Solo Travel in Thailand
Thailand is one of the most popular countries for solo travellers. Traveling to Thailand alone is so easy and you can meet others travelling here. Below is our Thailand solo travel guide on how to solo travel Thailand including the best places to visit in Thailand alone, where to stay in Thailand, tours to Thailand and how to get around Thailand.
Find out how to get from the airports and a suggested Thailand trip itinerary. All companies included have been recommended by solo female travellers and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. Just choose the relevant section or read the full article for solo female travel in Thailand.
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- Places To Visit in Thailand
- Thailand Tours
- Accommodation in Thailand
- Travelling Around Thailand
- Thailand Itinerary
- Thailand Travel Guide
- Best Time To Go To Thailand
- Travel Insurance For Thailand
- From Thailand Airports
- Thailand Border Crossings
- How To Be a Conscious Traveller in Thailand
- Frequently Asked Questions About Thailand
- Map of Thailand
- Plan a Trip To Thailand
Solo Female Travel To Thailand
Can there ever be an easier country to travel around? If you’ve never experienced solo travel in Thailand before then this country should be your first port of call. The people are incredibly friendly (it’s not called ‘The Land of Smiles’ for nothing) and there are so many travellers backpacking Thailand alone, following the same routes that you’ll be looking for those hidden gems to escape the crowds.
Thailand solo travel is so easy as the country is geared up for tourism and because of its reputation for great beaches and partying, the country tends to attract a younger crowd of traveller. It's so easy that we've given it 4 out of 5 stars.
Is Thailand safe to travel alone? Yes but there is Thai Mafia on the islands, and places such as: Koh Samui, Phuket, Pattaya and Chiang Mai have rip off industries protected by the police so don't argue with a local if you get overcharged.
If you respect the culture, don't dress provocatively and avoid the beaches at night, you'll have an amazingly cheap vacation to Thailand. Thailand is a wonderful country to explore independently but if you unsure where to visit in Thailand and want company to do it, you may prefer to take a group tour instead.
Places to Visit in Thailand
Service with a smile, delicious cuisine and white pristine beaches, this country literally has it all, whether you’re into your sun-worshipping, hill tribes or Buddhist culture, the Land of Smiles will definitely not disappoint. The country is no stranger to tourism and is continuously evolving. With the cost of living so low you are guaranteed to be treated like a queen on a Thailand solo trip.
Places To Visit in Thailand Bangkok
The capital, Bangkok is one of Asia’s most exciting and culture shocking cities. It’s busy, polluted and incredibly humid but it does have the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra), the Grand Palace, and Wat Pho which you can see on a walking temple tour.
See the famous River Kwai and markets galore from night bazaars to the colourful Damnoen Saduak floating market. Tuk tuks whizz around the streets and are a cheap mode of transport but make sure you hold on tight. You can also hire them as a guide to take you around the city or take an evening tuk tuk tour to see the temples and markets at night. A dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya River is a great way to see the riverside lit up at night.
Khao San Road is one of the best places in Thailand for solo travelers and the best place to visit in Thailand for first timers. It's a mecca for travellers so if you’re in need of some company, head for this well-known street with everything you need from guest houses, tour operators, bars and restaurants.
When the crowds get too much treat yourself to a famous Thai massage – a must on any travel itinerary to Thailand, (which isn’t as relaxing as you may think) or a treatment from one of the many beauty parlours.
Day Trips From Bangkok
On a day trip from Bangkok is Khao Yai National Park, the country’s first national park and one of the most popular. This is the place to spot abundant bird life, monkeys and wild elephants. Apparently there are bears here too! It’s also a nature spot for waterfalls, and one of them (Haew Suwat) even appeared in the movie, The Beach. Within the boundaries of the park is Sarika Waterfall or you may prefer to hike to Haew San Fai waterfall instead. The park is reachable on a 3 hour bus journey.
If you have time, Erawan National Park is north of Bangkok but not reachable in a day trip. The park is home to 7 waterfalls, where you can swim in emerald-green pools. To see all seven you do need to hike so many just make it to the third tier. Just be careful of the monkeys and the fish. You can choose to stay overnight in Kanchanaburi where you can just catch a bus to the park.
Head south from Bangkok and you’ll find the undisputed sex-tourism capital of the world, Pattaya known for tacky neon bars and Go Go girls. As women travelling alone in Thailand we may prefer the more luxurious hideaways of Hua Hin or Koh Kood to escape the crowds.
The beaches in southern Thailand are every cliche under the sun and there are so many to choose from especially along the Andaman Coast. If you only go to one beach in Thailand make it Railay Bay, a stunning part of the peninsular and a must see in Thailand with a turquoise blue lagoon that is only reachable by boat. It is one of the best beaches in Thailand by far.
Patpong in Phuket is probably the liveliest area but if you want somewhere quieter choose Karon Beach which is close enough to venture into the hot spots at night. One of the most popular things to do in Phuket is to take a tour from here to James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay and explore the limestone caves by canoe.
From one movie set to another; one of the unique places in Thailand is Maya Bay. Just off Ko Phi Phi, Maya Bay was the setting for the film The Beach and is as stunning as it is in the movie (if not a little different). Ko Phi Phi is the best place to visit in Thailand for the first timers.
This bustling little island has cafes serving western food as well as Thai and has movies playing all day long. You definitely won’t be short of company here. If you aren't staying in Phi Phi you can take a speedboat trip from Krabi to the Phi Phi Islands on a day trip instead.
Best Thai Islands For Solo Travellers
Travelling solo in Thailand means you can island hop to your heart's content making the most of the stunning Thailand beaches, although the overnight boats leave a lot to be desired. Surrathani is the gateway to two of the most popular islands, Ko Samui and Koh Phangan.
If you’re into the party scene, attend a full moon party in Koh Phangan or a black moon party at Koh Som where you can dance barefoot in the sand on the Thailand beaches to hedonistic beats. Haadrin beach is full of travellers and you’ll find many solos here.
Just a boat ride away is Koh Samui, the best Thai island for solo travellers where it is easy to meet other solos. Samui is the largest of the islands with palm-fringed beaches and a lively party scene. There are quieter parts of the island which cater for couples and singles. Bo Phut is great for those wishing to escape from it all in a beach bungalow with waves lapping at your door.
There is more to do here than sunbathe. See the Mummified Monk, the Buddha's Magic Garden, and Namuang Waterfall. Either hire a motorbike taxi for a day or take a 4×4 jeep tour around the island.
Chaweng beach is the most touristy with Thai kickboxing, party dwellers and a beach that stretches for miles. You can do a day trip from here to Koh Tao, one of the best places to travel in Thailand for diving, or just take a snorkeling trip here from Koh Samui instead.
Near Koh Samui is the beautiful Ang Thong National Marine Park. This archipelago of over 40 islands has hidden coves, jungle islands and waterfalls. It is the best place to go in Thailand for some of the most spectacular scenery with the iconic limestone karst. You can reach some of the islands such as Koh Wua Ta Lap or Koh Mae (which has a stunning Emerald Lake), on a day trip from either Koh Samui or Koh Phangan.
Best Places in Thailand for Culture
There’s more to Thailand than its beaches, nightlife and fresh barracuda. The country is drenched in Buddhist culture and is dotted with stunning temples and palaces. When exploring Thailand on your own, you simply have to visit a temple or two.
Nakhon Pathom is the oldest city in Thailand and has the tallest Buddhist monument in the world but the most stunning has to be the White Temple of Chiang Rai in the north (known as Wat Rong Khun) which borders neighbouring Burma.
Ayutthaya was once the nations’ capital and was ranked as the most magnificent city in the Orient. Nowadays, Ayutthaya Historical Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with cultural shows and too many temples and palaces to count.
In Northern Thailand is one of the country’s most impressive sites. Sukhothai Historical Park is a World Heritage Site and has nearly 200 historical ruins, with some of the temples dating back 700 years. Wander through the old town, see Buddha statues and lilies within the site’s four ponds. It’s a place for solitude and reflection.
As a historic place to go in Thailand you can see the ancient ruins of monasteries, the large reclining Buddha, and the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace by bus and boat on a day trip from Bangkok. You also can see the Head of the Buddha at Wat Mahatat which has a tree trunk and roots which grow around it.
There really is no better way to meet Thailand’s indigenous people than on a hill tribe trek, staying overnight with the tribes. The best place in Thailand for this is Chiang Mai, the largest city in northern Thailand and the gateway to tribal treks, and bamboo rafting. Visit an Elephant Sanctuary to learn more about the rescued elephants and even give them a bath.
It is Thailand’s second largest city with its own night bazaar and Sunday market and is home to the Crystal Buddha, Wat Chedi Luang (known as “The temple of the Great Stupa”) and the underground Tunnel Temple. (Don’t forget to try Thai cuisine from the street vendors, it’s just as good as the restaurants and much cheaper). Chiang Mai does get smoky in March each year due to the farmers burning their fields to get ready for the crops.
Other Places To Visit in Thailand Alone
Many travellers come to Thailand each year and stick to a particular route. To avoid the tourist places in Thailand, head to the north for rural tranquility in Surin, Ancient Khmer ruins in Buri Ram or Nong Khai for great river views of the Mekong (opposite Laos). East Asia has idyllic, isolated beaches but get there quick before they are properly discovered.
Sustainable and eco tourism are growing in Thailand especially in Chiang Mai and Koh Chang and the country has numerous national parks, waterfalls and heritage sites.
See the Thi Lo Su waterfall for its beauty or the seven tiers of Erawan and take a dip in its freshwater pools. Visit the National Parks of Doi Inthanon, home to Thailand’s highest peak or Khao Sok National Park, one of the best in Thailand.
Visit Koh Chang for solitude or Rayong with its coastline of quieter less developed beaches. In the south a quiet escape can be found on the long coastline of Chumphon or visit Trang for the Emerald Cave and waterfalls in a peaceful forest setting.
Adventure in Thailand
It's not all about laying on a beach when you're traveling Thailand solo as there are plenty of fun things to do in Thailand for the adventurous traveller. If you need to get your heart pumping, here are the best places to go in Thailand.
Try your hand at watersports, trekking, rafting (in the North), cycling, rock climbing (Krabi is the coolest place in Thailand for this), and even bungee jumping in Pattaya, Phuket, Ko Samui and Mae Rim. There’s a reason it’s called ‘Amazing Thailand’ because it literally is.
Thailand Travel Tips
If you travel to Thailand alone on a government holiday, tuk tuk drivers may try and take you to government shops in exchange for free fuel. Just be firm on where you want to go.
If you plan to travel around Thailand by boat, be aware that Thais don’t seem to know the meaning of health and safety and boats can get very overcrowded.
When you visit Thailand, be careful with your drinks in the tourist areas as drinks have been known to be spiked.
Solo travel to Thailand is really easy with many tour companies in the country but if you feel nervous about backpacking alone in Thailand, G Adventures is a responsible tour company offering Thailand tours for solo travellers especially budget travellers. Most tours have an average of 10 people and there is no upper age limit.
Once you book your trip you pay extra for any excursions you want to do when you’re there. Adventures range from a 4 sailing trip from Phuket to Koh Phi Phi to a 24 day Thailand encompassed trip. There’s even a 41 day trip through Malaysia and Indonesia. I have personally used G Adventures and recommend them as a solo female friendly company.
Intrepid Travel is similar to G Adventures with an average of 12 people on each tour. Over 50% of people using their trips are solo travellers. They tend to use Thailand hotels instead of hostels and have a more comfortable style of accommodation hence the trips can appear a bit more costly than G Adventures. Intrepid Tours Thailand range from a 2 day Bite-Size Break Bangkok to a 35 day Indochina Unplugged trip through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Read our Intrepid Travel Reviews
With both tour companies you share a room with someone of the same gender or you can pay extra for your own room.
Stray Travel – More for the adventurous GatG, Stray is a hop on hop off bus tour offering bus passes around Asia. Hop aboard in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos or Bhutan. As well as Thailand trips, they also offer trips to Borneo where you can explore the world’s oldest rainforest, get up close and personal to orang-utans, and dive in some of the world’s top dive sites.
If you’re planning on travelling Southeast Asia in two or more months and want the flexibility to go with the flow and meet lots of other travellers, Stray is a ideal choice. If you visit during the peak season you may need to pre-book all sections of your trip before you go. Check the review here.
Day Tours in Thailand
Recommended day tour companies for tours of Thailand:
Chai Lai Sisters is a women-led trekking company which offers ethical tours such as hilltribe treks and cultural immersions.
Elephant Nature Park – This elephant park in Chiang Mai saves elephants from back-damaging tourist rides, circuses, and those who have been injured by land mines. Enjoy a forest walk with the elephants whilst learning about their behaviour.
Asia Scenic Thai Cooking School Chiang Mai – This cooking school teaches you not only how to cook amazing Thai cuisine but also to learn about Thai culture.
Get Your Guide – When you travel Thailand alone, Get Your Guide helps you to find top-rated activities and day guided tours in Thailand. Choose from a visit to an elephant retirement park, a Damnoen Saduak floating market tour, or a ferry transfer between Phuket and Koh Phi Phi. There are so many to choose from and it’s really simple to use. Just check the reviews, price and availability then book online. * Check all tours and prices here
Accommodation in Thailand
There are many types of accommodation in Thailand. From huts on the beach to staying in one of the luxury hotels in Thailand fit for Thai royalty, whichever accommodation you are looking for you will find in true Thai style.
You won’t find many houses on stilts in paddy fields or cheap beach huts bookable on the internet but you will be able to book your accommodation in Thailand Bangkok, a boutique hotel or hostel, and spa resorts on the beach. For tourist resorts in Thailand head to Phuket.
There aren’t many hostels in the beach areas but you will find them in Bangkok, Surat Thani, Phuket, Hua Hin and Chiang Mai. Where there isn't a hostel there are budget hotels or guest houses in Thailand instead. Plus there’s Airbnb where you can stay with locals or rent their whole property instead. You can save $20 off your first stay with this Airbnb link.
If you are searching for the best places to stay in Thailand, all of the Thailand accommodation below have been recommended by solo female travellers from our Girls about the Globe community and come with a Solo Female Friendly endorsement. All budget accommodation Thailand is marked with one ‘$.'
Once Again Hostel is one of the best hostels in Bangkok for solo female travellers. Just a 15 minute walk to Koh Sang Road, and 20 minutes to the temples, this super stylish hostel is on a quiet street with a nice rooftop.
They offer daily activities as well as bike hire and have a 24 hour reception so you can arrive into Bangkok on a late flight and still be able to check in. The rooms are clean with comfy beds with your own personal curtain for more privacy. All of the rooms have balconies with a view. Choose from the 8 bed female-only dorm or a mixed 4, 6, 8 or 12 bed dorm room.
- Prices start from £10 for a 12 bed dorm per night
- To book, check prices or availability for Once Again Hostel
Bangkok – Asia Hotel ($$)
This Thailand accommodation is the perfect place to stay in Bangkok with the Skytrain nearby. If you love food, the Asia Hotel has an impressive range of cuisine with 6 different dining options. The rooms are really spacious and include a fridge, minibar and flat-screen TV.
You can take a bath in your own marble bathroom or relax in the hotel’s hot tub after a workout at the gym. This 4 star hotel is great value for money and you’ll feel like a princess walking into the Palacio surroundings on a traveller’s budget.
- Prices start from £42 per night for a superior double room
- To book, check prices or availability for Asia Hotel Bangkok
Cheap, bright and impeccably clean, D-Well Hostel is a great choice for solo females. There are large lockers to store your bags, air-conditioning within the rooms, and also an ATM onsite. Breakfast is included but there’s a cafe next door too if you get peckish later. Choose from a 4 or 6 bed mixed dorm, a 6 bed female-only dorm.
“The people are super nice, the prices are good and there's female only dorms etc. They were also very happy to help me book in for different activities. It's clean and modern and 10/10 would recommend!” – Kelsey Nineham, a 19 year old solo traveller from South Africa.
- Prices start from £9 for a 6 bed dorm per night
- To book, check prices or availability for D-Well Hostel
If you prefer to be surrounded in nature with the added bonus of a nearby beach, ThaiLife Homestay Resort & Spa is a stunning choice. Situated in the region of Phang Nga Province, you can escape the hustle and bustle in a peaceful, cosy environment.
The resort has a private beach to lay on, bikes to ride on and an outdoor swimming pool. Superior villas include a sitting area, kettle, toiletries and a hairdryer. You may have to share the property with couples but if you are looking for a piece of paradise in Thailand, this resort is in the perfect setting. If you do start missing city life, there is a free shuttle to the city.
- Prices start from £85 per night for a superior villa
- To book, check prices or availability for ThaiLife Homestay Resort & Spa
When you solo travel Koh Samui, Casa Luna Hostel is clean, comfortable and close to the pier, away from Chaweng Beach. The lounge is oh so Thai with comfortable cushions and good food. Run by an English couple, the hostel has a great atmosphere with lovely staff to match. Accommodation is within a 10 bed mixed dorm room.
- Prices from £7 for a 10 bed room per night
- To book, check prices or availability for Casa Luna Hostel
This 3 star Thai resort is set in the heart of Chaweng Beach amongst tropical vegetation. Each room comes with a TV, a fridge and free tea and coffee so you can enjoy a hot brew in the gorgeous gardens.
There is a pool and sun loungers for when you want to relax, and if you choose not to dine at the resort’s restaurant, there are a choice of restaurants close by. It may only have 3 stars but there is plenty to help you relax from a hot tub to Thai massages. Choose from a standard villa or upgrade to a deluxe pool villa.
- Prices start from £66 per night for a standard villa
- To book, check prices or availability for Chaweng Buri Resort
Literally just one minute walk from the beach, Slumber Party hostel is the place to stay if you want to socialise. The staff are really helpful and they organise activities and tours every night so you can do as much or little as you choose.
They do have two hostels so if you want to party they take you to Slumber Party 1 where the bar is. Choose Slumber Party 2 for the beach. Stay in a 6, 8, or 10 bed mixed dorm room, all with air conditioning and fans.
- Prices start from £10 for a 10 bed dorm per night
- To book, check prices or availability for Slumber Party Ao Nang Beach
This hostel will make you feel right at home. The location is good and it’s close to the street food but they do have a hostel cafe with tasty desserts and coffee. The owner is really friendly and accommodating (and prepares a great breakfast).
There’s a peaceful garden to chill out in and because the hostel isn’t too big, it’s easy to meet other guests. Choose from a 6 bed dorm or a private deluxe room with your own bathroom.
“I can fully endorse Carrot on the Moon hostel. The service was great and the free breakfast was amazing.” Ashley Christensen – a 34 year old solo traveller from the U.S.
- Prices start from £6 for a 6 bed dorm
- To book, check prices or availability for Carrot on The Moon Hostel
Travelling Around Thailand
Travelling in Thailand alone is easy. Local tour operators are everywhere to book your Thailand transportation through the country and any onward tickets especially in Khao San Road in Bangkok.
Public Transportation in Thailand
The best way to travel Thailand from Bangkok to the north is on a night train. From Bangkok to Chiang May it takes approximately 13 hours. There are different transportation options depending on which train you take. First class has its own lockable air-conditioned compartment with a seat that turns into a bunk bed. The toilet and shower is shared. Second class usually has a fan and a bunk bed with a curtain to separate you from the other passengers. You can also travel south on the train to Surat Thani or Hat Yai. Hua Lamphong Train Station is the main Bangkok station.
Getting around Thailand is also possible with the bus. Head south on air-conditioned buses (journeys are up to 8 hours). Express buses are for longer journeys with reclining seats and toilets onboard but you may prefer the comfort of a VIP bus instead. Buses generally stop for a lunch or dinner stop.
Southern Bangkok Bus Terminal is the station for buses to the south. Most buses for the north leave from Bangkok Bus Terminal. If you’re in Bangkok and travelling back to your accommodation, the night bus runs 24 hours a day. You can book your transport through your accommodation or a local tour agency when you’re there. There are also local buses in smaller towns where you can buy a ticket at the bus station before you get on. Whichever method of transport you choose, getting around in Thailand is easy.
Most people when solo backpacking Thailand, go island hopping and travel across Thailand islands using the regular ferries and overnight boats. Motorcycles, taxis, tuk tuks and overland trucks pick you up in towns and cities. In Bangkok use the skytrain or even a boat. You can fly to some of the islands if you don’t have time to travel overland.
If you want to try driving for your solo trip Thailand, to hire a car I recommend pre-booking a car so you can collect your vehicle when you arrive at the airport.
To see the major destinations or travel through Thailand overland to Malaysia you will need approximately a month. However, two weeks in Thailand is also enough time to experience the country and see the best Thailand places depending on your interests.
A 12 day Thailand itinerary for example, could include Bangkok, Chiang Mai and the southern beaches. Below I have included examples of a Thailand solo travel itinerary, from a 7 day itinerary for Thailand to 2 weeks in Thailand. I've also included my favourite islands where you are guaranteed to meet others.
Thailand Itinerary 1 Week (heading north)
Bangkok – 3 nights, Ayutthaya – 1 night, Chiang Mai – overnight train or fly – 2 nights (plus overnight train), Pai – 1 night. Back to Chiang Mai, then Bangkok.
7 Days in Thailand Itinerary (heading south)
Bangkok – 3 nights, Koh Pha Ngan (from Surat Thani) – 2 nights, Ko Samui – 2 nights, Ko Tao – Day trip, Fly back to Bangkok from Ko Samui.
Thailand Itinerary 10 days
Bangkok – 3 nights, Krabi – 3 nights, Railay Bay – 2 nights, Koh Lanta – 2 nights.
Thailand Itinerary 14 Days
Bangkok – 3 nights, fly to Phuket – 3 nights, Koh Phi Phi – 2 nights, ferry to Koh Lanta – 2 nights, ferry to Krabi – 2 nights, fly to Chiang Mai – 2 nights, fly back to Bangkok.
Thailand Travel Guide
If you need a guide book for your travels we recommend the Solo Girl’s Travel Guides. These Thailand solo female travel guides are written specifically for women and cover every travel detail including exclusive access to off the-beaten-path destinations and secret beaches.
The author, Alexa West, has lived in Thailand and shares all her knowledge including places to go in Thailand as a woman, hidden restaurants and how to avoid the scams. If you prefer Rough Guides or Lonely Planet for your trips to Thailand, click here for all Thailand guide books.
If you are planning on travelling to Thailand for the first time, the Solo Girl’s Travel Guide to Thailand covers topics such as: what to pack, the best islands in Thailand for solo travelers and beaches for your budget, and the sights and temples that you shouldn’t miss. It also includes hidden bars where you can meet others, and local places to eat and shop. For any girl travelling Thailand alone it’s your travel Bible.
Best Time To Go To Thailand
Thailand does have rainy seasons where it can rain for hours. The monsoons technically start from May to October but you can still find a few hours of sunshine. If you are hoping to catch some rays it’s better to avoid these months but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy yourself if this is the only time that you can go.
The seasons can change slightly and it may rain in the evenings so you can squeeze half a day on a beach. As a rough idea, The best time to go to Thailand is March to May for the south, and November to December for the north.
Thailand is very humid and the capital is always hot and humid. The best time to go to Bangkok is January. Below is the weather chart for Bangkok from January to December. Click this link to find the weather for the destinations you are travelling to.
Travel Insurance For Thailand
Thailand is a great country to explore but the health and safety isn’t up to the standard that you may expect at home. If you are planning a solo trip to Thailand, travel insurance is definitely recommended especially if you are planning on taking a hill-tribe hike, long tail boat rides or snorkelling and scuba diving.
I recommend True Traveller for UK and European residents, and World Nomads for U.S. and worldwide citizens. Both companies allow you to buy insurance when you are already on the road, and offer different plans depending on your coverage needs including additional adventure packs.
Bangkok: Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) – Most international flights to Thailand fly into Bangkok. It takes 30 minutes to the city by airport rail link which leaves every 30 minutes and takes you to Phaya Thai for the Skytrain. There’s also a commuter line which stops at all stations. Trains cost £1.00. Buses operate from the airport to Ratchadamnoen Avenue and take one hour, costing £1.00.
Taxis are really reasonable and can be booked on the first floor. The desk will ask your destination and write the name in Thai to hand to the driver. Public buses run from the second floor but there is no direct service to Khao San Road.
Bangkok: Don Mueang Airport (DMK) – Buses run between DMK and the MRT/BTS station and take up to 55 minutes. Trains also run and cost £3 for the hour journey instead of £2 for the bus. A taxi will cost £8. * There is also a free shuttle between BKK and DMK airport.
Chiang Mai – From Chiang Mai Airport you can take a bus which takes 11 minutes to the Chiang Mai City Art & Cultural Centre and costs £1.00. A taxi is quicker and costs £5.
Phuket – The bus from Phuket Airport takes 1 hour to Central Big C and costs £2.00. Taxis only take 30 minutes but cost at least £20 for the journey. If you are on a budget take the bus option.
* Check Rome2Rio for your airport journeys.
Feel more confident with someone waiting for you at the airport when you Rome2Rio, a reliable and safe service for solo females.
Thailand Border Crossings (check visas before you travel)
If you’re travelling to Thailand alone on a round the world ticket, Bangkok can be used for the neighbouring countries of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Burma which can be reached overland. The cheapest way to get to Thailand from Asia is either with Air Asia, or by bus from Malaysia, Cambodia or Laos. International buses are well connected to Bangkok.
Thailand can also be twinned with: Korea, Middle East and the Maldives with Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways or Air Asia. Below are the ways to travel to Thailand from neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia.
Thailand To Malaysia – Hat Yin is just a few hours from the border where you get a minibus to Penang. Krabi is a good last stop as minibuses go from here to Hat Yai, or catch a boat from Satun to the island of Langkawi.
Thailand To Myanmar – Cross from Mae Sai at the northern tip but check the latest advice before you go as border crossing information can change.
Thailand To Laos – There are several crossings but one of the most popular is Nong Khai, which crosses into Vientiane, the capital of Laos. You can travel from Bangkok to Nong Khai which takes approx 10 hours or cross at Chiang Khong into Huya Xai but you will need to pre-arrange your visa here.
Thailand To Cambodia – From Bangkok it’s 3 hours to the Aranyprathet border crossing to Poipet.
Where can I go from here?
Cambodia – 1 hour 25 minutes
Burma – 1 hour 30 minutes
Laos – 1 hour 30 minutes
How To Be a Conscious Traveller in Thailand
Wildlife tourism is big in Thailand, tigers and elephants are used are tourist attractions so In additional to the universal ways to be a conscious traveller, here are our recommendations for responsible travel in Thailand alone.
- Don’t visit the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi. Not only are you compromising your own safety with these wild animals but there have been cases of illegal breeding and tiger abuse. Avoid any animal parks offering cuddles with tiger cubs too.
- Asian elephants are an endangered species and are being exploited in several venues in Thailand. When not giving rides or performing, elephants at tourist attractions are typically kept chained day and night. Don’t ride an elephant, instead visit an elephant sanctuary. Find ethical sanctuaries here
- Don’t volunteer in an orphanage. Many of these in Southeast Asia have become unethical businesses with children being removed from their parents to cater for the demand of people wanting to volunteer.
- If you are planning on visiting a hill tribe, avoid any human zoo experiences. Ensure that the company is operating ethically and helps to give back to the schools or community. Instead of seeing the Karen tribe choose a homestay to discover more about the agriculture for example.
- Don’t give money to begging children. By giving them money you are helping to keep them on the streets and out of schools. Instead look for an NGO that is working with the children.
Social Impact Programs
There are several social enterprises in Thailand that help give back to the community on your solo Thailand trip. Dine on a vegetarian meal at Baan Unrak Children’s Village in Kanchanaburi and help support a local orphanage, buy a cup of artisan coffee at Akha Ama Coffee in Chiang Mai and the funds are sent back to a small village, or enjoy a vegetarian Burmese dish or smoothie at Freebird Cafe in Chiang May and you’ll be helping the indigenous community and refugees.
You don’t just have to dine to be able to give back; the Doitung Tourism Project is an enterprise of guesthouses, boutiques and coffee shops who support the livelihoods of the people in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Doitung.
You can learn about elephants and other wildlife in Hua Hin whilst helping support the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, help support farmers in rural areas on a cotton-weaving tour, and purchase handicrafts and food products from women in some of the poorest regions in Wanita. From massages to local tours, here are some amazing social enterprises in Thailand.
Volunteering in Thailand
Thai Child Development – supports underprivileged children and those with disabilities or learning disorders to ensure that they receive medical care and education. You can volunteer with the foundation and help on the farm, in the food forest or at the Community Creative Learning Centre.
And if you have a skill such as writing, marketing, accounting or others, you can continue to support from home too.
Soi Dog Foundation in Phuket rescue and rehabilitate street dogs and dogs from the illegal meat trade. It's an awesome facility with a great volunteer network and is very hands on. It doesn't cost any money to volunteer, you just need your own accommodation as they offer transport.
Stay Eco in Thailand
Eco Logic Resort For Charity
When you are solo travelling Thailand, if you're planning on staying in an eco retreat, the Eco Logic Resort For Charity is a retreat with a difference. All of the profits help the development of local children and during your stay you can see with your own eyes the difference that they are making. They have different types of accommodation for all budgets. Stay in a tent or a shared dormitory, a private guest room or one of their cheap bungalows in Thailand.
The FarmFresh Restaurant has great jungle views and serves organic produce grown on their doorstep. Even the soap and shampoo is made locally. This resort for charity is located near Ranong and they can arrange a paid shuttle from the airport for you. There is a minimum of a 2 night stay.
- Prices start from £15 for a bed for 2 nights in a 10 bed dorm room
- To book, check prices or availability for Eco-Logic Resort For Charity
Bangkok Tree House
Just because you are in the capital city doesn’t mean that you can’t go eco. Bangkok Tree House is a short drive from Bangkok and offers accommodation such as nests (that look like insect hives) built from reclaimed wood, bamboo and recycled materials, and rooms. Everything is provided including organic meals at the Reflect Restaurant, free ice-cream and free bicycles.
The best thing about staying here apart from the use of wind and solar energy is that you are helping to clean up the river too. Just by staying here they remove 1 kg of litter from the river. Bonus! If you’re looking for a green, rustic stay, the tree house is a long-tail boat ride away. But do expect some insects.
- Prices start from £88 for a deluxe double room
- To book, check prices or availability for Bangkok Tree House
Vulnerable Girls in Thailand
There are more than 1 million victims of child labour in Thailand. With many families living in poverty, children are sent to work to help the family, in particular immigrant children. Some children are sent into prostitution by their families even though this is illegal.
The Child Safe Movement trains street vendors, tuk tuk drivers and taxis to report any suspected child sex tourism and helps to provide them with an alternative to a life on the streets. It is also estimated that there are 20,000 street children in Thailand’s cities vulnerable to sexual and physical abuse. Read more…
Thailand is a safe haven for refugee children from Myanmar who live in camps along the border. More than 110,000 people have been displaced and the International Rescue Committee provides health care, food and water, education and protection for these children.
(N.b. By purchasing one of our Girl about the Globe products, we donate 10% to the IRC to help support displaced girls)
Frequently asked questions about Thailand
- Can I drink the water? It isn't recommended to drink the tap water so buy bottled water or take your own water filter with you.
- Is tipping expected? No but 10% is appreciated.
- Fixed price or barter? Barter.
- Any ATMs? Yes and lots of money exchanges.
- Which side of the road do they drive? Left.
- Good for vegetarians? Yes.
- Any seven wonders of the world? No.
- What is Thailand famous for? Beaches, islands, and Buddhist culture and temples.
Map of Thailand
How To Plan a Solo Trip to Thailand
If you are ready to plan a trip to Thailand here are some useful links for female solo travel Thailand, including airlines which fly there, currency and vaccinations required.
Budget – £20 a day
Capital – Bangkok
Population – 63.5 million
Language Spoken – Thai. English is widely spoken.
Best Time to Go – March to May for the South. November to December for the North.
Did you know? Thailand has many homestays for authentic experiences with the local people.
Soi Dog Foundation in Phuket rescue and rehabilitate street dogs and dogs from the illegal meat trade. It's an awesome facility with a great volunteer network and is very hands on. It doesn't cost any money to volunteer, you just need your own accommodation as they offer transport.
If cooking is on your Thailand travel itinerary, take an authentic Thai cooking classin Chiang Mai. Take a tour of a local market and find out the secrets of Thai cuisine at a morning or afternoon cooking class.
Watch traditional Muay Thai boxing in Bangkok and learn more about this national sport. The Muay Thai ticket includes martial arts, sword fights and even acrobatics. Perfect for a night out.
If watching dancers and musicians is more your style then spend an evening at the Bangkok Siam show to discover Thailand's rich cultural heritage and be dazzled by a stage show.
Thailand has some of the best diving in the world and is perfect for a diving GatG going to Thailand alone. It's also a great activity to meet others backpacking through Thailand at the same time. Find out more at Dive Worldwide
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