A Solo Female Travel Guide to Thailand
It’s no guessing why Thailand is one of the most traveler-friendly countries – the tourism infrastructure is easy to navigate, it has cheap (but insanely delicious) foods and has culture bursting at the seams. This makes Thailand a great country to start your traveling career – especially if you want to be a Solo Female Traveler!
Where to Go
Bangkok may seem like an obvious choice being Thailand’s capital and largest city – but Bangkok has a lot more to offer than just the cheapest airfare! With unforgettable night markets selling mouth-watering, cheap food and the city showcasing some of the world’s most beautiful Buddhist temples; Bangkok has it all. Check out this guide to some great accommodation for your stay in Bangkok!
If you’re looking for an easy day trip from Bangkok, Ayutthaya is the perfect choice. Ayutthaya was once the historic capital of Siam and bursting at the seams with old temple ruins. An idyllic way to explore this ancient area is by bike; rent one from the local shop and go from temple to temple!
Northern Thailand: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Pai
Check out the massive Sunday Night Market in the center of Chiang Mai’s old town, visit the gorgeous and enigmatic White Temple of Chiang Rai, and enjoy the hippie village of Pai (in August especially – there’s a daily evening market in the summer with amazing food and artisan jewelry)! There are tons of activities in Northern Thailand – from temple hopping to incredible hikes, hot springs, and heights. If you’re an animal lover, check out Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, one of the most reputable Elephant sanctuaries in the world for its care of this too commonly exploited animal.
Southern Thailand: Island Hopping
Thailand’s iconic beaches in its southern region are tourist-laden for a reason; you can book a room in a stunning beach resort on a dime and take some time to relax and rejuvenate. Yoga retreats are a great option to cultivate some much-needed mindfulness when traveling starts to feel hectic, and Southern Thailand’s many islands and beach towns offer lots of options.
A province in Southern Thailand worth a special mention – Krabi. A visit to Krabi is a must on any trip to Thailand, and not only for its idyllic scenery. Kayak around the Phi-Phi islands, snorkel on Koh Lanta, or just enjoy a day at the beach. The fascinating and unique geological makeup of this province makes for stunning and serene views wherever you look.
Refer to this packing list for a cohesive guide for any trip, but on a trip to Thailand, here are some things you’ll especially want to bring along;
- Rain gear – the monsoon season in Thailand is no joke, and you’ll want to come prepared for the heavy flash rains that can happen any season.
- Sunscreen – in most Asian countries, but Thailand especially, most sunscreens you’ll find at stores have a bleaching agent for face or body whitening, which are good to keep away from.
- Sarong/Lightweight Harem Pants – you can find these easily in Thailand, but make sure you have one – for many temples, they won’t let you in if you’re showing too much skin. Having a light clothing option that can keep your shoulders and legs completely covered is really helpful when you’re on the go.
- Bug spray – mosquitoes, spiders, and flies will eat you alive in Thailand, and you’ll want to stay protected.
- Water shoes and walking shoes – I recommend Tevas or Chacos, as well as a solid pair of reliable and broken in walking shoes – you’ll be doing a lot of walking in Thailand.
- Take advantage of 7-11. 7-11 is everywhere, and serves as a useful go-to for most of your needs. Tampons, toiletries, chargers, even a sim card; 7-11 is a female traveler’s dream bargain store in Thailand.
- Don’t pay more than 60 Baht for Pad Thai – you can always find it for less.
- When you withdraw cash, take out a lot at a time – all ATMs charge a 200-220 Baht fee, which is around $6. This can really add up.
- Bring copies of your travel insurance, passport, etc., and an extra debit card
- Only use ATMs that are of official banks
- Don’t get lost in a Thai forest – hiking in Thailand is incredible, but find a buddy to go with.
- On that note – make some friends! There are tons of solo travelers in Thailand, and they’re easy to meet – the backpacker hostel scene is poppin’ in places like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Pai.
- Eat more than just Pad Thai – There is so much good food in Thailand – try something different than you would find in your typical Thai restaurant at home. Khao Soi is a Northern Thai delicacy of curry noodles topped with fried noodles – that you can’t often find anywhere else.
I hope this inspires you to get out there and Start the Adventure! Thailand is an incredible country, and a great destination for beginner and veteran travelers alike, whether it’s your first solo trip or you’re a regular lone nomad. Check out these Thailand food guides here and here, and some Northern Thailand activity recommendations here for more Thailand inspo that’ll make you want to get out there ASAP!