Travelling Solo

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Last Post This thread is marked as being about Phuket City
1. Posted by eviejwright (Budding Member 4 posts) 37w Star this if you like it!

Hey!

I'm a solo, young female traveller who will be flying to Thailand for a couple of months in June. I was wondering if there was any other solo travellers going around that time? I fly to Phuket and then I am hoping to travel from thailand, cambodia, vietnam, Loas and then back to thailand as I fly back from Phuket. I am trying to look at the best and cheapest ways of travelling round from place to place and also what cool sights/things to do I can hit along the way. If anyone has any advice or knows the best places to meet other travellers then please let me know!

2. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 37w Star this if you like it!

June/July/august is wet season, which can make the more rural places difficult to travel around (this is also true of Vietnam, and very much so for Cambodia and Laos). Although for the main towns/cities it rarely causes a problem.

There's a lot of threads on here about travelling to Thailand.
Everything from 'Solo' to 'Group'.
Here's a relatively recent one; https://www.travellerspoint.com/forum.cfm?thread=114543

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

Also lots of blogs and YouTube Vlogs on Thailand (and when you get past the 'look at me - lifestyle leader' vlogs, there are lots of informative ones).
Where are you travelling from?

Phuket is generally the most expensive city in TH and the taxi mafia are very expensive (by Thai standards) so this is a wise option to know about to/from the airport ; https://phuketsmartbus.com/

Also have you researched all the Visa requirements (which ones you need in advance and which can be obtained on entry and for how long etc)?

[ Edit: Edited on 27-Feb-2019, at 15:01 by Andrew Mack ]

3. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2340 posts) 37w Star this if you like it!

"I'm a solo, young female traveller.."

Over 18 or under 18? Some hotels may have age restrictions on who can book a room. Drinking age for alcohol in Thailand is 20. (No smoking rules in place for some beaches. Also as of right now restrictions on E-cigarettes too. Enforced with penalties too!)

Make Google searches your new friend!

Yes, you have to look into your visa requirements since you will be in this area over a month. You have not filled out your profile. Visa requirements depend on the country passport you enter with. Sometimes visa requirements are enforced at departure airport back home. In other words you might not be able to leave on your trip if you don't know the rules.
https://thailand971.wordpress.com/

Thailand might be bigger than you think. Bangkok can be cheaper than Phuket. Phuket has some pricey local transportation as mentioned above. Bangkok has good bus service, city rail service and meter taxis are not that bad when you use the meter and not pay a flat rate.
https://travelhappy.info/thailand-map/

Take the time to read some of the many posts for Asia on this TP forum. Also read over the Community Travel Guide for TP.
https://www.travellerspoint.com/guide/Asia/

Do a Google search for scams to be aware of. (Bus scams, tuk-tuk scams, renting motor scooter scams, etc.)

When riding on buses DO NOT put money, jewelry or other valuables in any stored bag that is out of sight. (Theft on long distance buses is one of the scams.) Do not let your passport get wet! Do not rip out pages or mangle it. Treat your passport with great care because it is a big pain in the posterior to get a replacement.

Have more than one debit card and have a couple credit cards for buying flights and other unplanned expenses. You get hurt you will have to pay for hospital or doctor's bills. Travel insurance good for accidents and medical care is recommended.

Don't trust anyone you meet on the road with your money or other valuables. You could get ripped off by people you think you can rely on. Don't get lonely and settle for traveling with dopers or other guys who do stupid stuff. When the cops come they might just round you up with all of the hooligans too!

Visas, know how to handle your money, read up on how to use ATMs too.

If you are from Europe or the Americas know that the sun can be brutal at times and you can get some serious burns if you like to play in the sun all day.

On long trips away from your hotel (or hostel) have sunblock in your walk-around bag. Also some toilet paper and wet-wipes too. Always clean your hands off immediately before touching food you stuff in your mouth. Everything you touch could contaminate your hands and you transfer that crap to your food and then to your stomach. Sometimes when people say they got sick eating bad food it could just be contamination from their dirty filthy hands!

Good luck.

[ Edit: Edited on 27-Feb-2019, at 15:46 by karazyal ]

4. Posted by eviejwright (Budding Member 4 posts) 37w Star this if you like it!

Thank you so much for the information! I'm 21 so the drinking should't be a problem, do you know any hostels around the place that are decent for travellers?

My auntie lived in Bangkok for a number of years so I've been pre-warned about the rip off from taxi drivers and scammers trying to make you buy stuff!

Do you think that it would be a better idea pre-booking flights/buses before I leave or is it best to just buy it there? Also regarding the money situation, what is the cost from buying from local ATMs as I'm from UK? Should I take a lot of cash out with me or would I get a better conversion rate there??

I'm looking at the best way to move about the country then cross borders into other countries and exactly what would be the best route to take.

Thank you so much for all of your advice, I will definitely search those links, I really appreciate it!

E.

5. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 37w Star this if you like it!

I'm not sure your age has any affect on your drinking...
Really booze is the only thing likely to cause you any serious problems, especially if you're planning on doing a full moon party. I'm a lot older than you (and obviously a guy) and I'm always aware that spirits can easily be doctored and are high 'proof', so I only drink beer and desperately try not to have more than makes me merry. Because of the extreme heat and humidity it's easy to get dehydrated which makes alcohol more potent, so I try to go 1 beer followed by 1 soft drink, then repeat...

As for safety, you'll be in a foreign country (and Thailand really is one of the very nicest and safest foreign countries) so understand that they are manic followers of their Royal Family (never put you foot any Thai currency as it has the kings picture on it and they'll go made at you) and they are Buddhist so the same goes for Buddha and monks (women must not touch them ever), don't get blind drunk, don't dress like a hooker, don't lead anyone on, and don't walk down dark alleys (hopefully common sense stuff you do at home). Also do not get into arguments and someone isn't your new BFF just because you spent 3 nights at the same hostel!

As for Hostels, Thailand is full of them. look on Hostel World (I think it's .com) for your first few nights. Most people have a few nights in Bangkok before moving onto Phuket, just because they're exhausted and can't face another flight immediately after the long haul flight. As recommended to Georgina (whose thread you've added to) Khao San Road in the big backpackers place in BKK.

Have you looked at visas yet? No point worrying about buses and secondary flights until you have a better idea of what you can and can't do. Thailand is easy as it's 30 day tourist visa on arrival, however they also want to see proof of onward/return journey, so they know you aren't planning to stay there illegally for the next few years. If you plan to stay longer than 30 days then you can see the Thailand Embassy UK website for visa options. Also check the Vietnam Embassy website, Laos Embassy website and Cambodian Embassy website.

Money-wise, Check for bank cards that have zero foreign transaction fees.
I think Santander and the Post Office both do them. Someone else mentioned Nationwide.
Check to see if your existing bank has one. But don't rely on just one card as even though YOU WILL tell them you're travelling so they don't put a block on it just when you need it, there's a fair chance their system will still put a block on it... So a back-up and some sterling is a wise idea.

As for where to go, where and what do you want to see and do?

[ Edit: Edited on 28-Feb-2019, at 14:28 by Andrew Mack ]

6. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 37w 1 Star this if you like it!

And you won't have any problem meeting other backpackers out there (unless you are extremely shy or extremely annoying! ).
One of the reasons you research a lot (so you know what stuff you really want to see and what stuff you'd like to see) but don't plan too much, is that it's best to be flexible so that if you meet a good crowd then you can consider tagging onto them rather than sticking to a fixed plan.

You'll have an amazing time out there...

[ Edit: Edited on 28-Feb-2019, at 14:50 by Andrew Mack ]

7. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 37w Star this if you like it!

I forgot to say, Try to get a backpackers guide (like lonely planet or rough guide).
There's a big section of them in the travel bit at Waterstones.
They do get 'out of date' quickly but they give good info and help enormously with the research, but don't take them as gospel.

8. Posted by MilesTX (Budding Member 34 posts) 37w Star this if you like it!

I've heard from a reliable source that accepting a ride on a motorcycle taxi in Thailand can be risky. The drivers may 'in essence' kidnap you. If you are young and female, the consequences can be dire.

9. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 37w Star this if you like it!

I know quite a few women that use/ have used motorcycle taxis in Thailand and have never had a problem.
Although they only use them in the cities and take them at a motorcycle taxi rank...
I've never heard of anyone having a problem with them.. other than taking the chance that the cars/trucks/buses will knock them off..
Maybe they're a bit riskier in other s.e.asian countries.

[ Edit: Edited on 28-Feb-2019, at 16:16 by Andrew Mack ]

10. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2340 posts) 37w Star this if you like it!

If you ask for hotel, guest house or hostel help include a nightly price range. This way if someone has a recommendation they will know if it fits your budget.

Lub D Hostels has 2 places in Bangkok and one in Phuket. Not a cheap hostel, there are small basic hotels and guest houses around the same price range. A room in Bangkok with private bathroom, A/C, TV, hot water can be found 600 - 800 baht per night.
https://www.lubd.com/

ATMS in Bangkok do have a fee of 220 baht. The fee is the same if you take out a small amount or the maximum the ATM and your bank allow. Take out the most you can at one time.