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Micc

Traveling to Thailand alone

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So I know some of you have traveled alone to Thailand. What was it like? Did you have all planned out, all places to stay confirmed?

 

As some of you may know, I was planning to go to Thailand in December or January, a friend said she will accompany me and sightsee, but now these plans start to fall through and I'm facing either giving up on the trip or go alone. I never really traveled alone that far. I never really traveled farther than to the UK and this is a one-connection flight and in a language I speak.

But Thailand? i'm not sure if I can handle it on my own. I wanted to sightsee Bangkok for 2 days and then go to Phuket to train for 2 weeks (Eagle Muay Thai gym), then back to Bangkok and fly back...now I'm scared because I heard so many stories about naive farangs being ripped off and I don't want this to happen to me! And I'm really naive.

 

Do you have some thoughts you can share with me and experiences about a one man (well, woman actually) trip from Europe to Thailand? I really want to go and I think this will be a once in a lifetime experience, but I'm not sure anymore what to do.

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Hey Micc,
I think you worry to much and shouldnt hesitate, just do it!
As long you dont go looking for wrong things ,nothing bad will happen. I even think you will get hooked on training/visiting Thailand and will go back :-) It's such a nice place to spend some time. I would advise you to try spending a weekend in Bangkok before travelling to Phuket. That way you might visit Chatuchak Market, maybe Khaosan and visit some Temple and watch some fights (Lumpinee /Radjadernem or for free at Channel 7 near Chatuchak). When going to Phuket  just enjoy training , food, sea, etc
Only "bad" experience I had when going for the first time was getting tricked by the guys in the airport who ask if you need a TAXI.... Dont agree , just go outsite and take a meter taxi, much cheaper and same comfort.
I'm heading off to Thailand in abt 3 weeks and cant wait...
Hope you have a great holiday.
Nick

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I always travel alone, so if it were me I'd be there in a heartbeat. Just follow your instincts. If something doesn't feel right, don't do it. I haven't yet been to Thailand, but I've faired well as a lone female in all my workd travels so far. :) Go enjoy!

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Hey,

It's currently my second time in Thailand and both times I was travelling alone. I don't think you need to worry too much, and just like someone else said, as long as you don't go looking for trouble and stay away from things that seem too good to be true you should be fine. The first time I was in Bangkok I did two guided tours (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) through a company called urbanadventures.com - the tours were not expensive and I've seen a lot during those tours so it was definitely money well spent and could be an option for one of your days in Bangkok. When you're going to Phuket, consider contacting the gym you're going to before your arrival and ask them if they can arrange a taxi to pick you up from the airport, at least that way you don't have to worry about trying to explain to the taxi driver where it is you're trying to go and then end up being taken to just any Muay Thai gym (lol, I had that happen when I tried to take a motorbike taxi and the driver assured me that he knows the gym I am talking about)...it is possible that the gym might have a flat rate for arranging a pick up, it might be a bit more expensive but can save you some inconveniences. Also, both times I was surprised by just how many Thais speak at least some English so language may not be as much of a problem either, but i would also suggest picking up a business card from the hotel you will be staying at so that it would have the address written in Thai and you can show it to someone if you get lost. Hope this helps.

Cheers

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Hi! I am a Swedish girl who has travellwed to Thailand 10 Times, and 2 of the trips all by myself. I have been alone in both Bangkok and Phuket. Dont hesitate to travel alone, thaipeople are always very helpful, and i have never got in trouble. Since you are going highseason i would recommend you to book your hotel in advance so you know you have a place to stay and dont have to go around and look. One thing i bring when i travel alone is a extra ATM card,(just in case of). As long as you dont put yourself in exposed situations as being alone and really drunk out at night and respect the thaipeople i think you are going to have the best trip ever! About Gyms in Phuket my favourite is dragon muay thai.

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I would not hesitate to travel alone to Thailand either. I can only really speak for Bangkok, but it is quite safe in my opinion. I have been to Phuket as well and felt quite safe; I just haven't been in that area for a long enough time to feel like I could give you a truly educated perspective. If you give me a heads up before you travel and have a little bit of a plan as far as the things you want to do/see in BKK I can give you some advice on common scams I have heard of, and general tips that will hopefully keep you from getting scammed. At the end of the day though usually if you do get scammed it is for a relatively small amount of money, physical safety isn't too big of an issue. If I get some time soon I will try to hammer out a generalized BKK safety guide lol, I am sure it would be useful to many people who are only coming to train for shorter periods of time.

 

Bringing a second ATM card while traveling is an excellent idea. I typically keep some bail out money in one account and use the second account for general spending. Having a business card with the address you are staying at is also a great idea, especially if you can have someone write it in thai on the back as well.

 

Oh yeah almost forgot. You can buy sim cards for quite cheap (they give them away for free at the BKK airport too I think). I highly recommend picking one up so that if you ever are in a situation you feel unsafe, you can call the tourist police which I know operate in Phuket, and I think also BKK. They will speak English and are typically volunteer expats who have been in the area for quite sometime.

 

Don't be afraid, it is fun here!

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A big thank you to every one of you for your advice! And thanks to Sylvie for posting about it on FB I also got some information from there! It's all starting to come into shape in my mind. I will have to do a lot of planning, but I will do it. :)

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A big thank you to every one of you for your advice! And thanks to Sylvie for posting about it on FB I also got some information from there! It's all starting to come into shape in my mind. I will have to do a lot of planning, but I will do it. :)

My friend Nell came out to visit me a couple years ago and spent a day or two in BKK before heading up to Chiang Mai to see me. She's a very independent type, lives in New York City and doesn't take nonsense, but she decided to pay a Tuk-Tuk driver to take her around to various locations all day. Like, basically hired him for the day. She had no problem with it and wasn't ripped off, but taxi and tuk-tuk drivers can get "kickbacks" from businesses or coupons for petrol if they take tourists there and the tourist buys something. So they try to get you to go to jewelry shops, tailors, etc. My friend said, "no" to a million of these offers and he dragged her to one or two anyway. She ended up having a man's suit tailor made for her and it arrived in Chiang Mai before she flew home - it was a beautiful suit!

Anyway, the point of that story is that my friend isn't naive and she still got put in a somewhat uncomfortable situation of someone trying to sell her something. It wasn't a huge hassle, but a minor inconvenience. But she ended up getting something she loved out of it. It's VERY easy to not buy gems or gold if you don't want it, but maybe a little more difficult to convince the person trying to sell it to you to leave you alone. It's not dangerous, just annoying. So, I don't think you should feel that you're in danger.

When you arrive at the airport in BKK there's an information desk on the "pick up" floor, down some escalators from arrivals. There's a big "i" on the sign for information. They'll direct you to which exit you want for taxis. I think it's Exit 4. And out there you'll find a queue for metered taxis and someone who speaks English asks where you're going, prints you a ticket with the price and directs you toward the taxi. That's the easiest way to not pay more than you should. 

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For sure you should do it! It's a great experience and a lot of people over there speak at least a bit of English (some taxi-drivers may act like they don't speak or understand English, just grab another one ;) same thing when they don't want to use the taxi-meter, but in BKK they all used it last time).

Just use your brains; if it looks to good to be true, it mostly is! If you don't trust anything/or don't want to do it, just don't do it.

 

If you arrive at the airport and know the place where you are going to you can use the public transportation also, it's cheap and works very well (and got A/C haha) If you know the place where you stay you can search (or ask it here, for some help) wich BTS/MRT station is the closest by and take a taxi from there to your final destination.

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I did a solo trip to Thailand and only booked my first night's accommodation in a hostel and then just took it from there, and I wouldn't have done it any other way. Travelling alone is great because you have complete freedom (no need to compromise with anyone else about where to go or what to do) and although you're technically travelling alone, you're very rarely alone because you meet so many new people. Then, you can make your plans around the people you meet and whatever you feel like doing at the time. At least, that was my experience. Go for it :smile:

 

If you have time while you're in Bangkok, let me know. I'd love to meet up!

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I suspect its often even an advantage to travel in Thailand alone.  (possibly in other countries as well, but here we do talk Thailand)  Thai people seems usually friendly and helpsome, and they will of course sooner tend to help an alone foreigner, than a bunch of them talking foreing among themselves.  Having a pleasant posture, a friendly or at least, shy smile, doesnt hurt.

I have followed on Youtube travel experiences of a wannabe Muay pro.  A nice, likeable fellow, decent english but barely some few words and phrases in Thai.   Whom used free time between scheduled matches to take a several week tour from north to south, doing training at every gym he found on the way.  (and yes, it was almost always possible to train, sometimes even for free  one or two passes).

OK, some of the incidents where he got extra help meeting nice people, just because he was alone.

He goes by train. No air condition, but he is happy to find a seat near the fan.  The older Thai women sitting around him, fellow passengers, are nice to him, presenting him with foods and non alkoholic drinks as gifts... They show him the wendor selling things, but he doesnt even need to buy from the wendor.

 

He tries to hike (hich hike).  An hour passes, no luck.  He gives up, goes back, but somebody is running after him.  A driver saw him, fetches him, he gets his ride.  The drawer sees he is a foreigner, and has no water with him in this hot day.  Driver buys him coffe and a minerale water bottle...When they come to this next town, it begins to darken up.  Driver tells him it may be difficult to find hike in darkness, it will be better if he takes the bus.  He drives to the bus station, helps him with finding the bus south.  I dont remember if he also buys the ticket, but he did certainly gave lotsa of good help!   Yes, I got touched by this mans compassion with the stranger.

 

Next time, he is in an widespread tourist area.  A man on a bike stops.  He offers;  You may ride with me.  I will be your guide and interpreter during the day. You pay me just some money, my lunch and a drink to the lunch...  An excellent proposal!   The truth be said, this driver fastened in the lunch restaurang; they had good and cheap drinks there...  But our hero could lend the bike, and do his own sight seeing without problems.  So, if nothing else, a cheap way to lend a motorbike for a day, and an interesting experience...

Etc...

As our hero said, Thais are typically buddhists. Honesty and being helpsome is important for them.  In the typical tourist cities however, there are many whom had learned to live on tourists, even using their inexperience and naivity.  Occasionally even robbing.  So you must look out some in such cities and places. Dont take stupid risks.

But outside on countryside, and cities not typical tourist cities, there are hardly any such people nor real dangers... Of course, our guy being a serious Muay, never ever got drunk.  Beer was the strongest he took and some occasional drink.

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On 10/13/2015 at 5:40 PM, NewThai said:

I always travel alone, so if it were me I'd be there in a heartbeat. Just follow your instincts. If something doesn't feel right, don't do it. I haven't yet been to Thailand, but I've faired well as a lone female in all my workd travels so far. 🙂 Go enjoy!

Follow instincts and allow yourself to trust when you feel comfortable... I did and always alone 

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