Dealing with loneliness in Thailand


Expatriation can be a fun and exciting adventure, but it can also be a bit lonely at times. Please share with us some tips for dealing with loneliness.

What are some potential factors that lead to loneliness when moving to Thailand?

How do you deal with feelings of loneliness?

Is it easy to expand or create a social network in Thailand?

Are there any activities or events that encourage social meet ups and networking opportunities?

Thank you for sharing your experience,


If you are lonely in Thailand you must be a homebound hermit or very shy because it is actually quite difficult to find space to be alone. I can't speak for women but men have access to an industry which caters to lonely hearts and seems to be very popular.

There are many activities for foreigners such as education programs,  some of which can help with acquiring visas. Many sporting activities , group tours , singles nights, ladies nights. Volunteer options are in abundance . Online dating / friendship is also popular. Wide range of religous groups throughout the kingdom.

From my perspective . . . There is a big difference between being lonely and being alone. I like my alone time -- I can get very creative and get a lot of work done. When I'm feeling a little bit lonely, I go out and socialize whether I'm comfortable or not at the outset -- I just do it. I like to listen to people's stories. I like to ask questions about this or that. I always thank my interlocutor for the knowledge that he/she has imparted. I like to learn stuff. What better place to learn new stuff than when you're on the road? And then I return the favor -- We all have some kind of a mini autobiography and it's all the more interesting to fresh ears. If for some reason, I do not want to socialize yet I am feeling lonely, that might be a perfect time to get some spiritual awakening and blend in with others at that level. Camp out at a temple? Study the ways of Buddha? Up to you!

Philosophically speaking, I like to keep vigilant about what is withering and what is growing. Maybe I cannot help this process. Maybe I can influence this process to lean toward the growing. Offer nourishment. I also like to remind myself that I was born alone, I live alone and I will die alone. All else, including good company, is a gift. If you are really really feeling lonely, that might be a great time to go do some volunteer work -- My friend says, "You will never be unemployed if you work for free." As well, you may meet wonderful people and make good friends while doing volunteer work.

Go tend to that hurting elephant with the big heart. Become active. Give of yourself, not of your money at a bar, but of your time where you feel you are needed. Can't go wrong. And that, I think, makes your productive "alone time" all the better . . . more enriched. Yep, big difference between being alone (growing) and being lonely (withering?) Alone versus being together with some kind of company, for me, is a 50/50 trade-off that should be consciously and purposefully tended to in order to keep the garden-of-life green . . . Food for thought maybe? Just some thoughts derived from life on the road. Best . . . dcb

Great Advice.

I have been in Thailand 19 years and have seen many things.

Being alone in Thailand is near impossible unless you sit at home and never go out.

If you have the personality of a complete moron then you are driving people away from you and so it could be difficult to keep friends around.

There is the largest expats club in Thailand in Pattaya and there you can access many smaller clubs or interest groups.

Every Sunday there is a meeting and it regularly attracts approx 150 members and non members. There are dinners and excursions to many places.

Women or partners - there are plenty. Age does not matter. Even if your handicapped someone will look after you. Everything has a price and so it should.

Just make sure you cover yourself legally, make a Will for your possession, if any family make sure they have your user names or passwords for everything.

Your partner will be good but just use your 6th sense and be careful. Everything should be ok and you can live a full life here in Thailand.


It is quite hard been single here in Thailand but if you mingle around with the right group of people or activities, you can find that helpful. Never jump to a relationship just for the sake of loneliness , could causing you suffering.

Loneliness is a serious subject and I have suffered myself in the past. Not only in Thailand but all over the world. When you move around a lot and not settle down you do not connect with friends over a longer period, lose contact and then it's easy to isolate yourself. Thailand is not better or worse than any other country. If you learn to speak the language you can get Thai friends that will be very helpful and are easy to socialize with.  But most expats do not speak Thai and if you do not have a family around you it can be difficult to find a network of friends.  I recommend using and look for people in the same situation.

Google translate new version is very good for ice breaking conversation

I noticed volunteering was mentioned... I redolent to help a orphanage here in Hua Hin. They asked me if I could repair a concreted wall. piece of cake if they buy the materials.. Then I saw on a site about working here in Thailand that if you do any work that takes work away from Thai's you could loose your retirement visa so I never did it... Any advice on this?

There is no cure for loneliness. As a single man in Thailand you can forget about meeting a Thai woman or finding a Thai girlfriend unless you have money...period.

Loneliness is very relative. You can be lonely in a crowd and never be lonely even if you are alone at home.
There have been times when I felt lonely but that has been very far and between in my life of 74 years and I always had a very interesting working life ,always working with people who either had a problem or  who were in trouble. I thoroughly enjoyed this but at 70 decided i had enough of this and moved to Thailand
I live in a small village where as far as I know I am the only farang but have never been lonely here.
The people are great and I have  great relationship with the people and even better with the family of my girlfriend.
I have several expat friends who I can visit and the rest of the time I keep myself busy gardening,riding bicycle,reading my home countries newspapers and reading on my Kindle as here are not many English books available here
My days pass here faster than they passed at home when I lived in SA.
I visit my children once or twice a year and contrary to Deanalex I do not beleive you cannot meet a very nice decent Thai Lady without money.This is in my opinion not true as there are many wel educated Thai ladies who are looking for decent company and are not gold diggers. They are in most villages and on decent websites.
I know several who I would love to introduce to decent Farangs and have no interest in their money
Loneliness as far as I am concerned you bring upon yourself.Life is a journey and you only have one chance and thus enjoy life to the last day.

Work is work. Charity work is still considered work.
Having a club and having meeting is borderline work as you are thinking and consulting.

One approach to loneliness is to work on making a good friend of yourself. Be kind to yourself and perhaps learn to meditate on self kindness and self care. See http://loving-kindness-compassion-yours … -self.html for example.

Once one has a sense of comfort with themselves, it becomes easier to step outside your home and put one foot in front of the other and go visit something.  Visit a market and be around people. Smile at others. Check out Expat groups that meet (the larger cities have excellent expat groups) and just be around other people.  Go visit  a wat on a Buddha day, offer something to the monks and nuns, and just be around other people. Find a good NGO in your community and volunteer with them.

Use the internet to connect with others in your locale.  The internet is here; why not use it to its full advantage?  Find a coffee shop with wifi, and start to make connections. You'd be surprised that in the midst of your own feelings of being lonely or disconnected, there are scores of other people feeling the same way.  Be brave, take the plunge, and even if you don't make best friends with anyone your first week, you'll feel better and start to understand that just the effort at getting out, being among other people, and smiling makes one feel 100 percent better. Build on that, and in time you'll have a circle of people in your life, and your moments of downtime with yourself won't feel lonely.   That's my two baht on the subject.

Having finally decided it was time to move here, I worried about this very topic. All I will say is this.  Between a number of expatriate groups and just being friendly, Bangkok is 100 times easier to find people to spend time with.  I'm not attached or even dating anyone, and have to use Google calendar to keep track of all that is going on.

Groups like this one.  Want some company? Ask, suggest a time and place.   It will work, one just has to speak up.

Everyone will find their own solutions to fit their character. I have lived on my own for many years in Africa, China (10 years), Ukraine and now Thailand. For me its about finding the people with whom I can have a good meaningful dialog about a variety of stuff. health, politics, travel, books. This surprisingly is not easy! Lots of activities, lots of people but often little in common on which to build. However getting out among people is important and you never know your luck. I enjoy cycling and in Chiang Mai this has given me a good network of friends and acquaintances on which to build.

Get out and meet people .The Thai people , the expats and travellers, I;ve found to be, for the most part, very friendly . Be proactive.
I'm, based on Koh Phangan island .The lifestyle there suits me. You can be a party animal, mead a quiet life or have anything in between.
I;ve had people come to takw with me and I'm not shy about approaching people .
Maybe its my attitude or maybe its Thai people generally, but I find, that its  easy not to be lonely where  I am >It might be different in one of the Cities , though even there , when i stop for some street food, the people will usually start a conversation.Sometimes its  to ask if I am married and if i say no,I'm immediately told about their daughter who apparently really needs a husband.
generally be open and friendly with people there and they will be the same. I;ve even gotten to know some of the local police .Nice people and very laid back.
I'm inthe UK for the summer, but if anywon wants to knwo anything about the island, when little knowledge I have, is available for the asking

Dear Priscilla - Team
                I want to say that instead of advising you, you should start trying to overcome what you have said today and if you believe in me give a chance. We should not waste time in suggesting advice.
You can contact me directly at ***

Hello Akhandbharat,   
Expatriation can be a fun and exciting adventure, but it can also be a bit lonely at times. Please share with us some tips for dealing with loneliness.
What are some potential factors that lead to loneliness when moving to Thailand?
How do you deal with feelings of loneliness?
Is it easy to expand or create a social network in Thailand?
Are there any activities or events that encourage social meet ups and networking opportunities?

Moderated by Priscilla 5 years ago
Reason : do not post your personal contact details for your own security

In this part of urban Thailand the expats are younger and keep to themselves. Over 50 is excluded. Ýou are not part of the expat social scene unless you invite yourself. Again the Thai women here are shallow and insinsere. Sadly I look forward to leaving.

Well written , If I may though the statement of born alone die alone.
I suggest some spirituality :) When you were born your Mother was with you :) When you die your higher power will be with you :)

Good Life
Cheers Bob :)

Hi I find the best way to deal with loneliness is to go to a fitness centre 3 time a week and get to know people other than bars etc

I have a family here so I never feel lonely but I could see how in some circumstances culture shock or it taking time to adjust could couple with people feeling lonely.

I've checked out groups for events just a little to see what those were like, but never had much time for that due to spending a lot of time with my kids.  Internations is an expat group that has events, which I attended a few of, but those had an unusual feel, like work networking crossed with meeting people in a bar.  There are lots of meet-ups groups, through that website by that name, so if someone has a shared interest that might work for meeting people.  I attended a few Little Bangkok Sangha meditation group events; those were ok.  And I met a few cool people through a Facebook meet-up oriented group, but I only attended one function, and it takes more follow-up and time commitment, to stay in contact with people you meet.  I'll mention links in case those sound interesting (although that second "hangouts" group looks a bit inactive lately):

It hasn't seemed natural to me to really develop a "normal" social life with either co-workers or fellow parents at my kids' schools, two conventional ways to make friends back in the US too.  We did end up joining two of my son's classmates families (both Chinese) on weekends at one point but both moved on eventually; part of how expat life can go.  Turnover at work probably relates to that too; for whatever reason my favorite co-workers at work tend to leave the company sooner than the average too.  I work in IT and higher than typical transition rates are normal.

One odd twist that comes up is how if you meet foreigners here you seem to have a lot in common based on only that one factor, also being a foreigner, but really more shared perspective and interests than that are a factor in making friends.  If it seems to take a little more time that could be part of it, that sorting through people who aren't just similar in background but also similar in interests would work best for friends. 

Of course having local friends shouldn't be a problem too; Thais are as nice as anyone else, and the culture isn't that foreign.  It just hasn't worked out that way in my own case.  I have lots of Thai acquaintances but it's hard to say if any at all feel like friends.  Focusing most on spending time with my kids has been more an issue than the cultural divide, or me being asocial, but I get the sense both of those are factors.

Interesting but how do you meet people in a fitness center? Exercise is good for your physical and mental health but never looked at a fitness center as a meeting point to meet new people.

I have found the Thai teachers are polite mostly. Certainly no socialising. Not their scene. Foreign staff and Thai staff don't even sit together at lunch. I do realise that some people find it easy to be open...especially when travelling overseas. I am not one of those people. I have had my softer edges blunted by unpleasant experiences. Thailand has its share of grumpy unfriendly any country. In my early 50's has mad it a bit harder too. I do recognise my melancholy demeanour. It has followed me from home.

Life is taking on challenges and being open taking that risk , If someone does not want to be bothered then I leave them alone simple as that :)
I find just the opposite in Thailand, I find more friendly smiling Thais than I do disgruntle or angry Thais  :)

I have always had good luck in fitness centers when it comes to meeting people. Just this evening we met someone new at the gym where we are working out these days. You can't be pushy though, you have to let it come naturally.

We're still in touch with gym friends from Bangkok even though we moved  to Chiangrai 11 years ago.

Do not attend a gym and will not be joining anytime soon.

I agree, I find it hard to be lonely sometimes, even though I live alone, there are always people knocking at the door.

Personally, I find some rants at this forum to be very interesting, but any rant without a solution is just a rant. However, a rant with a possible solution is something of great interest. Best . . .

Anyway, getting back on track, here's the Original post from Priscilla -- (Please see below):


Expatriation can be a fun and exciting adventure, but it can also be a bit lonely at times. Please share with us some tips for dealing with loneliness.

What are some potential factors that lead to loneliness when moving to Thailand?

How do you deal with feelings of loneliness?

Is it easy to expand or create a social network in Thailand?

Are there any activities or events that encourage social meet ups and networking opportunities?

Thank you for sharing your experience,

Reply Quote

Hello ,

Hahaha I agree but never expect anyone on social blogs to stay on topic , It's like buying something and never reading the directions just putting it together then asking why do I have extra parts Lol :)

Live and Let Live Brother :)

First, you have to think about what is your purpose in life? What are your goals? Why are you in Chiang Mai? What do you enjoy doing? With these answers you can then go to the next step.

Develop "communities." These are groups of people who share the same goals and interests as you. They are organized. They will help you and you should help them. This way you can all bond. I currently have two communities: Church and Board Gaming. In the next couple of months I will buy a bicycle and find a third community to join (bicycling).

To find communities simply type in your interest in Google, adding Chiang Mai. Another source is There are many Chiang Mai communities listed there. You can also go to a website that pertains to your interest and see if they have a section for Chiang Mai or Thailand in their forum section.

Last, you need to learn Thai. This investment in Thai will pay huge dividends.

The one says that manually adhering to the eternal is so never to buy more in a store than what is on the list, but how many do it, it always goes something extra in the basket. If you stay manic to the end, the threads would become extremely short and boring; it is good in human nature to associate with self-perceived things and then you are soon outside the subject.

And because this particular issue is about dealing with loneliness in a country like Thailand, I find it hard to see that there will be so many answers, because Thailand is a country you do not have to be alone. If it is the lack of friends and family in Sweden who crave and you feel a family loneliness then you can easily solve a ticket to Sweden from time to time.

Always smile at everyone, (which isn't difficult in Chiang Mai) the next time you see someone again, smile and say Hi...but walk on...don't be eager and gushing ..... always be intriguing .... leave them guessing,  be mysterious......let them want to know more about you, rather than telling them your life story in 15 minutes and being a pain  .... be everywhere within your area, it may mean drinking a lot of coffee, so drink decafe after your first full strength.....don't at everyone.... lol

Loneliness does not exist in Thailand. The Thais do not permit it.

Not sure what type of female you are looking for, Thai women over 40 are most sincere and honest, I have found the most honest Having money may help, I live totally on a pension have found a fantastic lady to share my retirement. If you are honest and sincere seldom drink and smoke you would find a partner.

Pricilla, you could find out about local groups such as Trash Heroes, which give you an opportunity to meet people while contributing to the community.
Also, look up Facebook for local groups. For instabe here in Ao Nang we have “Ao Nang Crew” and Ao Nang Locals”

Priscilla is the moderator of this forum, who started this topic. I guess she is not seeking any advice herself here.

Priscilla did not start this topic..I did. The comments...too many...offer little in the way of alleviating the malaise that is loneliness.

No you didn't.

Priscilla wrote:


Expatriation can be a fun and exciting adventure, but it can also be a bit lonely at times. Please share with us some tips for dealing with loneliness.

What are some potential factors that lead to loneliness when moving to Thailand?

How do you deal with feelings of loneliness?

Is it easy to expand or create a social network in Thailand?

Are there any activities or events that encourage social meet ups and networking opportunities?

Thank you for sharing your experience,


Pricilla initiates the topics and asked for people to share there thoughts.