Should I be worried? I'm travelling through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam (and possibly Bali) for three to four months from January next year. To be honest I'm not too worried because I know that my route is very well trod and that the public transport and internet links are very good etc. but I don't see a lot of 18 year olds (particularly girls) on forums like this who are travelling alone. I will hopefully have a couple of friends who might be in the region at the same time, but I want to travel on my own as I love the independence of it and I want to be able to meet new people when I'm there, so if I do meet with my friends it will be for maybe one or two days.
I personally am confident but I've never even been to Asia, I have no idea what I'm getting myself into and I have to say the idea of arriving at a busy BKK airport in the middle of the night scares me a little. I'm starting to get more nervous mainly because my parents are a bit nervous about me going on my own, which is rubbing off on me. What do you think?
I'm in my 50's and my parents still worried about me traveling to anywhere in South East Asia, so I think that is entirely normal.
While my poor folks worried themselves sick, I was swinging on a hammock by some tropical beach in complete relaxation or talking to some of the most mellow, smiley faced friendly people in the world.
The important thing is send them as many emails as you can, just to ease their burden that most likely wont go away until your safely home.
If you arrive really late in an airport perhaps get a hotel, or someone to pick you up. Other than that stay in the safe areas, especially at night, don't get too intoxicated, be respectful and you should be alright.I've never ever felt unsafe in SEA, but was still allways respectfully cautious.
Hope you have a great time!
#4 KevandJho has been a member since 15/9/2011. Posts: 65
I think you've more or less answered your own questions. You seem confident and and independently resourceful (not true for a lot of 18 year olds) but your parents worrying is rubbing off on you. All perfectly understandable. First time in Thailand back in the 90s two of the first people I met were a pair of 17 year old Canadian girls from some dinky little town traveling for a year around the world and I was way impressed by their maturity and fortitude (maybe you're made of the same stuff). Arriving in Bangkok late at night can be a bit daunting so yeah maybe have a hotel room booked for the first couple nights while you find your feet and decompress. If you stay near Khao San Road or Soi Rambutri (Banglamphu area near the river) you may be shocked to see 1000 other backpackers on their way in or out of the region - very easy to hook up and make travel buddies. Also easy to travel solo - buy train tickets at the train station, buy bus tickets at the bus station (avoid tourist buses from travel agents, thefts are not uncommon) and keep the plan spontaneous. Safety-wise just don't wander around alone at night, especially on the "party" beaches down south, exercise common sense. Thailand is fairly safe for tourists but you still have to take care. At the risk of making you paranoid (LOL) here's an interesting list of "scams" to look out for. http://www.bangkokscams.com Have a nice trip!
Hi there! I'm 18 as well, been travelling for 2 months now and still have 5,5 months left...
Long story short: you'll be fine! The only time I've ever felt a bit unsafe was when I got lost at night and some guy kept following me, but walking into the nearest hotel and getting them to call me a cab solved that problem quite smoothly. There will definitely be some weird situations, but other than that, SEA is great, and worrying too much would only spoil your trip.
Plus, most people just don't assume you're 18. I've heard everything from 21 to 32, and only two people have correctly guessed my age. (although being tall helps as well in my case) And as soon as they knew, most people I've met ended up trying to watch over me a bit more, like offering to come with me or pick me up if I went out at night. Problem solved! (Use your intuition and stay alert, though.)
And as Captain Bob said: having a place to stay for the first couple of nights makes life a lot easier when you arrive at night. Just take a cab straight there (have the address in Thai, or at least the phone number of the place, so they can call and ask for directions) or call the place and ask if they do airport pickups. You'll always end up spending a bit more money the first few days. Or at least I do ;)