Many western women living in Bangkok complain it’s not easy to make friends. Western men are usually here for the Thai women, other western women are difficult to find, and most Thais only speak a smattering of English. So, if you don’t speak Thai, you’re out of luck.
As a western woman who’s lived in Bangkok for more than 12 years, I’ve actually found it easy to make friends. So, if you’re a western woman who needs help making friends in Bangkok, follow these tips. You’ll soon see how easy it is.
Spend Time Hanging Out in Coffee Shops – One of the easiest ways for western women to make friends in Bangkok is to hang out at coffee shops in your free time. I’ve met two of my close female friends in Bangkok at coffee shops. I struck up a quick conversation one day, we kept talking, agreed to get together for dinner and, boom, instant friends.
Why spending time in coffee shops is so helpful in making friends is you’ll find the same westerners will hang out at the same coffee shops quite often, so, after a few times of seeing the same people you’ll usually find someone will start talking to you.
Join a Book Club – There are several good book clubs in Bangkok that meet at least once a month and they’re a wonderful way for western women to make friends. If you like reading and you like talking about books, check out Bookcrossers, a book club that meets monthly at a coffee shop at Central World Plaza shopping mall.
Bookcrossers is wonderful because, not only do you meet people, but you can also take books and exchange them for new books with other Bookcrossers attendees. They currently meet at 6:30 pm at Bert’s cafe on the ground floor of Zen department store, the first Tuesday of every month.
Go Out For a Meal With Thais From Work – Thai people love to eat and they love to eat meals together. If a Thai I work with asks me to go with them for dinner, I almost always go. You usually end up in a big group of people, you meet friends of people you work with, who also tagged along for dinner, and you’ll soon find yourself with a group of new friends.
Thais love to practice their English and also love to hang out with westerners (they think they look cool), so you’ll end up getting dinner invitations all the time.
Talk To Other Western Women on the Sky Train or Underground – I’ve actually made a couple of friends by having a conversation with them on the sky train on my way to work in the morning. A 20 minute train ride is boring so, if a western woman gets in my carriage and stands near me, I usually say “Good morning” or ask a simple question like “Do you know what time it is?'”
I’ve found most western women here are starved for interaction with other people who speak English so, if you meet one, give it a try.
Take Thai Classes – I made some very good friends by signing up for three months of Thai classes. It was an intensive course, so I saw these people every day, but we’d hang out at lunchtime or for coffee and, soon, on the weekends too. By the end of the course, I had friends from Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam and Hong Kong. A great way to learn about other cultures you know nothing about, too.
If you’re a western woman in Bangkok and want to make friends, the most important things are get out of the house and talk to people. Don’t be shy. Accept invitations. Make an effort. And, before you know it, you’ll have so many friends, there won’t be enough hours in a day to see them all.