Nowadays, almost all Thai people use smartphones and have access to Internet. Along with this development, more and more young people have discovered online dating as a convenient way to meet and date someone.
Online dating makes it possible to get to know with a new person from the comfortable office seat or from home, without the hassle to go out in the sun and being exposed to Thailand's heat. Also, many people seem to be much less hesitant to send a message as a first step, than approaching a stranger in the real world. Thus, dating sites and apps are very popular in Thailand and there are more and more couples who met each other online
Photo: A young Thai girl chatting on her phone. Online dating is very popular in Thailand
Even during work, while waiting in a queue or during class young Thais use dating apps as a pasttime. Especially young girls, who are interested in foreigners see online dating as an easy opportunity to find a foreign guy.
For foreigners (espcially Western men), online dating is a really easy way to get into a conversation and to have a date with a Thai girl.
As explained in this article, it's because the dating market in Thailand is in their favor.
In other words, every man has the chance to find the girl of his dreams as long as he has good manners, is polite and nice to the girls he talks to. For it's a total No-Go to most local girls, if a guy behaves like an idiot, talks like an arrogant jerk, is a liar or worse, behaves aggressive.
To many girls, online dating a good way improve their english skills while flirting and dating at the same time. While otherwise many girls wouldn't have the chance to get in contact with a foreigner (living in rural areas, too far away from expat and tourist areas), online dating enables them to reach the broader 'dating market'.
Furthermoe, many girls who normally are too shy to approach a man on the street, won't hesitate to send a message to a man as a first move.
Do I need a special pick-up line?
Not necessarily. Just a normal "Hi, how are you?" is fine. During our daily interactions with people, we often start a conversation with this line, even though we know what the other person will reply. It's like indirectly telling the other person that you would like to have a conversation. So, you can start a chat with a Thai girl with standard questions asking about her whereabouts. It's totally fine.
Moreover, she might shy away from you, if you come up with a sophisticated pick up line that she doesn't understand.
Actually, what's more important is the part after these formalities. You need to show her what an interesting person you are.
You can also make a small compliment as an opener, but don't push it too far - Thai girls also know what cheesiness is.
What steps should I follow?
Usually, people go through following steps from first 'Hi' to a date:
- Opener such as Hi (or more creative lines)
- Asking about her whereabouts
- Get her Line ID (It's today's way to ask for her phone number)
- Continue a deeper conversation in Line
- Wait for the right moment and ask her out
After the introduction with standard questions and chit chat, you can ask her for her Line Id. Talking in Line messenger is way more convenient and gets you on a closer level to her, since not everybody can talk to her in Line.
It's basically like getting her phone number.
Usually, if you already had some lines of conversation with her, she won't reject your Line Id request.
When having a conversation, don't be too pushy and clingy. It might make you appear like a desperate guy who has no other alternatives. If she doesn't want to send more photos, take it easy, don't beg for more.
When it comes to asking her out, you can make it seem more casual. So she won't feel like being pushed. Such as: "Hey, I'm going to a night market tonight, would you like to join?". This works quote good with girls, who are still unsure about you being a good match or not.
If she declines your offer to meet up several times, stop asking her out. Otherwise she will have you on the hook and will take you for granted (i.e. not appreciate you).
Also, when choosing the location, you can learn a lot about the girl's personality. If she disagrees with your proposal to go together to a local nightmarket, but instead insists on going to an expensive skybar, she most likely is a materialistic girl who seeks status. If she is not rich, she will use you as like an ATM. It's better to stay away from this type of girls, unless you want to be her sponsor.
A list of popular dating platforms in Thailand
Tinder is a dating application for smartphones & tablets and has become the most popular dating platform among young Thais. It is estimated that more than a million people use Tinder in Thailand - and the number is steadily growing.
Due to it's simple interface it is often a good pastime during small brakes at work or while waiting in a queue or while using public ransportation. Nowadays, young folks seek to find new friends, partners or just one night stands by using Tinder. Especially for young foreigners it is the number one application to meet and hookup with a girl in Thailand.
Who is using Tinder?
Tinder is mostly used by students who want to improve their english skills, seek cultural exchange and are interested in a friendship or more with a foreigner. Especially people with higher education such as university students and young professionals prefer to use Tinder.
However, more and more prostitutes have discovered this app as a means to reach a new customer base. At the same time, it seems like many "sex-tourists" have been trying to lure young girls into sex by offering them money. This becomes apparent considering the fact that many girls felt the need to write in their profile that they are not up for old men and their money.
Many ladyboys use Tinder aswell. But in most cases, they mention their gender change in their profile page, to avoid confusion.
How does it work?
The principle is straightforward: One after another profiles of other people pop up. You swipe right or left depending on if you like this person or not. After, a new profile pops up and the same game repeats. If you have a mutual match (i.e. you like a person that likes you too), you will be notified and are allowed to chat with that person.
Do I need to pay?
With a free membership users can 'like' around 100 profiles within 12 hours. Using a paid membership allows you to change your location, undo a swipe and furthermore, the number of profiles you can like is unlimited. Practictally, a free membership is totally sufficient, unless you want to spend hours browsing through user profiles.
Moreover, you can change your location settings without a having paid membership, if you have an Android phone. Just download 'GPS Fix' from play store and you set your current location arbitrarily.
Thaifriendly already exists for quite a while and has been one of Thailand's most popular dating platforms ever since. Unlike Tinder, it started as a website only and later its smartphone app became available. According to the website, there are around 1.2 million members with an average of 8,000 active members at any given time.
Who is using Thaifriendly?
Thaifriendly is used by a broad range of people. Students, young professionals, tourists, expats, widows, people from the working class and prostitutes can be found in on Thaifriendly. In general, female members of Thaifriendly are not as ‘elite’ as typical Tinder users. They rather belong to the working class from rural Thailand. Many girls want to reach out from their own nest and their daily routine. The idea of meeting an exotic foreigner is tempting and exciting.
However, more and more members are aware that a lot of sleazy men have exploited this with the sole intention to have sex with young girls. It seems like there are a lot of liars out there. Thus, a lot of girls have become cautious and don’t trust easily. Many of them explicitly point out in their profile descriptions that they are not looking for a playboy, hook-up, liar or sugar daddy type of guy.
What can I get with a free membership?
Thaifriendly requires a paid premium membership for men to use all it’s main functions. However, with a free membership users can send messages every 10 minutes, which is totally enough if you use this app during small breaks at work. The best way is to ask for Line ID or Whatsapp number to continue the conversation on a mesenger.
Only premium members can contact popular members (=girls who receive plenty messages) and can send an unlimited number of messages. However, I can recommend a membership if you are an impatient person, as waiting 10 minutes between messages can be a hassle.
Photo: Thaifriendly is popular among students, especially from the rural areas
Badoo / Lovoo / Skout
Based on the same principle, Bado, Lovoo and Skout are dating apps that have more or less equal market shares in Thailand. However, the number of users is far behind that of Tinder.
Who is using Badoo, Lovoo or Skout?
All three apps are getting increasingly popular among young Thais (male and female). However, like in Thaifriendly, most users are foreigners on one side and local women from the middle class on the others side.
Mostly, these apps are used to find hookups or dates. As with other dating sites, there are also plenty ladyboys and prostitutes using Lovoo, Bado or Skout. Especially in areas like downtown Pattaya, most users are prostitutes.
Badoo, Lovoo or Skout are an easy way to get to know with a local girl from the neighbourhood. There is not too much of a competition, because the male to female member ratio is quite balanced.
How does it work?
As aforementioned these apps allow you to scan the nearby area for people of your interest (according to gender, age) and contact them rightaway. Unlike in Tinder, these apps allow their members to write messages to other members directly, without requiring a mutual like. However, there is also an optional “profile like or dislike” function similar to Tinder. As soon as there is a match, you can contact that person.
What can I get with a free membership?
The main functionality like scanning for people in the nearby area and sending messages are available with a free account. However, the number of messages you can send per day is limited, unless you have a premium membership. Also, there are a lot of ads in the free version.
ThaiCupid, also known as ThaiLoveLinks, is a popular dating platform with over 1.5 million members (according to the website). It is the Thailand branch of the large Cupid Media group, which runs more than 35 other dating websites all over the world. Beside of the actual website, you can also use the ThaiCupid app to use it on your smartphone outside.
However, in our opinion, Thaifriendly and Tinder are more popular and have more active members.
The interface of ThaiCupid is very neat and the admins seem to put a lot of efforts to keep a high quality standard. Unlike the other dating sites, ThaiCupid requires you to give more details about you and your personality. Thus, it can find and propose you the best match.
Who is using ThaiCupid?
ThaiCupid is mostly used by foreigners who seek to find a Thai girlfriend or a wife. The average age of users is higher in comparison to other dating apps. Thai women who use this dating platform are mature women in their 30s, educated, having a good job, looking for a soulmate.
It's because this website requires it's members to have a paid membership only. Thus, only people who don't mind to pay (mostly older professionals rather than young students) sign up here. Also there are quite a few young girls from rural areas who use ThaiCupid to find a wealthy and nice foreigner man and don't mind if he is older.
How much does a membership cost?
The advertisement says: "Join Free Now" with a pretty girl in the background.
Without a premium membership, ThaiCupid allows you to register and take a look at other members' profiles to get an idea of how this website is. Other members can find you and send you messages. However, you can't reply with a free account. It's a good strategy. Of course, if there is a beautiful lady texting you, you will feel tempted to sign up for the membership in order to be able to reply to her messages.
Below is a price list for a premium membership.
What is Grindr?
Grindr is the preferred dating app of gays and transgender people and is considered as the original idea and platform Tinder is based on. Like on Tinder, people can search for other members in the near area and 'like' or 'dislike' their profiles. If there is a mutual match, people can contact each other.
Who is using Grindr?
As homosexuality is common and socially accepted in Thailand, Grindr is quite popular among the gay community in Thailand. This is because homosexuality is not stigmatized here, and people don't hesitade to reveal their sexual perefences. Thus, many gays in Thailand don't shy off from using public dating platforms that are designated for gays such as Grindr.
Locals as well as foreigners use this app mostly to find a hook-up . There are Thais who look for other gay Thais and of course, foreigner who are interested in a 'gaysian' or vice versa.
Grindr is well-known in the gay community in Thailand and almost all active gays have at least once used Grindr to date someone.
Bee Talk is a Thailand based app and was actually intended to be mainly used as a mesenger like Line or Whatsapp. However, apart from messaging and communication features, Bee Talk also allows you to browse for other users (age, gender, etc.) in the area of your choice. Through this extra functionality, it basically has become a convenient dating app with instant messaging features.
Who is using Bee Talk?
Being a Thailand based app, Bee Talk is mainly used by young Thais, and is not well known among foreigners yet.
Even though it's not as popular as Tinder, Bee Talk has become known as an hook up application. Especially Thai youngsters at the age between 18-24 are typical users.