Thailand Solo: Exploring Thailand as a Solo Female Traveller

If you are a solo female traveller looking to embark on your first solo adventure, you may wonder if this popular tourist destination is an ideal place to start and whether it is safe for women travelling alone. Well, we asked Charlotte who has been travelling solo and living in Thailand for three years, for her tips.

Thailand is often revered for being the pinnacle of travel in Southeast Asia, particularly amongst solo travellers and backpackers. The country rightfully claims this title, not only because of its rich culture and beautiful landscapes but also because of the ease of travel within the country.

As both a seasoned traveller and someone who has lived in the country for the past three years, I can confidently say: Thailand is the perfect destination for solo female travellers, even if you are a first timer!

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To put your mind at ease and give you confidence on your travels, this article will guide you through everything you need to know about solo female travel in Thailand. From safety tips to useful Thai phrases, I’ve got you covered.

Is Thailand safe for women travelling alone?

First, let’s address the elephant in the room, is Thailand a safe country to visit if you are a woman travelling alone? The short answer: yes!

Thailand has significantly lower rates of violent crimes, compared to Western countries, and many (including myself) report a much better general feeling of safety in the country.

I believe solo travel in Thailand is safe

Now, of course, that doesn’t mean you should entirely drop your guard, there are still risks that prevail and in the following section, I will give you some handy tips to keep you safe on your travels. However, as long as you apply some basic safety precautions and follow your gut whenever a situation feels off, you will be perfectly safe to visit Thailand as a solo female traveller.

Top safety tips for solo female travellers in Thailand

Over my six years of solo female travel and three years of living in Thailand alone, I’ve curated a list of unique safety tips that prevent and mitigate a lot of common safety concerns whilst travelling solo as a woman. These tips will help you safely navigate your Thailand solo trip, as well as many other countries or even back at home.

Share your location

Sharing your location with a trusted person is a useful way to prepare for the worst-case scenario, as well as give you some peace of mind that someone has your whereabouts.

When sharing your location with a person online, whether this be a family member, partner or friend, it’s important to choose someone that has a rough idea of your day-to-day plans. If there is ever any cause for concern, that person can alert the authorities and provide them with your whereabouts.

You can share your location online through apps like Find Your Friends, WhatsApp or Google Maps.

On top of sharing your location with someone online, it is also good practice to be friendly with the staff at your accommodation and let them know of your plans for the day, particularly if you are planning to go on night out, as they will be the first ones to notice if you don’t come back when planned.

Keep your drinks covered

Thailand has a vibrant nightlife scene and is home to one of the biggest parties in the world – the famous full moon party on Koh Phangan. If you are planning a night on the town (or beach if it’s one of the full moon parties), exercise a lot of caution when consuming alcohol.

Watch your drinks when you are out partying

Never leave your drink unattended and always try to cover the top of your drink to prevent anything from being slipped into it. If you can get your hands on a drink cover before departing on your trip, this would be ideal, or if you don’t have a drink cover, carry your drink from the top in a claw-like motion.

Don’t go off the beaten path alone

If you’re an adventurous soul, you may be tempted to explore Thailand off the beaten path, whether that’s a hiking trail or just somewhere away from the typical tourist route. Now, although the chances of something bad happening are low, this is not something I would recommend for women travelling solo.

In Thailand, it is fairly rare to hear of crimes being committed against female travellers, however, most of the cases I have personally heard of are of women who decided to go for a hike alone. My recommendation would be to find a trustworthy group of other solo travellers to go with, or hire a local tour guide to take you.

Fake background stories

Before I share this tip, let me first add that whilst I don’t advocate for lying to people, sometimes a few white lies can be very beneficial to your safety, including a fake background story. You will have to judge this one on a case-by-case basis, however, some general use cases may be male taxi drivers, male tour operators or anyone that gives you a bit of an uneasy feeling.

You can take this as far as you like, but at the bare minimum, it’s usually not a good idea to let male strangers know that you are travelling alone, particularly if they know where you’re staying.

When asked if I am travelling solo, I typically answer that I am with family or a partner and that they are just resting at our accommodation or out doing something else. Whilst I appreciate that most aren’t asking these questions with bad intentions, I prefer to play it safe and not give too much information away.

Be wary of other solo travellers in Thailand

As someone who has lived in this country for a few years, I can tell you that you are far more likely to run into trouble with another tourist than a Thai person.

A lot of tourists see this country as a place of freedom and many have the mindset of, “what happens on holiday, stays on holiday”, which can be a very dangerous way to think, particularly when alcohol gets involved.

Be extra mindful of the other foreigners you choose to spend time with on your travels and if you notice anyone with a bit of a carefree attitude, steer clear of them before that mindset has implications for you.

General Tips for Solo Female Travellers to Thailand

Now that you can navigate your Thailand solo trip safely and with more confidence, let’s move onto some more general advice about visiting the land of smiles, from girl to girl!

Dress appropriately

As Thailand is a Buddhist country, the women here tend to dress more modestly. When visiting temples and places of cultural significance (such as The Grand Palace), it is essential that you follow a dress code or else you may be refused entry.

To dress appropriately, make sure that your shoulders and knees are covered, and don’t wear anything revealing. Since Thailand is a very hot country, you may want to keep your clothing lightweight. In which case, I recommend packing your temple-appropriate clothes, or a couple of sarongs to wrap around yourself, in your bag and ready to change into.

Pack a sarong for your temple visit or you will end up being the proud owner of a pair of these!

Temples and places of cultural significance are the only places that you’re required to dress conservatively. However, something that is not commonly talked about is that you will be more respected and treated slightly better if you maintain a certain level of modesty whilst in the country.

This doesn’t need to be taken to the extreme, but as someone that lives here, I don’t recommend wearing anything too revealing whilst going about your day-to-day in Thailand. Keep your mesh outfits for a night on Khao San Road but wearing them throughout the day may garner you some funny looks from locals!

Pack a travel-friendly shower filter

Especially if you’re planning to visit Thailand for more than a couple of weeks, it would be wise to invest in a travel-friendly shower filter. In Southeast Asia, the water that comes out of the taps is hard water and if your hair is not used to it (which us Westerners aren’t), it can be very damaging to your luscious locks. Typically, it will start to dry out your hair first and then it can even lead to hair loss.

Watch out for whitening agents in skincare products

Unlike in the West where girls spend hours working on their tan, Thai women will typically try to whiten their skin. As a result, a lot of skincare products (such as sun creams and moisturisers) have whitening agents in them.

Now, most blog posts will tell you to read the ingredients list on the back, however, unless you’re able to read the Thai alphabet, you’ll probably struggle with that one! As a general rule of thumb, I avoid all products that have the word “brightening” on them.

Pack sun creams from home and choose them wisely

Speaking of sun creams, if you have enough space and baggage allowance to pack enough sun cream for the entirety of your trip, I would recommend to do so. From my experience, I’ve found that the sun creams here tend to be more expensive than in my home country of the UK, as well as the fact that they often have whitening agents in them.

Make sure to do your research on the sunscreens and only buy those that don’t have the ingredient, “avobenzone”, in it. As mentioned before, the water that comes out of the taps here is hard water and when hard water mixes with avobenzone (i.e., when you’re washing your clothes), it often leaves a orange, rust-like stain on your garments.

I’ve lost my fair share of white clothes to this ingredient, so trust me ladies, choose your sunscreen wisely!

Bring some extra tampons

Another thing you should consider packing extra of would be tampons (if that’s what you typically use). Tampons are not commonly used amongst Thai women, so there’s often a limited supply of them and it’s rare to find tampons with an applicator here. They’re not impossible to find, so if you do forget or run out, don’t stress too much, but don’t rely on being able to find them in case of an emergency – stock up!

Best destinations in Thailand for solo female travellers

When planning your Thailand solo travel itinerary, you may wonder which are the best parts of the country to travel to as a solo female traveller, and are there any parts that you should avoid? Luckily, throughout all of my time in Thailand, I have felt comfortable travelling throughout the whole country on my own… in all but one place. First, let’s cover the absolute best parts of the country for solo female travel:


Bangkok is a city brimming with life and is a fantastic destination for women travelling alone. The city is packed with things to do – from temples, to art galleries, to incredible night markets where you can try some of Thailand’s delicious street food.

You can easily travel through the city using Bangkok’s BTS or MRT service, or hop on the Grab taxi app and book a ride with ease. Bangkok is often the first stop on many people’s backpacking tour, so it’s a great place to meet other travellers to continue your trip with.

A hostel in Bangkok can be a great place to start your solo trip

As someone that now lives in this beautiful city, something I love is that you can walk home on your own at night without feeling scared or a significant risk of danger. Of course, always be careful, but Thailand’s capital city is generally very safe.

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Chiang Mai

Up in Northern Thailand, you’ll find the peaceful and cultural city of Chiang Mai – a much loved destination amongst all tourists, and especially by us solo female travellers. The nature of the surrounding mountains, combined with the stunning ancient temples of the city, creates a serene atmosphere that can be felt as soon as you arrive there.

The city is home to some of Thailand’s most delicious food (such as, Khao Soi) and some of the most amazing landscapes in the whole of the country – it can’t be missed off of your Thailand itinerary!

Koh Lanta

One of Thailand’s best hidden gem islands, and an amazing place for solo female travellers, is the beautiful island of Koh Lanta in Southern Thailand.

Unlike the chaos of islands like Phuket or Koh Phangan, this island has an easy, laid-back vibe, but it still visited enough that you won’t feel uncomfortable to travel here as a woman alone.

Koh Lanta

Located off the Andaman coast, this island can be easily reached via a boat ride from Krabi and is an ideal hub for island hopping lovers!

As mentioned, there is one particular destination in Thailand that I would be careful about travelling to as a woman alone and that is Koh Tao, also sometimes referred to as the, “murder island”. Although I have seen many solo female travellers fall in love with this island and feel totally comfortable whilst travelling there, this word of advice comes from my local Thai friends, who they themselves would not travel to the island on their own as women.

Meeting new people as a solo female traveller in Thailand

Travelling solo doesn’t always mean you have to be alone! There are likely hundreds of people following a similar route to you through the country, so if you’d like to meet some new people on your travels and make lifelong friends, here are few ways to do it:

Stay in hostels

One of the easiest ways to make friends on your first solo trip would be to stay in hostels. Hostels are a hub for solo travellers from around the world and are a great place to meet like-minded adventurers like yourself. If you need your own space whilst travelling but still want to mix with the hostel crowd, look for places with the option to book a private room.

chiang mai hostel
Hostels are a great place to make friends

Social media

In the digital age, it has become evermore easy to meet and connect with new people online, even before your trip has started! Look out for Facebook groups for other solo female travellers, travellers, or tourists in Thailand, and get involved in the conversation there.

If you’re a TikTok user, look out for people embarking on their own solo adventure in Thailand and if their plans seem to align with yours, don’t be scared to reach out to them.

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Bumble BFF

Bumble BFF can be a great way to connect with other women in the city or place you’re in and make new friends! This is a good way to find other women to go cafe hopping with, explore together, or perhaps, even a day trip you have planned!

Group trips/tours

You may have noticed that some of your favourite travel influencers now offer group trips. These trips are a great way to travel with like-minded people, as well as a familiar face!

Other than that, there are always plenty of group day trips and activities that you can sign on to (such as, cooking classes or adventure activities).

Attend social events

Keep an eye out for social events and gatherings happening in the place you’re in. Whether it’s a beach party, a pub crawl, or just a general social meet up, these social events can be a great way to meet new people.

Essential Thai phrases for every tourist

To close this guide off, I want to leave you with a few essential Thai phrases to help you on your solo travels. You needn’t worry too much about your pronunciation or accuracy in Thai as the locals will be so appreciative of the fact you’re willing to try!

  1. Sawasdee kha: Hello
  2. Kob khan kha: Thank you
  3. Chai: Yes
  4. Mai chai: No
  5. Khor tort: Excuse me
  6. Tao rai kha?: How much is it?
  7. Aroy: Delicious
  8. Check bin: Check, please
  9. Un nee: This one (you can point at an item on the menu and say, “Ao un nee kha”)
  10. Hong nam yu tee nai?: Where is the bathroom? (as long as you remember, “hong nam”, they will understand what you’re trying to ask)

One important thing to note is that you will need to add, “Kha/Krub” (kha for women, krub for men), to the end of your sentences to be polite. As this guide is for women, we’ll use “kha”. However, if you’re a man reading this, simply replace the “kha” with “krub”.

About the Author: Charlotte is a 23-year-old travel lover living in Bangkok, Thailand. After travelling across the globe, her heart settled in the land of the smiles three years ago and it has been her home ever seen.