4 Tips for solo backpackers in Thailand

Hi, my name is Laurel and I’m a backpacker who travels in South East Asia solo for nine months. Welcome to my blog. 🙂

Thailand is one of the safest countries to travel solo and live the hostel life. When I arrived in Bangkok, I had no idea what to expect. The food, the smells, the sounds, everything was overwhelming. Luckily I stayed in one of the best hostels I´ve ever been to and easily met other backpackers to explore Bangkok together.

By talking to many people with different experiences and opinions I quickly learned a lot about Thailand and its culture. Where to go, where not to go, where to party, what food is the best. Nevertheless, some lessons I had to learn the hard way. And to spare you these lessons, I summarised the four main lessons, you need to know before coming to Thailand.

Tip 1: only eat at street food places that have a fan

In Thailand, you’ll find street food everywhere. And I’ve eaten the best and the worst, but always the cheapest Pad Thai and pineapple fried rice here. You never know beforehand which place is good before you try it out.

One thing to look out for, to minimize failure, are there fans or air conditioners at the place?

This is very important because the constant air circulation keeps the flies away. They don’t get to sit on the food and uncooked ingredients too long and therefore bacteria can’t spread that fast.

Once you know this important tip, you’ll notice, no local will sit at a restaurant without a fan or air-con. And this has to mean something…

Tip 2: only book tours that leave early in the morning

I’m not a morning person. But waking up at 5.00 am on Koh Phi Phi Island to go on a snorkeling trip was the best thing I have ever done.

First, we visited Maya Bay which is one of the tourist hotspots since the movie “The Beach” was filmed here. During the day the bay is super crowded and you can’t take a picture without featuring some random other tourists. This is why we arrived at Maya Bay at 7.00 am in the morning, exactly the time it was opening up.

There is only one way to get to this beautiful place. You have to climb up a small bridge and then take a nice walk through the jungle. Our boat was the first one, therefore we were leading the group of early birds through the forest. When we arrived at Maya Bay, the first moments were beautiful. For a few minutes, we had this paradise just for ourselves. We walked along the beach, enjoyed the calmness, and took some amazing pictures.

When we left after one hour, the bay was a whole different place. More and more people came, took pictures, weren’t following the rules, guards screaming, guides explaining something. Everyone taking pictures, no clear view on the water anymore.

We weren’t too sad to leave then, and also many different bays and islands were waiting for us that day. At the first snorkeling stop, we saw a turtle followed by five baby sharks. Again, we were the only ones at that magical spot. As the day continued, every place we arrived at got more and more crowded and when the tour finished around 2.00pm it got so hot that we couldn’t bear being on the boat anymore.

So, if life ever brings you to Koh Phi Phi, please do the “Avoid the crowds” tour. It is one of the best experience I ever had while travelling!

Tip 3: don´t eat raw vegetables

Another food fact, don´t eat raw food in general. But especially not the vegetables. Everyone always talks about how meat in Thailand made them sick. For me it was the vegetables.

Here you need to be careful because they often wash vegetables with tap water which is contaminated. Since they don’t cook it afterward, the bacteria and infections go right into your body as if you would have drank the tap water. Same issue when it comes to ice cubes in your drink. If your stomach is not the strongest, you can even get sick from those since here they also use tap water.

I had to learn this the hard way by eating a papaya salad. And this already leads me to tip no.4.

Tip 4: don´t go to public hospitals

One night I woke up and got as sick as ever before. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t drink, I couldn’t even stand up. This led me to my second hospital experience in Thailand. My first experience started with very bad ear pain as soon as I arrived in Bangkok. I visited a public hospital since it was recommended by my hostel. When I arrived there, it looked like an old parking garage. When I entered, it was more like a shopping mall that was supposed to get torn down. It wasn’t either.

Everything was in Thai, there was not one sign in English or roman letters. With my google maps open I approached people to show me the right direction. Most of them didn’t understand me. People were laying in their hospital beds in the hallway, screaming, suffering. It was chaos. Finally, I approached one very nice lady that lead me to the right doctor. I gave them my insurance card and passport, they didn’t really care about that until I finally talked to the doctor himself. His English was enough to say “hello”.

When I started to explain my situation, he interrupted me and said: “How old are you?” “I’m twenty-one,” I answered. “Then why does this paper say your 63?” I was very confused. Was he really wondering if I was 63 years old? He kept saying this number in his broken English and I didn’t know what to do. In the end, he subscribed me to some kind of antibiotics, but we were discussing longer that in fact I was not 63 years old than we were talking about my symptoms. That made me feel very uncomfortable. Luckily, after that, I went to a private hospital which cleared everything up and even scheduled follow-up appointments with me.

In my second hospital experience, after I ate the papaya salad, I learned from the past. Right away I was searching on google maps for a private hospital and found a Tourist Clinic close to my hostel. As soon as I could stand up again, I walked over there. A walk of maybe five minutes never felt that long.

When I arrive there, they right away assigned me a bed and ran some blood tests. Turned out, I had to stay there for two nights since my condition was that bad. I got a private room with air conditioning, Netflix, my own bathroom. The nurses working there were the most kind people I´ve ever met, giggling all the time, being very considerate and really seem like they enjoyed their job. On my second day I had to check out of my hostel and they even drove me over there to help me pack since I was still to weak. When we returned to the clinic, the lady was carrying my backpack and she had the most fun walking around looking like a backpacker and showing off to her colleagues.

If you should ever get sick in Ao Nang, Krabi, I can highly recommend this very professional and reliable clinic! https://www.aonangmedicalclinic.com


Even though I was sick so often during my Thailand time, I loved every second of it. I’m still traveling but at the same time feel homesick to that country. I wish you all the luck that my tips help you having the best time and enjoy!!

You’re welcome to follow my journey on TikTok, to learn some new hacks and tips of travelling South East Asia.https://www.tiktok.com/@laurels.insights


4 Food Tips you need to try in Thailand

Hi, my name is Laurel and I’m a backpacker who travels in South East Asia solo for nine months. Welcome to my blog. 🙂

My journey started in Thailand. For two months I did an internship in Bangkok which gave me the time to experience Thai culture to the fullest. Including their very different food. From the spiciest noodles to pad Thai and fruits I´ve never seen before.

So you don’t miss out on the best dishes during your Thailand time, here are my 4 favourite food tips in Thailand.

1. Pineapple fried rice

When you’re in Thailand, you’ll see fried rice in every street food store and in every restaurant. It’s the perfect dish for western tourists: not spicy at all, and often served as vegetarian or even vegan.

But when you’re in Thailand for a longer time, fried rice can get a bit boring after a while. That’s why Pineapple Fried Rice is the perfect mix to try! The fruit mixed with rice and vegetables gives the meal a fresh and fruity side. Perfect for hot weather. And to taste something new!

The first time I tried this dish was in a restaurant in Bangkok and I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I did not get disappointed. They served the rice even in an empty pineapple which made the dish look even more delicious. From that moment on, I decided that pineapple fried rice will be my new favourite dish.

2. Roti

After eating a delicious dinner, such as pineapple fried rice, you may feel like dessert. Now, Roti is the perfect solution. The concept is similar to crepes but the dough is salty. There are different fillings available, for example, banana, egg or chocolate.

My absolute favourite is Nutella with banana. Usually, when I eat crepes, this is way too sweet for me. But since the dough tastes salty, the difference creates a perfect balance for a sweet dessert without getting into a sugar coma. Nevertheless, the dish is quite oily so for those with a weak stomach, enjoy it with care!

Usually, you find Roti food stands on every corner. In Bangkok and up north you shouldn’t pay more than 30BHT (1€) for one Roti. When you’re travelling to the islands in the south, you can expect the prices to start at 60BHT and up.

3. Mangosteen

Once you’ve visited the first street market in Thailand, you’ll fastly realise how different the fruits are. Of course, you’ll still find strawberries, oranges or peas. But there is a lot of new fruits that don’t exist in Europe.

In my first few weeks in Bangkok, I lived in Chinatown, heaven for street food. Here, you’ll find smoothies, fruits, and noodles, every two metres. Spending so much time at a place with so many options, gave me the possibility to try out some new tastes.

That’s how I discovered the fruit Mangosteen, my absolute favourite. The hard, purple peel doesn’t look too exciting therefore I often walked past it without noticing it. But once you open the peel, a white fruit pulp tasting like a mix of mango and litchi is waiting for you.

In Chinatown in Bangkok, you shouldn´t pay more than 20 BHT per fruit, often even less. And it definitely is worth it. Now, that I’m in Singapore I regret not eating Mangosteen more often since here the prices are at a completely different level.

4. Egg ice cream

The term “egg ice cream” might be confusing at first. Eggs and ice cream seem like completely different dishes. One is sweet, the other savoury. In Thailand, they just combine both and that way created a new speciality.

I haven’t seen that dessert too often, therefore, if it ever should be an option at a restaurant, don’t miss out and order it!

You’ll get scoops of white ice cream with little pieces of frozen eggs in it. If you like, you can choose to add jellies, peanuts and many other toppings to create a more unique taste. I always prefer to stay with plain egg ice cream since this already tastes interesting enough in my opinion.

At first, I was creeped out by the thought of eating a frozen, raw egg. But after I got used to that thought, I started to enjoy this new taste!

For more travel tips around South East Asia, feel free to check out my TikTok account. ❤ https://www.tiktok.com/@laurels.insights

Exploring Thailand on a Budget: The Ultimate Backpacking Route

Hi, my name is Laurel and I’m a backpacker who travels in South East Asia solo for nine months. Welcome to my blog. 🙂

My journey started in Thailand. For two months I did an internship in Bangkok at a start-up I have never heard of before in a country I have never been to. My mum was convinced that this company didn’t exist. That I travelled to the other side of the world only to get scammed.

Luckily, I wasn’t scammed. The start-up does exist, I had the nicest colleagues and I was able to mainly work online. That made it possible for me to travel around Thailand while working online, I felt like a digital nomad.

1. Stop: Bangkok

Wherever you’re flying to in Thailand, most flights have a transit in Bangkok. Then why not stay a couple days and explore this beautiful capital?

My journey started in Bangkok. Here, I stayed for one month in my favourite hostel in the old town (Once Again Hostel). Bangkok enables you to dive into the Thai culture right away. Street food everywhere, crazy traffic, cheap prices.

I’ve never been to Asia before, therefore at first I was quite overwhelmed by the different smells, the different food. Before I started to love it! On my first day, I visited the Grand Palace. You pay a 15€ entrance fee as a tourist which is definitely worth it. The palace is made out of many different buildings, one more beautiful and unique than the other. Afterwards, included in the ticket price, you can visit a Thai dance theatre. A shuttle bus drives you to the theatre where you can watch the cultural show for 30 minutes.

Besides wandering around the city, numerous day trips are offered, such as visiting the ruins of Ayutthaya or going to a railway market. I visited the Ancient City, a 30-minute drive outside of Bangkok, and I loved it! This place is a huge area with one temple next to the other. The ticket price is 20€, including a bicycle for rent or a golf car. Whether you want to be sporty or lazy. We chose bicycles and drove around the city of temples all day. I didn’t know how many different designs they can have. And one was more unique than the other.

By night, Bangkok is a different city. In China Town, countless lanterns light up and the street is full of people looking for the perfect street food dinner. And indeed, with success. If you are looking more for the party vibe Khao San road is the place to be (probably not recommendable sober..). Here, you get everything. From scorpions and snakes to laughing gas, buckets, and nightclubs. I had the perfect goodbye night before leaving this beautiful city.

Recommendation: 2-4 days

Activities: Grand palace, China Town (by night), Khao San Road (by night), Chatuchak Weekend Market, Tichuka rooftop bar (https://www.tiktok.com/@laurels.insights/video/7214743207672909058)

Day trips: Ancient City, Ayutthaya, Railway Market

2. Stop: Koh Tao

From Bangkok, I took the VIP night bus to the Island of Koh Tao in the south of Thailand. It was a 12h trip but felt much shorter. Most of the time I was asleep or eating. When I arrived in Koh Tao, Thailand seemed like a completely different country than up in Bangkok. Sparkling blue water, palm trees, cafes, and tourists everywhere. And so are the prices…

To save money, I booked a cheap party hostel for one week and since I didn’t spend much time in the hostel anyways, it was alright. Most people come to Koh Tao to dive because here you get the cheapest diving license in the world. Unfortunately, I had an ear infection recently before arriving here, I couldn’t do that. But even without diving, there is lots to do.

On my first day, I booked a snorkelling trip. We visited the neighbouring island Koh Nang Yuan which had a beautiful viewpoint to hike up to. Here, you have a view of the whole island and its hidden beaches. Then we went snorkelling and saw a baby shark! But be careful, there are many water lice in the water, small animals you can’t see but their bites hurt like hell.

We even saw a turtle, but to be honest, it was way too crowded in the water to actually enjoy being so close to wildlife. The pictures still looked beautiful. If you want to avoid crowds, you can rent scooters and drive around the island by yourself. There are lots of hidden spots and beautiful viewpoints to discover here.

If you are looking for a party life on Koh Tao, this is easy to find. Every week a pub crawl is organized which ends in the Bar “Fishbowl”. During the day a restaurant, at night a nightclub for all the travellers. If you’re staying longer on the island, here you’ll meet the same people over and over again. Besides, every week a jungle party is happening. One of the best parties I have ever been to! In the back of trucks, we drove up the hill and into the forest. There were many different activities offered for such a small location. Two stages, one with different techno DJs and one playing mainstream and hip-hop genres. Besides, you could paint yourself in glow-in-the-dark colours and get weed and laughing gas everywhere. If you’re really brave you even try out the bull riding contest. For chilling, there were different tree houses to climb up to. As a last party recommendation, the Full Moon Party is happening every month on the neighbour island Koh Phangan. During that time, the hostel prices are unbelievably high. Therefore, it might even be cheaper to take a speed boat (approx. 40€) from Koh Tao which is a one-and-a-half-hour drive and totally doable. But what to know about the full moon parties in Thailand is saved for the next blog post. 🙂

I would have loved to stay longer on Koh Tao. To enjoy the chill beach vibes. This small community. But the next island was waiting for me. And I was excited about what was waiting for me there.

Recommendation: 3 days, with diving licence: 5 days

Activities: diving, snorkeling tour, renting scooters, jungle party, chilling on the beach and discovering the many cafes 🙂

3. Stop: Koh Phangan

With the ferry from Koh Tao I reached Koh Phangan in two hours. I booked a hostel at Haad Rin Beach, the beach where the full moon parties happen. I visited outside of that season but nevertheless, you don’t get bored here. And you don’t miss out on the party life.

In comparison to Koh Tao, Koh Phangan is much bigger. Most attractions are not within walking distance, so you are dependent on either taxis or renting scooters. Since I had to work during the week, I didn’t see much of the island. Nevertheless, around Haad Rin Beach are many beautiful hiking trails and viewpoints. And the beach is very nice as well. But be careful! Since the Full Moon Party is happening here, you might find some broken bottles and sharp glass laying around. They do clean up afterwards but in the ocean, it’s quite difficult to find all the trash the party people leave behind.

During the day the village is a ghost town. Almost no tourists, mainly locals and a lot of restaurants are closed. At night, the bars do open but they’re still empty. As a recommendation, look out for posters that promote parties around the island. We did that and on my first evening here, we went to a secret Eden Party which takes place every Saturday. You only get there by boat and the entrance is free. Nevertheless you need to pay for the boat which is approx. 20€. Tech music is playing and the vibe is very chill. Maybe because of all the weed that gets sold here. If you’re staying until the morning, you can see a beautiful sunrise from the party hut before driving back to Haad Rin. A few days later, the half-moon party was happening. Three different stages, many food options, and, again, glow-in-the-dark body paint everywhere. In contrast to the full moon party, it takes place in the jungle and the ticket prices are around 50€ which is for Thailand crazy high. The party was still fun, but definitely not worth the price.

During the day, my friends rented scooters and drove up north to check out waterfalls and hidden jungle cafes. They loved it! But I was still missing Koh Tao where you’re actually feeling like you’re on an Island. Koh Phangan on the other hand is so big, it could be a small town on the mainland with not much happening here. Therefore my recommendation: visit during the full moon party and stay two or three days longer to experience the party scene as well as the chill island vibe and nature around here.

Recommendation: 2-5 days

Activities: Full Moon Party, Eden Party, renting scooters

4. Stop: Ao Nang, Krabi

My next stop was the beach Ao Nang in the area of Krabi. It took me around eight hours to get here and during the drive the view was remarkable. Forests of palm trees, mountains, small Thai villages. I stayed in the hostel K-Bunk Central and can definitely recommend it. they organise daily tours and activities which makes it quite easy to meet other backpackers.

First, I signed up for a canoe tour (15€). We drove up to the jungle where we spend around two hours on the water and took a short swimming break in the rainforest. It was beautiful! And the water was colder than expected.. once we returned to the boat rental, we visited the close by night market to grab some food and watched the sunset together on the beach.

The next day I took a day trip to Raleigh Beach, regular boat taxis drive over there (5€ one way). It is quite touristy but definitely worth it. The town of Raleigh is very alternative and has a chill hippy vibe. One cafe next to the other offers you enough choices for lunch. If you don’t only want to relax on the beach, there are many different walking tracks to hike up to viewpoints, while being accompanied by monkeys. But don’t worry, they’re not as aggressive as you’ve seen on videos. At least, as long as you don’t give them food.

If you’re a climber, Raleigh is a paradise for you. Hundred of rock climbers come here every day to discover the mountains with the beautiful view over the ocean. If that sounds like your kinda vibe, you should stay here a couple of days. If I would have had more time, I would have done the same!

Once I was back in Ao Nang, I visited the monkey trail which is for free. A walking track leads to a hidden bay. Perfect for avoiding touristy crowds. If you want to avoid hiking all the way up and down again, you can also walk through the ocean back to the main beach. The water is only knee-deep and it goes much faster and less sweaty than the hiking trail.

Even though I stayed in Ao Nang for one week, I wasn’t able to see much more since I got a stomach infection and had to stay in the hospital for a couple of days. It was the worst I have been in a long time, but nevertheless, I remember Ao Nang as one of my favourite stops during my travel time.

Recommendation: 2-3 days

Activities: kayak tour, 7 island tour, day trip to Raleigh, pub crawl, monkey trail

5. Stop: Koh Phi Phi

Finally, my last stop: Koh Phi Phi. It’s a 2.5-hour drive with the ferry from the mainland and when you arrive, you actually found paradise. Even after visiting islands such as Koh Tao or Koh Phangan, nothing could compare to the colours of this island. The bluest and clearest water I have ever seen. The greenest jungles. The sunset with the richest colours.

First, I took a long walk through the town of the island. It’s not too big, small shops to buy beautiful shell necklaces, cafes, restaurants, bars. Here, it’s not possible to find street food. Western cuisine is definitely overtaking the food options. And after one month of Pad Thai and fried rice, I loved it.

The second most common pop-up stores, after jewellery shops, are definitely tourist checkpoints. Here, you can book endless snorkelling trips, diving adventures, private boats. The huge selection might be overwhelming at first. That’s why I followed my friend’s suggestions who stayed at Koh Phi Phi a couple days earlier. They booked a day trip called “Early Bird”. Leaving at 6.30am in the morning to avoid the crowds and being the first ones at the snorkelling spots and returning at 2.00pm (40€).

And that’s what we did. Our first stop was the famous Maya Beach. The small island is only accessible through one entrance and it opens at 7.00am. We arrived at 6.55am and therefore were the first ones to enter the island. For a short minute, we actually had this beautiful bay for ourselves before the next tourist boats arrived. Next, we stopped from time to time to snorkel, also here we were the first ones. We even saw a turtle and a couple of baby sharks. The sun was still on its way up which created the perfect temperature. I didn’t even get sunburned! For lunch, we stopped at Bamboo Island, a paradise with the whitest sand I’d ever seen! Our last stop was Monkey Beach, as the name indicates, a beach full of monkeys. We were told to not use the toilets here since the monkey might surprise us there and bite us on body parts where we don’t want to get bitten.

For the evening, the Koh Phi Phi viewpoint is the perfect place to watch the sunset. If you climb up to the top, there is a small bar with music and lots of travellers enjoying the vibes.

If you’re having more time on Koh Phi Phi, I recommend renting kayaks and paddling around the island to discover hidden beaches and caves you can only enter from the sea. Unfortunately, I was still sick and couldn’t do that since I was sleeping a lot here.

The nightlife is also not hard to find. The hostel Ibiza House organises a huge pool party every two days and the countless bars offer beer pong, pool tables, drinking challenges,… I hope you can enjoy this more than I could then! Koh Phi Phi was my favourite place to visit and I need to return to catch up on everything I missed.

Recommendation: 3-4 days

Activities: snorkelling tour, viewpoint, kayak renting, Ibiza pool party


After three weeks of travelling I needed to come back to Bangkok to finish my internship. But my friends who travelled longer, gave me some more recommendations. So feel free to check out these places:

The island Koh Lanta is close to Koh Phi Phi and the perfect place to recover after a party weekend on Koh Phi Phi. Here, the vibe is very chill and not too social. On the beach is not much shade but for swimming and relaxing it’s perfect. Renting a scooter or doing a yoga retreat is very popular here.

The national park Khao Sok is also not far. Every backpacker I talked to, said the same: Khao Sok was their favourite place during their whole Thailand travel time. Here, you can do a night safari, hike through caves and paddle around the beautiful national park. If you’re lucky, you can even see wild elephants!

Lastly, the north is supposed to be beautiful. You can either fly or take a night train or bus up to Chiang Mai and Pai. Here, the prices are low again and you can find street food and smoothies that taste like a dream again. But be careful, in February the burning season starts. This means, the farmers are burning their crops and all the smoke wanders down to the villages which shoot this place to the top of the ten most polluted cities in the world.

Recommendation: 4 days

Activities: cooking class, the white temple, elephant sanctuary

For more travel tips around South East Asia, feel free to check out my TikTok account. ❤ https://www.tiktok.com/@laurels.insights

4 truths about Singapore no one talks about

Hi, my name is Laurel and I’m a backpacker who travels in South East Asia solo for nine months. Welcome to my blog. 🙂

One stop of my travel is the metropolis Singapore. Here, I’m not only staying for a couple of days, as tourists usual do. No, I’m going to university here, for three month as my semester abroad. Currently I’m studying in Germany and it is mandatory for my subject to do one semester abroad as well as an internship.

In Singapore, the Universities follow a “Trimester-system”, therefore the lectures only go for three month which gives me the possibility to travel South East Asia even more!

Singapore is so different from every other city I’ve been to in Europe. Nevertheless, for the last couple of weeks, I’ve built up a social circle, daily routines, an everyday life. And by owning the Singaporean student pass, I can even call myself a local here.

This leads me to four truths about Singapore that I experienced and no one ever talks about them. To prepare you for what to expect when visiting this beautiful city and country. Enjoy. 🙂

Truth 1: Singapore is not clean

Yes, gum is forbidden here and yes, you get a fine for leaving trash laying around. But just because there are old plastic cups or old cigarette butts on the ground, doesn’t mean you won’t find worn-down buildings, broken fences or halfway-done construction sites. Of course, the most touristy places such as the Orchard Road look as futuristic as everyone imagines them. Skyscrapers, beautiful lights at night. Air-conditioning everywhere. It´s clean and luxurious. Or expensive, as some people might call it.

As soon as you leave the main city center, one MRT Station is enough, you’ll find the other side of Singapore. Worn down Food Centers, overflowing trashcans, people who aren’t dressed in GUCCI and Balenciaga. And the further you travel to the suburbs, the more you catch up with reality. Suddenly, the “safest city in the world” doesn’t feel so safe anymore.

Of course, the streets are still cleaner than in Berlin or Paris, no gum sticking to the ground, no trash laying everywhere. But still, the buildings aren’t as luxurious anymore. There are indeed homeless people asking for money here and there. And in some food centres rats are running lose.

If you’re only visiting Singapore for a few days, you won’t notice this side of the city. If you prefer, you can live in the bubble of rich people and luxurious brands for months without noticing anything. But if you seek to get to know Singapore to the fullest, you can’t avoid, sooner or later, seeing your bubble burst.

Truth 2: global metropolis vs. racism

The Singaporean culture is a mix of many different cultures. Chinese, Malays, Indians and many many more. This led to the emergence of city districts such as Little India or Chinatown where the countries different culture gets expressed to the fullest. But not only Asian backgrounds are attracted by Singapore. The city is thriving in business performance. A majority of international companies placed their Asian headquarter here. Of course, this leads to a lot of western businessmen and women coming to Singapore, not only for vacation but to work. To live here for a certain amount of time.

When I arrived in Singapore, I heard a lot about the great diversity and mix of different cultures. I was thinking, a city with such a background must be the most open-minded place that exists.

Fastly, I realized, I was wrong.

Yes, in Singapore many different cultures come together. But a person like me, blonde and very white (some would say red) you stand out of the crowd. Whether you want the attention or not. I can’t cross the street, enter the train, leave the house, without people staring at me. From Germany, I’ve experienced before that girls who wear short skirts, a nice dress, some tight-fitting outfit, are getting those eyes. But here, you get them even when wearing long pants and a loose t-shirt.

I’m not feeling uncomfortable with my looks, luckily, I’ve worked on not having many insecurities about myself. But here, I constantly have the urge to walk around, wrapped up in a blanket, hiding my blonde hair, gold as they call it here, so all these looks don’t reach me.

Here again, the further you are in the center, the less this will happen to you. But I must admit, even though Singapore has the image of being super safe, I’ve never felt so uncomfortable and unsafe on such a regular basis anywhere before. Not even when walking around alone in Neukölln in Berlin.

TRUTH 3: no right for privacy

This Singaporean truth you’ve probably heard before: in Singapore cameras are everywhere. In every metro station, on random streets, in empty hallways. To be honest, I hear a lot of people complaining about it and saying it makes them feel uncomfortable. Nevertheless, all these cameras make me feel safer. And before I arrived in Singapore, I knew what to expect, so I was prepared to be filmed all the time.

Nevertheless, one certain camera made me feel highly uncomfortable that I still have nightmares about it.

Since I’m staying in Singapore for three months, I’ve rented an apartment. Having my own room, a kitchen, no bunk bed, is a nice change from time to time when living the hostel life. Unfortunately, when I arrived in Singapore, the apartment was not yet free, which led me to continue my hostel backpacker life for another week. Since Singapore is crazy expensive, I did my best to find a cheap and comfortable hostel. And I drastically failed.

For SGD$20 I booked an 18 dorm bedroom, breakfast included, very nice reviews. I thought, for a couple of nights I should be fine. But when I entered the room, there were cameras in the dorm rooms! I’ve been to many many hostels in my life, shitty ones, and very good ones. Most of them had cameras installed in the common areas. But in the rooms, filming the visitors sleep, I’ve never seen that before.

As life wants, I got an upper bunk bed, right next to the door and therefore right under the camera. In addition, the air conditioning was not working. Therefore, at night it got unbearable hot. Nevertheless, I didn’t dare to get rid of my blanket because the camera was filming the whole time. No night guard needs to see me with my pyjamas on. So, I decided to sweat like a waterfall. Besides the camera, the other 17 beds were booked out with men, 40 years old and up, who stared at me every time they walked past my bed.

The whole night I couldn’t sleep because I felt not only the camera on me but the eyes of these creepy men. I woke up so many times and every time I enjoyed uncomfortable eye contact with one of my roommates. When the morning came, I right away went to the reception and asked for a new room.

Now, two weeks later, I still feel these creepy eyes on me in the dark from time to time.

The other night, I woke up and saw a little light. I got completely paranoid because I was convinced it was a camera to film me sleeping. Of course, it wasn’t. It was the air conditioner in my room. But it took me the whole night to realize it.

I summarised this hostel experience in a video: https://www.tiktok.com/@laurels.insights/video/7209584668931542274

Truth 4: a lot of rules

To end this blog more positively, I chose to write about the numerous rules Singapore has. Now you’ll think: “I’ve heard that before, so many rules, so many fines. You can’t eat gum, you can’t drink in the train,…”.

But what I didn’t know before coming to Singapore, here are a lot of rules. But most of them don’t get executed that strictly. There are no cameras catching you leaving a plastic straw on the ground. No one knocks on your door when you cross the street without a crosswalk. The only rule they are very strict with and don’t joke around is the prohibition of drugs.

But as long as you keep out of such games, you’ll be fine. Of course, when a police car is right next to you, try to avoid attention-attracting behaviour. But even if something should happen, often they don’t care. And especially when you are a western-looking tourist, they won’t do anything. Just stay nice and respectful.

Thanks for reading my blog! You’re welcome to follow my journey on TikTok, to learn some new hacks and tips of traveling South East Asia.https://www.tiktok.com/@laurels.insights

Finding hospitals in Thailand as a solo traveler

Solo backpacking around Thailand

For the past two months, I’ve solo backpacked around Thailand. Enjoyed the street food in Bangkok, took numerous night buses, swam with sharks in the bluest water in Krabi, and visited the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan.

So you don’t make the same mistakes as I did, I summarised the main three criteria for finding a hospital you feel comfortable with below. (Hopefully, you won’t need it…)

Bangkok, Thailand

Tip 1: don´t go to public hospitals

In Thailand, people often don’t have health insurance. Therefore, to keep the prices low for the locals the public hospitals are in bad condition, more like a shopping mall and the doctors often don’t speak English.

When I was there the first time, I got subscribed to some kind of antibiotics without knowing what illness I had, how long to take it, what to consider…

On the other hand, at public hospitals your receive treatment for a cheaper price than you eat dinner in Europe.. depending on your priorities. And by the way, you can only pay cash here.

The private hospitals at the same time are a five-star hotel dream! They’re made for people with insurance and money, very well equipped, and everyone speaks English here.

I went to a private clinic with my middle ear infection and they were highly professional. I got three follow-up appointments over a longer time period and they gave me a lot of advice what to consider when traveling to the islands.

Similar to this are the Tourist Clinics. You can find them a lot when you’re traveling south since with all the scooters and boat trips backpackers do, here is the hotspot for tourists needing a doctor. And all these tourists (hopefully) own international health insurance, therefore the clinics can charge A LOT.

This I learned when I visited Ao Nang in Krabi and got a stomach infection. They kept me there right away for three days, I got a private room with Netflix, king size bed, my own bathroom, and air conditioning. When I had to check out of my hostel the next day, they even drove me over there and helped me pack since I was too weak to do it myself.

Koh Tao, Thailand

Tip 2: Check your government´s Website

All embassies run a website adapted to their location, for example, Bangkok, to inform their citizens about this location and help out with any questions.

Here, they also provide a list of various doctors and what languages they speak. Next to every doctor is a little note, if they for example studied in the UK or are originally from Germany. This way, you can make sure to choose a doctor that either speaks well English or even your mother language.

In my case, the German embassy provided a list of doctors such as family doctors, Gynecologists or ear doctors in Bangkok. I checked their education and chose one who has studied in the UK and was very happy with her.

Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

Tip 3: bring the right documents

ALWAYS bring these 3 documents:

  • passport
  • insurance card
  • credit card

You need your passport to identify yourself. Your local ID often isn’t enough. Sometimes even the flight ticket is necessary so they can check how long you are here for.

Secondly, your insurance card is important so you don’t have to bear the costs yourself in the end. Here, it’s also very important to always ask for proof of payment, the treatment you received, and the results. All in paper format which you can send to your insurance right away.

Should you be in a worse condition that you need to stay in the hospital, you’ll only get a private room and food when the hospital is in contact with your insurance for which you need the info on your insurance card in the end.

Lastly, you’ll need to pay for the treatment in advance, therefore always bring your credit card. Afterward, you can send the bill to your insurance and get a refund. For one-time treatment with antibiotics, it should be a price range of 200€ to 400€. Of course, it always depends on the hospital and your condition. If you need to stay in the hospital for a couple of nights, you won’t need to pay for this in advance, but they get in contact with your insurance right away.

Ancient City, Thailand


From the bottom of my heart, I hope you won’t need this list. But if you do, and follow these steps, you will be alright.

I know that because I was. I had a middle ear infection, a stomach infection, and a nasal infection,… and everything passed. Because the doctors did know their job and I felt exactly as safe as I would have in Germany.

In conclusion, Thailand has very nice hospitals and even though I was at my worst a couple of times, I loved every second of my stay there. Once I realised what to consider when going to the hospital, I felt comfortable and in save hands.

If you´d like to follow my trip and my fun hostel experiences as a solo backpacker, feel welcome to check out my TikTok account. Looking forward to seeing you there! 🙂


Koh Tao, Thailand