From the historic city of Colombo to the colourful five-foot-ways of George Town, here are our top travel destinations for all the independent women who are dreaming of exploring the world in ways that are uniquely their own.
In recent years, the number of women taking solo adventures has skyrocketed, and in many cases, to less-frequented destinations. Indeed, navigating new cities and learning to handle hustlers without a companion or ‘safety in numbers’ can be incredibly empowering for women. Right off the bat, travelling alone is the ultimate confidence boost and the freedom to plan one’s own travel itinerary without having to accommodate anyone else is liberating.
For first-timers, travelling alone can seem like a daunting prospect, but with some research, planning and common sense, it could become a life-changing experience. While the most popular destinations for solo female travellers are in Europe, there are quite a number of destinations in Asia that are especially ideal for women travellers given that you’re properly prepared. In honour of International Women’s Day, here are our top picks of unique destinations in Asia for women to explore solo.
Colombo and Kandy, Sri Lanka
While some might be reluctant to travel to Sri Lanka at the moment, now is actually one of the best times to support the charming country and its ongoing recovery. The numbers of tourists may be down, but the people are no less friendly and the scenery is always awe-inducing. Spend a few days in Colombo, a busy and vibrant port city, to experience the laid-back charm of the historical era combined with the liveliness of a modern city. Those looking for a more peaceful environment can head for Kandy. Once the capital of the ancient kings, Kandy remains the country’s most significant cultural and religious centre. Visit the tea plantations, pray at the Temple of the Sacred Tooth relic and go trekking into the misty hills where you can take a deep breath and reconnect with yourself and nature.
Only a five minute walk from Galle Road and 15 minutes away from the heart of the city, OZO Colombo offers visitors easy access to the lively, multicultural destination as well as a panoramic view of the ocean. Meanwhile, with its location in the heart of Kandy overlooking the lake, OZO Kandy is an ideal accommodation for those looking to explore the lush green hills and tropical tea plantations as well as the unique customs, culture, and arts of Sri Lanka’s second capital city. Discover the best of Sri Lanka with OZO Colombo and OZO Kandy as your base, with nightly rates starting at USD 83+++ and USD 88+++ per room respectively, inclusive of daily breakfast for two. For more information, visit www.ozohotels.com/srilanka-hotels.
Famously dubbed as the island of contrasts, Phuket is a great destination for solo female travellers looking to have the best of both worlds. From relaxing, feet-in-the-sand detox and laid-back beachside cafes, to adrenaline-fuelled activities and vibrant nightlife, this tropical paradise has it all. Start by exploring the spectacular stretch of gorgeous beaches along the island’s West coast where time goes slow and sunshine seems to last forever, before switching it up with a tuk tuk ride to the east coast for some cafe-hopping and bar-crawling with the local crowds. Travelling around Phuket is surprisingly easy. You can either hop on a tuk tuk, grab a taxi or even rent a motorbike and helmet and zoom down the hills with the view of the turquoise sea stretching out before you.
Possibly one of the most beautiful beaches in Phuket, Kata is a paradise waiting for people to visit and fall in love. White sand, blue sea and endless activities are just a few of the things that make Kata beach so special. Meanwhile, a walk through the local area can add a lively touch of Thai culture to any holiday. Located in the heart of Kata town, OZO Phuket is an ideal base from which travellers can explore the best of the local area and the rest of the island, with a nightly rate starting at USD 57+++ per room, inclusive of daily breakfast for two. For more information, visit www.ozohotels.com/phuket.all in Phuket.
Known as the Pearl of the Orient, Penang is a truly fascinating destination with its colourful five-foot-ways, mouth-watering street food, lush hiking trails and sandy beaches. Declared a UNESCO world cultural heritage site, George Town, the island’s cultural and urban hub, is brimming with architectural marvels from the British colonial period, timeworn shophouses, modern cafes and temples. Feast on local delicacies such as Assam Laksa or Char Kway Teow from hawker stands before walking the guilt off while exploring the world-famous mural trails. Feeling overwhelmed by the paddling trishaws and fuming fragrant? One only needs to take a short bus ride away from town for a stroll along the beaches, a visit to the Tropical Spice Garden or the picturesque Penang Hill.
Scheduled to be opened in 2020, OZO George Town Penang is set to become the perfect base for smart, savvy travellers looking for easy access to the historic shophouses, colourful five foot ways and the endless street food stalls that the Pearl of the Orient is known for. Located right on the fringe of the UNESCO World Heritage zone, the hotel provides easy and convenient access to the George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site and the rest of Penang. On the 22th floor, guests can relax at the sky lobby while scouting nearby landmarks and locals’ favourite hangout spots right from the elevated vantage of Penang’s highest hotel lobby. For more information, visit https://www.ozohotels.com/penang-malaysia.
Sleep. Connect. Explore. However you spend your day, OZO wants you to wake up feeling inspired, recharged, and ready to roll. OZO hotels are midscale properties aimed at creating buzz and zest downstairs – and peace and quiet upstairs. At OZO, everything we do is designed to offer a great sleep experience for smart, savvy travellers on the go. We also know our guests are hungry for new experiences and always on the lookout for new discoveries. We stay in the know about the local best so you form a connection with the places you visit. OZO is currently present in Thailand, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka, with more properties opening in the coming years. Visit www.ozohotels.com.
ONYX Hospitality Group operates several diverse yet complementary brands – Amari, Shama and OZO – each catering to the distinctive requirements of today’s business and leisure travellers. ONYX reaches beyond its Thai roots to offer innovative management solutions across Asia-Pacific regions. Visit www.onyx-hospitality.com.