Reply to “Thailand, A Crap Place To Be”
As a relative newcomer to Thailand, I felt I should reply to some of the slightly negative stories submitted to your site. I have been living here 6 months, I have been living with my Thai girlfriend in her house 3 months but known her for 5 months (and she wasn’t a good girl by any stretch of the imagination when I met her). I am currently taking my 3rd Thai language course and have also previously completed a Thai reading and writing course.
First off the visa requirements of 40k baht per month or 800k baht in a bank are totally out of date. From the end of 2008 onwards any person over the age of 50 (from the UK) may have a one year Non-Immigrant ‘O’ multiple entry visa at a cost of £100 with no proof of income or savings. This entitles you to a 90 day visa on each entry to the Kingdom, so you do have to visit a border every 90 days, but if you make your last renewal a couple of days before the year expires, you can have a stay of 15 months on the one visa. This visa is not advertised on the web sites but you can call the Birmingham or Cardiff Thai consulates to confirm its existence. I am currently living out here on this visa (I sent a completed application form, my passport and a check for £100 along with 2 passport photos, on the form the reason for visit I entered was ‘education/tourism’, the passport was stamped and returned within 3 days of posting)
So visas are not a problem for the over 50s!
I just went and got myself a Thai driving licence (car and motorcycle)
Trip to Immigration office first with signed photocopies of my girlfriend's house registration document and her ID card. Photocopies of my passport and visa pages along with two photos of me along with 500 baht for my certificate of residence (completed in less than 30 minutes while I waited).
Trip to the local hospital for my driving medical report, this cost me 100 baht and again was done while I waited in under less than 30 minutes. A very pretty nurse took my blood pressure and pulse (slightly elevated due to said pretty nurse) then I was shown into the doctor's room where he listened to my heart and breathing, then peered into my eyes and throat. All done with no waiting and everyone very polite. OK so the nurse peered at my passport photo and muttered ‘mai law’ but then I agreed, the passport photo is BAD.
Off to the driving licence office, make some photocopies of the documents I just had made (1 baht per photocopy) fill out a form, have them examine my current UK licence very carefully (they had a fake last week), carry out a simple eye test (what colour is this spot), carry out a simple reaction test (stamp on the pedal when the light goes red) and they give me my Thai licence on the spot (car 180 baht, motorcycle 180 baht). I did take my Thai girlfriend along with me, but everyone spoke very good English, and I speak enough Thai to get the job done (I didn’t really need her with me). Funnily enough my girlfriend didn’t ever have a motorcycle licence, and though it was a good idea to get one while we were there. They wouldn’t let her have one without her completing the driving test (she did that today). So much for accusations of racism against westerners. She has the same licence as me now, temporary for one year, on renewal it will be for 5 years, on second renewal it will be valid for life. Same rules for us both.
Total cost less than 1000 baht, try and get that done in 1 afternoon in the UK!
What about the girls?
Well in the first case who in their right mind would marry some girl they have known after a few weeks than buy a plot of land in the girlfriend/wife's name and build a house in her name (UK or Thai). Are you totally crazy!! A well know western saying …… “if it floats, it flies or it fxxxs, cheaper to rent” comes to mind. House rental in Thailand is very cheap, about 8000 baht a month for a two/three bedroom house plus utilities (if there are any taxes, I haven’t paid them). Electricity is paid for by the king if you use less than 300 baht a month, you pay the entire bill if more than that (my bill is usually around 450 baht, bummer). No need to get married unless you like giving money away (sin sot). I give my girl 3000 baht a week allowance (or is that rent?, is she a prostitute?, my UK wife cost more and gave far less in return), I won’t be getting married in the foreseeable future and am very happy with my girl. I live in her house (but pay the mortgage of less than 8000 baht a month). She also owns a 70 rai farm outright somewhere nearer Bangkok (but I haven’t been there yet as we are living up north, maybe next month I will visit her farm).
I’m not entirely sure if I am a sex tourist!
I do give my girlfriend money as I like to have her around and not off working for peanuts in some menial job (but then I still give my ex-wife in the UK far more and get nothing in return apart from accusations of rape, harassment and stalking even though I live 6000 miles away and have no contact with her or my children of any kind).
So the police are corrupt?
Try driving a motorcycle without a helmet in the UK, or driving while drunk, or speeding. See if the UK police will let you off for a fine of 200 baht (£4) on the spot. You would be lucky to stay out of jail.
Try having your wife accuse you of rape, domestic violence or child abuse in the UK, see how reasonable and fair the UK police are when dealing with you. They like to arrest on Saturday morning when they know a judge won’t be available until Monday, so you get two nights in a holding cell, how reasonable is that?
The laws in the UK prevent racism!
As for your Thai wife in the UK and all her new lady friends, when the divorce happens all those new friends will be egging her on to take you for every penny you have ever earned, along with your house and pension (mine did). Tell us about how bad Thailand is after that little bit of legal rape. English family court needs no evidence, only the tale your ex-wife tells for you to lose everything and get a police record. No racism in the UK, but plenty of sexism …. the man in the UK is a violent raping monster with no rights over his children, pension or house (as you can tell I love family court).
In the UK the authorities can be trusted!
Until your ex-wife informs the social services you are hitting her or abusing your children (no marks or evidence required), then all the lesbian man hating women who work for the services can be trusted to stop you ever seeing your children again, court orders for contact are overturned by social services, no evidence required. How would you even go about proving you hadn’t? I don’t know, I could see the writing on the wall and didn’t even try.
Saving for the future
Another post bangs on about how you should save for the future back in the western world and no rely on benefits when you run out of money in Thailand. For 30 years I saved for the future and worked very hard, what a fool I was, my wife sat on her arse for 30 years then took the lot off me WITH EASE. What a sucker I was to try and do things by the book. Still you live and you learn.
I’m out here in Thailand now and loving it. I’m living with a beautiful girl 20 years younger than me (try getting one of those in the UK) who tells me off if I attempt to do ‘her work’. In the UK I lived with an old bag (50+)who screamed at me for not doing the housework and cooking after I had come home from a hard days work, while her only duties were taking the kids to school and back, spending my hard earned cash and drinking coffee with her friends. Different country, different scams, different abuses of authority.
No thanks, stuff the UK, I like Thailand.
Will my relationship with the current girlfriend last forever, who knows, who cares!
Plenty more where she came from. (not that I don’t love her, just that my cock no longer rules my mind or wallet, and I have come to realise that love is only temporary)
I have now lived out here 6 months, I can speak, read and write Thai enough to get by, in a couple of years I will (hopefully) be fluent. If you have no money, are young, or are stupid, then this is not the country for you. The girls aren’t any prettier than the UK, but they don’t care about your age. As a 50 something life out here is great with a 30 something girlfriend. If you like shagging 50+ year old ladies who weigh 200 pounds twice a year (and they think they are doing you a favour), then stay in the UK.
If some submissions were overly negative then sorry, then I cannot help but feel that this is overly positive!