I'm traveling to Singapore for work next month and would love to add in in additional trip (why fly all of the way over there and only visit one place, right?) and was thinking either Bali or Thailand as options. This will be my first trip to Asia.
I would be traveling to either of these places alone, so any advice or tips on which are more "female friendly" (I've heard Thailand more so than Bali) or places to stay in Phuket or Bangkok would be very helpful and much appreciated. Regarding types of places to stay, I'd prefer something that is part of a major chain, well established, safe, mid-range price (under $200 a night is preferred), etc., opposed to much "off the beaten path" since I will be alone.
Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
Hi Jen! I've travelled quite a bit in both countries, and found they were equally safe for solo female travellers. The same advice I'd give to anyone elsewhere applies here (don't leave your drink unattended, etc) but walking around I never felt unsafe.
In Bangkok, I would suggest HI-Sukhumvit Hostel, for three reasons: it's clean, it's centrally located and you can take the airport link + sky train (BTS) combo straight from the airport with ease to Thong Lor station, and it has a great street food market after 5pm. If you do stay there, please try the guy who makes roast duck. If you're walking with your back to the BTS stop, he's on the righthand side just after the mango smoothie lady. There's also some great crab and pork wonton noodle soup in the alleyway just before the duck.
Singapore is a great base from which to explore. It's generally safe for solo female travellers to both Phuket and Bali. Generally, Phuket would be a bit more comfortable as you'll get less hassle from local guys. More than the concern with being a solo female traveller is the real palpable danger of the crazy local motorbike drivers in both places, really.
If weather is any consideration for you, be aware that there is a rainy season and perhaps you might be visiting in the middle of it. Monsoon season in Phuket starts around June, and around November in Bali.
Phuket is very cheap to get to, however it is very touristy and the tourists mainly consist of smelly pervy older guys. Phi Phi is a cheap 2 hour boat ride away from Phuket, so I really would recommend that Island. Good Luck and enjoy
I have been to Thailand and Vietnam. With a group in Thailand and there were four of us in Vietnam. I personally would rather go to Vietnam if I was on my own. It felt a lot safer than Thailand. And I personally loved Vietnam a bit better than Thailand. Vietnam is less commercialised and its got a variety of scenery. Mountainess regions up in Sapa (go there if the whether is good) City life in Hanoi. Boat cruise in Halong Bay Vietnam - this was the most expensive thing we did.) Relaxing, shopping, night markets, cycling through the town in Hoi An (go there to, it is awesome) we stayed at an awesome resort called "Vinh Hung Riverside Resort & Spa" at about NZD $40pp a night. Prices might be different depending what time of year. But seriously stay here if you go to Hoi an...it wont disappoint!
Down south further of Vietnam (we didnt get that far) is where the nice beaches are. So the country all in all has everything for what ever type of experience you are after. Any questions just ask me :-)
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If you do want to go to Thailand, I traveled alone there in Bangkok, Kohler Tao and Kho Sami and it was just fine. You can easily find nice, secure hotels for under $40 per night. I would just avoid shabby isolated beach huts without secure locks. Good luck on your travels!
I live and work in Asia several months a year and work out there in the tourism industry and the palce where I meet the most single female travelers is Vietnam and i have heard very few complaints from girls who travel on their own out there. It's also not as overly touristy as places like Phuket and Bali and has a bit more authintic asian feel to it if you ask me.
I've not been to Bali or Thailand, but Cambodia makes for a good side trip from Singapore. Air Asia flies cheaply, and Silk Air flies nonstop to both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. I haven't travelled in SE Asia solo, but when I did go to Singapore and Cambodia I didn't experience sexism or harassment of any kind. Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom (both just outside Siem Reap) have to be seen to be believed and can't be missed. Phnom Penh is a frenetic, noisy and dusty third world city, but it does have some worthwhile sights, such as the Choeung Ek Genocidal Center and National Museum and it has some good shopping if you're prepared to bargain. Both cities have modern luxury hotels and all the goods and services you can find in the first world if you know where to look. Cambodia gets plenty of foreign tourists, so there is plenty of safe, decent quality lodging to be had. We stayed at Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor (I was with Mum and Dad and they were paying :-D) in Siem Reap and the White Mansion Boutique Hotel in Phnom Penh.
I found the Khmer to be a very friendly and honourable people, and as I said I didn't experience any sexism or harassment. The Khmer are well aware that tourism is vital to their livelihood and that if they behave badly and give their country a bad name then the tourists will stop coming. The same precautions apply to Cambodia as almost anywhere else in the world: it's considered inappropriate for adult women to wear shorts or sleeveless tops in public, so dress modestly when you go out; don't flash your valuables; steer clear of young drunken men; don't drink to excess or do any drugs; and keep an eye on your bearings and avoid dark streets.
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Do either or both! You're safe as long as you stay "semi" sober and avoid really bad decisions.
In Phuket, much of the island doesn't offer big chain hotels (American or otherwise) bit done allow that to disuade you. There's actually no reason to pay $200 USD per night as great hotels are available via a simple web search for much less. Even in Bangkok, the JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok(5star) is less than that.
When out and about in either place, use your gut instincts. Walking at late night/ early morning is safe even by American standards.
Go eat, drink, explore, and enjoy. Don't worry. The people are famously friendly and helpful. And, this trip might actually change your life and outlook.
I highly recommend this post if you plan a solo trip in Bali, this will inspire you :)
Bali. for $200 / night , you can get 3 bedroom villa in beach area in bali :)
I've travelled to both places alone and I found it relatively safe. I had no problems wondering around the street alone at night. I would personally prefer Thailand over Bali as there's more stuff to do and see in Bangkok and beaches in phuket are white sand beaches. I did enjoy my day trip in Ubud, Bali.
You can check out lub d hostel in Bangkok. near to the BTS and major shopping area.