Living abroad has a wealth of amazing benefits including being able to travel to n ew places, meet new people, and try new things. As cities and towns become more multicultural and people move out of their comfort zones and embrace change, communities develop and become more diverse.
That in mind, we still crave circles of friends and living abroad can be challenging when it comes to breaking into a clique, and that is one of the reasons Sarah Dean created the Facebook page/group Hua Hin Ladies. In October 2016, Sarah had been living in Thailand for quite a few years and never really struggled to meet people. However, for others she had met, there were certain drawbacks to moving abroad and becoming a part of a new community. And through that, Hua Hin Ladies was born.
The key focus of the group was ensuring that it was not an expats-only group, but an online community where ladies of all nationalities could come together, ask questions without fear, and enjoy instant connections. “I wanted to bridge the gap,” says founder, Sarah Dean. “Over my nine years living in Thailand, I have learned a lot and made some fantastic friendships. It dawned on me that many others also have information, experiences or friends we can share, so I created the Facebook group. Foreigners who are new to Thailand often have questions or need advice.
The group is a platform for people to access knowledge that has taken others a long time to learn or find out as well as meet people fast through organized events. Via the HHL page, ladies can get instant information and make new friendships very quickly.” L ike-minded women can share information about local businesses and outdoor recreation, and enjoy a safe haven filled with support, trust, motivation, and new ideas.
From monthly book exchanges and weekly coffee clubs to social events and wine nights, ladies from all walks of life can gather together and feel enriched as well as cultivate rich friendships that are inimitable. The Facebook group has grown over the years with over 2,300 members from over 60 countries.
A warm smile is the universal language – William Arthur Ward
- Here are a few words from some of the members of the group.
My name is Tassanee Laine, owner of I Rice restaurant in Hua Hin. I am Thai, born in Korat and moved to Hua Hin in 1990. Hua Hin Ladies was recommended to me by a friend about two years ago. The group was created for ladies to help each other and exchange information about Thailand and Hua Hin. HHL has supported my business and held some nice events at my restaurant. We host a Book Swap every 10th of the month and also a new Backgammon club every Monday afternoon. I have been very happy with this group and I love to see it growing, helping a lot of people and local businesses and b ringing many Thai and foreign ladies together.
- Eva Eriksson, 56, Swedish, been visiting Hua Hin for 12 years.
HHL page has been a lifesaver for m e and many members, with fantastic information on outings, finding practical tips, gatherings, and discovering new places. I travel and work internationally so I really enjoy meeting ladies from all over the world and I love that this group encourages Thais to join and is not just an ‘expat’ group. The friendly admin team is ace! Long live HHL!
- Georgia Taylor, 26, British, short-term stay/tourist for two months.
HHL was such a comfort to have. I found the group when searching through expat groups in Thailand on Facebook as I had never been to Thailand and I wanted to get a feel for which location would suit me.
It was amazing to be a part of HHL and find such a kind, supportive group who instantly welcomed you and made you feel at home. As anyone knows it’s a big thing to go to a new country where you don’t know anyone and especially doing this as a solo traveler. Before I even arrived in Hua Hin I already had a couple of questions answered about location (where is best to stay for ease of getting about) and visa (where was the immigration office to extend my visa).
I even found an apartment on there as a lady from the group contacted me about her Airbnb place and I stayed for my whole duration traveler and I was very happy there as my hosts were exceptional! My second day in Hua Hin, I went to an HHL event, which was a wine promotion in a restaurant and it was so lovely to meet the women. As soon as I nervously entered the bar someone immediately came up to greet me and bring me over to the table. Everyone was kind, funny and very interesting.
A great start to Hua Hin life. In the group, I also found advice for which dentists were recommended and I went on to get extensive dental work and I was extremely happy with the results. I found out about the elephants and had a wonderful time at Hutsadin. I attended a mindfulness course which I found through the group events. I also attended the monthly lunch meetups. I have stayed in touch with some of the members since leaving and I cannot wait to visit again. My biggest thanks to Hua Hin Ladies, you make such a huge difference to newbies in the area
- Trish Berry, a recently retired 59-year-old Australian.
I had been an expat in many countries and was looking forward to a new life and lifestyle in Hua Hin. The Hua Hin Ladies group really assisted me to connect with o thers, gain valuable information, join interesting groups, such as golf and Bridge, and of course, socialize with others at the monthly Ladies Lunches.
The group is welcoming, positive, professional and informative – unique in comparison to other forums worldwide. You can find the answers to all your questions regarding settling into life in Hua Hin, on the Hua Hin Ladies Facebook forum.