How to Solo Female Travel in Thailand
From the serene Phi Phi Islands to the iconic Grand Palace, there’s something for every kind of traveler in Thailand, and it’s not hard to grasp why this Southeast Asian country has dominated the tourism industry without putting in much effort. Needless to say, Thailand is one of the best solo travel destinations with friendly people wherever you go. After all, it isn’t called the ‘Land of Smiles’ for no reason. However, I understand that the prospect of solo female travel can unleash some anxiety, which is why I have created this guide comprised of tips and tricks to inspire some confidence in a lone female traveler.
- Bring with you appropriate clothing
Although, the perception around Thailand being a laid-back and easy-going country is true, with a significant number of its population being Buddhist, it is pretty religious too. Even though, you can wear bikinis without restraint on the beaches, but hanging around in the streets, shops or restaurants while you have donned on revealing clothing is considered disrespectful.
In addition to that, I am going to assume that while you are in the country, you are going to want to visit the temples. In that case, it is absolutely imperative for you to cover yourself. Be sure to carry with you a shawl or a scarf to cover your head, shoulders or chest while you enter a religious site. Not only adhering to the scarf/shawl tip would make your time in Thailand more enjoyable and problem-free but you would also be able to shield yourself from the scorching sun.
One more thing that you should bear in mind is that the Royal Family in Thailand is also conservative, so you should essentially be respectful when you are visiting any of the Royal Buildings.
- Avoid going on the beach at night
Even though, there haven’t been a whole lot of concerning incidents on the beaches of Thailand, you should better be safe than sorry. Beaches at night are usually unlit and you never know who might be lurking there with impure intentions. So, avoid going to the beach alone at night. Apart from that, we understand that staying in an accommodation on the beach might seem really tempting and the idea of having the liberty to easily watch the sunrise at the beach is too good to pass up on, but I would advise against it. The reason being, you don’t want to go by the unlit beach to get to your accommodation when you return late at night, especially if you are a solo female. In fact, I’d advise you to take the hotel room in a well-lit area where it is easy for you to meet up other backpackers or female travelers.
- Catcalling and harassment is non-existent but it can happen
With catcalling and street harassment being almost negligible in the country, it is almost surreal how pleasant Thailand is. However, even though these things don’t happen commonly, they still can happen and you should be cautious. While it is almost unlikely to get harassed by a Thai, there are a lot of foreigners in the country and you never know what kind of person you might run into. In such cases, you should do what you would do in any other country, which is to carry on with your business and ignore them. Your demeanor should always be composed and confident so that harassers aren’t able to intimidate you.
- Always be cautious of your bag
The biggest problem, I hope you don’t come across in Thailand is bag snatching. To be specific, bags are snatched by driving-by motorcyclists so quickly that you don’t have time to think or react to what just happened. Therefore, it is absolutely not advised that you wear your hand bag on one shoulder or even over your head and across the body because what the thieves tend to do is that they cut off the strap. So, always keep one hand grasping your bag and stay away from road sides where there is the danger of getting robbed. Additionally, keep your phone in your front pocket rather than the back pocket and if you do happen to get mugged then go to the police as soon as you can and tell them as many details as you can so that they can locate your belongings.
- Don’t touch monks
Monks all around Thailand can easily be seen. It is forbidden for monks to ever touch a woman so you need to be respectful of their belief and not touch them either. Monks will typically not interact with women or even sit next to them in buses or any other public transportation. So, if you find a seat free next to a monk then don’t think it is okay to go and sit next to them because they will likely get up.
If you want to give something to a monk, the right way to do it is to put it on the floor and pass it to him or give it to a man to pass it on.
- Read the labels
Many Thai products have been known to have bleach in them. It can be disconcerting for a lot of women which is why I urge you to always read the ingredients in the products you are going to purchase. Typically, products like deodorants and creams contain bleach in them while other times you may also find bleach in things you would least expect to be contaminated.
Travelling to Thailand can be an extremely rewarding experience but your time there can become better by a tenfold if you are respectful to little things that matter to the locals. Covering up yourself, being respectful to the traditions and monks can seem very trivial but they can surely go a long way and if you do adhere by these tips then I assure you that you will get nothing but smiles throughout your trip.