From English teachers, to average Thai guys, to the one you had to “import,” finding love in Bangkok can be a bit tricky for the ladies. In a culture where affairs, or “giks,” are a national pastime, the process of finding “the one” might have you playing the field and coming across some of these guys.
These profiles are based on our own experiences and those of our friends and colleagues, and their friends and colleagues. Basically, real women, foreign and Thai, living across this amazing city.
Interested in seeing how Bangkok’s ladies stacked up? Click here
Here are the 14 basic profiles of men you might come across in Bangkok. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
1. The Fresh Meat
He’s from the West, respects women, and doesn’t know how acceptable it is here to be a misogynist because he just flew in yesterday. Oh, and he wants a monogamous relationship. Yes, really.
He’s clueless and gets excited by how good your English is. You’ll get bored by how often he wants to eat Pad Thai and split a “big Leo” on the street. But, afterwards, he’ll snuggle you close in a tuk-tuk back to his place and you’ll forgive him.
Here’s a test to find out if your guy is really fresh meat, or nearing his expiration date: Ask him for his LINE ID. If his response is “What’s LINE?” Congratulations, you’ve got yourself some really fresh meat.
Act now to enjoy the freshness because, in six months, he’ll be sleeping with 10 Thai girls while he chats up another 20 on the LINE account that you set up for him.
His Thai will still suck but he’ll be fluent in emoji.
2. The Princess (aka the billionaire’s son)
If you have an Ikea shelf to put together and hint gently that you’d love some help, the princess is so clueless that, not only could he never perform such a task, he doesn’t even understand the proposition. He’ll cry, “What do you mean, you’re building your own shelves?!”
He’s not a bad guy, he just lives in a privilege bubble.
He’s not sure where Ikea is and he doesn’t ride the MRT. He’ll insist on getting an UBER to go one block in dead stopped traffic.
He considers it slumming to go into Gourmet Market to get his own food. That’s his version of 7-Eleven, another place he won’t go.
He may or may not be Thai, or partially Thai, but he was born and raised here and doesn’t speak Thai very well.
You can find yourself a princess at Courtyard, J. Boroski, or any bespoke (read: over THB500 a drink) cocktail bar. “But,” as one of our sources said, “You know where you won’t find him? On the fucking BTS.”
3. The English Teacher
If you’ve dated an English teacher, you’re probably Thai because we’re talking about a dude who would do anything — even teach English — to live in Thailand and get down with Thai ladies. When you ask what kind of degree he has, he might say anthropology, art history, PE, or something equally open-ended. He might even just have a fake TOEFL teaching certificate that he bought on Khao San.
In his own country, he might have been a waiter, a construction worker, or a grocery store checkout dude, but here he gets (at least some) respect as a teacher. He probably digs it.
As far as lifestyle, he finishes work early and has tons of time to hang out with you — but you’ll have to schlep out to Khlong Sam Wa or whatever god-forsaken place he lives in. His place will be one room, next door to his school, and cost no more than THB5,000 per month.
As a side benefit of his job, he’s probably slept with a student of two if they were of legal age (Or, let’s just admit it, you’re his student).
4. The Import
It’s simple. You imported him from the other side of the world.
Maybe you did it because you love him, maybe because the dating pool here is really limited. You might have met him online or picked him up during your travels. Heck, he might even be the guy from your hometown that was always in love with you but who you thought you were too good for.
That is, before the Bangkok dating scene knocked you off of your pedestal.
He’s into you enough to leave his life behind and move to Thailand. You pretty much moved in together before your first date.
Hold on tight, though, because once hotter girls start eyeing him up on the BTS, he’ll try to pick a big fight with you and move out. That’s the moment when you know, as one of our sources said, “Bangkok has him now.”
5. The Hipster
You might have met him when he was skateboarding on Soi Nana and you were going to an art opening at Cho Why.
He’s into fixed gear bikes, BMX, or skateboarding. He might have a vintage shop on Instagram or sell weed brownies on LINE.
He spends all his money on limited-edition Adidas and occasionally eats at expensive cafes so he can Instagram them using a fade filter. When you go out to dinner with him, he will spend 20 minutes snapping a hundred photos of food just to post one on Instagram, and you end up eating a cold dinner — that you had to pay for.
Because of the latest limited-edition whatever, he never has any extra money, so you rarely have dates.
If you’re going out, you go as a group with his hipster friends and have to buy yourself a sloppy burger from a food truck. Warning: DO NOT eat that burger near his Yeezys. He likes them better than he likes you because they get more attenetion on social media.
6. The UN / NGO Guy
He has a lot of money and loves being treated like a king here though he’d never admit it. He doesn’t have any Thai friends and knows nothing about Thailand, no matter how long he’s been here. His circle of friends consists of his fellow NGO workers. None of them can even count to ten in Thai or ask for a bottle of water. Getting in a taxi with them is a disaster, going for street food is a nightmare.
Soon, you get tired of walking him downstairs every night so that you can tell the taxi driver “Sukhumvit Soi ee-sip-hok” since he can’t seem to remember even simple Thai phrases.
You probably end things for good when you catch him in a compromising position with one of the underprivileged bar girls he’s supposed to be saving.
7. The Mama’s Boy
He will never love you more than his conservative Thai-Chinese mother. (BTW, his mother thinks you’re his language exchange partner and still hates you because you’re a dirty, nasty farang). In the end, he knows it’s his duty to marry a Thai-Chinese girl, so you’ll eventually find yourself out on the curb, no matter how he actually feels about you.
This guy has some financial resources but not a lot of emotional ones. He needs to sleep at home and his mom calls him to remind him of that every night at 10pm. He’s expected to take over the family business and take the right kind of wife.
He loves foreign girls but can’t comprehend their independence or drinking ability.
Also, he might be a virgin.
8. The Foreign Guy with a Thai Wife…And a Foreign Mistress
He’s married and he might tell you that he hasn’t slept with his wife for months.
It doesn’t matter what kind of “connection” you feel with this dude, he’s not leaving his Thai wife for you no matter how often he hints at it. He’s been spoiled by how well his wife treats him — cooking, cleaning, she never talks back, and agrees with everything he says.
It’s the good life, right? But his eyes light up when he gets into conversation with you. He says that he misses actual conversation and company. He may not even sleep with you but he always ends up holding your hand and staring into your eyes after two glasses of wine.
8a. The Foreign Guy with a Foreign Wife…And a Thai Mistress
Well-established foreign men come to Thailand with a job offer, the intention of a good life, and the desire for a privileged expat existence. Their “trailing spouse” stays at home with the kids, manages family life, and joins the British Club or some other organization. She doesn’t have many interesting things to say anymore.
After six months or a year, the guy will realize that, “Hang on a minute! Having a gik is acceptable here?” That’s where you come in.
He’s really cute and spoils the hell out of you but also spends most of his time complaining about his boring marriage and wishing his wife could understand him like you do, his delicate Thai flower. This dude uses sympathy to win his Thai girl’s heart. And then keeps her on the side.
9. The Google Translate Lover
You saw him at an art opening, an indie show or a festival. He was unthinkably hot, the Thai guy you were dreaming of before you moved here.
He found and friended you on Facebook. (Seriously, how did he do that? He didn’t know your name and you have, like, one mutual friend who’s a drug dealer). He started chatting you up via private message and you’ll have ongoing, days-long conversations about art, music, and life.
He seems so much deeper than the guys you’ve known before.
But when you see him in person, he barely speaks. You aren’t sure if his English sucks or he’s super shy.
Congrats, you’ve scored yourself a Google Translate lover. This dude can’t really speak English but is into you enough to put each of his messages through Google Translate. Sometimes, when you see him out, you might get drunk enough to make out with him and then stand awkwardly beside each other. It smolders, but it never burns.
Side note: He has a cool Thai girlfriend tucked away somewhere. They’ve been together since middle school and will eventually get married.
10. The Model/Drug Dealer, Photographer/Drug Dealer, Musician/Drug Dealer, Actor/Drug Dealer
You get it. They do a lot more of the latter than the former. But they’re really proud to say “ I’m a model!” or “I’m a photographer!” No matter that they’ve been selling drugs for five years and make 100 percent of their income from that.
11. The Backpacker
On your wilder nights, you might go down to Khao San to pick up a backpacker for wild sex with no social repercussions. Your backpacker co-exists with cockroaches and will try to bang you without even buying you a can of Chang from 7-Eleven first. He offers to take you back to his bunk in the hostel room that he’s sharing with eight other dudes.
He probably has a “Same Same But Different” tank top, but he looks so good walking around his room in nothing but a low-slung pair of Thai fisherman pants that you don’t mind. You never thought you’d be with a white guy with a six-pack and you start to swoon…until he shows you a selfie of himself with a sedated tiger.
He will walk two blocks in the blazing sun to get Pad Thai that’s THB10 cheaper and he’ll get really excited if you offer to split the cost of his THB250 room with him.
He doesn’t understand Thai culture so he’ll try to slip you the tongue in the middle of on the BTS or ask you to dance to the Lukthung music the homeless guy on the street is playing and think it’s romantic rather than inappropriate.
He might be here for a month, it’s not serious but it is fun. Secretly, a small part of you hopes that he can become an Import (See #2). If he invites you on the next leg of his trip, down to Koh Pha Ngan or Koh Tao, you might tag along.
12. The Island Boy
He’s hanging around your resort playing frisbee. You can’t tell if he works there or just hits on foreign chicks professionally. He’s dark from the sun, covered in tattoos and might have dreadlocks.
His body is tight, and he’s happy to show it off to you since all he’s ever wearing is a pair of shorts, no shirt, no shoes. He might serve drinks at a beach bar, sell weed, or do the fire show in the evening.
He’s sweet, skilled, confident, and has an STD.
Eventually, one foreign girl (usually Scandinavian, for some reason) will marry or get pregnant by this guy. She might buy him his own bar or they might set up a hostel together and raise their gorgeous biracial kids at the beach.
He will still bang every white chick that passes through though.
13. The DJ
It resonated recently when a friend said to us, “I just want to find a nice guy that has never attempted to be a DJ.”
The problems with DJs are numerous. They’re full of themselves, broke, on a sketchy visa, and barely scraping by. They stay out all till 8am every morning, and keep dubious company, but call it “networking.”
They might get one big gig in the islands and earn THB150,000. They’ll think they’re ballin’ but they have to coast on that money for four months, so they basically make less than an English teacher.
If they play regular, low-paid gigs at bars in RCA or in the opening spot at Glow or Grease, you’ll be expected to show up, which sucks. Or, even worse, he’ll try to keep you from coming, which is when you know you’re a sidepiece (read: gik).
14. The Classic Sexpat
People will argue about what this means. Some say a guy has to be sporting a Superdry t-shirt*, a beer belly, and have a 16-year-old on his arm to qualify for this title, but to us, it’s about intention over execution. A man can be a sexpat whether he’s a 65-year-old divorced retiree or a hot 22-year-old. He can pick up a prostitute from Nana Plaza or try hard to score a good Thai girl.
It doesn’t matter.
What all these guys have in common is that they moved across the globe with the hopes of slipping their hot dogs into Asian buns. No matter if he’s retired, an English teacher, or an Agoda employee.
*Editor’s Note: A Superdry t-shirt is the new Chang tank top. Please make a note.