Travel comes in many forms: With Singles’ Day around the corner, digital travel platform Agoda looked at the most popular destinations for solo travelers. For Malaysia, it’s Singapore in first place, followed by Bangkok and Hat Yai.
Singles’ Day, or 11-11, takes place annually on the eleventh day of November. The unofficial holiday originated in China as an answer to Valentine’s Day, celebrating those who aren’t in a romantic relationship. Over the years, Singles’ Day has gained popularity globally. The day is now recognised as one of the most impactful online shopping days with many online platforms, including Agoda, offering special discounts.
“At Agoda, we have talked a lot about family travel this year, and now with travel numbers in full recovery we’re also seeing more solo travel,” said Cleland Robertson, Country Director for Malaysia & Brunei at Agoda. “Going on a solo trip is arguably the best gift you can give yourself. It often means stepping out of our own comfort zone, whether it’s exploring new cultures, making new friends, or reconnecting with our own sense of adventure and freedom, and in turn rewarding ourselves with perhaps our most lasting life experiences and memories.”
To determine the solo travel favourites, Agoda looked at the most popular destinations for solo travelers checking in on weekends and across a wide range of hotel stays. Around Asia Pacific, the top three consists of Tokyo, Japan in first, Bangkok, Thailand in second, and Seoul, South Korea in third. For Malaysia, the most popular destinations are:
Singapore, the quintessential solo travel destination, is a dream for first-time solo travelers. Thanks to its accessibility, renowned safety, and cultural familiarity, it’s a perfect starting point for Malaysians. Despite its small size, Singapore packs a punch with diverse entertainment for all types of solo adventurers, from theme parks to shopping meccas, cafe haunts to arts centres. The city’s walkability also allows you to explore iconic landmarks like Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands and Chinatown at your own pace. To top it off, Singapore’s diverse culinary offerings, from hawker delights to a myriad of other culinary experiences, provide the perfect backdrop for striking up conversations with newfound friends.
Renowned as one of the world’s most accessible destinations for solo travelers, it’s no surprise that Bangkok made the list. Thailand’s capital is welcoming to solo travelers on any budget, but being the home of hostel-packed Kao San Road, Bangkok is sure to be on the travel itinerary for backpackers. Making new friends has never been so easy, thanks to the friendly locals and the abundance of fellow solo travelers anywhere across the city. During the daytime there are lots to explore, like the Grand Palace, the famous Chatuchak weekend market, or the arty and chaotic alleys of Chinatown.
Hat Yai, Thailand
Hat Yai beckons Malaysians all year round thanks to its close proximity, the convenience of the budget-friendly ETS train connection and wide selection of halal food offerings. While it may not share the fame of its metropolitan counterparts, this charming city draws travelers with its delightful Thai hospitality, mouthwatering local fare, lush green spaces and a wealth of unique cultural experiences. Wander through bustling markets like Kim Yong and Santisuk, indulge in mouthwatering seafood, and don’t miss the lively Khlong Hae Floating Market, a colourful weekend spectacle. Hat Yai’s compact city centre is easily explored on foot, though tuk-tuks are readily available. For solo adventurers, the option of affordable and swift motorbike taxis adds to the city’s accessibility and charm.
To celebrate Singles’ Day, Agoda offers 11-11 promotions that can be found in the Agoda app, or on Agoda.com/deals.
*Ranks are based on Agoda bookings made between mid-April and mid-October 2023, by solo travellers checking in on Fridays and Saturdays.