Southeast Asia: A Single White Guy's Adventure
For years I dreamed about meeting women in Southeast Asia. It's no secret that Asian women in general have an affinity for white guys and after reading dozens of incredible stories equating SEA to the "land of milk and honey" for guys, I committed to making my trip a reality.
But before I discuss the juicy details, please understand that this material could be considered offensive or degrading to you. Please proceed with caution.
But first, a little about myself. I'm a white guy in his mid-thirties. I've never been aggressive when it comes to meeting women. I'm not the guy who goes into a bar or club and approaches women, but I have no problem talking to women once introduced. For me, it's always been difficult to make that initial contact happen. In short, I've been in a number of relationships, but I always felt that meeting new women shouldn't be as hard as it is in the US. I'm not jaded or resentful of how things are where I'm from - I just yearned for something new.
After pouring through blogs on the topic of "mongering", I started chatting with some Asian ladies online prior to my trip (this technique is known as "pipelining"). I began looking through profiles at asiandating.com, filipinocupid.com, thaicupid.com, vietnamcupid.com, and even a popular penpal website, penpalworld.com.
I Skyped a few of the girls and weeded out as many scammers as I could by connecting with them on Facebook as soon as possible. Facebook enabled me to verify long account histories and interactions these girls had with their friends which revealed their personalities and helped me reduce the risk of meeting a scammer. If I was going to wind up dead on the side of a street or missing an organ, it wouldn't be out of lack of reasonable caution. Surprisingly, building friendships online took many hours of work, but as you're about to find out, it was totally worth it.
I really can't emphasize enough how building rapport beforehand played in the overall success of my trip. If I felt the least bit like I was being manipulated, especially if they asked or hinted that they needed money, I dropped them like third period french. There are plenty of women in Southeast Asia who are looking to meet a white foreigner just for the experience without asking for a handout. Sure, you may take them out to a few nice places during your stay, but I never did anything I wouldn't do for a woman I just met in the US.
My initial plan was to visit Thailand, but for reasons I won't expand on here, I decided to settle on Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Manila, Philippines. I know, I know. Thailand is the place to go but alas, it was not meant to be. And so I left with just one self-imposed rule: absolutely no hookers.
On my flight over to Manila, my seatmate was this really cool older dude named "Aron." He confirmed my overall plan was sound and that I was about to have "the time of my life." He told me it's a different world in Southeast Asia and to get ready for lots of attention from the ladies. He said that there's no shortage of ignorant people in the states who unfairly criticize Southeast Asia and he commended me for committing to my adventure. He also offered to meet my new Filipina friend "Jan" (23) and her friend when we arrived just in case he sensed anything awry and to help me get to my condo okay (thanks AirBnB).
Aside from Jan and her friend arriving fairly late to the airport, everything went smoothly. I was glad to have my new guy friend around to help me navigate the sea of taxi drivers who mercilessly tried to rip us off. Eventually we arrived at my condo and I bid my friend adieu as the taxi left for his place which coincidentally, was only a few minutes away.
I could tell the girls were a little nervous initially. Unfortunately, it took some phone calls to the condo owner for us to finally get into my place after waiting around in the lobby for a while. Jan was very shy and I was glad her friend helped move the conversation along.
After traveling for a full day I was beyond exhausted, but decided to take them out for a late Mexican dinner anyway to help break the ice. After dinner and a couple of drinks, the girls loosened up, then graciously brought me back to my condo before they left to go home for the night. So far, so good.
Reality check: Manila is more or less a dump, comparatively speaking. You have to watch your step everywhere you go because the streets are busted and uneven. When you aren't smelling raw sewage or something foul, you're huffing in exhaust fumes from all the stinky vehicles sitting in traffic. There isn't much redeemable or charming about Manila. Although future travels would take me to some gorgeous, incredibly picturesque areas of the country, Manila is sadly not one of those places. As concrete jungles go, its only real points of interest are the endless shopping malls scattered throughout the metro area. Traffic jams occur at all times of the day. If you think Los Angeles or New York traffic is bad, Manila is severely worse. Fortunately, the people are very helpful and friendly and nearly everyone speaks good English.
The Philippines is well known for their jeepneys; elongated jeeps that are a popular and cheap way for the locals to travel around the city. Some of them are extremely ornate and decorative. Trust me: you don't want to be traveling around in one of these bad boys at the peak of the hot season, cramped between other passengers, without air conditioning unless you're looking for a brutal way to shed some water weight. But they are a hell of a lot cheaper than taking a taxi (10 cents versus a few US dollars).
My first full day in Manila was on Chinese New Year and Aron was available, so the four of us went to Chinatown and enjoyed a nice Chinese buffet and then walked around to take in the festivities.
After that, we headed over to Mall of Asia which is Manila's largest mall and walked along the seaside boulevard. It was apparent my new friend Aron had the hots for Jan's friend. He pulled me aside and admitted he was three times older than her, but felt he had a decent shot. To spare you the suspense though, she wasn't interested. Older men can definitely score younger women easier in Southeast Asia, but it's not as easy as it used to be. Over time, it seems that women have eschewed the financial stability that an older man typically possesses in favor of a younger guy, who perhaps may not be as wealthy. Still, it is well-known that if you are an older gentleman interested in dating much younger women, Southeast Asia is still king.
Before long, were all sitting down at a western-themed restaurant for dinner and low and behold, Jan started playing footsies with me under the table. Soon after, she grabbed my hand and started massaging it too.
I slept well that night, knowing that this really cute chick liked me. Things could have gone haywire from the moment I stepped off the plane. I felt alive and in control.
The following day, Jan decided to meet me at my condo alone. We walked to a nearby mall, exchanged some currency, picked up a SIM card and minutes for my iPhone, and walked around in the sweltering heat. I ate at Jollybee for the first time which is the most popular Filipino fast food (similar to McDonald's) and then we headed back to my place.
I put on a movie and we lied down in my single bed together. About a half an hour into the movie, we decided to take a nap. Five minutes into the nap, I opened my eyes and she was staring at me, so I went in for the kiss.
From that moment on, our daily routine revolved around waking up together, eating at a restaurant, maybe some light sightseeing or meeting/visiting her friends and the rest of the time was spent in bed together.
It was just that easy. There was no long courting phase, endless texting back and forth, or any drama.
During my stay, Jan took as many days off from work as possible and I found out, both from her and from her friends, that she had had very little experience with guys. This shocked me because I found her so attractive but as it turns out, she was a bit of an introvert - like me. She also admitted to being more attracted to me than Filipino guys in general. Aron had once told me "mark my words. Once she dates you, she'll be ruined and she'll never be interested in Filipino guys." He had a point, even if that probably wasn't 100% true.
After being in Manila for a week and a half, it was time to move on to Vietnam but to be honest, I was having so much fun with Jan, I didn't want to leave. She made me laugh, liked my dirty jokes, and listened to me with great interest. Nearly all Filipinos speak great English. Most everything they read in school is in English and we had no problem understanding each other. Jan was down to Earth and laid back, but also very intelligent having graduated from one of the top colleges in the country. I felt lucky and couldn't imagine my luck would continue in Vietnam. But I was wrong.
I left Manila late at night on my way to Ho Chi Minh city. I had several ladies lined up there and the one I was jiving with the most, "Belle", wasn't able to meet me at the airport because it was too late for her.
I arranged to get my visa on arrival, but due to an issue with a young couple in front of me, I ended up waiting over two hours in the airport before I could get through immigration.
I stumbled out of the airport extremely tired and was quickly approached by an older man who offered me a ride to my place. Had I had all my senses about me, I would have noticed the lack of any signage whatsoever on his car as I jumped in with little hesitation. Bad move. The driver pulled over a minute later, turned to me in the back seat, and asked me point blank how much money I had. My immediate reaction, which in hindsight was poor, was to pull out my cash, upon which he grabbed the entire stack right out of my hands! I said "what the hell are you doing?" He ignored me, peeled off a number of bills and handed the rest back to me and said "this is enough". Stunned and confused I immediately realized I had been scammed, but being in a country I was unfamiliar with and in a car with someone I didn't know from a hole in the wall, I decided not to put up a fight. Luckily for me, the driver took me directly to my place.
Side Note: If your future travel plans call for a stop in Vietnam, remember - only use Vinasun or Mai Linh taxis. Everything else is a scam.
I used AirBnB again to rent a nice private room in a home stay for $13/night. The home stay was basically a group of apartment buildings operated by a single manager, only there was no front desk attendant and I had a key to the front gate to come and go as I pleased. It was perfect for bringing ladies over discretely. This was easily one of the best decisions I made out of my entire trip considering most Vietnam hotels are against foreigners bringing local guests to their rooms.
So the taxi driver pointed me to a dimly lit alleyway just before driving off and leaving me in the dead of night. I'm standing in the street with my suitcase and backpack staring at a few grungy individuals at the entrance of the alley. I had no choice but to stroll up to them and blurt out the name of the manager of the building in the form of a question. Fortunately, their eyes lit up and one of them beckons me into the alley. At this point I'm thinking "well this is it. Either I'm not making it out of here alive or I'll be getting some much needed rest soon."
Success. The guy knocks on a door and the manager opens it and smiles warmly at me. She leads me to the building on the other side of the alley, gives me the keys to the gate and my room, gives me a brief tour of my room, and leaves me to my own devices. I laid down on the hardest bed I've ever encountered and drifted right off to sleep.
In the morning, I started texting a few ladies and they were genuinely surprised to hear that I was in Ho Chi Minh despite the fact that I had been frequently updating them. Then one of the girls, "Candy," begs me to go to her birthday party. She goes on to tell me she's not even in Ho Chi Minh and I'd have to take a ferry to Vung Tau and might as well stay for a couple of days. I was a bit unnerved and not happy about being uprooted from the place I just checked into so soon, but who was I to miss a birthday bash? Plus I was to be the guest of honor.
After interrogating me about my plans for the next couple of days, Belle agreed to pick me up on her motorbike and drop me off at the dock to the ferry. She smiled sheepishly as she arrived at my place. "Ohhhh!" She exclaimed excitedly. "It's my sexy hot teacher! You are very handsome!" I confess, I had been helping her with her English online over Skype and taught her a few choice words. We had just enough time to grab a coffee before the ferry departed. I knew she was disappointed that I was leaving so soon after just meeting up with her, but I assured her I would return and we would spend some quality time together.
The streets of Vietnam were smelly like The Philippines along with many buildings being in various states of disrepair, but the never ending flow of motorbike traffic and severe lack of English speakers stood out as the biggest difference.
Eventually the slow-moving ferry pulled into Vung Tau and I was ceremoniously greeted with dozens of people asking if I needed a taxi ride. I called my friend and surprise, she was coming with her uncle and they were late (I don't think anyone ever showed up on time for me). Finally my ride arrives and this tall, slender, sexy Vietnamese girl gets out of the car and gives me a hug. She stares at me like she's never seen a white guy before and later confessed she hadn't met any in-person before. After complimenting me on my fair skin, she tells me I can stay at the hotel she works at. It's a brand new five star hotel for $15/night. It was immaculate and fairly empty, but by far the most exquisite place I stayed at during my trip.
I arrived just in time for Candy's birthday party and was quite literally paraded around, meeting her family and all of her friends. Her birthday entailed a giant feast in her front yard with plenty of different dishes and beer. Everyone was drinking beer and copious pictures were taken of me next to Candy. I very definitely got the vibe that many of the people there thought I was considering marrying her. This made me fairly uncomfortable, but I quickly shrugged it off. Everyone was incredibly friendly. Later that evening, a small group of us went to sing karaoke. Then Candy asked me point blank what I thought of her while we were riding on her motorbike. "uhhhhh, you're very pretty," I stuttered. She told me she wanted to get married soon. I told her I didn't plan on getting married anytime soon.
The next day she insisted we have lunch at one of the most famous places around: Nam Thang. Literally a giant floating barge that required a boat to transport us, Nam Thang's big claim to fame was shellfish.
After eating a romantic lunch of oysters and clams sitting next to each other cross legged, she insisted we trek up a steep mountain where the locals liked to frequently pray and leave offerings. Unfortunately for me, once I reached the top I started feeling sick. It was the shellfish and not long after, I started profusely throwing up. Needless to say it was not an enjoyable descent down the mountain and Candy insisted that I stay in her bed for the night so she could care for me.
It was an unfortunate turn of events that got worse as I was treated to a cacophony of people making noise in the living room. Here I was, more or less on my deathbed, and dogs barking furiously, and people are making a ruckus. I begged Candy to ask her family to quiet down for me and thankfully, they complied. Not long after, I started hearing scratching noises behind the bed and this kitty pops out behind the headboard and nearly scared me to death. I looked behind the headboard to see a few pieces of rebar was separating the next house over.
As I'm recovering, Candy comes in to check on me. She told me she shouldn't stay long or her parents would get suspicious. I asked her what she wanted to do and she shyly looked away. Next thing I know, she hops in bed and is getting snuggly with me. Apparently me being sick didn't bother her. Never to let a good moment go to waste, I leaned in and kissed her. She looked at me like a dear in headlights. I swear I heard her heart beating. Later I found out it was her first kiss. Lucky me!
In an effort to help me recover, Candy's sister brought me a bowl of soup, loaded with all kinds of peppers and spices. I politely tell her that the spices will make my sickness worse. She looks at me confused. She brings back another bowl of soup. Again, this is full of spices. What the hell? These girls had some serious cast iron stomachs when it came to spicy foods. Finally, they bring me a bowl of something they called "porridge" and I gobble it down along with a gallon of water. A while later, when I used the bathroom, the toilet didn't flush properly. I was firmly convinced the Gods were laughing at me.
But just as I was about to call my little trip to Vung Tau a bust, Candy and her sister sat down on the bed and started massaging my hands and arms. "Your skin. So beautiful and white" her sister said to me. I had no choice but to blurt out, "Suddenly I'm glad I got sick". They giggled.
I spent one day and two nights in someone's bed whom I hardly knew. Needless to say, I was anxious about getting out of Vung Tau once I had recovered.
The next day, as my ferry was about to leave, Candy started to get sad. Clearly she had built up a stronger attachment to me. She tells me she knows I'm planning on meeting more women and she's afraid I will forget about her and even admitted to being jealous of these girls. I feel bad, but I tell her I will keep in touch. During the rest of my trip, she texts me often and I make an effort to let her down as gently as possible.
Back in Ho Chi Minh, Belle picked me up at the port. She was petite, 28 years old, very cute, and spunky. She smiles at me a lot and over the course of a few days and we begin flirting with each other. She confides in me that she's never kissed a guy before (apparently this is fairly common) and wants to try it, but she's still a hesitant. We sit on a park bench and type English on our phones to each other because she's not great at understanding spoken English. The language barrier is fairly difficult and is a bit tedious at times, but is overcome through sheer patience.
Belle takes me everywhere on her motorbike. We go out to eat with her friends and the next thing I know, I'm basically paying for everything. Deciding to put a stop to this nonsense, I pulled her aside and told her I'm happy to treat her, but can't pay for her friends every time we go out. Eventually they understood and stretched. An average meal for 5 is around $60 at a nice place. It wasn't going to break the bank, but I had set a budget and insisted on sticking to it.
We do some sightseeing outside of Ho Chi Minh until one night, I ask Belle to come back to my place. She smiles bashfully and inquires with a devlish grin, "ahhhhh? What do you want?" I say the same thing that she wants of course. After a weak attempt at some cat and mouse game at my place, she caves and I give her her first kiss.
Evidently, that first kiss awakened something deep within her and I honestly think she wanted it more than I did. Vietnamese women are very modest and most of them only ever lose their virginity when they get married.
But then....several days later she decided to sleep with me. I was over the moon. Then, upon me telling her I prefer the "shaved look", she suggests I personally groom her. I honestly believed I was in the Twilight Zone. This would never happen in the US under any circumstances given the types of girls I'be been with. It's a completely different world and I inhale it all in like a drug.
Side note: One time I was dating this girl in the US and after sleeping with her a couple of times, I asked if she wouldn't mind doing some personal grooming downstairs for me. Her response was "I don't really do that kind of thing. Sorry." End of story. I stopped seeing her shortly thereafter.
The entire time I was in Ho Chi Minh city, Belle was my personal chauffeur, driving me everywhere on her little motorbike. She was studying to be a nail technician and broke my mani pedi cherry one afternoon to my delight.
There were times I was concerned for my own safety as motorbikes whizzed by us on the streets that I had to close my eyes. It was an absolute adventure. She took me to all the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants, massage parlors (no happy endings for me thanks), bars, and points-of-interest. I met a bunch of her friends. One in particular caught my eye and apparently, I caught her eye too and she gave me her contact info and would later confide that she wished we had some alone time together. Hey, it's a dirty job but someone has to do it right? I was overwhelmed at the amount of attention I was getting from these Vietnamese cuties.
I would note here that none of this would have been likely had I not had my ducks in a row before I left on my trip. Building rapport ahead of time was key for me to jump into these situations right away. I remember wondering early on if I was wasting my time going back and forth with these ladies online. A waste of time it was not. I had hit the jackpot!
During this time, I was also frequently keeping in touch with Jan in Manila via text message and considered returning before heading back to the US. As enjoyable as my time in Ho Chi Minh had been, I felt I had more in common with Jan and missed her company.
Instead of a lot of sightseeing, I opted more for quality conversations and getting to know my new friends along with their traditions and cultures. Although they weren't dirt poor, it was hard to escape the fact that very little opportunity existed for them in their native country. In fact, they were some of the happiest people I have ever met.
Upon telling Belle that I had plans to meet with some other "friends" I had met on the Internet one day, her suspicion arose and I was subjected to endless questioning and badgering. Who were they? How did I know them? Are they girls? Do I like them? Did I still like her?
I assured her that everything with us was just fine and that nothing was wrong. I could definitely understand her concerns, but other experiences were awaiting me and time was ticking.
I went on several other dates throughout the week. Every single one of these girls gave me the third degree and asked about the other girls I was visiting. "How many girls are you dating?" "Do you want to find a wife?" But one girl in particular was worth noting.
"Lee" was a leggy and gorgeous girl and easily one of the prettiest girls I have ever been on a date with. We occasionally Facebook messaged each other when I was in the US and now it was time to see if my efforts would paid off. After agreeing to meet me at my place, she showed up outside. I came down and asked her if she would like to come back upstairs while I finished getting ready. Note that this strategy works particularly well. She agreed. The thing about Lee was that she looked at me intensely, almost as if she was going to devour me. I chalked it up to a misunderstanding on my part, but couldn't shake the way she looked at me. For a woman in the US, this look equate to the creeper look from a guy I guess, except I was anything but creeped out. I was intrigued.
She sat on my bed coyly and I sat next to her. She was excited for me to teach her some English so I chose some random words off the top of my head and had her pronounce them. She was a decent English speaker, but I needed to talk slowly for her to understand. I corrected her pronunciations and after a while, noticed she was looking at my lips. Then she stared back up at me with a look that said "I want you. Now." I wasted no time and moved in for the kiss. She kissed me like it was her last day on Earth. We fooled around for hours, but she drew the line at sex and I wasn't about to test her boundaries.
I never wanted to wake up from this dream. I felt safe. The gate to my building and my door was locked. There was no scam here. No chicanery of any sort. I was in heaven.
After we were through, I suggested we go to dinner at a swanky bistro, but she frowned and told me a fancy dinner wasn't necessary. When I pressed the issue she actually told me she preferred to go to McDonald's instead. Believe me, I couldn't make this story up if I tried. Convinced she was being sweet so as not to tax my wallet, I put my foot down and we went to the bistro.
The bistro was not all it was cracked up to be. Lee got some weird proscuitto dish and the burger I had wasn't worth the paper my Vietnamese dong currency was printed on. We were both a bit disappointed. I admit Mcee Dee's would have been the better play in the end. After dinner, I gave her some money for a cab back home. We texted a bit over the next few days, but never did meet up again, much to my dismay. All was not lost though as Belle proved great company for the remainder of my trip.
For such a sexually conservative country, I was making out like a bandit. After my results, I started to believe that a white foreigner was a good catalyst for these ladies to liberate themselves to some degree.
I also tried my luck at a few of the massage parlors near my place. The results were mixed, but mostly poor. I opted to keep it clean and avoid any happy endings. After getting a fantastic massage from one young girl, I returned to the same place again, only to have the worst experience of my life with a different girl. Not only was the massage pathetic, the entire time she ran her mouth trying to get me to help her get a visa. I told her to "get a ticket and get in line" and that I was already helping several other girls with their visas. This girl then had the nerve to ask me if she could have my sunglasses after the massage. I wasn't having it. Then she asked me for a bigger tip. She pleaded and begged and said her hands were so sore after my two hour massage. I jumped off the massage bed and made a beeline for the exit.
One annoying thing about Ho Chi Minh is that it can get so hot before you know it, you're swimming in your underwear. One time I walked to the historic post office and on my way back, I was dying of heat exhaustion and this guy selling coconuts on the street thought he could sell me one for $25. I offered him some change and started walking away from him. He ran up to me and accepted. I had no choice but to wheel and deal with some of these street vendors and taxis.
After nearly three weeks of being in Ho Chi Minh, I had my fill of the language barrier, constantly looking over my shoulder in case someone tried to pickpocket me, and not understanding anything on the menus. I yearned for someone who could speak my language fluently. So I headed back to Manila to see Jan again.
Return To The Philippines
After exiting the airport at the arrivals area of terminal 1 for the second time, I was mobbed by taxi drivers again like clockwork. Some of them actually tried to grab the handle of my suitcase, so I shooed them away. Waiting for Jan to come get me was such a pain with annoying taxi drivers constantly buzzing around me.
I stayed in Makati during my first trip, but this time, we got a place in Ortigas. Eager to get out of Manila, we decided to take a bus up to Baguio. We hit a few other scenic stops and got as far as Sagada. Sagada, the mountain province with the freshest air in the world and numerous caves to explore, was by far my favorite destination in The Philippines and very romantic to boot. Enduring endless bus and jeepney rides wasn't easy on my joints, but Sagada was worth it.
Jan and I got to know each other a lot better and I can attest, in bed, she was a quick learner and eager to please too. I shouldn't generalize too much about the difference between Filipina girls and US girls in bed, but when the only Filipina I slept with knocked my sox off with very nearly zero previous experience prior to me, it was enough to make me go "hmmmmmm."
Since my initial trip to Southeast Asia, I have since made many others to visit Jan. With each visit, I learn a little more about the Filipino people and their culture. I don't know what the future holds for Jan and I, but I can say with confidence that my chances of marrying a US girl seem smaller all the time.
I'm entertaining the possibility of writing another article for a follow-up trip, depending on how this story is received. Feel free to request a destination if you have one in mind.
The world might never be my oyster, but owning a little slice is good enough for me.