Hello fellow travelers,
I will be flying to Bangkok in January 2014 to spend 3-4 weeks traveling around as a solo female traveler. After reading many reviews, blogs, and listening to friends I have been told Lub D guesthouse (GH) in BKK is a great place to stay as a solo traveler... can anyone who has stayed there confirm this for me? Or alternatively direct me to a GH they prefer?
Also, I was hoping someone might be able to rec'md their favorite GH in Chaing Mai. I am on somewhat of a budget however willing and able to pay for a nicer room if a/c is needed and suggested. As this is my first time in Thailand its hard to conceptualize the weather in January (especially being from Canada!). In addition, if anyone could rec'md their favorite tours in CH (elephant treks, river rafting etc) that would be greatly appreciated. I'm a huge animal lover so it is important to me that the elephants are well looked after and not made to do tricks.
Lastly, any suggestions and travel tips (safety, what to avoid etc) of being a solo female traveler would be amazing.
Thanks in advance
Something tells me that you're a "solo female traveller" -
-You can check reviews for various hostels on many websites like hostel world or trip advisor ...
-I use couchsurfing in BK & CM
-In January it's hot - a little cooler at night if you're in the north i.e Sappong/Pai
-As for tours, they are many in CM offering more or less the same thing - it's a question of doing research online.
This may interest you: http://expertvagabond.com/elephants-in-thailand/
January is a good month because it will be the cold season here. Elephants not doing tricks and being well taken care of. That is very questionable. I myself do not support zoos or anything having to do with elephants rides etc. As far as safety, there are a number of rules to go by. Make color copies of your passport and keep them in a separate area. Always carry your passport with you and never hand it over to anyone for renting bikes and such. If they are unwilling to take a copy move on. Do not get drunk. Do not mean to scare you but their have been rapes before in Chiang Mai and other tourists areas, getting drinks spiked etc. Not so much by Thais but by other foreigners. Never leave your drink alone in a bar for example. Beware of taxis late at night alone. There are numerous warnings and stories on the internet. Read them. Do lots of research before you arrive, many don,t have have serious problems afterwards. Read about Do's and Don'ts about Thai customs. It never hurts to be polite, many don,t bother and it shows. I do not have a favorite guesthouse in CM since i no longer visit there. Don,t be afraid to try Thai food away from where tourists eat. One its far cheaper and much much better. The food is fine you will not get ill. Hope this little bit helps.
#3 theloner has been a member since 7/10/2013. Posts: 116
theloner - I've always had to give my passport when renting a scooter, they do not accept photocopies as far as I know, at least not in Thailand. Secondly I rarely carry my passport with me -just a copy, but this is my choice. and thirdly, by all means get drunk - with someone you trust - [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]
What you call "cold season" is like July for us Canadians.
I have never given my passport to any rentals in the last 15 years. Likely rented a bike at least six times a year. That works out to about 90 times. If they do not accept a copy i just go elsewhere. The passport believe it or not is not yours. It is the property of the government at least in the United States. If the rental place decides to screw with you your out of cash and or passport. Then your going to do what ? As far as getting drunk unless your with a very trusted friend that you did not meet over here that is a huge mistake. More so with women. But go ahead drink yourself silly. Most foreigners do.
#5 theloner has been a member since 7/10/2013. Posts: 116
@adbeats Yup, LubD is a very popular guesthouse in Bangkok - they actually have a couple of branches - one near Silom Road and the other near Siam Square. It's certainly far from the cheapest in town though. We have a lot of reviews of other places on the site -- here is a good starting point for some of the more recent detailed reviews. Coming from Canada, even though Jan is "cool" season, air-con might be a good idea - at least until you settle in.
In Chiang Mai, there are about a bazillion guesthouses to choose from, one I've stayed in and would recommend is CM Blue House but there are plenty of others to choose from - probably not necessary to book in advance as long as you don't mind a little door knocking.
With trekking, for me personally has been a very long time - one of the main issues with recommending particular places is that guides move from shop to shop and the guide can be the most important part of a good trek. Some useful background reading is here (is an old story, but mostly still relevant).
On the elephant side of things, Elephant Nature Park gets consistently good reviews. Not cheap though.
General advice: use your common sense. It's pretty simple really. I'd characterise some of the advice given above as over the top -- the vast majority of travellers to Thailand explore the country without being raped, having their drink spiked etc etc.
@theloner Amazed you didn't manage to fit in a padthai mention in your travel advisory above.
Next time I'll try it with the photocopy and see how that works out - Sure they may try and screw you on the scooter - if not on the gaz they put in the SangSom bottles
Rape can happen anywhere and like people have to take precautions just like they do at home. Thailand is very safe for the "single solo female" as she will usually meet another "single solo female" and or "single solo male" in a hostel or on a bus and then off they go. I'd say one thing to avoid is the full moon party - yeah sure "most foreigners" go there to get wasted and the risks of being "stupid" increase. But there's a big difference between that and having beers with fellow travellers at your guesthouse.
I guess when you see things like this:
It can make you paranoid... and make you think the big bag wolf is around the corner... I've never been raped or had my drink spiked in over 6 trips...
Easy to hire a scooter with a copy. If they want your business then it's your terms or walk to the next shop. A lot of GHs hire them as well and they already have a copy.
No shop in any country has the right to keep your passport.
#8 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
By and large, if you act with common sense and don't do anything you wouldn't do at home that you thought might be risky, you'll be OK. Think of the advice you'd give to a single female who was thinking of travelling around Canada for three weeks - you can apply the same to Thailand.
I've been to Thailand at least ten times and on only one occasion did I have slight trouble: a young monk tried to kiss me! Pretty tame compared to the hassle I've experienced from the locals in other places such as India or Indonesia.
To be honest, most of the nightmare travel stories I've heard have involved other foreigners: one girl had her cash and passport stolen by another tourist she'd been travelling with for a month, a guy who was in a group I was in robbed everyone's room one night after suggesting everyone went out and then "felt ill" and went back to the hotel and took the keys from behind the sleeping receptionist - fortunately, I'd not gone out. He even stole from his room mate he'd been travelling with for three weeks...
" went back to the hotel and took the keys from behind the sleeping receptionist - fortunately,"
That's why u should take the keys with u. I know some hotels want u to leave the keys but I normally ignore that request. I've only left keys once in 10 years. That was a GH in Hua Hin who seemed determined not to let people take the keys with them. Most places don't worry about it and they take a key deposit from you - say 1000 baht in case u lose them.
I've never lost the keys or had anything stolen.
#10 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
I never stay in guesthouses nor hotels where foreigners stay for numerous reasons. The above stories are just a few examples as to why. Never had any place ask to take the keys and if they did i would never stay there. most places i stay have a slot on the door for a extra lock which i have when i travel. I have a lock on my bag, i have a bike chain to lock the box where you put your bag and then another extra for the door. In 15 years in traveling in Southeast Asia have never had anything stolen. But have heard numerous horror stories where foreigners stay and the towns they visit. no thanks i,ll stick to my own private routes. no problems, no worries.
#11 theloner has been a member since 7/10/2013. Posts: 116
Agree many don,t get robbed on the road. On the other hand scammed at restaurants, (over charged), guesthouses, travel agents, massage shops, bike rentals, jet boats. what did i forget? another reason its helps to at least learn the Thai numbers. And pay attention to your surroundings, such as prices the common Thai pays for the same items. #1 Neug, #2 Song #3 Samm #4 See #5 Ha #6 Hawk #7 Jet #8 Pat #9 Gow #10 Sip. How hard is that?
#13 theloner has been a member since 7/10/2013. Posts: 116