22 December 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Thai Dating – The Lowdown

Are YOU interested in dating Thai women?

Perhaps you’re thinking about finding a Thai bride.

Well if you are, then here’s my trip report from my 6 month period spent living in Bangkok. During that time I dated nearly two dozen Asian women, went to a whole lot of bars, and generally had a crazy time in this most fantastic of cities.

Visiting Thailand

Thailand is of course very easy to visit these days. Most Westerners can visit without a visa.

Living in Thailand for a period of time is more complicated than just going there on holiday. If you have a Western passport then you’re normally allowed to visit Thailand for just 30 days, which isn’t really enough to hit the local dating scene. So you might want to find an alternative way of staying in there for a longer period of time.

Three ways of staying in Thailand are to get a retirement visa, a work visa or a student visa.

Retirement visas aren’t too hard provided you have proof of enough income to live there, and of course you need to be of retirement age.

If you’re younger or don’t have a pension then you’ll need to get a work or study visa.

In times gone past it was possible to get a “phoney” work visa but these loopholes have largely been closed these days. So to “work” in Thailand now you’ll need to get a real job offer from a legitimate employer.

Many expats working in Thailand are language teachers. It’s generally easy to get an English teaching job in Thailand, although salaries are lower than what you could hope to earn in China.

Alternatively, big cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai always have jobs on offer to expats who are experts in their fields (IT, banking, construction etc. are good possibilities).

Finally many Western expats choose to open businesses in Thailand. Of course it’s possible to make (and more often) lose money by opening your own bar. I saw quite a few expats in Pattaya who had opened businesses like law firms or media consultancies. It’s obviously much easier to do something like this if you ran much the same type of company back in the West.

If you have the funds and don’t want or need to work then an alternative is to get a student visa and study in Thailand. I chose this option and studied the Thai language at a Bangkok language school called ProLanguage.

For 23,000 baht I got Thai language lessons and (more importantly) a visa that potentially allowed me to live in Thailand for 12 months.

I say potentially because you still have to do 90 day reporting, and in theory the government can revoke your visa if they think you’re not really studying.

It’s also a hassle that you can’t be issued with the ED visa within Thailand, you can only apply outside of the country. For me that involved an expensive visa run from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur and back just to get a passport stamp.

As to the language lessons themselves, well I gave up after 2 lessons. After 4 months in China spent learning Mandarin Chinese, the last thing I wanted to do was study another language. Another problem I had is that there’s no official standard for writing Thai words in English. So it’s hard to learn a language when even the sign writers don’t know if the area I was living in should be spelt Ekamai or Ekkamai. Besides, outside Thailand, there is very little benefit of knowing the Thai language.

Living in Thailand

Thailand is a great country to live in and I’d thoroughly recommend it over countries like China or the Philippines.

The main downside I found in Bangkok was the heat. It is *always* hot in Bangkok, even at night. In fact Bangkok is said to be the world’s hottest city.

Well if you don’t like the heat too much then it’s a little cooler in Chiang Mai.

Visit Thailand in the rainy season and you're going to see a lot of rain...

Visit Thailand in the rainy season and you’re going to see a lot of rain…

I found it easy to find Western friendly food in Bangkok. Most of your favourite foods are available, although they’re often priced at a premium to what you’d pay for Thai food. Speaking of Thai food, I found it much to my liking, and way better than the food that was on offer in China.

Strangely, despite eating at dodgy roadside food stalls and cheap railway-side shacks, I never got any bad stomach problems in Thailand.

Maybe it’s because I lived in China before Thailand, so got used to the local bacteria.

Healthcare is readily available in Thailand, and standards are generally good. It’s worth having health insurance in case of a major emergency. But for minor irritations I found the local English speaking hospital to be very affordable.

As far as living costs, even in Bangkok there was plenty of affordable accommodation to be had. If you’re on a budget then there are a multitude of studio apartments for rent. Unlike China, foreigners in Thailand face no real restrictions on where you can live. What I liked about Bangkok is that for half the price of what I would have paid to rent a studio in the UK I could afford to live in central Bangkok, within walking distance of Sukhumvit and all the entertainment it has to offer.

Other things were fairly affordable in Bangkok. Food was pretty cheap, especially if you’re prepared to eat Thai food like Pad Thai, BBQ fish and of course Tom Yum soup.

Bangkok is blessed with a pretty good micro-climate. It seems to rain less there than in the rest of Thailand. The air is pretty good there, especially in the rainy season. And I didn’t see as many mosquitoes there as there were in Southern China.

I guess the downside to living in Thailand is the lack of health and safety there. It’s common to see people riding round on motorcycles without crash helmets, and many vehicles are in a poor state of disrepair. The key thing to remember is when you visit Thailand, don’t leave your common sense in the airport arrivals hall!

Quantity of Single Women

If you’re a fan of online dating then you’ll find there are more Thai women on Asian dating sites like Asian Love Connections than there are Chinese women, but less Thais than there are Filipino women.

Every time I logged into Thai Love Links I found a whole load of womens’ profiles I’d not seen before. So I wasn’t short of women to chat to.

Sometimes it seemed as though Bangkok was awash with single women. Getting a date was fairly easy, but not as easy as you might think.

Two things that spoilt my dating experiences were women working all hours, and traffic!

Bangkok is a vast city, and it has arguably the worst public transportation infrastructure of any “modern” metropolis. While I was living in Guangzhou in Southern China, Chinese engineers were busy building no fewer than 10 (!) new metro railway lines. Contrast that with Bangkok, which only has a single underground railway line.

Visiting Bangkok? Then you're going to spend a lot of time in traffic jams!

Visiting Bangkok? Then you’re going to spend a lot of time in traffic jams!

So getting around Bangkok to go to dates was a logistical nightmare at times. Of course I usually had to travel in the peak evening rush hour in order to meet ladies who worked during the day.

And talking of work – I’ve never been anywhere else where the ladies work such long hours. Many Thai ladies routinely work 6 day weeks. I had to end two promising relationships because the ladies worked 7 days a week! I kid you not.

Thailand also appears to have far less public holidays than the Chinese enjoy. Which makes for even fewer days for meeting ladies on their days off.

Well the result of all this was that over six months I managed one date a week on average. Which isn’t bad going, but in a county so apparently awash with single ladies I’d have expected better.

Quality of Women

Well what can I say? The simple fact is that the ladies I met in Thailand weren’t as good as the ladies I met in China.

In China I found it easy to get dates with middle to upper class society ladies. In Thailand I really mostly dated lower-middle class ladies and those from the working classes.

Thai ladies were fun, but the lack of educational opportunities compared to China was pretty telling. I hope Thai education standards improve, but that seems a pipe-dream. I was watching Thai TV one evening and a show about learning English was actually littered with spelling mistakes and obvious grammatical errors. Sheesh!

While in Thailand I dated women between the age of 23 and 38 (I’m 41). In general I seemed to have more difficulty getting dates with younger women than I had in China. That surprised me.

Most younger Thai women (below the age of 25) were complete time wasters. If you want a much younger bride, stick to Filipinas and stay well clear of Thai girls.

Six months of living in Thailand taught me an awful lot about Thai dating. And believe me it’s a minefield! Other pitfalls include:

  1. Scammers
  2. Bar Ladies
  3. Ladyboys

Scammers

If you’re back in the USA or another Western country then beware that there are a lot of Thai ladies on dating sites who are just after your money. I know because I was there, on the ground in Thailand, yet a load of ladies didn’t want to meet me in real life. I can only assume that they were happy to be chatting to men from Western countries in the hope of getting them to send them a few dollars.

Bar Ladies

Thailand is a fabulous place to be a guy. The place has many streets full of beer bars where you can go and chat to single ladies, and take them home if you so please.

The problem is that many of these ladies also have dating site profiles, so it’s all too easy to fall in love online with a bar girl. Here’s a few clues as to whether the girl you’re chatting to is or has ever worked in a bar.

Bar ladies are great company if you’re visiting Thailand on vacation. But having spent six months in Bangkok I saw the darker side to their lives. I met ladies who carry tasers in their handbags. I met alcoholics. I met ladies who were great at wasting my money. And I saw a couple of ladies burn out in spectacular fashion.

Incidentally, some (many?) apparently innocent Thai ladies indulge in a bit of hooking on the side. It’s sometimes hard to spot them. I was certainly fooled a couple of times. Usually they’re below the age of 35, and work in a poorly paid job near to the main entertainment districts of Bangkok.

A big clue is if a lady tells you she lives along Sukhumvit in Bangkok, particularly between Soi 3 and Soi 33. A lady who only works in a 7-11 or in a department store is unlikely to be able to afford to live here!

Needless to say, it’s probably not such a good idea to look for a wife in a party city such as Pattaya or Phuket. Choose Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Korat or one of the smaller cities less visited by foreigners.

Pattaya - a great place to party, but quite probably a terrible place to find an Asian wife...

Pattaya – a great place to party, but quite probably a terrible place to find an Asian wife…

Ladyboys

After living in Bangkok for six months I’d guestimate that 1% of the Thai population of Bangkok are transsexuals. They’re quite easy to spot in real life, less so on dating sites. Bear in mind that on Asian Love Connections the ladyboys are quite obvious. But popular sites like Thai Love Links, Cherry Blossoms and DateInAsia don’t allow people to register as a 3rd gender. As a result you’ll see ladyboys registering as men or (more commonly) as women. What a mess!

I will point out that ladyboys have their admirers and I even dated a couple (read about my ladyboy dating disasters here). Personally I found Bangkok’s ladyboys to be more intelligent and more fun that their female counterparts.

Nana Plaza in Bangkok. Another place where it's probably best not to look for an Asian wife...

Nana Plaza in Bangkok. Another place where it’s probably best not to look for an Asian wife…

Alternatives to Thailand

What do you want?

If you’re a smart guy and want a smart Asian wife, then you’ll probably do better in China [here’s my report about China].

For longer term relationships, you’ll find that commentators like Stickman and a lot of posters on Happier Abroad extol the virtues of Filipino women over Thai women. On Asian Love Connections there are over 1000 Filipinas with profiles on the site. Sign up and you can chat to them for absolutely free.

While in Bangkok I managed to date a couple of Filipinas. They impressed me with their realistic outlook on life.

If you’re willing to be more adventurous, then Vietnam is also worth a go.

I’d avoid Laos and Cambodia though.

Finally I was impressed with Malaysia while I was there on my visa run. This is definitely a country worth visiting, especially if you’re marriage minded.

Was it all Worthwhile?

After six months of living in Thailand I failed to find The One. I guess I’m pretty picky. Two, maybe three girls did show a lot of promise though. Unfortunately one relationship was torpedoed by her sister wanting a rich farang by proxy. Another woman I met was very hot indeed, but she just wasn’t the type to get married and settle down.

I guess I was pretty spoiled by having spent four months living in China before I came to Thailand. Personally I find the average Chinese woman to be way hotter than the average Thai woman. So any Thai lady I met had to be equal to or better than the ladies I’d dated back in China. That was a tough proposition.

What is good about Thailand is that it’s a fantastic place to gain confidence with women. It’s not too hard to get dates, and it’s also very easy to meet ladies in bars.

Thailand is also a great place to live if you’re a foreigner and want to live in Asia.

I’m sure I’ll be back in Bangkok at some point in the future. But I very much doubt that I’ll be there to look for a Thai bride.

Are YOU Interested in Dating Thai Women?

That’s enough about my own time spent in Thailand. How about YOUR Asian dating experiences?

  • You can join Asian Love Connections for free and start your own Asian dating adventure.
  • Want to chat to even more Thai ladies? Then I recommend either Thai Love Links or Ladyboy Kisses.
  • Got any questions about Thai women? Post comments below, or get help on our discussion forum.
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