Hello everyone, I am new to these boards and also backpacking! I am in the midst of planning and researching my first backpacking trip and I need some guidance from those of you that have been to India and/or SE Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, etc.)
I initially was drawn to India for it's diversity and spiritualism, but the more I have researched, the more I feel like perhaps it is not the easiest place to go for a first-time solo female traveler. Then I thought that SE Asia would be a better destination, but I would also like some solitary time away from tourists, but I have read that Thailand in particular has become very touristy. What do you all think? I appreciate any input!
have you travelled on your own before??
India is pretty hard core for lone females but its also the most fantastic place to go, every individual state is different from keralas backwaters to goas beaches to the forts n palaces of rajhastan and the foothills of the himalayas in utteranchal and himachal pradesh...
at the same time, indian men are pretty pervy and harrass you more than anywhere in south east asia, you cannot wear your normal choice of clothing ie vest tops and skirts because will just stare and stare and its pretty damn annoying, you end up screaming at them to leave you alone... you have to be a hard person to travel indian on your one female or male...
south east asia is a lot easier in terms of travel and less hassle... the classic route of thailand, cambodia, vietnam and laos is very popular but also cheap and worth doing... how long are you wanting to travel for?
if you want to go to places less visited by tourists it is possible but also you will want some conversation with people who speak english as their first language from time to time!
if you pick south east asia then id say, start with two weeks in thailand doing bangkok & koh samet for a bit of beach, then head into siam reap (cambodia) you have to see the temples of angkor they will blow you away! then head to phomn penh and sihoukville (a cambodia beach thats quieter than thailands) from there head into vietnam and work your way from south to north (have heard reports of some americans feeling like the vietnamese have a chip on their shoulder) just treat people how you'd like to be treated yourself!
then from northern vietnam head into laos and then into northern thailand before finishing off with some more of thailands beaches...
if you wanna avoid mega touristy places then dont go to places like phuket, koh sumuai, chaing mai because they are mega touristy and pretty expensive in the oct-march season!
if you wanna know more on india pm me... i been three times and have covered quite a lot of it... but like i say its hardcore for single females & i personally wouldnt go there alone but i have spoken to many girls who have been there on their own...
hope that helps a bit
India is the most beautiful, diverse and varied country of South Asia. Its true that if u r travelling alone u have to be cautious, in fact that is true of any country u visit. southern part of india is much safer than the north...if u intend to visit India, let me know, i will guide u through....How much time u have at ur disposal?
Thanks everyone for the advice!
Steph: Yes, this is my first time backpacking in general and I will be heading out alone. I am sure that I will love India when I make it there, but I think this time I should head somewhere a little bit easier in terms of travel and safety. Not that India isn't safe, but as a first time female traveler, it's probably wisest to take the road more traveled.
I will have about 3 months to travel and think that I will leave either in December or January. How far out should I buy a plane ticket? Does anyone have any suggestions for the best time to buy and what kind of ticket to purchase (one-way, open-ended, round trip)?
I went to India, as a lone female traveller.
I did get a lot of annoying attention. But annoying was a bad as it got. Dont let being a lone female traveller stop u going to India, if that is where u would prefer to go. Just read all the safety instrucions, in the Lonely Planet first.
Buying the ticket.
How much the tickets cost, depends on which time of the year u are going.
If u are going to Thailand, in December or January, that is tourist season, so the tickets will probably be more expensive, than other times. Buy them a few months in advance and be flexible about the dates, and u will get the best price. Also, buy on the internet, to prevent having to pay commission, to a travel agent.
Dec-Jan will be the best to travel in india...the entire southern part and also rajasthan would be enjoyable during this season..If u intend to buy air tickets for domestic travel in india, u can directly buy from the website. the following 3 airlines are low cost carriers yet offer good service.
Let me know if u need any further information
south east asia definatley.
although if your looking for a challenge go to india. its a bit mroe of an adventure and it is beautiful.
but i am really feeling south east asia now, its so chilled. and maybe not as beautiful-what ive seen so far-just northern thailand.
flip a coin,leave it up to fate to decide.