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Hanging out with your girl gang can be one of the most therapeutic solutions to the many issues in life. You can rant to them, laugh with them, be your silly self, cry in front of them and make memories to last you a lifetime. One way to create these special moments is to plan a girls’ trip where you can unwind, relax, have fun and try new things together.
While some may like the serenity of mountains, others may prefer to frolic by the beach. While some may want to go on nature hikes and adventures, others enjoy shopping till they drop dead. Narrowing down girls’ trip destinations, making all bookings, packing outfits and numerous calls and discussions are the major highlights of every trip.
To make things easy for you, we have created a list for an Asian escapade with places that offer a wide range of activities. From the rugged mountains of Ladakh in northern India to palm fringed beaches of Bali in Indonesia to Japan’s capital Tokyo, there are endless girls’ trip ideas that you can choose from..
Sorry boys, this one’s only for the girls.
Check out some of the best girls’ trip destinations in Asia:
Galle and Kandy, Sri Lanka
Galle is a seaside destination in Sri Lanka that offers exciting beach activities and adventures, ideal for those heading for a fun filled girls’ trip. Spend your time mountain biking at Mirissa and Unawatuna while those seeking an adrenaline rush can head out for whale watching.
You can also spend some leisure time strolling around the old Dutch Fort, built in the seventeenth century and take amazing photos for your Insta feed. The best way to explore this quaint little getaway is by cycling along the lagoon and the village of Galle.
While in Sri Lanka, another must visit place is Kandy. One of the most popular tourist destinations, Kandy is known for the country’s famous and important religious relics and lush rainforests. Head out early to the hills to visit the Kandy Buddha statue, aka The Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue. It is the biggest Buddha statue in Sri Lanka at a height of over 26 m. It is nestled amid the rolling hills of Kandy and provides a beautiful view from top. Witness traditional Buddhist culture at the golden roof Temple of the Tooth or Sri Dalada Maligawa, located in the heart of the city.
Kandy is also the starting point of one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world. You can either take the four hour ride to Nuwara Eliya, a hill station laced with plantations or a longer seven hour ride to Ella, another hill station that is home to some spectacular waterfalls. Let the wind play with your hair while on this ride through tea plantations.
Hanoi, Vietnam and Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Occupying the eastern portion of mainland southeast Asia, Vietnam seamlessly weaves the old world charm with modern progress and growth.
This is best seen in the capital city of Hanoi. Dating back over 1000 years, Hanoi is known for the many monuments that have captured time. If you’re looking for some relaxed outing with your girls, head over to the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that served as the political centre for eight centuries. Visit the Perfume Pagoda, believed to have been built in the 15th century. It is a network of Buddhist temples arranged in a maze amid the Son Mountains, 60 kms south of Hanoi’s main city.
Spend an evening watching the water puppet show at the renowned Thang Long Puppet Theatre and enjoy the mastery of the craft that is a treasured heritage of Vietnam. It features the Legend of the Restored Sword of King Le.
Combine your Vietnam trip with Cambodia and experience the best of southeast Asian culture and landscape.
A girls’ trip to the capital city of Phnom Penh is a great way to witness the culture and soak in the historical charm of the place. Visit the Royal Palace, which serves as the King’s residence and holds a number of royal ceremonies. Get a glimpse of the country’s struggle in the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum which will take you down history from the Khmer rogue regime. It is situated inside a former high school which was then transformed into a political prison.
Take a break from history and head out for Koh Dach or Silk Island which is an hour’s journey from Phnom Penh. A short ferry ride will take you to the Mekong river island and you can witness various techniques of silk rearing and weaving amid nature. You can also visit the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre and catch the exotic beasts in action.
During the evening, girls can enjoy a mesmerising sunset boat ride along the Mekong or Tonle Sap Rivers and witness one of the most gorgeous river horizons while hearing the gurgle of the gentle waters.
The azure waters at pristine beaches, water activities and the overall Bali experience makes it an ideal getaway for a fun girls’ trip in Asia.
Fill your Instagram with amazing pictures as you visit some of the most picturesque locations in the world. The Tegallalang Rice terrace in north Ubud is an amazing destination with spectacular views of sprawling paddy fields. Try to reach early in the morning to catch the first sun rays.
If you all are looking for something rather adventurous and off beat, then head to the Sekumpul Waterfalls. The beautiful hike to the bottom of the fall is absolutely worth it.
Needless to say, Bali’s Diamond beach is the place to be. The white sands, crystal clear water and the limestone cliffs that encircle it make this spot in Nusa Penida island a must-visit place for a girls’ trip tan.
Also, you simply cannot miss the sunrise at Munduk. The foggy and rain soaked destination higher up in North Bali is a contrast to the sunny beaches. The Munduk Moding Plantation and the pools make a beautiful backdrop for the picture perfect memory.
Seoul, South Korea
This one’s for all the Korean buffs who are obsessed with K-pop music and K-dramas. But, even if you or your gang is not, Seoul is still a paradise for a fun girls’ trip.
The South Korean capital city has a lot to offer to make your trip a fun filled one. Experience thrill and adrenaline rush like nowhere else through a ride on the world’s steepest roller coaster at Everland. The theme park also houses South Korea’s only safari and has an enormous annual footfall.
Explore Korean culture at the Gyeongbokgung Palace which served as the official royal palace of the Joseon dynasty. Built in 1395, this place has well preserved the rich Korean culture and is a specimen of traditional architecture. You cannot miss the Royal Guard Changing ceremony or the Gwanghwamun Gate Guard-on-Duty performance.
When you are in Seoul, you need to do some serious shopping. For that, head over to Myeong-dong – haven for lovers of cosmetics. The busy shopping area houses numerous international fashion brands and high end stores catering to all your beauty and fashion needs. Relish some authentic local food at the numerous Korean and Japanese eateries in the Myeong-dong market for a local flavour.
Don’t miss the Namsan Mountain cable car ride in Seoul as it takes you to the top of the mountain. Located in the Jung-gu district of south-central Seoul, the 262m peak offers breathtaking views of downtown Seoul. You can hike to the top and even enjoy a good picnic or visit the Seoul Tower.
Enjoy ultimate urban luxury from the moment you land in Singapore’s Changi airport. Touted as one of the best airports, it can be a must-visit destination in itself. Singapore is an urban marvel and has some very exciting things to offer that will make your girls’ trip in Asia a much cherished experience.
If you want to explore the high seas and see a different avatar of Singapore, ditch the roads and board a luxury ship like Dream Cruise or Star Cruise. Have a gala time with events and programmes organised on board. From dancing and shopping to taking a swim, they provide fun activities that you can enjoy with your girl besties.
When in the city, don’t forget to visit the iconic Merlion park which has the famous Merlion statue. It is Singapore’s official mascot and has the body of a fish and a lion’s head. Unleash your inner child at the Universal Studios and hop onto fun rides, roller coasters, meet your childhood characters, gorge on some lip smacking food and be a kid all over again at this world famous theme park.
Do not forget to visit Singapore’s iconic Marina Bay Sands to enjoy a captivating view by the stunning horizon along with a musical show and a beautifully lit up gallery. Walk down the Gardens by the bay and marvel at the splendid beauty of the place. Dine at incredible restaurants at Boat Quay which is right along the Singapore River. Do try one of the most popular dishes, which is the famous chilli crab.
Take a ferry to the famous Sentosa Island, located on the southern coast of Singapore. You can make the journey more fun by opting for a cable car ride. The island has some pristine beaches and offers adventure sports. In the evening, when the sun goes down, the beach clubs at Sentosa and East Coast Road come alive with music and parties.
No girls’ trip to Singapore is complete without an epic nightlife. Singapore has a wide range of options. Clarke Quay is the ultimate party destination where you can have a ball with your girl gang with clubs like Zouk Nightclub and Attica.
A Singapore trip cannot end without a shopping spree. From high end luxury brands to some of the best street markets that will suit all your likings, Singapore has it all. From Bugis Street and Orchard Road to Mustafa market and International Merchandising Mart (IMM) Mall, you will be spoilt for choice.
If you all are adventurous and love a good road trip, set out for Ladakh to witness nature at its rugged and bare best.
Located at an altitude of 2551m, Ladakh is one of the most extreme landscapes in the world. If you are looking for a daring adventurous trip, then think no further. Go biking through Khardung-la pass, the highest motorable pass in the world, which stands at the head of Nubra Valley. It was opened in 1988 for vehicles and is a must-visit experience. Famous for white sands and double humped camels Nubra Valley offers jaw dropping views of the Karakoram range and is also the confluence of Shyok and Siachen rivers.
From there head to Pangong Tso. The crystal clear blue waters of the lake bordered by the rough mountains is a beauty to behold. Enjoy a quaint picnic with your girl gang or even camp at night by the lakeside to soak in the natural wonder. Another must-visit lake is the gorgeous Tso Moriri. Perched at a staggering height of 4572m, tourists often give it a miss due to the altitude. For some added adventure, head over to Tso Moriri and behold the undisturbed ambience.
When in Ladakh, enjoy nature’s tricks that will keep you thinking. At the famous Magnetic Hill where, when a car is left on neutral goes uphill instead of rolling down. You can also visit the Hemis National Park and see the Himalayan tahr and snow leopards.
Round up the girls’ trip with a visit to Thiksey Monastery. The 12-storey Buddhist monastery is one of the most beautiful complexes in Ladakh that houses over 500 monks and upholds traditional Buddhist culture and customs. Witness the mesmerising chantings and gongs that are played as a ritual. You can also make a trip to the Leh Royal Palace for its splendid architecture and historical ruins.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysia ensures a fun girls’ trip that is all about enjoying the pulse of city life, having some delectable food and lots of shopping.
The capital city of Kuala Lumpur ticks all the right boxes when it comes to a fun girls’ trip. Start with a visit to the Petronas Twin tower and walk on the 58m sky bridge that connects the two buildings at 41 and 42 storeys. Located right below it, is the stunning KLCC park. Blending artificial structures, like the many fountains and statues, with the various indegenous flora, the park is a respite from the urban cacophony. The main attraction is Lake Symphony, which is a huge lake with a 43m bridge going across it. The colourful fountain makes it a dazzling place at night.
Head over to the Menara Tower, which is one of the tallest freestanding towers in Asia with a height of 421m. The elevator will take you to the viewing deck, perched at 300m, in under a minute. Dine at Atmosphere 360, the revolving fine dining restaurant in the tower with a beautiful view of the cityscape.
Visit the famous Batu Caves on a day trip which is situated about 13 km from Kuala Lumpur. A short train ride from the city’s main station will take you there and you can witness the century old cave networks, Lord Murugan’s statue and a number of Hindu shrines. The main Cathedral cave, with a height of 91m, has beautiful stalactite formations that can be reached after climbing 272 stone steps.
You can also visit the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, National Museum, Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park and the National Mosque to get the overall Malaysian experience.
If yours is a foodie group, then head over to Petaling Street, which is a single street China town offering amazing food at the many Malaysian and Chinese eateries.
Visit Central Market to buy traditional Malaysian handicraft items at the several souvenir shops that are great for gifting options. You can lay your hands on some silver and pewter items as well. For those looking for upscale shopping centres head over to the city’s shopping district— Bukit Bintang Shopping District. You can also hit the Berjaya Times Square Shopping mall, spread across 330,000 sq m, that will cater to all your shopping likings.
Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan
This one is for the anime. Japanese anime has taken over the world and has set the benchmark for animation and storytelling that is extremely difficult to surpass. How exciting will it be to step in the hub of all this with your girl gang?
In Tokyo, hoard your anime collectibles at Akihabara. Tokyo’s electric town is sure to enthral you with the unfathomable anime posters, comics, merchandise and much more. If you’re visiting in spring, then you are in for the cherry blossom season. Tokyo’s artsy neighbourhood of Nakameguro offers rows of Sakura trees that will make the best backdrop for that perfect Instagram post.
Want to witness the sumo wrestlers sweat it out in the ring? Visit Ryogoku Kokugikan which hosts three of the six official tournaments that happen in Japan. Stand witness to the ultimate Japanese sport, dine at the many sumo themed restaurants here and learn about the art while tripping with your girls in Tokyo.
Head over to the Shibuya neighbourhood and go all bonkers while walking on the maddening scramble crossing which is a distinct feature of the place. Visit the Tokyo Skytree, the tallest tower in the world. The 360 degrees observation deck offers an unparalleled view of the city skyline.
When in Japan how can you miss out on having some sushi? Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market has a number of sushi bars and eateries that offer fresh fish and holds the renowned Tuna auction. In 2018, the market relocated to Toyosu but you can still visit Tsukiji as the outer market still runs here.
Set off for the quaint city of Kyoto which is in complete contrast to the hustle and busy city life of the capital. Experience the traditional art of tea ceremony at Kyoto with your girl gang for an unforgettable memory. Though it is available across Japan, the one here is sacred due to its Zen Buddhist roots. Head over to Kiyomizu-dera temple for all things Zen and serene. This UNESCO world heritage site is enveloped by Sakura trees, the Otowa waterfall and it is believed that those praying here can achieve true love. The waterfall is divided into three streams which signify success, long life and love. You can also visit the famous Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine that has an incredible path of thousands of flame coloured torii gates. It is dedicated to the Shinto god, Inari, known as the god of rice.
As the sun sets, head over to the Kyo Tower for a dazzling view of the city and the observation deck offers panoramic views going up to Osaka. Satiate yourselves with some lively dining options at Pontocho by the Kamogawa River. From fine dining establishments to street food, it has it all to suit your preference. With lots more to offer Japan is easily one of the best Asian destinations for an all girls’ trip.
For beach lovers Maldives is an archipelago paradise like no other. The happening city life of Male coupled with the amazing attractions on the islands, gives the perfect excuse to head to this tropical destination and lose your heart to the sun and sea.
As you go island hopping on a boat trip, head to the quaint Maafushi Island. The place not only hosts the most stunning water villas but also a plethora of water activities like snorkelling and diving in with sharks and Manta rays.
Continue your island hopping streak with Baros Island. Your entire Maldivian experience will get elevated by the pristine water villas on the lagoon that are secluded and are all surrounded by the cyan blue waters. Relish some sangrias and spend the day with your girl gang lazing on hammocks and beach chairs.
Looking for something more adventurous? Biyadhoo Island gives you the perfect scuba diving opportunity as the waters beam with exotic marine flora and fauna. The entire island is managed by the Taj group of Hospitality and has other water sports like windsurfing, surf ski paddling, canoeing, sailing and others.
Away from the madding crowd, girls can truly lay their hats at the secluded COMO Cocoa Island. If you are looking for all things extravagant, then this is the place to be. With over 33 water villas that can give stiff competition to any five star hotel, the island is as pristine as it gets. With usual snorkelling and scuba diving, you can de-stress at the gorgeous spas and infinity bathtubs.
Bangkok and Koh Samui, Thailand
The very name of Thailand ushers in images of dazzling nightlife, white sand beaches, delicious food and loads of shopping. What more can be needed for a fun girls’ trip?
Visit the Grand Palace of Thailand which not only serves as a major seat for official and government ceremonies, but is also an important attraction for history buffs. Built in 1782, it is home to the revered Wat Phra Kaeo that houses the Jade Buddha. While here, visit Wat Pho or the temple of the reclining Budhha. Built by King Rama I, the place was considered as a seat of healing and was famous centuries ago for its pharmacy and as Thailand’s first university.
Thailand’s market places need no introduction and girls can feel like the kid in a candy store at the Damnoen Saduak floating market. Located about 1.5 hours from main Bangkok city, the place is a bustling marketplace which can be explored on a boat. It offers a wide range of handicrafts, clothes, street food and lots more.
For the ultimate sundowner, enjoy Bangkok’s nightlife at the many nightclubs and restaurants. Enjoy the cabaret show or head to the Khao San Road night market for some sumptuous local street food. Head to the many happening bars and nightclubs that offer alcohol and EDM music.
For a bit more relaxing nightlife, you’ll can watch the Siam Niramit show that chronicles Thailand’s history of 7 centuries in a 90-minute-long production of dance, music and even animal shows. The Chao Phraya river cruise, too, is a splendid way to end your day as the cruise takes you past some famous spots and offers a wonderful spread on board.
Shopping is inevitable here. Head to MBK shopping centre for over 2000 shops to choose from. Other equally fascinating places include Asiatique–The Riverfront and Pratunam market.
While visiting Thailand, don’t miss out on going to Koh Samui. Famous all over the world for its stunning beaches, you are sure to have all the fun with your girls. Go snorkelling and diving at the Lamai or Maenam beaches to witness some gorgeous corals and marine life.
Hop onto a ferry to visit Koh Pha-Ngan which is another famous island, located just a stone’s throw away. Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai are among the most popular beaches here. Noi tends to have many food stalls and restaurants which are ideal for foodies. Another island that you can visit is Ko Tao which is best for scuba diving.
(Main and feature image credit: Levi Guzman/ @homeschool/ Unsplash)
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Bangkok