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There are many reasons why Thailand is one of the most visited countries in the world: it is affordable, the food is amazing, and there is just so much to see and do.
But is Thailand safe? Or better, is Thailand safe for solo female travellers?
I have now been to Thailand 3 times and I always travelled to Thailand as a solo female traveller, so here is my Ultimate Guide for solo female travellers in Thailand.
Is Thailand safe for solo female travellers?
Yes, Thailand is completely safe! In fact, it is one of the best countries for first time solo travellers. There is a well established backpacking scene, locals are super friendly and public transportation is safe, and it is easy to travel around the country. There are so many hostels and travel agencies, which makes it such an easy place to travel.
Of course there are a few safety measures you should follow, but that is the case pretty much anywhere you go. In general, I believe Thailand is one of the safest places out there for solo travellers. And especially solo female travellers will have an amazing time in Thailand.
Safety Tips for solo female travellers in Thailand
Thailand is pretty safe but like everywhere you go there are a few safety tips you should follow.
1. Be aware of your belongings.
In Bangkok, like in pretty much any big city, there will be pickpockets. Try carrying your backpack in front and have a bag with a zip, and of course don’t leave your belongings unattended. I always like to lock my backpack when I carry it in the back, just to be on the safe side.
2. Watch your drinks
It isn’t uncommon to have something put into your drink, so make sure to never leave your drink unattended. Especially when you are getting a bucket, try going to a place where the bottles are still closed, and you can see them mixing it rather than going to a place where the buckets are already pre-mixed.
3. Lock your valuables away at the hostel
Only bring what you will actually need on your daily adventures, and leave the rest of your valuables looked away at your accommodation. Especially, your passport! Try to just carry a copy of it around or a picture on your smartphone.
4. Be careful when renting a scooter
Lots of people end up having scooter accidents, and a lot of them end up pretty badly. It definitely is a common thing to rent a scooter while in Thailand, but only do so when you feel comfortable enough to drive it, always watch out for the traffic and always wear a helmet.
5. Possibly get your rabies shots before travelling
There are always some shots that are mandatory if you want to travel to a specific destination, so I assume that you would have already taken care of that. But there are some that aren’t mandatory but might still be good to have, such as a rabies shot. There are a lot of street animals in Thailand. And I usually like to make friends with all of them and pet all the dogs, so I just want to be safe in case I get bitten.
Make sure to check which other shots are recommended and think about if that would make sense for you to get in advance.
6. Bring a backup credit card
This should be a safety tip for any country you travel to. Always have a second card that you can pay with and/or withdraw money. Also, do keep them at separate places at all times. It can always happen that your credit card gets stolen or lost or just doesn’t work properly.
7. Keep copies of all your important documents on a flash drive
Another safety tip that is applicable for all places you travel to. I know everything is more digital these days anyway. But make sure you don’t just keep important documents in just one place.
Bring a flash drive or send yourself all documents per email, so you can access them at any time. These include flight tickets, insurance papers, visa confirmations etc.
8. Wear enough mosquito repellant
Thai mosquitos are quite aggressive, and I have had to take antibiotics before because of infected mosquito bites. Just don’t save on mosquito repellant and don’t underestimate Thai mosquitos.
9. Don’t talk about the Thai King
Talking badly about the Thai king can could even lead to some prison time. Even if you don’t mean to say anything disrespectful, it might come across the wrong way. Just avoid talking about the Thai royal family in general.
10. Stay away from drugs
You will probably see some drugs while in Thailand, but they are illegal! Thailand has really strict drug laws, so just stay away from them all together.
11. Be aware of common scams
There are a couple of common scams that you might encounter when in Thailand, and knowing them beforehand could help you avoid them all together. But that being said, the worst that usually happens is that you will end up paying more than you were supposed to.
Definitely annoying but not dangerous, and therefore this isn’t really a safety tips but just a tip in general. Do your research on tour prices and don’t just go with the first place you find, always count your change and if you are unsure ask at the hostel or ask other travellers.
Best Resources for Solo Female Travellers in Thailand
Skyscanner: Find the cheapest flight to and from Thailand
Hostelworld: All the very best hostel deals
italki.com: Brush up on some Thai and speak with some native speakers. Sign up now and get $10 of italki credit if you ever spend $20 on lessons
Things to know about Solo Female Travel in Thailand
There will be a lot of other solo travellers in Thailand, so it will be pretty easy to make friends and to meet other solo travellers.
There are so many hostels that I’m sure you will always find a hostel that fits your style of travelling. From party hostels, to small family-owned hostels to bigger hostels to hostels by the beach or more of an adventure hostel.
Because it is such an easy country to travel, there will be a lot of first-time travellers, which means you will find a lot of younger travellers who just finished High School. But also, more experienced travellers always like to come back to Thailand as well.
Getting around the country might take some time, but it is also pretty easy and convenient. If you book a trip to a new destination at a travel agency, it will usually include ferries and pick-ups from the hostel that bring you to the first bus stop. So you never really even have to think about where the bus stop might be located or how to get from the bus stop to the ferry station.
Make sure to dress appropriately. Especially if you visit any religious places, make sure your shoulders and knees are covered.
Now that we are talking about how to dress. Also, make sure to bring some warmer clothes and not only shorts and T-shirts. Yes, most places in Thailand will be warm all year around, but don’t underestimate air conditioning in Thai hostels or busses. I have had a trip completely ruined because I got an ear infection in a bus due to the air conditioning.
As a solo female traveller in Thailand, you don’t really need to worry about if it is okay to walk around by yourself at night. Of course, like in most countries, there are parts that you shouldn’t be walking around in, but if you are in areas with tourists it is usually pretty safe, and I have never felt uncomfortable walking around at night at any time by myself.
Thai people are super friendly and a lot of Thai people speak English. I’m sure you will find yourself having an interesting conversation with a local now and then.
When is the best time to visit Thailand?
Thailand is a great place to be visited all year around. However, Thailand does have its rainy season, which is usually from around May to October. That doesn’t mean that it is going to rain all day, though, as most often it will rain really badly for a short period of time and then stop.
But in the West, the weather isn’t always great during the rainy season. On islands such as Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta, the sea can be pretty rough, and it might be a little cloudy and rainy throughout the days. I have travelled to Thailand twice during rainy seasons, and it was still an incredible experience.
What is transportation like in Thailand?
Travel Thailand by bus: The most common and also the cheapest option to travel around Thailand is by bus. Bus tickets can be brought at any travel agency, and often you will also be picked up from your accommodation to get to the bus stop.
Getting to the Thai islands by ferry: If you want to reach any of the island, you will be travelling by ferry. The ferries go really regularly, and you can often just get a ticket at the ferry station if it is not high season and lots of people are travelling (e.g. leaving Koh Phangan after the Full Moon Party). Often, the shuttle or bus ride is booked together with the ferry ticket if you book it at the hostel, so getting from one place to the other is fairly easy.
Travelling Thailand by plane: Especially, if you are short on time, travelling around Thailand by plane is also an option. There are several low-cost airlines such as AirAsia with which you can travel cheaply across the country and save time.
Keep in mind that, especially, if you want to travel to the Thai islands, you will also need to travel by ferry as most of the islands obviously don’t have airports. I’d recommend travelling by plane only if you are covering long distances, such as from Krabi to Chiang Mai or if you are short on time.
Thailand by train: Some journeys can be made by train. And I have heard taking the night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is a great experience, and it will save you a couple of hours compared to the bus journey. You can usually just get train tickets at the travel agencies, and they will also inform you about the departure times.
Travelling around by Tuk Tuk: In Bangkok especially, you will most likely be making your way around the city by Tuk Tuk to some extent. You will see Tuk Tuk’s everywhere and just get one on the street just like a Taxi. Make sure to always clarify the price beforehand and also try to bargain.
Taxis and Ubers in Thailand: There is no Uber in Thailand, but there is an alternative which is called Grab. That basically works the same as an Uber. There are also plenty of Taxis in Thailand, especially in Bangkok. Make sure to ask the driver to put the metre on and unless your destination is something well known like one of the airports or a temple, bring the address written in Thai.
Where to stay in Thailand as a solo female traveller?
Looking for hostel recommendation? Here are some of my favourite hostels I have stayed in, where I have found it really easy to meet other people as a solo female traveller in Thailand.
Nap Park Hostel, Bangkok
But also lots of new hostels have opened since I’ve last been there, so I’m sure you will find a great and social hostel as a solo female traveller in Thailand.
Places you should not miss in Thailand
And once you have made the decision to discover Thailand as a solo traveller, here are the very best places that you should not miss out on!
No visit to Thailand is complete without a visit to Thailand’s lively and busy capital city. While Bangkok often gets portrayed as just bars and red-light districts, there is much more to this beautiful city, and Bangkok is perfectly safe for solo female travellers.
It probably does have its dodgy areas, but so do London and Paris. If you are staying in the tourist areas, you will be completely fine. I walked around many times by myself in the middle of the night and never ever have I felt uncomfortable.
When in Bangkok, you can visit some of the most beautiful temples, enjoy some of the best street food that you have ever tasted or take a boat ride on the river and see the city from the water. Visit a floating market and ride around the city in a Tuk-Tuk.
Another place that should be included in any Thailand itinerary is Chiang Mai. It’s affordable, the weather is good but definitely not as busy or crazy as Bangkok, which makes Chiang Mai one of the most popular places for digital nomads in the world.
It is a popular location to take a Thai cooking class, visit an elephant sanctuary or visit any of the amazing places nearby. But also be careful as there are a lot of unethical wildlife encounters in the area such as Tiger temples or elephant riding, so please stay away from these!
Chiang Rai is about 200 kilometres North of Chiang Mai and worth a visit if you are in the North of Thailand. Its main attraction is the beautiful white temple or Wat Kong Rhun. The most beautiful temple I have ever seen.
From Chiang Rai is it also not too far to travel to the Golden Triangle which is the boarder region of Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.
Koh Tao is one of the Eastern Thai islands and can only be reached by ferry boat. Koh Tao is one of the cheapest place to get your diving certificate. So if you are interested in scuba diving, then Koh Tao should be your absolute dream destination.
There are a lot of diving schools on the islands, and you will find incredible dive sites for beginners as well as experienced scuba divers.
Other than that, there are some beautiful beaches. The island is not tiny, but it also isn’t as big as Koh Phangan, so you won’t get lost as easily. There is a fun pub crawl and amazing street food (but the street food part seems to be the case for all of Thailand).
Onward Travel from Thailand
Thailand to Cambodia: There are a lot of companies that offer transportation to the Kingdom of Cambodia, which includes transportation to the border, usually lunch at the place where you are waiting for your visa and then transportation from the border to your desired destination in Cambodia (usually Siem Reap). The whole trip from Bangkok to Siem Reap can take the whole day, as there is a lot of waiting time involved.
You will need a visa to enter Cambodia, which you get a few minutes away from the border. A visa will cost around 30 USD and you will need to bring a passport photo. The visa is usually valid for one month, but make sure to check beforehand if your nationality will allow you to get a visa on arrival or if you have to get another sort of visa beforehand before entering Cambodia.
Thailand to Malaysia: A trip from Thailand to Malaysia can also be done via one of the many tour companies. I would only recommend it though if you are in the Southern part of Thailand such as around Krabi or Koh Lanta and for example want to go to Penang, as otherwise it will be a rather long trip. If you are in Bangkok, it should not be too expensive to just fly to Kuala Lumpur.
I have done the border crossing by land from Penang in Malaysia to Koh Lanta, Thailand. It was perfectly safe and other than a lot of waiting time at the Thai border, it went pretty smoothly as well.
Thailand to Laos: The easiest way would probably be to just fly to Luang Prabang. Airlines such as Air Asia offer really affordable flights within South East Asia. If you want to enter Laos from Northern Thailand (for example Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai), you will have to make your way up to Houay Xai, near the Golden Triangle, where you can enter Laos by land.
There are some other borders where you can cross. But most of the time, you are best off just asking at your hostel or a travel desk to see what is most convenient.
Thailand to Myanmar: (*Caution: due to armed violence and unrest, there is currently a travel warning for Myanmar. Do don’t travel to Myanmar right now*)
From the North of Thailand, you can also cross into Myanmar. There are several land borders, but not all of them might be accessible at all times. It’s best to check with a tour desk or your hostel. Usually, you can book a trip that includes crossing the border and the transportation. So you don’t really have to worry about which border you are crossing.
My experience as a solo female traveller in Thailand
I have now travelled to Thailand 3 times by myself, and it is and will always be one of my absolute favourite countries and one of the best places for solo travellers.
It was the fourth country I have travelled to solo. Before I had been to Australia, Indonesia (Bali) and Singapore, and it was the end of my 10-month gap year solo trip.
These are all countries that are pretty easy to travel and have an established backpacker scene, but still Thailand has probably been the easiest country to travel as a solo traveller.
I have never felt unsafe in Thailand, only maybe when it comes to the traffic as lots of people get into scooter accidents or once there was a dog barking at me and wouldn’t let me pass a street, but that was about it.
I have never felt unsafe walking around at any time of the day by myself and Thai people are just super friendly and I have never felt uncomfortable travelling in Thailand.
I would highly recommend it to any solo traveller, especially when it is your first solo trip, Thailand is a great choice. Because of that reason, there are also a lot of other solo travellers, which makes it also pretty easy to make friends while travelling solo.
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