Solo Travel Bangkok – The Ultimate Guide
Are you thinking of embarking on your first solo trip? And you searched “Solo Travel Bangkok” because you’ve heard Thailand is the number one backpacking destination in the world.
Well, it’s true! A backpacking trip to Thailand really is the best place to start your adventures in Asia.
There are endless reasons why Thailand is perfect as your first trip, and much of it is because of the busy capital city, Bangkok. Thailand travel hotspot capital is often the first stop for many new backpackers.
The locals are friendly and helpful, making Bangkok an accessible city to travel alone. However, you probably also read it is an overrated tourist trap.
Despite this, Bangkok remains my top choice for rookie solo travellers to get your feet wet!
WWB Writer, Rebecca, shares why Bangkok is the undefeated kick-off point for many travellers on a solo backpacking trip to Thailand.
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Why travel solo in Bangkok?
Photo by Braden Jarvis on Unsplash
Do I have to stress that Bangkok is an iconic backpacker hub? The melting pot of international friends you haven’t met.
Besides, Bangkok is a trouble-free and cheap city to explore as a solo backpacker. And that’s because travelling in Bangkok is extremely convenient.
Taking on the city of Bangkok alone means you will be paying for transport without the options of splitting the cost. So save yourself some money by using public transportation. If you are a beginner backpacker, the city’s modern Skytrain, underground systems and overhead walkway are going to ease your worry about getting lost in a foreign country.
I know what you are thinking, I’m not jetting off to a holiday for an efficient train system. That isn’t the unique seeking discomfort experience I want!
Well, for the adventure seekers, you can explore Bangkok’s riverside area by a traditional wood-built riverboat.
Now that’s the best of both worlds!
So how to get to Bangkok?
Bangkok has two airports – Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) and Don Mueang Airport (DMK).
If you are flying into Bangkok, I will highly recommend Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) as a better option. BKK has an Airport Rail Link to journey to the city center. Taking the train is the cheapest option for solo travellers in Bangkok. The train is located on the Basement B level of BKK. The fantastic BTS Skytrain and MRT Subway links are incredibly convenient and affordable, and it takes less than an hour to get to downtown Bangkok.
Suvarnabhumi Airport > 6 Stops > Phayathai
Don Mueang Airport (DMK) is closer to the city but does not have a direct link to the train system in Bangkok. The cheapest way to get downtown is taking the A1 bus to Mo Chit BTS station. The bus makes a few stops, and the last stop is Mo Chit. When you get off the bus, there is a 5-minute walk to Mo Chit BTS station.
A1 Bus > Mo Chit
Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK): https://www.bangkok-airport.net/
Don Mueang Airport (DMK): https://www.don-mueang-airport.com/
Best things to do for solo travellers in Bangkok
Meet other solo travellers in Bangkok at the renowned Khao San Road
Photo by Bundo Kim on Unsplash
Meeting new people and making new friends by chatting with other solo explorers is the idea. Khao San Road is known as the Bangkok backpacker central. So grab a beer or a bucket and start making small talks! Being open to speaking to everyone is a tip, and you never know who you may meet or what travel advice people might have for your solo trip in Bangkok.
Location: Khao San Road, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Do a DIY sightseeing tour along Bangkok’s main river
Photo by Sebastian Pichler on Unsplash
This is a cheap 1-Day Bangkok tour for solo travellers on the Chao Phraya River. This tour visits all the famous landmarks in Bangkok.
There are many boat services that run up and down the Chao Phraya River. It will be highly recommended for a tourist solo backpacking in Bangkok, to purchase the All-Day Chao Phraya Tourist Boat pass which costs 200 Baht. This one-day pass is an unlimited hop-on-hop-off boat service along Chao Phraya River, Bangkok.
But I’m going to share a tip to save a few bucks.
I would recommend you to take the Chao Phraya Express Boat instead. This is a single-journey ticket, and you have to buy a new ticket to hop back onto the riverboat each time. There are four different express boats and depending on the boat you take, the ticket will cost you 5-40 Baht each, which is very cheap. If you are hitting only 3-5 of the iconic destinations, the accumulated cost of the tickets will be less than 200 Baht.
So before taking the ride, you have to purchase your ticket at the counter located at the pier. If you’re uncertain whether the boat at the dock is the right boat to get to your destination, ask the locals or conductor. They are very friendly and would point you to the right boat.
Chao Phraya River Express Boat pier guide: http://www.riverofkingsbangkok.com/pier-guide/
Here is a sample itinerary:
If you are already staying at Khao San Road, Phra Arthit pier should be a walking distance to your stay.
If you are not, take the BTS train and get off at Saphan Taksin station and take a 1-minute walk to Sathorn pier to start your river sightseeing journey.
First stop: Wang Lang Market (Wang Lang Pier)
This is a day market for amazing local street food, and it is the best breakfast place.
Recommended: Homemade stuffed bread at Wang Lang Bakery
Recommended: Fried marinated pork at Moo Tod Chaowang
Next stop: Visit major Bangkok attractions and landmarks
This is a recommended route if you are determined to visit all. But I would suggest enjoying each pier, maybe take a pit stop to observe the locals and miss a few stops.
- Khao San Road (Phra Arthit Pier)
- Wang Lang Market (Wang Lang Pier)
- Royal Barge National Museum (Wang Lang Pier, then it’s a short walk to the museum)
- Grand Palace (Ta Chang Pier)
- Wat Pho (Tha Tien Pier)
- Wat Arun (Opposite Tha Tien Pier)
- Flower Market (Yodpiman Pier)
- Chinatown (Rajchawongse Pier)
Last stop: Asiatique
This is an organised night bazaar and mall, and it opens at 5 pm. It’s a great way to spend your evening browsing boutique stalls and have your dinner at a riverside restaurant to end the day.
Enjoy the Bangkok market experience
Photo by Syed Ahmad onUnsplash
Now here’s why Bangkok is a female backpacker shopper’s haven. Regardless if you love shopping or not, spending time at a Bangkok night market is a must.
The night markets in Bangkok are unlike anything you have experienced. They offer incredible bargains, fashionable Thai handmade designers and some of the best street foods in the world. There are plenty of the local night markets all around the city. As a backpacker myself, I know there is little room in your backpack for a shopping spree, so you have to be very selective of your purchase.
Top 3 Bangkok’s Best Night Market
Cheap and Genuine Vintage Finds: Talad Rod Fai Train Night Market
This market is filled with collectables and memorabilia sourced from around the world. We all know the trends from the ’90s are cool again. Take a walk down memory lane and search through the shops for an ’80s and 90’s fashion update.
How to get to Talad Rod Fai Train Night Market?
Nearest Train Station: On Nut. From there, take a taxi or grabcar to the market.
Location: 51 Srinagarindra Road, Nong Bon, Prawet, Bangkok 10250, Thailand
Operating Hours: Thursday to Sunday (5 pm to 1 am)
Quirky Thai Designer Fashion: Chatuchak Weekend Market
Chatuchak is the ultimate Bangkok market. It is one of the biggest outdoor markets in the world. They sell everything. But the biggest standout is quality and unique Thai designers selling their handmade designs at very reasonable prices.
How to get to Chatuchak Market?
Nearest Train Station: Kamphaeng Phet. Exit #2.
Location: Chatuchak Weekend Market, 587/10 Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
Operating Hours: Friday (6 pm to 12 am), Saturday and Sunday (9 am to 6 pm)
Cheapest Clothes: Pratunam Morning Market
This is a morning wholesale market that sells mainly women’s clothing. If you didn’t pack suitable light clothes to wear in Thailand, then this is the market to buy some very cheap clothes.
Tip: You have to buy at least three pieces from the same store to trigger a bargain wholesale price.
How to get to Pratunam Market?
Nearest Train Station: Phaya Thai
Location: Ratchaprarop 1 Alley, Thanon Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Operating Hours: Every day (4 am to 9 am)
Here is an alternative wholesale shopping mall if you are not crazy about waking up early to shop.
Platinum Fashion Mall
Nearest Train Station: Chit Lom
Location: 222 Phetchaburi Rd, Phetchaburi, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Operating Hours: Daily (10 am to 10 pm)
Free Bangkok Walking Tours
There are many free self-guided walking tours to explore Bangkok on foot at your own pace. But if you want to walk and talk with local friends. Sign up for a free sightseeing walk around Bangkok guided by Thai Volunteers. This is the best Bangkok tour for solo travellers to meet some new friends.
Best Places to stay for solo travellers
Thailand hostels are exceptional. They are clean, cheap and totally Instagram-worthy. Staying in hostels is also the easiest and fastest way to meet other solo travellers in Thailand.
4 Best Hostels to stay in Bangkok for solo travellers
Best Party Hostel Bangkok for Solo Travellers:
Mad Monkey Bangkok
Mad Monkey Hostel in Bangkok is a fun, friendly hostel with a fantastic party vibe. It’s one of the best social scenes around for backpackers travelling alone.
Nearest Train Station: Phaya Thai
Location: 55 Phra Sumen Rd, Chana Songkhram, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Best Eco-friendly Hostel in Bangkok for Solo Travellers: The Yard Hostel
The Yard Hostel is constructed with shipping containers, and they provide the guests with drinking glass bottles when you check-in. The common areas such as the garden is a great place to socialise with other solo travellers.
Nearest Train Station: Ari
Location: 51 Phahon Yothin 5, Samsen Nai, Phaya Thai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Best Hostel in Bangkok for Solo Female Travellers: Once again Hostel
Once again Hostel is located in the heart of Bangkok Old town and is ideally situated near the main tourist attractions. As you walk in, you will be impressed by this seriously beautiful hostel.
Nearest Train Station: Hua Lamphong
Location: 22 Soi Samran Rat, Samran Rat, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Best Luxury Hostel in Bangkok for Solo Travellers: Chao Hostel
Chao Hostel is a boutique hostel that combines the style and comfort of a boutique hotel with the price of a hostel. It is an upscale poshtel that offers spacious and well-designed rooms.
Nearest Train Station: National Stadium
Location: 8th floor, Siam@Siam building, 865 Rama I Rd, Wang Mai, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Useful tips for solo travellers in Bangkok
- Be careful with taxi drivers. Make sure they use a meter.
- Compare fares with a Grabtaxi app & a taxi.
- Always carry a hostel business card.
- Buy a prepaid sim card. They are very conveniently sold at most convenience stores.
- Showing your passport to enter Bangkok’s night clubs is a must.
- Visitors must be appropriately dressed before being allowed entry to the Grand Palace and temples.
Things to watch out for traveling to Bangkok alone
Bangkok is a big city, and like any city, scams are common. Be a smart traveller and be vigilant. If you are sceptical of any tours or anyone, walk away and research about it. Google is your best friend.
Things to bring to a solo trip to Bangkok
- Pack slip-on shoes for Thailand: Many places in Thailand require shoes to be off to enter.
- A secure backpack: An anti-theft bag is recommended.
- Thin and light comfortable clothes: The weather in Bangkok is extremely humid and hot.
Best Bangkok places to grab food for solo travellers
Bangkok is a street food heaven. The best and most authentic Thai food can be found at almost every street corner. Sink your teeth and start sampling street food by walking around these Bangkok Streets.
Here are some of the best streets to grab food:
- Victory Monument
- Yaowarat Street (Chinatown)
- Sriyan Market
- Pectchaburi Soi 5
- Wang Lang Market
- Phahon Yothin Soi 7
Tip: Eating at popular stalls is the best way to ensure your food is delicious and hygienic.
Other than street food here are some restaurants to check out too.
Pa Yak Boat Noodles
Recommended: Beef Boat Noodles
Nearest Train Station: Victory Monument
Location: Khwaeng Samsen Nai, Khet Phaya Thai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10400
Ban Khun Mae
Recommended: Steamed Curry Seafood Paste Filled in Young Coconut
Nearest Train Station: Siam
Location: 458/6-9 Siam Square Soi 8, Rama 1 Road, Patumwan, Bangkok 10330
Recommended: Stir-fried crab in curry powder
Location: 503-505 Sam Sen Road, Dusit, Bangkok, 10300, Thailand
Bangkok is extremely well-prepared and suited to tourists and uniquely optimised for solo travelling females. While Bangkok is generally really safe for solo female travellers, you should still remember always to keep a lookout of your surroundings.
And if you are scared of travelling alone, always remember that it’s okay to be afraid to go solo. But don’t let that fear stop you from booking that ticket.
The city is an exciting place to explore, and there are so many people on a solo trip in Bangkok, trust me, making new friends is too easy. They are all in the same situation as you and everyone is ready to make new friends.
Figuring out how to meet solo travellers in Thailand is effortless because building a travel squad with the right vibes cannot be any easier in Bangkok!