solo traveler making increasingly poor decisions needs help
Replies: 51 - Last Post: Sep 28, 2012 8:25 PM Last Post By: monkeymagic1234
Aug 29, 2012 2:30 AM
solo traveler making increasingly poor decisions needs helpHi,
I've come to thailand as a solo traveller.
So far though, I've seemed to make the wrong choices and I would love some help to make some good ones.
I've been here a week. Now started in bangkok, jet lagged and suffering from a 3day hang over. Not really having much of a plan and finding bangkok a bit too intense, I booked a bus straight to koh tao (friends back home recommended it). I joined a dive school in the hope of meeting people but wasn't put in a group, still, met some people on the boat and hung out with locals, but honestly I hoped I would meet a group of strangers and travel more into the unknown.
Koh tao was great but its more of a tourist place, anyway arranged to go to full moon with a couple of guys I met in koh tao, however got itchy feet and left a day early, in my haste I'd forgotten what beach they were staying in only remembering it was north, and quickLy booked myself into a bungalow at tong nai pan noi, a place filled with couples and families. Not the best place to meet some adventurous travellers.
So here I am sitting on a beach, thinking of my next move, I don't rlly want to get trashed at a full moon party, I'd rather get trashed with some new travel buddies on a secluded beach somewhere.
Its not that I'm not enjoying myself or anything, its just not really what I envisaged for my time in thailand.
I'm ready to reset my plans to have an amazing, not just good, experience, any suggestions on how and where to start again would be very much appreciated.
Aug 29, 2012 2:52 AM
1Well, you said Koh Tao was too touristy and then you decided to go to Koh Pangan for a Full Moon Party, which is the most touristy activity in all of Thailand.
Either way it seems you just want to get trashed. Not to be a dick, but that doesn't seem very adventurous at all. Also, this is not hard to do. Just go to any crowded beach and meet some travelers.
Usually, the people who are going to more secluded and off the beaten path destinations are looking more for a party and are trying to get into the culture, spirituality, or other specific activities in Thailand.
You need to really decide what you are looking for. If you are unfulfilled with the backpacker trail and not meeting the type of people you want to hang out with, get off the backpacker trail. Go trekking up north or something. But, the banana pancake trail (which you are on) is probably the easiest place to meet lots of people all the time. But, anyone who follows the typical tourist trail isn't really adventuring, are they? Ask a few people you meet who are cool to go on a real adventure. Get on a bus, pick a random town that you never heard of and your guidebook doesn't say much about, and go. Just make sure you know which provinces down south aren't risky. Try somewhere random in Trang, Sathun, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ranong, etc.
Aug 29, 2012 6:23 AM
2It sounds like you're listlessly chasing around the place with the sole objective of meeting people, or - in the case of going to Ko Tao - you're following a friend's suggestion instead of following your own heart.
What do YOU want to do? What did you have in mind to do before you came to Thailand? Presumably not just sitting around on a beach and getting trashed.
My suggestion is to get out there and do something positive, something that YOU want to do, even if you have to set out alone. Meeting like-minded people will probably happen naturally along the way. And if for some reason it doesn't, you're still having a good time because you're doing activities that interest you.
In my experience, you usually meet the most interesting travel buddies once you step slightly out of the mainstream. That doesn't mean planting yourself in a remote village in Isaan, but maybe consider heading to Khao Sok national park? Or go to Krabi town, rent a motorbike, and explore from there?
Beaches (especially family-oriented ones like Thong Nai Pan Noi) can be lonely places if you are on your own.
Aug 29, 2012 7:21 AM
3Thanks for the advice.
Dominic, your totally right. Was planning to go north after koh tao but got talked into full moon because I wanted to travel with people, as I said, poor decisions, then went without them. Have just booked my ticket back to bangkok, really looking forward to it.
Dreamsignal, thanks aswell, don't just want to get trashed all the time though,
Aug 29, 2012 7:37 AM
4You sound just like me, I tend to make the wrong decisions and try to go with the flow (even when I'm with people I wouldnt normally hang with), I'll be doing Thailand this time next year, alone, so would definitely like to hear how you get on - I'm a bit aprehensive about meeting people.
Good luck on your travels and hope you have the journey you envisaged.
Aug 29, 2012 7:43 AM
5OK, for a total reset:
Go to Thong Sala.
Get a ferry to Champhon (sometimes spelled Champorn or Chumphon) There are 5 or 6 a day.
Take a train to Bangkok. Train arrives in Hualamphong station.
Train schedules for all of Thailand
Take a bus or train to Chaing Mai. Train leaves from Hualamphong station
Take a regular bus (6 hours) or minibus (4 hours) from Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Station to Soppong (Pang Mapha) then catch a motorbike taxi 8 kms to Cave Lodge (in Ban Tham).
Stay at Cave Lodge
I am not associated with these people at all. This is completely different from the southern islands. There is a ton of stuff to do and you will meet people.
Aug 29, 2012 7:47 AM
6Just to be clear, Sappong is as far from where you are as anywhere in Thailand. It is right up on the farthest northwest border. Deep jungle, hill tribes, rich culture.
Aug 29, 2012 9:13 AM
Aug 29, 2012 9:25 AM
8Why not just go around to Thong Nai Pan Yai? Lots if singles there, as Noi now caters to families and those with money. Another option is to head over to Haad Yao on the NW side of the island.
OR, get off of Koh Phangan and make your way to the north, as Tuesday suggested.
Aug 29, 2012 9:44 AM
Aug 29, 2012 10:37 AM
Aug 29, 2012 4:04 PM
11There's not really a lot more I could add that others haven't above me
In my opinion, the whole point of travelling is to get stuck in in the country, meet the locals, eat the local food, travel their way - not on some expensive air conditioned bus with a load of people from Europe, USA, Aus, NZ...
My best memory of Cambodia was travelling from Siem Reap down south. Took 2 days, ended up sleeping in the bus shelter over night (due to a severe language problem), got on some rickety old bus the next day driven by a mad man. Pelting down the motorway, hit a dog, overtaking on blind bends with some Cambodian man grinning and laughing at me. The bus then ended up breaking down in the middle of nowhere, so after standing around for what seemed a life time, the Cambodian fella gave me a lift the rest of the way with his friend who he'd phoned to come up and pick him up.
I think most travellers would agree that their best memories of back packing are made up times they've spent with locals, or doing things way off the beaten track. The different foods been placed in front of them in some cafe somewhere, or bizarre situations they get themselves into.Not of Khao San Road, or the Full Moon Party or Tubing etc etc etc.
My best advice would be to leave your mindset of wanting to meet other travellers, but wanting to do something different! Not the same old thing that all tourists do, because then if you follow the 'banana pancake trail', you end up seeing the same old faces everywhere you go.
Like dreamsignals86 said, literally pick a place on a map you've never heard of and bum off to there for a while. Yes it might be shite, yes there might not be anything to do, but at least you've done something different. And if tourists don't go to that place at all, then the locals will adore you! That way you'll have a lot more interesting stories to tell when you get back home, not the usual 'Ah man, I was so smashed going to tubing, it was mental!'
Good luck my friend...
Aug 29, 2012 4:09 PM
12^^ Great post. Meeting locals is infinitely better. If you are a cool person, they will welcome you in and show you a different side of the country that isn't offered on the tourist circuit. That's how I was introduced to travel, doing a homestay in a small village in Thailand without any westerners for a couple weeks. After traveling that way and seeing the tourist circuit crowd, I go with the former every time.
Aug 29, 2012 6:01 PM
13I stayed in a small town in Chaiyaphum Province for 3 weeks, and all the locals wanted to do was take me around and have fun. ... go to the temple-eat... go to my momma house-eat....go to dancing-eat....go to waterfall-eat... go to this or that conference, meeting-eat-eat...talk about food-eat....sing a song......too much fun. dancing maw lam..... see hero man...you funny long time.... it our way
Aug 29, 2012 6:06 PM
14I agree with all of what flexo says with the exception of tubing. Tubing is one of my fondest travel experiences to date and I don't mean standing around beside the river drinking buckets wearing an 'in the tubing' tshirt but actually floating down that river with a Beer Lao in hand with that breathtaking scenery of jungle and mountains, was bliss!
Meeting the locals is the best, they take you to places tourists don't know about and show you things tourists don't see. Backpackers and other travellers tend not to know anywhere interesting, they go to the most obvious places or places full of other tourists. Boring!
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