As a long-term resident of Bangkok, I’ve met a number of western men over the years who were in Thailand specifically to find a Thai girlfriend or Thai wife. Some were here for a few months or longer, while a few were only in Bangkok for a couple of weeks. During that time, they all hoped to meet a Thai woman they were compatible with and, at some point, hopefully get married.
With many western men coming to Thailand to meet women by signing up with a dating agency in Bangkok, however, is this really the way to go? Or is there a better way to meet a potential partner, even on a short trip to Thailand’s capital city?
The cost of a dating agency in Bangkok – One thing which may give you pause when it comes to deciding to use a dating agency in Bangkok or to try to ‘go it alone’ is the cost. Many dating agencies charge the equivalent of $2,500 or more just for introductions to three or four Thai women over the course of a few days.
With no guarantees of whether you’ll hit it off with any of them, or even if any of the women will like you, $2,500 is a large amount of money to spend. Particularly in a country that’s still developing. Think very carefully before you agree to a fee this large.
Some dating agencies in Bangkok are unscrupulous – If you use a dating agency in Bangkok, make sure you use one that is recommended by someone you know or by several people whose identities you can verify online.
That’s because there are a number of unscrupulous dating agencies in Bangkok that will set you up with extremely unsuitable women, will promise you the world and deliver nothing, or in some cases even tell you to lie to your country’s embassy if things do work out and embassy officials want to know where you met your soon-to-be-wife.
I met one man who had paid an agency more than $3,000 for introductions to five Thai women. Not only did he say the agency had done nothing to even check whether these women had anything in common with him (they didn’t), but in his estimation at least three of the five were either former or current prostitutes. Let’s face it, if you wanted to marry a Thai prostitute, you can find one yourself in one of Bangkok’s famous red light districts without having to pay an exorbitant fee to do so.
Some of the cheaper agencies are sometimes the best – I know two western men (one American and one Brit) who met their wives through a Bangkok dating agency and neither of them paid more than $250 for the introduction. Both also said the Thai agency owner had obviously done her homework as she introduced them to several women that were quite compatible and all seemed to be hard-working ‘normal Thai women’ with jobs in schools, offices and department stores.
The American man has been married to his Thai wife for six years now, and both still seem exceptionally happy.
Check what the agency fee covers before signing up or making a payment – No matter how much an agency charges, make sure you know what you are paying for. Is it just for a set number of introductions? Do they offer any form of guarantee with your fee? If you meet a woman you like do they help with the paperwork for her visa to be able to travel to your country or will you have to do it yourself?
Avoid the dating agencies in Bangkok that are charging a high fee to ‘register your marriage’ in Thailand (some charge several hundred dollars) as you can do that yourself at the Amphur office (similar to a western registry office) in your fiancee’s neighborhood for just a few dollars. The American embassy in Bangkok even has a step-by-step instruction sheet as to how.
Consider other options – There are other options you can consider when it comes to meeting Thai women in Bangkok.
1. Take a holiday to Bangkok for a couple of weeks and go to bars, clubs, restaurants, coffee shops, visit tourist attractions, go to local markets, and generally have a good time. You will likely meet hundreds of Thai women while you’re doing that and with some Thai women actively wanting a ‘farang boyfriend’ (western boyfriend), you could end up meeting someone you really like.
2. Do you know anyone in your home country who already has a Thai wife? She may know of one or two women back in Thailand that would like to meet a western man. Introductions can be made over the internet and then, if the woman is someone you think you’d like to meet, you can always arrange for a vacation to Thailand to do so.
3. While internet dating sites in Thailand can be full of women who are either scamming several western men at the same time for money, or are just trying to find a rich western husband, some ‘nice Thai girls’ do frequent the sites and you may be lucky meeting one.
If you’d like to visit Thailand, spend a couple of months online before you do and see if it’s possible to meet a Thai woman there. If you talk to anyone who sounds interesting, you can always arrange to meet her, or them, when you arrive on vacation in Bangkok and take the relationship from there.
One final word of caution, when you meet a Thai woman you think you like but your gut instinct is telling you there is something not quite right, go with that feeling as chances are you are correct. Don’t rush into anything out of loneliness or desperation. There are many Thai women who are actively looking for western boyfriends and a large percentage of them genuine, kind, honest and lovely.
Remember, if you don’t meet someone you hit it off with on your first trip, Bangkok is only a plane ride away and it’s a great excuse to enjoy another exotic holiday.