Thailand is far too hot!!! over 30 degrees every day, so unless you want to get burnt, day-time activities are pretty non-existent only coming alive at night. KM in winter is very dry, low humidity, mild temperatures in low 20's every day and wall-to-wall sunshine. Great for outdoor activities like cycling without suncream! Just beware of 1-2 weeks grey/cold weather, normally forecasted and don't come then!!
I couldn't see any up-to-date advice so I thought I would post my current experience, which is (hopefully) nearly complete and may help others thinking of applying in the future. I am aged 59, so maybe easier for younger applicants. 1) Find a language school willing to offer a place to 59-year old. 2) Do a health check at specified local hospitals only 3) Pay the language school the 'application' fees (500rmb) plus one year tuition fees. 4) wait 2-3 weeks for them to provide you with form JW202, plus letter of invitation and confirmation of place on the course with dates - check all dates match! 5) Leave China 6) Apply to Chinese Embassy with all above papers, plus the completed visa application form stating single entry permit required and ask for X1 visa plus fee and wait 1-2 weeks. 7) Return to China with X1 stamp in passport within the validity of the single entry. 8) Within 30 days, go to local police station with copy of your tenancy agreement or other proof of address where you are staying (must be local police station to your address) and ask for residence permit. May be instant or return after 24 hours. 9) Go back to language school who will now make an appointment and immigration on Tulong Lu (few days ahead). School should give you a stack of papers/application forms, plus complete one in BLACK ink. You also need special bar coded photographs only available at Tuolong Lu immigration office ground floor. 10) Go to appointment and meet representative of your language school and hand over passport, if all papers look correct. They will give you a date 20 days later when your passport should be ready for collection by language school, not by you. That is what I am waiting for now, so I hope that is the end of the matter! I will update after 14 June if I get my passport back!
Green Lake EC is every Thursday 8-10pm, by the lakeside at the back of Green Lake Hotel. It is totally informal and always busy! Many Chinese and usually only me as a foreigner! I also host an English Corner on Sundays at Starbucks Linyuqiao 2-5pm. Non-smoking! Everyone welcome! Add me on wechat bubblyian.
Western men need to remember that marrying a Chinese woman and living in China does NOT avoid the institutionally anti-male western punishment of divorce laws. The woman can use 'divorce tourism' to travel to your country and divorce you there to take advantage of the horrendously unfair and anti-male divorce laws.