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Thailand forum

How to Find Travel Companions

Posted by Starving_Sound on 5/3/2013 at 01:43

Currently in America. I plan on going to Thailand and getting an apartment from March to whenever. I'm not sure if I'm going to stay for six months or a year or more. I was thinking about maybe going to a school (cooking, language) to get a student Visa or find another loophole so I can stay in Thailand longer. I also have tons of family all throughout Thailand. I was wondering though where I can meet traveling companions. A while ago I saw listings for people on this site looking for the same but now I can't find it. Can anybody point me in that direction and/or help me out give me some suggestions/tips on how else to find some?

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Posted by Captain_Bob on 5/3/2013 at 02:37

The simplest way to stay a while in Thailand is get a tourist visa, preferably double or triple entry. Each entry is 60 days and can be extended 30 more. So triple-entry would allow you to stay for nine months, but you'd need to do a border hop to activate each consecutive entry and visit Immigration for the extensions. Get the visa in the US and if you need more later go to Vientiane where they do doubles.

Easiest to find travel companions when you get here. Go hang around Khao San Road with all the other backpackers and follow the banana pancake trail to Ko Phagnan, Ko Phi Phi, etc. One of the best ways to meet people is sign up for multi-day activities like trekkng up north or scuba live-aboards down south.

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Posted by busylizzy on 5/3/2013 at 02:41

Not sure how you can miss the 'Companions' forum - it's all over the front page. Try here: https://www.travelfish.org/board/topic/travelcompanions

One of the regulars here, altmtl, also has a Facebook page going for people in the SEA area: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SEA2013/

Otherwise, I'll follow this thread with interest to see what other ideas people come up.... this may be relevant to me later in the year. :-)

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Posted by MADMAC on 5/3/2013 at 02:48

Starving, Bob has good visa advice.

As for companions - why would you want any? Just be like Kane in Kung Fu - go from place to place, meet new people, get in adeventures...

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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 5/3/2013 at 10:14

if you have plenty of thai family members there I dont see the problem. travel with some of them. the last thing you need is annoying backpackers following you around.

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Posted by exacto on 5/3/2013 at 15:00

I've made some long-lasting friendships while on the road, and it seems it is easiest to strike up conversations with people when you are sharing transport (boats seems to really work for this for some reason), or a day trip or multi-day tour, just as Bob suggests above. Snorkelling or dive trip. Waterfall trip. Whatever. I've also had good luck meeting people when I've had something to share, like a large bottle of beer or a pizza or a bottle of wine or such. Just invite folks you'd like to meet over to your table. They might say no, but they might say yes too.

Having said that, I agree with MADMAC that moving around by yourself is just as appealing if not more so while on the road. It is fun to hook up with folks for a meal or a few drinks or such, but it is also easy to get side-tracked and wind up having something other than the holiday of your dreams because you wind up compromising on where to go, where to stay, where to eat, etc. There is a good balance there to be had to be sure - just don't let the need for temporary companionship outweigh why you are travelling in the first place.

When I first started travelling by myself, it felt awkward. But I got more and more used to it, and now I enjoy it as much as travelling with close friends. Just make sure you have good stuff to read with you, and use the time between ordering food and it arriving to write a post card or two to family and good mates back home, or to plan your next day.

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Posted by Starving_Sound on 8/3/2013 at 01:06

Thanks, guys.

I do plan on traveling by myself but at first I wouldn't mind going around with somebody that knows the ropes. And I'm not talking strictly Thailand. I mean to travel all around SE Asia. I have a little anxiety about the whole thing. I could travel with my family members and hang out with them - and I will - but I also would like to be able meet some European Westerners or even Australians. Just so I can have a little bit of a crossover of the life I'm leaving albeit a bit different. I also am interested in meeting a female who is interested in the same thing I am and wandering around the world for a bit and I think this situation would be a perfect opportunity to meet somebody with the same interest.

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Posted by MADMAC on 8/3/2013 at 06:34

"I also am interested in meeting a female who is interested in the same thing I am and wandering around the world for a bit and I think this situation would be a perfect opportunity to meet somebody with the same interest."

If you can't meet a woman out here, just go kill yourself, cause it ain't going to happen anywhere. It's easier than booking the flight. Guys who don't meet women here, don't want to.

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Posted by Starving_Sound on 8/3/2013 at 08:51

Oh - I'm sure I'll have no trouble but I'm not really looking for a Thai woman. Last time I went in 2002 it just wasn't my thing. It might change but I just couldn't relate to them. Or they to me rather. Totally different humor, tastes, etc. Of course because of the cultural divide which is fine. But I really need a Westernized woman. I also think it might just be because too many of the ones I ran into reminded me too much of my mother. Ha, ha. It might be different this time.

And then again I didn't have a chance to meet many because I was traveling around with the folks and my newly met family members. So - who knows what I'll run into.

Oh - yeah - thanks - BusyLizzy - I don't know. I just didn't see it and I made sure I looked through and through before I posted this discussion.

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Posted by MADMAC on 8/3/2013 at 11:55

I don't know, it strikes me as a touch strange that someone would travel all the way to Thailand in order to find a western woman. Based on your previous posts, I assume you live in Australia, which would seem to be a better place to find a western woman. It would be like me flying to Germany to try and meet an Asian woman. It can be done, but it doesn't make much sense. Same with food. For people coming here for vacation, most like to eat Thai food. Not that they can't get Thai food in Australia, but why come to Thailand to get fish n' chips?

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Posted by Starving_Sound on 8/3/2013 at 12:46

Nah - I'm from the US. I'm not going there to meet a woman per se. I want to go to explore the other side of my heritage. I guess it's where I live where most of the women aren't really open to different things. I find people that travel a lot are very open people. Simple as that. I mean I kind find that type of woman in the US if I wanted to go and explore the US more but I'm more interested in the cultures of the East than my own.

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Posted by MADMAC on 8/3/2013 at 13:07

All I can say is if it were me, I would go indigenous. If you want to meet a western woman, stay on the backpacker route. That's your best bet.

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Posted by Starving_Sound on 8/3/2013 at 15:06

Oh - I plan to but I'm a best of both worlds type of person. Guess that's the Libra in me.

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Posted by MADMAC on 8/3/2013 at 21:12

I am too. Libra - funny. At any rate, Backpackers tend to move around in the same places and hang out together when they get there. Available western women tend to be in this crowd. There are a few school teachers scattered in the provinces, but they're working and you are moving...

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Posted by Starving_Sound on 8/3/2013 at 21:35

Are they're any definitive books you would suggest to own for traveling Thailand and SE Asia. I've seen a few on Amazon that seem interesting but the reviews are so polarizing. The negative reviews are hard to gauge because like most bad reviews on anything I can't tell if the person on the other end is just stupid - doesn't know how to use or - in this case - comprehend the products or if they are just pretentious know it alls who think a book isn't good because THEY already knew what was in it. And then the positive ones I'm afraid are just fan boys/girls of a particular series or whatever.

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Posted by exacto on 8/3/2013 at 21:45

If I had to guess, I'd say that Starving isn't just looking for a western women, because as said above, those are more plentiful in the west. But instead, he's looking for a western woman who is looking to travel around southeast Asia in exactly the same way Starving wants to. You'd find a higher concentration of those while actually backpacking around southeast Asia than anywhere else. It's like if you wanted to meet a woman who salsa dances, you'd go to the salsa dance club.

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Posted by Starving_Sound on 8/3/2013 at 23:06

You said it better than I could, Exacto. Exactly how I feel. Kind of sad - considering I'm an aspiring writer and I couldn't convey it like that. Plus - ones I meet over there obviously have the time to do it since they are doing it already. I have plenty myself because of my situation and I'm relatively young.

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Posted by MADMAC on 9/3/2013 at 10:00

"But instead, he's looking for a western woman who is looking to travel around southeast Asia in exactly the same way Starving wants to."

Exacto, I just wouldn't be looking for that. But I'm sure you must be right. In fact, Starving confirmed it. Were it me, I'd go native. But, to each his own. That's why we're all different.

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Posted by MADMAC on 9/3/2013 at 10:13

BTW starving if you come through Mukdahan look me up.

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Posted by Starving_Sound on 9/3/2013 at 13:41

Alright, Madmac, will do. Since it's in the Issan are - I had to look it up on that link - I'm sure I'll be around that area. The Issan area is my favorite region of Thai food. Didn't notice it till I'd some reading about the difference between regions' foods and all.

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