single female traveller

Discussion in 'travel and world' started by hash tag, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. hash tag

    hash tag member

    Any advice or tips please for a young, inexperienced female traveller who is thinking about a weeks stopover in Cambodia?
    There used to be forums on Wandelust and Lonley Planet, but they do not seem to be around anymore.
    I know about wearing wedding rings and always having a copy of a passport as opposed to the original. I have also looked at hiring a private guide :rolleyes:
    Any good, safe places to go to find a travel companion or any other tips welcome.
    :thumbs:
     
    muscovyduck likes this.
  2. planetgeli

    planetgeli There's no future in England's dreaming

    In the centre of Phnom Penh there is a tourist, sorry traveller hub where all the cheap places to stay are*. She'd meet lots of people there doing what she is doing.

    I met loads of single female travellers in all sorts of places. Cambodia is definitely one of the safest and friendliest. Local bus travel is cheap and i'm sure you can get "VIP" buses there now too. Agents selling tickets give decent advice 'for one dollar more'. That should be Cambodia's tourist slogan.

    Taxis aren't that expensive. We got one for about 70 miles and it cost tuppence, relatively.

    Hotels in Siem Reap (which is now well ruined by over-tourism) will help with Angkor Wat. They arrange tours for you. In Angkor Wat you go buy your ticket just before sunset on the day before you want to go, they let you in free for the sunset. Then you go again from sunrise the next morning. You don't really need more than one day in Angkor Wat but you can get 3 day tickets too.

    It's a safe country in my book. Just missing a whole generation. :(

    * this used to be by the lake. The lake has now been filled in with sand.

    Oh, Cambodia, and especially Phnom Penh, is hot. Really hot. 30-35 guaranteed every day.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  3. Supine

    Supine Rough Like Badger

    Yeah Cambodia is great and fine for a single female. Obvious street smarts apply but i reckon it's as safe as anywhere.
     
    hash tag likes this.
  4. planetgeli

    planetgeli There's no future in England's dreaming

    Tuk-tuks line up by the accommodation areas, tell her to get one and go to S21, a sobering experience. Tuk-tuks won't rip you off, you don't need a private guide. Traffic is mental. Our tuk-tuk crashed into a tinted window 4x4, shouted at the bloke and drove off. Which was quite brave. Big disparity between rich and poor, all the rich drug dealers and corrupt fuckers drive 4x4s with tinted windows. That's why he was brave.

    Tuk-tuk can be hired for half a day. He'll take her wherever she wants and recommend places to see.

    Cambodia has excellent chemists. ;) But I doubt she'll have time/be interested in this aspect.
     
    Mrs Miggins and hash tag like this.
  5. hash tag

    hash tag member

    I remember Ho Chi Minh...traffic there was unbelievable and the cyclos there were nuts. We often paid the riders to be passengers and had races in them. :facepalm:
     
    iamwithnail and Mrs Miggins like this.
  6. Don Troooomp

    Don Troooomp Condescension and embedded self importance

    smartphone with 2 sim card slots - one UK number, one local number.
    Turn off the UK sim so you don't get hammered with roaming fees, but the local sim means internet access so your WA and skype still work.

    Also..

    Google maps
    Google translate
    Whatever hotel booking apps
    Local transport app like grab or whatever they use out there.

    More when I have a a decent keyboard to type on
     
  7. Don Troooomp

    Don Troooomp Condescension and embedded self importance

    Back to the phone ..

    A search function (I prefer google)
    Camera (Don't want to forget those special moments)
    XE converter (So you know how much you're spending)
     
  8. Don Troooomp

    Don Troooomp Condescension and embedded self importance

    Next up..

    Go to a local minimart and check out the price of a bottle of water and other obvious essentials. If you know what things generally cost, you're a lot less likley to get ripped off.
     
    muscovyduck and miss direct like this.
  9. Don Troooomp

    Don Troooomp Condescension and embedded self importance

    Bed time and evenings out.

    A lot of cheap backpacker hotels in Asia have air conditioning, poor or no bedsheets, and a lot of biting insects. Anti malaria tablets can be a serious problem to a lot of people, cause toilet issues way too much, and don't work well. You need to do two things:

    • Buy anti-mosquito creams and use them every evening (They can't give you malaria if they don't bite you).
    • Make a sleeping bag
    The latter is easy, quick, cheap, and works really well. But some thin cotton material about a yard wide and two and a half times your height. Have it sown into a long bag, shape, stick some insect repellent (Deet) on the open end, and sleep in that. Not an insect will get near you when you're asleep and you can use it as a wrap to keep you warm on the plane and any long distance buses/trains you might use (The air conditioning on some in Asia is nutty cold).

    The thing is light and easy to carry, and can save you a load of grief.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  10. Don Troooomp

    Don Troooomp Condescension and embedded self importance

    Take a pack or two of wet wipes (Smallish, pocket size ones, and carry them in your day bag). Don't ask why, just quote this post and leave a message thanking me when you find out.
     
  11. Don Troooomp

    Don Troooomp Condescension and embedded self importance

    Day back. Buy one of those ultralight rucksacks that fold up to nothing - They make great daybacks for water and whatever. I carry a small towel and a spare shirt so when I get hot and sweaty I can wipe down with a bit of water and change my shirt without returning to the hotel. Easy and quick in any toilet. I hang the towel on the back of the pack so it dries in the sun as I'm walking.
     
  12. Don Troooomp

    Don Troooomp Condescension and embedded self importance

    General packing. Minimalist in a rucksack - Never a suitcase.
     
  13. Mrs Miggins

    Mrs Miggins There's been a slight cheese accident

    Personally I wouldn't bother with a local sim for 1 week. There is free internet access all over the place - cafes and accomodation etc.

    A general travel tip - Maps.me is a brilliant app. You download maps of the places you're going and then it works via gps so no need for an internet connection on the move.

    You can definitely spend more than one day in the temples of Siem Reap. 1 day in the major ones and then another day going round smaller ones. Hardly anyone is at the smaller ones so it's much more atmospheric and they are all really beautiful. Just get a tuk-tuk driver to take you. They are definitely not hard to find!

    I found Cambodians to be absolutely lovely, warm, helpful and friendly people. She will be fine.
     
    trashpony and hash tag like this.
  14. Don Troooomp

    Don Troooomp Condescension and embedded self importance

    Hat - Preferably something that folds down to nothing so you can pop it into your daybag. Wait until you feel the sun on your head and you'll know why. Sunglasses are also a good move.
     
  15. Don Troooomp

    Don Troooomp Condescension and embedded self importance

    I would. A sim works out cheap and means you have internet all the time regardless of where you are rather than just in restaurants or hotels, and means things like maps work all the time, really handy if you get lost.
    An inexperienced traveller would be well advised to keep in touch and be aware of everything around them, as well as having the ability to call a Grab or whatever at any time.
     
  16. Mrs Miggins

    Mrs Miggins There's been a slight cheese accident

    As you describe her as "young and inexperienced" she might do well to start in Siem Reap rather than Phnom Penh as the capital is overwhelmingly busy and Siem Reap is much more set up for tourists. If she's never been to a SE Asian country, it could be somewhat daunting. The traffic is insane and the constant badgering to get in a tuk-tuk or buy things can be a bit much. Siem Reap is gentler.
     
  17. Mrs Miggins

    Mrs Miggins There's been a slight cheese accident

    Fair enough but it's an extra layer of faff that the more I travelled, the less I found necessary. When I first set out, I always got a local sim but after a few countries, I stopped bothering as free wifi is so ubiquitous.

    And as I said, Maps.me works without wifi and IMO is at least as good as, if not better than, Google Maps.
     
  18. Don Troooomp

    Don Troooomp Condescension and embedded self importance

    We'll have to disagree on that point. As a new, inexperienced traveller, I would strongly recommend the ability to stay in touch 24/7.
    Not to mention Google translate.
     
  19. Mrs Miggins

    Mrs Miggins There's been a slight cheese accident

    There are VIP busses in Cambodia as well - like all the tourist centres in SE Asia. You can book in any travel agent and travel agents are everywhere. Obviously a lot more expensive than local transport but 100% safe and easy.

    In fact I usually had to really try hard to find local busses as the local population really want tourists to pay for the VIP busses. And why wouldnt't they? It's their income. I imagine they might prefer the tourists to be kept in their tourist bubble as well as I certainly saw my fair share of rude or obnoxious behaviour.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  20. Mrs Miggins

    Mrs Miggins There's been a slight cheese accident

    Like, I said, fair enough.

    You really don't need google translate in tourist centres in Cambodia or any other SE Asian country though. Everything is in English and people speak English. Going out of the tourist centres, yes maybe, but in Siem Reap or Phnom Penh? Nah.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
    planetgeli likes this.
  21. Mrs Miggins

    Mrs Miggins There's been a slight cheese accident

    The wedding ring thing....whilst I wouldn't say no, I didn't find any of that kind of hassle in Cambodia. Thailand yes, Indonesia yes but Cambodia and Vietnam, no.

    Having said that, my neice and her friend went to one of the Cambodian coastal resorts and got perved on a lot. They said it was horrible. Tell her not to go there.
     
  22. Mrs Miggins

    Mrs Miggins There's been a slight cheese accident

    There is a place called Battambang which you can visit in between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. It's a fairly quiet little place which has a beautiful hilltop temple and a cave where millions of bats return to roost in the evening. I really liked it there. Makes a good stopover between the 2 places.
     
    belboid and planetgeli like this.
  23. Mrs Miggins

    Mrs Miggins There's been a slight cheese accident

    As she is on her own, I would advise booking accomodation in advance using Bookings.com or Hostelworld or something like that. You don't need to book a long time in advance but at least the day before so you know you have a bed for the following night.. The one or two times I turned up in a place and tried to find somewhere I almost ended up with nowhere to stay and that can be very worrying - especially if you're on your own.

    I didn't stay in dorms but the kids hanging out in the dorm style hostels always looked like they were having a ball and as the bright young thing I'm sure she is, it's definitely the way to do it.
     
    muscovyduck and miss direct like this.
  24. Don Troooomp

    Don Troooomp Condescension and embedded self importance

    I'd always stay in hotels rather than dorms - Way safer.
    There are plenty of cheap hotels all over Asia, and many can be booked from Google maps links to hotel booking sites. Maps is an amazingly handy app for travellers.
    Be aware, maps always shows hotels from its partner booking sites first so you'll miss a lot unless you zoom in and find them.
    Booking in advance works, but I'd only book a night at a time in case the place is a dump or you find yourself in an area with not a lot happening.
     
  25. Mrs Miggins

    Mrs Miggins There's been a slight cheese accident

    Yes 1 night is wise in case the place is a dump but she's only going for a week and spending time researching places to stay is wasting valuable fun time. The apps have loads of reviews and I rarely stayed anywhere shit because the reviews give a good picture of what somewhere is like.

    Lone travelling youngster? Stay in the hostels! They are brilliant and she will meet loads of people to have fun and do day trips with. In a hotel she will be isolated. The thousands of travelling kids are in the hostels. Not in hotels.
     
  26. Plumdaff

    Plumdaff joy in people

    Stay in hostels definitely! I still have mates in various parts of the world I met travelling and staying in dorms and even when you don't stay in touch you invariably find someone to kick about with in the evenings. I'd stay in a hotel now because I'm middle aged and not talking to anyone is part of the fun ;)
     
    Mrs Miggins likes this.
  27. Mrs Miggins

    Mrs Miggins There's been a slight cheese accident

    Just to return to the local SIM thing....I wouldn't say don't do it, just that it's not essential IMO.
     
  28. planetgeli

    planetgeli There's no future in England's dreaming

    Blimey Don, I’m sure hash tag appreciates your efforts but it’s a week in Cambodia. You make it sound like she’s climbing Everest!

    The one thing I’d definitely go with you on is pack light. Don’t want to be walking around in 95 degree heat with a massive load of stuff you don’t need.

    “Make a sleeping bag”? Lol etc.
     
    trashpony, Yu_Gi_Oh, hash tag and 4 others like this.
  29. Don Troooomp

    Don Troooomp Condescension and embedded self importance

    You have no idea how useful that thing is in backpacker hotels. I still have mine - bloody handy when your hotel is a bit duff, and there are plenty of them about.
     
  30. Brainaddict

    Brainaddict chief propagandist (provisional)

    If she wants such a thing you can buy a sleeping bag liner, which DT is describing a handmade version of, but it's really personal whether you'd want to sleep in such a thing in a hot country. I'd rather have the draught of a fan on my body.

    Though I know women travellers need to be more safety-conscious, in general I think backpacking was better when nobody had a phone. But that probably makes me sound old.

    Every traveller is inexperienced when they start. I wouldn't worry about giving too much advice - learning is part of the fun :)
     
    miss direct and hash tag like this.

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