The Local Thai Restaurant
Thais are among the most devoted people on the planet to their own food. It’s not just a case of finding a fish and chip shop abroad as say an Englishman might when on holiday. Some Thais can’t even move abroad, such is their devotion to their local diet. If you find yourself in Australia and wanting to connect with other Thais you can always visit your local Thai restaurant, where the staffs including the chef and waiters or waitresses are invariably connected to the local Thai community.
Don’t Forget the Owners Either
Thai restaurant owners are not always on the premises but if they are, it’s well worth making an introduction or sending a drink over to the owner to be enjoyed on your tab. They will appreciate the gesture, and it allows you to introduce yourself formally. If there are no Thai Restaurants in your town, make sure you use the opportunity to meet Thais in Thai restaurants from places on the way to your hometown, as they will be able to suggest people or places, more nearby, that you can make connections with. This is why the owners are so valuable to the Thai visitor in Australia. They have a long history over a wider geography, because of their past as well as their present employee history. This is one of the most valuable networks to tap into.
There are two types of Buddhism that matter for finding Thais Buddhists as opposed to other countries. Most Thais are Theravada Buddhists not Mahayana Buddhists (lesser versus greater vehicle). A little research on the internet should point you in the right direction to the nearest Thai or Theravada Temple. Thais are almost certainly to be found here, on major Thai Buddhist holidays. A little planning in advance can connect Thais up from all over Australia as Temples are not to be found in every town or small city. Special Temple days are also a good way of bringing along other Australians to enjoy an introduction to Thai culture and people if they’re considering visiting Thailand in the future.
The Thai Embassy
Consulates and Embassies are a terrific way of meeting Thais in any country. The two types of trips to attend them are often either commercial or private, but we should always use the opportunity, whatever the occasion, to drop by and find out the latest news on the information board with respect to Thais in Australia. It’s worth bearing in mind that a lot of Thais will be in the bars, restaurants and coffee shops surrounding any Embassy or consulate before, during and after opening hours. Take the opportunity to scout around a bit. It could be the best ten minutes you’ve invested having a brisk walk around. You never know who you might meet.