11 tips for solo travel in Thailand

Off grid in Khao Sok National Park

Thailand is one of the most popular Southeast Asian countries to visit. From adventures in jungles to white sand beaches and vibrant Bangkok nights, it’s a country that is enticing to every visitor. But is Thailand a good place for solo travel? My answer to this question is a resounding ‘YES’! Some of my best memories and experiences have been borne out of solo travel in Thailand.

So, read on to learn some of my best tips for solo travel in Thailand.

Is Thailand safe for solo female travellers?

Yes, Thailand is safe for solo female travel as much as it is for the gents. As with solo travel in any country, you need to take some precautions and keep a level head. For some advice around travelling solo as a woman, have a read of my solo female travel tips. Stay aware but don’t forget to have fun!

Let’s crack on with my travel tips and you’ll discover why I’m confident that Thailand is great for solo travel – for all.

Bamboo Island Thailand

1. Thailand is popular

It can be frustrating that Thailand is so popular with tourists, especially those looking for off-the-beaten-track experiences. However, it’s this popularity that makes it good for those travelling solo. And it’s not just for backpackers – it’s a popular luxury travel destination too. 

My first tip for anyone relatively new to solo travel is to visit places that are quite popular. This is because they have the tourist infrastructure to make it easier and safer for solo travellers. 

It doesn’t mean that you’re only going to find crowded beaches that sap the vibe. It just means you can benefit from being in the action without actually being trapped in a crowd. I cover some of the best places in Thailand for solo travellers below.


2. Be polite and be kind 

Thailand isn’t nicknamed ‘The Land of Smiles’ for no good reason. Generally speaking, the people are incredibly friendly. This means that if you act appropriately, many locals will help you as a solo traveller and this is just what you need.

Take time to learn a few key Thai phrases before you go, such as ‘khop khun ka’ (thank you) and ‘sawasdee ka’ (hello). 

Khao Sok Lake

3. Pick luxury hotels, if you can

Thailand has a reputation for its backpacker trail – true, it can be a lot of fun for younger solo travellers. However, Thailand isn’t just for young solo backpackers; it’s great for solo luxury travel too.

The best luxury hotels in Thailand make it easy for solo travellers. From transfers to excursions, it can be a way to get the Thai experience you’re looking for.

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4. Join trips, activities and excursions

As a solo traveller, I highly recommend joining organised trips, activities and excursions. Not only does this mean that you can safely travel in an organised group to the places you want to go and the things you want to see, but you can also meet other solo travellers too.

Some of my best friends have been made while sharing experiences on a solo excursion. Remember, you’re only strangers because you’ve not met yet. And you’ve obviously got a love of travel and adventure in common! Once you’ve met, you can then head off together on less organised tours.

Choose accommodation that organises trips and you’ll have some travel buddies in no time.

Maya Bay Thailand

5. Understand the culture

My top tip for safe solo travelling in any country, wherever you are in the world, is to know and understand the local culture and customs. Typically, in my experience, people run into trouble when they don’t act appropriately, or do something out of step with the local culture.

In Thailand, there are various different elements to this. For example, at religious sites and in less touristy areas, don’t expose too much skin – save your bikini for a well-populated tourist beach or around the hotel pool.

Fundamentally, Thailand is very spiritual and there are numerous customs and cultural expectations – respect these. I always recommend a large floaty lightweight scarf that you can whip out for covering your shoulders at religious sites like temples. 

There are other things that you may need to be aware of. Ffor example, e-cigarettes (and thus vaping) are prohibited.

When it comes to showing respect – Buddha, the King and the law are prime areas for your attention. 


6. Be aware of the danger spots

Every country has its less desirable aspects and Thailand is no different. This doesn’t mean that it’s dangerous for solo travellers; it just means that all travellers (solo or not) should be aware of places and people to avoid.

In Thailand, there is some gang/mafia activity on some islands. Even if you feel that you’re being ripped off, don’t argue. These industries can be protected by the police, so it’s best to be safe and suck it up. Unfortunately, these scams can be a concern, but chat with your hotel concierge or front desk and they will help you avoid these.

Another concern, as in many places, is drink spiking with the intent of mugging. So both male and female travellers need to take care at beach parties, especially full moon parties. Watch your drinks, keep them covered and don’t accept drinks from strangers.

The biggest concern is less sinister and is actually the roads! Hiring a scooter is fun, but if you’re new to it, save it for another location. Thai roads are utterly chaotic and I’ve seen many a tourist walking around with an arm or leg in a cast! Always make sure you’ve got excellent travel insurance.

The prolific sex industry can concern women travellers, but you won’t actually attract more attention as a solo female traveller.


7. Use regular common sense

Similarly, travelling safely often comes down to good old fashioned common sense. Remember the basics of safe travel, such as telling someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back.

Don’t take unlicensed taxis and keep valuables in the hotel’s safe or leave them at home if you can.

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8. Do what you want to do

Often as a solo traveller you may feel that you can’t do the things you really want to do. This really doesn’t need to be the case.

You don’t need a partner to enjoy the romance of a Thai sunset and you don’t need a buddy to seek out the hidden gems. 

If you’d really rather avoid certain activities on your own, team up with other people to enjoy everything that you want to do. Thailand is teeming with solo travellers and adventurers, so ask to join others or book onto a tour.

Long Tail Boat Khao Sok

9. Travel safely

Chances are that you want to visit more than one location in Thailand and so will need to move between places. 

As a solo traveller, I highly recommend organising these transfers in advance so that you can choose the safest options, including private transfer from one hotel to another.

There are also a surprising number of internal flights in Thailand. This is a good option, particularly as you move from Bangkok to Chiang-Mai. If you take the sleeper train, choose first class and buy two tickets so that you have an entire lockable compartment, unless you’re happy to share.

As an individual, you can take advantage of always fitting on a motorcycle taxi for short journeys. Tuk tuks are a must for the experience too. But again ask your hotel to organise these safely for you and barter the pricing where possible.

Top tip: Say you’ve been living in the area for a while and the tuk tuk drivers will be less likely to rip you off, as they’ll assume you’re familiar with pricing. Ask your hotel for guidance on travel prices so you have a good idea.


10. Eat well

One of the most compelling reasons to visit Thailand is for the delicious food. Dining alone is very common, so don’t feel put off. 

In places like Bangkok, dining solo is particularly easy with an abundance of street food offerings. 

However, if you want some food brought to your accommodation (and want a change to what they offer as room service), then you can use one of many food delivery apps, such as Food Panda.

Know your spice limits and don’t be afraid to ask for “tourist spicy” if you want to retain the skin on the roof of your mouth!


11. Know where to go for the best places in Thailand for solo travellers

Bangkok is a great place for solo travellers as there is a range of tours and trips you can join to experience important sights, such as Wat Phra, Wat Pho and the Grand Palace.

You can even join tours to enjoy the night bazaars, as well as visit the bright and colourful Damnoen Saduak floating market. There are also day trips to places such as Khao Yai National Park (think waterfalls, monkeys and elephants!). It’s generally easy to hire a guide if that will make you feel more confident.

In southern Thailand you’ll find the iconic beaches of the Andaman Coast that beckon so many travellers. On your way, make sure you stop off at Khao Sok National Park. Other places I highly recommend for solo travel in Thailand include Krabi and a trip to the Phi Phi Islands

Khao Sok National Park Thailand

Thailand offers a wealth of opportunities, experiences and adventures for solo travellers. With a little forethought and planning, you can have a solo luxury travel experience in this incredible country that is remarkable, memorable and exactly what you are looking for. 

Planning a visit to this beautiful South East Asian country? Have a read of my Thailand travel guide.

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