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Meeting new people and making connections in Bangkok

25.05.2015

Once you’ve made the move to Bangkok, a massive part of settling in is making friends and carving your own little niche. This week’s blog is all about how to make those initial connections with the people who will help you to feel at home in Bangkok.

It’s actually surprisingly easy for expats to make friends in Bangkok. It’s a fast-paced town, with something happening every night of the week. Additionally, the transient nature of many an expat’s tenure here means that groups don’t get too cliquey and newcomers are welcomed with open arms.

Networking events
A great way to get started is at one of Bangkok’s many networking events. These range from the very niche and specific to more broad and general opportunities to get to know people. For example, ladies are more than catered for with two businesswomen’s events, Business in Heels and WP&E (Women professionals and entrepreneurs). Meanwhile, Internations provides access to not only an active online community, but also member’s only events at top-class venues, in the city and further afield. Expats in the Internations network also benefit from a forum where members can ask for recommendations and advice – very useful when you’re finding your feet.

Clubs and embassies
A great way to connect with people from home is to get involved with your embassy or local club. It’s always useful to have a circle of friends who understand your situation, to talk to when you need advice or even just a chin wag about the old country. The British Club, for example, offers members fantastic sports facilities, regular parties and events and discounts on their excellent food and drinks. AmCham Thailand is an extremely active community, holding charity events, networking opportunities and even markets selling imported goodies from The States.

Hobbies
Just as in any city, shared hobbies are a great way to meet likeminded people. Bangkok is increasingly arty, and creative, with book clubs, theatre companies and a great fitness scene. Meetup.com is a fantastic tool for searching for groups. From language exchanges to painting and poetry, the list is endless and you’re sure to find something of interest and, as a result, interesting people.

As a general note, Bangkok is a city that exists very actively online. Every group, community, venue and scene has at least one Facebook page – and probably an Instagram account. This makes it easy to stay up to date with what’s going on and to communicate with other members. In short, social media is where all the action begins and a great way to start making connections that often develop into real life friendships. So, don’t be afraid to ‘like’ generously, sign up for newsletters from interesting groups and join online forums, and then see where they take you!

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