I'm a guy who doesn't like being pestered so I avoid farang neighborhoods like the plague. I live in Udon Thani, which has only a small seedy area with bars in which aged Westerners congregate, very easy to avoid. This isn't a tourist town.
However, Farangs by themselves don't bother me at all. It's the Asian scum they attract that I avoid.
About a month ago when I was visiting Vientiane I didn't have any choice but head to the river, and for those who don't know, the tourists hang out in a slender strip hugging the Mekong. I didn't have any choice because I receive a True Move 3G signal on my laptop, and True's coverage in Vientiane is spotty and inconsistent everywhere except along the riverbank. You can always pick up a signal at the river. The connection in my hotel died, and I needed to make some stock market transactions and check e-mail, and do this late at night because I'm from the U.S.
So I walked toward the river alone, late at night, carrying my laptop with me. I parked myself on a bench along a street and opened my laptop, with only a few people in sight, because the time was at least 11 o'clock at night. Immediately, a tuktuk driver spied me from a distance of about 500 meters, and sped in my direction like a bat out of hell, yelling “tuk-tuk-tuk-tuk” and stopped right in front of me. I told him to leave me alone, none too nicely. They don't respond to subtle cues like polite Thai or Lao, so I'm never polite with them. I just wanted him to go away. The driver smirked, and drove out of sight. I thought that was the end of it, and I proceeded to check my investments and email.
About five minutes later a katoey sped towards me on a motorbike, stopped in front of me and said “Well, hello there, handsome.”
I told him to go away, but he persisted, and stood in front of me, and repeated “Hello there, handsome.”
I was worried about my personal safety, because ladyboys tend to be aggressive and don't handle rejection well. At this point, there was no one else in sight. I slammed down the cover of my laptop, puffed up my chest and made fists. If there were a stick or rock available I would have grabbed that as well. I walked towards the ladyboy, and said “Get the hell out of here, you friggin faggot.”
He / she / it looked hurt, but left quickly. Normally I would run from a fight, but I followed a different survival instinct in this case. That is, if you encounter an aggressive or predatory animal that's smaller than you, the best strategy is to
try to look big and vicious, and scare it away. Never run.
I was worried that he would return with some of his friends, and I quickly finished up my business on the computer, so that I could leave. But before I left, he came back with a farang passenger on his motorbike, and yelled “f@#ck you” as he sped by, although luckily for me he didn't stop. I wonder if that farang thinks he's gay or straight.
I had another close encounter with katoeys a few years back, late one night when I was walking down Sukhumvit between the intersection of Asoke and the skytrain station. This time there were three of them and they surrounded me. I was carrying a much more bulky laptop with a 17 inch monitor, and I think they were trying to rob me. One of them kicked me in the stomach, and I ran with my computer as quickly as I could toward the skytrain station, never looking back. They didn't follow me.
In Bangkok I've been followed many times by katoeys until I developed the ability to identify them from a distance, without making eye contact. I don't know what makes me a katoey magnet, but part of the answer might be that I sometimes walk late at night, alone with my computer. I'm really just looking for an internet connection, not sex with a ladyboy. I find the mere sight of them repulsive.
I'm a firm believer in the libertarian philosophy that your rights end where my nose begins, and from this arises a tolerance of katoeys provided they leave me alone. By the same token I'm tolerant of bestiality provided that you first obtain the consent of the animal. Buggery disgusts me, but to each his own. Throughout human evolutionary development our ancestors have cross-bred with other species, including chimpanzees, Neanderthals and Denisovans. Bestiality is natural phenomenon while sex with a hormone-injected half-transsexual isn't. Therefore, a bugger having sex with a chimpanzee would be more normal than the farang who sat on back of the katoey's motorbike. The PC crowd might call me homophobic, but that contrived term doesn't make sense, because it confuses revulsion with fear.
I have a suspicion that ladyboys have an extra find tuned sensory ability to read you and pick up on what you really think about them. If you view them as sub-human this is not lost on them and they hassle you, but if you smile, and joke they tend to leave you alone.