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Exploring Asia – 12 Best Cities for Women Over 50

By Sandra Roussy December 05, 2023 Travel

Are you looking for your next travel destination? There are many great cities to visit in Asia that can be wonderful destinations for women over 50. These cities offer a mix of cultural attractions, historical sites, natural beauty, and safety. Here are some top recommendations:

  1. Kyoto, Japan – Known for its rich history, beautiful temples, and serene gardens, Kyoto is a city that offers a tranquil atmosphere and a chance to immerse yourself in traditional Japanese culture.
  2. Bangkok, Thailand – Bangkok is a dynamic city with a mix of modern and traditional elements. It offers great shopping, dining, and cultural experiences, including temples and markets.
  3. Ubud, Bali, Indonesia – Ubud is a peaceful and picturesque town known for its lush rice terraces, art galleries, and yoga retreats. It’s an excellent destination for relaxation and wellness.
  4. Chiang Mai, Thailand – Chiang Mai is a charming city in northern Thailand known for its historic old town, beautiful temples, and vibrant street markets.
  5. Hanoi, Vietnam – Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and offers a blend of French colonial architecture, ancient temples, and delicious street food. It’s a great place to explore on foot.
  6. Taipei, Taiwan – Taipei is a modern and cosmopolitan city with a mix of cultural attractions, bustling night markets, and stunning natural scenery in nearby areas like Yangmingshan National Park.
  7. Siem Reap, Cambodia – Siem Reap is famous for being the gateway to the Angkor Wat temple complex. It’s a city with a rich history and a serene ambiance.
  8. Luang Prabang, Laos – This UNESCO World Heritage-listed city is known for its well-preserved architecture, Buddhist temples, and a slow-paced way of life along the Mekong River.
  9. Seoul, South Korea – Seoul is a dynamic city with a blend of modernity and tradition. You can explore ancient palaces, vibrant markets, and enjoy the Korean spa culture.
  10. Singapore – Singapore is a clean and safe city known for its stunning architecture, lush gardens, and diverse culinary scene. It’s also home to various cultural festivals and events.
  11. Penang, Malaysia –George Town in Penang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its historic streets, street art, and diverse food culture.
  12. Kathmandu, Nepal – Kathmandu offers a unique blend of ancient temples, stunning mountain views, and a vibrant street culture.

Remember that safety and health considerations are important when traveling, so be sure to check the latest travel advisories and health guidelines for any destination you plan to visit.

How To Choose the Best Destination

Choosing a city in Asia to travel to as a woman over 50 involves considering a variety of factors to ensure that your trip is enjoyable and suits your preferences and needs.

Define Your Interests

Start by identifying what interests you the most. Are you into culture, history, nature, shopping, relaxation, adventure, or a combination of these?

Assess Your Health and Mobility

Be honest about your physical condition and mobility. Some destinations may have more challenging terrain or require a lot of walking, which may not be suitable for everyone.

Safety and Health

Research the safety and health conditions of potential destinations. Check travel advisories, vaccination requirements, and any specific health concerns for the region you plan to visit.

Climate and Weather

Consider the time of year you plan to travel and the climate in your chosen destination. Make sure it aligns with your preferences for weather.

Cultural Preferences

Think about the type of culture you want to experience. Some cities may offer a blend of modern and traditional cultures, while others may be more focused on one aspect.

Travel Goals

Determine what you want to achieve with your trip. Do you want to relax, explore, learn, or have a specific experience like attending a festival or spiritual retreat?


Consider language barriers. While English is spoken in many tourist destinations, knowing a few basic phrases in the local language can be helpful and appreciated.


Research the accessibility of your chosen destination. Consider factors like airport facilities, transportation options, and the availability of services for travelers with special needs.

Cultural Sensitivity

Familiarize yourself with the local customs and traditions. Respect for local cultures is essential and can enhance your travel experience.

Read Reviews and Seek Recommendations

Look for travel blogs, reviews, and recommendations from fellow travelers, especially those in your age group. Online travel forums and social media groups can be valuable resources.

Create an Itinerary

Once you’ve chosen a destination, create a rough itinerary that includes the places you want to visit, activities you want to do, and a general timeline.

Travel Insurance

Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance to cover unforeseen events like trip cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost luggage.

Remember that the perfect destination varies from person to person, so trust your instincts and prioritize your comfort and enjoyment when choosing a city to visit in Asia.

Top Cities to Visit in Asia

Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, Japan
Kyoto, Japan – May 12, 2015: Kiyomizu-dera historic buddist temple with picturesque views of Kyoto.

Kyoto is an ideal destination for women over 50 seeking a culturally rich and serene travel experience. The city’s abundant historical and cultural treasures, including ancient temples and traditional tea houses, make it a beautiful place for those with an appreciation for heritage. Its slower pace fosters relaxation and introspection, offering a peaceful atmosphere distinct from Japan’s bustling metropolises.

Kyoto’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the Golden Pavilion and Kiyomizu-dera, showcase breathtaking architecture and spiritual reflection. The presence of traditional geisha culture adds an element of fascination, while scenic landscapes like the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and the Higashiyama Mountains provide opportunities for leisurely walks.

The city’s culinary scene, emphasizing kaiseki cuisine and matcha tea, delights food enthusiasts. Safety, cleanliness, and walkability make it accessible and comfortable for solo travelers.

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand
The illuminated temple of Wat Arun on the Chao Phraya river at sunset in Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is a captivating travel destination that caters to a wide range of interests, making it an attractive choice for women over 50. The city’s cultural richness is evident through its historic temples, including the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, which provide a glimpse into Thailand’s heritage. Its bustling street markets, like Chatuchak, offer lively shopping and dining experiences, while Thai cuisine is a highlight, with a plethora of options to explore.

The Chao Phraya River adds a serene touch to the city, with boat rides providing opportunities for scenic exploration. Bangkok’s unique blend of modern skyscrapers and traditional architecture showcases the country’s dual identity, offering a diverse visual experience. Wellness options, safety, and the warm hospitality of the Thai people enhance the appeal for travelers over 50.

While it’s a bustling metropolis with traffic congestion, the city’s affordability and multifaceted charm make it an exciting destination if you are seeking a blend of culture, cuisine, and adventure.

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Ubud, Bali
Water temple in Ubud in sunset.

Ubud, located in the heart of Bali, is a serene and spiritually rich travel destination that holds particular appeal for women over 50. Known for its tranquil ambiance and lush natural surroundings, Ubud offers a variety of reasons to visit.

First and foremost, Ubud’s serene landscapes, including terraced rice paddies and lush rainforests, provide a perfect backdrop for relaxation. The town is also a hub for wellness and yoga retreats, offering you the opportunity to focus on your physical and mental well-being.

Ubud is deeply rooted in Balinese culture and arts. It is home to numerous art galleries, traditional dance performances, and craft villages. The town’s peaceful atmosphere makes it a safe and welcoming destination.

Ubud’s sacred Monkey Forest, historic temples, and nearby waterfalls offer plenty of exploration opportunities. Whether you seek solitude, cultural immersion, or outdoor adventures, Ubud provides a harmonious blend of experiences.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai
Doi Inthanon at Chiang Mai,Thailand

Chiang Mai, located in northern Thailand, is an exceptional travel destination that offers a harmonious blend of culture, nature, and respite.

The city boasts a well-preserved old town with ancient temples like Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi Luang. Exploring these spiritual sites and witnessing traditional ceremonies can be a deeply enriching experience.

The city’s tranquil ambiance and slower pace make it an ideal place for relaxation and reflection. Whether it’s leisurely strolls through the scenic gardens, meditation sessions at local temples, or traditional Thai massages, Chiang Mai offers various ways to unwind.

Chiang Mai’s rich culinary scene is renowned, with countless street food stalls and local markets where you can savor authentic Thai dishes. The city also offers cooking classes, allowing you to take a piece of Thai cuisine back home with you.

Safety and hospitality are hallmarks of Chiang Mai. It’s a city where you can easily strike up conversations with locals and fellow travelers alike.

The surrounding natural beauty, including mountains, waterfalls, and lush forests, provides opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, trekking, and wildlife encounters. It’s also a gateway to exploring the hill tribe cultures of northern Thailand.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam, November 21, 2022, Busy scene with shoppers and market vendors on the famous train streets in Hanoi

Hanoi is steeped in history and culture, with a well-preserved old quarter showcasing its colonial past and Vietnamese traditions. The city’s ancient temples and pagodas, such as the Temple of Literature and One Pillar Pagoda, provide a window into Vietnam’s deep-rooted heritage.

Hanoi’s quiet and slow-paced lifestyle offers a peaceful setting for relaxation and exploration. Taking leisurely walks around Hoan Kiem Lake or enjoying a traditional water puppetry show can be delightful ways to experience the city’s cultural richness.

The city’s culinary scene is legendary, with street food stalls serving up delectable dishes like pho and bun cha. Exploring the local cuisine can be a flavorful adventure. Hanoi is known for its safety and welcoming atmosphere and the locals are known for their hospitality and warm smiles.

Taipei, Taiwan

Temple at Jiufen Old Street in Taipei Taiwan

Taipei is renowned for its modernity and efficiency, making it a safe and easy-to-navigate city for travelers. The city’s extensive public transportation system, including the efficient metro, ensures accessibility to various attractions.

The city is home to an array of impressive temples, such as Longshan Temple and Taipei Confucius Temple, where you can immerse yourself in Taiwanese spirituality and traditions. Also, museums like the National Palace Museum showcase the island’s rich history and art.

The city’s modern skyline contrasts beautifully with its lush natural surroundings. Taipei 101, one of the world’s tallest buildings, offers panoramic views of the city and surrounding mountains. Nature lovers can explore nearby attractions like Yangmingshan National Park.

Taipei’s safety, cleanliness, and the warmth of its people create a welcoming atmosphere. Engaging with locals and fellow travelers is easy, as many Taiwanese people are friendly and eager to help.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap
A closeup shot of statues near the Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap is best known as the gateway to the majestic Angkor Wat temple complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the most iconic archaeological wonders in the world. Exploring the intricately carved temples, such as Angkor Wat and Bayon, offers a profound and spiritually enriching experience.

The city’s old town exudes a charming atmosphere, with colonial-era architecture, bustling markets, and traditional Khmer cuisine. Sampling local dishes and shopping for handicrafts at the vibrant markets can be delightful cultural experiences.

Siem Reap’s safety, hospitality, and affordability make it an inviting and secure destination. Beyond Angkor Wat, Siem Reap offers serene natural attractions such as Tonle Sap Lake and the floating villages, where you can witness the daily lives of local communities.

The city also provides opportunities for wellness and relaxation, with a growing number of spas and wellness centers offering traditional Khmer massages and treatments.

Luang Prabang, Laos

Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang, Laos – September 29, 2014: View of the houses and buildings in the main street in Luang Prabang, Laos during twilight. Several motorbikes can be seen parked by the sidewalk and people can be seen walking around.

Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed city known for its well-preserved architectural heritage. The town’s historic streets are lined with beautifully restored temples, monasteries, and colonial-era buildings. Safety and hospitality are hallmarks of Luang Prabang, making it a great destination for women over 50.

The city’s relaxed pace of life and the absence of heavy traffic contribute to its tranquil ambiance. The daily almsgiving ritual, where Buddhist monks collect alms from locals and visitors, is a spiritual experience that can be observed in the early morning hours.

Luang Prabang’s culinary scene offers a blend of Lao and French influences, with street food stalls, local restaurants, and cafes serving delectable dishes and freshly brewed coffee.

The surrounding natural beauty, including the Mekong River and nearby waterfalls, provides opportunities for outdoor activities like boat trips, trekking, and swimming in the refreshing Kuang Si Falls.

Seoul, South Korea

Awesome view of cozy old narrow street and traditional Korean houses of Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul, South Korea. Seoul Tower on Namsan Mountain is visible on blue sky background. Scenic cityscape.

Seoul is a dynamic and diverse travel destination that can be an excellent choice for women over 50 seeking a mix of modernity, tradition, and cultural experiences.

Seoul offers a rich cultural tapestry with a blend of ancient traditions and cutting-edge technology. Historic palaces like Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace showcase the country’s royal heritage, while the Bukchon Hanok Village provides a glimpse into traditional Korean architecture.

The city’s modernity is evident in its futuristic skyscrapers, high-tech shopping districts, and advanced public transportation system. If you have an interest in contemporary urban life you will find Seoul’s cosmopolitan atmosphere engaging.

Seoul’s culinary scene is diverse and delectable, with a wide range of Korean dishes, from barbecue to bibimbap, and an array of international cuisines. Exploring the bustling food markets and trendy restaurants can be a gastronomic adventure.

The city is known for its efficient public transportation system, including an extensive subway network.

The city’s vibrant cultural scene includes K-pop concerts, traditional performances, and art galleries, offering diverse entertainment options.


Singapore, Republic of Singapore – May 4, 2016: Supertree grove, Cloud garden greenhouse and Marina Bay Sands hotel reflecting in water at dusk with glowing lights

Singapore, a small but thriving island nation in Southeast Asia, is an excellent travel destination for women over 50 due to its modernity, safety, cleanliness, and diverse attractions.

Singapore is known for its remarkable urban development. The city-state boasts an impressive skyline with iconic landmarks such as Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay. The city’s modernity and efficiency make it easy to navigate, even for solo travelers.

Singapore’s cultural diversity is a highlight. The city is home to various ethnic neighborhoods like Chinatown, Little India, and Arab Street, each offering unique cultural experiences, from vibrant markets to historical sites and authentic cuisine.

The city’s culinary scene is world-renowned, with a multitude of hawker centers, street food stalls, and high-end restaurants. It’s a food lover’s paradise, offering a fusion of flavors from around the world.

Safety and cleanliness are top priorities in Singapore, making it one of the safest destinations for travelers. English is widely spoken, making communication convenient.

Gardens, parks, and green spaces are scattered throughout the city, providing tranquil spots for relaxation. The Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is particularly lovely.

Singapore also offers cultural experiences through museums, galleries, and performing arts venues. The city’s cultural calendar is filled with festivals and events year-round.

For those interested in shopping, Singapore is a retail paradise, with everything from luxury boutiques on Orchard Road to eclectic finds in boutique shops.

Penang, Malaysia

George Town, Penang, Malaysia: Inside the Buddhist Kek Lok Si temple, the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia.

Penang, an island state in Malaysia, is a fantastic travel destination for women over 50 due to its rich cultural heritage, culinary diversity, historical significance, and natural beauty.

Penang is known for its multiculturalism, with influences from Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European cultures. The historic George Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a captivating place to explore, featuring well-preserved colonial architecture, colorful street art, and vibrant street markets.

Nature lovers can explore the island’s lush landscapes, from the Penang Botanic Gardens to Penang Hill, which offers panoramic views of the island. The nearby beaches provide opportunities for relaxation and water sports.

Cultural experiences abound, with numerous temples, mosques, and churches to visit. Penang also hosts cultural festivals and events throughout the year.

Kathmandu, Nepal

Evening view of Bodhnath stupa . Kathmandu . Nepal

Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, is a cultural treasure trove, boasting ancient temples, stupas, and palaces. The Kathmandu Valley is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Swayambhunath (the Monkey Temple) and Boudhanath Stupa. These sites provide profound insights into Nepal’s deep-rooted spirituality and history.

The city’s vibrant atmosphere is centered around its busy markets, where you can find exquisite handicrafts, textiles, and locally made goods. Kathmandu’s tranquil ambiance and the timeless rituals of its people create a peaceful setting for relaxation and introspection. Witnessing daily offerings at temples and monasteries or enjoying moments of meditation and reflection are common activities in the city.

Kathmandu’s proximity to the Himalayas and other natural wonders allows for outdoor adventures like trekking, hiking, and mountain biking. Day trips to nearby towns and villages provide opportunities to explore rural life and traditions.



Let’s Have a Conversation:

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The Author

Sandra is the middle-aged woman you hear about who sheds everything she owns and sets out into the world to rediscover and redefine herself. After more than twenty years spent in the fashion industry designing collections for brands such as La Senza, Victoria’s Secret, and JACOB Lingerie, she shifted her path and pursued her longtime passion for writing, traveling, and photography. Sandra was published in the NY Times best selling book Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It. A deeply personal essay hand-picked by Elizabeth Gilbert about loss, facing fears, and going after dreams. Visit her website:

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