Thailand: Is The Risk Worth It?
This piece talks a little of my experience with Thailand, but has a larger focus on my thoughts about Thailand, given my experiences:
I am in my mid-30’s and first visited Thailand in December 2000. At this time I had not previously read much about Thailand and was not aware of Stickman's or Joker's internet sites.
Like so many others, after a couple of weeks in Thailand I was hooked. In the short space of 2 weeks I had far far more than the best sex in my life. I will not go into great detail – it has been covered by many others – but I will mention some of the main things. The girls become your girlfriend – and look after you – and go out with you – they have fun with you – and laugh with you – and sometimes even cry with you – and of course make the most fantastic love with you. The friendship, sex, passion, and closeness that I felt with bar girls after only a few days was better than I ever experienced with anyone in Farangland – including a wife of several years. I still cannot come to terms with the fact that the (largely) uneducated daughters of poor farmers from northern Thailand can have such a profound effect on the (largely) educated and worldly farang male. Similarly I cannot come to terms with the fact that these girls seem able to satisfy every male desire (and this has a context far wider than a sexual one) so so so much more easily than virtually any lady of Farangland. It seems crazy really…
So there we see just why Thailand’s nightlife is SO SO addictive – because the service being sold is NOT just good sex (this is what farang prostitutes sell – and more often than not, it is not even good sex!). What is sold by the nightlife in Thailand is way more than the blue blooded male sexual fantasy – instead it is the ULTIMATE of what most men only dream about in their ideal lady.
But then along comes the reality – Thailand is like one big Adult Disneyland – as so well described in a recent submission to this site – and like Disneyland it is all fake. But as fake as it may be, once pulled into it – it is the most addictive thing ever. And here is the key difference to Disneyland. Children ultimately grow out of Disneyland. We never grow out of the pleasures of Thailand. Indeed – we grow up to want the Adult Disneyland. The child's Disneyland is a point along the road. The Adult's Disneyland is where we end up – it is the destination – what we all would love to have – forever.
For me, I returned from my first Thailand trip declaring that I would be back in Thailand as soon as possible. It is also true what others have said – after living what I thought was a very comfortable and happy life in Farangland with everything I wanted (and I am more comfortable financially that most), I suddenly found life boring and empty – and NOTHING seemed to make me feel as alive and contented as being in Thailand. A lovely home in the best suburb, new cars, a good job, friends, money to go out etc – NOTHING was good enough anymore.
Sure enough it was only 6 months and I was back in Thailand. This time was even better than the first. Why? Well for the simple reason that I had sex with fewer girls, but made the fatal mistake of getting attached to one in particular. I returned to Farangland as what can ONLY be described as a broken man. Stickman mentions men old enough to be his father breaking down as a bargirl breaks his heart – as sick and as stupid as this may sound to most of those in Farangland, if you have been to Thailand and taken part in the nightlife, boy oh boy, you will UNDERSTAND how this can happen.
So broken was I, I was back again within 2 months. It took a bit of lies to a few in Farangland, but in this situation all levels of normal rationality get put aside. During this third trip I was probably lucky actually – as things did not work out at all as expected and I managed to get my heart back from the girl with whom I had so stupidity left it the few weeks before. Having achieved this I enjoyed the pleasures of Thailand and returned to Farangland once more, a sad, but not broken, man. The question that I ask myself now, certainly many times a day, is “what now”?
Here I am back in Farangland again. Life is on a balance. I am enjoying Farangland for what it is. But I fear – no this is wrong – I KNOW that life in Farangland as good as it supposedly is, will NEVER EVER be the same again. The damage has been done. Just like the bar girl who is tarnished after 6 weeks on the job – whom, to quote Stick, can be taken from the bar – but never the bar from her, applies equally to farangs. I too am tarnished – my life here will never be the same again – and I will always be planning the next trip back to Thailand….
And on that note, I am going again (4th time in 12 months) in December – and I have a dilemma. An impossible dilemma that I cannot resolve. I am looking forward to my time in December like nothing else in life – that is largely what I am LIVING for. I also know that I will live that ultimate life again for a few weeks – and as much as Stick advises to enjoy Thailand for what it is – but not to get emotionally involved – you would be a very hard hearted man NOT to get emotionally involved. My dilemma therefore is this. The (remaining) rational part of me says I should not go. Stay in Farangland – life may have a large hole in it – but it is not unbearable – and time may improve things. However the rest of me CAN'T WAIT until my plane lands on Thai soil – but the BIG risk is that I will be a mess again when my plane takes off from Thai soil. In fact that is almost a certainty.
But all that said, I KNOW that I will go.
The message I wish to convey with these thoughts can be summarised. For most of us:
* The nightlife in Thailand WILL be the MOST addictive thing we will ever experience.
* Once hooked, ‘letting go’ is probably as difficult as ‘letting go’ of hard drugs.
* The nightlife WILL have an effect as profound on you as it does on any bar girl.
* Your life, your priorities, and your outlook on life in Farangland will change… FOREVER
* Do NOT think that you can cruise into Thailand and not become involved (as per Stick's advice). For most of us, if you become involved in the nightlife you WILL become emotionally involved. Admit it or not, it is the emotional part that we all WANT MOST. Sex can be had in Farangland with farang ladies or prostitutes – it is because of what Thailand offers OVER AND ABOVE the sex that we choose Thailand over and above our farang alternatives. (And of course the sex is the best too…)
* The reality is that we will not find what we really want most – and that is the true love of a Thai lady. Among all the sad stories and all the warnings we also hear of those who have been happily married (to bar girls as well as ‘normal’ girls) for many years. And in the back of our minds that leaves that seed of hope – that we may be lucky. But it is Disneyland. I wish with all my heart it wasn’t. But it is.
* It is also worth pointing out the even those lucky enough to be expats in Thailand need to be very careful to avoid this addiction – as articles by Stickman have noted. So it would seem that none of us are immune – whether we live in Thailand or not. I did think living in Thailand may be the answer – I am less sure now that this is an answer.
The other point is that if you are currently in a bad relationship or are still going through the pains of a relationship breakdown then I believe the above things will be magnified for you even more.
To say that you will enjoy the nightlife without becoming emotionally involved is like saying you can start with hard drugs and not become addicted – it is not possible! Even if you are lucky enough not to become addicted after the first night / first trip – sooner or later – you will become drawn in – and addicted.
For those reading this who have yet to experience the nightlife, let this serve as (another) warning on this site. In the past 12 months I have had the best and the worst weeks of my life. As Stickman says it is a massive roller-coaster. What Stickman does not say is that you get on that roller coaster as soon as you arrive in Thailand (and not when you fall in ‘love’). And what he also does not say is that once you are on the Roller Coaster it is almost impossible, I think, to get off. Sometimes I ask myself – would I have been better off – and on average happier had I not gone to Thailand? I still cannot answer that question – maybe because I can’t be honest enough with myself to know that the answer is, yes, I would be happier if I had not gone.
I chose at an early age not to smoke and not to take hard drugs – and I have never taken either – and have never become addicted to them – I never thought I would ever suffer from an addiction as severe as the one I now have. But it is too late. I am addicted. I am enjoying everyday looking forward to my December trip – and without doubt will live the ultimate life for a few weeks in Thailand – but in the back on my mind I fear ‘crashing’ in January…..
Some may think I have been over-dramatic in this piece. But I do not believe so. Enjoy the nightlife at your own risk – but PLEASE be aware of what the risks are.
Thailand: Are the Risks Worth it? Hopefully the above will help you decide – and hopefully my addiction is an extreme case – but the more I hear and the more I read – the more I think it is not such an extreme case – which in itself is a scary thought.
Human nature being what it is, just as a certain someone once picked a piece of fruit from the wrong tree, so too will people reading this article BEFORE coming to Thailand, continue their plans to come to the addictive Disneyland you describe so well. Any expat who has spent a bit of time in the bar areas will be able to tell tales of people who have similar symptoms to what you have described, the biggest difference being that you are both aware of them, and have been able to articulate them. Just as people read the main section of this site and continue to fall in love with the girls of the night despite my warnings, so too will folks from all over the globe continue to come to, and fall in love with, Thailand.