Bangkok is a vibrant and throbbing city which is a heady mix of spirituality and hedonism. A place where temples and massage parlours coexist in harmony. Bangkok is also a visitor’s first introduction to Thailand and its culture. It is the place where the backpackers of the world seem to be heading to. Considering all this it goes without saying that Bangkok is well connected to major cities of the world and one can for example book cheap flights from Mumbai to Bangkok or from almost any city in the world. Bangkok is one of the world’s most visited cities and features in the bucket list of most travellers. Bangkok is a haven for backpackers and many make a beeline to the city. But how safe is Bangkok for a solo woman traveler? What are the precautions to be taken when visiting Bangkok as solo woman travelers?
Bangkok grabs attention usually for the wrong reasons. Its sex industry which attracts hordes of tourists, but there is much more to Bangkok than this. In spite of this reputation Bangkok is as safe as any other big city in the world. A solo woman traveler is unlikely to feel unsafe or threatened or draw unwarranted attention. But having said that there have been unsavoury instances which have occurred more because of the carelessness of the travelers. It is not only in Bangkok, but anywhere else in the world too that solo women travelers and for that matter even solo male travelers need to exercise certain precautions. Here are some useful and practical tips for solo women travelers to Bangkok that will surely come in handy.
Tip One- Always Be Aware
Always be aware of your surroundings. Enjoy the travel experiences, however be aware of where you and the people around you. Try to be part of a group and not appear to be alone and stand out.
Tip Two- Have the Power of Knowledge by Your Side
Do your research before you travel to Bangkok, be aware of the areas that you can walk around safely and what areas if any you may want to avoid. Be also aware of any potential scams. This is something one can research on the net and learn from other’s experiences. Having this information adds more power to you.
Tip Three- Dress Appropriately, Do Not Stick Out Like a Sore Thumb
Bangkok is a city with many Buddhist temples where one needs to be dressed modestly. Apart from that though there is no statutory law or a dress code like some countries in the Middle East, it is always advisable to ensure that your dress is not something that draws attention.
Tip Four- Be Careful about the Food & Drink
It is advised to be careful not only on what you are eating and drinking but also where you are eating and with whom. Never accept food or drink offered by strangers. After all you do not want it to be spiked. Of course there is no need for being paranoid, the need is to be careful.
Tip Five- Be Adventurous but not Foolhardy
Travel is all about adventure and new experiences, isn’t it? Be curious and experience the thrill of discovery, but stay within limits and do not cross the threshold to recklessness. Do not venture into that empty derelict street which may have some interesting street art alone, especially at night.
Tip Six- Avoid Night Travel
As far as possible avoid traveling at late hours in the night. Plan your travels so that your arrivals and departures from Bangkok are not in nocturnal, unearthly hours. But if it is unavoidable, see if you can be with a group.
Tip Seven- Go Solo but do not isolate yourself
Traveling solo is no doubt a heady experience which gives a great sense of freedom as nothing else does. But do not isolate yourself, let your near ones know your whereabouts and keep them updated. Be in touch with friends, relatives over the phone or through social media. Also have emergency numbers of your country’s embassy and the local police handy.
Tip Eight- Do Not Flaunt Your Cash
First of all it is not advisable to carry around large amounts of cash, but for if some reason you have more cash on you, please do not advertise the fact. If you have to settle a bill with cash, do it discreetly. You do not want to tempt the instinct of some prying eyes.
Tip Nine- Use App Based Cab Services
If you need to the services of a cab, use either Grab or Uber as these are reliable services and convenient too. Avoid hailing a cab on the streets. Especially be wary of cabs parked outside bus and train stations or near tourist hot spots. You may be setting yourself for a rip-off or worse.
These tips make absolute sense not only in Bangkok but anywhere else. Solo travel is an experience to be enjoyed and if one takes the most simple precautions and uses plain common sense, no untoward incident will mar the experience. Solo women travelers should always have their wits about them and if you follow these tips, you can’t go far wrong.
*This is a collaborative post.