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Starting Over – Long Term Thai-Farang Relationships

  • Written by IndyUK
  • July 21st, 2006
  • 8 min read


Pattaya is an international playground where the ‘rides’ are better than any you could find on USA’s Coney Island or Britain’s Blackpool beach. Foreigners (Farang) come here from all over the world to play the games and ride the rides. Thousands of Thais come to our wonderful city too, some to follow their métier while others, both men and women, come to play the games. The ‘games, and rides’ are many. So much so that they are of every connotation of legal and illegal, as even a farang from the wrong side of the tracks could imagine. If you are hoping to find a girlfriend (teeruk) or a partner you may well find her here. If you are looking for a long term relationship you need to avoid the pitfalls that may befall you. There are many good women looking for a farang partner in Pattaya, these women that have invested their precious one or two thousand baht to get here. Some will have skills and work in a legitimate business such as a beauty salon, hairdressers, hotel, general store, or office, while others, lacking grade six to twelve schooling may work as a bar girl (BG), cleaner, gogo dancer or perhaps as a hooker on Beach Road. Many have a story to tell that’ll tear your heart out. If you come here looking for a partner you will find one. But remember, most Thai women are shy, even those that you might bring to your from your favorite bar. Treat all Thai women with respect and you’ll be in for some very pleasant surprises.

There is an important difference between western women and Thai women in that in the West you can never be sure if your wife married you for money (if you are well off) or for love.

Thai woman will marry you for money too. However, if you are strong and do not throw your money around, or over-spend on her, a Thai woman may grow to love you for your strength and for the security that she feels you can offer for her. This is because a spendthrift is either shallow and weak or worse a loser in the long run.

Mixed race marriages can be difficult. Make allowances for her faith and beliefs, which will likely be Buddhism with perhaps some animism thrown in. If you are unfaithful to your loving Thai girlfriend she will feel that she has lost face (Sia Jai) (Actually it is see-ya nar or worse still, nar daek. Sia jai is completely different in meaningStick> and feel that she and her family are not going to be secure with you after all. Her response will be either anger or despair. In such a circumstance a young Thai woman in Pattaya committed suicide (just last week), while others in the same situation will take everything that her husband has got, or in the extreme may inflict bodily harm on him or have someone else do it for her. Such arms length revenge ranges from a thorough beating, to a stabbing or even murder here in Pattaya.

The sincere love of a Thai woman is an invaluable asset. To the Western man their love seems very close up and personal. Generally a life partnership with a Thai lady is just that, everlasting. The flip side of the coin is that there are many Thai women here in Pattaya who have been treated very badly in the past by their Thai ex-husband and later by farang too. It is a sad fact that many farang treat Thai women in an appalling way. Such women are often damaged emotionally and become very predatory. Accordingly they are to be avoided. Some farang are repeatedly abused by their Thai wife who had a background of abuse herself.

Some say that, in general, and throughout Thailand, Thai women do not like farang. This is a misunderstanding. The reality is that most Thai women are afraid of farang, particularly the six foot tall Caucasian.

If you are seeking a Thai girl friend or partner here are some tips.

Try to avoid long term relationships with bar girls that have worked in a bar for a long time. Generally that means not more than one holiday season.

Do not include teenagers or women one third of your age in your search.

Do not commit to a long term relationship until you have met her family and friends. <This I VERY strongly agree withStick>

Do try to learn a little of the Thai language and customs, it’ll be time well spent and will repay you many fold in the presence of Thai people.

If you are not well off explain that to her right at the beginning of your relationship. This will be vital to both of you when you are asked to negotiate dowry (sin sot) later. Most Thais do not have a problem with forming relationships with working class farang. Be proud of who you are. Thai people, when marrying their own kind, agree (sin sot) on the ability of the groom to pay. The expectations of the bride's parents can be unreasonable but are not relevant to the amount of (sin sot) that you pay. Be honest, thrifty and live strong.

Ask for a photocopy of her identity card (baht-Pra-Cha-Chong). This will provide you with her date of birth and her real name and her address. If she has a driving license compare its given address with that on her ID card. (Thai people can change their name on request within two hours, at their City Hall (Ampur), for the meager sum of 30 baht.

Ask her if she has a yellow medical card (but-Pra-Gaan-Sook-Paat-Tuan-Na). This card enables her to see a doctor or dentist and to receive hospital treatment for a fixed charge of thirty baht for each visit. If she does not have this card you will likely have to pay for all of her medical treatment. <But you may want to take her to a private (read better) hospitalStick>

Do not form long term relationships with married Thai women. If she states that she is divorced, ask to see her certificate of divorce (Bai Sam Kor Gaan Yaa). <Just for the knowledge of all readers, if you sleep with a married woman in Thailand, you can be sued be her husband and it could be very costly!Stick>

If she said that her husband was killed in a motorbike accident, (this is a very common lie, be skeptical; find some way to check out if it is true. (However, you'd be insensitive if you ask to see her husband's Death Certificate).

If you don't want to support children ask if she has any and check by asking to see her family / blue book, (Nang-sue-teeding), or her copy of her pages if the book itself is held by her parents. (Thai women usually carry these photo copies wherever they go).

Do not cling to her 24/7 (as many farang try to do) if she is not free to fly you'll never know what she is really like. If she clings to you 24/7 she is probably trying to protect her money (your money), not you, from other girls. Not a good sign!

If she is employed it is not usually necessary to give her a monthly payment. If she does not work give pocket money at least equal to the minimum wage. (6,000 baht per month in Bangkok, 4,000 baht per month in the I-san. (This has to be in addition to housekeeping costs, which you will probably pay directly).

Do not enter into long term relationships unless you can either live in Thailand with her or you plan to take her home to your country in the foreseeable future.

If you maintain a long term relationship whilst making periodic visits to Thailand your Thai girlfriend will likely disappoint you. Thai women that you are likely to associate with simply don’t understand long distance relationships. Such is not their experience, they get lonely, are generally very affectionate and will crave the affection from someone else during your long absenses.

Do not imagine that having a mistress (Mia Noi) in Thailand is an acceptable tradition for farang husbands (or Thai husbands for that matter).

Do not rush into buying a car, house or business for her in the first few months. Such generosity will convince her that you are irresponsible. It is best to wait until you can both discuss such things carefully before entering such a commitment. When you do buy a house, or a car for that matter, keep the title deed and the car logbook in a safety deposit box at your own Thai Bank.

Get used to saying NO to your Thai loved one (fan or teeruk), when it is appropriate to do so. Be sure to say NO with a logical explanation and in a caring manner. A Thai partner will never gain respect for a ‘YES MAN’.

Finally; once you have a Thai girlfriend, wife or partner, treat her with respect. Do not get drunk regularly, do not swear in her presence and do not shout at her, even if you are angry. Above all do not 'butterfly' or abuse her.

It will likely be two years before your Thai partner will come to truly love you. This is the time to look at houses together and consider what type of home ownership is acceptable to you both.

If all is going well after two years she will likely want to have a baby with you. You need to know in your heart how you will feel about this in advance, so that you can handle it sensitively when it comes up, especially if your answer is to be NO.

Thai women make wonderful wives if they are, and have themselves, chosen carefully, especially if they are subsequently well treated by their loving farang husband. Good Luck (Chok Dee) to you in you search for happiness.

Stickman's thoughts:

There is some good info here….and some I disagree with.

"A spendthrift is either shallow and weak or worse a loser in the long run" Are you serious? Man, that is one serious generalisation.

You also want to be a bit careful on the translations.