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
Selfies from the Train using Blackberry
You can take via Train or Bus going to Hat Yai
TRAIN VIA KTM: KL SENTRAL TO PADANG BESAR 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.
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
Take care of myself
Didn't get drunk alone
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
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*