These days, Hua Hin women are finding it easier to connect through the Chicky Net, the social network for women in Thailand. Chicky Net (www.chickynet.com) is a freemembership website that aims to help (mostly expat) women to navigate the challenges in Thailand, to connect with like-minded women, and to encourage visitors to Thailand to make the most of their stay, whether it be a few weeks or a lifetime. The site offers forums where members post discussion topics that cover everything from the best restaurants, visa advice, and international schools to exercise classes, hairdressers and Thai cultural etiquette. Answers are all provided by other Chicky Net members ensuring that the advice is from other women’s personal experience and not influenced by advertising.
The opportunity to receive valuable authentic suggestions from fellow women expats or travellers is one of the main benefits that Chicky Net members appreciate. Event listings include Chicky Net member-only events, such as Meet-and-Greets at cocktail bars or DVD/Book Exchanges at popular restaurants. The listings also inform members about public events going on around town. Not only can members learn about new activities, they can also find other interested women to join them at the event. Other features of the site include classifieds, blogs, expat interviews, member-led groups and a private messaging tool. The site is user-friendly and aims to increase women networking online and in real life.
The site, now in its third year, serves a growing membership of over 2,000 women around the country. The site has separate areas for popular regions of Thailand including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, and Phuket. Hua Hin’s membership has been growing and members are currently enjoying events such as a DVD/Book swap, ten pin bowling and a Tapas lunch. The forum is abuzz with talk of Hua Hin hairdressers, where to find personalized birthday cakes and comments about Hua Hin home insurance. The Chicky Net team, led by founder Berthe Mandaat, a Dutch native, aims first and foremost to create a supportive atmosphere of friendship and information sharing between women in Thailand. “Living in Thailand can be overwhelming and isolating for some. Others may have lived here a long time but may still be interested to meet new people outside of their regular social circles. Chicky Net takes pride in meeting the needs of a diverse range of expat women in Thailand,” explains Mandaat, “We are able to do this, particularly because our network is user-driven. It is the advice and relationships between the members that makes Chicky Net such a helpful tool for women living in Thailand.”