There is a lot of bravery in going solo. That includes being a solo female traveler. Many travel bloggers and travelers alike actually prefer traveling solo rather than going in a group or with friends. There is a sense of independence, self-purpose seeking, confidence and simply non-attached feeling with deciding to travel solo.
Bangkok is a great place to start your journey as a solo female traveler. Bangkok has literally millions of tourists that start their global travel journey, many of them are solo travelers and groups of females you can quickly make new friends with. Whatever the reason you choose to go solo, here are the top 11 Bangkok travel tips for solo female travelers in no particular order.
It’s better safe than sorry. Don’t forget to buy travel insurance before you left home.
Bangkok Travel Tips: What Female Solo Travelers should Do
Hide your Cash
Although, less often than other major tourist cities, there are still pickpocketers around Bangkok. Make sure you hide your wallet and cash somewhere that would make it very difficult for someone to swipe it away from you. Outside zipper or button pockets are still relatively accessible for a good pickpocketer. Tuck it away inside, in another mini pocket or zipper inside your clothing. If you have a purse, place your wallet or cash in one of the mini pockets within the purse, zipped as well as the outside of the purse or bag zipped or buckled up.
On that note, I would not advise carrying expensive bags or if you can do without, not carry any sort of purse at all because there are also purse snatchers. Occasionally, someone on a motorcycle or even running by will cut or snatch your purse and run. The best is to have as little items on you as you need. This also makes it easier for you to freely enjoy walking around the city.
For the best Bangkok travel tips in hiding your cash, there are bras with a mini pocket inside available at stores such as H&M. You can easily sew inside mini pocket inside your shorts or jeans. Many jeans also have mini inside pockets within the regular pocket. If you are swimming make sure to place your wallet and cash in a small plastic bag to prevent getting wet. If you must leave your bag aside, you can hide your cash wrapped up inside the lining or bottom of a cigarette package.
Cover Yourself Up
Yes, we should be able to wear whatever we feel comfortable or stylish, however, that may attract unwanted attention or be disrespectful in certain cultures. Bangkok may look like an open minded paradise but in actuality, Thai people are relatively conservative. The weather is extremely hot and humid in this part of the world, so make sure to wear clothing that is light and comfortable. Since you will be walking a lot, wear comfortable walking shoes as opposed to flip flops. Some bars and clubs have dress codes with rules where you cannot wear flip flops.
Another Bangkok travel tips regarding dress code rule is covering at all temples and many religious ceremonies around Bangkok. The rule is strictly enforced that all females must cover their shoulders and legs below the knees. No spaghetti straps or shorts. Wearing a sarong or long skirt wrapped around your shorts is acceptable. Sometimes they rent them at the temples but it is best to come dressed appropriately. Also, do not forget to take off your shoes and socks before entering the temple.
Do Not Walk Next to or Sit Next to Monks
More than 90% of the populations of Thailand are Buddhists. The deep value of Buddhist teachings and traditions. With that, you can see Buddhist monks (wearing an orange or red colored robe with a shaved head) walking and traveling all over Bangkok. Part of the traditional with the Buddhist sect followed in Thailand is that monks are strictly forbidden from being close to or touching a female. They are not allowed to walk closely next to or sit next to females, such as on buses, boats, the MRT or BTS. Also, monks are not allowed to receive offerings or gifts directly from females. If you are going to make a food or gift offering to a monk, place it on the ground or tray in front of them or have a male hand the gift to the monk.
Avoid Walking at Night on Your Own in an Area with no People
Small alleys, streets, walkways with no open stores or people outside you should avoid walking down by yourself at night. Thailand is relatively safe; in fact, serious urban crime is lower than most major cities in the United States. During the daytime feel free to travel solo anywhere and interact with anyone. This rule is applicable at night as long as there are other people outside, vendors or stores open within the area. If the area is dark and a bit deserted, then I would avoid going down that street and pick another route or hail a taxi. This also includes beaches and parks at night as no one nearby can help you.
Safe and Clean Accommodations
Another one of the Bangkok Travel tips is that it is better to pay a bit extra than be a cheapskate waking up with a bed bug rash or valuable items missing because the accommodation had no outside locks or guard. Best is to check on reviews and descriptions of the hostel or hotel you will be staying at on websites/apps such as Agoda.com, Booking.com, Hotels.com, or HostelWorld.com. The more boutique or family-run type of accommodation the more you can trust them and typically better the service.
Almost all hotel rooms and most hostels have some type of safe with a lock. I know you will be so excited arriving in Bangkok you cannot wait to go outside. Be excited, but before throwing your backpack or luggage down and leaving the room, put your passport, wallet, cash and valuables in the room safe and lock. You will never know who has access to the room even at a nice hotel. Locking away is a much better liability option. If there is no safe available, take the cash and wallet that is necessary for the day and find a hiding spot tucked away or leave it away with reception if they can safely place store the valuables for you.
Use Fraud Protection Debit and Credit Cards
This can apply to anywhere in the world, but it is also one of a good Bangkok travel tips, as many proper restaurants and all shopping malls accept credit and debit cards. Banks and ATM machines are also extremely easily to find and are located everywhere. On that note, it is often that cards or card numbers are stolen and used in foreign countries. Make sure to check with your credit card and debit card on fraud protection and stolen or lost policy. Also, let your credit card company know what dates and where you are traveling so they can authorize your transactions.
All ATM machines in Bangkok accept cards from around the world. Use your debit card and you can withdraw cash in Thai Baht from the machine. Be aware that typically the withdrawal fee would be 150 Thai Baht plus the fee from your bank back home. The maximum amount you can withdraw from one banking card per day is typically around $500 USD.
One of a very good most needed for Bangkok travel tips for the female traveler is to bring tampons that you normally use back home. Almost all other toiletry items you can find in the west you can find here in Bangkok, typically cheaper if you opt for a locally made brand. The quality is fine. Best places to go are Boots, Watsons, Tops or Gourmet Market. There are many stores around the city. However, one thing that is hard to find is tampons. Most Asians do not use tampons and instead use pads, therefore, for those that plan on swimming while on their period or typically wear tampons, it is recommended to bring them from your home country.
Carry a basic weapon
This may not be a necessary tip for the Bangkok travel tips but for that added extra safety you can carry a basic weapon. Before considering carrying a physical weapon, the best forms of defense for solo female travelers are common sense, walking with a purpose, confidence and a smile…as many people you may think are threatening are actually just normal goers of Bangkok.
For a physical weapon, the cheapest, easiest to carry and most legal would probably be pepper spray. You can purchase a carry size pepper spray back in your home country and bring it in your check in bag. I would not recommend bringing any sort of knife as it can be illegal or confiscated traveling through airport or customs. Of course, never ever bring or buy a gun as it is illegal to carry one without a local license in Bangkok.
Use Grab apps for taxi booking
If you are going to use a regular taxi, always use the meter and do not negotiate a rate. However for convenience, ease of language barrier and actually much better service, use one of the two most popular taxi booking apps. Grab or Uber you can easily download and book a taxi anywhere in Bangkok. This is indeed one of the necessary and helpful Bangkok travel tips. Although, compared to other major cities, Grab and Uber are relatively new and still working on adding more drivers. Sometimes it might be difficult to find an available taxi or you must wait for a while. If you have the time to wait 10-15 minutes I would book a taxi, especially at night.
Social dating apps
Use the same precautions as you would back home. Tinder, Skout, Badoo and other dating apps are being commonly used with locals and internationals in Bangkok. For some people, it is a great way to make new friends or find a new romance. Not just for an example of Bangkok travel tips but the same goes for anywhere, use the same precautions when meeting someone on a social dating app. Go with a friend or meet in a public place is best.
Make new friends
Particularly, partner up with fellow female travelers. Team up with fellow travelers you will meet in your hostel or just around the city, or befriend a local. Undoubtedly, they are the best people to know, however, be careful of an overly happy smiley local that approaches you and wants to bring you to a specific store or restaurant. Most likely, it is an overpriced scam.
This list should be enough for the basic Bangkok travel tips for female solo travelers to make sure you have fun safely in the city. However, this list is not exclusive; there are many other methods and additional tips to keep you safe and away from scams especially as a solo female. The most important factor to remember is simply to use common sense and similar rules of precaution that you would use back home would generally apply in Bangkok as well.
With that, enjoy!