Southeast Asia forum

Meeting fellow travellers during off-season?

  • mrock

    Joined Travelfish
    16th April, 2013
    Posts: 2

    Ok, so I'm planning a two month June-July trip to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. I know that this is firmly in the rainy season for most of the region, and that there will be less travellers.

    However, I'll be travelling alone. Assuming I spend my nights primarily in dormitory styled lodging, how likely is it that I'll be able to meet fellow travellers? I'd like to have companions to spend my time with and I enjoy the backpacker scene.

    I have recurring worries that I'll be the only backpacker around. Are things really empty? Or will it be just right (not too crowded, but still people to keep you company, ie) europe during "shoulder" months like september/october?

    Thanks for ya time

    #1 Posted: 16/4/2013 - 01:15

  • Advertisement

  • Captain_Bob

    Click here to learn more about Captain_Bob
    Joined Travelfish
    27th May, 2006
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 1561

    Despite it being "rainy season" June/July is not the quietest time of year. The two low points for SEA tourism are usually late-April until early June and mid-September to late October. June/July many northern hemisphere students (and their families) have their big summer break and many of them go travelling in this region. You will not be the only backpacker around (grin) to the contrary there will be tons of people like you doing the rounds. Some of the smaller west coast islands do kind of shut down but there are plenty of alterntives, and inside the lower Gulf of Thailand is actually most sunny in June/July and islands like Ko Tao/Phangan/Samui get packed. The other thing about "rainy season" is it usually doesn't rain all day, more commonly it just tumbles down at the end of the day for an hour or so, but still fairly unpredictable. Note that dorm-style accommodation is uncommon in this part of the world, but single guesthouse rooms and beach bungalows are abundant and often cheap. Good way to meet people is join group activities like trekking in the north and snorkeling/scuba trips in the south.

    #2 Posted: 19/4/2013 - 06:42

  • mrock

    Joined Travelfish
    16th April, 2013
    Posts: 2

    Usually I meet people by dorming together while travelling. I'll have to tweak my approach if I want some company I suppose. Thanks!

    #3 Posted: 19/4/2013 - 12:39

  • antoniamitc-
    hell

    Click here to learn more about antoniamitchell
    Joined Travelfish
    13th May, 2012
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 190
    Total reviews: 3
    Places visited:
    At least 39

    Hi Mrock,

    Don't worry - you'll still be able to meet other travellers. Some guesthouses have communal lounge areas (same as dorms), others have porches where people sit out and chill, so you can easily wander by and say hello to the neighbours. Apart from at your guesthouse, you will run across other backpackers regularly - sitting across from them on trains or buses/minibuses, finding yourself at the adjacent table at a hawker stall or restaurant, bumping into them in temples, etc. Because there are plenty of backpackers and we'll all in the same boat, it's remarkably easy to find company. Just smile and strike up a conversation.

    I'm not the most outgoing of people (when I first moved to London, I initially found it hard to meet people) and even I was able to regularly find company in SE Asia. Honestly, you'll be great!

    #4 Posted: 19/4/2013 - 13:09

  • HPTravels

    Joined Travelfish
    25th April, 2013
    Posts: 6

    Hi, I'll be in Bangkok from June 3 ... Be backpacking too.

    #5 Posted: 25/4/2013 - 18:35

  • michelled

    Joined Travelfish
    9th June, 2013
    Posts: 10

    Hi I am flying to Bangkok on 1st July and travelling for a month, looking for travel companions.
    I am a 21 year old female, just graduated uni.

    Michelle

    #6 Posted: 9/6/2013 - 03:57

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6219
    Total reviews: 10

    If you come out Mukdahan way drop me a note. Happy to link up and show you around.

    #7 Posted: 10/6/2013 - 08:39

  • daawgon

    Joined Travelfish
    17th April, 2007
    Posts: 910
    Total reviews: 2

    Don't limit your social contacts to other backpackers. The locals want to meet you too - usually to practice their English. In Vietnam especially, you will be approached on the street. Also in Vietnam, you can make a reservation with the student clubs that give free tours in exchange for English practice. About a month prior to travel send them an email. Hanoikids in Hanoi, Saigonhotpot in HCMC and Danangkids in Danang/Hoi An. (just search for their websites)

    #8 Posted: 10/6/2013 - 11:40

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6219
    Total reviews: 10

    daawgon makes a good point there. It's very easy to meet people out here. In fact, I am often perplexed why people come here to hang out with other backpackers and not indigenous people.

    #9 Posted: 10/6/2013 - 12:05

  • LeonardCohe-
    n1

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2012
    Posts: 2148
    Total reviews: 11

    I try to avoid other westerners in Asia. The whole point of going to a different country is experiencing the local culture. If you're only hanging out with your "own kind" then you are little more than a sheep on a bus with a bunch of other tourists looking at a country from the outer.

    #10 Posted: 10/6/2013 - 20:04

  • Advertisement

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6219
    Total reviews: 10

    Leonard phrases it perhaps more sharply than I would have, but I can not say I disagree with him.

    #11 Posted: 11/6/2013 - 09:03

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2353
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    you guys have had this discussion before. in the end i think it comes down to personal preference. but i think it is also a function of shared experience, and wanting to travel with people who might enjoy it from similar perspectives. it is the same reason most folks go to the cinema with a friend or join a book club - to share the experience with someone else and to talk about it, which can also enrich it.

    i agree with daawgon too that meeting locals is fun as well as enriching, and it is much easier to rub elbows with locals now at a club or restaurant or beach or museum than it was 20 years ago. but unless there is a common language, that conversation is only going to go so far. excellent point not to limit your contacts to just one group of folks but to mix it up as much as possible. that could definitely include locals, other travelers, and even friendly long-term expats offering to show you around. ta.

    #12 Posted: 11/6/2013 - 09:50

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6219
    Total reviews: 10

    "excellent point not to limit your contacts to just one group of folks but to mix it up as much as possible. that could definitely include locals, other travelers, and even friendly long-term expats offering to show you around. ta."

    Exactamundo. Couldn't have said it better myself.

    #13 Posted: 11/6/2013 - 10:53

  • Snookieboi

    Click here to learn more about Snookieboi
    Joined Travelfish
    14th April, 2013
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 61

    I like to mix it up too.

    When i started out travelling i met some very interesting travellers that not only knew the country very well indeed, they also knew a lot about other places too. I can say that they inspired me to spend about 12 years of my life travelling all over Asia and Latin America as well as many places in between.

    Mind you i think it's important to be reasonably selective as all kinds of people travel.

    #14 Posted: 11/6/2013 - 12:16

Have questions? Jump to our menu of forum quicklinks

Add your reply

Your reply

Check this box if you want to be notified of replies.

Please be familiar with our user guidelines before you post. Thanks!

Businesses planning on plugging their guesthouse / hotel / karaoke bar should read our "Addition guidelines" very carefully.

You need to be logged in to answer an existing post on the Travelfish forums. Please login via the prompts just above and refresh this screen -- before writing your post -- and you'll be in business.

Possibly related discussions Replies  Views  Latest reply
fellow travellers ... By j4s on 3 Jun 2012 1 1351 17 Aug 2012
Good places to meet fellow travellers ... By Gordon_M on 11 Jul 2006 4 3172 18 Jul 2006