7 Best (And Safest) Destinations for Female Solo Travel in Southeast Asia

02 Jul, 2021 | A-> Z Guide

Traveling solo can certainly be challenging but exciting. Yes, you might have to ask a stranger to take a photo of you fondling an elephant in Chiangmai, Thailand, or standing outside of Angkor Wat, but it’s a small price to pay for the freedom to have a trip exactly what you want. Is it great to plan all the activities you like instead of running around someone else’s schedule? If you feel like staying at a beach-front villa. Book it. Want to quit a food tour for a temple visit? You make your choice, girl. 

So ladies, what are you waiting for? A reason to convince you to go? We have more than that, 9 reasons why we women need at least one solo travel in our lifetime.  Let’s consider going solo seriously when you want to tick a destination off your bucket list. 

Here, we have a list of the 7 best places for solo female travelers in Southeast Asia. Save it because you might need it sooner than you think. 

1. Phuket - Ecstasy 

We might not need to talk much about island hopping in Phuket because most travelers would take it when they’ve been here. The Andaman Sea off Phuket boasts numerous gorgeous islands that make it perfect for this activity. Strolling along Thalang Road in the quaint Old Town is a must. Here, you can see beautiful Sino-Portuguese buildings, quaint and artsy holes in the walls, and soak up Thai spicy flavor in the night weekend market. Beach club provides a great option if you want a busy nightlife. They are located right on the sand with swimming pools, lots of sunbeds, good cocktails, and techno music. Visitors of all ages, from all countries, come here for a chilled-out night. I somehow doubt you will be solo for too long. 

This island has some of the best beaches and the most amazing sunset in Thailand

This island has some of the best beaches and the most amazing sunset in Thailand.

And make sure you won’t miss the chance to kayak with John Gray - the Godfather of sea kayaking in Thailand. Join a Hong by Starlight day/night tour in which John will accompany you to paddle through hidden lagoons to discover ‘Hongs’ (or caves), as well as the marine life and wildlife. That would be a trip that you would never forget. One of our clients said it was an 'exceptionally fabulous tour' and 'great fun.' Another thought it was 'the best trip of our entire holiday.'

Enjoy a Hong by Starlight Tour. A solo travel allows you to do what you want when you want

Enjoy a Hong by Starlight Tour. A solo journey allows you to do what you want when you want.

2. Bali - Retreat

Yes, Bali is completely safe for women. You can see numerous female travelers enjoying its natural landscapes and sacred temples during the day and freely walking at night. Charming Saraswati might be the place you want to visit first. This temple is dedicated to Saraswati - the Hindu Goddess of Wisdom and Art. The blend of art, culture, and architecture, as beautiful lotus ponds make Saraswati perfect for Instagram photos even if you’re not a good photographer. Head to Canggu - the previously hidden corner of Bali now is loved by generations - to be blown by the beautiful black-sand beach, awesome sunset, and lively nightlife. A beach lover can't miss Kelingking beach either. This stunning beach is what you hardly find elsewhere in this world. 

an impressive Hindu temple

From an impressive Hindu temple ...

a stunning beach

... to a stunning beach. Bali has it all

If you are a spa lover seeking long-haul glamour, you are in the right place. There are few places on earth taking care of your physical, spiritual, and mental health better than Bali. Eco-conscious retreats and high-end resorts which sit in lush jungles or on the fringes of a river provide programs that help to enhance the connection between your body and mind. Share wisdom with a Balinese healer in the quiet private sanctuary to have a deeper understanding of the meaning of life. 

Your body and soul is worth to be pampered in such a beautiful place

Your body and soul are worth being pampered in such a beautiful place 

3. Chiang Mai - Wander

Chiangmai is practically a living museum of Thai culture and history. It boasts laidback vibes, intelligent elephants, beautiful national parks, old shophouses, cooking classes, night markets, historical buildings, and of course, temples. Take your time to explore iconic temples such as Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh, and Wat Umong. Most of them host monk chats where you can sit and talk to monks about anything about Buddhism, a monk’s life, or Thailand. Besides the chat, many of our female clients said a private blessing with the monk was a highlight of their trip to Thailand. 

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep at night

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep at night

If you like pretty little things, you can spend a morning wandering at Baan Kang Wat artisan village. Here, you can buy everything that can make a girl happy at many craft studios and funky shops. When you’re tired of walking and shopping, stop at one of many unique, lovely cafes and teahouses for a drink and a light lunch with authentic Thai northern dishes. If you care about a healthy diet, there are a lot of vegan restaurants in Chiang Mai. Go, Explore, and Relax. Don’t be afraid of being lonely. Because Chiang Mai is a favorite destination, it’s easy to meet other travelers. 

Playing with an elephant in the Patara Elephant Farm

Playing with an elephant in the Patara Elephant Farm

4. Hue - Mystery

In terms of safety, Vietnam is a safe country to travel around as a female solo traveler. Most of our clients added Hue to their itineraries. Like a journey back in time, you will see history, taste the flavor of royal dishes, and admire the charms of beautiful nature. 

A boat ride on the calm Perfume River is a must. It will take you through picturesque countryside, stop and at Thien Mu Pagoda, and Minh Mang Tomb - the most beautiful tomb in 7 tombs of Nguyen emperors. 10,000 men were required to complete this tomb in 3 years, from 1840 to 1843. You can say it’s a perfect blend of majestic architecture, sublime forest, beautiful lotus ponds, and Zen-like gardens. It will take 40 minutes to an hour to visit, depending on how deep you want to go into history. We would recommend you go with a guide to fully appreciate stories of it. 

Minh Lau Pavilion at Minh Mang Tomb

Minh Lau Pavilion at Minh Mang Tomb

Do yourself a favor and work with a leisure bike to Thanh Toan Bridge, which is 7 kilometers from the city center. You will ride pathways down the river, through the peaceful rural landscape and lovely villages where the children say “Hello” with big smiles. Once you arrive, sit on the tile-roofed bridge and discover a truly Hue through villagers relaxing on the bridge and a local market that is just a few steps away. 

At the ancient Thanh Toan Bridge. Being solo can't stop you to have beautiful pictures

At the ancient Thanh Toan Bridge. Being solo can't stop you to have beautiful pictures.

5. Siem Reap - Adventure

For any female who is hesitant about traveling solo to Siem Reap, don’t be. Some of our clients said they felt safe during their trips. Cambodians are friendly and helpful. 

The Angkor Complex itself lives up to all of the hype. There are around 50 temples dating back to the 12th century in the Angkor Archaeological Park, but a visit to some of the most infamous is enough to fulfill your sense of temple adventure. Drive to Angkor Wat early in the morning (at around 5:30 AM) for a breathtaking sunrise when the color changes sky from deep purple to bright orange. Then go to the Ta Prohm which was the scene for the Tomb Rider movie to be awed with giant tree roots growing from the ruins. Visit the 10th-century Banteay Srei which is built largely of red sandstone and known for its intricacy of devatas carvings into the walls. And of course, don't miss the Bayon Temple which is the so-called Face Temple because of its giant mysterious smiling face statues. Until now, Bayon is still covered in mysteries of to whom it worships. To relax your legs after a full day of trekking from temple to temple, head to Pub Street - a hotspot of the city. Surrounded by bars, cafes, and restaurants, it’s easy to catch up with some new friends and live up your night. 

Take your time to soak in the world’s largest religious monument and the daily life in Siem Reap

Take your time to soak in the world’s largest religious monument and the daily life in Siem Reap...

Because there is always next time as this is somewhere we would hope to return

Because there is always next time as this is somewhere we would hope to return

6. Hoi An - Glamor

Unlike big cities which are flooded with millions of vehicles, Hoi An is a tranquil and slow-paced town that steals your heart with small beautiful things. 

Because motors are banned in the center, it’s lovely to take a stroll on narrow streets, admire iconic yellow merchant houses, the well-preserved 16th-century Japanese Covered Bridge, Cantonese Assembly Halls, and temples for which the town has been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site. On a sunny day, you’ll find many beautiful corners for pictures. Come back in the evening for a romantic look. When all the lanterns hanging overhead in front of every house are lit up, the old town becomes a magical fairyland at dusk. 

Hop on a trishaw to discover the little old town Hoi An

Hop on a trishaw to discover the little old town of Hoi An....

Tra Que Village is a lovely diversion from Hoi An. Hope on your bike, ride to the countryside, and learn how the locals grow vegetables and herbs for local restaurants. Cruising through the coconut forests on a bamboo basket boat is a lovely way to immerse in the picturesque scenery of Cam Thanh Village. If you have time, join a cooking class to create some of the most famous dishes of Vietnamese cuisine. If you don’t, just taste the delicious food in one of the many local restaurants in town. Banh Mi Phuong - which appeared on the show No Reservations of Anthony Bourdain, Cao Lau, Quang Noodle, and Chicken Rice are some of the names you would be delighted to enjoy. Shopping in Hoi An is never a bad idea. This town has many things that you want to bring home. 

rent a bike and cycle around, it's all about your choice

... or rent a bike and cycle around, it's all about your choice.

7. Bagan - Old World

Updated 2022: Because of the ongoing civil unrest and armed conflict in Myanmar, travelers are advised not to travel to this land right now and should wait until the situation gets better.

Everyday life is getting back to normal in most parts of Myanmar. That means you shouldn’t need to avoid visiting this country any longer. In fact, that is the best thing you can do for the local communities who depend on tourism for their lives and future more than the government. Do your research and travel responsibly with a travel company that knows how to fund the right people. You’ll be happy knowing that your money contributes directly to the locals while you’re enjoying the beauty of Old World Bagan - the most popular attraction in the country.

Immersing yourself in the beauty of Old World Bagan

Capture the beauty of Old World Bagan in your eyes.

Bagan can be seen as a rival to Angkor Wat as it expands the 40-square-mile plain. Rising from the canopy of green are more than 2,000 other-worldly temples and pagodas that were built between 1057 and 1287 by the Kings of Bagan. Serene Inle Lake and idyllic Ngapali beach are popular too. Walking on the longest wooden bridge U-Bein or cruising down the Irrawaddy River are also two of many experiences you shouldn’t miss in Bagan. Have I mentioned the locals who are very friendly and kind when it comes to helping travelers? You will feel safe around them. 

Wait no more. It's time to plan your solo travel that every girl dreams of

Wait no more. It's time to plan the solo travel that every girl dreams of. 

If you want to see more of the world and you’re not willing to wait for others, or If you like the freedom to do what you want when you want, it’s time to think of traveling solo. Take an escorted tour if you don’t wanna miss any top sights and off-beaten paths. You’re not the only one who needs it. A Mintel study about Solo Traveller 2018 reported that 52% of solo travelers said they’d be interested in an escorted vacation. 

Choose a travel company wisely and enjoy a unique journey that no one else but the specific individual is on.

Talk to us if you want a unique yet safe solo travel. Or take a look at our Female Solo Travel Tour we've just created to figure out how it looks like 

 

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