Have you always wanted to travel solo but you’re not sure where you should go? Traveling alone can be daunting the first time, but as soon as you travel, you’ll see how easy and safe it actually is. Most of the time, we’re not even alone! Traveling solo is full of rich and challenging experiences that will help us overcome many of our fears and insecurities. But for the first-timers, it can be a bit difficult to take that first step.
So if you’re planning your first solo excursion, I would highly recommend going to Asia. Many people prefer Southeast Asia but I don’t think you have to limit yourself to specifically that region. There’s so much more to see in Asia and many of the countries are very solo traveler friendly. Here are the top destinations that you should consider for your next trip in Asia.
Traveling to Japan is almost like traveling to another world. The culture here is very rich and diverse. You have the more traditional Kyoto with its ancient temples and then you have Tokyo, a bustling city with some of the most advanced technology you’ll ever see. Besides being a country of contrasts, there’s also incredible food, stunning nature, fascinating architecture and abundant cherry blossoms (at least, if you go in the cherry tree season). What makes Japan such a great destination for solo travelers is that it’s incredibly safe to travel around in, everything works very well and it’s easy to get around. The Japanese are also extremely friendly and they will do everything they can to help you out. So if you get lost or just in need of a friend, you’ll always have a local that’s willing to help you out.
If you like jungles, beaches, parties and amazing food, look no further! Thailand has long been one of the most visited countries in the world and it’s not hard to see why. The nature here is spectacular and the tourism infrastructure is so developed that you won’t have any trouble traveling around. It’s also a very social destination since there’s so many backpackers here. Check in to any hostel in Thailand and you’ll be sure to meet a ton of friends within a few minutes. Thailand is great for solo traveling because you can meet so many other travelers there. It’s also such a well established tourist destination that you can easily find information about every island, place of interest and city. The locals are also very used to foreigners now and most of them have some English knowledge.
Malaysia has a lot more to offer than just the capital city Kuala Lumpur. There’s rainforests, tropical beaches, jungles and massive shopping malls you can escape to when the heat gets unbearable. English is also widely spoken in Malaysia so you can always ask locals for advice or directions, there’s a huge variety of cheap food (who doesn’t love food that’s both cheap and tasty), it’s also a relatively safe destination, there’s many other travelers in Malaysia that you can meet up with and of course – the shopping. Because who doesn’t love to do a bit of shopping when traveling.
Although Vietnam isn’t as popular as Thailand, it’s definitely getting there. But what makes Vietnam stand out on its own is the unique culture, the locals, the atmosphere and the scenery. Head north and you will see some of the most magnificent natural landscapes you’ve ever seen. It’s a great place for doing shorter or longer treks or just immerse yourself in the Vietnamese nature. Vietnam has long been a favorite amongst solo travelers because it’s safe to travel around in, you can always find a local or foreign friend there, the tourism infrastructure is well established and it’s a very cheap destination. If you’re a first time solo traveler, Vietnam is the perfect country to visit. It’ll give you a taste of how solo traveling is but without being too challenging. Besides, who doesn’t love a country where you can get the cheapest beer in the world?
You can’t pick a safer country to travel in. Singapore is extremely safe, it’s clean, organized (well, most of the time), and it’s a wonderful city to explore. It’s small so you can see almost all highlights within just a few days, although I’d advise to stay longer to really get the feel of the city (/country). Everyone in Singapore speaks excellent English as well so you don’t have to worry about the language barrier. The public transportation systems works really well here too, which makes it very easy to get around. Although it might not be as backpacking friendly as the other countries, there’s still quite a lot of travelers who pass by Singapore. You won’t have any problems meeting up with people. The locals are very keen on meeting travelers and there’s regular couchsurfing meetings you can join. There’s also plenty of hostels around Singapore where you will guaranteed meet a few friendly travelers.