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Nervous about traveling to Thailand - Alternative places?

Nervous about traveling to Thailand - Alternative places?

Old Nov 6th, 2023, 03:41 AM
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Nervous about traveling to Thailand - Alternative places?

Iím planning a trip to Thailand in December (havenít booked anything) and I gotta admit there are a few things that freak me out and Iím honestly debating canceling my trip and going somewhere else. But also want to hear others opinions.

1. I have a big reptile phobia. Iím from Oregon, I rarely see snakes, lizards, etc. I remember I was at an Airbnb in Hawaii and there were a couple of small geckos on the wall and I had a hard time feeling calm. I was freaking out and barely could get any sleep. I know this sounds insane, I really wish I didnít have this phobia. I know they are harmless but it isnít rational. And seeing images of those water monitors freaks me out. Lastly snakes freak me out the most.

2. A bit scared of rabies, especially after seeing videos of how people act and how deadly it is. I feel like risks of getting it are low, especially if I donít interact with animals?

3. Scared of the boats between the islands. I donít like roller coasters or that g force feeling.

But the main reason I want to go to Thailand are those beautiful beaches, and those beautiful cliffs all over Phuket. So right now Iím debating changing my trip to New Zealand. But any alternatives or if I should continue on the trip and not cancel is appreciated.

I know I shouldnít skip a place because of fear but if Iím gonna be anxious the whole time then it probably wonít be a fun vacation for me.

Thank you in advance. I know I sound crazy, I wish I didnít have these fears.
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Old Nov 6th, 2023, 06:35 PM
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I love Thailand & have been there a number of times. But I think you should go where you think you'll be comfortable. There are so many possible places to visit, no need whatever to choose a place where you'll anticipate being afraid.

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Old Nov 6th, 2023, 09:21 PM
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I want to reassure you that reptiles are not very common in urban areas and tourist resorts. If you’re really afraid of them, you can try to find a hotel or Airbnb that has screens on the windows and doors, or use a mosquito net over your bed. You can also consider getting a rabies vaccine before your trip and boats are a common and convenient way to travel between the islands in Thailand. They are usually safe and comfortable.

Thailand is a wonderful destination that has something for everyone. You can enjoy the stunning beaches, the majestic temples, the vibrant culture, the delicious food, and the friendly people. You can also find plenty of activities and attractions that suit your interests and preferences, such as snorkeling, kayaking, cooking classes, elephant sanctuaries, night markets, and more.

I hope this helps you feel more confident and excited about your trip to Thailand. I think you’ll have an amazing time there, and you’ll overcome your fears and challenges.
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Old Nov 7th, 2023, 01:36 AM
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Nervous about traveling to Thailand - Alternative places?

  • Consider spending more time in Bangkok and the northern regions of Thailand. These areas tend to have fewer reptiles than the beaches and islands. Focus your time on cultural sites, food tours, etc.
  • Research hotels and resorts that actively control for snakes and lizards on their properties. Many higher end places will do regular pest control. Ask about their policies.
  • Book ferry transport between the islands instead of speedboats if the motion bothers you. Ferries take a bit longer but provide a smoother ride.
  • Consider bringing a mild anxiety medication if reptiles and motion sickness cause you severe distress. Having a backup plan can provide peace of mind.
  • New Zealand is also amazing! But Thailand has so much to offer culturally. Maybe do New Zealand another time.
The chances of rabies are extremely low, especially for a short-term traveler. With some preparation, you can still have an amazing time in Thailand. But don't force yourself if anxiety over reptiles/boats is truly severe. Maybe start with Bangkok and assess from there if you want to visit the islands. You know yourself best. Hope this helps!
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Old Nov 7th, 2023, 09:44 AM
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While the others posting make good points, if beaches are your primary reason for visiting Thailand, unless you truly want to use your vacation to face your fears, I see no reason to bother with a particular country when there are beautiful beaches all over the world. Spend your vacation time & money in a place where you can thoroughly relax. At least that’s what I’d do in your situation.

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Old Nov 7th, 2023, 08:45 PM
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I've had a serious reptile phobia since I was a small child and have a good reason for having one. But, I've been going to Thailand almost annually from the late 1990s into the beginning of 2020 as I love it there. As for reptiles, there can be some geckos running around inside of places. I'm not fond of them, but it is what it is and it's usually not a lot of them.

I'm selective about what kind of accommodations that I choose due to the reptile phobia. As for snakes, I have never come across one in Thailand. I go to Bangkok, but have also been up to Chiangmai (once). As for monitor lizards, I have never come eye to eye with one or even seen one along my path and one of my two regular Bangkok neighborhoods is walking distance from Lumpini Park where there are plenty of them. I just stay out of Lumpini Park.

I found the reptile situation a lot more daunting when I was in Marrakesh in the early-mid-1980s for a week, than all of the years of going to Thailand. In Marrakesh, it was the cobra snakes that I dealt with due to snake charmers and in Ghana, there were lizards everywhere it seemed. I felt like I was in an episode of Fear Factor and I was staying in Accra. I also travel solo to all of these places and am used to dealing with a lot of situations other than reptiles. I've been out on the overseas roads on vacations, solo and female, since a teen in the 1970s. When I land in a place, it's just mind over matter.

For your situation, only you can decide on what you can withstand and what you can't. I've never been to the beach areas of Thailand as I don't really need to be as there are plenty of beaches here at home in L.A. I'm more of a Bangkok person unless I'm going somewhere to really chill out and relax, like when I went to Barbados to relax. Otherwise, I don't really need a beach atmosphere. And as for beach destinations, reptiles usually are in those types of places as they like the hot weather and humidity. But, I personally didn't come across any lizard situation in Barbados although of course they are there.

As for New Zealand, I've been twice as I went in the mid-1990s. I have friends from there and stayed with them for a couple of weeks. They mentioned that there were no snakes in NZ. However, I wasn't really concerned about snakes even though I was staying on their huge sheep farm on South Island. NZ is beautiful and I'm glad that I went. But, personally, my heart has always been in Thailand since my first trip there in the late 1990s where I did three Southeast Asian countries (Indonesia, Singapore,Thailand) on my own over a two-week period as that's all the time that I had for that vacation. To me Southeast Asia is magical.

Wherever you go, I hope you have a great trip and I also hope that you report back after it.

Happy Travels!

Last edited by Guenmai; Nov 7th, 2023 at 08:55 PM.
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Old Dec 5th, 2023, 01:28 AM
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I’d say go ahead with your Thailand trip! Sometimes what I do is travel with someone who has a different phobia. I admit I can’t stand cockroaches in the room. I will not sleep until I crush it with full force for fear that it will creep to my ear during my sleep. We shared our fears with my travel buddy and sometimes dare each other, but we also comfort and encourage one another. I also do not like riding roller coasters, but I might try it if I’m traveling with someone who has a similar fear and would like to conquer it with someone.
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