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The Expat Women’s Guide to Bangkok

Books Thailand

What’s a woman gotta do around here to get a bite…

EDIT: This book is no longer around – I’m leaving this post live in the hope it’ll make a comeback (of sorts).

When a western woman arrives in Bangkok, she’s overwhelmed with a multitude of tasty sites and resources on offer. Mostly for men.

Bangkok, a city for the hungry male? Or is it?

First up (when googling), she’ll find Stickman’s Bangkok. A classic. And while there’s decent information on offer, from a female point of view, we be going hungry.

Bangkok Bob (no longer online) was another fav of mine. But again, heavy on the guy angle, (as it would be).

Other well-written sites have the same tang. There’s interesting chunks for sure, but I don’t really need to know what some poor sod paid over the going price, or even the ins and outs of a man’s guide to Bangkok’s steamy nightlife (but I will peek).

With a female flavour, I need to know about reasonable housing and what areas to avoid, safe travel, the nearest market to suit my tastes, where to eat, the best masseurs (and why), English book stores (should I bring my own), what shops have shoes in my size (ditto), how to make new friends (male and female), and tips on important Thai customs (a biggie for women avoiding uncomfortable snafus). And all in my particular brand; a zesty, zingy, female munch.

And that’s where Amy’s ebook, the ‘Expat Women’s Guide to Bangkok’ comes in.

Amongst it all you’ll find needed resources such as BNOW (Bangkok Network of Women) and British Women’s Group (Bangkok).

And that’s just the icing on the cake. Or (as they say out here), The Big Mango

BKK monkTake a DEEP breath while I do a quick skim down the index. You know, just to see if I can grab your fancy.

Right away you’ll get an indispensable dose of Thai etiquette (whatever you do, do not skip this section), possible ways to get around Bangkok and beyond (airport, taxi, buses, subway, skytrain, tuk tuks, boats, motorcycle taxis, maps, car and driver hire), everything to do with money (cost of living, taxes, tipping, paying bills, credit cards and transferring money), safety tips (emergency numbers and personal tips from women living in BKK), accommodation (where, what, how and how much), communications (landlines, mobiles, Internet and postal services), shopping (supermarkets, hypermarkets, malls, tech malls, markets, book stores and more), eating out and in (street hawkers, restaurants to drool over and who delivers), health (hospitals, dental, insurance, pharmacies, fitness clubs and parks), entertainment (cinema, concerts and cultural centres), organisations (women’s groups, Chambers of Commerce, cultural clubs, expat clubs and those with special interest), Thai language learning (where you’ll find Women Learn Thai )… all to delight the female palette.

PHEW! That’s a lot…

Time to talk about Amy…

Amy and FamilyAlthough western women are outnumbered here, we are not exactly scarce (even if it seems so).

Expat women in Bangkok are successful teachers, writers, designers, mothers, wives and business owners.

But not all women slide into this city as smoothly as a finely baked souffle. Like Amy did.

Amy left her comfy position back in the US. Packed what she needed. Then changed her life forever.

Within months of being taken under the wing of a knowledgeable American, Amy started helping others coming into Bangkok fresh. And that’s really when the idea for the Expat Women’s Guide to Bangkok came about. From Amy’s desire for exploration, excitement and a taste for all things new.

Amy’s adventure on buses, boats and tuk tuks eventually led to a greater adventure. Her dear Thai husband Golf. And (as often happens), they now have a sweet addition, Aidan.

Amy presently resides in California with her young family, hopping over to Bangkok for experiences new and old. I can’t wait to see what’s new on the menu, for sure.

As previously mentioned, the Expat Woman’s Guide to Living in Bangkok is no longer online. Here’s hoping it’ll come back soon or someone else picks up the project.

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My passion is promoting the Thai language. Fullstop. Oh, and traveling. I'm passionate about that as well. And photography too.

22 Comments

  1. Hi Cat

    I’m a country girl who’s scared of Bangkok… :(

    On the last comment you said “I always have to pull myself back when posting so I know where you are coming from.” I don’t understand what you mean. Could you clarify it, please? Maybe try to say it in Thai? :) Thanks..

    Jessis last blog post..My Warmy Home in Lang Suan

  2. Hey Jessi

    Scared of BKK? I used to dislike it immensely, but surprised myself and fell in love (I’m more country than city).

    Say it in Thai. Oh my! By the time I’d get it out in Thai, you’d either be asleep, wandered off, or become totally confused at what I was trying to say :-D

    To explain… we were discussing our thoughts about posting explicit writing on our blogs (your friends were wanting you to post yours).

    So my reply (the one you quoted) meant this… that my rough drafts often include a greater amount of sexual writing then what visitors get to read.

    That it’s my nature to kid and joke around, but instead of posting as is, I tidy up before hitting ‘publish’.

    You see, I’m used to writing for business blogs in the design industry. So even though I have a cheeky nature (which sometimes gets out even in business), and even though this is my personal blog, I’m cautious. For the most part.

  3. Thanks Cat!!

    In conclusion, we both like to write and joke in s_xu_l mannerrrr…ha ha ha…

    In one writer panel my husband attended in Bangkok, one American woman asked male writers in the panel something like “You guys are well-known writers. Why do you like to write about sex?” My husband was the first one in the panel and he answered “I don’t have sex in my books”.

    He told me that story and I laughed out loud, I don’t know why. Maybe because he will have to proofread my sexually writing soon. lol lol.

    Jessis last blog post..My Warmy Home in Lang Suan

  4. Ah, so the panel consisted of the known (S)expat Writers? (tongue in cheek, of course).

    Truthfully, until I came across Christopher G Moore’s book, Heart Talk, I wasn’t driven to read books about the steamier side of Bangkok.

    As a western female who doesn’t even go clubbing, it’s a given as it’s not my life. And besides, I’m more of a Graham Green type of reader.

    And although I knew about the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand, I didn’t make the leap to the top 5 or 7 writing about what’s going on in their lives in BKK.

    Now, after a bit of googling on the subject, I’m curious. I’m also wondering about what seems to be an open niche for women writing about similar (female style) experiences.

    Being western women, we wouldn’t exactly write about evenings perched on a barstool in Nana. Or would we?

    Just curious is all…

    (Jessi, you’ll have to tell me how your hubby gets on with your writing ;-)

  5. And they say guys are bad? Well … we are, but that’s not the point. I’ve got to get a copy of “The Expat Woman’s Guide to Living in Bangkok.” I’m as tame as tame gets and this might be a good resource for me when I get out there.

    I’m more interested in experiencing the culture of Thailand than I am experiencing the second floor spots. :-)

  6. Tame is good :-)

    This ebook is chockfull of great information, so yes, you’d find it useful too.

  7. Hi Cat

    I’ve just finished the third short story. Now I’m working on translating the first one. Though my husband is a writer, don’t expect much of me.

    Yes…I’ll tell you how my husband gets on with my writing. Maybe I’ll have him write his comment on your blog.

    Going to Koh Tao this Sunday. It seems we don’t have enough sea here. :) LOL

    Jessis last blog post..My Warmy Home in Lang Suan

  8. oh…you’ve been reading my short stories in Thai already. Which one? I’ll translate Holiday Romance first.

    Jessis last blog post..My Warmy Home in Lang Suan

  9. Hey Jessi

    Koh Tao looks fabulous! I’ve haven’t been… yet.

    But today I went to the Mon Village in Bangkok. Gracious hosts, perfect photo shoot, I’ll go back for sure…

    Good luck on your translating. From what I’ve been reading of Thai, it has to be difficult going.

  10. I haven’t had a chance to read your Thai stories yet (I’m researching for a heart words post at the moment). But I’ll certainly give it a shot when I can breath!

  11. oh..I see. When I’m finished translating my first short story would you like to proofread it? Of course, when you can breath. My husband will be in Koh Tao for 3 or 4 weeks to write his 7th book, so I don’t think he’ll have time to proofread my English version. Thanks….

    Jessis last blog post..My Warmy Home in Lang Suan

  12. Sure, but I’m not sure I’m qualified to proofread a translation (I’m a beginner in Thai…)

  13. Thanks, Cat. you can just concentrate on the English one. I mean looking for grammatical errors. My weak point is articles and prepositions.

    I’m off to Koh Tao in 2 hours. bye and have a nice day.

    Jessi

    Jessis last blog post..My Warmy Home in Lang Suan

  14. Hi Cat, I just had a look at Amy’s book: The Expat Woman’s Guide…; she sells it online as an ‘Ebook’, which means we don’t have to go to 5 bookstores to find it (way to go Amy!),PLUS a 90 day MONEY BACK guarantee?? Woo Hoo! She really looks at the everyday things we just do automatically (ie:sandals)after living here for a few years, and passes the Good Stuff along to the newcomers. *** without even having read the book! Thanks for finding it!

  15. Yes, one does appear to wear out the shoe leather in this city! Not only does the shoe literally disintegrate, but looking for English books and magazines, or even labels on the food cans that aren’t taped over with the Thai verson, takes a lot of walking! On the other hand, as you’ve taught me, the big, cool malls (Paragon,for one, that you had to drag me to :) are practically devoid of customers in the mornings and are wonderful places to get some walking/exercise done!

  16. Ah, the shoe leather (rubber, that is)… I’ve started a regular habit of pulling my shoes away from surfaces as they tend to stick solid. I had the same problem in Brunei, only my shoes fell apart totally after I’d be walking for awhile. Or right after I’d be high on a plane… sigh… arriving at Heathrow in blue airline socks just doesn’t look sexy!

    cats last blog post..The Expat Women’s Guide to Bangkok

  17. Reminds me… heart words… can I ask you questions (when you have the time)?

    Btw – Have fun in Koh Tao (I’ll be looking for tons of photos!)

  18. Hey Lynn, yes, it’s a download which is a plus these days, especially for those of us living in a city the size of BKK. I spent several days and hundreds of baht looking for Thai Essential Grammar. Oh, for the ebook version!

  19. Hi Cat

    Just came back from Koh Tao. Very tired. Of course you can ask me questions. My answers might not base on any academic research, but on my background knowledge and instinct.

    Jessi

    Jessis last blog post..My Warmy Home in Lang Suan

  20. Welcome back Jessi! Apologies for my tardy reply. I’ve been swamped (seemingly, in slow motion…)

    That’s what I want, your personal knowledge. I only know what I read about heart words.

    It’ll be a bit as I need to get my thoughts together (they’ve been scattered this week…)

    Thanks!

  21. Hi Cat!
    I wanted to thank you again for such a wonderful review and especially for all the help and contribution you gave to The Expat Woman’s Guide to Living in Bangkok. It wouldn’t be the jewel it is without you!!!

    :)
    Amy

  22. Hey back Amy :-)
    It was my pleasure, for sure. I was chuffed to read that you had the guide ready, right when I was launching this blog.

    Btw – I haven’t forgotten about Becker’s deal. It’s been a crazy couple of months and I’m still not caught up with everything that’s been backed up for miles.

    My life feels just like an ex of mine used to say, ‘if y’all are waiting on me, you’re backing up’.

    Yes, he was Texan through and through. And I’m sure if he’d been awake for it, he would have fought to die with his boots on.

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