Thailand is one of the best destinations in the world for solo female travellers. But don’t just take our word for it! We’ve asked three solo female travellers – Amy Bensema, Emily Luxton and Jenny Littlewood – for their advice and tips to help you get the most out of your trip to Thailand.
A smile goes a long way
Travel writer Amy Bensema has lived on the island of Phuket since 2007. Adventurous by nature, she seeks out unique local experiences and off the beaten path attractions. Follow Amy on Instagram and read more of her articles here.
A smile and the traditional Thai greeting of a wai go a long way in Thailand. Kindness is key here, and it is important to treat people with the same respect you would want them to bestow upon you.
Thailand is a wonderful choice for solo female travellers. The Kingdom is as unique as it is diverse with enough variety to suit all lifestyles and budgets. The people of Thailand are friendly and charming, the street food is some of the best in the world and the country’s varied landscape is simply breathtaking.
For solo female travellers making their first sojourn in Thailand, there are a few things to consider. While Thailand is a relatively safe country, it is always important to be aware of your surroundings. As a solo female traveler, it is key to pay particular attention to your outward appearance. It is no secret that the climate in Thailand is often extremely warm, however, it is important to dress modestly. Ladies planning to visit temples should ensure that shoulders and knees are covered. Solo female travellers soaking up the rays in the country’s beach destinations should keep in mind that once the beach day is finished, it is important to cover up before hitting a restaurant, a local market, walking street or even the pub.
A smile and the traditional Thai greeting of a wai go a long way in Thailand. Kindness is key here, and it is important to treat people with the same respect you would want them to bestow upon you. If you get lost or perhaps have a moment where you feel unsafe, seek out the local people. Communication is not difficult in Thailand, and for many solo female travellers, it might be a relief to know that most Thai people can understand various languages even if they do not speak them with fluency.
Respect local customs
Thailand is a very spiritual country whose customs and traditions might seem quite different to your home country. It can take getting used to, but it’s important to be respectful of these customs.
Thailand is the ideal destination for solo female travellers, especially if it’s your first time travelling alone in Asia. It’s been on the backpacker trail for decades and is really well geared up for tourism, which means travel around Thailand is generally pretty easy.
English is fairly universally understood, too, which makes travel easier. However, it’s always nice to learn a few Thai phrases to help you connect with locals and be polite – even if it’s just a simple “hello” (sawasdee ka) and “thank you” (khop khun ka).
In terms of travel safety, my biggest tip is to do as much research as you can so you know what to expect and can be prepared. Although Thailand is generally very safe, solo travellers can face problems anywhere, so it pays to be ready. Find out about any common scams or safety issues affecting the places you’ll be visiting, so that you can keep an eye out for them. Keep your valuables on your person or locked in a safe or hostel locker. Avoid carrying too much cash, and take registered cabs after dark instead of walking alone.
Thailand is a very spiritual country whose customs and traditions might seem quite different to your home country. It can take getting used to, but it’s important to be respectful of these customs. Generally speaking, you can dress however you want to. However, some sites and attractions – especially temples – will have a dress code, so be prepared for this. Visitors usually need to have legs and shoulders covered. A pair of loose trousers or a long skirt, plus a scarf over your shoulders and arms, is ideal. Speaking of being respectful, try not to get in the way or make too much noise at working temples – remember that locals may be trying to worship.
Finally, I’d say bring an open mind, a willingness to try new things, and a BIG appetite! Thailand is a beautiful country with amazing food and wonderful people. You just have to be ready to throw yourself in and enjoy it.
Embrace your inner zen
Jenny Littlewood, aka Little Wandering Wren, is an international travel writer currently with her nest in Thailand. This Bangkok blogger can be found at Littlewanderingwren.com and on Instagram and Twitter.
Pack ‘sensible shoes’, slip-on waterproof sandals are ideal. Shoes come off and on all the time!
- Thailand is a fabulous and safe place for ‘FIT’ ladies (Free Independent Travellers) of all ages. Introduce yourself and depart with a gentle ‘wai’ greeting, embracing your inner Zen like the Thai.
- For excellent choices from cities, nature and tropical island beaches download the Me, Myself and Thailand solo travel e-publication.
- Leave your crown jewels at home, keeping valuables close in a cross-body bag preferably waterproof.
- Carry loo tissues, bug stuff, fan, umbrella, socklets for ‘shoes off’ situations, and buy a local phone sim card.
- Clothes: Cool but not revealing. Buy some of the popular elephant pants – go on I dare you! A large shawl works for everything: temple, beach towel and for taking the chill off air-conditioning.
- Pack ‘sensible shoes’, slip-on waterproof sandals are ideal. Shoes come off and on all the time!
- Safety: Watch your step, as you are more likely to fall flat on your face on the uneven pavements than be pickpocketed.
- Money: When in doubt cash is the way to go. ATMs charge flat withdrawal fees.
- Transport: ‘Grab’ App is handy for cheap fixed-rate car and taxi travel. Take the costlier tuk-tuk as an experience and fix the fare beforehand.
- Food and drink: Wine is expensive, drink happy hour cocktails!
- Ask for local water, avoid premium brands and tap-water.
- Beware! Thais love things sweet and spicy, ask for no sugar and “tourist spicy” to enjoy your meal.
- Book restaurants on ‘Eatigo’ and save up to 50%.
- Massages: Thai massages are famous, treat yourself!
- Note: E-cigarettes are prohibited.
- Respect: Show respect to the King, the Buddha and Government laws. Whatever you do, don’t point your feet at Lord Buddha.
Enjoy the Land of Smiles!
A big thank you to Amy, Emily and Jenny for their tips and advice. We hope they inspire you to travel to Thailand and enjoy this amazing country. And remember to follow Fan Club Thailand on Facebook and Instagram for more Thailand travel inspiration.
You may also enjoy
Fan Club Thailand
Tourism Thailand (UK & Ireland)
We are here to help you experience the best of amazing Thailand. Bookmark our online magazine for ideas and tips for what to see and do in Thailand, and follow us on social media for even more travel inspiration.