Thailand and its single male traveler culture…….
When traveling the world, there are definitely countries you choose not to visit because of your own experience and travel expectations. The tourism in Thailand is created around a single male traveler and when you are traveling in Thailand as a solo female traveler, the journey definitely has its challenges.
I have been over 7 times now in Thailand. From the full moon parties on Koh Phangan to obtaining my diving license in Koh Tao. Every visit reminds you that you are not the type of travelers the tourism wants to attract and the reactions of people around you will just confirm it. I keep on traveling back because Thailand as a whole country has incredible places to visit. From the village Pai to the Similan Islands, its beauty is undeniable. I have found some charms to hold on about this country and that is why I keep on going back.
I often said that Thailand is not a country for female travelers and definitely not for a solo traveler. I will more urge my male friends to visit the country and develop their Bromance than my girls. Do not get me wrong, my observations are not based on the entire country, but on my own experiences and other female travelers. And there are lots of places in Thailand, where the tourism environment has not changed and the locals are more open to welcome you in their house and share their culture with you.
As a woman, I am just uncomfortable seeing around the country old foreigner men with young Thai girls. Or always to justify myself when I am nice to men as this may be misinterpreted. Funny enough, this happens on a daily basis when you are in touristy places like Koh Samui, Bangkok, Krabi, Koh Phangan etc. People are more open to judge your choice of traveling alone and even question you on why you will want to travel alone while Thailand is for couples according to their own observation. But when you have been so many times in Thailand, you learn to shake these comments off and you enjoy your trip.
I survived Thailand by hanging out with locals of a certain age (both men and women)
Even with the huge visibility of Thailand’s single male traveler culture, I enjoy myself when I am in Thailand. I spent most of my time meeting locals of a certain age, talking to them, jogging with them around the village and drinking a beer while watching the hours pass by.
The one thing you will see is that locals are curious and true locals will first share a shy smile before engaging in a conversation, even if English is not their first language. They will invite you to share a meal with them and their family, talk to you about Thailand and believe me, the conversation will be in broken English and Thai. But if you can read body language, you will understand each other and crack some jokes.
As a solo female traveler, it is easy to be friendly with the locals without this being misinterpreted as a flirt or on the hunt for men. But you cannot have the same behavior with your fellow male travelers or foreigners living in Thailand. Because if you do, this may be misinterpreted. Even with that happening, there are still few honest male travelers around Thailand.
Cope with the Thai way of living
Each time I visit the village Pai or Chiang Mai, I truly enjoy watching the Thai way of living. From the fishermen in the early morning to the street vendors, most locals wake up before the sunrise. They go fishing, jogging, start cleaning or just enjoy the quiet moments of the morning. When sitting on your veranda, you can hear the sounds of the birds, you can taste the fresh air before the rest of the village wake up and if you are into yoga, Tai-Chi or meditation as I am, then you can start with your routine. Remember to dedicate the first hours to yourself before starting your day.
Here are the rest of the tips
Mingle with people you trust
Enjoy being alone and observe more
Visit unknown places/beaches/villages
Be aware of the dangers and be alert
Besides the above tips, go explore Thailand, enjoy yourself and stay true to yourself.