For most men, Bangkok girls probably make the most suitable ladies for long-term relationships because the culture gap in the big city is usually that bit easier to bridge than it would be for ladies from a traditional rural area.
Bangkok is a massive cosmopolitan city, and the people that live there are more likely to have some understanding of western culture.
English is widely spoken and there are plenty of middle-class, university educated ladies that would like to find a western boyfriend. Also, given that Bangkok is so large, there are plenty of ladies that are ready to meet you and who are within easy travelling distance.
There are, however, two things that you need to know about regular Thai girls:
In appearance Bangkok girls tend to be a little taller and fairer skinned than the ladies that you’ll find in Pattaya. Pattaya has a large body of girls who originate from the rural northeast of Thailand where petite, darker skinned people are the norm. Obviously there is a vast amount of variety in a cosmopolitan place like Bangkok, but the ladies who originate from the big city do tend to have slightly more western-like features i.e. fairer skin, longer legs and more curves.
To my eyes, the best looking Bangkok girls are amongst the most beautiful women in the world.
Another point worth considering is that the typical cuisine that the ladies of Bangkok prefer to eat is more akin to the sort of Thai food that you find in the west. Personally I find it much more palatable than the food that Pattaya girls tend to go for (which is often Laos food rather than Thai). On the other hand, if you like to eat bugs, or you like your food spicy enough to melt your teeth, then feel free to ignore this particular piece of advice :)
As mentioned in the opening paragraph, opportunities for fun with ladies on an altogether more short-term basis are also abundantly available.
It tends to be guys who are visiting Bangkok, rather than guys who live there, that make use of the P4P sex industry and naughty nightlife attractions.
This is because it is actually quite easy to get a bad reputation amongst local residents if you are seen cavorting with Bangkok bar girls and the like. Be aware that damaging your personal reputation in this way can easily have knock on effects for your business or professional ambitions if you need to deal with local people.
For those who are undeterred, you’ll find that Bangkok bar girls can be a lot of fun. You won’t find the ‘girlfriend experience’ as easily as you will in Pattaya, and prices for the company of these ladies are a lot higher than they are in Pattaya, but compared to your average western city you’ll think that prices are low.
The best places to find Bangkok bar girls are in the three red-light areas; Nana Plaza, Soi Cowboy and Patpong. If you are a fan of the naughty massage scene then you’ll be delighted to know that this is very well catered for – the Bangkok Soapy massage is the best that Thailand has to offer!
The Bangkok sex industry is not what it once was, and it remains to be seen what the coming years will bring. The current focus of the authorities is to clean up the city's image, and that's not good news for fans of the seedy Bangkok sex shows and the like...
The mere mention of the name ‘Bangkok’ stirs the imagination and works up a sense of excitement and adventure like no other. Asia is a different world, Thailand a tropical oasis, and Bangkok is the epicentre of it all. No other city on Earth comes close to equalling the mystique that surrounds it… or does it?
Actually, the modern city is nothing like the old-world images that might be jumping into your head, and I do admit to being a little disappointed that this is the case. Bangkok is fast becoming just another urban metropolis with the same high-street brand names that you’ll see scattered around all over Europe and North America but, at the same time, the city does still have a charm and character of its own. It retains the unique Thai cultural heritage that a life in Thailand always comes with.
At any rate, when you are living in Bangkok rather than merely visiting the place, you’ll come to appreciate the modern comforts and amenities that economic development has brought. Old world nostalgia is a fine thing, but for most expats and long term visitors it definitely takes a bow compared to things like modern healthcare, cuisine, infrastructure, transport and the rest.
In terms of the cost of living in Bangkok, there are no surprises. As you would expect, prices for just about everything are significantly higher than in other areas of Thailand. The value of real estate in the capital city is much higher, particularly in the city centre, and that leads to expensive property costs whether you choose to rent or buy.
If the allure of Bangkok girls has got you thinking about retirement in Thailand, or perhaps a career relocation, you needn’t worry too much about costs. By way of comparison, it is still a lot cheaper than most major western cities – estimated at not much more than a third of the overall cost of living in London or New York.
Bangkok is every bit the modern metropolis, and life there is often crowded and hectic. Add to that the stifling heat and humidity at certain times of the year and you’ve got a place that can easily drive you nuts. Speaking of driving, I’d advise anyone to avoid it, it isn’t necessary and it can cause problems. I can personally assure you that driving through downtown Bangkok during rush-hour is no fun at all, it’s total gridlock and no-one gives an inch!
When driving you have no option but to force your way into tiny gaps and, in the event of an accident, you can be sure that you will be blamed whether it’s your fault or not. I’ve even heard of a westerner that witnessed a traffic accident as he was driving along; having some medical training he stopped to make sure everyone was okay. By the time the police arrived the two drivers involved had concocted a story that laid the blame squarely on the westerner. Presumably, neither of the Thai drivers had any car insurance and they assumed that the westerner would have it… and so were going after a pay-out.
Luckily, Taxis are an extremely cheap alternative, and there’s also the option of the sky-train for getting around town (although it does get crowded).
Approaching Bangkok girls with romantic intent is very easy to do compared to the west, because it is virtually risk-free with regard to embarrassing yourself.
Shopping malls offer endless opportunities for meeting Bangkok girls and, rather than approaching a girl directly, it's actually better if you approach a friend of hers first (or a work colleague if you've found a shop assistant that you like). The friend/colleague will do all the work for you by speaking to the girl you are interested in. The friend will then come back to you and tell you whether or not the girl is interested in you. This might seem a bit like a cowardly, juvenile way to approach a girl, but in Thailand it is a good method because it helps to avoid embarrassment and loss of face.
If you do end up in a serious romantic relationship with a lady from Bangkok, and you start thinking of a life together, there’s another benefit to being in the city in that it is home to all the best hospitals and schools. You might not be planning on hearing the patter of tiny feet anytime soon, but Bangkok girls are no different to girls the world over i.e. they nearly always want to have children at some point… such is the folly of women :)
I mentioned that avoiding the red light areas is important if you want to protect your business or professional reputation; this is equally true when it comes to your prospects for dating regular Bangkok girls. Gossip travels very quickly in the big city and you’ll probably be ratted out by someone if you try to date a regular lady whilst having a reputation for bringing short-time girls back from the naughty bars!
The problem is so serious that, even if you have led a life of celibacy, you’ll still struggle to attract any of the good girls if you merely live to close to a red light district, so avoid this mistake by making a more respectable part of the city your home. If you do see girls from the naughty areas, do yourself a favour and keep them away from your home. There are plenty of cheap hotels in Bangkok that rent rooms by the hour, and using them will help protect your reputation.
One of the best areas of the city to pitch your tent is upper Sukhumvit, but don’t mistake this area for lower Sukhumvit as that’s where the biggest red light areas are found. In upper Sukhumvit you’ll be amongst some of the most respectable western men in the city. You’ll still be within easy reach of all the best parts of the city and the rental prices are a bit more manageable too.
Any respectable Thai girl that has an interest in dating western men will be impressed by a guy that lives in a respectable area such as upper Sukhumvit… provided that he has NEVER been seen by prying eyes in the company of any promiscuous ladies of the night! If you have been seen before then you can expect her to find out about it sooner or later, such is the strength of the grapevine in Thailand. When she does find out, that will be the end of any romantic ambitions that you may have been cultivating.
If it seems like I’m focusing a little too much on the benefits of living in the city with regard to the regular Bangkok girls that you can meet there, as opposed to the working girls that you could meet up with, be aware that it is for a good reason. I believe that the main selling point for Bangkok, in terms of the opposite sex, is all about serious relationships. If you just want to lead a more carefree lifestyle without taking on any commitments then the bar scene does have a lot to offer, but in that case I’d advise you to take a look at living in Pattaya instead. It’s quite a lot cheaper and it has many more options for that sort of thing whilst still having lots of other none-nightlife-related stuff to keep you entertained.
For younger expats and long-term visitors, Bangkok has a distinct advantage in that it is where most of the expat jobs are based. This is going to be an important consideration if you are aged under 50 and still need to work for a living because, unfortunately, retirement visas are unavailable to you. Getting a long-term tourist visa will not entitle you to work in Thailand, and whilst there are a lot of expats scraping a living as ‘digital nomads’ i.e. people making a living from their blogs, YouTube channels, freelance writing and so on, they aren’t technically supposed to be doing this in Thailand as it does constitute working without a permit. It is a bit of a grey area though.
At one time, western visitors would hop over the border every 30 days to renew their visa, but that practice was stamped out a few years ago. More recently, the 6 month multiple entry tourist visa was introduced, replacing the old 3 entry visa, and bringing in new requirements to prove that you have a sizable bank-balance and an income that can support you during your stay in Thailand… that will probably keep a lot of digital nomads out of Thailand for anything longer than a fairly brief visit.
The only real alternative for these younger guys is to find formal employment in Thailand and for all but a lucky few that usually means teaching English language (assuming that you have the required qualifications). You can get some reasonably well-paid jobs teaching English once you’ve built up some experience, and this will entitle you to a work permit that allows you to stay in Thailand. The point is that it’s in Bangkok that you usually find the best opportunities for this.
Living in Bangkok as an English teacher will not put you on the rich list anytime soon, but it is regarded as a respectable occupation, and it will open some doors for you as regards your romantic ambitions for meeting regular Bangkok girls (many of whom would love some free lessons!). Of course, if you are over 50 and have the necessary retirement funds in place, you needn’t worry about any of this. You’ll be able to get a retirement visa and live wherever you want.
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