Female solo travel is growing all the time and with all the information you need available on the internet, why not? You can either just pack your bags and turn up or do it the even easier way with an organised group tour. Or a combination of both. Start with a tour and then branch out with confidence!
If you do it on your own, you will need to do lots of research and make all your own bookings.
Pack small & light
This is the most important rule for all travellers, let alone female solo travellers. Apart from the odd destination in winter, you will never need warm clothing in Southeast Asia. One pair of comfortable walking shoes and maybe flip flops or sandals is all you will need. Unless you are a 5-star tourist you will not need fancy clothes. Laundry services are cheap and available everywhere in Southeast Asia
Really light packers can rinse out their one of three sets daily. One to wear, one to wash, one spare.
Safety and security should always be a priority without being paranoid. Always keep your money on your person undercover in pickpocket-proof places, and bigger valuable in a bag that is also tightly held close to you as you meander. This will deter any potential snatch and run. There is no reward for bad guys if they have no target.
Likewise, a locked main bag to deter theft by chance everywhere including under a bus looked after by a busboy who may not be so honest. Unusual but it has happened…
Dress like a local-modestly
If there is one thing that may see a female solo traveller in some bother is the way they dress. It may be okay to show lots of skin back home, but not in many countries apart from at the pool or the beach.
Even shirtless men walking around town is frowned upon in Asia. Do not huff out your chest and say you are free to do it. This will not make you any friends and some men in some cultures believe that only bar girls dress like that and may give you unwanted attention or worse.
Southeast Asia is very conservative in this respect. They are some of the friendliest people on earth if you respect their laws and even more so the culture. They will most often not say anything but they will at least be thinking how crude and uncivilised you are.
Police are another matter again if you are offensive. On-the-spot fines will ruin your day. Any abuse or anger towards them will only see you in deeper trouble.
Do not cause loss of face
In Asia, loss of face is a huge part of the culture and is hard to understand until you have been there for a long time.
To cause it to a local may see physical assault from them at its worst. So never get angry and shout at them as it will achieve nothing to begin with, and most likely only make matters worse. Never ever criticise or abuse local leaders or people in any kind of uniform.
Keep smiling no matter what illogical (to you) circumstances may crop up. This is why you are here. To experience different things whether that be food or a logic that doesn’t exist where you come from. You will go home with far better memories if you fit in.
Female solo travel can be done either totally independently or as part of a tour group. Either way it will be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do with no regrets. Just pack the backpack or go the cheaters way these days with a suitcase on wheels to take that hard work out of it.
For the easiest option, do a well-organised tour and it will include all the big-tick attractions as well as having enough time to explore on your own to seek out local experiences. Beware of fast-moving large non-flexible robot-like tours.