Tinder in Bangkok – A Guide

By Mike / April 21, 2017
Tinder in Bangkok

The Tinder App essentially does what the original Hot or Not website did 15 years ago, with added GPS functionality. You download it, and a few seconds later you are swiping left on the pictures of girls in your area you don’t find attractive, and swiping right on girls you do find attractive. The girls do the same, and if you and a girl both swiped right (or tapped on the green button) for each other, you Match, and then have the ability to message each other. Unlike some of the most popular dating websites, like E-Harmony and Match.com, there is no detailed profile page. It’s just your pictures (retrieved from Facebook) and a few lines you can write about yourself. It is extremely shallow, which is of course why it is now the most popular Dating App in the world.

Because Tinder is based on little more than your best pictures, it started off having a reputation for setting up no strings, one night stands. And it was often referred to as the straight version of Grindr. That of course stopped 0 guys from giving it a shot, and with so many men on the app vying for female attention, even non-promiscuous women couldn’t ignore it. In a short amount of time, the app has managed to shake off its slutty initial reputation, and is now completely mainstream. But it really only works well in major cities, where there are enough people on the app to give you a never ending supply of options to match with. Bangkok got off to a fairly slow start with the app, but has gained major momentum in the past few months. So much so that I’d be scared if I owned a major and legitimate dating website here. Like it or not, Tinder has become the easiest and most efficient way to meet Thai girls in Bangkok online.

Tinder in the West

I’ve used Tinder in the U.S., and it’s been more miss than hit there for me in the cities I’ve visited in the past 18 months. In the U.S., men eventually learn that if they want Tinder to work, they’re going to need to swipe right on almost every girl that comes up. Otherwise, it’s an arduous chore to get a good number of matches. A woman who would grade out as an 8 or above will get a like from almost all men who see her picture. This essentially means that every guy they swipe right on becomes a match. While if a guy only swiped right on girls who are an 8 or better, he’d be lucky to get one match for every 20 girls he liked. Essentially, good looking women can pick and choose who they want to match and/or date, which is hardly surprising. This kind of forces most guys to eventually lower their standards.

In Western Cities, it works like this:

  • If you’re a perfect looking guy, Tinder is a gift from God.
  • If you’re a good looking guy, you’ll eventually get picked by a girl you’re attracted to, on her terms of course.
  • If you’re a decent looking guy, you may have to settle for a notch below what your own level.
  • If you’re average looking, the app is not kind to you. You have to put a lot of effort in and just hope that another average looking girl lowers her own standards after a few glasses of wine one night.
  • If you’re below average looking, forget it.

So in the Western World, where good looking women have been able to effortlessly choose their suitor for some, Tinder has changed nothing in that regard. It has simply speed up the process. I was being overly picky with the app when I first used it there, a common rookie mistake, and it lead to very few hits. Eventually when I loosened up my standards, I was able to score a bunch of dates, basically one per day when I put in any effort. In total, this all lead to a one night stand with a woman I didn’t care much for, and to me meeting one pretty cool chick. It also lead to a few terrible dates, with me throwing away time and money on girls who looked nothing like their pictures. All in all, I decided that Tinder wasn’t worth the hassle in the U.S. I’d rather try and meet girls on a legit dating site there, or meet them at a bar or something. And I say that knowing how terrible it is right now to try and meet women at bars in the U.S. It’s awful, but at least I’m attempting to court a girl who is who I see before me, despite the likely embarrassment that follows in 3 out of 5 attempts. On Tinder there is no embarrassment, but there is no accountability for people misrepresenting themselves with overly favorable pictures.

Worse yet is the age factor. Men are usually searching for women from 20 to how ever old they are, even if they’re 35 or 40. Women are usually searching for men who are only up to 5 years older than they are, often times even less than that. So often times you’re swiping right on a girl who will not even see your profile. And finally, even if you match with a girl, you still have your work cut out for you. Girls have a never ending list of matches, and they will almost never message you first. They wait for dozens of guys to message them, and they pay attention to the wittiest and most entertaining of the bunch. They have it too good.

But this is supposed to be a guide to Tinder in Bangkok, and we’re 843 words into a post with no guidance! Apologies’, I decided to set the piece up this way so that readers will have a true appreciation for just how good Tinder is in Bangkok at the moment.

Tinder in Bangkok

I gave the app a shot in Bangkok one weekend a while back, when it was still a little too new for Bangkok. Even then I wasn’t disappointed, and I certainly didn’t waste any time with it, getting a date out of it pretty easily. But just a few weeks ago, I used Tinder over a long weekend in Bangkok, and it was sensational. It is far from perfect, but once you know what you’re doing on there, you’re good to go. I’ll give you a list of things you need to know, but first I want to tell you about my experience with it. I was matching left and right with good looking girls, and they were actually messaging me. I never had to message a girl first, because almost all of my matches messaged me first. And while people in Western countries usually like to wait a day or so to message their match so they don’t look desperate, Bangkok women don’t play games and many messaged me within minutes of our match! They all made it very easy to chat with them, and it was obvious that any would have accepted an invite to dinner or for a drink. I did nothing, and I had girls going out of their way to try and get a date with me. A complete and utter role reversal from where things were in the U.S.

I’ll get into all the tricks of the trade in the list below. But, the end result was me having my pick of a slew of nice girls to go out with, after putting in very little effort, spending no money on the app itself, and having enough backup plans to last months. You can get the similar results on the dating sites, but it takes much more time and effort, and there are subscription fees. Tinder has a subscription option, but it isn’t necessary unless you want to be a Tinder Junkie, which would also be fine.

What You Need To Know to Thrive on Tinder in Bangkok

​#1 - GPS Spoofing App

Courtesy of Stickboy Bangkok, (@StickboyBangkok), here is a great tip: You can download a “GPS spoofing” app which will trick Tinder into thinking you are in Bangkok when you are not even there. This is critical if you’ll just be on a trip in Bangkok, because it’ll give you time to set dates up for your arrival. It’ll certainly give you something to do in the airports when you travel! Keep in mind that Tinder only fetches results of people who are within a preset distance from where you are at the moment. So the spoof feature gives travelers the upper hand.

#2 - Gender Options

One of the reasons that Tinder is a gold mine for men in Bangkok, is that many foreign men get turned off to it quickly due to the amount of ladyboys showing up as “women.” It really is a gigantic problem, but it winds up working to our advantage. Tinder is making a huge mistake by only having two gender options. Because ladyboys don’t even have the option of coming up as a different trans category, you can’t even blame them for coming up there. Well, you can actually blame the ones who alter their pictures (lighting and all) so that you can’t even tell they’re ladyboys – they’re disgusting. And they’re perhaps the most annoying thing about Tinder in Bangkok. But the rest of the bunch, ladyboys who are showing pictures that clearly identify them as such, are an easy swipe left away. Not a big deal. Meanwhile, they scare off most of your competition!

So if you see a ladyboy, swipe left, unless you’re into that kind of thing. If you see a girl who is hiding her face and shading things out, she’s either ugly or a ladyboy, so swipe left even if the body appears to look good. Spotting a ladyboy in person is easy enough because of their voice, their hands, their shoulders, their plastic surgery etc. But a fuzzy looking photo doesn’t provide a lot of intel, and I’m not afraid to admit that I did actually match with a ladyboy. I didn’t know until we matched and I went through more of her pictures (you can see up to 5 pictures per person whenever you want, but usually you just swipe based on the first). “She messaged me and I told her point blank, your lead picture makes you a liar, and you’re only preventing yourself from finding someone who might be genuinely interested in you. You’re just wasting time.” She actually apologized and then I deleted her. By the way, I’m using the pronoun “her” because – well because I guess that’s what they really want me to do and it’s easy enough.

Bottom line on the ladyboys: don’t give them a second thought, they’ll waste a few minutes of life swiping through, easily justifiable for the competition crushing purpose they serve.

​#3 - Girl Interaction Limit

You are only allowed to like 50 girls a day unless you’re subscribed to their 600 baht per month plan. But unless you’re in Bangkok for just a couple of nights, I think 50 is enough for a day. And even if you’ll only be in Bangkok a couple of days, refer back to #1, and I just don’t see much of a reason to pay for this service yet.

The only other upside is that you can go back and like a girl you swiped left on. This actually would come in handy once in a while. Since you’re likely to say no to more girls than yes, especially with ladyboys being on there, sometimes you get into a rhythm. And after 10 or 15 in a row, you might accidently swipe left on a girl you want to swipe right on. Unsubscribed, you can’t go back, but if you pay, you can. This is how they make their money. A cute girl goes by and your finger swipes left before your brain tells you to swipe right, and you immediately think that she was your soul mate and you just wrecked your life. So you pay the money and get her back. That’s how some people look at it, and I can see why, but I also realize that there is a never ending pool of girls on there; one swipe means very little.

​#4 - Facebook Integration

Pictures mean everything! The app integrates with Facebook, and it populates with 5 pictures the second you start. It then gives you the option of retrieving any other photos from your Facebook account to replace any that they auto-filled. And you can set the order. The first picture matters 10X more than the rest, so put your best photo in slot one. Your second best photo should actually be in the last slot. IF a girl takes the time to see past your first pic, she’ll look at the remaining 4, and if she does its better to end on a high note.

IF you don’t have a great picture, and you see apps like this or dating sites in general being important to you, figure out a way to get a great picture of yourself. Go out of your way and be vain for a half hour; it’s critical to have a really flawless shot for your lead picture.

​#5 - Prostitutes On Tinder

There are whores on Tinder in Bangkok, but not as many as some people think. It’s pretty obvious which ones are selling sex, because of their slutty attire. Not every whore will be obvious, so you might stumble upon a whore without knowing it, but it was easy enough for me to avoid them. I guess after being here for long enough, it becomes easy to spot a whore, even from a picture. I mean, it makes it easier that most of them are not hiding it with their hooker gear. General rule of thumb - if they’re conservatively dressed, they’re not a whore.

Worth noting, a couple of guys have told me about experiences they had on the dating sites (not Tinder), where they wound up meeting a girl they had no clue was a hooker. And at the end of the night, after sex, they were asked for money. IF that happens it’s rough because if you wanted a whore, you could easily go out and get one. When you think you scored a hot chick and she banged you because she likes you, only to find out after the fact that she’s been slow playing you as a John the whole time, that’s not right. IF that ever happens to me, I’d give the girl the money to avoid a problem, and I’d also tell her that Buddha would not like that kind of behavior and that she may come back as a mosquito in her next life if she continues to lie and trick innocent men. That’d be my way of helping the next guy out. Anyway, if you use Tinder or any dating site enough, I suppose this is unavoidable, since some Thai girls look at all foreign men as nothing more than a John. But if you use your big head, you should be able to filer almost all of these women out.

​#6 - 15 Minute Chat Limits

 Once you match, there is no reason to talk endlessly to a girl on chat. Some of them want to do that. Some of these girls are addicted to chatting with foreign men on the internet, and almost seem to prefer that to meeting in real life. I guess they like to practice their English. But for this reason, give it a 15 minute chat limit. Once it gets to that point, you can freely tell her that you want to continue the conversation in person. If she’s reluctant, on to the next one. That may seem harsh, but Chris from LivingThai coined the phrase “time wasters” for this oddly common phenomenon where Thai girls want to do nothing but chat with you on the internet. Even if you like the challenge and you can eventually pry them off the app, is it worth it? To me there is some dysfunction evident in the behavior, and I’d rather avoid it.

#7 - Easier To Stand Out​

 For dating site veterans, it’s important to note some of the advantages that stand out on Tinder. The old school dating sites have nothing but Thai women and foreign men. Tinder has Thai guys too, so if a girl is only interested in foreigners, she has to somewhat frustratingly swipe through all the Thai men in the same we do with ladyboys. I like this dynamic; it makes us stand out more to the girls that are looking for us.

On the dating sites, girls never stop receiving messages from new guys who see their profile. Even if you begin dating and she likes you, she’s still going to check her email and she might see some other dudes she’s interested in. That’s one of the huge drawbacks of dating sites. But with Tinder, if they’re not actively swiping, they won’t get new matches. Their old matches can always message them, but they’ve likely already cycled through that group. So I actually think Tinder is the best when it comes to not being a double edged sword.

#8 - Deceiving Photos

It’s ok to swipe right without much thought. Once you match, then you can thoroughly examine the pictures. Girls misrepresent themselves all over the world. One of my awful dates in the U.S. was easily 40 pounds heavier than she was in any of her pictures. I get trying to put your best foot forward, but if a guy expecting to see a thin girl, meets a fatty, what chance is there that the date will go well? And unfortunately this isn’t uncommon in Thailand either. Fortunately far less girls battle weight issues here, which is great. But, Thai girls aren’t shy about using apps to edit their photos and to wipe all of their blemishes away. I encourage men who might be considered a 6 to post a picture where they’re a 7, and certainly no one would fault a girl for doing the same. But if a girl looks like a 9 in her photos and she’s actually a 5, this is misrepresentation, and it shows a problem of self awareness. They don’t know that they’re crippling their chances of success by doing this, and that ignorance scares me.

So after you go through all of her pictures, decide how honest the pictures look. IF it’s clear they’ve been edited, perhaps heavily, don’t go on a date with her unless she finds a way to send you an un-doctored recent photo. You don’t have to be a dick when you ask for this; you can just tell her that you’re willing to send her some recent pics if she’s willing to do the same. Also, just to be clear, if the photo is unedited, but you can barely see her face or you can’t see her body at all, it’s ok to request more photos as long as you share some of your own. Give her your phone # and tell her to text them to you. IF that’s an issue, there’s email.

​#9 - Age Factor

Age is still a little bit of a factor, more so than it would ever be meeting a Thai girl for the first time in person. Thai girls care less about a man’s age than most girls from around the globe. But keep in mind that they actually need to put in a maximum age on Tinder. And this can be flat out awkward for a 23 year old girl. If you’re 41 and meet her at a coffee shop, she may be very into you. But she just might feel funny putting anything over 39 in the Tinder app. So what can you do about this? Well, you can lie. The app grabs your age from your Facebook profile, but you can lie on there too. And if you don’t want to, you can play around with deleting an age all together and then putting in whatever age you want when prompted. Don’t go crazy. If you’re 41 and you say 39, I think it’s totally justifiable If you’re 51, it absolutely isn’t, and at that point it’s the same as a fatty putting up skinny pictures.

​#10 - Expect Some Girls Not To Be Interested In you

So I figured I’d end this by going over the possible downside, which is that you should be prepared for a girl not to be interested in you if she meets you. I think this is more of a possibility on Tinder than on dating sites, because Tinder just gets to work so quickly. She sees few pictures, you talk for a couple of minutes in chat, and then you meet. It’s almost a blind date, so you can’t be shocked if the girl isn’t into you. You have to be respectful in that situation. They’re going to be too shy to just tell you they’re not interested, but if you sense it, just let them off the hook. Don’t be that guy who keeps trying to drag a date further and further with a girl who clearly does not like you. Some girls are pretty forward on their Tinder paragraph, declaring that they’re not looking for a bang, in so many words. If that’s the case, honor that. Go on the date knowing you’re not going to get laid, and if there’s chemistry, maybe you’ll get some action on date 2. I’m not saying that it would be impossible on date 1, I’m simply saying that if they went out of their way to say that they’re not looking for something for a one night stand, don’t try to get one from her.

That should do it! All standard Thai dating rules, which I’ve gone over on this site a dozen times, like HERE, still apply.

About the author


Mike is from the U.S. and has lived in Pattaya for 5 years.He loves Thailand, business, and women. Mike isn’t shy about sharing his experiences and his knowledge with anyone and everyone. He has a unique point of view that can easily be appreciated and he puts great effort into writing well thought out articles that help his fellow expats.

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