Famed for its idyllic islands and vibrant cities, ancient temples and mouthwatering street food, Thailand is one of Southeast Asia’s best-loved destinations. It’s also a firm favourite for those travelling solo. So if you’re looking for your next adventure, here’s why you should travel solo in Thailand.
There’s something for everyone
Whilst Thailand is one of the world’s top beach destinations, the ‘Land of the Smiles’ has much more to offer solo travellers. Sites such as Sukothai and Ayutthaya are filled with beautiful temple ruins. And situated on the famous River Kwai, Kanchanaburi provides a fascinating insight into Thailand’s more recent war history.
Further north, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai offer stunning trekking and colourful hill tribes. Then Erawan and Khao Sok National Parks are home to natural waterfalls and an array of native wildlife. Add to this bustling markets and vibrant nightlife and it’s clear Thailand really does have something for everyone.
‘Six years ago, I landed in Bangkok alone with a one-way ticket after quitting my job and selling everything I owned back home. Looking back, I am so glad I picked Thailand as the first stop of my year-long solo trip – it’s one of the most popular travel destinations for everyone, from new graduates, to budget travelers, solo travelers, flash-packers, honeymooners, to retirees.’
‘This makes meeting other travelers so easy, so although I was on a solo journey, I was hardly ever alone. The locals are warm and friendly, and traveling there is easy thanks to the wealth of tourist infrastructure. For these reasons and more, I highly recommend Thailand to all solo female travelers out there.’
– Kristin Addis, Be My Travel Muse
The street food scene is amazing
If the thought of eating alone in a restaurant puts you off solo travel, Thailand is your perfect destination. Many homes aren’t fitted with kitchens and raw ingredients often cost more than prepared meals, so street food is very much a part of life here.
Bangkok in particular is world-famous for its street food scene, boasting open-air markets and lines of street vendors offering tempting dishes. Grab a bite and continue exploring or sit by the curbside to watch the world go by as you eat.
Some of the most popular dishes to try include Som Tam, which is papaya salad, or Pad Thai Kung, consisting of noodles with shrimp. Perhaps join a food walking tour to visit some of the top spots and learn all about Thai cuisine.
You’ll meet plenty of other travellers
As Thailand is such a popular destination, you’ll rarely be far from other travellers. And plenty of these will be travelling solo too! If you’re looking to meet other people, its best to stick to Thailand’s main destinations which include the bustling cities of Bangkok and Chiang Mai and popular islands such as Phuket and Koh Samui.
It’s also a good idea to stay in hostels rather than hotels, as you’ll easily meet other like-minded travellers in dorm accommodation. Day trips or tours are also a fantastic way to make new friends. You could try anything from a Thai Cooking Class to a ziplining adventure through the rainforest.
‘Thailand is a great place for solo travel. There is a great network of travelers there, so it’s always easy to meet people, and there is so much to do and see. If you can, I suggest learning how to ride a scooter before coming. Sure, it’s a little bit dangerous and requires some training, but it really lets you see more of the country!’
– Nate Hake, Travel Lemming
It’s easy to get around
When travelling across Thailand, you’ll find trains, buses and ferries connecting almost everywhere. And not only are they in large supply, but they’re also pretty affordable too.
If you’re travelling long distances, perhaps experience one of Thailand’s overnight sleeper trains – a great choice to get chatting to other travellers. Or, if you’re short on time, you’ll find budget airlines offering domestic flights throughout the country.
To get around the cities, tuk tuks are the quintessential form of transport in Thailand. Take an exhilarating ride around Bangkok to visit top sights such as Wat Pho temple and the striking Grand Palace.
Thailand is pretty safe
Whether you’re a solo traveller or not, safety is one of the biggest concerns when choosing a destination. However, you can rest assured that Thailand is considered a pretty safe choice, with over 1 million people visiting each year from just the UK alone!
Whilst Thailand is generally safe, it’s still wise to exercise the same cautions you would anywhere else in the world. These include avoiding walking alone in cities or on beaches at night and keeping a close eye on your belongings at all times. Solo female travellers will also find plenty of female-only dorms in hostels if you’re uncomfortable about sharing a mixed dorm.
‘Not only is Thailand a perfectly safe solo travel destination, it is arguably the best starting point for adventuring around southeast Asia. Since Asia has such a different culture than what we are used to in the West, it can be nerve-wracking to plan a trip here at first, but after arrival you will probably feel surprised by how comfortable you feel!’
‘The best piece of advice I can give you about travelling in Thailand is to use basic common sense as you would anywhere else – as in, it’s a safe place to travel so don’t fret or become too anxious, but equally remember not to go walking around late at night alone, be careful of accepting drinks at bars or leaving them unattended, and generally don’t do anything you wouldn’t do at home.’
– Melissa Douglas, High Heels & a Backpack