Paul (from Scotland)
My name is Paul and I am a freelance truck driver from the United
Kingdom. I came to Thailand for the first time in 2012, my mind filled
with images of temples, stunning mountains and beautiful countryside. I
had saved money from my wages for quite some time to pay for my dream
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The itinerary was planned and everything seemed in order. This was not going to be a holiday spent relaxing on the beach and getting fat. No, I wanted to see the real Thailand, experience the culture and discover the history of the country. I had contacted a friend who was living in Bangkok. That was to be my first point of call. The plan was to relax for a day or two until I recovered from the long journey and then begin my sightseeing adventure. How wrong could I be?
My friend John was waiting for me at the pre-arranged meeting point in Suvarnabhumi Airport. Meeting point three on the second floor. I must admit that I was not expecting such an expansive and advanced airport. This was to be the first of many pre-held misconceptions about The Land of Smiles that would be broken. The airport was buzzing. The period of Songkran was approaching and everyone in and around the airport seemed excited. Thai girls lined the barriers of the various meeting points, looking glamorous and dressed to impress, eagerly awaiting the return of their farang boyfriends. Perhaps it was a glimpse into my very own future. Little did I know that a Thai girl was going to have such an impact on me?
I found John without a problem and he informed me that we could take a taxi into Bangkok or use the train and BTS combination. After a long journey, I decided to take the option of using a taxi. The train system and BTS are very efficient in Bangkok as I would find out. However, it really does make sense to pay a little extra and use a taxi to get directly to your accommodation. This is especially the case if you have a lot of luggage with you.
Despite feeling so tired on the plane when approaching Bangkok, the excitement of the occasion soon gave me a new burst of energy. Laughing off the advice of John regarding taking a sleep when I arrived at my hotel, I proudly declared my intention to see what Bangkok had to offer. I am not the kind of guy that drinks excessively and likes to party. Perhaps I was lost in the moment? Maybe it was the sight of the Thai girls at the airport? Who knows? I was determined to take a closer look at the darker side of Bangkok, much to the surprise of my friend.
I arranged to meet John in the hotel lobby. After a quick shower and shave, I adorned my jeans, shirt and shoes and caught the elevator down to the lobby. John was already waiting for me, sat at the hotel bar with a couple of beers. Drinking Chang was to become one of my favourite pastimes! After being politely informed that Songkran coincided with some of the hottest weather of the year, I returned to my room and changed to a pair of shorts, casual polo shirt and sandals. When I experienced the heat outside, I was happy that I had a friend like John to advise me.
John had lived in Bangkok for the best part of five years and acted as a great mentor. We headed to the Nana Plaza and Soi 4 area which was renowned for its afternoon drinking establishments and its wild evening antics. During a few more Chang beers, we discussed my plans for the next month. I was steadfastly determined to see the cultural side of Thailand and visit as many places as I could. I showed him the itinerary and he agreed that I would certainly see most of the major attractions. What he said to me after sticks in my memory; with a wry smile, he quipped “don’t count on using that itinerary much after one night in Bangkok.” I didn’t really understand what he meant by that at the time; I certainly do now.
The first place that we went to was what John would describe as a “drinking bar”. The beer was relatively cheap and it certainly helped me to relax and feel comfortable in the unfamiliar surroundings. That was to be vital as, with the sun setting and the volume of the music increasing, we set off to the next bar. I could immediately tell that this place had a totally different vibe. It was busy, there was more laughter and it had lots of Thai girls inside. I looked to my left to see John staring at me, attempting to gauge my first impressions of the place. Honestly? I was quite nervous but there was also something that was drawing me inside.
We were immediately greeted by two lovely girls who asked us where we were from, how long we were staying and how old we were. Strangely, there was no mention of names at this point which I found odd. The following hours were spent drinking, playing pool and laughing. To my total surprise, I felt so comfortable, this was not how I expected to feel. It was like I had found my little piece of paradise. A rowdy bar in the middle of Bangkok, packed with Thai girls had changed me in a matter of hours. Or had it? Perhaps that side of me was always there, under the surface, waiting for this moment?
We visited many bars that night, each had its own style and feel. The one thing that remained constant was the friendly nature of the girls inside. I know now that it is their job to make the customers feel happy but even so, it made for a very pleasant experience. We eventually made our way to one of the many late night discos near Nana Plaza. It was here, surrounded by a pumping soundtrack, dancing girls and neon lights, that my life would change forever.
Na was dancing on one of the stages when I spotted her. We made eye contact briefly and she smiled at me. She then began giggling and whispering to her friends who also looked over. John encouraged me to go and talk to her but I was not confident enough, particularly in these unfamiliar surroundings. Eventually, one of her friends came over and we began chatting. She asked me if I liked Na and invited her over to our table. The next two hours felt like ten minutes and soon it was time to leave. We exchanged numbers and I promised to call her the next day.
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If I had been nervous the previous night, that was nothing in comparison to how I felt before our first date. I had woken with a sore head but a vivid recollection of meeting Na. I called her immediately and she was happy to hear from me. She was working in a shop as a sales assistant where she sold suitcases. We arranged to meet later that evening.
Having never dated a Thai girl before, I was unsure as to what the coming hours would bring. Would communication be an issue? She had spoken well enough the previous evening but in a quieter environment where conversation was key, would there be a problem? Had she been drunk the night before? Would she be so keen in the cold light of day without the effects of alcohol? Where should I take her? What should I wear? All of these questions swirled through my mind as I made my way to our meeting point on the back of a motorcycle taxi.
I should not have worried. Na was even more relaxed and pleasant than the previous night. She seemed more at ease in a small bar than she was in the disco. She introduced me to all manner of Thai delicacies as we strolled around one of the many markets. The night was sealed with a kiss and we both felt happy enough to organise another date.
I returned to meet up with John on Soi 4 just before midnight. His eyes were full of anticipation as I sat down. “Well?” he asked. I didn’t need to say a word, my smile said it all. I never did get to see the rest of Thailand. My month was spent in Bangkok with Na although we did get a chance to travel to Koh Samed when she had some time off work. Hopefully, Na and I will get to visit those places that were on my itinerary together. We have been together almost three years now. I visit Thailand twice a year and she has been to the UK to see me.
I do not regret making that decision to stay in Bangkok. If you believe in fate like I do then that was certainly a fine example of it in action. I would advise anyone that is considering visiting Thailand for the first time to go ahead and take the plunge. Just don’t make any concrete plans; things tend to change when you arrive in this wonderful country.
Yes, you are not the first man to get blindsided once the charms of a Thai lady come into play. Whilst I am happy for you that this relationship is working out for you, I feel that I should caution my readers that the manner in which you met really is not the way to go about looking for serious romance. Although it can work, the risks involved in getting into serious long-term romances with the usual Thai girls that you meet in tourist area bars are very significant.
This lovely petite lady from Bangkok is 28 years old and looking for romance with a westerner. Would you like to meet lots of girls just like her?
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