Misunderstanding Thai Women

(The following blog/article was published in The Nation newspaper on March 1. Here below, however, is the originally un-edited submission)

Thailand is universally infamous for many a thing, besides its scamming gem shops, dangerous billboards, never-ending plastic bags, drunken cops, pick-pocketing ladyboys, pictures of dead bodies, rabid stray dogs, dodgy beggars and uncovered manholes, there is, and last but not least, it’s women.

I’m certainly not going to argue that such a fine species is perfect beyond belief or that every one is a deliciously honest darling, but there are, in general, a rather nicer breed of individual than that perceived by a lot of Farangs, including those who have never even stepped in the country. According to some newspaper reports, websites, Internet forums and barstools, Thai women are nothing but, scheming promiscuous gold-diggers who view Farang guys as dumb classless walking ATMs. So, with that said, let me take the opportunity, just for once, to give Thai women a bit of a break and see their ‘side of things’

I can’t find any clear statistics, but from what I’ve read and heard, there sees to be a frightening percentage of marriage failures between Farang blokes and Thai women – the latter of which nearly always gets the blame (including ever pleading mothers). It is quite obvious that two of the significant factors behind such catastrophic break-ups is ‘cultural misunderstanding’ and generalized myths circulated by some of the ever-knowledgeable Farangs themselves.

Let’s have a look at one of the matters which often leads to the beginning of the end – the marriage dowry. Don’t get me wrong like, there are plenty of scheming Thai mothers out there hoping to acquire as much cash as is heavenly possible out of their the son-in-law wanna-bes, but there are more than enough honest ones who prefer to just adhere to modern-day tradition. More than your fair share of Farangs either choke on their coffee at the prospect of having to give one or rant and rave in refusal, but much of the time it’s all simply a ‘cultural misunderstanding’. We’ve all heard that classic one of ‘it’s just a matter of saving face’ but we seldom hear Farangs explaining to each other that getting married in Thailand (the Thai verb for marry ‘taeng-ngarn’ literally means ‘to make a party’) is a combining of two families and not just the two romantic lovers.. When you get married here, what’s mostly yours is hers and what’s hers is yours. And with that said, if the guy pays any kind of dowry (which may be excepted and pocketed – some, half or all of it) then you can be rest assured that one day you’ll be receiving something in return; be it land, big shares in dad’s business, grandmother’s old house or a herd of buffalo. Depending of course, on what kind of family you wish to marry into.

Like I said, a lotta Farang geezers throw a frenzy when toothless mother-in-law asks for a substantial amount, but they fail to realize that if they hadn’t perhaps been so extravagant prior to the engagement, mother wouldn’t have ended up being so ‘greedy’. I think quite a few Thais would like to tell the Farangs that ‘if you wanna show off how rich you are to everyone in the village’ then it can be guaranteed that in adhering to the Thai sense of ‘face’ mum’s gonna want to ‘show off’ a big sum of greenbacks on the morning of the engagement on wedding day.

Let’s have a look next at some of the well-told myths about Thai women and start with this awful one ‘Proper Thai women don’t want a Farang as a boyfriend’. Shiver-me-timbers, but ‘proper’ Thai women have been marrying Farang ever since the first Portuguese arrived. All right, there are old-fashioned Thai grannies who wouldn’t want their granddaughters marrying some scruffy-looking Farang, but to stick them all the same boat is bewildering generalization. Next up, how about this one? ‘All Thai women only like Farang for his cash’. Well, if you decide to marry into a poor rural family say, then by Gove, your wife will certainly be expecting you to flash some cash and when she does, you have know right to complain. You should have realized that from the start, there are a million blogs on the Internet written about such experiences. Another, quite derogatory myth, is this one ‘All Thai women want a Farang husband so they can move to the West’. Again, what a load of old cobblers. Then again, if you are a fan of such websites hooking you up with ‘lovely Thai brides’ you can be forgiven for your irrational perception. Of course, it simply depends on the woman, there are plenty of Thai women here whose ambition in life is not to wake up to the smell of black pudding and fried bread

Let me turn my attention to frivolous but quite important cultural differences, which looking from some Farangs’ way of thinking, may look bad on Thai women. “I’ve been dating this girl lately but wherever we go she always brings her friend”. Well, the reason for that buddy, is probably she’s still a bit afraid of you; she’s also following a kind of Thai tradition. Next, “I don’t know what she really thinks about me, she doesn’t show me any affection and especially not in public”. Well, sounds like she’s a decent enough women, Thais don’t exactly appreciate watching two lovers snogging each other on street corners like high school kids in Farangland. Thai women show their affection in a much more subtle, hard to detect, kind of way. Or “How come when I offer a woman out on date to a disco, she always turns me down. Again, a simple cultural difference, your average Thai women would prefer to go to the cinema.

“My girlfriend is so funny, every time we go the seaside she keeps out of the sun and splashes on a whole bottle of sun lotion”. Now, Farang guys always laugh about Thai women and their fascination for fair-skin. We all have to realize however, that Thais think we are just as weird for our obsession of ‘getting a tan’; lying on a beach all day ignorant to the threat of skin cancer. Joke about Thai women and their whitening lotion but don’t forget that the major companies who produce them also sell darkening lotion in Farangland. And, “When I’m not happy about something and complain to a Thai, my girlfriend never sticks up for me”. Probably not, I think a lot of Thai women get completely bored of their Farang boyfriends constant bickering usually ending with the typical “Well, in my country, it wouldn’t be like this blah blah…” You have to realize that most Thais are proud of their country and get tired of Farangs who compare all the time to how things are ‘back home’, often in an extremely negative way. Ok, sure, a lot of the times it’s perfectly fair to raise your voice, us Farangs do have to admit that we moan a lot. Thais don’t do it a lot, so that again is just a cultural difference.

There are even different culturally spoken mis-understandings. “She must like me, she was asking where my apartment was and if I lived with any woman”. Ha…what a joke! While this elderly guy thinks that some hot honey of 25 fancies him, he is completely oblivious to the fact that Thai women do ask such questions out of normality – they are not Farangs. It’s like the other way around when the Thai woman says “You look fatter now”; while he is furious at such an insult, she is thinking that him putting on a bit of weight has actually done him a bit of good.

Anyway, things have certainly improved in regards to ‘culturally mis-understanding Thai women over the past decade and even a lot of the old scary myths are being squashed. Let’s just hope that things will continue to do so and even speed up. Not forgetting to mention of course, this article could also be written completely in vice-versa.

111 responses to “Misunderstanding Thai Women

  1. I am sorry that Thai women are upset of the stereotypes. I have friends near Chiang Mai and I know the stereotypes here upset them as well. I guess the best farangs can do is try to change these stereotypes here one person at a time. I know I always do when I talk about how woderful Thailand is. I will admit that when I hear “Thai women” I do not exactly think of sex, but it does remind me how beautiful they are, inside and out. At least the ones not corrupted by farangs.

  2. What a great article – its so nice to here someone blow preconceptions out of the water.

    My Thai partner and I often feel the brunt of these types of prejudices. She is very educated and has done well in life, yet some thai’s give her bad look when we are out together if they don’t know us. I have also found in the west that when I mention that my beloved is from Thailand I can see them thinking ‘oh yeah’.

    Still I just have to remind myself what a GEM I have found and how lucky I am to be with such a wonderful lady who has inspired me to endeavor to be a good man.

  3. A superbly piece of writing.
    Very thoughtfully written.
    I did find a couple of typos a distraction: sees/seems, lying/laying…
    The article deserves followups!!

  4. Steve, maybe you should become the Daily Xpress’s “Agony Uncle” and solve these “cultural misunderstandings” on a weekly basis!

  5. Great work!!!!

    I have a Thai faince and she is the BEST woman ever! I would NEVER date ANY western woman ever again.

    I laughed when you wrote about the friend coming and the sun tan. We went out many many times with her friend before we went out alone. I took them to the Indy 500 (not my idea, it was theirs) and they wore long sleeve shirts, long pants, huge hats and loads of sunscreen. Now I am used to it and understand why after being to Thailand, not to mention how they tend to look down at dark skin, but at the time I chuckled a bit.

    Thank you for writing a great article. If I have one more dumbass farang act like all Thai women are bar girls, I will surely punch them in the face.

    Thai women are very cultured and respectful. The ones I have met are loved greatly by the instructors at my university because they are just kind and sincere. We don’t typically have those types of people here in the US.

  6. A lot of this is shown in our book “Ten Years to Bangkok” we will soon to be married 30 years and have gone through the parents on both sides which have all four gone to a better place. You have to expect the clash of cultures in a mixed marriage like this. Difference in eating habits also.

  7. Interesting choice of pictures. he he he

  8. Those expecting manners from a B-girl to be that of an educated lass may be as naive as “I love you too much”…

    Boozers and B-girls naturally deserve each other!

    While the guy that “would never date a western girl again”…thats about as funny as it gets!

    My time in the Land Of Smiles taught me that a fool and his money are soon parted…

    Many of these fools were easily parted with their money BEFORE they ever came to Thailand, in Thailand, they figured “I love you too much” from someone they often didn’t even know the LAST name of is typical of such buffons.

    We’ve all heard the multitude of wild tales of those that met “Ms Universe in a PatPong Bar”, but how many met her at the Wat, University or Medical facility?

    Lounge lizards are always welcome, til their baht runs out and they face the grim reality that you can’t really BUY love!

  9. Another great piece Steve.

    Great advice for farang males, given gently, when you could have been taking pot shots at sitting ducks.

  10. Hi Steve,

    Well done on writing about these topics.
    My story on “Money can buy me no love” may be of an interest to you on dowry info.


  11. lost_packet, you make all western women sound bad. im sure there’s decent ladies out there. i was kinda… *gasp* by that, but it’s kool too. i respect your opinion. take care.

    true, interesting.

    but somehow… the ‘rabid stray dogs’ keep popping in my head. now when im in thailand, i’ll be sooo paranoid. heehhee.

    thanks for the article. take care.

  12. I think most of the stereotyping of the Thai woman by farang men is absolutely correct. Now lets see how the Thai woman’s family would like it if I tried to extract 50,000 baht from them in the form of a dowry for my family and not offer to pay her family a dowry, they would in fact be insulted by it, so us farans are also insulted by even the thought of having to buy a wife, with a dowry even if it was returned which it is rarely done. Now Thai woman will have to start thing how would they like it if we demanded money off them, they would not like money being extorted off them, so they have to realize they don’t like extortion so any attempt to even hint at a dowry is the most appalling insult against a farang man. If a Thai family want to save face from me, don’t even mention a dowry or I will lose face and tell me how disgusted I am at insulting me in that manner.

  13. Steve, have you ever thought about writing a cross-cultural book on Thailand? You got good ideas and a wonderful flair for writing. It is humourous but it also brings out the message clearly. Keep up the excellent writing.

  14. @paul_au – you have to draw 100 million baht from your bank account for a dowry if you plan to marry a celebrity like Tata Young, or show it that you have stacked some sorts of that money. The more money you got, the bigger face you have.

    It’s tradition. What do you expect to blame.

    Like Steve said “Taeng-gnarn” or marry literally means “organizing a party”. You will lost all friends and respect if visitors to your party don’t be very pleased.

  15. for paul_au: You shouldn’t be offended by dowry. Thai males also pay dowry, not just farungs. Like it or not, it’s a Thai tradition.

    If I’m not mistaken, in some areas of India, parents of women pay men dowries. The idea is daughters are liabilities, and the men are doing the girls’ parents a favor by taking them off their books after marraiges. Men with higher education, or earning potential get higher dowries.

  16. There are all types of people in the world and Thailand is no different. One must remember that for a 25 year old woman/man to want to marry a 60 year old man/woman there is surely an element of financial security involved. Why complain if the womwn asks for money. Just pay up.

  17. How is Thai dowry different than the brides parents paying for everything in a western marriage? Just a different way of paying for the wedding. I’m a ‘newbie’ of sorts as I’ve only been married for 2 years, however I don’t think that the cultural diffences et al are that difficult to break through with a bit of communication and some sensitivity…oh and a lot of patience.

    In our case I did pay a dowry, however we got to keep the wedding gifts which just about evened things out. The gold was given to my wife and she sold it as soon as we returned to Bkk, actually a small profit on that. Now that we are living in the States she works and contributes fully to the household expenses and savings. We do send money back to Thailand to help her sister pay for her masters degree, however most of that is also contributed by my wife. Obviously not all Thai women are gold diggers and just as in any other culture you’ll find that there is a huge range of people, opinions and actions.

    Thanks for the great post Steve.

  18. Hmm, I dont really know where to start or what to make of this subject. First off, I’m happily married to a Thai for the last few years and cant think of any real big difference or misunderstandings to make it more difficult. All the Thai women I have met have been a mixed bag, some nice, some not so nice, some rude, some very genuine interesting women. Saying this I have only met women with similar jobs and lifestyles to my own (office workers/university educated etc). The language is an obvious difference and its way with words is sometimes baffling for me! when translated into english quickly. As for the notorious poor country-side women marrying older western guys, well thats a different story really and one that happens with many many other country’s women from poor backgrounds. They look odd and without the economics coming into it, it would be a non starter and they know it.

  19. Wow, Paul_AU, your comment about the stereotyping of Thai women by farang men being absolutely correct is just insulting. Perhaps all the farang men you know are the kind of geezer guys that go to tit-bars and decide to smoozy on up with bar girls, and think that that tiny slice of the female population actually represents the whole? Maybe they’re also the kind of farangs who litter Pattaya and actually marry a bar girl, then complain bitterly when she fleeces them? Maybe I also should think that all foreign men are like this, like you seem to think all Thai women are a certain way. How’s that for stereotyping?

    Every time I read articles like this and the comments of people, I end up so baffled. I don’t understand how the hell people can just lump all of us Thai women together in a category like that. Christ. I was born in Thailand and so were both of my parents, but my grandparents all came from China. My parents and I are middle-class; I grew up helping out in our family store. My father sent me to university, where I graduated with the highest honors (thank you very much). I worked at multinational corporations, at publishing houses, and in consulting firms. Now I’m living abroad.

    You mean to tell me that I’m a freak of an exception to the whole stupid concept of ‘All Thai women are or act like bar girls’ thing? Every single female person in my social circle has a story like mine. It’s a very ghastly, disgusting disservice to every Thai woman to lump us all together and say we’re no better than a prostitute at a bar.

    Paul, if the AU in your name refers to Australia, I wonder how you would like it if I said that all Australians are thieves and criminals and never-do-gooders, considering the fact that perhaps a slice of the population are descended from crooks that were sent there? Do you see the utter ridiculousness of my comment? Because if you do, you might want to look back and rethink your own ridiculous prejudices.

  20. Oh!! The first photo is my close friend!

  21. Thai women are fascinating, this ‘no kissing in public’ lark took a bit of getting used to though.
    I’ve never been the type to start swallowing my lady friend in public, its a bit inconsiderate no matter where you are but when you take a look at whats at the side of you, with curves to die for and crisp skin you’re dying to give her just a little peck?

    However, if I’m in Thailand and a Thai girl’s telling me this is the crack, then there’s no kissing.
    In fact with one girl I was seeing quie recentley it became a bit of an ‘in joke’ when she would start getting close and we were having a laugh together i would push her away and pretend to be angry and say
    ‘i thought i told you, no kissing in public?!’

    It isnt the end of the world fair enough, Im not complaining about this but the public ban does nothing but build up the tension for both of you and once you get behind closed doors youre in for a treat i tell ya, there’s fireworks going off and all sorts ha ha

  22. Thanks everyone for your comments, didn’t think this blog/article would get such a postive reply.

  23. I like this blog! So true! lol!
    I do have misunderstandings with my boyfriend a lot and most based on the cultures. I always wanted to give it up cuz it was always so hard to explain every single thing to him.
    However, lucky me, he’s quite the open-minded type. That’s how we still continue dating.
    However, everyday abroad still gives me loads of headaches when people keep asking about my culture, when I explain, some do listen, some just listen with mouth wide open and loads keep attacking me back with loads of questions against my culture – -”
    No surprises, however, I do get taken aback with Farang’s culture as well, hehe.

  24. Regarding all the fuss over the dowry: in the U.S. we are above such money matters at marriage time (ha). Instead the man merely buys his intended the largest, most expensive diamond ring he can(usually well beyond what his income allows). The bride can legally keep the ring if the man ends the engagement, or in the case of a divorce. Such rings can cost $2,000 to $20,000 American. I think jewelers recommend spending six months salary on the ring. Is this a Thai custom also?
    For women who focus on money as a measure of a man’s worth, the highly visible ring on her finger is the prize. To her (and like minded friends and family) the ring is a symbol of how much she is desired and how successful her man is or is expected to be.
    I didn’t think your article supported the negative stereotypes you were explaining. What I heard was “you get as good as you give”. If beauty is more important than character to a man, and money more important than character to a woman, they may be surprised to get someone more like themselves (self-centered, shallow). How can such marriages be happy?
    Now, this doesn’t mean that beauty and character do not exist together. They usually do. What I have observed is that choosing the wrong partner is often a matter focusing on the visible, the outward appearances. Substance comes from spending time with people, especially during times of hard work, difficulty. I can get along with and enjoy almost everyone at a party, movie or on vacation. The same people may drive me crazy if I had them for a roommate or had to share expenses with them during poor times.
    I don’t think Thai women or western men differ from people anywhere else. There are no cookie cutter people. Only ignorant minds see an entire people as Xerox copies of each other.

  25. John Ferrell

    You were doing just fine until the end there, Steve. I met a Thai girl at university in the U.S., and after we had dated for a few years she observed one day that I was gaining weight.

    A week later she bought me a scale for my birthday, although she softened the blow a little by telling me that in Thai culture such a gift meant to “be careful.” No doubt if that phrase had been completed she’d have also said “about what you eat.”

  26. I married 4 years ago to a buitiful thia woman. our relationship above my many western relationships from the past tells me i made the right decision,
    Like any situation chemistry plays a role in finding the right partner.
    And if i were to not be with my wife tommrow my choice would still be the same. Thai woman… purely because the one thing thia woman have over the western woman is there gentle femine natures..and soothing relaxtion and approach to life. Thats what nets it for me!!!
    iam not saying they are all like that.
    But choice as a a decerning eye. were woman are concerend for some men..
    And therefore i hope u find grace and pose in your chosen heart.

    Regarding the dowry.It did not cost me anything like mentioned. you pay what you can afford, its arfter all your furture wife and there culture,
    ask yourself! if your love of your Wife be it any nationality and they were on there death bed dying.. Be it your wife daughter or son mum or dad. who ever!! And the doctor said she can live!! But it will cost you finacially would you hesitate!!!!Dont think so.. DO YOU..

    So is she important to you thats more the question!!

    if not then it is simply not love is it!! Then dont waste your money..

    it goes without saying my experence with thia people is like every else you go in the world good and bad.
    But my overal experence is i would not change it for the world.

    so if you ever think of going for it..

  27. i recently married a thai lady and am very happy other than it is hard for us to totally understand each other but we are learning i love the culture and the people hopefully one day will move there.The reason i am writing this is that i have to laugh at so many ignorant farang say gee you should watcjh what you eat in thailand my answer is to them i just sit and eat what the thai people eat lol darn fresh out of cat and rat today gees people should travel and learn about how other people live instead of living in the 1920s

  28. sunderland stephen

    Have encountered good and bad Thai ladies same you would as anywhere else in the world.That said as long as you don`t look for western attitude in a Thai girl,a good one knocks the socks off the rest.

  29. I’ve been reading the comments here and I finally had to comment. My Thai wife and I have been married almost 38 years and it has been a wonderful experience. I was a poor 2-stripe airman and did not pay a single cent for a dowry. In fact, her brother later loaned us money when we had an unexpected expense. Her family is educated and most of them are lawyers, military officers, pharmacists, etc. In 38 years, they have never once asked for money but have treated me like royalty. I would not trade them for any family in the world and I treasure them.

  30. A Chinese Thai Woman's voice

    Steve, you are right about the culture misunderstanding for the mix racial couples. But the stereotype of Thai women…well, I don’t think one can say so. Everyone is different, just like women in other countries.

    I’m a Chinese Thai woman, born and raised in Thailand. My family is a business family. My siblings and I are all educated abroad. (I went to grad school in UK.) I have to admit that the upper middle class Thai women are not crazy about dating Farang. We are definitely proud of being Thai and do not wish to move out of Thailand.

    Over 90% of Thai women married to Farang are from the North Eastern of Thailand. They are generally from the poor family. It is not a surprise to see many issues have been discussed over the internet world. Most of the issues are about scamming Thai wives, gold digger and so on. It is outrageous. I am a Thai woman and find that very irritating and unfair. My thought is “Poor Farang hooked up with poor Thai wife and been screwed.” Whose fault is that? Sorry to say that it is enough Thai girls in upcountry to assume that Farangs are rich and can make their life better off. But, it never fly for the well-to-do Thai girls. This idea is changing.

    It seems like 20% of infamous Thai women made the rest look bad. I think they should be specific as “E-Sarn Girls” not “Thai Girls”. Every time you hear about “Thai women”, the first impression is sex object. This thing should be fixed!

  31. i have read all the comments with great interest,i have travelled extensively around the world,but what will stay with me for the rest of my life is my time in thailand.the people ,culture,country and food made a fantastic immpression on me.i felt safer in thailand than i would walking down a city street in my own home.
    as for the thai women i will say if you are looking for a bar girl then that is what you will get,but don’t generalise all thai women like this in all cultures you get good and bad,but the thai women i met where incredibly gracious and very proud of who they where and where they come from.if you are going to get involved with a thai women ,,do your homework,look into the customs and culture and respect the traditions.I have been involved with a thai women for a year now and there has been nothing but smiles,yes communication is sometimes difficult but patience is the key on both sides,i plan to visit her in october and meet her family and friends and hopefully if things go well marry this women.the only thing i expect is to love and be loved,i definatly will not be expecting her to wait on me hand and foot ,but her to be my equal.

  32. You could have written this about Japan. just change ‘Farang’ to ‘Gaijin’

  33. hi, been reading this lot info but still no answer my thoughts on my little subject.
    i noticed a thai lady in a car while on back of friends bike, i smiled she smiled, so i asked her to stop she did and we made date to meet for a meal.
    things went very good and as i am a bloke asked her to stay over at first she gave no answer, then after talking to her longer she agreed, and no she never asked for money once !
    but i gave her whats classed as spending money .plus fully aware she will keep it all and send it to her family, than spend it.
    i stay with her for the next few weeks very happy as she was very attractive and she .
    she asked me if i liked her i said very much so, and she said i like you “same same”,she asked can i return soon and i told her in 2-3 months, she was very open with me almost like an open book, i was told every thing about place she came from her life, family, not sure why maybe some one can tell me why.
    i talk to her every morning before work on webcam, and call her in evening once home , plus theres the text messages we exchange, but its like being together every day and i

  34. 2nd part to finish due computer crashing “sorry all”.

    am being told all the time by her she loves me or maybe thats true or not.
    she says she wants a life with me but me i think its to fast, she gives her reasons why and i understand but i am wondering if its me she wants or my cash!!
    can someone tell me !!
    thai ladys are new to me as been over there few times and yes had good time but never like this, yes i got the feelings for her also but not willing to show it in case i get hurt as came out of bad marriage 2yrs ago of a 5 yr one to a south american woman visa and money is all she wanted ,fool me !!
    any way my thai lady says she very jealous lady and no wants me talking to other ladys, i think she very insecure as to way past boyfiends treat her.
    she say every day she good girl for me but how can i be sure of this she says you need to trust me darling, i no hurt you i sure,she say maybe you leave me.
    any way i no want to bore you guys , but i would be greatful if any one can say if i am to stay or go. do you think milage in this relationship.
    or am i just another sucker to a nice smiling lady!!
    all replys greatful.

  35. Silaphine Maow Laew

    Spot on as usual, Stevo!
    Lots of reactions, too.
    It clearly shows people are willing to share their experiences and learn from them (I would sincerely hope so).

    Having had experiences both good and bad I am definitely still learning (still making the odd mistake or two)and I realize fully well that I have come a long way since my first visit to the Kingdom, now a good 17 years ago.

  36. I have dated a few Thai women over the years. One for nearly 6 years. I also lived in Thailand on and off for 5 years.
    The cultures are quite different and often misunderstood by western farang. I am no expert nor do I express to be when it comes to Thai women. This is just my opinion based on my personal experiences. I think some Thai women are some of the most beautiful women I have seen. I have traveled through China, Phillipines, Thailand and other asian countries. However, their culture is intertwined w/ Buddhist religion, family traditions & obligations. In general their thought process and priorities are different than western.
    Dating Thais can add a couple of layers of complexity to the relationship. Culture, language, traditions etc. I dont recommend marrying B girls, I think you are asking for trouble. The girls you want are the ones that work in the banks, professional offices and are educated. Still this is no guarantee but what is. Look at the divorce rate in Western society. Its a complicated topic since there is no right answer. Just use common sense and dont let the B girls delights overshadow your clear judgement. If its a good Thai girl you are looking for, you can find it. You probably wont find your marriage partner on your first trip to Thailand. You will want to get to know here family and make sure she is educated.

  37. graham broughton

    I am very surprised that you picked up a Thai lady and slept with her on the first night and gave her “pocket money”. In my experience (been married to a Thai for eight years & living in Thailand 2 years) its is very unusual for a “decent” Thai lady to do this and would also be insulted to accept money (as would a decent Western girl) Also she sounds a bit dodgy not wanting you talking to other women (shes probably protecting her investments).My advice is to take it very slowly, she may be ok but if you get it wrong its a complete nightmare and if money crops up regularly in conversation be extra careful. There are plenty of nice girls over here without such complications. Best of luck.

  38. Some people want it all
    But I don’t want nothing at all
    If it ain’t you baby
    If I ain’t got you baby
    Some people want diamond rings
    Some just want everything
    But everything means nothing
    If I ain’t got you,

    real Love not just the money

  39. i have been with my thai girlfriend for 12 months now and we plan to arry next year. She comes from a relatively poor family in kap choeng and the subject of a dowry has never been mentioned. I do send money to her regularly to pay for our rented apartment and we have in the past argued when i have mentioned money because she doesn’t want me to think that this is all she wants from me.The “bad” thai girls are in my opinion a minority and in my experience england has more gold digging bad girls than thailand has.

  40. I have dated 2 different Thai women over the past 10 years. One came to live in the US when she was young. The other has always lived in Udon. It is very important to learn anothers culture and try to be objective about your own. I met many wonderful people in Thailand. Decent people with high ethical standards. I can truely appreciate the Thai culture, their sense of humor, and thier willingness to show respect for each other, and smiles that can warm you.

  41. yeah..poor thai women, all that stereo typing..where else in the world can you get a chick who will put out the first night for a fiver, and keep going day in day out as long as you got the money?
    Every one of those girls has a price on her head, whether they’re educated or not. Who are all these dumb western guys kidding themselves these women give a shit about them? i’ve seen the bitches at work, using their sexuality to control these lovesick fools..
    If you’ve got a pocket fulla bucks, you can get respect, ‘honesty’ (thai style) and any other shit you want..but if money runs out, watch the cloud of dust as shes running in the other direction!
    These women are amazingly clever at spending other peoples money, putting out, having babies and all that shit..all comes with a hefty price tag..just keep those dollars rollin in!!

  42. Excuse me for breathing Jo, but you sound like a sex-starved tourist who has scammed by a few bar girls. Perhaps you ought to stick to commenting on sex-related blogs. As for educated or not, seeems like you’ve been fooled into believing that some of the bar girls who dress up in a university like uniform really are students. You are a joke!

  43. I was married to a beautiful Thai woman for 13 years…and would still probably be married to her if we’d simply lived together. We just grew apart because we didn’t… I worked internationally, she stayed home. Some rememberings: her friend chaperoned us for a month before we were together alone, the dowry was spending money for Dad (booze, brothels, big face with the boys) and a new loom for Mom (big face with the girls), no display of affection in public, but in the house…wow!!,my being fed, cleaned and clothed daily was a MUST, she worked day and night for me AND her family. There are Esan girl marriages that are decades old and riproy girl marriages decades old… and a lot of failures for both. Someone said something about “chemistry”…that and honesty, I think, will do it.

  44. sir,
    first i wanna say sorry if this mail is not completely clear but i hope that everybody will understand that english is not my mother tongue that’s why i can make a lot of mystake.At less i hope that everybody will understand the main meaning of this comment.I would like to say that i really not agree with your report about misunderstanding thai women at all.A lot of your arguments.Some are also some myths.For sure,all the girls are not the same but there are some main point between all the girls in Asia from China to djakarta about what they are expecting from life and if you compare with the asian girls who live in europ you will find the same point of view.Even in the high society in thailand you will find some girls who want to find an husband with a good situation and who will be able to support all the family.Those girls will work but it will be more like a hobby than to help the family.Also, all the western guys who are going in the village in thailand don’t show their money and if european boys believe some myths about thai girls you can believe that thai people also believe some myths about european.If many thai girls are not looking for european boy where does come the succesfull of some website like thailove link ??? there are many reasons why thai girls are interesting in occidental boy, some is for money, some wanna come to work in europe (they don’t mind about the taste of black bread because anyway most of them will only eat thai food)because they know that they will have more money when they will work, some will marry and will continue to have some “kik” in europe and one very important reason comes from the bad ways many thai boys do with their girls.If you tazke the time to talk with some girls who have got 1 thai boyfriend they will explain to you that they were completely unhappy and when they stop they never want to have 1 again.that’s why now you start to see some thai girls who are still single and live with their family even they are 30 years old or more.There are many reasons to say to you that your comment is really uncomplete and you seem to complain european boy and defend thai girls, for sure it’s not the fault of only 1 part but you forget to explain many things about thai culture specially the special way they have with money.

  45. Reply for the comment of thai girl
    If the girl from bar who are dressing student uniform are not real student you should go out more in your country and you will see that many girl who are student have a special way to find someone to support them, some are also prostitue and some go with old thai boy who is already marry but wanna find excitment with young girl and in exchange he will support her during all her study (you also now that in thai there is a word to call these old man who support thai student)

  46. jean claude

    Friends from high society or at least upper middle class and above have cautioned me about the multitude of opportunists out there. It is common to see Thai’s have social circles with comparable level society people. Even a thai chinese friend(female) warned me about this. Due to the socioeconomic structure of society there are many university educated girls that live from paycheck to paycheck in one room “mansions”. Many would like to gain a better financial future and look for guys that can be walking talking ATM’s.
    My feeling is to date those that have at least comparable socio-economic status and education. The reason I live in thailand is not about dating so perhaps my thoughts are not clouded by, or focused on social life.

  47. jean claude


    yes there are many girls that have a man “take care”. There are also Thai guys that romance Thai women with money, they are called “mangdas’ and their main motivation is financial.
    My comments due not apply to 100% of society but again, due to the socioeconomic situation, there seems to be quite a bit.
    In Japan, an office lady can earn more than 1 million baht per year and typically can take holidays in other countries including G8. Many Thai equivalent workers cannot.

  48. This is an excellent article with many varying opinions commented.
    I am married to a wonderful Thai woman from the north east area of Thailand. We have been married for 32 years and I am looking forward to many more.
    Her family treats me better than my own family in America and are very proud of my being a part of their family.
    They are hard working people, most of the younger family members are extremly well educated because of the hard work of the elder generation that paid for their education.
    I have several neices that are well educated and beautiful young ladies. I am proud of each one because they have a high moral standard and are making their own way by working at well paying jobs.
    Most Thai women are beautiful, friendly and proud of their heritage. There are some who are after the gold as with any culture but this is not the norm in Thailand any more than any other culture.
    Thanks for the thought provoking article which has clearly brought out all the diverse opinions about how Thai women are perceived. Hopefully the ones who have had bad experiences can learn from those of us who know the real women of Thailand.

  49. I just got back from a wedding in Thailand. My friend has met one of the most wonderful woman I have ever known. He gave a dowry, which was promptly returned after the wedding as it seems tradition and face are important to the Thais. He married into a family who farms rice. The family has very evolved grace and ethics, quite impressive but not surprising after spending time with them. My friend has learned to speak the language, which puts him in a whole different light to the Thais. The wedding was wonderful and I personally felt welcomed and honored as a guest in a tiny village that usually does not see farangs. My view on Thai women, if you want to meet one, is to learn and honor the customs, try and learn some language, treat them with respect, be careful of your expectations and don’t worry about the money part as all people, no matter what culture, have issues around money. After all, Women are women no matter what they look like.
    If I ever want to marry, I will go to that part of the world and hang out.

  50. what the hell does ‘farang’ means