Southeast Asia forum

Over 50 travelling to SE Asia solo

  • Vacateforfun

    Joined Travelfish
    14th June, 2014
    Location Canada
    Posts: 1

    Hi Everyone,

    I am an over 50 male and will be travelling in SE Asia this summer, my trip will be solo and will be 2 to 3 weeks. I would like to travel in a way that I meet people as I go along, so I am thinking that Hostels would be good for this, so I am looking for help to put my itinerary together and how to find hostels that will cater to my age group. I don't have any specific country that I have to travel to so any suggestions would be appreciated.

    #1 Posted: 14/6/2014 - 12:33

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  • captainbkk

    Joined Travelfish
    16th February, 2012
    Posts: 472

    1.start with a guidebook-even an older one or from the library is OK. DO also read the general intro. Or Rough Guides General Asia for beginners.
    2.hoStels are still quite rare in So-East Asia. Tipically they are overpriced and aim for young newbees too afraid to do anything without adavnce booking. Or maybe its I-pad mania. As you can also read in [1]-GBk: those in the know stay in guesthouses. And you do not meet that many people there-or do you speak Japanese? For that are always dozens and more of drink watering holes.
    3.get yourself a few travelprograms from established on-budget tourorganistaions. Thay tipically show well choosen routes doable also on your own with local transport. Choose a country-for just 15-20 days and as starter, TH or VN are likely best. MY if you are as of now unable to live without too much of western comfort and speekee the eengleesh.

    #2 Posted: 15/6/2014 - 04:15

  • billytheliar

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd April, 2012
    Posts: 46
    Total reviews: 7
    Places visited:
    At least 19

    If you want to meet local people you could choose less popular destinations. You will be approached by locals but you have to be able to speak at least the very basics of the language. If you want to meet other westerners, try the standard places, where you can participate in group activities - or just have a drink in a place with many blond heads. I remember a tiny pub in Luang Prabang where you would inevitably come to talk with others unless you're antisocial or something.
    Further than that, general rules apply : Your looks, your attitude and so on.
    2-3 weeks is a bit short, so it would be better to choose one country.

    Good luck from a solo male bacpacker over 50.

    #3 Posted: 15/6/2014 - 06:18

  • amnicoll

    Joined Travelfish
    10th January, 2005
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 600
    Total reviews: 6

    Why do you want to meet like minded people? I am now 60 and travel most of the time solo with backpack and usually chose places where there are not tourists so that I can get to meet the local population.

    In Asia such is the hospitality that as long as you smile and reciprocate then you will only be alone if that is what you want.

    You will not generally meet hoards of "western" people in your age bracket and indeed many of those you do meet you may wish you had not!

    You will find that being old does not mean that the younger travellers will ignore you just chose hostels/guesthouses where there is plenty of people

    #4 Posted: 15/6/2014 - 07:55


    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6955
    Total reviews: 10

    This is a tough one, because you didn't include any other specifications other than meeting people. I would NEVER do a hostel. I want comfort, my own room and few constraints. I'm also not a big guesthouse fan, but if I find one that is kind of funky I can enjoy it. But you are not me, maybe your tastes are different.

    I have ZERO interest in meeting tourists. I don't avoid them, but I don't go out of my way to meet them either. I find the expat crowd more interesting (if more deranged). I have little tolerance for the know-it-all backpacker kid. But again, you may be different on this score.

    And then there is location. I prefer Thailand because I speak Thai. I also prefer Issan. It has a charm I appreciate. But I am an outlier on this one as well. Most tourists don't do Issan.

    If any of what I wrote appeals to you, I would consider travelling Khon Kaen and staying in the university quarter. From there I would travel to Nong Khai and stay at the fabled Mut Mee. I like the place and it's vibe (although you are now in danger of meeting that know it all backpacker kid). From there I would travel along the Mekong to Phon Pisai. If you see one tourist there, I'd be surprised. This town has a great vibe. From this point all the way to Mukdahan there are plenty of things to see and do. If you want a detailed run down i'll send you a link I posted here before.

    #5 Posted: 15/6/2014 - 08:45

  • daawgon

    Joined Travelfish
    17th April, 2007
    Posts: 1065
    Total reviews: 2

    Vietnam is the greatest place to meet both other travelers and locals (extremely outgoing - they approach you!) I'm over 70, and have made 6 trips to SEA - Vietnam remains my very favorite because of the friendliness factor (it's also the cheapest, and English is widely understood on the tourist trail). Your problem is not enough time - please don't rush around trying to see it all. I suggest Northern Vietnam - more than enough to see and keep you busy. Make a reservation with Hanoikids for their free student tours of the city - send an email to Hanoikidsvn AT gmail DOT com a month prior to travel.

    #6 Posted: 17/6/2014 - 14:04

  • hoang

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2014
    Posts: 7

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    i would prefer Viet Nam too. As mr. Daawgon said, It's beautiful, cheapest, peaceful and variety of culture and traditional with 54 ethnic groups. especially in the North of Viet Nam. Some of new interesting destinations I suggest are Hà Giang - the plateau of Rock with the natural world heritage of Đồng Văn Karst Plateau Global Geopark, Moc Chau plateau, Ba Be lake - one of 20 natural biggest lake in the world withwild caves, waterfalls, rivers...
    you can easily google search or find some tour that is cheap and creative of PYS Travel. By the way, if you would like to join a free food tour in Ha Noi, please feel free to contact me in advance to arrange volunteer to pick you up.
    have a nice trip!

    #7 Posted: 18/6/2014 - 22:50

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