Just Some Thoughts
Just a few points I'd like to mention to your readers after returning from my third trip to Thailand.
You often here people complaining about things such as:
1) Thai people looking at Farangs as walking ATMs and little else. This is the same world over. Go to any tourist oriented areas anywhere in the world and non-locals are little else than walking ATMs needed to keep the local economy going.
2) The Thai smile is false, simply designed to make you feel at ease and get your money, by people who really don't like you. Same anywhere in the world. Do people really think the kid at KFC in New York means it when he smiles and says "Have a nice day"?? His friend probably spat in your burger before he said it.
3) Thai women view Western men as walking ATMs and little else. Name me any country in the world where a fat, balding, 50-year-old man can be in a relationship with a young, attractive, sexy girl, and the relationship is not in some way based on money / security from the woman's perspective.
4) Dual pricing is unfair. I'll admit I'd be a little pissed if I permanently resided in Thailand, though as a tourist I have no problem with it. For example, on my last trip I visited a zoo that charged 300 Baht for farangs and 100 baht for locals. Considering I earn 35,000 baht per week when at home & the girl at the hotel I was staying at in Thailand earns only 2,500 baht per week, I don't think the deal is too bad. If not for this type of pricing one of two things would happen – a) charge everyone low prices and attractions wouldn't be able to afford to remain open or b) Charge everyone higher prices and then locals wouldn't be able to afford it.
5) In Thailand I've always found that if you maintain your sense of humour & treat the locals with respect, you'll generally be treated well and have a great time.
Oh my goodness…we disagree big time here.
1. Perhaps in some countries tourists are looked at like this but it is most certainly not a world over thing. I've been to about 40 countries, about 10 in Asia, and I as much as I hate to say it, in Thailand I have felt like the proverbial walking ATM with Hong Kong about the only other place I have had this feeling.
2. Such cynicism. While in my native NZ we do not usually say "have a nice day", when people say similar pleasantries, they mean it. I am sure that in much of the US people mean it too, though in New York, yeah, they mightn't.
3. I will agree to some extent here.
4. But not every farang earns what you do. And you make a very poor argument as an apologist here. These venues survive just find without farang custom, invalidating your argument.