Top Destinations For Solo Travelers?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I couldn’t honestly say what would make one country better than another for solo travel, but that didn’t stop T+L from trying. They recently ranked the top 10 countries for solo travelers (actually 14 countries given all the ties, but who’s counting?), with Costa Rica coming out on top, followed by Vietnam, Laos, Bhutan and Malaysia rounding out the top 5.

I can’t say the accompanying slide show was very entertaining, however, what did make some good reading was the onslaught of “yeah-I-don’t-agree” comments left by astute readers who’ve heard about, or experienced, some not-so-fun things happening in those countries listed. What follows in the comments is a litany of nightmarish scenarios that, let’s be honest, doesn’t really have anything to do with travel, and could have easily occurred within yards of any of our houses. (They are, nonetheless, still kind of fun to read.)

And not to belittle the bad things that have happened to occur to these travelers, but it’s rare when the comments prove to be more fun that the actual story. Come on, let’s all join the fun? I once heard about this guy/girl traveling in _________ when a group of guys ___________ and then stole their __________ and now they live in their parent’s basement and sleeps with the lights on.

Some highlights from the comments:

azierath: Vietnam? I was spat on for not giving the tuk tuk guy an extra $1. He followed me for a half hour, and while I wasn’t afraid of him, I imagine that others might be intimidated.

travelmany: [Costa Rica] i watched as legions of young people got off the bus healthy and months later were addicted to cocaine and scabby messes. you are almost guaranteed to be robbed at the point of a machete, and the chances are good for rape if you are a careful woman. i was finally almost killed in a bar as it was closing.

TLS605: [Costa Rica] Also, elsewhere in Guanacaste, a companion traveler and I were pulled over in our rental car by a cop and had money extorted from us. My boyfriend has been there 3 times and he was robbed every single time (car broken into twice, hotel room once). Every single traveler I talked to during my trip had either been robbed or had “just met someone else who’d been robbed.

sarah34: Who came up with these safety rankings? Have they ever actually been to any of these places? These rankings are highly inaccurate, in my opinion. For instance, Malaysia has become increasingly more dangerous recently due to heightened activity of the Muslim “religious police”.

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