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All you need to know if you are travelling to Thailand alone
To be fair if you are travelling to Thailand alone you might not actually be on your own for long as there are so many like-minded travellers exploring Thailand thats it’s a perfect destination for solo travellers.
Whether you are visiting Bangkok, Chaing Mai, Phuket or one of the many beautiful islands Thailand is a wonderful place to travel alone, with friends or with a group.
I first visited Thailand when I was a novice traveller. I had not explored much outside of Europe and was on a combined china and Thailand trip.
I have to say after travelling china alone, Thailand was a breeze. Even not speaking the language didnt put up many barriers to exploring which is probably why it is such a common backpacker’s destination.
Like with any trip abroad make sure you have travel insurance. It is not just to cover you for theft but for health purposes. If you get injured or sick when travelling, then it can work out awfully expensive.
Especially since I travel with a chronic illness to me the most important thing when I am arranging my travel is getting the right travel insurance for the trip I am going on.
Check whether your nationality requires a visa for visiting Thailand. British passport holders arriving by air or land can enter Thailand for 30 days without a visa (a ‘visa exemption’).
If you need to stay longer, it is possible to extend your stay once for up to 30 days. You must apply for the extension before your visa exemption period ends.
Safety in Thailand
I think the first thing we have to talk about when travelling solo is safety especially if you are a female traveller like me.
I heard load of stories about tourists getting locked up in Thailand jails as they were set up for drug smuggling. I dont think it helped watching Brokedown Palace a few months before my visit to Thailand.
I did not encounter any drugs during my trip in Thailand, but I was not really visited places where drugs would be. Anyway I learnt to be aware of my belongings as i didnt want anyone trying to put something in my bag that didnt belong to me.
I think a lot of the safety tips I read about travelling to Thailand on your own were basic common sense.
- Dont use unlicensed taxis
- Don’t go off with strangers
- If a situation makes you feel unsafe trust your instinct and leave
- Dont walk down dark allies (I actually did this by mistake.as I went for a wander and got lost and I have to say I practically ran down the alley to get to the end as my mind starting to go into overdrive.
I love exploring but sometimes I get scared doing it on my own especially if I get lost.
Petty thefts are common so keep valuables secure. Also, there are reports of people being drugged and then mugged so do not accept things to drink or eat from strangers and keep an eye on your drinks in bars.
Keep passport in safe or on you. Use a portable safe or a TSA lock for your luggage I have one for my main suitcase as well as my daily backpack for when I am walking around.
There are also some great anti-theft bags on the market now. Years ago, these were clumpy but now they are stylish, and you cannot tell but they are adding some extra security to your belongings when travelling.
Tip : when I sit down I put my foot through my backpack strap.so if someone tries to swipe it they get my leg into the bargain ive never actually had anyone try and do wonder if they will keep pulling me along with them.
Dont let this scare you though as victims of crime have often had a few too many Chang beers so try not to get too wasted you dont know what’s happening around you as that’s just asking for trouble.
I felt quite safe travelling solo in Thailand.
Money in Thailand
Thailand currency is the Bhat I got some before I left the UK, but it is easy to use an ATM to get money along the way. ATMs were quite common in towns in Thailand.
Dont put all your chickens in one basket or in this case all your baht in one pocket. I put my money in different places and if you are unfortunately to be pick pocked you have less chance of being left penniless. I even been known to keep an emergency note in my bra just in case.
Same with my case I have money in different Pockets and have some in my hand luggage. I try not to carry to much cash around as it is easy to get cash out of an ATM in Thailand. So, you do not need to carry all your money around on you.
I use a monzo travel card I find its one of the best travel cards I have used, and it works in most places around the world. Think of using a money belt or a neck belt I also put my passport in one, so I know its close to my body.
I also have a Fairfax card, so I have a backup these travel cards are preloading card and easy to cancel on the app if they get stolen. I have main travel funds in my main bank account and transfer it over to my travel cards when I am getting low of funds.
Look at credit card protectors.
What to wear in Thailand
I didnt feel intimidated by locals leering as let us face it Thai girls are stunning, so they are not going to be interested in an overweight pale skinned ginger like me.
But I feel if you dress modestly i.e. more than a bikini top and hot pants no one will bat an eyelid. I am writing from a female travelling in Thailand perspective. There are no dress codes unless you are visiting temple and then its shoulders covered long skirts trousers abd no shoes.
However, dress modesty looking clean and well-presented will gain you more respect from locals. Before my first visit to Thailand I read no short shorts or strappy tops but that was not the case tourists were wearing these.
If you are exploring Thailand I would suggest dressing for comfort as its likely to be hot and cotton flowing clothes are actually cooler keep the bikinis for the beach and round the pool.
So I mentioned earlier that you won’t be lonely solo in Thailand because there are so many other travellers solo as well as groups but also the locals are really friendly and welcoming.
If I were walking around on my own, they would often say help and smile another reason why I think it is a great destination for solo travellers.
Packing for Thailand
I would suggest you pack the toiletries you will need during your trip. I often say take minimum and you can buy it along the way but in Thailand a lot of the toiletries has bleaching agents in them.
I ran out of sun cream when I was in Bangkok and had to go to a few shops before I could find some lotion that didnt contain bleaching agents and then it was a western brand and really expensive.
Stay safe in the sun with a hat and cream if it’s your first time to Asia you might not realise how strong the sun is.
Getting to Thailand
Plan the time of year you are going to visit Thailand around the season as if you want to be lying on the beach it might be best to avoid the rainy season. Monsoons are typically May to Oct.
My first visit to Thailand was at the beginning of October. It was a nice temperature not too hot for sightseeing which was my main priority.
November and December are the best months to visit the north of Thailand. March to May being the time to visit the south of Thailand.
Food and Drink in Thailand
Thailand has some of the best street food in the world and its mega cheap so try the delights rather than sitting in an expensive western restaurant.
If you feel unsure trying street food on your own join a street food tour this way you get to try delicious food and also meet people along the way.
My first visit to Thailand im afraid to admit I didnt divulge at first because I thought I didnt like Thai food. I dont really like coconut and have tried green curry in the UK and being a newbie traveller was like no I do not like any Thai food little miss expert me.
But when I started to try the local cuisine I was surprised that I did in fact like and I loved it.
My favourite is Pad Thai and the best thing is that street food is tasty and its cheap. I have tried pad Thai around the world and they dont compare and are normally 10 times the price too.
Dont drink water reusable bottle keep hydrated link to water purifier. I did purchase purifying tablets bit im still fussy with water and found if I was buying sealed water bottles I didnt require these anyway I know we need to cut down on plastic but needs must. I do buy bigger bottles and then decanter into my reusable bottle
Tip : Stock up on Imodium in case your body is not quite used to the local cuisine.
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