The number one concern for more solo travelers is – What if I don’t meet any awesome people on the go? Its nice to be all alone too sometimes but after a while, you really do appreciate good company for beer or simply learning about new cultures. That’s my favorite part about traveling solo in fact – making friends from all over the world. So, which are the best solo travel destinations in Asia to meet people ya ask? Well, here are my favorite five!
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5 Kick Ass Solo Travel Destinations in Asia Where Making New Friends is a Breeze
Taking into consideration the friendliness of the locals, the infrastructure, safety and above all meeting fellow solo travelers and backpackers, the travel hub of Southeast Asia is packed with options. Keeping all these aspects in mind, plus my personal bias towards beach and nature, here are my top picks –
Boracay is easily the most visited island in the Philippines, a true paradise, just a short 45 minutes flight from Manila. White sand beaches, excellent nightlife, good food and an array of leisure activities, Boracay has it all.
Boracay is the ideal place to make new friends and meet people. It is said that in this party island of Philippines, no one and I repeat no one stays alone. I experienced this first hand during my visit to this top beach party destination of Asia!
Night clubs, cool bars and other hang out spots are found in plenty here. The perfect place to hang out in the evening is Exit Bar. The drinks are cheap and there’s live music on most days of the week. For wild parties, the Frendz Resort is the happening place on weekends.
Frendz Resort is a budget accommodation place that has native style huts as their rooms, with delicious breakfast. The MNL beach hostel offers both dormitories and private rooms with a roof terrace which is nice area to relax and chat with other travelers. A fantastic option, especially if you are solo and looking to meet other backpackers.
However, my suggestion is to simply take a stroll along the white beach at night and you will find an array of pubs and nightclubs – based on your choice of crowd and music, you can take your pick and choose where to spend your evening. An absolutely MUST for solo travelers is joining the Boracay pub crawl where you are pretty much guaranteed to make friends from across the globe in a single evening.
Vang Vieng, Laos
The once sleepy town is today transformed into an excellent outdoor destination where guests can rest among some stunning scenery. With a lot of partying and fun, Vang Vieng is a premier backpacking mecca in Laos with river tubing being the number one crowd puller.
The Real Vang Vieng hostel offers pub crawls,tubing events and has clean rooms and a friendly staff. If you are traveling alone and wishing to meet other persons,, the place is highly recommended. Another great place for budget travelers is Fat Monkey Hostel, located next to Sakura bar.
The Sakura bar and Smile beach bar are great places to check out. The super chilled and relaxed vibe of the bars brings loads of travelers together after sunset .
Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, has more to offer, rather surprisingly, than most of the other well known backpacking destinations of Asia. To be very honest, I wasn’t expecting to make a lot of friends and didn’t really know what to expect before I went there.
The friendly people, good food, culture, rainforests and wildlife, along with a vibrant nightlife makes it one my favorite destination for solo travelers. It literally shot out of nowhere and right on top of my list as an amazing place to relax and unwind.
Kuching has plenty of trendy restaurants and cafés that spring to life after dark. Places like The Barber, a converted barber shop into a nice and chic venue for cocktails and food is the happening place here. Just a short distance away is the hottest club in town, The Junk, where each of its four areas are different in decor and lights. A must visit is the Monkey Bar where I was volunteering for two weeks and the USP is that 50% proceeds go to Orangutan conservation project which means, the more you drink, the more you help in animal welfare – win win!
As far as staying options for backpackers and solo travelers, Backpacker’s Stay offers air conditioned dormitory accommodation. Amenities include, free dinner, wifi, rooftop bar, lockers and left luggage counter.
Koh Samui, Thailand
The island of Koh Samui is a great beach destination and a paradise for people traveling alone. It is also a top travel place for backpackers visiting South East Asia.
There is no dearth of spots to meet people and make friends in Koh Samui. For partying, Chaweng and Lamai are the most active places. Bophut and Choeng Mon are also there but a bit mellow.
The Chill Inn Beach Cafe & Hostel, two kilometres from Lamai, has comfortable dorms and air conditioning. There are plenty of common areas to catch up with other travelers and make new friends. The hostel has a bar and café to relax and unwind, while enjoying a western or local meal. The Liquid Lounge Hostel is another good joint for meetings and the full moon party.
Gili Trawangan, Indonesia
With amazing beaches, great food, non stop partying and loads of good accommodation to choose from, Gili Trawangan is a true haven for backpackers and solo travelers. From outdoor activities, booze while you cruise to night markets, there is never a dull moment on Gili Islands.
If you are thinking of making your way to Gili on your own, the number 1 place to head for is the Gili Backpackers Hostel. Good wifi, clean dorms, weekly parties by the pool, makes this hostel the ideal venue to meet like minded person, party and have a good time.
The La Boheme hostel is again a great option for meeting people. It is not as clean and comfortable, but the staff is great and has a free food outlet. For those looking for a better place, budget wise, there are plenty of good home stays in Gili Trawangan.
Even in these ever friendly backpacker destinations, have a plan B can often come in handy. I use Couchsurfing to e-meet people beforehand in a new destination but now I have also discovered this wonderful solo travel app which is great for female solo travelers to find companions on the go. Something like Tinder but just to make same sex travel buddies (females only for now!).
So have you been to any of these solo travel destinations in Asia? Tell me about it or share your own favorites in comments below.