What Are We Looking For?
I was inspired to write this submission after reading the young man’s submission “Thailand – The Next Generation’s Perspective.”
I believe we all come to Thailand looking for something; either it be for woman, adventure, opportunity, redemption or just to have fun. It doesn’t matter if you are an older man who has been in the Land of Smiles for years or who has visited
umpteen times. Or you can be a much younger man who is looking for adventure and opportunities but there is still a common denominator which is Thai women. It doesn’t matter the age but I believe that the women of Thailand are a major motivator
for all foreign men to either live or visit the Kingdom. I can be wrong about my assumption and not every man may this pertain to but I would wager a majority of Western men are motivated to come or live in Thailand because of the women.
You can be a Broken Man who comes to Thailand to get away from his hum drum life in England and who relishes to sample Thai Mudgeon or a younger man who loves the vibe of Bangkok. The younger set still relish the delights of Thai felines but they may go about finding them differently then other age groups. Or someone like myself who is a businessman who recently set up an outsource office to take advantage of the lower wages and to enjoy what Bangkok has to offer.
Has Thailand changed over the years? Of course and what country hasn’t? In my belief it’s still as much fun as when I first visited over 20 years ago. What I question is if it got any worse in regards to how the Thai people or government treats its long term residents. That seems to be the crux of why a certain group of expats are leaving or could it be that the dream is finally wearing off after living here for so many years.
From personal experience of having lived in Thailand for an extended time to now visiting often for business (4th trip since January), I believe that it depends upon what you are doing in the Land of Smiles. When I worked for a Thai institution it was an incredibly difficult experience yet when owning my own business here it was so much easier. When living here full time I would almost never go out to the bar areas because after a while it became incredibly boring and I would only go when a friend came to town who wanted to sample the naughty boy nightlife scene. I was always amazed after not visiting a gogo for 6 to 8 months and when returning I would see the same faces. What type of life is that?
My first claim is that Thailand is as much fun now as it was 20 years ago. I’ve chronicled my last 3 visits this year with Stickman submissions and it all depends what you are in to and for me the women are even prettier then before, having gotten taller and more sophisticated. Maybe they have become wiser to the ways of foreigners and aren’t as easy to fool. For me they are no more mercenary then before and since I’ve lived in other Asian countries like Vietnam and Hong Kong I’ve found Thai women to be a lot softer and fun to be with. There is still a need for sanuk in their life and they seem to live life day by day. I find Bangkok a very cosmopolitan city with absolutely great restaurants and clubs. The metro system is great and the hotels are a great value for the money as compared to where I live in Dubai which has gotten terribly expensive.
I recently opened a business in Thailand and it was easy to open with no hassle and relatively cheap as compared to other countries. I used Sunbelt Asia who I used before to buy and sell a condo and they were great, making the whole experience trouble-free. Finding an office to rent was very easy and I didn’t use an agent. Instead I walked to a building of interest and inquired if they had space. I brought along a Thai associate who talked to the people in the office, even a janitor. Within a week of walking to countless buildings I was able to sign a lease that was a lot cheaper then many other countries which is within a few minute walk to the BTS. Labor rates are less than half of what you find in the Gulf and the fit out of the office was again very inexpensive. I left a Thai employee in Bangkok who works for me in Dubai to project manage the work. Right now I’m in the Emirates lounge waiting for my flight to Bangkok to see how it’s coming along.
Let’s see. So far I’ve discussed Thai women and check for being great fun. Hotels, restaurants, clubs, shopping and nightlife scene check for being well priced versus other great cosmopolitan cities and in my opinion a lot more fun. Ease of opening a business and to get it up and running, check mark for being able to do it quickly, cheaply and trouble free. Pollution, well it’s always been bad but I don’t think it’s gotten any worse and maybe better since they have gotten rid of the black smoke belching older busses. Traffic has always been bad and the metro system is the only way to get around. I’m a golfer and I find Bangkok a great place where in less then an hour's drive there are so many courses to play and again for a lot less then many other countries. Without a doubt they have the best lady caddies in the world.
Since I’m not living here full time I find Bangkok a great city to do business and to hang out in. Eventually I do plan to retire here but I still have many more years to go.