• Ivy

My First Solo Backpacking in Hat Yai, Thailand (why traveling alone is a MUST)

Updated: Jul 18, 2020

I did my first ever Solo Backpacking in 2012 in Hat Yai, Thailand. It was my first exit from Malaysia, going to Hat Yai, Thailand. I have to exit because my visa in Malaysia was just a tourist visa for only 3 months. I got hired in Klang, Malaysia for my first every job so I need to refresh my visa so I can continue to process my work permit. So I was like this is the best time for me to travel alone.

My friends advised me to travel Hat Yai, Thailand as its the closest town from Malaysia. It is a city in southern Thailand near the Malaysian border. Back then, you can still take the train from Kuala Lumpur directly to Hat Yai for 16 hours of travel. But now, you can take 2 trains and but shorter journey like 5 hours and another 1 hour going to Hat Yai.

Hat Yai Station

Hat Yai Station

Selfies from the Train using Blackberry

You can take via Train or Bus going to Hat Yai


BUS VIA TBS : Terminal Bersepadu Selatan to Padang Besar to Hat Yai

I backpacked in Hat Yai for 6 days. I have to say I love Hat Yai, as its not touristy compare to Bangkok - as it is very chaotic and crowded. I must say it was pretty scary at first. Solo traveling can be dangerous, boring, thrilling, fun, and exciting but you just gotta deal with it. I roamed around the city using Tuk-tuk - the famous and cheap means of transportation also considered like a taxi but cheaper.

As this backpacking was the first time to go Solo so I know nothing about hostels, how to travel cheap, or to be flexible during the journey. What I did was just go with the flow, enjoy my journey, do something adventurous. At first, I was still scared like I have a lot of what-ifs?

"How can I survive alone?"

"Where should I go first?"

"Where should I check-in?"

"How do I take tuk-tuk without being ripped off?"

"What if someone robbed me in here"

Apparently, when you're in the place where you know you have no one to count on but yourself.

You will not be scared anymore.

You will be stronger.

You will be braver.

You will be more excited.

You will like it.

Trust me..

Here are some tips on how I overcome my fear of Traveling Alone:

  • Did some research about the Country I was going

  • Being patient with myself

  • It's okay to be scared but I did it anyway

  • Have faith with myself

  • Avoided reading feeds about how dangerous traveling alone is

  • Being responsible

  • Take care of myself

  • Didn't get drunk alone

  • Being mindful

When you Travel Alone you learn a lot of things:

  • You will get to know yourself better

  • You will step you out of your comfort zone

  • It is cheaper

  • It will build your confidence

  • You will make new friends

  • You get to choose your own route

  • You will learn how to rely on yourself

Things TO DO in Hat, Yai Thailand

1. Visiting Wat Hat Yai Nai

  • The open-air temple is known for its massive statue of a reclining Buddha, one of the largest in the world.

2. Roam around Kim Yong Market

3. Visiting Hatyai Municipality Park, Hat Yai

4. Visiting Songkhla Lake

  • is the largest natural lake in Thailand

  • Bus from Hat Yai to Songkhla every 4 hours. Tickets cost ฿22 - ฿35 and the journey takes 31 min. also services this route once daily.

5. Visiting Phra Maha Chedi Tripob Trimongkol, Hat Yai

  • This unique Buddhist temple composed of steel circles.

6. Roaming around Hat Yai

7. Shopping/Eating Street Thai food

Note: Some photos are not mine*

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A Filipina, working in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia; who works in a 9 hr corporate IT job. So, I don't travel for work. I can only travel when I have available holidays. I am a single mom, I have a wonderful son who doesn't live with me but with my mom in the Philippines.

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