Planning a solo trip abroad? A trip to Thailand should be on your mind and very rightly your choice is spot on. Exotic temples, breathtaking beaches, thrilling adventure sports, happening nightlife, rejuvenating Thai massages, and mouthwatering Thai delicacies await you in the Thailand – The Land of Smiles. As Thailand is quite a tourist centric country, travelling solo is relatively easy if things are planned in advance. The country attracts a lot of young solo travellers from India and worldwide who are here to explore its culture, beaches, nightlife, and food.
India is connected to Thailand via numbers of flights that take off from various major cities in India. Most travellers fly into Bangkok and make it their base to explore the country. There are direct flights to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport provided by both domestic and international airlines from Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, etc. If you want to land in Phuket, Pattaya, or Chiang Mai, you will also have the option of getting connecting flights.
There is no dearth of suitable accommodations to suit every budget in Thailand. Luxury hotels, boutique hotels, resort, to affordable hostels – you will find quite a few options that will meet your needs. Depending on the season the prices vary. So, by planning and booking in advance, you can find a good deal. Typically, solo travellers like to stay in guesthouses and hostels as this gives them a chance to meet like-minded solo travellers and exchange travel experiences with each other. In Bangkok, you can explore accommodations in Banglamphu area or Silom.
Experiences in Thailand:
Thai food has won the hearts of people from all around the world. So, when you are in the country enjoying the local delicacies are a must. The best place to do so are the local night markets where you can find a line of mobile kitchen shops selling noodles, spicy hot soups, fried rice, etc. Dining here will never make you feel that you travelling solo as the seating are often mixed and lively. If you are big on seafood you are going to love the food here – don’t forget to try Grilled Fish ( Pla Pao), Fried Rice (Khao Pad), Steamed Chicken on Rice (Khao Mung Gai), and Thai Shrimp Noodles (Pad Thai Kung). Some areas in Bangkok to explore street food are Chinatown, Phetchaburi SOI 5, Sukhumvit 38 and Talat Phu.
Thai massage is famous world over. When in Thailand, you cannot do without a rejuvenating session of Thai massage. Thai massage focusses on pressure points in the body and typically starts from the feet and gradually moves to the head. There are massage parlours in almost every area in Bangkok and other cities in Thailand. But, for best experience always choose reputed parlours who have trained and professional staff. Even if it costs higher, it will be very much worth it. Wat Pho Thai Traditional Massage School is touted to be among the best places to get a Thai massage.
If nightlife and partying are on your mind on your solo trip to Thailand, then do check out the ‘Full Moon Party’ on Haad Rin Beach on the island of Ko Pha Ngan, for once in a lifetime experience. It is quite popular among tourists and takes place on the full moon of every month. Fire skipping ropes, booze, street performances, dance, and music are its top attractions. Like all such events, drugs peddlers are also known to be active here. So, if you plan to be there stay away from locals who tend to be over friendly and stay safe.
Places to visit in Thailand:
This tropical paradise in Southeast Asia is quite a diverse country and each city in this country has something different to its visitors. You cannot explore the country in just one visit. Such is the charm of Thailand – it will allure you visit again to experience it in all its beauty and glory. Depending on what you want to do here – be it exploring the culture, beaches or nightlife, you will have plenty of things to do.
The capital of Thailand is a perfect amalgamation of the ancient and the new. Glorious temples and palaces, busy streets, lively markets, and happening pubs – you find it all here. Top attractions that should be on your list include the Grand Palace – the official residence of the King of Thailand, which also houses the famous Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Wat Pho famous for the huge reclining Buddha statue. If shopping is on your to-do list don’t head to the malls – instead, go shopping at the Chatuchak Weekend Market. Since it is open only on weekend, make sure that your timings are right.
If you want to enjoy a couple of drinks and want to meet like-minded people, head to the lively Khao San Road towards the evening. This street comes alive at night with bars, pubs, cafes and lines of street food vendors. But, this area can get uncomfortably crowded at times and many travellers complain of petty crimes – so be aware of your surroundings and stay safe.
Another thing that you must experience in Bangkok is the famous Calypso Cabernet Show. It is quite popular among the visitors here. The performers of the cabernet show are all lady boys! It is quite a show of beauty, music and dance that celebrates human spirit and diversity in a unique and eccentric way. It is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience and definitely warrants a watch.
About 150 km from Bangkok is the resort city of Pattaya, often dubbed as the Sin City. With innumerable go-go clubs, beer bars and massage parlours, the city’s reputation as the sex city is not without valid reasons. Many young travellers are attracted to the place to have some fun and frolic on the beach.
Spend half a day on the Pattaya Beach and enjoy some water activities like jet skiing, windsurfing or paragliding. Indulge in a Thai massage as you lounge by the sea. The Pattaya beach is very touristy and hence can get really crowded at times to be relaxing. If you want to spend some time in a less busy beach, check out Jomtien Beach – a clean and nice sandy beach with cafes and bars, but relatively less crowded. If you want to get the panoramic views of the Pattaya city often seen in guide books, head to the Khao Pattaya viewpoint – a small hilltop between South Pattaya and Jomtien Beach.
Just 7.5 km west of Pattaya is the small island named Koh Laan, which boasts of clean sandy beaches. These beaches are not so crowded makes for a great place if you are interested in lounging by the sea and sun bathing. This island is easily reachable by sea through a ferry which takes about 45 minutes or a speed boat which will let you reach the island in just 15 minutes. Tawaen Beach is the most popular beach on this island.
Of course, now comes the most fun part in Pattaya – the nightlife. This is what Pattaya is rather infamous for. The Walking Street of Pattaya is the hub for the partying in Pattaya. Traffic is not allowed on this street from 7.00 pm to 3.00 am and during this time this street pulsates in the vibes of its own. Home to countless bars, pubs, cafes discotheques, cabaret venues and restaurants, this place makes your head dizzy with loud music, colourful neon light, and throngs of the crowd.
Well, not everything is so sinful in Pattaya – you must also check out ‘the Sanctuary of Truth’ – a colossal wooden temple that is an amalgamation of art, religion and philosophy and ‘the Big Buddha’ – one of the largest Buddha statues in the world.
Phuket is mountainous island covered with rain forests and is famous for high-end exotic resorts, spas and happening clubs and nightlife. Home to some of the best beaches of Thailand, Phuket should be on your travel itinerary.
Phuket is located on the southwest coast of Thailand and is about 850 km always from the city of Bangkok. Given the distance you have to travel to be in Phuket, it makes sense to earmark at least 2-3 days for it. The fastest way to reach Phuket from Bangkok is via flight, but then it is also the most expensive way. If budget permits you should opt for a flight else you can travel by train and bus which can take anywhere between 13 to 16 hours. Take the night sleeper train from Bangkok to Surat Thani and then an early morning bus from Surat Thani to Phuket. You will start from Bangkok at night and will be basking on the beaches of Phuket by next afternoon.
In Phuket marvel at the beauty of the sheer limestone cliffs that crop out vertically from the sea waters in the Phang Nga Bay. Nestled in this bay are some of the exotic species of flora and fauna that you might be able to see. Do make it a point to check out two famous spots here – the James Bond Island and Koh Panyee. If you are a water sports enthusiast, you can indulge in activities like canoeing, kayaking, speed boat rides, etc.
Another day should be spent on the famed Phi Phi Island here. Also known as the Thailand’s super star island, this island lives up to its name with clear azure waters, sheer cliffs towering over the sea shore and the mysterious maze of rainforest jungle. Bask in the sun, meander on the beach and gorge on some delicious seafood delicacies.
You have not experienced Phuket in the truest sense if you have not taken a stroll on the Patong’s Bangla Road after dark. This street is the place to experience the happening night life in Phuket. After sunset, the Bangla Road on Patong Beach becomes alive with neon lights, blaring music, cheap beer, and many street performances. It is a friendly and happening place with a line of beer bars – each of them trying to compete with each other to allure customers.
After spending your time on the beach and enjoying the nocturnal life in Phuket, you must also check out the famous temple in Phuket Wat Chalong. Beautifully designed with tiny pieces of glasses, it looks exquisitely magnificent.
You cannot leave Phuket without watching Phuket FantaSea Show. FantaSea is huge and sprawls over an area of 140 acres at Kamala. With wonderful lighting effects, the FantaSea show is a fantasy show performed by trapeze artists and performing animals, on Thai culture with a mix of humour, love, magic and menagerie. The show is staged every day at 9 pm except Thursdays and Tuesdays.
Want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and beach parties, head to the North of the country to Chiang Mai. It is a large city with numerous temples and natural attractions but is relatively calm and laid back. A visit to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep – a venerated temple and one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Thailand, should be first on your to-see list. Another temple that must be visited is Wat Chedi Luang that dates back to the 14th century during the rule of the Mengrai dynasty.
Want to appreciate the ancient architecture of the place, then add Wiang Kum Kam the Underground Ancient City to your itinerary. Just five kilometres from Chiang Mai along the course of the river Ping, this ancient city dates back to the eighth-century Haripunchai Kingdom. Stone tablets with ancient inscriptions, sculptures, earthenware, etc., are all over the place.
If you are a nature buff, add a trip to the Doi Inthanon National Park to your list. Home to a wide range of animal and bird species, it is truly a nature lover’s paradise. With about 362 bird species, it is also a great place for bird watchers.
For more advice on your solo trip to Thailand, do get in touch with the travel experts at Visiit.com.