“Women traveling solo” is becoming just as big of a trend as “pop culture tourism” and “adventure traveling that gives back.” In fact, “there has been a 230% increase in the number of women-only travel companies in the past six years,” according to Gutsytraveler.com. The tourism industry has become a lot more accommodating for solo travelers in general, but with the rising number of women traveling alone, destination spots are also becoming more female-friendly. Here are 9 places that are hitting all the marks for women traveling solo in Asia.
Asia's Best Destinations for Solo Women Travelers
Luang Prabang is great for women traveling solo who want to meet and interact with other travelers because of the sheer number of likeminded people passing through the area. Laos always seems to win some travel award or another because of its sights, charms, and friendly atmosphere. It’s a place to see colorful murals and patchwork architecture against a backdrop of sprawling mountains, which is one of the reasons Laos gets so many travelers each year.
2. Sri Lanka
Safety is always a big concern for women traveling solo. Tokyo, Japan ranked the safest city in Asia by the Economist Safe Cities Index in 2015. But what’s in a trip without a little sense of adventure? Sri Lanka packs in a punch in terms of culture, nature, and adventure, while also being known as a safe destination spot. There are eight Unesco World Heritage sites in Sri Lanka, but the entire island nation is rife with beauty in nature. You might come across an elephant at it’s watering hole, discover the world’s oldest living tree, or stumble across one of the island’s many beaches. What used to be an iffy travel destination (because of the tsunamis and wars) is quickly becoming a fan favorite.
Gutsytraveler.com says “the average adventure traveler is not a 28-year-old male, but a 47-year-old female. And she wears a size 12 dress.” If that’s true, then Hokkaido is a fantastic destination for the adventurous woman traveler. As the northernmost of Japan’s islands, Hokkaido has everything that a 47-year-old woman could possibly want in a vacation. There are hot springs, good eats, shopping, and even activities like rafting and fishing.
It was found that 75% of those who take cultural, adventure, or nature trips are women. Many travelers seek trips where they can enjoy beautiful scenery and bask in the ethnic offerings of the local community. If that’s the case, then Hanoi has natural charms and a kaleidoscope of culture that will dazzle any traveler.
Women are more adventurous than you may think. Gone is the era of the dainty damsel who needs a knight to come to her rescue. Women are donning the suits of armor now. Outdoorindustry.org found that women spend an average of $295 annually on outdoor apparel and equipment. Busan, or any city in South Korea, is perfect for women seeking outdoor adventures because hiking and camping are huge in South Korea. This outdoorsy lifestyle is embedded into the culture, not to mention that hiking gear is a closet staple for most South Koreans.
Women travelers in need of some R&R or craving a getaway in Asia should check out Bali, Indonesia. Bali is a place that whisper-screams “serenity” with its spas, beaches, and organic eateries. It’s a great destination spot for yoga enthusiasts, and the best place to find your spiritual calm away from the hustle and bustle of the world.
The girlfriend getaway market is now actually a thing. Typically, it can be likened to an extended “girls’ night out,” referring to a vacation with a group of girlfriends. But what if it literally translated into a trip where the girlfriend in a relationship just needs to get away for a bit? If you’re in a relationship but want to spend some time away from your significant other, whether it’s just to cool your head, find yourself, or take some time apart, then Boracay is the place to go. It’s known for having the happiest locals in the world, and Travel and Leisure made it official in 2012 by naming it “The Best Island On Earth.”
Female travelers between the ages of 25-39 are the biggest market for many booking agencies, according to Intrepid Travel, a small group adventure travel company that offers over 1,000 itineraries in over 100 countries. And what are women between the ages of 25 and 39 interested in? Maybe a little bit of everything. Whether you’re looking for urban exploring, an outdoorsy expedition, a culinary tour, or a chance to mingle with the locals, Bangkok will give you the whole package.
Not to pigeonhole women as “homemakers,” but we can’t deny that a lot of women enjoy good food (like many humans, regardless of gender), and that some women enjoy cooking, trying unfamiliar dishes, and getting a feel for ethnic cuisine. For women seeking a culinary adventure or a trip that opens your taste buds, Singapore offers the best from all around the world.
This article was written by Hanna Choi.