Solo trip Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam

Travel Forums Asia Solo trip Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam

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1. Posted by Owensy1 (Budding Member 2 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

I'm considering travelling around the three countries seen above for a period of around two months. Would happily stay for a slightly longer period of time if I got an easy job paying cash in hand

Looking for some information about where's best to stay and go to.
Information about the areas mentioned and how friendly they are.
Looking to see if anyone else is interested.

Thanks! Luke

2. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 920 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

Although I do know people that have worked in both Thailand and Vietnam on a casual basis, it's very rare now. You really need to have a work permit , and to get one you need a special skill that is in short supply locally. In both countries businesses get fined heavily for employing foreigners without the necessary permit, and the authorities crack down on this occasionally.
So although there's a chance you may get something, you can't rely on getting it, especially as there are so many people looking for this option.
When are you thinking of travelling?

3. Posted by Owensy1 (Budding Member 2 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

Maybe sometime in early summer. If I can't work that's not much of an issue I thought it may help getting some quick cash.

4. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1614 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

Yeah the risks of getting arrested and deported for working illegally make it an unattractive option. These countries are pretty hardline - their citizens aren't high earners so they want to protect them in the basic jobs. As a relatively wealthy foreigner you're welcomed in to spend money.

5. Posted by Old Man At (Budding Member 49 posts) 21w 1 Star this if you like it!

I don't wanna downplay the advice above. Go for the workpermit. It is the best way to go. I also have no personal experience, stopped working at 40, no intention of ever starting again. So with those disclaimers given...

A friend of mine works in Vietnam right now as teacher, pretty sure she has no work permit, she didn't even have a Visa Took her about four days to find that job online when she still was in Indonesia.

Another girl in Vietnam managed to get a tourguide job 7x2 hours in just one afternoon of looking. Last I heard she would look for something with extra hours, but that was a week ago and we didn't keep in touch. She had no permit.

And a couple in Thailand took a job as hostel assistants for free board and meals. They were not looking for a job, they were guests there and It happened. So I don't think they arranged permits.

Again, I'm not suggesting this is the way to go. I agree with Mack. I just want to point out feasability of getting a job by sharing a few secondhand stories.

6. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 920 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Owensy1

Maybe sometime in early summer.

If you mean UK summertime, then it's even more of an issue, as that's wet season in most of S.E.Asia, so less tourists and less opportunities in the tourist industry.

Getting a work permit is rarely easy, as you need to either have a skill they're desperate for, or be supported by a business.
Getting caught working without one will get you kicked out of the country and may blacklist you from returning for some time in the future.

Working without a permit was quite easy for many years but both Vietnam and Thailand clamped down on it around 2010-2011.

I'm not sure about Vietnam, but in the past lots of people would try their hand at teaching English in Thailand, however the government rule is now that you need a teaching qualification. A few places will side-step that requirement and employ a few people without it (and therefore without a permit) but they generally pay poorly and have no issue firing them at a moments notice when they hear that a government team may be checking up in the area.
It's a similar situation if you have your PADI and can run scuba dives, but there's less call for that outside the high season (December-January).
So longer term planning is impossible (although that wouldn't be necessary in this case).

Lots of people have had short term jobs in hostels but that usually only 'pays' free lodging and possible food at the hostel.
But again, there probably won't be much need for that in the wet season.

I would suggest you plan not to work but if an opportunity arises then consider it.

[ Edit: Edited on 15-Feb-2019, at 07:07 by Andrew Mack ]

7. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 255 posts) 21w 1 Star this if you like it!

Quoting Owensy1

Would happily stay for a slightly longer period of time if I got an easy job paying cash in hand

Believe it or not, house sitting is a great way to stretch your travel money - we have been doing it for a year. In fact, there are plenty of expats in Thailand who need people to look after their homes and pets. We know folks who have done sitting gigs in Chiang Mai and on Ko Lanta and Phi Phi.

Having time and being flexible is perfect for house sitting!

You are paid in kind, rather than cash. That may not sound ideal at first, but it gives you a home, so you can knock the price of hotels/hostels on the head. We are currently at the end of a 5 month sit, and it has saved us more money than we thought it would. This is our 10th sit, and they've ranged from 3 days to multiple months.

Most on-line house sitting services charge a yearly fee of $100 or more, but they can be worth it. Just do a search of "housesitting" on-line and review a couple services to see what sounds good to you.

There are plenty of considerations to make regarding this, but it's a viable way to travel these days. Many folks make a living doing this by going from house sit to house sit throughout the world.

Quoting AndyF

Yeah the risks of getting arrested and deported for working illegally make it an unattractive option. These countries are pretty hardline - their citizens aren't high earners so they want to protect them in the basic jobs. As a relatively wealthy foreigner you're welcomed in to spend money.

Very true, this.

However, there are ways to stretch the money you have in your pocket as you travel. Saving what you have is an option to earning more.

[ Edit: Edited on 15-Feb-2019, at 07:49 by road to roam ]

8. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2263 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

Thailand has been getting more strict with illegal work by foreigners and visa overstay. There is a "new sheriff in town" called "Big Joke." He is in the local Thai news often.
http://www.samuitimes.com/big-joke-turfs-out-more-than-70-foreigners-champion-had-near-six-year-overstay/

The Thai Visa Expat Forum has been running quite a few stories about Farangs (foreigners) being rounded up. Not all countries want foreigners taking jobs away from their own citizens!
https://news.thaivisa.com/article/31825/immigration-crackdown-nets-522-law-breaking-foreigners

Local salaries are much lower than what you can earn back home in some sort of fast food place or unskilled factory work. Hours can be long! Not at all like back home with proper rules and safety in the workplace. Some Westerners are not used to hard work.

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You do have to research your visa requirements. You just can't show up and stay as long as you want. If you intend to leave your home airport with a one way flight you might not be able to board without a Tourist Visa you pay for.

https://thailand971.wordpress.com/

Different countries means different visa rules. Also different currencies. DO NOT bring a single debit card for your spending money. You lose it or it is stolen you will be in deep kimchi! Hard to get a replacement card when overseas!

Some medical insurance good for overseas could come in handy. Some tourists without medical insurance are begging for money on the internet to pay for serious injuries.

For Thailand Bangkok, beach area, a visit to Northern Thailand (Chiang Mai area) often gives a good look at different parts of the country. Some young tourists include Koh Phangan Full Moon Parties on their visit. They can hang around with other younger tourists getting wasted on alcohol and drugs, etc.
http://www.kosamui.com/ko-phangan/full-moon-party.htm

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Flying round trip to Bangkok might be cheaper than buying 2 one way flights to Asia. I find it is an advantage in planning a budget out to have a definite departure date. (Flying from Thailand or even going overland to nearby countries is not that expensive.)

This T/P forum has a Travel Guide section. Pull it up on your computer and read some of the helpful information.

https://www.travellerspoint.com/guide/Asia/

Good luck.

9. Posted by JetlagWarriors (Full Member 42 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

I have been to Thailand and Vietnam, never Cambodia.

I greatly preferred Vietnam over Thailand. This is because Thailand is pretty tourist-y. In Thailand I checked out Ko Phi Phi, Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Pai, Khao San road and a few others. They were really great and I definitely enjoyed myself. Some beautiful landscapes in Ko Phi Phi and Chiang Mai. Pai and Khao San road are pretty overrun with tourists. I prefer quieter stays where I can really immerse myself in the culture, rather than trips where I can party with other tourists. So this is not to say Thailand is a bad place to travel, just that it didn't fit my preferences. No better or worse, just different!

Vietnam for me was a 10/10. I stayed in Hanoi, Ha Long bay, Hoi An, and Ninh Binh. It is probably my favorite country in SE Asia to travel to. There's something really charming about Vietnam. Hanoi is a big city full of scooters and noise, Hoi An is a smaller city that's more traditional, and Ninh Binh is a rice farming village. I enjoyed them all for different reasons. Ninh Binh might be one of my favorite places I've ever stayed. Renting a scooter and going to check out: temples that are hundreds of years old, caves that you can barely squeeze your boat through, and ancient capitals and pogadas that are from as early as the 1400s. Just great.

You'll enjoy your trip whatever countries you choose, because travelling is just so great. But my advice would be to check out Vietnam.

Enjoy!!

10. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 920 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

Quoting JetlagWarriors

Pai and Khao San road are pretty overrun with tourists.

There seems to be a list of places where young 'Gap Year' travellers seem to go because they're individuals …. but together with loads more gap year travellers... Which includes both those places and a full moon party and a river rafting party in Laos etc etc.

Vietnam has a few areas like Khao San Road (Smaller versions but very similar).
They're quite good areas for new travellers to find their feet, but not somewhere most would return to once they've tried it and know the options.