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Irish Girl looking for a travel buddy/ tips for Asia

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1. Posted by Ashleyh (Budding Member, 7 posts) 4 Oct '10 14:18

Ashleyh has indicated that this thread is about Asia

Hello!!

It would be a great help to have some tips or to find some1 who would like to join me :)

I booked my ticket to go on my long awaited adventure. I leave the UK on 30th January and my first destination is bangkok :)
My friend was ment to be coming along but due to lack of funds she has decided not to go and now I am nervously planning my trip around Asia.
Is it safe for a female to travel around Asia alone??

I am 24 and would be great to travel with some1 of a similar age.

Fun times ahead!!!!!!

2. Posted by skyecamp (Budding Member, 15 posts) 4 Oct '10 16:17

hi there

I'm planning on travelling out to Aus in Jan/Feb but was thinking of stopping in Asia for a few weeks but I'm a bit nervous about travelling around Asia as a lone female. I'm a scottish female 27 if you fancy meeting or buddy feel free to email me

where you planning on visiting?

x

3. Posted by danalasta (Travel Guru, 516 posts) 4 Oct '10 19:58

hi..

actually you have nothing to worry about the moment you land in BKK. The thing is what are the places/countries you have in mind to visit ( Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia,etc, etc)... But I see you have mentioned Asia !. Does that cover India, China, Japan, etc, etc..? Good that you plan your journey - research, ask experienced travellers,etc.!

cheers.

dana

4. Posted by Steve79 (Respected Member, 325 posts) 4 Oct '10 21:22

South-East Asia is amazing! I started my round the world trip there in September 2009, and I intend to end it there in February and March next year before I head back to England, as I loved it so much, so you never know I may see you there!

It is a far more rewarding place to travel than Australia, and there is so much to see and do. Plus the people are incredibly friendly and everything is ridiculously cheap!

In many ways I would say travelling around South-East Asia is probably safer than travelling around Australia. I never saw one bad thing or had one bad experience when I was there. I also met a great group of people there and ended up travelling with them for a long time.

5. Posted by Ashleyh (Budding Member, 7 posts) 5 Oct '10 02:57

Great thanks for your advice guys... I feel better about it already :)

I plan to be in Asia for around a month and half visiting Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand.. flying out of Singapore then on to Austrailia in March.
I just need to figure out what to do when I arrive in Bangkok.. no idea yet !?

My friends also think Im crazy for traveling alone too but Im just going to go for it..no regrets!!

Be great to meet or buddy up ..jus joined this last night not sure how I email you but Ill figure it out :D

Thanks again!!

6. Posted by sepilokfui (Budding Member, 75 posts) 10 Oct '10 22:37

Thailand should be your least worry. I am going for my 7th time next week.

In BKK, all backpackers head to Khao San Road, you should be able to get all sort of information there. Subway/Metro in BKK is very good, can go everywhere. I take public bus from airport to station, then change to Khao San road, no problem.
Take the river taxi, cost very little and go through the scenic places in BKK.
BKK is a place to run errand.

I prefer travel to the north - Sara Buri (7 Wine Yards), Lop Buri (Sun Flower city), Chiang Mai (lovely, I did micro flight here), Chiang Rai, Doi Ithanon, Doi Tung or Mae Fa Lung, Doi Ankhang (head to the Royal Botanical Farm, full of cherry blossom), Mae Kampong (I did canopy glide here, look for a place called John'house - beautiful chalet). Pai, Mae Hong Song, etc.
Too many places, not sure how to tell you. I can't finish.

To the south, Ko Tao, Koh Samui, Phuket island, diving, cliff climbing in Krabi. Etc.

Thailand alone takes a year.

Might have to be a bit cautious in Cambodia and Laos, nothing major, just small scam.

7. Posted by ArmandoC (Budding Member, 2 posts) 11 Oct '10 01:52

Hey Guys I am a 26 year old male and I will be traveling around Thaland for the month of January and February. I would love to meet up with you guys and have an awesome experience.

Post 8 was removed by a moderator
9. Posted by tinkertaaf (Budding Member, 6 posts) 11 Oct '10 08:54

Heya Ashley

I've been travelling around south and south east Asia for the last year and a half, as a solo female traveller who is from Ireland and in my 20s! I have not, so far, encountered any major bother apart from my mum wanting me home! Just keep your wits about you and trust your instincts. If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. You will get stared at by children, women and men - especially the more rural you go - but they mean no harm, on the whole. As a solo woman, you can really access parts of a country's culture that would be more difficult to were you with someone. Don't just think you have to be a little wary of the local men, male backpackers can be dodgy as too.

Top tips:
Dress conservatively. I see so many women who are scantily clad - wearing short shorts and spaghetti strap tops/boob tubes/mini dresses etc - who think they are not insulting anyone with what they are wearing, especially when they are with a guy. Asian people on the whole are conservative. Please respect this. You won't be any hotter wearing a T-shirt than you be wearing a boob tube, but you would bring negative attention to yourself. You may see Asian women wearing short shorts etc - that's their business. Just cos one person jumps off a cliff doesn't mean we all have to. If you are going to volunteer at any orphanages, make sure you are covered up. If you don't want to dress out of respect for the people in the country you're visiting, do it for your own safety. The only place that there is room for boob tubes is on the Thai islands, but even then Thais get upset by the amount of flesh white women seem to feel the need to expose. God, I sound like a such a prude!

Obviously don't accept drinks or food from strangers - day or night. Try not to arrive anywhere new at night. If you are, then call ahead to a hotel and they can usually pick you up.

Never get into a taxi/tuk tuk where there are other men, except the driver. Don't take any excuses - he's my brother - no. This was pulled on me when I arrived in Kathmandu (at night) with a registered taxi. The driver refused and he drove off, missing out on his fare.

If you are going to stay in dorms, it's best to ask for a top bunk. In trains and coaches for overnight trips, stick to top bunks as well. If a guy tries to get into your bunk, saying his was double booked - happened to me in Laos - kick up a fuss and storm up to the driver. You'll get your own bunk if you give the conductor a small tip.

For Bangkok, I wouldn't stay on KS Road as it's seedy and a dump. Suk 11 is much more chilled with a happy backpacker vibe - great places to stay. Thailand is very much about what you want from an adventure. If you want to get off the beaten track and really explore and take some risks, generally look elsewhere as it's very touristy compared to her neighbouring countries. If, however, you are used to your creature comforts and don't have much experience on the road, then there are plenty of lovely places for you to see and adventurous things to do. Malaysia has your creature comforts, but is less explored than Thailand. It's just as beautiful, but more expensive.

In Cambodia, don't travel by motorbike taxi at night. Bag snatchings are pretty common, where a couple of bikes zoom up beside you and try to grab your stuff. Phnom Penh has a pretyt good nightlife and some fab restaurants.

In Vietnam, insist on the motorbike taxi driver giving you a helmet to wear. Legally, you should be wearing one and stand the risk of being fined by the police if not.

Laos is totally chilled out, while Vietnam is a bit more of an attack on your senses. For Laos, the 4000 islands are cool, Vang Vieng is beautiful - there is much more to do than just the river piss up. Laos is awesome.

Vietnam: Sapa with the tribal girls is very touristy but good. Halong Bay can be disappointing as it's usually misty on the boat cruises - still beautiful but it more than likely won't be what you see on the postcards. Cat Ba island, in Halong Bay, is worth exploring for a day or two. Not many bother with it, but there is a nature reserve there, some caves, a floating village and great seafood. Boatmen from the mainland will drop you off if you ask nicely. HCMC is polluted and buzzing with motos, but really exciting.

Myanmar/Burma is quite rough and ready - and with the looming elections, it's up in the air what's going to happen to the country and the state of play tourism-wise. It's a truly fascinating place, but you need to read up about the country and its politics before deciding to go there. If you do, dress VERY conservatively. I was politely asked to cover up when I was wearing a long sleeved shirt, as it was too low cut. You will get sympathetic smiles from women as they will pity you for being alone! Be an ethic tourist in Burma/Myanmar and don't stay in government run hotels or use the ferries or trains. The buses and small guesthouses are grand. Don't travel at night here as drink driving among truck drivers is rife - was stuck on a road for 12 hours cos of one.

India I wouldn't recommend since this is your first time travelling alone, as it is overwhelming and mad - you either love it or hate it! I've been 4 times now!! It's the only place I've been propositioned, groped, woken up with a back massage from a stranger on a train and had my hut nearly broken into in the middle of the night. But if you are keen on India, try down south first, like Goa and Kerala. Much more chilled and there is more of a tourism scene there. Definitely a good idea to wear the local attire if you are alone - not necessarily a sari, but the loose pants and long shirt dresses the Indian women wear. Or go a little east, and you have Sri Lanka, which is more relaxed than India.

Although you may feel anxious at the start, thousands upon thousands of solo women have travelled the world before and you will meet some on the road. You're not alone. It's overwhelming when you have that inevitable moment of 'No one I know knows where I am,' but it's exhilarating! Don't let fear hold you back from an adventure, but keep your intuition in your back pocket all the time. You're not mad going it alone, you're brave and you're gonna have a sensational time!

Good luck.

10. Posted by tinkertaaf (Budding Member, 6 posts) 11 Oct '10 09:03

PS - The Asian Ryan Air is Air Asia: www.airasia.com :)