How to Solo Travel the World While Loving Every Second of It!
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Lara Croft, the spunky heroine in the box office hit Tomb Raider, has helped uplift the spirits of women adventurers as well as accentuate the already famous beauty of Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Aside from channeling their inner Lara Croft, female solo travelers have listed Cambodia in their bucket lists to witness its abundance in history and culture.
This relatively small country definitely has a lot to offer. Dipping in the waters of Sihanoukville beach, exploring the Angkor Thom Great Wall on a traditional Angkor Gondola boat, attending Khmer food cooking classes, and learning Cambodian meditation are just a very few of what female solo travelers can do in the country that was once called the Khmer Empire.
No backpacker drops Thailand in their Asian explorations, as this nation banks so much on their tourism. Like other neighboring Southeast Asian countries, Thailand is also adorned with incredibly beautiful white sand beaches, valiant mountains, tropical climate, and flavorful cuisine.
We could go on and on in enumerating the places to see and things to do in Thailand, but our top picks for female solo travelers include: exploring the golden palaces and floating markets of Bangkok, shop till you drop in the Night Bazaar of Chiang Mai, hit the beaches in Phuket, and immersing in a cultural experience in Chiang Rai.
If you want to learn the cultural inspiration of the ever famous musical Miss Saigon, then test your history in Vietnam. Known for its beaches, rivers, and impeccable Buddhist pagodas, Vietnam pulls your heartstring with their magnificent natural treasures and rich heritage.
If you want to revisit Vietnam’s history through its famous sites, you would instantly notice the unique variety of pre and post colonial architectural designs. Don’t miss to lay your eyes on the beauty of the ancient Po Nagar Cham Towers. You can also see hints of France through the Hanoi Opera House and Café de la Poste. Complete your list by visiting the Hanoi Bay and test your bargaining skills in their affordable markets.
When traveling in Malaysia, you can choose between the three distinctive tourism palettes: island discovery, city escapades, nature loving, cultural experiences—anything just to fit everybody’s interests and personalities.
But for female solo travelers who want to try them all, here are my recommendations. For your island and beach discoveries, you may want to soak up the sun in the islands of Sipadan, Pulau Redang, or Tioman. Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Tower is your top choice for your city escapades. Breathe in nature’s gift in Gunung Mulu National Park, Batu Caves, or Cameron Highlands. Grab the chance to experience Malaysia’s culture through the Sarawak Cultural Village and many more!
If you are willing to splurge for an Asian trip, then book a ticket to Japan right away! Great things in Japan may come with a price tag, but it sure is more than what it’s worth. The land of the rising sun also just happens to be the land of the best cherry blossoms, anime, unimaginably high technology, and countless historical temples.
To explore the modernity of Japan, Tokyo is your best bet where you can unleash the kid in you in Disneyland, or look over the expanse of the city in Tokyo Skytree, or shop at Ginza. Osaka and Kyoto are a must-see too as both possess the urbanity of Tokyo infused with Japan’s old soul. Try Kyoto’s shrine of Fushimi Inari-taisha and the historic site of Arashiyama. To cap your wanderings, visit the Osaka castle.
As a woman traveling solo, sometimes you just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the corporate food chain or the stress from work. If you are searching for zen with cultural integration, then Laos is the place to be.
You may want to observe the country’s most popular monastery which was built in the 1500s—Wat Xieng Tong. You can also get a fair share of adventure in the eco-friendly Bokeo Nature Reserve Wilderness. Trekking and hiking which is a way of community immersion can also be enjoyed in either Phongsali or Luang Prabang.
Clad in the beauty of its yesteryears, Myanmar—also known as Burma—is the best place to experience a non-commercialized culture. Although it seems pretty isolated since it can only be accessed through planes, female solo travelers can use this as an advantage to gain a more personal adventure.
No one should miss the photogenic and breathtaking ancient cities of Bagan and Mrauk-U. And sside from sightseeing, you can also swim in the premier beach of Ngapali, explore the maze of Bogyoke Aung San market, or trek and meet locals in the hill town of Kalaw.
It is impossible for anyone to miss one of the world’s biggest and most populous countries in their bucket list—the outerspace can’t even help but notice its mark on the globe. The expanse of the dragon kingdom of China is so big it is so hard to choose where to start.
But as any travel guide books would recommend, it is essential to visit its famous sites like The Forbidden City, Great Wall, and the Temple of Heaven. Complete your China escapade by cruising the Yangtze river, marvel at the Yuanyang Rice Terraces, or traverse Mt. Huangshan.
9. South Korea
The land of “Gangnam Style” and KPop has more to offer than their hugely followed entertainment industry. Behind the glitz and glam of the billion-time viewed music videos, lies a deeply rooted culture and inculcated history.
Historical sites like Gyeongbokgung and Jongmyo are good starters, but you might also want to explore the city hubs of Seoul and Busan. Spend your afternoon for a good bargain at the timeless market of Gwangjang. Travel the gastronomic journey of Korea through its Night Food Tour. Lastly, cap the trip with a whole new level adventure in Jeju island.
A sprawl of beautiful islands across the Southeast Asian region, Indonesia’s countless volcanic islands translate to its unique and countless tourism treasures, making it an irresistible destination for female solo travelers.
Relish the breathtaking view of Arjuna-Welirang volcanoes, observe the solemnity of Java’s mysterious temple Candi Sukuh, or gasp in awe at the boat houses of Tana Toraja. But, if you want to get a natural tan at their world class beaches, then stop by Bali.
Singapore is a melting pot of several Asian cultures—Chinese, Malay, Indians, even Philippines. So if you want to just choose one among all Asian countries, Singapore is your great go-to.
Female solo travelers can be assured of almost a hundred percent safety in this country because the crime rate is just incredibly low. You can easily navigate from its shopping hub in Orchard, to the majestic man-made creation of Marina Bay Sands; to the cultural districts of Little Arab, Little India, and Chinatown.
Another magnificent archipelago in Southeast Asia, Philippines can win any tourists hearts because of its incredibly hospitable and optimistic people.
Of course, there are plenty of awesome things female solo travelers can do in the Philippines. Surf in Siargao, dive in the Tubbataha Reef, marvel at the sight of the Chocolate Hills in Bohol, or walk through time along the historic streets of Vigan. A travel guide could not even cover the massive amount of adventures you can have.
With its incredibly diverse culture, surreal scenery and wealth in attractions, female solo traveler can surely experience more than what they expect in Asia.
Here’s the traditional Maras ice cream that’s being sold from the street vendor carts. There’s a place in Doha “Souq Waqif” where you’ll find plenty of them. The salesmen wear regional dress costumes and play it well with their long wooden spoons before you finally have the mouth-watering dessert touch your taste buds. Unlike any of it’s kind , it has authentic ingredients and dense texture from a recipe back hundreds of years. Great fun for many, kids will definitely enjoy the short thrill of snatching the cones.
From overlooked second cities — Bergen, Norway, and Valparaíso, Chile, to name a few — to beautiful islands such as Anguilla and Pangkor Island, Malaysia, INSIDER has you covered with unexpected spots that you’ll want to visit.
Keep reading to learn about 40 of the most underrated travel destinations around the world.
While often overshadowed by Oslo, the Norwegian capital, Bergen — the country’s second-largest city — has plenty to offer.
From the vibrant buildings that dot Bryggen, a historic harbor district and UNESCO World Heritage Site, to the spectacular views from Fløyen Mountain, which is accessible by funicular, charm and natural beauty abound. An ideal destination for watersport fans, visitors can also go kayaking and rafting through Norway’s famous fjords.
Sarandë (also spelled Saranda), a resort in the Albanian Riviera, is equally known for its archaeological ruins and its beaches.
While you’ll find the remains of a 5th-century synagogue in the town itself, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates to prehistoric times is located about 12 miles outside Sarandë. The site, Butrint, has in the course of its storied history functioned as a Greek colony, a Roman city, and a bishopric.
If you’d rather catch some rays than sightsee, some of the most popular beaches in the area include Mirror Beach, Santa Quaranta Beach, and Pulebardha Beach. “A friend’s photos of Pulebardha Beach was the impetus for my visit to Albania and it was well worth the visit,” writes a TripAdvisor user.
US News and World Report ranked Anguilla— a British overseas territory — as the Caribbean island with the best beaches. With an embargo on cruise ships, casinos, and even high-rise hotels, Anguilla is far from a tourist trap.
According to users on TripAdvisor, Shoal Bay is one of the best beaches on the island — and possibly in the world. “The white powder sand and turquoise water is so peaceful and beautiful. Although all the beaches on Anguilla are beautiful, in my opinion Shoal Bay East is the best,” one user raves.
In a word, Valparaíso is colorful. Chile’s second-largest city is known for its street artand eye-catching graffiti, and the rainbow of houses that dot its steep roads — among them a home owned by Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. If the incline becomes tiring, you can hop aboard one of Valparaíso’s funiculars, which offer a new perspective on the maze-like geography.
Historic Villages of Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama, Japan
Characterized by their thatched-roof, Gassho-style farmhouses — a traditional form of Japanese architecture that evolved to withstand the elements— the Historic Villages of Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama are charmingly nestled in a river valley in central Japan.
The three villages, Ogimachi, Ainokura, and Suganuma, have been designated World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Lake Bohinj, Slovenia
While Lake Bled may have the name recognition, another body of water in the Julian Alps should also be on your radar. More remote and just as breathtaking, Lake Bohinjis a nature lover’s paradise. Visitors can explore the gorgeous environs by hiking, biking, and kayaking.
Tsitsikamma National Park, South Africa
At Tsitsikamma, part of Garden Route National Park, you can get active by swimming, hiking, biking, and even abseiling (rappelling). While you’re there, be sure to look out for the dolphins and otters the park is famous for.
Hill Country, Texas, United States
One of eight recognized wine-growing regions in Texas, the Lone Star State’s Hill Country spans an incredible nine million acres and encompasses 25 counties. In addition to being one of the fastest-growing wine regions in the US, Lonely Planet included the destination in its 2017 list of the best places to visit in America.
“[The state] is making great wine, mostly from grape varieties you would find in places like Spain, southern France, and Italy,” according to James Tidwell, Master Sommelier at the Four Seasons Resort in Dallas, Texas.
Garni Gorge, Armenia
Armenia’s Garni Gorge, situated near a village of the same name, is accessible via car or on foot. The gorge is distinguished by vertical cliffs that feature well-preserved basalt columns. It’s also home to a temple that dates to the first century — possibly the world’s eastern-most Greek temple.
Faroe Islands, Denmark
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Calgary, a city with a cosmopolitan feel and a rural heritage, is located in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. While some only visit to experience the famous mountains, there’s much more to do — whether you’re taking in an exhibit at the Glenbow Museum, which specializes in art and artifacts from Western Canada, or checking out the local foodie scene at the Calgary Farmers’ Market.
The former cattle-ranching capital is perhaps best known for its an annual rodeo, a 10-day event called the Calgary Stampede.
Italy’s Puglia region, which forms the heel of the boot-shaped country, is often overlooked in favor of higher-profile destinations like Tuscany. Yet Puglia has a vibe all its own, from its local wine and cuisine — think homemade orecchiette pasta— to its exquisite beaches.
You’ll find some of the most beautiful beaches in Polignano a Mare, Torre Canne, and Gallipoli.
Oedo Botania, South Korea
If your idea of an island paradise resembles a garden, Oedo Botania is the place for you.
After seeking shelter on the island when it was just an outcrop of rocks, a man named Lee Chang-ho decided to develop it into a botanical garden with his wife. Located off the southern coast of South Korea, Oedo Botania is accessible only by ferry from the adjacent island of Geoje.
“Oedo is a wonderfully scenic island. The gardens are spectacular and there are an amazing amount of opportunities to take photos,” writes a TripAdvisor user.
Assateague Island, Virginia and Maryland, United States
Assateague, a barrier island shared by Virginia and Maryland, is known for the wild horses (more than 300 in total) that roam its beaches. According to folklore, the horses arrived on the island when a ship was wrecked off the coast of Virginia in the 18th century.
While you can simply enjoy the beauty of Assateague and its equine inhabitants, outdoorsy types will want to take advantage of the island’s many campsites and bike paths.
La Roque-Gageac, France
Located on the north bank of the Dordogne River, La Roque-Gageac is a picturesque cliff-side village known for its yellow houses, which were built from stone in the traditional Périgord style. The village also features a 12th-century fort and an exotic garden.
According to TripAdvisor users, a hot air balloon tour that leaves from La Roque-Gageac is a great way to see the broader Dordogne region.
Liechtenstein, one of the smallest (and wealthiest) countries in Europe, is a principality nestled between Switzerland and Austria. In the capital, Vaduz, you can see the city’s eponymous castle— the official residence of the Prince of Liechtenstein — as well as the Cathedral of St. Florin, a neo-Gothic church constructed in the 19th century.
With access to the Alps via the foothills of the Rhätikon Mountains, Liechtenstein also offers numerous hiking trails and ski slopes.
Filled with stunning beaches and uncrowded waves, as well as lower prices than many of its more well-known neighbors, Nicaragua is becoming a destination to be reckoned with.
León was founded in 1524 by a Spanish conquistador, making it one of the oldest colonial cities in the Americas. It was also Nicaragua’s capital until 1857, and is filled with churches, museums, and beautiful architecture. It’s a popular jumping-off point for visiting the many nearby volcanoes.
Nairn Beach, Scotland, United Kingdom
Another noteworthy site is Monfragüe, a national park known for its geological features and wildlife, including 208 species of vertebrates.
Located in northwestern Argentina in the Lerma Valley, Salta is a lively city that moves to the rhythm of its famous folk music, which marries elements of Spanish musical traditions with lyrics about Argentine rural life.
The Salta province is also one of Argentina’s leading wine-growing regions, featuring some of the most extreme vineyards on the planet. Situated at lower latitudes and higher altitudes than most of the world’s vineyards, the climate is well-suited to viticulture.
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Hobart, the capital of Tasmania (an island state of Australia), offers everything from athriving art and music scene to a wildlife preserve.
Get a culture fix at the lauded (and subversive) Museum of Old and New Art, which was opened by local mathematician and gambler David Walsh and cost $200 million to build. “Curators from New York and Paris have marveled at how the museum flouts convention: There are no explanatory placards fixed to the walls, and visitors are encouraged to wander through the subterranean spaces at will,” the New York Times reported.
At Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, a 30-minute drive from the city, animal lovers can see marsupials ranging from koalas to kangaroos — not to mention the island’s famous Tasmanian devils.
If you’re into beer, you’ll also find Cascade, Australia’s oldest brewery, in Hobart.
Pangkor Island, Malaysia
While the beaches are the main draw on Pangkor Island, which is located off the coast of Malaysia in the Perak region, you can also explore a historic Dutch fort, a Taoist temple, and a rainforest.
Island of Gozo, Malta
Gozo, Malta’s sister island, is small in size but rich in history. The nine-mile-long Mediterranean island contains 46 churches and a megalithic temple complex called Ġgantija, whose name is derived from the Maltese word for “giant.”
According to tradition, Gozo is said to be Ogyia, the island from Greek mythology where the nymph Calypso held Odysseus captive.
Bukovina, Romania and Ukraine
In Bukovina, a historic region that borders Romania and Ukraine, the Carpathian Mountains and a vast expanse of green hills make for a breathtaking landscape.
If these natural features weren’t picturesque enough, Bukovina’s painted monasteries and churches— decorated with ornate frescoes from the 15th and 16th centuries — are stunning examples of Byzantine art. A handful of the churches were added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 1993.
If you’re planning a trip to Asia, you might consider large cities like Beijing or Tokyo. But you should add Taipei to your list too.
From the bustling food markets that form the hub of the city’s nightlife to museums such as the National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine and the National Palace Museum, Taiwan’s capital is an exciting culinary and cultural destination in its own right.
Durban, South Africa
The beachside paradise of Durban is only about an hour from Johannesburg, but far less crowded.
The off-the-beaten-path spot is a draw for surfers thanks to massive waves, and appeals to thrill-seekers thanks to being home to the world’s largest swing.
La Paz, Bolivia
Sitting at an elevation of between 10,650 and 13,250 feet above sea level, La Paz is the world’s highest administrative capital. To view the gorgeous Andean scenery from above, take a ride on Mi Teleférico, the city’s aerial cable car system.
Named a “best value” city by Lonely Planet, La Paz is enjoyable no matter your budget. Travelers can sample fresh food at La Paz’s markets and go on hiking and biking excursions for under $30 a day. Even if you spring for a trendy hotel or dine at upscale restaurants, you’ll still be spending less than you would in pricier locales.
In Ladakh, Tibetan Buddhist monasteries are built right into the Indian Himalayas. While the high altitude and rough terrain might intimidate some travelers, the unbridled beauty of the arid mountain landscape is spectacular.
Whether you want to surf or experience the local music scene, Dakar — Senegal’s capital — could be the place for you.
“Senegal is another emerging west African destination, thanks to its great beaches for surfing, music venues, culture, and food,” a travel expert told Business Insider.
While often dismissed as a necessary layover en route to the Galapagos islands (another must-visit), a refreshed riverfront, as well as new hotels and restaurants popping up all over town are enticing visitors to spend more than just one night in Guayaquil.
Taranaki, New Zealand
For local dining, head to New Plymouth, where you’ll find a mix of eateries in the West End precinct. The neighborhood is also home to stylish galleries and shops.
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I woke up at 10 am and hear nothing but the loud poof of the plane as the ventilation switches from an outside system. Wherever the story takes me sure I’d have a great water for coffee and tasty garlic butter for my toast, well basically that’s how I start my day.
I went downstairs and saw Amy slowly stirring her cup of hot chocolate while browsing the trending stuffs on buzzfeed which has been the routine mostly. Well, life can get crazy at times and if you’re always rushing around in the morning, it’s difficult being able to have a quiet moment at all, I guess that’s how my mindset works. Exactly 2 hours when the driver came repeatedly stimulating his horn to quickly hop in. “How are you’’? He said. Same script everyday but I can’t complain nor get tired of it cause he takes care of my daily transfer to the office without a missed.
An African guy was standing in the lobby called my name and said “hi”. His name is Akins from Ghana, our company guard living next across the building. I can’t imagine how hard to be on their shoes working for 12 hours or more to keep the security around and yet they’re earning less than what they deserved, sometimes those are the things that’s not easy to understand. In the washroom was where I met Rach and Je where we did all the vanity stuffs, some pep talks or even primping before we got stuck in our swivel chairs.
Anyone have their own obsession and so I went straight to the pantry to satisfy mine. The tea girl just made my day with the brewed coffee and strong aroma scent wrapped in the room stealing every seconds left till the senses get hooked and filled my empty cup. As I passed the reception area to have my attendance with Clay there I saw crowd of Clients sitting on the couch waiting for their turn to be called, it was a quite a busy afternoon and everyone were trying to book their flights and packages for the coming EID Holidays or Eid al-Adha also called “Festival of Sacrifice”.
Finally! I got my sit back. Working with twenty people in Operations Department with different cultural diversities comes with a dare but not with them. They fall into three categories: The Helper – The Complainer – The Risk-taker, regardless of the type of impact they leave, a valuable lesson will always be learned at the end of the day, that’s not too bad isn’t it? Nancy is one of my closest friend like an elder sister who’s sitting beside me, there was never a day that we didn’t talked about her secret affair. She’s one of the truest person I know and adore her for having so much devotion to her family. It’s just that sometimes it’s not all about the salary but the environment but the environment around is what truly matters. There you go Mr. Bimb walking closer to follow up his booking status, the screamer boss who seems to get his way of raising his voice to an unconscionable level, the higher the volume, the higher the commitment. And cheers to Lan who just came for his 5pm shift and plays “The Buddy Boss” like the savior of us all from complaints or booked out cases. Thanks to Cader for showing up and made my sales spiked to the highest. He’s our annoying cool Sales Rep who slowly eats my head for being too pushy and aggressive with all his quotation request yet.
Nine hours later Syed came and dropped me back to Villa. Separating the truth from the fiction, being a Travel Consultant has it’s own perks and disadvantages too yet one thing I truly loves about the job is the happiness it brings to the travelers after booking their flights and holiday packages, the kind of flashback memories that will make them smile every time, a great reminder how beautiful the world is and definitely worth to see.
BRUNEI DARUSSALAM – 14 DAYS, FREE
CAMBODIA – 21 DAYS, FREE
INDONESIA – 30 DAYS, FREE
LAOS – 30 DAYS
MALAYSIA – 30 DAYS
MYANMAR – 14 DAYS
SINGAPORE – 30 DAYS
THAILAND – 30 DAYS
VIETNAM – 21 DAYS
ARMENIA – VOA AT YEREVAN AIRPORT MAXIMUM OF 120 DAYS OR BETTER YET, GET AN E-VISA
HONG KONG – 14 DAYS
IRAN – 30 DAYS BUT 14 DAYS AT KISH AND QESHM AIRPORT
ISRAEL – 30 DAYS
KYRGYZSTAN – 30 DAYS VOA
MACAU – 30 DAYS
MALDIVES – 30 DAYS VOA
MONGOLIA – 21 DAYS
NEPAL – 90 DAYS VOA
SRI LANKA – 30 DAYS ETA ON ARRIVAL
TAIWAN – 30 DAYS
CAPE VERDE ISLANDS – VOA
COMOROS – 45 DAYS VOA
DJIBOUTI – VOA
GAMBIA – 90 DAYS
GUINEA-BISSAU – 90 DAYS VOA
KENYA – 90 DAYS VOA $50 FOR 30 DAYS
MADAGASCAR – 90 DAYS VOA $27 FOR 30 DAYS
MOROCCO – 90 DAYS FREE
MOZAMBIQUE – 30 DAYS VOA AT BEIRA, NAMPULA, MAPUTO, PEMBA, TETE AND VILANKULO AIRPORTS $50 FOR 30 DAYS SINGLE ENTRY
RWANDA – 90 DAYS $50 FOR 30 DAYS
SENEGAL – 30 DAYS VOA
SEYCHELLES – 30 DAYS VOA
TANZANIA – 30 DAYS VOA $50 FOR 30 DAYS
TOGO – 7 DAYS VOA
UGANDA – VOA$50 FOR 30 DAYS
ZAMBIA – E-VISA – PREAPPROVED $50
COOK ISLANDS – 31 DAYS
FIJI – 120 DAYS
MARSHALL ISLANDS – 90 DAYS VOA
MICRONESIA – 30 DAYS
NIUE – 30 DAYS
PALAU – 30 DAYS VOA
PAPUA NEW GUINEA – 60 DAYS VOA AT PORT MORESBY AND RABAUL AIRPORTS RETURN/ONWARD TICKET
SAMOA – 60 DAYS VISITOR’S PERMIT ON ARRIVAL RETURN/ONWARD TICKET
TUVALU – 30 DAYS VOA RETURN/ONWARD TICKET
VANUATU – 30 DAYS
BOLIVIA – 90 DAYS
BRAZIL – 90 DAYS
COLOMBIA – 90 DAYS
ECUADOR – 90 DAYS
PERU – 183 DAYS
SURINAME -90 DAYS
Moving to another country is tough mostly if you don’t know anyone from a particular city yet it also allows you to grow and live independently, meet new people and get to know different points of view, embrace other culture and traditions but that wasn’t …