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Seeking advice on meeting local people in Chiang Mai


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Good evening,

 

This is my first post in this forum, so first - a bit about myself. I've moved to Chiang Mai in November 2019 and I'm planning to live here for the foreseeable future (maybe forever). I'm 42 y.o. - decent looking gay man.

 

Ever since I've moved here, I've been having trouble to meet local men. Obviously - it's a cultural thing, so I just need to adapt, rather than expect the world to adapt to my needs. So, I'm seeking any advice I might receive from people who have been here longer than I was. Back in the West - meeting other fellow gay man is much easier - going to a gay club/bar. In here - at least in Chiang Mai - gay bars are not really frequented by Thais (excluding bar boys), my understanding is - that it's not how people align themselves in here.

 

I'm looking for a serious relationship, and not a one-time fling. Apps (Gridnr, Blued, Hornet) do not seem to yield any effects, as from my experience - people there are looking only for one thing. I've tried thaicupid.com, but it seems rather dead. I've tried asking 2 local gay men I've happened to meet, to introduce me to some people - but they claim (and knowing them for multiple months - I believe them) - they don't really know many gay men. On the surface I seem very shy and/or timid (I'm on autistic spectrum), but I easily open up, if someone puts some effort. I think that's one of the obstacles in meeting people here, as people here expect farangs to be pro-active.

 

I went to Pattaya twice and Bangkok many times, and it seems finding someone there is much easier, but I don't think living in Pattaya/Bangkok would be "my thing", and I'm not going to expect someone to move to Chiang Mai for me.

 

So, any advice from fellow people here, on how to meet gay people here, who seek something more serious?

 

Thank you in advance!

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First of all, you can't expect the same thing as in western country because there are

 

1. Cultural barrier - Eastern people (not just Thai) are basically shy and not as social as westerners in socialising.

 

2. Language barrier - Most Thai can't speak decent English beyond basic words such as 'same, same' and most foreigners can't speak basic Thai beyond basic words like 'man pen rai' and 'khop khun'.

 

3. Religious values - Religious values and expectations are different between Thai and westerners. Buddhist and Christianity values are different.

 

So if you want the same amount of communication as in western countries, you shouldn't be here in Thailand.

 

I suggest you find other westerners in Thailand that don't have the barriers above.

 

Edited by EricTh
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31 minutes ago, MarcinS said:

I went to Pattaya twice and Bangkok many times, and it seems finding someone there is much easier, but I don't think living in Pattaya/Bangkok would be "my thing", and I'm not going to expect someone to move to Chiang Mai for me.

 

So, any advice from fellow people here, on how to meet gay people here, who seek something more serious?

Have you hung around any of the 'cabaret' bars yet?

 

If you don't already speak Thai then you'll have to find groups that have members that have lived and catered to the tourist/expat communities and are comfortable speaking English (or other foreign language). 

 

I've found the western idea of 'gay' doesn't really apply here well (especially once you leave the more tourist areas of central Thailand). The non-straight males typically first self-identify as 'ladyboy', with many trying the cross-dressing cross-gender path, while some are... avoiding being too different to please their family. 

 

I have a lot of 'gay' Thai friends, but the group mostly likes to get together to drink, eat, sing, scream, dance, and socialize. It's a group of odd-balls that support each other like family. I'm still an outsider because I don't understand (or an unwilling to put up with) most of their (at least to me) cultural and social requirements or restrictions.

 

On the plus side, they are a great group of people. Always making sure I'm OK in any situation. And I try to be a friend back when they need it.

 

EDIT: If you want to meet people, it can be as easy as discovering someone who speaks English and asking them to assist you in accomplishing a task (paying a bill) or taking you to a store that sells western food items. Once you've established some communication you can ask about their knowledge of the local gay community.

Edited by RichCor
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40 minutes ago, EricTh said:

First of all, you can't expect the same thing as in western country because there are

 

1. Cultural barrier - Eastern people (not just Thai) are basically shy and not as social as westerners in socialising.

 

2. Language barrier - Most Thai can't speak decent English beyond basic words such as 'same, same' and most foreigners can't speak basic Thai beyond basic words like 'man pen rai' and 'khop khun'.

 

3. Religious values - Religious values and expectations are different between Thai and westerners. Buddhist and Christianity values are different.

 

So if you want the same amount of communication as in western countries, you shouldn't be here in Thailand.

 

I suggest you find other westerners in Thailand that don't have the barriers above.

 

Thank you for the help, but as I have expressed in my message - I AM willing to adapt to the local culture. It's just that I don't even know where/how to meet gay people here.

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28 minutes ago, RichCor said:

I have a lot of 'gay' Thai friends, but the group mostly likes to get together to drink, eat, sing, scream, dance, and socialize. It's a group of odd-balls that support each other like family. I'm still an outsider because I don't understand (or an unwilling to put up with) most of their (at least to me) cultural and social requirements or restrictions.

Thank you.

 

I'd really enjoy having such a group of friends too - any advice on how to meet them? I think breaking the ice is the most difficult part.

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For me, I became friends with an English-speaking Thai-Belgian couple ran a bar/restaurant that shared the building with a gay/ladyboy bar in Chiang Rai province. That's how it worked for me.

 

Sometimes my new friends and I would need to travel to Chiang Mai and while there would try to take in the gay/ladyboy Cabaret at the Chiang Mai Bazaar Night Market.

 

I just talked to my Thai friend to ask how/where he might suggest, and he said it wouldn't be easy. Most of the foreigner's he's met have been overflow from my friend's bar (and they spoke Thai and just wanted distance from the gap-year backpackers).

 

While you're here waiting for other people to give you tips or advice, try looking at past ThaiVisa posts with similar topics via Google Search:

 

site:thaivisa.com searchword {additionalsearchword} {concatenated-searchwords} {-ignorethissearchword}

 

example:

site:thaivisa.com Chiang-Mai Gay

 

site:thaivisa.com meeting gay people in Thailand

 

 

Edited by RichCor
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Chiang Mai is 'difficult' compared to most places if it comes to meeting up for dating etc. It is a bit confusing as the CM people are otherwise very social and easy to connect with in general. Then taking BKK it is all more rushed, stressed etc but very very easy to meet up with new girls or boys daily, even multiple a day.

 

Even you do meet someone, everyone will then know quite fast, limiting options more and more in the near future. 
Best advice I can give is to find someone in BKK and then eventually move to CM together if you still want to stay, it is getting boring...

 

With cheap flights it is almost easier to come to CM for holidays or even weekends only, giving more options to take shorter flights south to islands too.

Edited by ChaiyaTH
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1 hour ago, MarcinS said:

Thank you.

 

I'd really enjoy having such a group of friends too - any advice on how to meet them? I think breaking the ice is the most difficult part.

You won't find any serious relationship in this type of friends. Most will expect foreigners to foot the bills in a party.

 

Breaking the ice is the most difficult due to the language barrier.

 

Like what I said, there is a large group of expats in Thailand that you can hook up with.

 

Edited by EricTh
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Hi. I am also 42, gay, and live in Chiang Mai. Been here about 14 years.

 

I have been lucky and met many gay Thai people similar age or older than me over the years. (The younger money boys in the city bars just irritated me like buzzing mosquitos..and in my opinion there is virtually zero chance of them being a real friend or potential long term loving partner). 

 

However, i was looking for actual friends...not relationships / sex. So maybe different situation to you. 

 

I met these people

simply by getting out and socialising around my local area, like at the markets, village shops and local temple festivals or village events.  Just be friendly and polite. The local Thai bars and village parties are great to meet Thai people. I joined the weekly outdoor dancing keep fit thing with the ladies, which was really funny, and also some hula hoop group. I even used to help the women and a few ladyboys do the cooking and serve food to the monks at the temple when they had events.  The women were eager to introduce me to their gay brothers or family members. It was all great fun and people were so nice to me and I just felt like part of their families in the end. 

 

One thing I noticed is the LGB etc people are just all mixed in with the straight ones in daily life, as it's not such an issue here. Maybe that is why there are not local gay groups as they don't feel the need to want to mix with only one kind of people as they don't feel isolated or need support from persecution or such problems? 

 

Oh, and I am also a quiet and bit shy person too...so you don't need to be loud and an extrovert to meet people. 👍

Edited by jak2002003
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5 hours ago, EricTh said:

First of all, you can't expect the same thing as in western country because there are

 

1. Cultural barrier - Eastern people (not just Thai) are basically shy and not as social as westerners in socialising.

 

2. Language barrier - Most Thai can't speak decent English beyond basic words such as 'same, same' and most foreigners can't speak basic Thai beyond basic words like 'man pen rai' and 'khop khun'.

 

3. Religious values - Religious values and expectations are different between Thai and westerners. Buddhist and Christianity values are different.

 

So if you want the same amount of communication as in western countries, you shouldn't be here in Thailand.

 

I suggest you find other westerners in Thailand that don't have the barriers above.

 

Learn Thai

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5 hours ago, FritsSikkink said:

Learn Thai

 

Watch the video below why so many failed to have a real conversation.

 

 

Edited by EricTh
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7 hours ago, jak2002003 said:

 

 

Oh, and I am also a quiet and bit shy person too...so you don't need to be loud and an extrovert to meet people. 👍

Quiet and shy person avoid crowds and won't do the things that you did.

 

Dancing, cooking, serving food to monks don't need much real conversation with someone. These are all superficial friends and needs only minimal vocabulary eg. 'He handsome, he good, you like'.

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27 minutes ago, EricTh said:

 

Watch the video below why so many failed to have a real conversation.

 

 

Don't need to watch, I tried and speak Thai. Don't look for excuses but put some effort in.

Edited by FritsSikkink
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1 hour ago, EricTh said:

Quiet and shy person avoid crowds and won't do the things that you did.

 

Dancing, cooking, serving food to monks don't need much real conversation with someone. These are all superficial friends and needs only minimal vocabulary eg. 'He handsome, he good, you like'.

 

Have to disagree with you on that one. 

 

 

It was hard for me to push myself to do these things. I also find it difficult to start up conversations. The people I met took the lead so to speak, and encouraged me to join them. Perhaps I was a novelty as I was one of very few young farangs in my area at the time. People just seen to like me and want to talk to me, even though I avoid this. I must look friendly and approachable. 

 

They are not superficial friends at all. I have many good friends that I trust and can rely on, who have helped me out when I had problems, and none of them tried to con me or wanted money for helping me. Meeting a few acquaintances is good...for social networking. They introduce you to other people they know over time. 

 

I have been trusted to take care of their families children / babies on occasion, and invited to friends weddings, funerals, graduations etc. Even been to hospitals with some when members of their family were I'll and they wanted moral support, and also visited and helped one guy who was sent to prison, and been to the hospital morgue to help wash and dress my friends dead partner who died in an accident.

 

Whats this about real conversation? I can speak and read Thai very well now...thanks to being around mostly Thai people. But at the start I could not, however meeting nice people and having friends that care about you does not require people to speak fluently in the same language...its about personality and liking / trusting each other, and even now for conversation, being the quiet person I am, I don't want to get into lengthy discussions about politics etc and friendly banter and listening to a few jokes over some food or drink is quite enough for me. 

 

Actually being in a group is much easier for a shy person than one to one or just a couple of people because it takes the pressure off them to have to engage in conversation so much, because the others can chat amongst themselves. You can blend into the background. 

 

 

Edited by jak2002003
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