My Rules for Visiting Thailand
I’m not a Thailand expert by any means, but I have visited the country and I think there are some very common sense approaches that every visitor should take to the country, especially if they are men looking to enjoy the company
of Thai women. I’ve read so many “she done me wrong” stories on this website that are 100% the fault of naive, stupid men, that I wanted to make a quick and plain guide to how to visit Thailand.
I think all of this should be completely obvious, basic stuff, but the number of stories on Stickman’s site of victimized men just proves yet again that someone needs to spell out the simple rules. So here they are, my rules to
1. The Pay for Play Scene
Have you ever gone to dinner theater? You know, where you sit, eat a meal, and some actors play characters on a small stage in the middle of the restaurant? It’s not so popular these days, but in the 60s and 70s there were tons
of these theaters across America, varying in size and quality.
In dinner theater, the actors stay in character throughout the entire show. Sometimes they interact with diners, but they never ever drop the veil and act like themselves—like actual actors. No. They stay in character. So only
an idiot would see their acts as reality, and actually believe the show they were watching was reality.
This is exactly how you should see bargirls. They are putting on a show for you. You are paying to see the show. Whether it’s in the bar, in your hotel room, at a night club, on an extended date…it’s all dinner theater.
Yes, sex is involved, but this means nothing. These are girls for pleasure, and in a Buddhist society, their role is to provide entertainment—sex, fun, and fantasy. But it’s all still theater. Just because there’s
sex involved doesn’t mean anything is different. It isn’t.
Wear condoms, bring HIV test kids if you prefer (yes, these are available for in-home use over-the-counter nowadays—Google “Oraquick”), and play safe. Remember that you are paying for sex and leave your emotions at
the door. If you are lonely or looking for love, do not come to Thailand. Come for fun, not for depth. It isn’t there.
2. The Weather
Thailand is hot and humid as everyone knows, but it’s also very bright. Be aware and plan accordingly. Light clothes in your size are good to pack, but you should also bring comfortable sunglasses and a night mask. Most likely
your hotel room will have large windows and a beautiful view, but this means the bright sun will wake you at 6 AM if you aren’t prepared.
Likewise, if you’re unaccustomed to using an air conditioner at most or all times, be aware that this dries the air and can cause problems with nasal passages and throats. If you are sensitive to dry air, keep this in mind and
bring some throat lozenges and drink plenty of water. Drinking water is also good when you walk around the country, because the heat and the sun will make you sweat and likely dehydrate you.
Remember, you are on vacation so you will probably walk around more than you normally do, so prepare for this with lots of water drinking while you go around, and don’t be afraid to buy fruit at the many stalls you’ll walk
past at regular intervals. The fruit is cheap, delicious, and refreshing. Plus it’ll keep you healthy. Which brings me to the next point.
3. The Food
I’ve lived in America, several European countries, and in East Asia, plus I’ve travelled in many other parts of the world. While the USA wins in terms of quality of ingredients and diversity of offerings, Thai food is the
best native food I’ve ever come across and it is simply delicious everywhere you go. The ubiquitous cheap 40 baht noodle soup bowls you’ll find in hole-in-the-wall restaurants are worth sampling, even if you want to be a high
roller. Cooked street food is safe to eat for the most part, and worth trying. Uncooked food is better to get from a proper restaurant.
I’ve never gotten food poisoning in Thailand, but I haven’t been as often as many others who have horrible stories to tell. In any case, any tourist needs to try the fast food, the small restaurants, the street food, and
the more upscale restaurants. Bangkok is much better for food than several other Asian cities—for price and variety I’d say it even beats Tokyo.
It’s a good idea to learn some of the basic words for chicken, papaya, etc. in Thai. With street vendors, these words will come in handy.
4. The Culture
You don’t need to know Thai history word-for-word to get around, but knowing how to say “thank you” and “I’m sorry” will go a long way in a culture where face and reputation are more valuable
than many other ideas. You aren’t expected to know when to wai or smile correctly, so no need to get in the nitty gritty of Thai cultural niceties, and guidebooks make too big of a deal about showing the bottom of feet or touching
a Thai person on the top of their head. Yes, these should be avoided, but more importantly, you should know how to say “please,” “sorry,” and so on.
You shouldn’t get angry or upset if you find yourself getting screwed over. Remember—you’re on vacation and you can’t expect to get the best deal 100% of the time. If you end up overpaying by $5, take it as
a cheap lesson, and don’t make the same mistake again. If you get angry, try to fight or yell, the chances that you will suffer much more are very high.
When going to Thailand, you will regret it if you stick to Sukhumvit or Pattaya. Thailand has a rich and beautiful culture, and I think the prostitution is just one side of this society. The Buddhist temples, monasteries, and skyscrapers
are other facets of the same society. I think Thai people often try to distance their culture from the prostitution, and many sex tourists do the same thing by spending all of their time in a bar chatting with girls. The fact is that you will
have a much more meaningful and enjoyable experience exploring both at the same time, and trying to understand why and how they coexist.
Think of it this way—many of the sex tourists who go to Bangkok and end up in a relationship with a prostitute do so because they want to attach meaning to the sex. They can’t just use a woman’s hole, have an orgasm,
and be satisfied with it. It’s too primal, too demeaning. They need to feel that there is more to it or they will hate themselves.
Well, there is more to it, but not the western romantic notion of love between a man and a woman that so many men in Thailand cling to. Nothing could be further from what is really going on between you and your teerak. What is going on
between the two of you is a complex history of empire-building, religion, and culture. Find your meaning there by exploring Thailand’s rich history. It’s much cheaper than buying houses and cars for your prostitute/wife and her
5. The Authorities
Many visitors to Thailand try to turn their short trip into a more permanent experience. I love Thailand and look forward to returning, but I see it as a part-time pleasure for many reasons. One is that I hate being around extreme abject
poverty, but another is that I do not want to entrust my fate into such extremely corrupt authorities.
In my view, it is best to go unnoticed when interacting with Thai authorities, and for the most part that’s what they want too. If your dealing with them lingers at all, they will see it as an opportunity to get paid. And so paid
they must be. Expecting justice or fair play is foolish; prepare to pay up and that’s the end of it.
Of course, it’s better to avoid them at all costs. I don’t drink alcohol in hot climates (I hate feeling hungover and hot), so it’s easy for me to avoid trouble with the boys in brown when I’m in Thailand.
It’s an easy case of in-and-out with me. But for those who want to deal with visas, setting up a business, giving tea-money, and so on, one simply has to be prepared for everything to be a hassle and to pay to avoid having the corruption
bite you in the ass. Personally, I think any westerner who decided to relocate in Thailand full-time, especially if they want to start a business or make a living in the country, is a fool (sorry, Stick!)