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Southeast Asia forum

traveling south east asia alone

Posted by unphazedd on 16/2/2008 at 19:53

hi all,

ive been planning a trip to the region for some time now, and was going with a good friend. hes just told me he cant come and so now im doing this 4 week trip alone. i am planning on going to thailand, laos, vietnam and cambodia (in that order) - does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions about doing a trip like this really love some feedback as the idea of it right now seems completely overwhelming...thanks!

#1 unphazedd has been a member since 20/9/2007. Posts: 1

Posted by somtam2000 on 17/2/2008 at 10:06 admin


Lots of people travel in Se Asia solo and if you've been planning the trip for a while, then you've got the hard bit out of the way.

The big traveller magnets are ideal for meeting others doing the same kind of thing, so look for a guesthouse with a good vibe and you'll be starting off on the right foot.

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by backpackergal on 18/2/2008 at 21:27

I have just got back from travelling South East Asia alone (Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and southern China) and I have to say I never once felt threatened or unsafe. in fact I found the people to be friendly, helpful and very nice (but often curious!). of course, I would always suggest the usual safety advice (don't flash the cash, keep to main streets etc) but I felt safer in South East Asia than I have done walking around London. I always make sure I know where I am going when I arrive somewhere, that way you are less of a target for some crafty taxi drivers (often hostels nad guesthouses will arrange a pickup from the airport or station so ask in case they can meet you). Have a great time, enjoy the wonders of SEA.

#3 backpackergal has been a member since 18/2/2008. Posts: 1

Posted by anya_lukover on 22/5/2008 at 16:36

Hello - reading this has filled me with confidence as I am going alone as well. However, and it's not a request because of laziness, but if anyone has a suggested itinery for me, it would be muchly appreciated. I will be waving my friends off from Bangkok on 7th September, and then would like to spend 2-2half months covering Vietnam/Cambodia/Laos, but really have no idea which way round is best for the time of year. I don't need to be travelling every single day - I just want an adventure. Just nervous about not taking the best route that's all so any help would be great :)

#4 anya_lukover has been a member since 21/5/2008. Posts: 8

Posted by withshoeson on 24/5/2008 at 16:15

Hey anya

I took the following route,

Cambodia -> Vietnam -> Laos

Siem Reap, Battambang, Phnom Pehn, Kampot, Kep
Saigon(via the delta), Dalat, Na Trang, Hoi An, Hein(on a two day moto tour), Hue, Hanoi, Halong, Mai Chau (on the way to Laos border)
Vieng Xai, Xam Nuea, Phonsavan, Luang Prabang, Vientiane.

If you get a map you understand where I went. I used two rather long and intricate boarder crossings (Camboddia to Vietnam and Vietnam to Laos)

I recomend grabing a guide book, or using this site and make a list of the places you like the sound of, then join the dots (so to speak) to get your route.

Have fun!

#5 withshoeson has been a member since 31/3/2007. Posts: 11

Posted by daawgon on 27/5/2008 at 07:45

My comment is that if you've never been to SEA before, 4 weeks for 4 countries is really pushing it. I did it solo in Viet recently in 3.5 weeks/one country. I like to stay a little longer in places that I really like and get to know an area quite well. As far as being alone quite a bit of the time, yes, it does get lonely at times (solution - book short local group tours, and be very flexible). One thing that really impressed me about Viet - when you're alone at a restaurant they don't treat you badly as they often do in the US (I was treated very very well everywhere I went).

#6 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,113

Posted by daawgon on 27/5/2008 at 07:49

Somtam is right! When you stay in inexpensive places people stick together and it's so easy to make new friends (not so in those fancy places where everyone has their own private tour guide!)

#7 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,113

Posted by michelled on 9/6/2013 at 04:10

Hey, I am flying to Bangkok on 1st July and travelling alone.
What dates are people travelling-anyone fancy meeting up?
I am a 21 year old female.


#8 michelled has been a member since 9/6/2013. Posts: 10

Posted by Memorias on 9/6/2013 at 19:49


Thailand is a very safe and friendly country for travel alone, don´t worry about that You will find a lots of friends at the hostel or at the train or plane.

If you have any questions please tell me, but it´s very funny for go alone, but you must go to Kao Sand Road were you can meet other backparkers .-


#9 Memorias has been a member since 9/6/2013. Location: Spain. Posts: 2
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Posted by MADMAC on 9/6/2013 at 23:45

"...when you're alone at a restaurant they don't treat you badly as they often do in the US."

And if you think the US is bad, try Germany. When I lived there the issue was brought up in a TV show and they interviewed service personnel about being polite to the customers. Somehow one of the service persons interviewed misunderstood the question and said "I think it's very important for the customers to be polite." I love German food and the ambience of German restaraunts but the surely waitresses that are too often the case - brutal.

#10 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 10/6/2013 at 20:19

1 There's no best route. Plan your trip around your interests.

2 4 countries in 4 weeks is Contiki like rush around. To experience one of the larger islands you need 5-7 days and 3-5 days for a city like Bangkok so you can't even scratch the surface of a country in 7 days unless it's small like Singapore. For 4 weeks I'd only do 1 country or 2 at most with a total of 5-7 destinations. You don't want to be packing/unpacking every second day and looking out bus windows all the time.

3 If you pick a few tourist sites that interest you and combine it with some off the beaten path destinations you'll get a more rounder experience.

#11 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by MADMAC on 11/6/2013 at 00:08

Good advice from Leonard here.

#12 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by daawgon on 11/6/2013 at 12:24

I've traveled alone for 5 trips to this area, and I think solo travel is not hard at all. Meeting people in SE Asia is much easier than in the States or Europe for me.

My reaction to your plans of 4 countries in 4 weeks is this: SLASH AND BURN THAT ITINERARY

I usually find that 4 weeks is not enough for Vietnam alone - were you thinking of using a helicopter? Don't spread yourself so very very thin - cut that down to 2 countries max!

(edit - now I see the dates, from '08)

#13 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,113

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 11/6/2013 at 21:31

2008 haha I didn't see that either. The other posts are from 2013 though. Wonder how his/her trip went? They never came back to say.

#14 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

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