Travellers have always come to Thailand for a range of different reasons over the years. Young backpackers visit the kingdom seeking independence and adventure; honeymooners and couples come knowing they’ll find a romantic location where they can enjoy each other company on moonlit beaches and in gorgeous hotels; gourmets love the food, and golfers adore the golf courses. But increasingly more and more female travellers are coming to Thailand, independently and in groups as they discover that there’s now many activities aimed specifically at them.
Whether you are a female traveller seeking shopping or sports, relaxation or adventure, many tour operators now offer female-friendly experiences and understand that women often have different needs or expectations when they travel. So let’s take a look at some of the many activities out there in Thailand, whether you are just seeking a few hours away from the husband and kids, or are planning a two-week trip with your girlfriends.
Meditation and health retreats
We all sometimes want to get away from the world and spend time collecting our thoughts, but if you’re a busy mother or executive, this need to de-stress and enjoy pampering is more acute than ever. Luckily, Thailand offers a range of health and spiritual retreats that are women-only. There are meditation retreats held in lovely parts of the country where you can learn a little of the Buddhist lifestyle and practice meditation with experts. These retreats can last several days and can really give you time to get in touch with your feelings as well as offer a real insight into the Thai way of life as you get up early for meditation sessions and attend talks on Buddhist teachings and practice.
If you feel fine spiritually, but feel you want some bodily pampering, then consider one of Thailand’s many health spas and retreats. There are spas all over the country but for real indulgence, consider visiting one of the health resorts that can be found either by the beaches or in the hills of the North. Here you can enjoy a full package of detoxification and wellness packages that boost all-round health. Spas like the famous Chiva Som in Hua Hin allow you to take full control of your health with cleansing spa cuisine, fitness, physiotherapy, weight-loss techniques, and even holistic treatments to enjoy.
Sports and training
Many people come to Thailand to indulge in their sporting passions; after all the facilities here are second-to-none and the fine weather means you can enjoy time in the great outdoors. But many women can feel a little intimidated training or playing competitive sports against men, which is why there are now more and more women-only courses on offer. Now many golf courses are offering women’s packages and classes where beginners can learn the basics and well-seasoned players can improve their skills.
Muay Thai is another sport that is becoming hugely popular with women who see it as a great way to enjoy ultimate fitness while learning a little self-defense. But of obvious reasons, men training in Muay Thai can’t spar with the females. This is why lots of boxing camps are now offering women-only training where you get to learn Muay Thai skills with other women and even meet some of the big-name female fighters.
Shopping and fashion
We don’t want to stereotype women as shopaholics, but if you are a woman who enjoys shopping, you’ll adore Thailand. In the amazing malls and the bustling markets, you can pick up pretty much everything under the sun from the latest fashions to unique Thai handicrafts and artwork. Many women also appreciate the low cost of high-quality tailoring in Thailand. Many people bring their favourite outfits to tailor, so they can have similar items made to the same patterns. You can go home with an amazing wardrobe, handmade and for very little cost.
Nights out with friends
When the sun goes down in Thailand, there are thousands of lovely restaurants and bars offering some of the world’s best food, but sometimes you really just want to let your hair down. Of course, the nightlife has long has a reputation for being mainly aimed at male tourists. But this is all changing, and many pubs and clubs are targeting women travellers by arranging lady’s nights, often mid-week when it’s possible to enjoy cut-price drinks and food.
And there are plenty of opportunities to head out with friends and take in some unique entertainment. Thailand’s famous cabaret shows are popular and boast sumptuous costumes, slapstick comedy and international songs you can sing along with. There are cabaret nights in Bangkok, Pattaya and Chiang Mai, all well worth catching.
Enjoy the journey
Of course, most women love coming to Thailand simply because it is somewhere they can travel independently and feel safe. Women are generally highly respected in Thai society in general, and the Thai people are rarely confrontational. Just remember to take the same precautions you would back home. The rules for having a good time in Thailand as a female traveller are the same for everyone else – eat all you can, keep smiling and try to make a connection with the people. You’ll be welcomed with open arms.
In August 2016, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is running a new campaign aimed at women travellers. The Women’s Journey campaign will focus on all aspects of travel and health, and many spas, hospitals and clinics are taking part offering a range of special services at good prices. To learn more, please visit http://womensjourney.tourismthailand.org/
To ensure women travellers get to most out of the Campaign, TAT has also released a mobile application that enables them to navigate the offers and promotions and to plan their schedule accordingly. The products, services and events are listed under five categories: Beautiful Look, Beautiful Shape, Beautiful Mind, Beautiful Retreat, and Beautiful Experience. The app, called Women’s Journey Thailand, can be downloaded from Play Store and iStore.