Cute sun hat – check, comfy flats – check, camera phone – check. It’s time for a solo adventure in Southeast Asia!
The thought of embarking on a solo trip might seem a bit daunting, especially for a woman. But once you’ve passed through the initial jitters, you’ll come to realise that world really is your oyster. Here are some of the best destinations in Southeast Asia that YOU, a strong and independent woman, can start as a base for a lifetime of wonderful journeys!
1. Penang, Malaysia
Exploring George Town—the heart of Penang— is easily doable by foot or bicycle. Be sure to keep extra memory cards in check as there are endless photo ops of colonial heritage buildings, nostalgic street art, and of course, all the delicious street food! To visit other attractions around the island such as Kek Lok Si Temple, Tropical Spice Garden, Penang Hill, or Batu Feringghi Beach, the RapidPenang bus service is a pretty good method to get around.
2. Bohol, the Philippines
Diamonds are not a girl’s best friend—chocolate is! Okay, Kim Kardashian may disagree, but there’s no denying the beauty of Chocolate Hills, a gorgeous landscape made of more than a thousand hills scattered within fifty square kilometres in Bohol. There are also picture-perfect beaches, excellent scuba diving, the world’s first bicycle ziplining, or you can also meet the tarsier, an adorable primate species just slightly bigger than your iPhone X.
3. Gili Trawangan, Indonesia
“She’s only happy in the sun,” sings Ben Harper. Is it any wonder that sun, sea and sands are perfect accessories for a girl on holiday? Easily reachable via a 30-minute speed boat ride from mainland Lombok, Gili Trawangan is an ideal choice thanks to its lovely blend of island bliss and lively party scene. And if you’re up for more island escapades, the family-friendly Gili Air and romantic Gili Meno are just mere minutes away by boat.
4. Luang Prabang, Laos
Stop flooding your friends with pictures of sleeping kittens or avocado toasts and treat them with Instagram Stories of lovely Luang Prabang instead. What can you expect from a place that was named as the ‘best-preserved city in Asia’ by UNESCO? Think quaint French buildings from the 1800s, cute cafes by the river, a vibrant night market, tranquil temples, and the very picturesque Kuang Si Waterfalls.
5. Siem Reap, Cambodia
Of course the star attraction here is the UNESCO World Heritage Site Angkor Wat, a splendid complex of ancient temple ruins. For a day of touring around the complex, you can hire a tuk tuk for around USD15 per day, or simply rent a bicycle for a very cheap USD1 and explore the complex at a more leisurely pace. After all, didn’t Lara Croft herself traverse the magnificent complex on her own? 😉
6. Da Nang, Vietnam
Vietnam’s third largest city presents a more laidback vibe, unlike its bigger sisters Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. The shores that grace Da Nang are wide, clean, and beautiful, ensuring a relaxing beach holiday with a dash of heavenly mountains and the charming town of Hoi An on the side. Best to plan your visit to coincide with the Hoi An Lantern Festival for a night of picturesque pretty lanterns by the river.
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7. Pai, Thailand
You might be thinking, ‘Isn’t it where all the tie-dye hippies are?’. Why yes, you’re probably right. But that’s what makes it interesting. You’d be surrounded by people who are in love with love itself—how meta is that? Plus the variety of organic fruit shakes, hemp products, pretty landscapes and quirky travellers that you’d meet here would make for amusing entries in your trip diary.
What makes Singapore great for solo female travellers? Well for a start, it was ranked number one in terms of overall personal safety in The Economist’s Safe Index 2015. Furthermore, its highly efficient public transportation system is a great way to explore exciting attractions like ArtScience Museum, Gardens by the Bay and Universal Studios Singapore. Whilst critics would argue that this well-manicured city provides little room for action, its impressive list of high-tech laser and light shows and sensational music festivals beg to differ!
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EXPERIENCE SOUTHEAST ASIA: AirAsia offers the lowest fares to over 150 destinations. Book your seats, accommodation, holiday packages and activities now at airasia.com