Questions for Women Who Have Traveled Alone
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Nov 19, 2012 9:04 AM Last Post By: stuckincanada
Nov 15, 2012 1:50 AM
Questions for Women Who Have Traveled AloneAt the end of this year, I will be traveling to Thailand and then maybe to Vietnam or Malaysia by myself. I am a 25 year old woman traveling solo for the first time. I'm getting a little anxious about the trip...
Is it safe to take tuk-tuks alone as a woman to a nature reserve? Is it safe to hire guides to take me to jungles on treks alone? Or should I really try to pull some other travelers from hostels along with me to stay safe?
People keep telling me that it's fine as long as I am cautious, but I am worried because I like to travel off of the beaten path, to remote wilderness, to jungles and other unreachable and non-touristy places. If any women have traveled alone to these places in the past and have some insights, I'd love to hear them.
Thanks so much for the help!
Nov 15, 2012 3:25 AM
Nov 15, 2012 12:44 PM
2I've never had any issues in taxis or tuk tuks. Do what Thai ladies do and choose the back seat in a taxi :-)
I think it's a bit difficult to advise on 'remote' travel with only a guide. You can only do what you feel comfortable with, and you probably won't know until you get there what that comfort level is. How likely are you really to trek alone? Most people go in small groups as it really helps with costs...
Nov 15, 2012 9:41 PM
3It's absolutely safe ... until it isn't.
Sorry to say, but:
No amount of being 'cautious' is going to be relevant when you find yourself in a 'difficult' situation.
No reports from other female travelers will be of any use when you find yourself in a 'difficult' situation.
Travel with others on these excursions.
Nov 15, 2012 11:32 PM
4Take Tuk-Tuk or Taxi is fine but you might don't like when they cost you about the fare, if you're look new for traveling in Thailand because of some may be scammed.
I would suggest you to take BTS (Skytrian) or MRT instead.
Nov 16, 2012 12:03 AM
5I can't say it safe or not.
because it's depend on the destination and time.
You can ask them about the cost before you take it,
and if you think it's too expensive you can take the other one.
But the best way is BTS or MRT. (I always use it)
And.. about alone in jungles (or with a guide) I think it's not the safe way. (even Thai)
Welcome to Thailand.
Nov 16, 2012 1:38 AM
6It's absolutely safe ... until it isn't.
It's the truth. It doesn't happen often ,but it does.
A woman was raped by a man in Ao Nang. Also, since the girls father started a smear campaign against the culprit and the Thai police, the Police are saying that the girl lied and let the girl go.
Might want to bring some pepper spray.
Nov 16, 2012 1:44 AM
7I apologise. I was referring to the woman raped on Ao Nang, but thought she was murdered. Anyway, it was all bad.
Nov 16, 2012 10:49 AM
8I haven't been to Thailand yet (leaving next month- also traveling solo), but I have traveled solo a lot, and I would say do not worry too much.
Most of the time, there are always a few (or a lot!) tourists around, so you are never "alone".
My only warning (valid for travel anywhere) would be with drinking alcohol. Don't get hammered. And if you drink alcohol, drink beer from a bottle and never leave you drink unattended. Avoid buckets and cocktails - you don't know what can be in it.
Nov 16, 2012 11:38 AM
Nov 18, 2012 3:58 PM
I totally know where you're coming from :) . I travelled solo before but only domestic trips so I was more confident with that. However, Im going to start traveling solo abroad next year and it wasnt totally my usual travel preference. So Im a little nervous and excited at the same time :)
As for your "problem" it is really hard to give an advise coz even though there are too many who say it is safe and "unlikely" to happen - there's always a possibility that it WILL happen and though the percentage is too small that it will happen to you, BUT who knows right?
So I can only suggest to take precautionary measures. If I need to go somewhere off the beaten path, I always hire a tour guide. But before I do that, I do some background checking first of that tour guide. If that person is in the tourism industry - it is more likely that he has a website or at least a facebook account. Or check for some reviews through on travel review site. If you can get contact information of the previous travellers, it is better so you can interact with them personally. That's what I did with the tour guide that I'm gonna be using in my Cambodia trip.
Also, inform your relatives or someone close to you your iterinary and who's going to be with you on your "off the beaten path" activities. Give them their contact info and their pictures if you have it.
Also, if you're in an unfamiliar territory, pretend that you're somewhat "knowledgeable" of the place. So research on the side is necessary. I always use this trick with taxi drivers. Sometimes, I even pretend Im calling someone that I will meet them up on my destination or something to that effect so drivers dont know that Im alone. Or sometimes, I get the plate # first and then text them to my close friends. This wont work if you're travelling in the jungle of course :) But I also use the "call someone approach" in this kind of situation "like hey, friend Im here in the jungle 101. Yeah sounds fun, I know right? I found a really cool tour guide and his name is....yeah just the TWO of us...We might be able to go back in the civilization at around 5pm...so call me after that?" and make sure to secretly take a picture of him and send it to your trusted friends or relative. Along with the details of the duration of your adventure so they can check up on you. Usually, criminals are wary if there's a way that they can be caught or people are aware of his involvement with their prospects. Just like us, they are also a bit "paranoid" :) Please make sure though that you have a reception before trying to make a "call". LOL.
I know this sounds a bit paranoid and it is. And people will say that you better stay at home. But it always better to be safe than sorry. You won't be able to appreciate the "high" of your adventures if you're raped, beaten or worse dead. Few years ago, there was a American woman who was a member of US Peace Corp who lived for years in one province here in PH. Fan of adventures she went up North to try the Banaue Rice Terraces. Alone in the mountain, with no tour guide at all, she stopped in the last store that she could find in the area and continued her hiking. Little did she know that the husband of the store owner noticed she was alone and followed her trail and killed her. It took weeks before she was found coz the suspect buried her in the middle of the mountain. It was a big news here since the woman is a well known blogger (I was a fan) and known for her good deeds and she was sooo trusting. Policemen didn't almost save the case until the suspect admitted the crime and brought the police to the place where he buried the victim. Just imagine how hard it was for the family thinking they wont be able to find even her dead body. So from then on, I've learned from her mistakes.
And last but not the least - always trust your instinct. I am so glad that I am female. We are naturally equipped with this "women's instinct" thing and it saved me a lot during my trips :) If you want to bring pepper spray as a self defense, I suggest to check the countries you are going to visit. It is illegal for some countries for civilian to bring pepper spray. Fine is up to $10k and you might end up in jail as well. So research more. I have female friends who travelled a lot who took martial arts so they can defend themselves if things come to worse. Well, it is a good idea as well :)
So good luck on your travel and be safe!
Edited by: trigger_elf
Edited by: trigger_elf
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