Incomprehensible shining beauty, elephants, monkeys, oh my!


Thailand has so much diversity and beauty but too many tourists so it’s a mixed bag for self discovery.

Where I’ve Been

Thailand Placeholder

Currency = Thai Baht

Find Yourself Rating

Medium. Because Thailand has soooo many tourists where you go has everything to do with how your experience using it as self-discovery will be. If you’re trying to work on meeting more people this might be a good place for you because there are so many tourists you’re bound to meet other English speakers and bond with them. For my taste, I found it hard to feel truly immersed in Thai culture because some places seemed to cater to tourism so much that I didn’t understand what was real and what was made for me to see. This also means less peace, fewer excursions where you feel like you’re the only person discovering some amazing secret. It’s certainly an excellent place for cooking classes and food, though! So if you want to discover yourself through flavors and spices, this is a great place to do it!

Female Solo Travel Ranking

Excellent. Like the rest of Southeast Asia I felt very safe! Even on the overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, though alone and above and across from 3 men from Portugal, there was a train car full of people. The only time I felt annoyed, not in danger, was dealing with taxis in Bangkok that appeared, from the outside, to be metered taxis, but once inside, turned out to be illegitimate. Tuk Tuks also loved to rip off tourists so you do need to be careful and make sure you bargain prices.

Touristy vs Authentic

Touristy. Though Thailand is amazingly beautiful, it was still much more touristy feeling than the rest of my adventures in Southeast Asia. It’s not just that there were soooo many people trying to do the same things at the same time, it was the lack of authenticity. Chiang Mai, for me, has lost whatever uniqueness it may once have had. To be fair, the “center” of town and the night market feel completely made for tourists. If you are there a few days and get to explore the outer areas, the zoo, and see one of the palaces on the mountain, there is something more authentic there. I did not go to Phuket since it sounded like more over-tourism. That’s why I was delighted to find Prachuap Khiri Khan, a quaint fisherman village where a bottle of water cost 8 cents (!) and there were very few Westerners.

Getting Around / Transportation

Buses and trains. The least expensive way to get around is by bus and train. If you’re long term traveling, you’ll get to see some interesting sites over the sometimes 12+ hour journeys! Check out the overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai (if you use you will have to pick up your tickets across from the station and it takes a little effort to find their office, but they are very reliable!). This train books up fast so you’ll want to reserve early. If you can get to the train station to pick up your tickets, even better. Also use the Grab App within cities for taxis. Note that in Chiang Mai Grab is illegal because it takes away business frrom tuk tuks, so you may have to walk a little to meet your driver depending on where you’re picked up. The South Bus station in Bangkok offers regular buses to many destinations. Note that the leaving time is often not the time listed on the website. The larger buses tend to wait till they are filled up or semi full, before departing. I arrived there about 30 minutes after the departure time of my desired bus, and it worked out they left about 30 minutes after I arrived, so sometimes it’s in your favor! Another minibus station used to exist at the Victory Monument BTS (subway) station but you should research that before you go since there are differing reports about whether or not those minibuses still depart frrom there. When it came to the subway in Bangkok, I invested in a Rabbit Card which helped me save a lot of time since I didn’t have to buy a new ticket every time I rode the subway. But, note, there are TWO subway lines in Bangkok. The rabbit card only works on the BTS. The other line is the MRT which you get separate tickets for and a single ride is paid with a coin, it can get confusing!

How to Save Money

Stay cheap and eat cheap! Thailand tends to be more expensive than other Southeast Asian countries because they have so may tourists. There are many food vendors that aren’t street meat which offer one way to save. There are hostels and many affordable hotel options, especially if you don’t try to stay right in the center of a city. As I mentioned before, using buses and trains instead of flying can save you money. However some airlines, like Air Asia, may have super cheap fares that make it more worthwhile to cut travel time.

Negotiating Tips

Strategic bargaining. If you’re trying to buy from local merchants, they all sell pretty much the same things. I found that what worked best was simply deciding what I wanted to pay for an item, and then if one merchant turned down my offer, finding another one that would accept it.


Not required. Tipping was not necessary anywhere in Thailand. When you’re on a budget this is really helpful!

WiFi Access

Very Good WiFi was readily available in hotels and restaurants. I found it worked pretty well, apart from, of course, out in the open.

SIM Cards / Cell Phone Service

Easy Walk into any 7/11 (if you don’t get one at the airport) and you can easily buy a SIM card preloaded with baht. You can also add baht at any 7/11 if you run out of money on your card. True Move is one of the main carriers and you can even top up online.


Very Good. All the bathrooms I encountered were clean – even when holes in the ground, they were actually pristine, complete with toilet paper, not smelly!

Insects, Rodents and Reptiles

Minimum. I got close up with monkeys and elephants but apart frrom eating a cricket and a pack of silk worms, didn’t even get too bothered by mosquitos!

Passport, Visa and Entry/Exit Rules

Straightforward, but can be expensive. It’s always a good idea to check the US government website (or your country’s local government if not the US) for in-depth information as well as the embassy website of each country. You can get your visa in advance, but if you cross the border by bus, they’ll take you through immigration and help you with the process. However, be mindful where you cross and what company you use. I crossed from Cambodia. I read that crossing in the South of Cambodia was more risky, however departing from Siem Reap was an easy 8-hour bus ride and the bus representative helped us avoid apparent scammers that try to convince tourists they have to pay for their assistance to get to immigration which is not true. Note that when you arrive into Bangkok taxi drivers will descend and try to get you to pay much higher prices than necessary. If you have the Grab App, use it!

Health, Water, etc.

Moderate. I didn’t drink the tap water as bottled water was supplied in all my hotels. Depending on your tolerance the thing that could get you in Thailand is the spicy food! So if you have a sensitive stomach, be mindful. Also if you eat street food, it’s always good to have a guide but a lot of it was safe and delicious. Check the CDC website for recommended vaccinations. I received the Hep A, Hep B, Typhoid and Japanese Encephalitis vaccinations. (The latter because I was planning to be in rural areas in Vietnam for several weeks.)


Hot. Thailand is warm and humid year around, even winter is around 80 degrees. Climate can vary by region, but the rainy season is generally May – October. However, some of the Southern islands may have periods of rain even in the non rainy season.  

Essentials to Pack

The sun is hot and direct, so make sure your head and body are covered and you have good sunblock. You’ll also need to have clothing that covers your shoulders and your legs to enter any temples. If you’re planning to go to any beaches, make sure you pack your bathing suit.

How to Make Friends

Tours were the number one way I found to meet people. Also, the nice thing about Chiang Mai, even though too touristy, is that it’s easy to meet people in their large rickshaws. You share them with other people and it’s just natural to all start chatting because you sit across from total strangers at a close distance. They are also amazingly cheap, and a great way to get around.

What to Do and See

Bangkok is worth seeing. I heard that one day is enough, but I was surprised that I actually liked it enough to stay there for several days. While there see the Grand Palace and explore Chinatown. Take the BTS around town and get to the market at Chatuchak Park which is an experience. In Chiang Mai of course see elephants, but use a company that doesn’t allow them to be used for riding and is known to treat them well. As mentioned if you want a place that’s less touristy try something like Prachuap Khiri Khan instead of Phuket. If you do, don’t miss out on the dusky langur monkeys. (That’s one of them in the photos at the top left of this page.) They are as gentle as they are cute! Of course see the floating market and the train market outside Bangkok. If you want some downtime and quiet, you can walk into any temple and sit quietly and meditate. Chiang Mai also has some quieter cafes where you can write or just enjoy nice surroundings.

Where to Stay

Here are a few of the places I liked:

Travelodge Sukhumvit 11 Bangkok – This was actually a great hotel! I stayed in the tower without the pool. Somehow I ranked an upgraded room. Though the walls were unfortunately thin, the room itself was huge and the bed very comfortable.

Citrus Suhumvit 11 – Bangkok – a boutique hotel with decent rooms, though the beds were not as comfortable as some other places. Many breakfast options, and I ended up meeting a couple of lovely couples staying at the hotel during my breakfasts there.

De Chai The Colonial – Chiang Mai. I treated myself to a night here for my birthday and am so glad I did! The room was amazing, just beautiful, and so quiet! The staff is lovely and the breakfast one of the most delicious I had in Thailand.

Learn about Heather and what set her on her world journey. She also explains why this life is not just for Millenials, it’s for anyone that wants to create a life around what they love most in life. 

Listen to an episode of the video interview series that will inspire you to follow your heart. Whether you want to travel full time or have another calling, this series is for you.

See the amazing people I’ve been meeting on my travels and the fun stories that go along with the meetings.

Check out my travel photos from around the world to see the world from wherever you are.

If you’ve been thinking that there’s got to be  more to life than work, or, you’ve lost your job, and wonder whether now is the time to do something you’re more excited about, this quiz will help you. Answer a few questions and get a free guide to help you know the areas you need to work on, followed up with inspirational and helpful tips to put your dreams into action.

Traveling the world full-time may sound glamorous and exhilirating. (In many ways, it is!) But, it’s not full-time fun. Before you decide to go, take this quiz to make sure you’re ready, and, if not, find out how to bridge the gaps.

This fun quiz helps you understand what your travel personality is, and how to make sure you indulge it when planning your next trip to maximize your enjoyment!

This one is pure fun – test your transcontinental travel trivia knowledge. Hit the button below if you dare take the quiz and see your score! 

If you enjoyed the first quiz, see how you do on the second one! More fun, more tricks, Click the button below to test your knowledge!

If you want to see every post I’ve written, starting with the most recent, this is the place to start!

In 2020, I was traveling in New Zealand as the coronavirus pandemic brewed, and, got stuck there. If you want to read about what this time was like and traveling during this time, check out this page.

Many of my blog posts are about things I’ve discovered about myself or about being, while I’ve traveled. If you’d like to focus on posts that only have self-discovery themes, click the button below.

I’ve been traveling the globe solo, and many of my posts share thoughts and resources specifically for other solo travelers. If you’re a fellow solo traveler, or you’re thinking about solo travel, this is a collection you will find of interest.

Sometimes I write posts where I give insider information on certain cities I’ve visited, which may be more along the lines of places to go, how to save money, etc. If that’s your main interest, check out this compilation of posts.

At the heart of international travel is learning about the many different cultures and ways of being around the world. The posts compiled on this page speak, specifically, about the cultural observations I’ve had.

If you’re looking to read blog posts about specific destinations, click the country of your interest below to go to it’s blog page and get country-specific reviews and thoughts.






Costa Rica


New Zealand








15 + 10 =

Want more in-depth information about travel? Trying to figure out how to afford full-time travel (or, doing what you want to do, full-time)? Check out these items!

Looking for a photo or a travel-related item to reconnect with the spirit of travel? Check out this page to see some of my photos and where you can find them as prints and various photo-gifts..

Trying to create a more fulfilling life? Want help with planning out how to make your mark in the world? Check out this page to see how Heather can help you!

Ready to start a more fulfilling life but can’t figure out the money part? This eCourse may be your answer! Click here for more details.