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Top Solo Travel Deals, SE Asia-Bangkok

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Top Solo Travel Deals, SE Asia-Bangkok: While Chiang Mai had only approximately 11M tourists in 2019, Bangkok is sometimes called the most visited city in the world with twice that amount of tourists in recent years. While I was prepared for it to be just another large city, I had a wonderful experience there!  Bangkok/SE Asia was easily one of the top 3 trips of my lifetime after visiting 68+ countries.

Bangkok and Thailand, more broadly, make for a top vacation, they also work on a standalone basis. For me, it was part of a Christmas and New Year’s holiday including Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. As a woman traveling alone in Asia, I did find everything easy. English was widely spoken, and in Cambodia, and sometimes in Vietnam, dollars were accepted. I was met with warmth and friendliness everywhere I went.

I tried four different ways to see Bangkok and the surrounding area. I recommend  that you give this mixed approach a try as well!

Top Solo Travel Deals, SE Asia-Bangkok:

Option 1:

  1. I began my first stay’s sightseeing with a small group city tour-This provided a really good overview of the city and its three principal temples or wats. See, for example, Tours by Locals. (In general, wherever I travel in the world, I start with a half-day or full-day tour. This gives me an introduction to the city and provides a frame of reference as to what are the key sights and what is actually nearby. I also check with the guide as to how the subway and/or public transportation fits in to the most popular venues.

Top Solo Travel Deals, SE Asia-Bangkok:

Option 2:

2. On day two I took a large local tour-This day trip to the summer palace and former capital was interesting and ended in a boating excursion back to the city. Unfortunately, the crowd was so large simply stopping to take  photos raised the risk of losing the guide. I ended up getting the Parisian mobile phone number of one of the group members as my “contact”. Then if I ended up standing by the roadside hoping to find transportation back to Bangkok, I could try to call someone!

Top Solo Travel Deals, SE Asia-Bangkok:

Option 3:

3. On day three, I opted for a truly private tour- A 6 hour tour with a focus on the Grand Palace-This was the highlight of my stay. I also made a point of leaning from the guide how to maneuver the Bangkok subways.

Top Solo Travel Deals, SE Asia-Bangkok:

Option 4:

4. My last full day in Bangkok I took a completely independent tour – Following my guide’s instructions, I headed out from my hotel without a guidebook but intent on making my last day in Thailand an adventure. It was glorious to regale in total freedom as perplexing as it could be understanding unfamiliar sights. I was especially puzzled by finding a Buddhist shrine supported by multiple small likenesses of zebras!  Although I never found out why, I will always remember the experience. (Viator.com has a diverse list of self-guided Bangkok tours as well.)

Solo Trekker 4 U: Personal insights and recommendations from  Founder, Elizabeth Avery:

For those of us in North America, our first thought is how really far away Asia is. Just thinking about the long, long flight can be daunting.  Next the diverse numbers of languages can give a solo traveler pause. The good news is that Asia is a warm and welcoming solo travel destination. English is widely spoken, and it felt safe for me as a solo female traveler. In any case, it is important, whether at home and in any location abroad, to use good judgment. This is true even though I love adventure, having explored the world alone, including  navigating the swine flu and cholera epidemics and dodged feasting crocodiles. However, I always look for lodging with a full service restaurant to avoid foraging for dinner in unfamiliar places after dark, and book a reliable pick-up for my arrival.

Some more of our lessons learned:

  1. Connecting flights between counties require processing through passport control and/or customs. Allow for time lost. Worse yet connections even within the same carrier’s system may be at opposite ends of the airport.
  2. With the amount of flying time required, consider spending the night at an airport motel.
  3. Check visa requirements carefully. For example, if you are on a river cruise, you may cross a second international. This is true traveling between Cambodia and Vietnam.
  4. While the climate is generally warm, modest dress is appropriate for both men and women. In royal palaces, houses of worship and other certain public monuments, you may need to have head covering, a long skirt and/or shawl. In one case, my guide found my Capri pants at mid-calf too short. I went back and changed into blue jeans. That passed the test! Some locations will offer “loaners” for your visit. Do be prepared for real temperature drops either at night or en route. Coming from Southeast Asia, I almost froze traveling home through Beijing. Air China arrived on the tarmac in 40+ degree weather with no Jetway and a plane full of tee shirt and flip flop clad tourists shivering.
  5. I recommend packing socks. Why is that? If you need to remove your shoes going into certain buildings, the stones or other flooring can be hot. They are also a good way to dodge mosquitoes of other unwanted insects as needed.
  6. Watch out for wet markets and/or petting or getting too close to undomesticated animals. In addition, even many pets may not have had rabies vaccinations.
  7. Many of the authentic attractions may be hard to reach or require access from the water.

For more of our personal insights on solo travel to SE Asia, see :

The Most Captivating Mountain Treks in Southeast Asia | Solo Trekker (solotrekker4u.com)

9 Overlooked Tips for Solo Travel Asia | Solo Trekker (solotrekker4u.com)

 

About the Author
Elizabeth Avery founded Solo Trekker 4 U in 2012, to provide fellow solo travelers with well-priced top travel packages and global lodging from 5-star hotels to economical bed and breakfasts. Elizabeth has visited all 50 US states and more than 66 countries around the world.