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Dear Girls! Here is why you should visit Thailand

In the one month, I have spent in Thailand, I have been to several places and have interacted with a bunch of travelers. What disappointed me – I did not run into even a single Indian backpacker, or maybe I did run into a couple here and there – but that’s probably about it. And to top it all, I was asked a question by someone traveling through South East Asia – why do they not meet Indian women travelers? Well, it’s been a few weeks that I have been thinking about it, and I believe that it’s the perception of ‘Thailand’ and its association with smut and sleaze in our heads that is keeping Indian backpackers – especially women away.

Then there is cost as well of course. As cheap as it may sound, it does cost a reasonable chunk of money – especially as an Indian, as our currency is pretty messed up compared to even the Thai Baht. I believe they would rather save up a little more and go to Europe. But then as a Backpacker and as a traveler you can’t really go to a destination, and here, I thought I would jot down a post, on why Indian women should consider traveling solo to Thailand. If you want to know what kind of expenses you are likely to incur in Thailand, please read Cost of 1 Week Backpacking Trip to Thailand for Indians.

There are so many perceptions that we have in mind about Thailand, especially in India we all know why we – middle-aged men – I’m calling ‘we’ because I am one of them now – come to Thailand. And the perception that all the mainstream media creates, points towards it being a smut capital – well smut there is, but it is there only if you come looking for it. Interestingly it is the smutty parts that have been made popular in India through advertising of cheap packaged tours to Bangkok and Pattaya. I think we all know someone who won a tour at work or got one as a gift and has been to one of these places. And I have been told Phuket is not much better – though I have not been there – Yet.

By the way – I know girls who go to these sleazy places – Go Go bars, strip clubs, ping pong shows – all by themselves, just to see what the hoopla is all about. And if you enjoy the same, you are in for a ball.

However, after spending a month in Thailand, most of it away from these smutty areas – I can tell you Thai people are genuinely nice warm, and caring, and under the layers of popular perception lie a beautiful country that is absolutely safe for all you girls and is easy to travel, easy to navigate, easy to manage, and have fun all by yourself.

Outside of the sleazy circuits in Bangkok and Pattaya there exist the most backpacked country in the world – yes, Thailand is probably the place that sees the most backpackers in the world. I know they’re not coming here for smut, but they are coming here to enjoy the culture, the heritage, the food, the vibrance, and a lot more that Thailand has to offer.

As a single female or as a bunch of females you probably would feel safe anywhere – I mean I would not say anywhere else in the world – however anywhere in India for sure. You can wear whatever you want, as little or as elaborate – which should be normal anywhere in the world – and not get undue male attention. Even if you get the male attention, it’s definitely not going to be in a creepy way. Hopefully.

The hostels in Thailand are pretty amazing they are well organized, they are used to handling high levels of traffic, and they know how to do their thing. There are a lot of hostels that will offer exclusive female dorms – you can always book yourself into these – they are absolutely away from any kind of sleaze. In fact, even ones with mixed dorms are absolutely safe and comfortable.

As a solo female traveler, here are a few things you might enjoy.

  1. Affordable Travel: Thailand is a budget-friendly destination for Indian women, with affordable flights, accommodation, and food. It might not be as cheap as traveling purely backpacker style in India, however, if you are used to cheap flights, Volvo buses, street food, etc – then you are good. In fact, a lot of hostels around Thailand will beat 2 or 3-star hotels in safety, comfort, hygiene, and hospitality. The chances of you landing in a super interesting hostel and making friends for life are 1000% higher than in any star-rated hotel.
  2. Safety: Thailand is a relatively safe country for women travelers, with a low crime rate and friendly locals. I mean you can always pick up the travel safety data by a quick google search, but I think as a woman, you might just feel a lot freer in Thailand, than in India. Especially in terms of clothing, the environment is a LOT more liberal.
  3. Culture: Thailand has a rich culture and history, with numerous temples and historical sites to explore. Though I barely understand it, it seems to be an interesting mix of eastern cultures, with a lot of prominences on Buddhism, and some on Hinduism as well. Though I regularly saw Ganesha idols, the culture itself is strewn with names and motifs that come from what we know as ‘Hinduism’ today. Surprisingly, have not run into any temple here as well, which may be termed ‘Hindu’ or ‘Indian’ in any manner. Someone did mention a Gurudwara in Chiang Mai, but in my time and wanderings there, I do not remember running into it. I am sure if I go looking for it, I will find it – at least in places like Bangkok, Phuket, and Pattaya.
  4. Beaches: Thailand is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, perfect for relaxing and soaking up the sun. But please stay away from Pattaya, even when going to Phuket do your due research, check for areas where backpackers hang out, and use those as your base point. Thailand has loads of islands and beaches, and outside of these usual suspects – they all seem to be reasonably away from the sleaze.
  5. Adventure Activities: Thailand offers a range of adventure activities, including hiking, rock climbing, and water sports like snorkeling and scuba diving. The activities are done using international standards and equipment, and would be reasonably priced compared to other parts of the World, so you can definitely keep a budget out for Adventure and other activities.
  6. Food: Thailand is known for its delicious and spicy cuisine, and Indian women can find a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Personally can’t comment much on vegetarian options, however given the variety of options that are there, I am sure you will survive. However, if you don’t mind what type of protein you are eating, that is where the fun starts. From sushi in the streets to dim sum buffets, the variety and options are endless. Western food is not bad at all, plus there is so much more – sticky rice, fruits, juices, desserts, satays, and only god knows what all – depending on the area you are in. However, I personally was surviving on local Thai food like Khao Soi, Green curry, Red Curry, Fried Rice, and my all-time favorite Pad Thai. Local food is always fresh, delicious, and cheap and brings you closer to the culture. That said I did pound in my fair share of Burgers on the trip 🤣.
  7. Shopping: Thailand is a shopper’s paradise, with affordable prices and a range of options from local markets to high-end malls. Girls, you are going to go crazy, make sure you make provisions for extra luggage on your flight back and bring in the least possible stuff with you – as you will literally want to buy everything that you will see. Clothes, shoes, and bags top the list and you can fill in the rest in your own order of priority. If you enjoy shopping – keep some money to blow away 🤣.
  8. Wellness: Thailand is famous for its wellness and spa culture, with numerous affordable and luxurious spa and wellness centers. You will find a massage around the corner, just search for a massage near me, find a top-rated one,, and go there. You can have all kinds of massages and treatments at very reasonable prices and by some really nice therapists. When you are walking around – look for massage centers where you see a lot of Thai ladies as customers or if you are on the tourist circuit the ones where you will see western women getting massages – you can easily visit them and take them for smut free zone.
  9. Nightlife: Thailand has a vibrant nightlife scene, with a variety of bars, clubs, and live music venues. The scene is really Vibrant out here and you can go out partying almost every night. The vibe seemed to be safe enough – even for solo females out on the streets late at the night. Just be careful of all those ladies and go-go bars – and that too not from your safety perspective but experience-wise. In fact, you might want to visit them for an experience yourself – heck I have been to strip clubs with my female friends – so depends on who you are. Otherwise, you can always find something nice and high-end or stick to areas where other backpackers go to parties and you can be assured of a nice regular experience.
  10. Hospitality: Thai people are known for their warm hospitality and welcoming nature, making everyone feel comfortable and at home. I think in my month here in Thailand, I have run into only one frustrated or rude Thai person. Otherwise, it’s a super polite culture, which gives an impression of ‘Pehle Aap’. Despite the language differences, I could sense the genuine caring nature of Thai people and how they go that extra mile to make your experience better. From cleaners at the places I stayed at, to cab drivers, to random sale people on the streets – I have been at receiving the end of kindness of all kinds and it definitely makes for a nice, relaxing, and peaceful experience.

I have only been to a fraction of Thailand – however, there is plenty of information available all over the Internet, so many videos on youtube, and so many blogs in general just go through them and get a feel for yourself. You can easily plan your entire experience out, as things are well organized here, or if you are like me – you can just pick up your backpack and passport and hop onto a plane for some random wandering around – as the Visa on arrival works like a charm and its one of the few ‘International’ destinations you can go on a whim, without any planning at all.

As mentioned earlier, I have only been to a fraction of Thailand, and it is impossible to put all my thoughts into words here, however, if you have any questions, please do put them in the comments below and I will try and answer them to best of my ability or point you in the right direction.

If you want to know what kind of expenses you are likely to incur in Thailand, please read Cost of 1 Week Backpacking Trip to Thailand for Indians.

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