First time solo traveller to Thailand- SUPER WORRIED.

Travel Forums Asia First time solo traveller to Thailand- SUPER WORRIED.

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Last Post This thread is marked as being about South Thailand
1. Posted by Benmorganbailey (Budding Member 2 posts) 32w Star this if you like it!

Hi Guys!

I am a 24 year old lad from Bedfordshire & as it says above I'm a first time solo traveller who has just booked tickets to Thailand from London with Air china for (I think good price) of £390; as such I thought id just quiz the travel pro's and experts on here! I am looking to travel for 6 weeks, flying out on the 28th of Nov 2019 and flying back on the 10th of January 2020.

I was wondering whether that anyone on here would recommend travelling with a tour like the ones sold by STA from Bangkok down to Koh Tao or whether you recommend doing this journey solo and not as part tour. I am concerned that I would meet no fellow travellers and be by myself for a large majority of the time with no-one to go out with for a drink etc!

I am also considering going to one of Koh Phangan's new year full moon party, but again is this some thing you'd recommend as a solo traveller or would you say to leave it? I really want to experience this but be safe whilst doing so and hopefully with people that I know.

If you have any recommendations for travelling throughout Thailand or any cool spots that you think I should hit up just comment below!

Cheers guys:)

2. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 32w Star this if you like it!

Thailand is jam packed with travellers/backpackers, so you'd have to be a real plank to not meet loads of people there.
Because it's so rammed with backpacker (and has been for many many years) it's the easiest country in the world to travel around, so don't sign up for expensive tours before you've even arrived there.

Thailand is very safe provided you take the same precautions that you would in the UK.
So do not get blind drunk, give illegal substances a wide berth (unless you like the idea of a thai prison), don't get into fights/arguments (especially with locals as within seconds one of them can become 30 of them carrying big sticks), Someone isn't 100% trusted just because you've been travelling with them for a month, don't walk down dark alleys alone etc common sense stuff...

What do you consider a 'cool spot' is?

The usual problem with the full moon parties is people taking advantage of high/drunk youngsters.
Unless you like the idea of waking up with a ladyboy and no money etc etc then don't be one of those youngsters.

[ Edit: Edited on 05-Feb-2019, at 13:23 by Andrew Mack ]

3. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1723 posts) 32w Star this if you like it!

Have you looked at Thai visa requirements?

To the best of my knowledge a tourist visa on arrival is limited to 30 days, so have you some dodge planned for your six weeks, like getting a different visa or doing a visa run to another country?

4. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2305 posts) 32w Star this if you like it!

Yes, make sure your can actually enter and stay for 6 weeks! You qualify for a free 30 day Visa Exemption stamp in your passport but this requires a flight out of Thailand before 30 days is up. This can be enforced at your departure airport.
https://thailand971.wordpress.com/

Around 38 million tourists visited Thailand in 2018. All sorts of people from everywhere. This includes solo retired women visiting, lots of students, working people on vacations and lots of old retired farts like me! Something for everyone!

Don't do dope! Don't hang around with dopers or you will be rounded up with the usual suspects! Like previous post mentions avoid confrontations and smile a lot!

You should do a search for various scams you should be aware of. Many young tourists stay in Khao San Road area of Bangkok. Sometimes they book long bus rides with shady bus companies. (Google it up!) Do not put valuables in any bag that is stored out of sight. Keep passport, money, expensive electronics with you. Sometimes bags are pawed over in the storage bin under the seats.

Keep your passport clean and dry. Don't fold, spindle, mutilate or use pages for toilet paper like this idiot below:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3440825/British-tourist-refused-entry-Thailand-ripping-pages-passport-use-toilet-paper-bit-drunk.html

There are quite few posts on this forum for Thailand. Take the time to read a few. You should have some sort of idea how much you can afford for your day to day spending after you pay for your flights to and from Thailand. The money you have with you or access via ATMs is what you live off since you can not work in Thailand.

You should know how to use Thai ATMs. Google search helps. There is a fee for each cash withdrawal so you take out the maximum you can at one time because the fee is the same for a small amount or the maximum you can take out. Have more than one debit card for cash withdrawals. In Thailand you pay for most things with cash - Thai baht! (Exchange rates can fluctuate but not by huge amounts. See link below for currency rates.)
https://daytodaydata.net/

Have credit cards for emergencies. Such as accidents, getting sick and needing doctors or hospitals. There are tourists with "go fund me" pages begging for money to pay for medical care they had no insurance for.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-4488874/Young-man-left-dead-hit-run-Thailand.html

You drink too much alcohol and do stupid stuff or run off at the mouth to the wrong person you can be in deep doo doo!

Buy or borrow a travel guide for Thailand and read up on Thailand.

Good luck

5. Posted by Old Man At (Budding Member 49 posts) 32w 1 Star this if you like it!

You will meet a lot of backpackers as said above. But whether you connect is up to you. You can be just as lonely on an organized tour as you can be solo. So don't fret, keep an open attitude and you will have a blast.

6. Posted by ToddP (Moderator 223 posts) 32w Star this if you like it!

If you stay in hostels (or similar type of accommodation) you will meet like minded people. You can always get to know them and then travel together at least for few days if their itinerary sounds interesting. Another place- another crowd :) This can be so much fun to meet new people- enhances the experience.

7. Posted by Stefmuts (Respected Member 166 posts) 32w Star this if you like it!

Just make sure you have your stuff organized, visa for 6 weeks (don't know if you can for Thailand) or the visa run option worked out, get Insurance for the trip (specially medical), have a back up for financial things (family member who you can for wiring extra money if nessesary) make sure you know where to stay at least for the first few days (if not booked have multiple options)
Trips and tours can be booked on the spot and if you're a bit outgoing person don't worry about meeting people and for all the rest just use common sence

8. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2305 posts) 32w Star this if you like it!

Besides shared tours you do meet people in pubs and beer bars to. However, you can have a nice time all by yourself too!

If you are wandering alone hitting up beer bars don't fall in love (or lust) with a local citizen and send money to this person after you return home! (You may not be the only one sending money to this person!)

You can figure out how to use Thai ATMs. You do not need any local you meet show you how to do it especially have he or she enter your pin number! (Too much risk!)

Up to you.

9. Posted by Benmorganbailey (Budding Member 2 posts) 32w Star this if you like it!

Thanks for all the replies, I am going to look at either getting a flight out to the surrounding counties (Cambodia or Vietnam etc) or applying for the additional tourist VISA!

Don't worry I really don't intend on being one of the youngsters who falls in love with a local etc! I think I'm going to go it alone and see where it takes me, I should be staying in hostels within dorms and hopefully il meet some decent lads & lasses there.

I've got my scuba organised on Koh Tao and I can't wait; if anyone knows of any super friendly hostels or cool trips/experiences that anyone would recommend please let me know, I'm up for trying anything! (Apart from illegal substances or Ladymen)

10. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 32w Star this if you like it!

As you're 24 I'd assumed you grown out of the 'Lets get drunk' attitude, into the lets have fun (and maybe we'll end up a bit drunk...) attitude.

Most backpacker pop over to Ankor Wat/Siem Riep in Cambodia by bus.

As said above, grab a copy of a backpacker guide book (Lonely Planet or Rough Guide) and give it a read. They get 'out of date' quickly, so don't take them as gospel, but they do give a good idea of what to expect and where. I find Kao San Road in Bangkok rather OTT (maybe because I'm too old for the place) but it's where most backpacker go to start their tour. It'll be wall to wall backpacker partying there. It's quite expensive by Thailand standards but still cheap compared to the UK. Sort out a Hostel for the first few nights until you've got used to the jet-lag, and hostels are also a good place to meet fellow travellers.
Do lots of research but try not to over-plan (Know what's worth seeing/doing but don't set a firm date/order for doing it) as you will meet others that you like but they're about to do other things, so you can tag along with them and then do different stuff you want to when they move on again (if you see what I mean).
There are a few threads on here in the last month (or two) which have quite a bit of info, so please have a little look back through them.

Also have a look at this; https://www.travellerspoint.com/guide/Asia/

A few more things, If you haven't ridden a scooter before, Thailand is not the place to learn. They drive on the correct (left) side of the road but the rules of the road are very different (might is right is a rule of the road!). If you really want to hire a scooter there, do your CBT in the UK first (call any local Mbike shop and they'll tell you where to go). Also check your travel insurance covers you on a scooter (some don't!) because you can do a shed load of damage to yourself and the scooter (which you'll pay for) and other people (which you'll probably pay for) . There are plenty of kids who are running 'go fund me' pages desperately trying to cover medical+ costs because they didn't have travel insurance.
Also check the travel insurance covers scuba (again. some don't!).
You will have a great time.

[ Edit: Edited on 06-Feb-2019, at 16:07 by Andrew Mack ]