Im interested to hear from any other girlies that have attempted this route about how it went etc, Im getting really nervous about it all now and I fly on 20th April!!! Im not too worried about Thailand as Iv been there already (although not on my own), its just the other bits im worried about, I have visions of not meeting other travellers even though Im outgoing etc, are these just the usual nerves? help please!!!
I know you wanted to hear from women, but I think I can help put your mind at ease. I am just back from that route and I met quite a few solo women travellers. It will be no problem. Obviously, the further off the beaten path you get, the fewer tourists, but along the major routes (i.e. Siem Reap- PP, or Vientiene- Luang Prabang), you will find too many, not too few westerners.
Thanks Dave, thats nice to know, I need all the reassurance I can get right now from boys and gals
I'm a girl and I travelled solo in both Laos and Vietnam, + two days in Bangkok, but I guess that doesn't count. As Daver wrote, there are a lot of women on their own and loads of backpackers, like in Thailand. You shouldn't have a problem meeting people. And the locals are respectful, even though you muss know that they often interpret a woman alone as wanting to «get company». They don't insist, once you refuse the invitation.
I haven't traveled off the beaten path alone in those countries, so I don't know.
Where are you going in Vietnam ? I did the north, from Hue until Haiphong, but I've heard the south was more fun. I personally find that Laos is worth spending more time wandering and discovering than Vietnam (if you go in North-Vietnam).
One thing is sure : You will have a great time. !
In Vietnam you can go from north to south and just visit some main points like Sapa, Ha Long bay, Hoi An acient town, Hue, Nha Trang, Mui Ne, Da Lat, Saigon and Mekong Delta. Then take a bus to Cambodia. Don't worry from Saigon to Cambodia you will meet many foreigners who have a same route as yours.
We are currently travelling SE Asia (now in Bangkok) and my advise for a female going alone is the same as anywhere:
1. be wary of overly friendly males (i'm sure your mother told you this years ago)
2. do not carry your valuables in a shoulder bag or purse - stuff money, passport, credit/ATM cards in zippered pockets - in fact get someone to sew inside pockets for your pants
3. don't wander around alone at night - many of the cities in Vietnam and Cambodia do not have street lights.
4. there is petty theft going on in Vietnam and Cambodia & various scams in Thailand
5. verify prices for tuk tuks & motos ahead of time & for taxis, make sure they turn on the meter.
I don't want to scare you or anything & you will certainly meet some fantastic people on your trip, just don't be naive, be cautious and prepared for bad events.
My husband and I met a girl who was travelling alone & she was having a great time. She's outgoing and was able to meet others to do some sightseeing with (us in Siem Reap). Just pick your pals carefully. Avoid older single men - stick to your own age group where you have a better sense of their cultural outlook. Usually couples are safe bets.
As Daver said - you will be seeing TOO many travellers, not too few.
Good luck & have fun (despite my motherly warnings)