo female travel in Thailand here and start planning your adventure!

best solo travel destinations south east asia

Taiwan is a travel destination that is often overlooked but certainly deserves mentioning. Not only does it have a vibrant gastronomic scene and a rich culture, it’s also among one of the safest countries in Asia to travel alone as a woman. Since Taiwan hasn’t reached as many travel radars as other destinations in Asia, it can be more challenging to travel off the beaten path there for those who don’t speak the language, since far fewer locals speak English outside of the big cities.

A great way to see more of the country is booking a five-day tour that takes you to some of the island’s best natural wonders. Tours like these are great for solo female travelers because they take the pressure off of arranging transportation and give you the chance to meet other travelers through a shared experience.

best solo travel destinations south east asia

Up until less than a decade ago, Vietnam would not have been the best destination for solo female travelers, especially those venturing out on their own for the first time. Especially in big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the heavy motorbike traffic and overwhelming bustle can be intimidating. However, Vietnam is a captivating country that is ever-changing and adapting to tourism, so it’s become a great spot for all kinds of travelers, solo women included.

Whether you’re heading to Sapa to trek through rice terraces and meet hill tribes or looking to explore the natural wonders of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, you’ll find there is plenty to do there. Read up on Vietnam’s safety tips before you go, and enjoy eating your way through the country that makes foodies’ hearts sing.

5. Kyrgyzstan

best solo travel destinations south east asia

Kyrgyzstan is an outdoorsy woman’s dream come true. Often referred to as “the Patagonia of Central Asia,” this mountainous country got its nickname because of its rugged landscapes, but it maintains an identity of its own. It’s the closest country on this list to Europe, and its picturesque landscape has scenery that rivals the Alps.

As a sparsely populated nation with relatively low crime, solo female travelers will find Kyrgyzstan to be safe and accommodating. Because it’s such a breathtaking trekking destination , this is the perfect Asian destination to get some solitude and connect with nature. If this sounds just right for you, this trekking guide is a great place to start planning your trip.

best solo travel destinations south east asia

First Name:

6. Indonesia

best solo travel destinations south east asia

I don’t have to tell you that Bali is one of the most beautiful places on earth, because chances are you’ve already drooled over the photos on social media or been there yourself. However, there’s so much more to explore in Indonesia and many locations that are just as gorgeous without being overtouristed like Bali is. In fact, the Nusa Islands are just a short boat ride from Bali, and some travelers claim that they are what Bali was 30 years ago.

So, how is Indonesia for solo female travelers? The truth is that its culture and social landscape changes vastly from one island to the next. As a whole, it’s a great destination for solo female travelers because of how much there is to do there, plus the abundance of other travelers to meet along the way.

Keep in mind that in most of Indonesia (Bali is an exception), women are expected to cover up their shoulders, knees, and heads in some places. Not doing so could make you a target for crime, plus sticking to modesty considerations is a sign of respect in Indonesia. Catcalling and scams are common in some parts of the country, especially in big cities, so be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts.

Find out everything you need to know about traveling solo in Indonesia, plus tips on where to go, here .

7. South Korea

best solo travel destinations south east asia

South Korea is an incredible destination for solo female travelers because of how safe it is and how generally open-minded the culture is. There’s also plenty to do in South Korea ; some travelers are even completely content with just sticking to Seoul , since it’s such a big city with endless activities.

Beyond the busy streets of Seoul and Busan, you’ll find that South Korea is full of natural beauty as well. Take Jeju Island , for example, where you can hike, ride horses, and enjoy incredible seaside views.

From the mouthwatering cuisine to the eclectic mix of modern and ancient architecture, South Korea is certainly not a destination to skip.

8. Singapore

best solo travel destinations south east asia

As one of the smallest, cleanest, and most well-organized countries in Asia, Singapore is a great spot for solo female travelers who enjoy the finer things in life. It’s generally more expensive, but if you have the cash to spend, then go for it! If you’re on a budget , there certainly are ways to make Singapore work for you, too.

The mind-blowing modern architecture and cosmopolitan vibe of Singapore is what attracts many travelers, along with the overall safety aspect, which makes it such an ideal place for solo women.

However, there’s more to do here than just explore the city . Head to the Southern Islands to check out Singapore’s beaches or spend a day trekking through the lush jungles of Pulau Ubin. However you decide to take on Singapore, you’re sure to find plenty to do to keep you busy.

9. The Maldives

best solo travel destinations south east asia

When it comes to idyllic island paradises, it doesn’t get much better than the Maldives. There’s a misconception that they are completely inaccessible to travelers on a budget, but you might be surprised at how affordable they can be . And since, as a solo female traveler, you won’t be splitting costs, keeping things affordable is always a plus.

Some islands in the Maldives are entirely tourist oriented, but there are still many others that remain authentic to local customs. Either way, the Maldives is a safe destination for solo female travelers, and checking out the local islands is a great way to meet other people, locals and tourists alike.

Just remember that the Maldives is a Muslim country, and so bikinis and alcohol are not allowed on the islands.

thurong la pass nepal

This is a destination for a solo traveler who is truly down for anything. Nepal is popular for its epic trekking , (including Mount Everest) and bustling cities, attracting adventurous travelers looking for an adrenaline rush. For a more accessible (but still challenging!) trekking experience, you can tackle the Annapurna Circuit , which you can even do without a guide .

Like many other destinations on this list, Nepal is not without its challenges when it comes to safety. Remember to avoid walking alone at night here, and follow other safety tips for solo female travelers . Keep in mind that women cover up their knees and shoulders in Nepal; doing so will help you avoid unwanted attention.

Pin me for later:

best solo travel destinations south east asia

The truth is, almost any country can be ideal for a solo female traveler. With a bit of planning, prior solo travel experience, and following the expert advice of other women who travel solo, you can really take charge of your own travel dreams and go where you please. Asia is no exception.

Where else do you think is a great place in Asia for solo female travelers?

About Emily Becker

Emily Becker is a digital nomad based in Costa Rica. She's been traveling on and off since 2014 and has visited 15 countries—planning to tick many more off her bucket list. In addition to writing for BMTM, she works as a copywriter and project manager.

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  • South East Asia Tours

South East Asia Solo Trips and Holidays 2024/2025

The best solo trips and solo holidays in South East Asia. We currently offer 1255 South East Asia solo tour packages, many of which are guided tours . You can also read 1678 customer reviews for solo vacations, often written by solo travelers.

1260 solo trips in South East Asia

South East Asia Loop Tour

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Indochina Odyssey In 16 Days Tour

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The Best Places to Go When You Solo Travel in Asia

Aug 1, 2022 | Asia | 0 comments

Bako kuching

Solo travel in Asia can be a fantastic experience – you get to immerse yourself in new cultures and see the world in a new way. You can explore the heartland of exciting Asian destinations without worrying about what your travel companions might think or feel.

There are, of course, solo travellers everywhere – but Asia is a magnificent continent for solo travel, as it’s generally very safe and easy to get around.

I remember the excitement and anxiety I had when leaving Australia alone to travel to Asia, not knowing anyone in any of the countries I was visiting.

Travelling solo means you can do whatever you want, whenever you want – but it also comes with challenges. Travelling Asia alone can be daunting, especially if you’re unsure where to start or the best ways to avoid trouble.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best places to go when you solo travel in Asia. We’ve included some of our favourite spots, as well as some lesser-known destinations that are worth exploring in the vast continent.

Are you looking  for a hotel for one in Asia? Find excellent rates at Booking.com!

Solo Travel in Asia

The Best Places to Go When You Solo Travel in Asia.

A few tips on solo travel in Asia

Before we get into a few of the best destinations to travel in Asia alone, let’s begin with a few essential tips on travelling alone.

Solo travel in Asia can be a great experience if you follow these simple tips:

  • Do your research: travelling solo means you’re responsible for your safety and well-being. Be sure to do your research on any destination you’re considering and only visit places that are safe for solo travellers.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings: solo travel can be liberating, but it’s also important to be mindful of your surroundings. Be sure to keep your valuables close to you, and trust your gut if something doesn’t feel right.
  • Meet other solo travellers: one of the best things about solo travel is meeting other people doing the same thing. There are plenty of ways to meet other solo travellers, whether through hostels, tour groups or social media.
  • Stay in crowded areas at night: if you’re solo travelling in Asia, it’s always best to stay in crowded areas at night. Although you don’t need to be too timid, most destinations you visit are relatively safe, but you never want to leave yourself vulnerable when travelling into the unknown.
  • Keep in touch with home: Your loved ones are bound to worry about you, and connecting in the modern world is easy, so there’s no excuse to let them know you’re safe now and then.
  • Research Booking.com for the best hotels for solo travellers: you can find plenty of solo-friendly hotels on Booking.com, whether you’re looking for a private room or an entire apartment.

Now that we’ve gone over a few solo travel tips let’s take a look at some of the best places in Asia for solo travellers.

reasons to travel

Begin the daunting task of travelling alone.

Let’s get into the exciting bit, the best places for solo travel in Asia. I am well travelled in the continent but haven’t seen it all. Therefore, the destinations on this list are those in Asia I have visited . Therefore I speak with experience.

If there are places you feel need to be on the list, by all means, add them in the comments. I solo travel to Asia quite often and am always keen to add new destinations to my list.

Some of the best places for solo travel in Asia are:

Tanjung Benoa in Bali

Tanjung Benoa is a lovely part of Bali known for its famous beach activities, such as jet skiing and parasailing. It’s also a great place to try your hand at scuba diving or snorkelling. The best part about solo travel in Tanjung Benoa is that there are plenty of other solo travellers around, so it’s easy to meet new people.

In the evening, Tanjung Benoa is pleasant, and the crowds from the beach have dispersed to their hotels in other parts of Bali. I like to walk the beach at sunset, go for a swim and then enjoy a solo dinner at one of the many warungs.

While the rest of Bali is more than suitable for solo travel, Tanjung Benoa brings a peaceful feel to your vacation.

Best hotels in Tanjung Benoa include:

– Sakala Resort Bali

– Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa

– The Samaya Bali

Sakala Resort

Lose yourself travelling alone at the Sakala Resort in Tanjung Benoa.

Nusa Lembongan in Indonesia

Off the mainland of Bali is Nusa Lembongan, an unspoiled island paradise. Although it’s only a short boat ride from Bali, Nusa Lembongan feels like a world away.

The best way to solo travel Nusa Lembongan is by renting a scooter, allowing you to explore the island at your own pace. Be sure to visit the beautiful beaches of Mangrove Beach and Dream Beach, and take a day trip to Nusa Penida for even more solo travel fun.

When night falls, there are plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from in Lembongan Village. I recommend grabbing a bite at Warung Made for some delicious Indonesian food.

For solo travellers, Nusa Lembongan is the perfect place to relax and unwind.

Some of the best hotels in Nusa Lembongan for solo travellers include:

– Mushroom Bay Beach Resort

– Bali Eco Deli & Bungalows

– Pondok Baruna Villa & Guesthouse

things to do in nusa lembongan

Paradise awaits any traveller on arrival in Nusa Lembongan.

Vientiane in Laos

The Laos capital of Vientiane is one of my favourite Southeast Asian destinations. It’s a charming city with a relaxed vibe, beautiful temples and plenty of great restaurants.

For solo travellers, I recommend renting a bicycle and exploring the city at your own pace. Be sure to visit Wat Si Saket, one of the most important temples in Laos, and take a walk along the Mekong River.

There are plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from in the evening. I recommend grabbing a bite at one of the many street food stalls.

For solo travellers, Vientiane is the perfect place to relax and unwind.

Some of the best hotels in Vientiane for solo travellers include:

– Settha Palace Hotel

– Vayakorn House

– Lao Heritage Hotel

Golden Palace

Golden Palace, Vientiane, Laos.

Kathmandu in Nepal

Don’t doubt it for a second; Kathmandu will be daunting upon arrival. Many locals will confront you to go on hikes, buy this, buy that, and it will appear as if solo travel in Nepal is impossible. But it is. I know from experience.

There are different charges for admission depending on your country of origin. I recommend getting a local SIM card and mapping out where you want to go for the day. I also recommend travelling with a photocopy of your passport as many tourist places in Kathmandu will require it.

Kathmandu solo travel requires time and patience due to the chaos on the roads, but it’s doable. And once you get used to it, you’ll travel solo like a pro.

Some of the best places to solo travel in Kathmandu are Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple), Boudhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple and Durbar Square.

However, it is in the Thamel part of Kathmandu where you’ll appreciate the most, with great shopping and many hotels situated in the district.

Some of the best hotels in Thamel for solo travellers include:

– Hotel SI am looking – Gokarna Forest Resort

– Dwarika’s Hotel

travel to Kathmandu

I looked over the Thamel district in Kathmandu with the mountains in the background.

Dalat in Vietnam

From one chaos to another, although a little less so, Dalat in Vietnam is solo traveller friendly. The best way to solo travel to Dalat is by scooter, as it’s a great way to get around and see the sights.

Some of the best places to solo travel in Dalat are Xuan Huong Lake, Valley of Love, Bao Dai’s Summer Palace and Datanla Falls.

For solo travellers, Dalat is the perfect place to relax and unwind. You’ll also find fantastic markets for shopping and affordable restaurants.

Some of the best hotels in Dalat for solo travellers include:

– Hotel De L’Opera Dalat

– Ana Mandara Villas Resort & Spa Dalat

– Sofitel Dalat Palace

Dalat, Vietnam

Prenn Waterfall in Dalat, Vietnam.

Kyoto in Japan

Kyoto is a city you fall in love with at first sight, and solo travelling here is an experience you’ll never forget. The best way to solo travel to Kyoto is by bicycle or walk, as it’s a great way to get around and see the sights.

Some of the best places to solo travel in Kyoto are Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kinkaku-Ji Temple, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and Gion.

For solo travellers, Kyoto is the perfect place to relax and unwind. You’ll also find fantastic markets for shopping and affordable restaurants while on your tour of the magnificent Japanese city.

Some of the best hotels in Kyoto for solo travellers include:

– The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto

– Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

– Hyatt Regency Kyoto

Things to do in Kyoto

Kamo River in Kyoto, Japan.

Seoul in South Korea

Along with Kyoto, Seoul is one of my favourite cities worldwide. It is a solo traveller’s dream, with plenty to see and do in artificial that gives life to plenty of natural and manufactured tourist attractions. A city I have visited frequently, but still not enough. The best way to solo travel to Seoul is by using the excellent public transport system, which includes a great metro system.

Some of the best places to solo travel in Seoul are Gyeongbokgung Palace, Namsan Park, Myeong-dong and Hongdae.

For solo travellers, Seoul is the perfect place to relax and unwind. You can also get around quickly as the Seoul train system is fantastic, even a little confusing until you get the just of it.

Food is paradise in Seoul; who doesn’t love a good Korean BBQ? Not only that, but the street food is to die for, with various street food merchants readily available along the streets.

If you love shopping, you’ll love the underground shopping malls connected to almost every metro station.

Some of the best hotels in Seoul for solo travellers include:

– The Shilla Seoul

– Lotte HThel World

– JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul


The crowds gather at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul.

Khao Lak in Thailand

With all the stunning beach resorts associated with Khao Lak, you could be forgiven the Thai destination is more of a lover’s paradise. Perhaps there is truth in that thinking. However, solo travellers will find this place just as welcoming.

The best way to solo travel to Khao Lak is by scooter, as it’s a great way to get around and see the sights.

Some of the best places to solo travel in Khao Lak are Nang Thong Beach, Bang Niang Beach, Laem Pakarang Beach and Khao Lak National Park.

For solo travellers, Khao Lak is the perfect place to relax and unwind along the white sandy beaches, with many hidden markets and restaurants to explore.

Some of the best hotels in Khao Lak for solo travellers include:

– Ramada by Wyndham Khao Lak

– Khaolak Laguna Resort 

– Merit Laeh Phang Nga

Khao Lak Resort

The sunset over Khao Lak is beautiful from the rooftop bar in the Mai Khao Lak Resort. 

Kuching in Borneo, Malaysia

The Sarawak State of Borneo is fortunate to have two fantastic cities for Solo travel in Asia, but let’s begin with Kuching.

Kuching is solo traveller friendly as it’s small, and you can quickly get around on foot as the paths will take you far and wide in the city. There are plenty of sights to see in Kuching, including the Sarawak Museum, Islamic Heritage Museum, Semenggoh Nature Reserve and the Cat Statue.

Kuching is also a great place for shopping as there are many good-sized malls such as The Spring, Boulevard and Main Bazaar.

Some of the best places to solo travel in Kuching are Sarawak Museum, Islamic Heritage Museum, Semenggoh Nature Reserve and the Cat Statue.

However, the best place to be in the evening is the Kuching Waterfront, where you can watch the sunset and enjoy the views of the Sarawak River.

Some of the best hotels in Kuching for solo travellers include:

– Dorset Boutique Hotel

– Hilton Kuching

– Riverside Majestic Hotel

bako day trip

A day at Bako, where else would you rather be?

Miri in Borneo Malaysia

Now for the second and further laidback city of the Sarawak State in Miri.

Miri is solo traveller friendly as it’s small, laid back and a pleasant beachside City. You can conveniently get around by Grab or taxi or take leisurely walks to each tourist attraction. If you wish to explore the region further, there are plenty of sights to see in Miri, including the Niah National Park, Mulu Caves and the Grand Mosque.

You can visit many fabulous tourist attractions within the Miri City region, such as Canada Hill, Miri Fish Market, Coco Cabana, and the Miri City Fan Recreational Park. 

The best time to solo travel to Miri is during the Sarawak Regatta Festival in September, where you can enjoy a wide range of water sports and cultural performances.

Some of the best hotels in Miri for solo travellers include:

– Hilton Miri Resort

– ParkCity Everly Hotel Miri

– Grand Palace Hotel Miri

Canada Hill Miri

The views of Miri from Canada Hill.

In Conclusion, on Solo travel in Asia.

It’s a thorough list that takes you through Southeast, East and Central Asia. And there’s sure to be a solo travel destination for everyone ready to step into the daunting task and travel alone to incredible cities of the continent.

Think about what you’re looking for in travelling Asia alone and select your destination wisely. Whatever your decision, you’re bound to have a memorable time you’ll never forget. 

Have you been solo travelling in Asia? Where was your favourite place to go? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy solo travels!

Blue Lagoon Nusa Ceningan

Solo travel in Asia adventure begins; where will you go first?



Traveller | Australia | Asia A Fair Dinkum Aussie travels Australia and into Asia. #travel

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6 easy tips for solo female travel in South East Asia

Solo female traveller in South East Asia

South East Asia is one of the most varied and beautiful areas of the world. Therefore, it’s no surprise that it’s become the place to go for backpackers.

Throughout the region, you’ll find breath-taking beaches, lush jungles, historical temples, delicious food and an accessible tourist trail. Being able to get around easily is one of the many reasons for travellers choosing to explore South East Asia, especially those going it alone. For solo female travellers, you don’t need to have the same concerns here as you might if you were heading to India or the Middle East . Making it the perfect place for your first solo adventure.

After several extended trips in South East Asia on my own, I share some of my top tips for other women considering heading to the region alone.

1. Do your research

Research is key to staying safe and being aware of your surroundings. As a solo female traveller, it can give you great peace of mind. Research doesn’t have to take the spontaneity out of a trip, it just means you are better prepared if something doesn’t go to plan.

Reading blogs, guidebooks and talking to the staff and other travellers in hostels can be a great way to find out knowledge about other destinations in the area and figure out whether or not it’s the right place for you to head next.


2. Adapt your dress sense

Solo female traveller on an Intrepid trip in Indonesia

Photo captured by Damien Raggatt

While you can generally be much more relaxed about your clothing choices in South East Asia, compared to Southern Asia or the Middle East. It’s still good to know the differences between regions and carry the right clothing to feel comfortable in each destination you plan to visit. In Thailand and Vietnam , especially on the beaches, wearing a crop top and shorts is the norm. But in places like Myanmar , Laos and even more conservative areas of Northern Thailand, you should bring some longer trousers and dresses.

It’s also likely that you’ll be heading to at least a few temples on your trip, as they’re a real highlight. It’s almost always required for women to cover their shoulders and knees in temples, so you should carry a sarong and/or a shawl if you plan on going into one.


The best way to get a sense of what you should be wearing in different destinations is to look at the local women. In Myanmar, you will notice most women wear long wrap skirts known as longyis. While it is not necessary to dress so conservatively (and in the bigger cities you will see a lot of young women wearing Western fashion), it will help you blend in and feel more comfortable.

And don’t worry – if you ever find you don’t have the right clothing, you can pick up elephant pants, loose shirts, tie-dye skirts and other backpacker essentials all over the region.

3. Go to parties in groups

Solo female traveller with group in Vietnam

Photograph captured Damien Raggatt

Partying is often a big part of travelling in South East Asia, but they can be daunting and sometimes unsafe places for solo females to go to alone. If you are keen to visit any of South East Asia’s famous nightlife spots, it’s a good idea to find a group of other travellers you can trust to head out with. Stay with your group and travel back to the hostel together in a taxi. Looking out for one another will make the experience much safer and having a group of people to hang out with all night will make it much more fun.


4. Get a local SIM card

As smartphones become more and more of a necessity for travellers, getting a local SIM card can be a great tool – both for convenience and safety. I find having a local SIM card very helpful for getting from place to place, as you can use Google Maps and taxi apps like Uber. It can also be useful for booking hostels and excursions from the road. And in case of an emergency or difficult situation, you can call someone at your hostel or the local police to ask for help.

Additionally, it means you can be in touch with your family and friends back home whenever you need. This eases their minds about your safety and also helps if you are ever feeling lonely. SIM cards are generally easy to acquire in South East Asia, although the procedure does vary between countries. Check when you exit the airport if there is a phone company stand, they can often install the SIM card for you then and there, taking away any stress of finding a shop in a big city like Bangkok.


5. Learn a few words of the local language

Local solo female traveller in Vietnam

While English is generally spoken very well throughout South East Asia, learning the local language can help you connect with the locals, travel to more off the beaten track spots and get you out of difficult situations. Even simply learning the words for ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ in each country you visit will be much appreciated by the locals.

6. Consider group travel

If you’re a first-time solo traveller to South East Asia, or even if you’ve been to the region multiple times before but want to do it a little differently, group travel can be a great option. The stress of planning your own trip is completely taken away, you have a ready-made group of friends to explore with and having a local guide can often take you closer to the culture, food and people. Mixing solo travel with group travel during a longer trip across the region can also be a great way to break things up a bit.

Ready to start planning your solo trip? Around 60% of Intrepid travellers are going it alone, click here to find out more.

Feeling inspired?

best solo travel destinations south east asia

Annapurna Mellor

Annapurna Mellor is a photographer, writer and storyteller. Her travels have taken her across Asia, Northern Africa, along the Trans-Siberian Railway and around Europe - always taking the road less travelled and always aiming to go a little deeper into the heart of local culture and people. Her photography work has been featured in National Geographic Traveller Magazine, Lonely Planet Guide Books and in campaigns for many travel brands around the world. Although she is usually dreaming about adventures afar, she is based, most of the time, in Manchester, England.

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First Time In Southeast Asia? Group Tour VS Solo Travel For Beginners

Unsure about what is the best way to travel for your first time in Southeast Asia? Find out the main differences between doing a group tour vs solo travel to figure out which is best for you, this ultimate guide has you covered!

Southeast Asia is a great place to explore, whether you are a beginner traveler or this is your first time, it will be a memorable experience. Though, deciding if you want to travel Southeast Asia on a group tour or solo is an important and big decision to make.

Group tours allow you to easily make friends and the majority of planning is done for you before you have even jumped onto a plane. Though, solo travel gives you a lot more freedom to do exactly what you want, when you want. Each option has its benefits as well as limitations which we will discuss so you can decide whether group tour or solo travel is best for first timers in Southeast Asia.

I am someone who has extensively traveled around Southeast Asia. My first visit was as a solo traveler in 2017 and then more recently returning to do a similar route on a group tour with Stray Asia . I have experienced both the difficult and the best parts this corner of the world has to offer.

First Time In South East Asia: Group Tour or Solo Travel?

  • Planning and Organizing
  • Transportation And Getting Around
  • Knowledge and Saftey
  • Freedom To Explore
  • Border Crossings
  • Making Friends

What Is The Best Decision For You?

sunsets in thailand on beaches as a solo traveler

Planning and Organizing Your Holiday: Group Tour VS Solo Travel

No matter whether you decide to travel Southeast Asia by a group tour or solo travel you will have some amount of planning to do. There is no easy way of getting around this one and for some people (like me) planning is one of the best parts!

On A Group Tour

For those people who don’t like planning or simply just don’t have the time for it, perhaps a group tour would be the best option for you. On a group tour, your itinerary will be pre-planned so you can make sure you are checking out the best destinations a country has to offer. The only things you will need to worry about typically are return flights, visas and travel insurance.

I traveled with Stray Asia on my group tour in Southeast Asia. They offer both freestyle tours (includes transportation, guide, accommodation and activities) as well as freestyle passes (includes transportation, guide and some activities). I did the Mekong freestyle pass and barely needed to plan anything extra throughout our travels. Before beginning the tour we booked our flights to Thailand , organized travel insurance and checked the entry requirements for arriving in Thailand. Once we figured how to get from the airport to our accommodation on Khao San Road it was easy traveling with Stray by our sides.

wat phou in pakse on a group tour in southeast asia

As A Solo Traveler

I cannot even begin to tell you how much pre-planning I did for my solo Southeast Asia trip. It may have been a little over the top, but I did say I like planning. Apart from the typical flights, travel insurance and visas, there was so much more to organize! Bus tickets, best areas to stay in, how long to stay there, what to do, the list goes on. I spent months working on my itinerary, going into very precise detail. I had 6 months of my life pre-planned on a Word document.

Obviously, you don’t have to and probably shouldn’t plan as in-depth as I did. It is fairly easy to get around Southeast Asia by yourself and unlike many other parts of the world, if you make a mistake with planning it is not going to cost much to book a different option. This is perfect for those extroverted people, not afraid to go with the flow into the unknown (this obviously is not me). Nonetheless, you need to make sure you know the entry requirements into the country (do you need a visa?), a flight booked and travel insurance in case something goes wrong.

swing in koh lanta national park thailand

Transportation And Getting Around: Group Tour VS Solo Travel

Southeast Asia is large and you will, without a doubt need to take some sort of transportation to get around. Though, whether this means getting around a town, traveling between one city from another or even having to cross borders into a whole new country is dependent on the itinerary.

One major standout bonus for me with group tours is all preorganized transport. I had nothing but positive experiences with the transportation I took on the Mekong Pass with Stray Asia. The whole trip consisted of tuk-tuks, minivans, buses, trains, many boats and even a bamboo train . The drivers were always professional, following the laws and not speeding, something which is often a rarity in Southeast Asia.

We never had any problems with canceled journeys or faulty vehicles, always arriving at our destination with minimal hassles. Lastly, a major bonus is that Stray Asia provides transport right to the door of the recommended accommodation This is often right in the middle of the city, meaning after a long day of traveling, we did not have to go far to a comfortable bed.

Also with Stray Asia we had many awesome rest stops during our travel days. From temples, local wildlife, cave visits and viewpoints, we were able to experience what most would only see as a blur through their window.

traveling with stray asia on the bus in laos

Personally, for me, transportation is one of the worst parts of solo travel around Southeast Asia. If something is going to go wrong it likely will have to do with your transportation to another city. Nonetheless, the majority seems to work itself out after a lot of stress. Cockroach infestations, scamming taxi drivers, buses not showing up or broken air conditioning on the minivan (with no opening windows), this is just some of what I have experienced. It could be considered an initiation into the backpacker life, though it is in no way enjoyable.

One of the biggest hassles of transportation in Southeast Asia for a solo traveler is the end of your journey. Unfortunately, 90% of the time you will be dropped off at a bus station/pier/random corner 5 kilometers outside of the main city center. Though don’t worry, there will be tuk-tuk drivers waiting to charge you triple for the small drive and knowing you have no other option you will cave to their demands.

Luckily I have always made it to my final destination at the end of the day. Transportation can be booked through hostels/hotels while you are staying there, through local travel agencies or even online at 12.Go Asia .

tuktuk transport as solo travelers in laos

Knowledge And Safety: Group Tour VS Solo Travel

To stop your parents from tossing and turning during the night, it is important that you are fully prepared for the travels you have planned. Luckily, nowadays information is at the tips of our fingers with a quick Google search, just make sure you get a local SIM card to keep connected.

The major bonus for being on a group tour is that you will have a travel guide. They are able to speak the language, know how to keep you safe, will advise about scams to watch out for and are extremely knowledgeable about each destination you visit. This ultimately helps you generally have such a carefree and stress-free time as you can enjoy living in the moment.

Our guides on Stray Asia always gave us the option of buying a SIM card when we arrived in a new country which was extremely helpful. Language barriers in Southeast Asia do exist, especially if you are getting off the beaten track as we did on the Mekong Pass. Oftentimes at restaurants, none of the staff would speak English so our travel guide quickly became a waiter. They also provided knowledge that we wouldn’t have otherwise had about a country, sharing with us their personal experiences and stories.

learning about vientiane with tour guide stray asia

As a solo traveler on the road, you quickly learn to use common sense. Though, this may be a result of getting yourself into a bad situation. I won’t go into details, but yes I have been there and luckily was only scammed $100.00. Though it could have been a lot worse. As an introverted person, I might come off as quiet. Though since that incident I have shouted at my fair share of people trying to scam me. Something that before traveling I would have never done. Traveling solo allowed be to develop a backbone, be a confident woman and trust my instincts.

Make sure you research a destination before arriving, ask at your hostel whether it is safe at night and learn your surrounds in the daytime before venturing around during dark. The one thing I always do before I travel somewhere is Googling “scams in X” this way I know what to watch out for and how to stay safe. Picking up a few words in the local language will also help you throughout the travels and break down the common backpacker stereotypes.

looking over koh phi phi in thailand from viewpoint group tour vs solo travel

Freedom To Explore: Group Tour VS Solo Travel

Why travel to a place if you are not going to have time to explore it? There are so many incredible places in Southeast Asia you could spend a year here and still not see it all. Though, no matter how long you are traveling for, you will want to get the best out of each destination you visit.

Freedom to explore can sometimes be a bit limited when you are on a group tour in Southeast Asia. Though, this definitely depends on the tour itself. You will want to have to look at different options to see where exactly you want to go, which cities you want to visit, do you want more beaches or nature and what countries are ‘must do’. Also, some people might not be too worried about freedom and instead would prefer a fixed itinerary as they only have limited time to explore.

On my recent tour with Stray Asia, in my opinion, there was a great mixture of freedom and scheduling. Using the Mekong Pass I was able to hop on and hop off the tour at any points along the route. The pass is also valid for a year, ideal for short term and long term travelers . The accommodation was at our discretion as well, in which I would stay at a mixture of the Stray preferred accommodation and my own choices. We hopped off 5 times over the trip in destinations where we wanted to explore the surrounding area or simply wanted to relax. For me, it was an ideal mixture of doing my own thing and a fixed itinerary. There is a wide variety of Stray Asia passes so finding one which will be suitable for you has never been easier.

Surprisingly on my recent trip with Stray Asia, in Laos , we actually got completely off the beaten track which would have been difficult getting to as a solo traveler. Kong Lor Cave was one of these places and it ended up being one of the best things I have ever done.

partying for songkran in kampot cambodia with stray asia

As a solo traveler in Southeast Asia, you have all the freedom in the world. If you want to travel to the Thai islands you can, or head north to Chiang Mai . That decision is totally up to you. Transportation can easily be booked last minute and unless it is a public holiday there are usually plenty of accommodation options to choose from.

Honestly, the only things that limits your freedom as a solo traveler in Southeast Asia is the maximum length of stay associated with entry into particular countries. On my first trip to South East Asia, I happily spent 5 months traveling around Myanmar, Thailand , Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.

watching sunrise in bagan solo travel vs group tour in southeast asia

Border Crossings: Group Tour VS Solo Travel

Border crossings are never fun and can often be a stressful situation. Do you have the right paperwork, money for visas, passport sized photos, the list goes on! There has also not been one border I have crossed in Southeast Asia where it does not take all day to get to my final destination, some even taking multiple days such as between Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang .

One of my favorite things about traveling on a group tour in Southeast Asia is the ease which comes with border crossings. Traveling between two countries is never easy, though being apart of a group tour makes everything easier. With a knowledgeable guide nearby, you will know how to correctly fill out the entry/departure cards, the process and how much exactly to pay to avoid getting scammed.

With Stray Asia, we did two individual border crossings, from Thailand to Laos and from Laos to Cambodia. Our guide Pow had crossed these borders many times and knew the correct procedures. This led to an overall simple and quick experience. He also made sure we paid the correct visa fee to the border officials. Lastly, if anyone in our group had lost their departure cards he was able to get replacements for a few dollars.

walking through small laos village in fog with stray asia

Border crossings as a solo traveler in Southeast Asia are never easy. Though, there are things you can do which will make the process less stressful. It is essential that you research the border in advance. Again, knowledge is power, and learning about the possible scams, the processes involved and other travelers experience will allow you to understand what to do and what to expect.

Personally, I have done 3 overland border crossings in Southeast Asia and numerous border crossings where I have arrived at the airport. The airport option is great for travelers in Southeast Asia that are not trying to stick to a budget as depending on your passport, you might be able to get a 30-day visa on arrival. The immigration process is much easier and more professional at airports compared to overland border crossings.

If you are on a budget while solo traveling Southeast Asia, then the overland border crossings might be the best option for you. My main recommendation is to book with a reputable bus company to cross the border with. A personal favorite of mine, which I have done numerous border crossings with, is a bus company called the Giant Ibis. Each bus will have a border attendant onboard which will assist with obtaining visas and answer any questions.

traffic in yangon myanmar

Making Friends: Group Tour VS Solo Travel

Having someone to share all the incredible moments with makes the experience so much better. That is why finding friends when traveling is important and it is amazing all the different types of people you can connect with while traveling. In the end, you will have friends located all around the world.

A group tour is a great way to make friends in Southeast Asia as these are people you will be hanging out with the majority of the day. Everyone is in a similar position and even though there may be a mixture of solo travelers, couples and friends, they are here to learn about a country and explore.

On my group tour with Stray Asia, I had a hop off style pass. This is ideal if you are not vibing with a particular group as you can just hop off, and then hop on the next bus which passes through. Stray honestly had such a wide variety of travelers we were always surprised with the diversity of groups. We even meet some great people and changed our plans so we didn’t end up hopping off and instead spending a little longer on the tour with them. The choice is completely up to you!

bamboo train in battambang with friends group tour vs solo travel beginner in southeast asia

As a solo traveler, it can be extremely easy to make friends in Southeast Asia as there will be many other people like you. It is a popular spot for many solo backpackers. Hostels are often your best bet for making friends and many these days offer private rooms as well as dorm rooms. If you are looking for a social hostel check out Hostel World reviews. They have a tab dedicated to ‘sociability’ of each accommodation and reviewer will often mention this aspect as well.

myanmar sunrise with temples first time in southeast asia

As you can see there are a lot of different variables for you to consider when evaluating whether solo travel or a group tour is best for your first time in Southeast Asia. Though, honestly, if you are looking at something between the two options, from my personal experience, I can recommend Stray Asia’s freestyle passes.

The hop on hop off style tours allow you to be flexible, stay in your own accommodation and do your own thing, but with the content of knowing you have safe transportation and a knowledgeable guide to help get you between destinations. It had been years since I had done a group style tour. Though, after my recent experience with Stray Asia, I would certainly look into doing it again in future destinations I visit.

swing over water during storm at koh rong

Any Questions? Let me know in the comments!


Unsure about what is the best way to travel for your first time in Southeast Asia? Find out the main differences between doing a group tour vs solo travel to figure out which is best for you, this ultimate guide has you covered!


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. So, if you click on it and purchase something, I get a small percentage at no extra cost to you. As always all opinions are my own and your support is much appreciated.

Backpackers Wanderlust was a guest on the Mekong Pass with Stray Asia, however, as always, all opinions are my own.

Avatar for Tasha Amy

Tasha Amy is a true backpacker at heart and has been discovering the world on a budget since 2015. Based in Gisborne, New Zealand she will spend many months each year traveling overseas as a solo female traveler before coming home and sharing her adventures online with you.

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Top 10 Nature Destinations in Southeast Asia

Sponsored post by booking.com.

Travelers visiting Southeast Asia are spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful nature destinations - and Booking.com has taken on the impossible task of ranking a top 10 in the region. The ranking, which is based on the number of user endorsements for the keywords "nature", "nature walks" and "mountains" for each location, has named Chiang Mai in Thailand at the top of the list.


This chart shows the top 10 nature destinations in Southeast Asia according to Booking.com users.

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    Here are 9 of the best places in Southeast Asia ideal for solo travel: 1. Bangkok. The gateway to Southeast Asia really needs no introduction. Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is a perfect way to meet fellow travelers, many of which are starting out on their Southeast Asia adventure. With long-standing and top-rated hostels like Nappark Hostel ...

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    Solo travel in Southeast Asia is nowhere near as daunting as it sounds. So many people do it and there are so many companies, hostels and tours that accommodate solo travellers, giving you a platform to meet other like-minded travellers en route. Solo travelling Southeast Asia, in my opinion, is one of the best destinations to do it in.

  13. 10 best places to travel alone in Asia (2024)

    It's one of the best places to solo travel in Southeast Asia. Luang Prabang (Laos) Oh, Laos. It really is an underrated country. Maybe because of the infrastructure, which - granted - isn't great. But the beautiful city of Luang Prabang is definitely worth visiting and it's a favorite solo female travel destination. It was once the ...

  14. My 4 Month South East Asia Solo Backpacking Itinerary

    Visit Jonker Street weekend market. Sunset at the floating mosque. St Paul's Church ruins. 30. Singapore. The final stop on my epic 4 month South East Asia itinerary is Singapore. This modern city at the southernmost point of continental Asia is a massive contrast to some of the other destinations in the region.

  15. 24 Best Places For Solo Travel In Asia

    20. Osaka, Japan. Shinsaikei, Osaka: Photo by Kenny from Knycx Journeying. Japan is possibly the best country to travel alone in Asia, with Osaka being one of the best cities for solo travel. Osaka is the second-largest city in Japan and is the hub connecting the Kansai Region with the outside world.

  16. 10 Best South East Asia Tours for Singles / Solo Travelers

    See the best tours for singles in South East Asia. Meet other travelers while exploring places like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. All major brands. ... 250+ South East Asia tours for Singles / Solo Travelers with 13,996 reviews ... Jyotirlinga Temples Tour 10 Best Safaris in October 10 Best African Camping Safari Vacations 2022.

  17. 10 of the Best Places in Asia for Solo Female Travelers

    From the mouthwatering cuisine to the eclectic mix of modern and ancient architecture, South Korea is certainly not a destination to skip. 8. Singapore. As one of the smallest, cleanest, and most well-organized countries in Asia, Singapore is a great spot for solo female travelers who enjoy the finer things in life.

  18. 6 perfect destinations in South East Asia for solo female travel

    Bali and the Gili Islands. Indonesia is high on many bucket lists for good reason. It's beautiful, with a huge number of islands and lots of variety. Cities like Jakarta can be difficult places for solo women, but the unique island of Bali is a traveller's dream. From the hippie paradise of Ubud to the surf beaches of Canggu and the volcano ...

  19. South East Asia Solo Trips and Holidays 2023/2024

    The best solo trips and solo holidays in South East Asia. We currently offer 994 South East Asia solo tour packages, many of which are guided tours.You can also read 1202 customer reviews for solo vacations, often written by solo travelers.

  20. 5 Offbeat Places You Must Travel Solo In Southeast Asia

    Siargao, Philippines. Siargao is a teardrop-shaped island in the Phillippines Sea. Covering a small area of just 450 kilometres square, it is one of the largest reserves of mangroves. Surrounded by coral reefs and tall coconut trees, it is also the perfect destination for solo travellers in Southeast Asia to go island hopping.

  21. 29 Best Places to Visit in Southeast Asia (+Map)

    An overview of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia: 29. Vientiane [SEE MAP] james_antrobus / Flickr. Vientiane, the capital of Laos, is located on the Mekong River near the border with Thailand. A former French holding, it is a graceful city that is now the country's economic center. Visitors to Vientiane won't want to miss the Pha ...

  22. The Best Places to Go When You Solo Travel in Asia

    Some of the best places to solo travel in Khao Lak are Nang Thong Beach, Bang Niang Beach, Laem Pakarang Beach and Khao Lak National Park. For solo travellers, Khao Lak is the perfect place to relax and unwind along the white sandy beaches, with many hidden markets and restaurants to explore.

  23. 6 easy tips for solo female travel in South East Asia

    Making it the perfect place for your first solo adventure. After several extended trips in South East Asia on my own, I share some of my top tips for other women considering heading to the region alone. 1. Do your research. Research is key to staying safe and being aware of your surroundings. As a solo female traveller, it can give you great ...

  24. First Time In Southeast Asia? Group Tour VS Solo Travel For Beginners

    On a group tour, your itinerary will be pre-planned so you can make sure you are checking out the best destinations a country has to offer. The only things you will need to worry about typically are return flights, visas and travel insurance. ... Group Tour VS Solo Travel. Southeast Asia is large and you will, without a doubt need to take some ...

  25. Chart: Top 10 Nature Destinations in Southeast Asia

    Travelers visiting Southeast Asia are spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful nature destinations - and Booking.com has taken on the impossible task of ranking a top 10 in the region. The ...