The expat community in Thailand is surprisingly small and cosy but I also believe that just living in another country instantly equips you with many common interests to meet and connect with other like-minded expats. Most people who have moved to Thailand will not only tend to share a similar attitude and outlook on life but will also usually be open minded enough to posess an interesting array of alike hobbies. There are many useful social networking websites kicking around to help you to meet other expats if you do get lonely in Thailand. In some people’s cases it can be hard to connect and meet with others and make friends in Thailand otherwise.
Social networking websites in Thailand
I have personally tried and tested some of these social networking sites myself and have found them to be very friendly and welcoming in Bangkok. It’s definitely worth a try to network with other expats in Thailand – there is nothing to lose from trying if you start to feel lonely in Thailand at least. Personally, when I am being anti-social in Bangkok, it makes me considerably more homesick also.
Meetup has an unbelievably wide selection of different groups for people to meet and either help out in the community, get some exercise or brush up on their language skills. Meetup groups in Thailand vary in size from about 5 to 30 people and include volunteer groups, beach volleyball groups, language groups, motorcyle touring, jam sessions, web developers and naturist groups! And many more! There is something there for everyone…
Chickynet is a women-only social networking site in Thailand. Personally, I think it can sometimes be quite difficult and lonely in Thailand for women, as a large proportion of expats seem to be men. Chickynet is great for socialising, hanging out and meeting with other women in Thailand. It also hosts numerous events, has a classified section and forums for help and expat advice. I highly recommend joining this community if you don’t yet have many aquaintances in Thailand.
For the fitness and beer enthusiasts, there are many Hash groups which exist around Thailand both for cyclists and runners. If you like running and biking, mixed up with some heavy drinking then give it a try. The Bangkok Hash House Bikers host many cycling events and meetups around Bangkok, or there is a runner’s Hash in Bangkok that meet Mondays, The Hash Pub in Chiangmai, Pattaya Hash in Pattaya… There are absolutely tonnes of other Hash websites to choose from in Thailand depending on your area…
For people who are self employed or similar, there are a selection of rentable shared office spaces around Bangkok which are ideal for meeting likeminded people.. or simply for those who are becoming lonely and bored of sitting at their desk in their y-fronts, scratching at their balls eating cheetos.
Hubba is located in Ekkamai in Bangkok and costs from 100 baht per day depending on which package you purchase with them. They offer a free trial so there is no pressure to join up at least. Some snacks and beverages are included in this price such as cakes from their pantry. The atmosphere is very friendly and relaxed and they can arrange meals for you very cheaply to eat and socialise with the rest of the staff.
Another great way to meet expats in Thailand are the western style pubs – there are many people who network and make friends more casually in this way. In Bangkok for example, you can find Irish and English style pubs along most of the main stretches of activity – Silom has many to choose from along the whole of Silom Road, Nana is also a particularly pub-filled part of the city. Phrom Pong and Ekkamai also have good selections. Check out Durty Nellys, The Robin Hood and The Black Swan. In Silom near BTS Sala Deng, The Roadhouse is a particularly social pub amongst Bangkok expats. None of these places are cheap, but then foreign luxuries in Thailand never are.
If nightclubs are more your scene, try the expat rich Levels on Soi 11 in Nana, Bangkok. For the more creative crowd I would recommend a visit to the small and cosy Jam Cafe in Sathorn (the end nearest BTS Surasak Bangkok). The Jam Cafe often hosts cult movie nights and other interesting events to get people meeting and socialising. They also make some good fish and chips, burgers and veggie meals for only 100 – 150 baht.