Best Solo Travel Destinations in Asia & What to Pack

Submitted by Shello member, travel expert and blogger Jennifer Marino. Find her on Shello answering your questions on travel and follow her on Instagram @jennnmarino

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It’s no secret that traveling through Asia with others can be fun. However, there’s also something to be said for solo travel. Every now and then you might want to explore a destination without worrying if everyone is having a good time or interested in doing the same things as you.

Does that sound appealing to you? If so, these tips will help you get the most out of the experience. They’ll give you ideas for spots in Asia you may want to visit on your own, and what you should pack if you do.

Maldives

One look at the clear blue waters of Maldives, and you’ll immediately understand why this destination is popular among tourists looking to get away from the hectic pace of modern life. The fact that it’s home to many luxury resorts also makes it an ideal place to visit if you’re traveling alone for the first time. While more experienced solo travelers may seek adventure, someone new to this type of vacation might feel more comfortable taking it easy and relaxing. 

Be sure to bring along the right apparel so that you can really enjoy your trip. For example, swimwear is a must if you’re visiting the Maldives! After all, it’s a given that you will you’re going to want to take a dip in those gorgeous waters more than once during your stay. Don’t forget to pack your favorite summer subscription box into your luggage, either. It will definitely come in handy as you explore paradise!

In terms of footwear, most people find heels are unnecessary. You’ll see many more tourists and locals in sandals. Bring along a comfortable pair that’s durable enough for you to explore the area. However, you may want to bring along close-toed flats in case you decide to indulge in a fancy dinner at your resort. 

That’s important to keep in mind. While a light dress is perfect for an average day in the Maldives, if you are staying at a resort, check to confirm whether they have a dress code.

Bangkok, Thailand

Do you prefer dynamic nightlife and vibrant culture? If so, Bangkok deserves a spot on your Asian-destination bucket list. 

Just keep in mind that temperatures will almost always be warm (and can sometimes be very, very hot). It’s best to pack accordingly. Due to the sometimes moist environment, you want to be sure your footwear is breathable as well. 

It’s also a good idea to plan on changing outfits every now and then. You’re sure to work up a sweat exploring Bangkok over the course of the day. Staying comfortable is much easier when you can slip into something new after a few hours. Remember that packing your seasonal subscription box is your best bet so that you don’t have to worry about missing any of the essentials! 

Experts also recommend avoiding religious imagery and focusing on conservative outfits. Additionally, while Bangkok itself tends to be a warm destination, public transit in Thailand can actually be surprisingly cold. You should pack one small jacket just in case. 

Ladakh, India

Again, if you’re a seasoned solo traveler, you might be eager to take an adventure.

Ladakh is the perfect spot to find one. Located between the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges, Ladakh is a Buddhist ex-kingdom where visitors get the opportunity to explore the spiritual culture of this major Asian region.

They also have the option to take a raft out on the Indus River, tour the area on a motorbike, or take a safari. In other words, if you like spending time outdoors and admiring nature, Ladakh is the right place.

This is an instance when you need to pack for colder temperatures. Durable hiking boots, warm socks and gloves, a heavy woolen jacket, and warm layers to wear beneath it are all essential. Layers are crucial, but you may want to take a few off if you start sweating as you explore the region.

It’s also important to consider what types of activities you’re going to participate in. Someone who is merely hiking around Ladakh might not need to worry too much about packing water-resistant clothing. On the other hand, someone who expects to take an Indus river rafting trip will want to ensure their clothing won’t become soaked and uncomfortable.

Kerala, India

India isn’t just home to rugged mountainscapes; in Kerala, you’ll find some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches. This is another spot worth visiting on your own if you need to escape from reality. 

That said, you should be aware that rain can occasionally be heavy in Kerala, so tourists are advised to pack strong umbrellas. The moist climate also forces guests to try and strike a delicate balance. On the one hand, you want breathable clothes for humid conditions. On the other, you don’t want to leave too much skin exposed, as this could attract insects. Bringing bug repellent is essential.

Experts also recommend packing footwear that’s easy to slip into and out of. That’s because many museums and similar attractions actually require guests to remove their footwear before entering. Your shoes or sandals need to be durable enough that you can comfortably explore the destination, but they also need to be easy to take off should you find yourself in this situation.

Bali, Indonesia

Bali is the Asian destination for travelers seeking a balanced experience. Regardless of your interests, you’ll find plenty of ways to enjoy yourself here. You can visit ancient Hindu temples, enjoy spectacular shopping, lounge on a beautiful beach, catch some waves on a surfboard, hike Mount Batur, and much, much more.

That means this is another instance when you need to plan out your activities ahead of time. This is key to determining what to pack. If you plan on hiking, you need the right boots. If you’re going to be spending most of your time shopping or sitting on the beach, that won’t be necessary.

What will be necessary is light sandals or flip-flops. This is the go-to footwear option for most people exploring Bali. Additionally, bring bug repellent to prevent mosquitoes from ruining your trip. You should also bring along swimwear and an evening dress. Keep in mind, many tourists also choose to buy certain more traditional garments once they actually arrive in Bali. You may want to ensure there’s room in your suitcase to bring them back home if you plan on doing the same.

Tokyo, Japan

Many of the spots on this list give you opportunities to explore history. While Japan certainly has a rich past all its own, Tokyo is unique in that it also gives tourists a memorable vision of the future. That’s why it appeals to many solo travelers.

Modern clothing is popular in Japan. You might not need to adjust your wardrobe very much when packing. That said, styles tend to be modest here. Don’t bring along anything too revealing or suggestive. You also need durable footwear that allows you to spend hours walking around a busy city. 

Consider the time of year as well when visiting Tokyo. Early summer and autumn can be rainy. Winters are also cold, and require the appropriate gear. During summer, it’s best to bring lightweight clothes.

Remember these points when getting ready for your first Asian solo trip. No matter where you go, you’ll enjoy the experience much more if you prepare ahead of time!