My first solo

29th Feb 2020
Photo of My first solo 1/26 by Arun Raj

Solo Travel - Thailand

Climb the mountain so you can see the world. Not so the world can see you

Arun Raj | Mar 6 2020

Backpacking Thailand is one of those experiences that every solo traveler must have in their lifetime. Based on my own solo trips to Bangkok and other parts of Thailand, I compiled this travel guide to help others Backpack Solo in Thailand.

Also, this blog is almost equally useful even if you are traveling Thailand with friends or family. The point is the tips in this Thailand travel guide should appeal to all who are doing first time travel to Thailand. Stay with me, you'll find this blog post to have tonnes of tips to help you plan your first trip to Thailand.

Before beginning your solo trip to Thailand, here is a list of things you should know:

Though Thailand isn't a developed nation but it still boasts of first class infrastructure. Thais are big on cleanliness and their streets are litter free, thanks to the street hawkers who always clean after themselves when their day ends, and the citizens who follow the common-sense rules of cleanliness to the core. Know that Thai are very proud of their royalty.

Show respect to the king at all times, it's punishable under Thai law to disrespect or belittle the Thai king. Theravada Buddhism is the principle religion of Thailand, however several of the Hindu gods such as Lord Ganesha are equally revered by the locals. Garuda, pet animal of Lord Vishnu, is the Thai state emblem and you'll find the imagery and the statue everywhere.

While backpacking Thailand, you will realize that it is somewhat like a giant theme park, jam packed with attractions and things to do. Decide which part of Thailand you want to visit or which highlights you want to cover and stick to it.

Some of the most popular tourists places to chose from are: Bangkok somewhat in center, Chiang Mai (laid back city) in north, and the numerous island down south in Thailand.

It's impossible to see it all unless, you have at-least a month.

In Thailand no tipping is necessary anywhere from taxi to dining, yay! More money in the wallet.

There are so many 7-eleven (a Japanese convenience store chain) in Thailand that your eyes will begin to hurt. Many of them are open round the clock, get in anytime for a quick bite and a cup of Joe.

There are many international airports scattered throughout the country. It's always cheapest to get to Bangkok and then move on to the other part of the country.

That said, flights to some of the other bigger airports are usually available at reasonable rate. So, always check and compare before you book. If you are going south it's a good idea to check the flights to Phuket.

Bangkok has two international airports:

· Suvarnabhumi Airport: major international airport. Spice jet from India uses this airport.

· Don Mueang Airport: Air Asia flies from here.

Backpacking Thailand – Best time to visit

Weather in Thailand can be really hot and sultry! Good thing is Thai weather is quite predictable. Here's an easy guide to help you find the best time to visit Thailand:

Avoid Summers at all costs. It’s HOT, HOT, HOT!

· Monsoons are okay but not recommended, unless you want to spend all day inside.

· Oct-Feb is probably the best time to visit Thailand. New Year is crazy busy but crazy fun too, highly recommended if you are in mood for partying.

Solo Vs Bachelorette travel

For once I can tell you that going solo will let you stare at the glitters and wouldn’t dare you enough to go solo into the rabbit hole all alone (which I didn’t ????). In a bachelorette group travel, there will always be that one guy who spikes the urge to go in with the dare of others…!

Why you should Totally Go For it!

To solo travel Thailand had been an ambition of mine for quite some time. But you happens you work a day job to pay the bills, stay in your comfort zone...whatever! I guess it was one of those 'life flashing before you' moments.

Today I'm going to blog all about traveling alone in Thailand including my favourite destinations, how to get around and the benefits to solo travel in Thailand. If you've not booked this as a solo trip yet - just go for it!

How Long should you Spend in Thailand?

You can see a lot in 10 days of course - easily covering Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya. But I'd recommend that you spend a week or so and pick your spots. You will want time to go with the flow in Thailand - there is just so much to see and do.

Thailand is one of those countries that you need to explore at your own pace and plan according to your interests. It's got something for everyone. If you're looking for hustle and bustle you will love Bangkok and Pattaya. Head South to the islands for fantastic beaches. Thailand is diverse, cheap and EXCELLENT for solo travel.

Planning your OWN ITINERARY

Without anyone tagging along you can plan your itinerary according to your interests whether that be beaches, temples, wildlife or partying. It's a BIG country and so time is of the essence. Save your Money - Thailand is so CHEAP. It's the first place in the world that I have ever travelled to and come back with money! Solo travel in Thailand

I booked my tickets 1 month before my travel date from Hyderabad to Bangkok. And few domestic travels to/from Bangkok-Phuket. I got reasonable deals on these tickets. I have planned for a week long trip to Pattaya and Phuket. Although Bangkok should be on your list which I skipped.

How to get along when in Thailand

There are so many ways to get around - I tried all of them - buses, trains, tuk-tuks, taxis and internal flights.

Thailand really surprised me on cleanliness and high quality of public transport. Internal flights are cheap and reliable. You can use Air Asia to get between the main cities such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai. It's also really easy to get long distance buses and train. There is a sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. I included a whole section on transport in Thailand below, but first let's talk about the main destinations to travel to.


Trains are extremely easy to use in Thailand, but the main thing that you should remember is to ask for first or second class. They will automatically give you third class if you don't state this, which could mean that you are in with the chickens in some parts!


I'd suggest one main rule - avoid Tuk-Tuk drivers in Bangkok. It's polluted, busy and they will rip you off! Tuk Tuks in the smaller areas such as Pattaya on the other hand are pleasant and cheap. In the smaller towns and villages Tuk Tuks are a great way to see the scenery. In Phuket, they are notorious for overcharging tourists, so bargain hard!


The best thing about Taxis in Thailand is that you can use the GRAB app to pre book and know exactly what you should be paying. This avoids the tip off taxi culture altogether. If you are in a situation where you need to flag one, just walk to the side of the road and make a 'patting down' motion with your hand (pat an imaginary dog on the head at the side of the road!) Make sure that the meter goes on immediately. Avoid getting taxis at 'taxi stands' at tourist destinations such as 'Asiatique' - they will charge you for simply writing your name on a piece of paper!

Internal Flights

Internal flights are good and easy to use in Thailand. They are an excellent option particularly if you have less time to spend there. Flights are not too expensive either - it's possible to book a flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai or Phuket for less than $50. I recommend Thai airways - you can download the app and receive a barcode as your ticket/boarding pass. Other decent airline companies that operate in Thailand include Lion Air and Thai Smile.

MTS/Sky Train (BTS)

Another really easy way to get around the city is by BTS Skytrain. Cheap and easy to use despite the need to climb a few stairs to get there. If you are struggling with the machines most people at the help desks speak English. The MTS is another rail system operating mainly underground but soon will be going overground too. It's a separate ticketing system for MTS and BTS so you cannot use one ticket on both - purchase separate. I found the BTS Skytrain adequate enough to get to all of the main destinations that I needed in Bangkok.

Corona Virus Scare

I had all basics covered due to the CORONA virus outbreak. I know Thailand had about 32 cases but no fatalities until that point in time. I had my N95 mask, hand sanitizers in handy all through out my airports and travel. I had it off while roaming in Pattaya and Phuket though. I didn't feel like having it anymore as the majority of the crowd didn't care to have one. The temp are about around 30+ deg Celsius. Chinese tourists are banned from entering Thailand from the out break. A slight relief. Though found few Chinese while roaming in Pattaya. Wonder how did they sneak in??? The roads were free, no jams, less people on the road means more discounts, offers good for the touorists, well bad for Thais.

Travel Experiences

I have reached Bangkok in the morning hours at around 7 AM. Cleared my immigration and was out by 8 AM. (Visa is on arrival and is free of cost until April 2020 for Indian nationals). I have picked up my SIM card with unlimited data upon arrival at the DTAC counter which I booked online ahead of my arrival using KLOOK app. KLOOK is tour organizer/operator and they have all the activities, sightseeing tours, and airport transfers. I have booked all my activities and transfers with KLOOK and was smooth as silk with them. I got couple of FREE upgrades with the tours as there were not enough members opted for the budget options ????.


After picking up my communicator to stay in touch with the remaining world, I headed to the designated arrivals where my transfer service is awaiting. After the meet n greet, I am onto a comfortable bus to Pattaya. It took around 1.5 hours for me to reach the Sin city, Pattaya (as they call it PattayAAAAAAA with extra A's). I have been transferred on to a mini van from Pattaya main bus station to drop me at my hotel. I reached my hotel Flippers Lodge Hotel on Soi 8, right on the beach road. Early checkin was not at all an issue and was handed over my room keys. The hotel is very popular with Europeans and Russians. To my surprise I found a group of 5 Indian girls checked into the hotel. They were on a shopping spree during the day. No idea what they are onto during the night though..!!!

I checked-in to my room and had some sleep as it was an overnight flight. Later in the evening had a walk along the beach road and sat at a beach shack. There was a street food festival going right on the beach and ordered some Thai seafood with some beers. Spent relaxing away that evening.

Photo of My first solo 2/26 by Arun Raj
Photo of My first solo 3/26 by Arun Raj
Photo of My first solo 4/26 by Arun Raj
Photo of My first solo 5/26 by Arun Raj

There are go go bars all around the streets and few right in front of my hotel. As you pass by them, there are lot of screams, calls, requests to come in and buy them a drink and play pool for free. They are instant girlfriends for you for the night. Often more than not, I find lot of OLD men (Europeans, Russians, Americans) hanging out with these Thai girls at the bars drinking away and playing pool all night away.

Go go Bars in Pattaya

Photo of My first solo 6/26 by Arun Raj

The night I had a long walk along the beach road to the happening street... "Walking street". I found quite some interesting things though my walk. There were quite a bit of "Freelancer" women all along the beach road which is to be the pickup point for all gonads out there. A midst of all these women, there was another woman playing violin showcasing her skill with Thai music, with some sought of loud speaker and trying to grab attention of the passers-by. Quite a contrast isn't it. Both the women have their own kinda audiences and both did not bother each other.

There is a street food festival week going-on on the beach road of Pattaya. I chose to have my dinner at the food festival on one of the nights. Below is the video link of the food festival.

Photo of My first solo 7/26 by Arun Raj

I have passed by all these women and finally at the entrance of the Walking street.

Walking Street

Photo of My first solo 8/26 by Arun Raj

Walking street why it is calling walking street? The answer you can walk upto 2 kilometer inside walking street without boring without feel you are walking. Walking Street is closed to vehicles from 18:00 to 05:00 in the morning, and car parking is provided at the Bali Hai end. The area includes seafood restaurants, live music venues, beer bars, discothèques, sports bars, go-go bars, brothels, and nightclubs, and is illuminated at night by many colored neon signs. WS is definitely an adult venue. Its not a place for families though you well see some there any way. Its a safe place with a descent police presents at least on the main drag. I've been there couple of times with no safety issues but it helps to know the ropes.

Photo of My first solo 9/26 by Arun Raj

Walking Street won't ever get too old for anyone's itinerary in this place. Aside from the beach, this is what Pattaya is most famous for. As a matter of fact, this is one of the places where you can get to experience and know how Pattaya nightlife is. Also, it is the biggest party spot in Thailand. Thus, you will surely have your own place here if you want to enjoy the night with your friends or fellow tourists.

Let's be honest people make solo trip to Pattaya for a reason, to enjoy the (in)famous nightlife the city offers. If you really looking go deeper into the rabbit hole or just want to stare the glitters from a distance head to the walking street of Pattaya. I've been to Vegas but I wonder would be able to match with the openness of Pattaya,

Photo of My first solo 10/26 by Arun Raj
Photo of My first solo 11/26 by Arun Raj

Below are video links of Walking Street night life that I shot.....

Koh Larn

The took a day trip to this island on KLOOK app. The tour included sightseeing, water adventure activities and snorkeling with Lunch. On the first stop for the paragliding activity, I saw an Indian grandmother in her late 60’s (may be)… relishing the paragliding adventure. Proving that age is just a number or may be Zindagi na milegi dobara inspiration!!! ???? Anyways moving on with the tour, next stop is Kah Lan island for some swim and snorkeling experience.

Photo of My first solo 12/26 by Arun Raj

Coral Island near Pattaya is a little piece of paradise beyond the hustle and bustle of Pattaya. Although Thailand's famous beach resort town would not be your first thought when imagining a cerulean blue sea and a long stretch of pristine beach void of high-rise buildings and away from the claws of civilization, this little idyllic island offers exactly that and is just a short ferry ride away from Walking Street.

Also known by its Thai name of Koh Larn (and sometimes as Larn Island), Coral Island is situated 7.5 kilometres west of Pattaya Beach. It has long been an alternative retreat for those who have become jaded with Pattaya's overdeveloped and overcrowded beaches.

Photo of My first solo 13/26 by Arun Raj
Photo of My first solo 14/26 by Arun Raj

Grabbed few beers at the shops/restaurants on the island, enjoyed the swim in the crystal clear shallow waters of the beach. Lunch was served at this beach with Seafood and Indian cuisine options. I opted for the Seafood.

Photo of My first solo 15/26 by Arun Raj

We then transferred onto a long tail boat for a short trip to see the marine life under the shallow waters.

Photo of My first solo 16/26 by Arun Raj

So I met a friend from Kazakhstan. He was so social and was a good person at heart and socializing well with everyone on the tour. When we had a long chat and he came to know that I am from India, he was so excited about Indian Bollywood, Amitabh Bachan, SRK and Ajay Devgan. Amused how Bollywood has reached out to the hearts of people across the globe especially not so well known countries.

Photo of My first solo 17/26 by Arun Raj

Well I had a gr8 experience with the snorkelling here and was not able to grab any pics or videos on this tour. I am sure I have planned for the second snorkelling session that I planned at Phi Phi islands on my next destination Phuket. Returned back to the hotel little tired. Got a hot shower and few beers and chill out at the hotel with some Thai cuisine for the dinner.

Photo of My first solo 18/26 by Arun Raj
Photo of My first solo 19/26 by Arun Raj

I saw this at the Bangkok airport while looking for a washroom. Looks like Thai's mean fun and have a witty sense of humour in every possible way. "Happy Moment" for airport toilet!!!

Photo of My first solo 20/26 by Arun Raj

Flew Thai airways with full service and reached Phuket

Photo of My first solo 21/26 by Arun Raj


The popular tourist destination of Phuket is a great place to base yourself if you want to explore some of the best beaches of Thailand. It's an island but so close to the mainland that it's attached by bridge. You are probably best flying in from Bangkok.

In Phuket don't miss the Big Buddha, Patong Beach and the night markets and the night life of Bangla Road. From Phuket, you can take a day trip North to Phang Nga bay including James Bond Island. Also spend a day or two explore some surrounding destinations accessible by ferry - Phi Phi Island and Krabi.

I took a trip to the Phi Phi Island with snorkeling acitivity. The tour operator was on time to pick me at the hotel and drop off at a boating point called the "Yatch Masters". The boat owner is a Thai named "Sprite" like coke, cola.... He was very considerate and kind to everyone on the boat. Th boat was a luxury speed catamaran. It's a 75 seater boat. There are few other people from other parts of Phuket that joined the boating pickup point. The "Yatch Masters" team arranged a light breakfast for all and we are onto the boat for our trip.

Photo of My first solo 22/26 by Arun Raj
Photo of My first solo 23/26 by Arun Raj

Mr. Sprite did an introductory lesson and dos n donts o the boat and during the trip. The boat departed the pickup point and it soon caught up to its maximum throttle in no time. We are heading towards our first island stop for the snorkeling experience. Being my first snorkeling experience I was excited. Soon the boat stopped at the first island stop for snorkeling. We had an introductory lesson from Mr. Sprite. Since I know how to swim I didn't needed a life jacket to go into the waters. I jumped into the crystal clear shallow waters and then I saw the great undersea marine life live right close to my eyes. We had close to 2 hours of snorkeling session and was one of the great experiences I had in my life. The feeling is so awesome. I felt without the life jacket, I had a closer encounter with the marine life than those with the life jackets who cant swim.

Another great lesson. Learn swimming at early age never know when I helps in what situation.

Photo of My first solo 24/26 by Arun Raj
Photo of My first solo 25/26 by Arun Raj

Underwater video shot using my phone while snorkeling.

We then moved onto some sightseeing and island hopping. We had a good Thai buffet lunch on one of the island right on the beach. Wee had fun throughout the tour and we arrived back at the boating pickup point where our transfers are waiting for us to drop back to our hotels. Had a hot shower and relaxed at the bar with few beers right beside my hotel. I forgot that there exists "Water" to quench your thirst while in Thailand. I was living on beers all week long.

The Return

I had checked out my hotel the next day morning and my airport transfer was waiting at the hotel lobby for me, which I booked again on Klook app. There were only 2 passengers including me in the mini bus and it took about 1.5 hrs to reach the airport.

The Thai tourism has many plans for the tourists to attract, entertain and showcase their Thai traditional culture As part of that there was a Muay Thai show for airport travelers to see and enjoy right inside the airport at the departure gates.

Photo of My first solo 26/26 by Arun Raj

Video shot

After the entertaining show, I took my flight to Bangkok where I had to take my return flight back home to Hyderabad, India. The immigration exit process was smooth and a pre screening test for Corona virus was done before boarding my flight in Bangkok. It was a relief that I didn't have any symptoms of flu or temperature.

Winding up this Backpacker's solo Guide to Thailand, hope you found the tips helpful in planning your own solo trip. Now, don't forget to share this all your lazy friends with whom you keep planning but who keep on ditching you last minute!

Here are some inspirational lines that enthused me to do this trip.



Let me know your thoughts and comments. Cheers.!