Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok, is a vibrant and beautiful city that’s got a bit of the old and new. Filled with towering skyscrapers, holy sites like the temples of Wat Pho and Wat Arun, the Chao Phraya River, etc., the city is home to over 8 million people.
Bangkok dating culture has changed quite a bit in the last couple of decades, due largely to Western influence, economic growth, and urban drift. The city is well visited by foreigners due to the beautiful tourist attractions, delicious Thai food, and endless adventures. In addition, many foreign men love to travel to Bangkok to meet beautiful Bangkok women.
What some men don’t realize is that the dating culture is a bit different than Western countries, having its own norms and rules. Here are a few key things you should know about Bangkok dating:
Who pays? While common in many countries, men are known to be the one who will foot the bill when out on a date. They generally make more money than the women, so it’s sort of expected that they pay.
Premarital sex? Bangkok is no different than other cultures who raise men and women to wait until they are married before engaging in sex. For women, waiting until they are married is important because they believe that by giving their husband their virginity, they are giving them the absolute best gift they can. Of course, not everyone waits until they are married, but it’s something to have a conversation about if you’re planning on dating someone in Bangkok.
A third wheel? Some Thai women will bring one of her friends with her on a date and it’s not for a threesome. Rather, that third wheel is to provide them some security and safety. Usually they don’t keep bringing a friend on dates, but don’t be surprised if she shows up on a first date with a friend. If you’re against this, you should bring it up to her before you plan a date, letting her know your preference. This gives her the chance to decide whether to move forward with a date with you or not.
PDA? In Bangkok, there’s not a lot of public display of affection (PDA). It doesn’t mean they aren’t into you; its simply the way the were raised. Thai women can be touchy, feely with their friends in public, but that’s just an innocent display of friendly affection. But don’t expect her to be touchy, feeling with a date and try not to take it personal.
Don’t touch your date’s head. In Thai culture, the head is the most sacred part of the body, so they’re not keen on anyone touching their head. Therefore, don’t do it, as it would be quite insulting.
Who gets the money? Once married, it’s commonplace for the man of the house (the breadwinner) to give his paycheck over to his wife when he gets it. She will go ahead and pay all the bills and such, giving him a portion for his spending needs for the week. This isn’t as popular with the younger generation though, and especially now that more Thai women are working and making good money. Traditionally, this is how Thai culture has been, but now couples are conversing about this and figuring out what works best for them.
As with any culture, time has a way of changing some customs. It’s always a good idea to discuss dating norms and rules when dating anyone of a different cultural background.