Solo Trip to Thailand

Holiday is coming soon! I’m sure some of my dear readers have getaway trips planned already.

 

 

 

 

 

 

While studying in Australia, it is very popular to travel to South-east Asia during the holiday period. Some of the budget airlines like Air Asia and Jetstar always have deals to popular travel destinations such as Thailand, Bali and Malaysia.

I know it sounds like cliché but travelling does bring invaluable experience and make you more organised, independent and confident.

QUT offers students a one-week mid-semester break each semester. Earlier this year, I decided to take this opportunity and travel to Thailand for 9 days.

Bangkok left me with an impression of being busy, hot and crowded. I had a pretty funny bus experience: As you may or may not know, the traffic in Bangkok is pretty bad especially during the rush hour. Both the driver and ticket officer of the bus I was on had a newspaper with them. When the bus was stuck in the traffic, the driver started reading newspaper and seemed pretty chilled in the middle of all the cars just like reading in his backyard. Although many tourists choose to take cabs or metros while traveling, getting on a bus really gave you a sense of how local people live. So highly recommended!

 

 

One thing I enjoyed most while touring around Bangkok was taking the ferry along Chao Phraya River. Chao Phraya is the major river in Thailand which flows though Bangkok and then into the Gulf of Thailand.

 

 

The price varies a lot between taking a river cruise and taking a normal ferry. The river cruise is much more expensive with a tour guide while the normal ferry is cheaper with lots of locals on it.

Along the river, you will get the chance to see many famous tourist destinations like The Temple of Dawn and Wat Pho. For me, I enjoy observing the local people more than checking out the Buddha statues. There are usually three people working on the ferry: driver, ticket officer and boat guy.

 

 

Every time when the ferry is about to stop at a station, the boat guy would jump off the ferry and pull the rope of the ferry to get the boat close to the pier so people would get on. I was so amazed by the efficient speed of him and how hard-working he was.  You need to be quick, have strength and endure the heat of the sun. Especially when I think the boat guy is much younger than me, I feel so lucky that I could get the chance to study overseas and hope he could or would get a chance of higher education too.

Another amazing part of the trip was that during the trip I made friends with people from all over the world. There were a lot of other backpackers and solo travelers, so making friends was very easy. However, you do need to be careful and make good judgement while travelling by yourself.

 

 

In my next blog, I will talk about some tips on solo travelling. I hope you can all nail the final assessment and enjoy the upcoming holiday. Until next time!

Tips for Travelling Alone

Since last year, I started travelling alone partly due to the difficulty to organise a trip with friends and partly because I want to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone.

Solo trip to Sydney

Solo trip to Thailand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To be honest, when I first booked the ticket, all I felt or thought was how amazing the trip would be and that I would meet new people while exploring the local scenery. It was only until the trip was about to start that I felt a bit terrified and scared. Therefore, I did a lot of preparation such as reading travel blogs to see what I should keep in mind while traveling alone.

 

 

 

 

 

The following are three advice based on my own experience:

  • Always have a working phone

When you are at a new place by yourself, you might get lost or feel unwell. It is extremely inconvenient to try to communicate with the police or locals especially in a non-English speaking country. It is always handy to have a phone where you can get access to GPS and dictionary.

 

  • Do not trust strangers 

Last time when I was travelling alone in Copenhagen near the Little Mermaid statue, an middle aged man approached me seeing that I was by myself. He started conversation by small talk and said that he could show me around as he was free. I was not suspicious at the beginning but it turned out he just wanted to “take advantage of girls”. I walked away immediately as soon as I detect the red signs because he asked me many personal questions such as “where are you living?”,”are you travelling by yourself?”,”do you want to find something to do together?”. It is better to keep your address to yourself instead of giving it away to strangers.

Always trust your instinct and keep yourself safe.

  • Research before you go

As a tourist, we can be easily be recognised and some of the scammers just take advantage of the fact that you are not familiar with the area. One good example is that many tourists pay a much higher price than local people when taking a taxi. Another personal example of mine is that: When travelling around Thailand, I was told that the temple where I planned to go to was closed and the tuk tuk driver offered to give me a ride to another temple. The fact, however, was that it was a way to make money for those drivers if they could get customers for another temple.

Some of these common scams can easily be avoided if you do enough research beforehand.

To summaries; Keep an eye out for yourself and be prepared while travelling alone, it can be a great experience!

Queensland Experience: CONTEST

Best Semester Abroad 2016 competition was launched on 29 April 2016 at QUT Gardens Point.

If you are from Mexico, Chile, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines Thailand, Italy or Spain and over 18 years old you might be interested in this information.
20 people from 10 countries (2 of each country) will be selected to study in Australia for 5 months either in Brisbane, Cairns or the Gold Coast, YOU CHOOSE! Including flights, accommodation, tuition and holidays experiences.
On the top of that 5 of the 20 winners will win $30,000 AUD towards a university degree in Queensland.
This competition is conducted by the State of Queensland and the Study Queensland brand which is managed by the International Education and Training Unit (IETU). This project aims to give 20 international students a chance to live, enjoy and study in Queensland for one semester to boost the state’s profile of a world-class education.
The prize is sponsored by the Queensland Government and other 26 sponsors including QUT, OF COURSE!
How to participate?
CREATE YOUR PROFILE – Selecting which Institution you would want to study at
MAKE A VIDEO- explaining why Queensland is your next step.

How to win?
GAIN 1000 VOTES
Prepared to be INTERVIEWED by the judging panel
The competition close at 11:59 pm on Sunday 26 June 2016 (Australian Eastern Time) HURRY UP!!!
For more information about eligibility and how to participate visit: http://www.bestsemesterabroad.com.au/

BestSemesterPromo

Ambassadors