Readers' Submissions

A Farang’s View Of Reality

  • Written by Rickda
  • January 17th, 2006
  • 6 min read


I am a seasoned visitor to Bangkok and love the city for its people, culture and general atmosphere. I have to say that I have been to many places around the world and for me as long as you are law abiding Bangkok is one of the safest and least intimidating places in the world. I often wonder how many visitors actually look beyond the bars and nightlife and at the reality that is Bangkok. It is a microcosm between the new and old, the rich and the poor. It is a place where wealth and poverty mingle side by side. How many tourists realise that Thailand has one of the world’s widest differentials between its rich and poor and that 90% of its wealth is in the hands of 10% of the population.

Like many capital cities Bangkok acts as a Mecca for people from the provinces; a place where people (particularly young girls) go to earn their fortune; a place where they believe the streets are paved in gold. How different for most the reality is! It is a place where middle-aged divorced male tourists appear millionaires to them because their average monthly wage is more than most Thais earn in a year. We all know that because of the average wage the cost of living by comparison to home prices is cheap. Yes I see complaints that a beer / drink is 120 baht here or there but let’s get real, that is about £1.75 or $3. How much does a drink cost in London or New York? Or the taxi wanted 500 baht to take me from the airport. OK it is above the norm but how far can you go in UK for £7 in a cab.

I have made friends with many girls who have served in bars and have had fun going to their Thai orientated clubs. I have never paid a girl to sleep with me and I have never paid a girl to accompany me. They are my friends who are lovely people who help make my holiday the pleasure it is. I have been to their homes and they have taken me to meet their friends. They keep in contact with me even after they have married but they have never asked me for money. They inquire about my well being because they are good and loyal friends.

On this letters page I have seen many complaints from farangs regarding bar girls / gogo girls and I would like to give my view on them and ask people to take a true grasp on reality. The typical Bangkok tourist is a guy who is 40+, overweight, divorced with teenage+ children and is on a sex vacation <I think your pen name should be Mr. GeneralisationStick>. They meet a young beautiful girl and truly believe that she will fall in love with them. I ask you are they any different from the young girl who goes on holiday and falls in love with the young Adonis barman. He swears true love to her all the time she is with him. However, remember every week the big silver birds in the sky bring him a new crop of playthings and he will tell them the same story. Would you pay a girl for sex in your own country and expect her to fall in love with you?

I have given my opinions below on many Farang complaints and hope that they do not offend anyone but that they do provide a realist's viewpoint.

  1. She loves me and will give up work for me but wants me to send her money.

    The choice is down to you. If she is genuine and wants to be with you then yes, you do need to help her. Ask yourself did she work entertaining gentlemen because she truly enjoys it or does she do it for the money. The answer in nearly all cases has to be because she needs the money and if she gives up work for you how will she live? But remember this is your risk the likelihood is that she will continue to work and your money is her bonus payment.
  2. She is 19 and I am 50 but she loves me.

    Ok how likely is that you will walk into a bar in UK or USA see a vision of loveliness and she will fall in love with you? Not very. At home most people struggle to be able to get back into the singles scene and certainly few of us would have a meaningful long-term relationship with someone younger than our own daughter.
  3. We are going to settle down and she will move to my home country.

    Really? You are going to make someone happy who speaks limited English, enjoys a hot climate. She is going to move home with you and be happy? She will find it hard to adapt to the culture, to fit in and make friends. It has all the hallmarks of a disaster. Yes some people will find true happiness but I would wager that in most cases this is only achieved when it is you who settles in Thailand so that she is at home with the culture and environment. Also depending on how you met you always have the disadvantage that she knows that you paid a girl to go with you. How can she ever trust you? Was she the only one?

    In addition it is hard enough if you meet a girl from another part of the same country you live in and ask her to move away from her home location to be with you. To leave her friends and family and yet she is only a short journey away from them in comparison. Thai family life is important many girls work to support their family how will they feel and settle if they have to leave their family to live half way around the world from them?
  4. I was drugged and robbed by a girl.

    The reports I have read suggest that this happens when the girl is picked up off the street so you have no chance of recognising her again. I wonder how often this happens in UK or USA. How many people would report such an instance in their home country with a risk of a police visit to the family home and potential exposure in the press? If the culprit was caught how many guys would give evidence against them in court? Get real if you pick someone up off the street you take the risk you do not know who they are and do not have the protection that they need to preserve their job in the club / bar they work in. Also why not lock away all your valuables most decent hotels have a safe us it!!
  5. I stayed in the Nana Hotel did not want sex and was propositioned within 2 minutes of arrival.

    Before you book the hotel do some research on the internet? There are many review sites. Check the location this hotel is over the road from the biggest sex area in the city what do you really expect?

As I started by saying Bangkok is a great city. It is a friendly place has many great bars. It is cheap to get to and is cheap when you are there. The people are friendly and it is a place that you can go out alone meet fellow travellers and locals and have a night in good company. After that the rest is up to you. You pay the money you take the choice.

I am travelling to Bangkok on 25th January and will post my second letter when I return.

Stickman's thoughts:

I'm confused and I really don't get your point. Maybe your second letter will be a bit clearer?