Travelling / Backpackin solo? - Thailand

nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
Recently ive came out of a long term relationship and now i fancy doing something ive always fancied - going travelling or backpacking for a few weeks in the summer. ive fancied a few places in particular but thailand is sticking out the most at the moment. Im trying to get one or two mates to go with me and some have said they would but im not sure they will! So someone else i work with mentioned going alone. This is something ive never done in my life, so would obviously be slightly nervous and or cautious about being away alone for about 3 weeks. I plan to go for roughly 3 weeks as i have a full time job and thats the max i will be allowed by the looks of it.

Has anyone done anything like this before or have experiance of doing this in thailand? also, what are peoples thoughts about the place? ive spoke to many people and all have said great things! has anyone got any tips for a first time backpacker too? finally if anyone has done this in thailand then have they got any good links to websites, forums etc for it?
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Comments

  • laidbackfreaklaidbackfreak Member Posts: 991
    Nice one Nel, not about the break up but for making the decision to go travelling. Don't worry about being on your own, you'll soon meet fellow travellers there.

    Thailand is an awesome country, diverse and stunning. The people on the hole are some of the best I've ever met.
    3 weeks there I'd likely had up North for a week in Chaing Mai (the night market is not too be missed) head south from there take ina Jungle tour in possible then down south to the beaches. Some of the most amazing in the world. (Can you tell I'm a fan?)
    There is something for everyone, quiet deserted beaches to party places depending on what your looking for.
    Bangkok is not too be missed but is FULL on so a few days there will suffice, least for me. But it has everything you can desire in terms of markets, shops, entertainment and of course the adult side, some good and some not so good places...

    Dont be afraid to stay at backpackers venues, they are cheap as chips, most of them clean icon_smile.gif and most have a choice of single\double rooms or dormitory style. This will get you mixing with other travellers and it's alway a great source of tips on places to visit etc when you get there.

    Keep your plans fluid so you can make the most of it, but try to have a general idea of where you'd like to go just to keep you moving etc icon_smile.gif

    I'll see if I can get any links for you, been a while since I needed any for there.

    Seriously enjoy the experience it will open your eyes, if you've never been to asia before.
    if I say something that can be taken one of two ways and one of them offends, I usually mean the other one :-)
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,738 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Also make sure you check in with your embassy when you get there. It's always good idea when you go out of country.

    http://ukinthailand.fco.gov.uk/en/
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • wd40wd40 CISA, eJPT, MCP, MCTS, CompTIA x 6 Member Posts: 1,017 ■■■■□□□□□□
    You should be fine.

    I went to Thailand for my honeymoon :) .. Just booked a two way ticket and had a hotel name in Bangkok (they will ask about it in the airport on entry), you do not need to go to that hotel or even have a reservation, you can get that in the airport it self.

    From there I just checked with each hotel for booking hotel room and travel tickets to the next city I will be going to.

    Everything went ok, and this was my first ever vacation!.

    I had a slight issue in phcket, it was a "high season", could not get an air ticket to koh samoi, they kicked me out of the hotel and had to go by ferry :D

    Check this out:

    Sawadee.com - Thailands leading tourism portal, Hotel reservation & travel guide.
  • laidbackfreaklaidbackfreak Member Posts: 991
    Also make sure you check in with your embassy when you get there.QUOTE]


    In 20+ years of travelling to over 30 different countries outside of work I've never checked in with the UK embassy, added to which I will say I've never needed them. And long may it stay that way.
    But good advice to at least know where they are and get the local contact details just to be safe.
    if I say something that can be taken one of two ways and one of them offends, I usually mean the other one :-)
  • eMeSeMeS Member Posts: 1,875
    One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster
    The bars are temples but the pearls ain't free
    You'll find a god in every golden cloister
    A little flesh, a little history
    I can feel an angel sliding up to me


    For some reason this thread reminded me of Murray Head....

    I have traveled alone in the past, and I concur with what was said previously about syncing up with other travelers, and perhaps even locals. It just tends to happen.

    Was traveling through France in the early 90's and met a great family in Bandol that I'm still in contact with to this day.

    MS
  • GAngelGAngel Member Posts: 708
    Make sure you go to a full moon party or don't bother going at all.
  • msteinhilbermsteinhilber Member Posts: 1,480 ■■■■■■■■□□
    A co-worker went there and enjoyed it. He also openly bragged about paying for *** to which he made far too many references to "same same but different" that made me question his sexual preferences.
  • GT-RobGT-Rob Member Posts: 1,090
    Ive done Europe for a couple of weeks alone, and it was amazing. Granted, I had rented a mercedes and stayed in 4 star hotels the entire time, but it was still an experience haha.


    I have been thinking about doing Thailand for a couple of years now. I have met many people who have been and have nothing but great things to stay. Its a very cheap place to stay even a month, and some of the beaches are amazing. The flight really is going to be your biggest cost, regardless of how you travel when you are there.

    In fact, at my last job, 2 guys went to Thailand for a month, and one of them didnt come back. He loved it so much he stayed almost an entire year before coming back.



    As for traveling alone, it has its pros and cons. A big pro is you do exactly what YOU want. No waiting for anyone, no deciding, no compromising. And you also take more pictures when you are alone. I personally would do it alone if I were going.
  • WebmasterWebmaster Admin Posts: 10,292 Admin
    I've been to Thailand in 2001 for about 3 weeks. We were planning to go backpacking but ended up Boeing/hotel-hopping cause flying was so ridiculously cheap. I remember the Rembrandt hotel in Bangkok being about $20 per room per night (low season). That was also the only hotel we booked upfront (2 days at start and 1 at the end before flying back), the rest we arranged in Thailand, ad hoc, which was surprisingly easy.

    We flew up north to Chang Mai first (original plan was to take the train and visit the river Kwai and Ayutthaya first), spent some days there, took a minivan back south to Sukothai. After that we flew to Phuket in the South, from we went to several smaller island by boat (Phi Phi island from the movie 'The Beach', and 'Coral island' with nothing but dead coral - both got major damage from the tsunami a couple of years later). The first half was sort of about visiting cultural and typical tourist locations, second half was beach, sea and sun time. Probably sounds like we rushed through it but I have more stories from that vacation alone than all my others combined. :D There's so much to see and do in Thailand it couldn't be covered in a single vacation anyway, will have to go back some day.

    Oh and make sure you bring a couple of hundred extra bucks just for suits. Everywhere we came they offered cheap custom suits. Back then you had a perfect fitting suit for about $50.
  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hey guys,

    thanks for all the advice. like i say i would love to do something like this, just a tad nervous on going alone! ive done some googling and it does look like there are tons of people who do it, which is good reassurance for me. i think i'll look further into where i would like to go but now im starting to read more people go alone and meet up etc its making me want to do it even more now to be honest! the trip, for me, would consist of touristy things, parting and beaches...and it seems thailand has all of that :D

    Now i know this may sound daft, but from your experiances backpacking, what are the essential things i will need or should do? for example is it best to buy one of them big backpackers bags which go over your shoulder or just take a suitcase? how do you's usually take cash - actual money or travelers cheques? do hostels have security safes to keep passports and money in? anything of that type of nature really.
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  • K-FedK-Fed Member Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I did something similar last spring after I broke up with a long term (5+years), girlfriend. I quit my job mid-trip too, via e-mail, from a cafe in Amsterdam..IN THIS ECONOMY. Classy, I know. I did however find 3 of my friends to come with me..and we did the whole backpacking Europe thing. Went for just over a month, and we stayed in hostels. As far as money..you should be able to get by in Thailand with an ATM/Debit card. I'd consider keeping a few bucks cash on you, but no large amounts. As far as backpack/suitcase..I'd go with a backpack that comes with a detachable day-pack.

    This is the model I use:
    REI Grand Tour Travel Pack at REI.com

    It was my first international trip, so, going with 3 of my friends worked out rather well. We split up during the days if we wanted to do our own thing. Traveling solo has it's perks, though. I'm sure you'll meet a good amount of like travelers, and it's probable you'll make some friends you will keep in touch with. I know I met several on mine that I'm still in touch with almost a year later.

    I highly recommend it - and I've already got my next two trips planned..Summer 2010 I'm heading to Peru, and Summer 2011 I'll be off to Austria/Hungary/Poland. I hope you DO follow through and do this.
  • wd40wd40 CISA, eJPT, MCP, MCTS, CompTIA x 6 Member Posts: 1,017 ■■■■□□□□□□
    nel wrote: »
    H how do you's usually take cash - actual money or travelers cheques? do hostels have security safes to keep passports and money in? anything of that type of nature really.

    I took some Thai Bhats + 30 * 100 US$ brand new bills, a guy in an exchange shop looked at me in a suspicious way, they do not look real :D

    If you take cash with you avoid exchanging it in hotels.

    I ended up returning most of it home losing exchange rate difference a second time, I used my credit card for hotel reservations and travel costs.
  • GT-RobGT-Rob Member Posts: 1,090
    Oh and Nel, ALWAYS check for an adam's apple before handing over money. You don't want to find out a 'surprise' and can't get a refund (or feel you have to go through with it since you have already paid).


    On a serious note, always carry some cash. Its nice to be able to use plastic when you can, but you don't want to ever be stuck. Visa is NOT excepted everywhere, but Cash is!
  • apena7apena7 Member Posts: 351
    nel wrote: »
    how do you's usually take cash - actual money or travelers cheques? do hostels have security safes to keep passports and money in? anything of that type of nature really.

    Always carry cash and keep your passport with you at all times. Accidents can happen and you don't want to be without identification -- especially when you're looking for the nightlife.
    Usus magister est optimus
  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    GT-Rob wrote: »
    Oh and Nel, ALWAYS check for an adam's apple before handing over money. You don't want to find out a 'surprise' and can't get a refund (or feel you have to go through with it since you have already paid).


    On a serious note, always carry some cash. Its nice to be able to use plastic when you can, but you don't want to ever be stuck. Visa is NOT excepted everywhere, but Cash is!

    Hahahahahha....there is no chance in hell i will be with any lady boys that for sure!!

    thanks for the advice guys.
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  • dratnoldratnol Member Posts: 65 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Nel, thanks for posting this topic. I too have been thinking about taking a backpacking vacation but in Central America. My boss told me that I have a bunch of time that I need to use or I will lose it so I am going to go something.

    Not to hijack, but has anyone here backpacked in Central or South America?
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