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With the ease of booking apps for flights and hotels nowadays, solo travel is no longer a daunting experience or a niche pursuit for free-spirited hippies or woke nomads liberated from society’s shackles.

In fact, more money is spent on independent getaways than ever before. The rise in solo travellers has also pushed how travel experience companies and hotels are shifting to accommodate them in recent years, with more single rooms, communal tables in common workspaces and boutique tours curated solely for the solo traveller. Here are some of the best tour companies for solitary sojourns in Asia Pacific region.

Walk Japan

Founded by academics of Japanese social geography and history from Hong Kong University, Walk Japan is the pioneering operator of walking tours of seldom-seen sides of Japan. After years of bringing their students to the archipelago, the founders now serve up an unrivalled range of scheduled as well as custom tours to the public. They do offer city walks in Tokyo and Kyoto, but their more interesting and meticulously researched routes range from snow tours in northernmost Hokkaido’s winter wonderland to hot-spring hopping down south in Kyushu. The most popular hikes include Kumano Kodō, a thousand-year-old pilgrimage route through winding mountain forest paths, as well as the Nakasendo Way, well-preserved parts of an ancient highway once crowded with feudal lords, samurai and merchants travelling to Tokyo via the stunning Kiso Valley and scenic Kaida Plateau.

Accommodation comes in the form of hot-spring hotels and local inns with character, and tours accommodate no more than six or twelve guests (depending on the tour), led by knowledgeable and entertaining tour leaders. For instance, guide Nicholas Hall performs a piece on the shakuhachi flute on a mountaintop after guiding guests up a challenging hike — instant Zen relaxation for all.

If you really to take ‘solo’ literally, Walk Japan also offers unescorted self-guided tours tailored to a traveller’s interests; they can start on any date, and include route support, logistics and the historical and cultural info you’ll need for a smooth, independent adventure.

Back of the Bike Tours, Vietnam

Solo travel is delectably self-indulgent: eat whenever and whatever you want. Asian food is usually served communally, so dining alone in a restaurant may be difficult on both the palate and wallet, but the culinary culture of Vietnam is practically designed for the solo traveller, with a plethora of one-bowl noodle soups and other diverse dishes at street stalls that line every alley. Navigating the traffic and the countless, crowded stalls as a lone alien diner, though, can be rather intimidating. Fortunately, Back of the Bike Tours offers a range of four-hour food tours in Ho Chi Minh City.

Big Eats and Small Seats is a street food tour starting from lunchtime, while a Taste of Vietnam caters to evening pickers. Both include stops at several dining locations, ranging from popular pho to charcoal-grilled pork over fresh rice vermicelli and fragrant streamed lemongrass clams. The Chef Tour is longer, with local foodie guides ready to take dedicated gourmands to the city’s most delicious hidden spots. Put on a helmet, hop on the back of the motorbike and let your seasoned guide take you to savour.

Little Adventures in Hong Kong

Why not discover something close to home? Founded by award-winning journalist and travel writer Daisann McLane (who roamed the globe as the New York Times’ ‘Frugal Traveler’ columnist before settling in Hong Kong), boutique tour company LAHK offers private curated walks and food experiences, showing visitors a hidden Hong Kong that might otherwise take months or even decades to discover.

‘After travelling alone for six years on assignment, I began to love how a solo traveller can get deeper into the heart of every culture they visit,’ says McLane. ‘When I started LAHK, I wanted to bring some of that energy to our tours.’

United by a passion for their Hong Kong home, the team includes the city’s top media professionals and even a Cordon Bleu chef. Besides being a savvy local guide, hosts straddle the functions of a private concierge, a restaurant / dining consultant as well as an expat orientation service. Food geeks can choose from fun noodle and dumpling shop hopping ‘Wontonathons’ to more a sophisticated Guided Dining service, where the host helps guests navigate through complex Chinese culinary cultures. There are also tours designed for solo travellers on a budget.

‘I really like working with our clients who come as solo travellers,’ McLane says. ‘You can do so much more; you can customise the tour so beautifully, and we get to share a bond with them that you can’t easily do with a group of even two or three.’