Stickman's Weekly Column March 22nd, 2015

Infidelity



The results of a Match.com survey published recently revealed 56% of married Thais surveyed admit to being unfaithful to their partner. Amongst expats, the latest survey generated snide chuckles. The question that has to be asked is just why the Thais consistently score high in infidelity surveys.





That Thailand topped the ignominious survey was no great surprise. The results of the Match.com survey mirrored the world's largest sex survey by condom manufacturer Durex which found 59% of married Thai women were unfaithful, the second highest in the world for females, while 54% of married Thai men were said to be unfaithful, Thai men on top of the world in a category that doesn't exactly come with bragging rights.

The idea of relationships, marriage, monogamy and being faithful to one's partner is, like so many things in Thailand, kind of complicated.

Thais can become quite threatening towards their partner if they so much as suspect they are getting a bit on the side. Men have been known to severely beat up a partner who is merely suspected of cheating and the throwing of acid on the face of a cheating partner or a partner who leaves them for another man is hardly uncommon. That Thailand is reputed to have the world's best penis reattachment surgeons is testament to how far some Thai females will go if she catches her man cheating.

Hardly anyone goes in to marriage thinking their partner will be unfaithful, even when the widely publicised results of these surveys consistently show high levels of philandering in Thailand. In individual relationships, there seems to be an almost idealistic notion that their partner is different.

How can that be so with the phenomenon of mia nois (mistresses) in a country in which most over 40s publicly have very socially conservative attitudes? How do you explain the preponderance of massage parlours, karaoke houses, gentlemen's clubs and various other venues for local men where sex is for sale? And how do you explain the way many Thai men are so open – often even with strangers – about their philandering?!

On the other hand, cheating Thai women tend to keep it quiet. Thai society tends to perceive such behaviour by females in a dimmer light.

So why do so many Thais cheat in marriage?

Could it be that Thais are particularly sexual beings? Many Thais are driven by the pursuit of fun and all things pleasurable, but as for being particularly sexual, in my opinion, no, most are not. While for some Thais there is little or no guilt associated with the idea of sex simply for the fun of it, for many Thais there most certainly is.

One might turn to evolutionary biology to try and explain a man's philandering….but that does not explain the actions of females.

Is there perhaps a correlation between infidelity and corruption? Thailand doesn't fare well in the corruption index so is it that countries with rampant corruption are also countries where sleeping around is not uncommon. Each is a symptom of dishonesty, right? In the Match.com survey, the Danes placed second, notable because Denmark always rates alongside Singapore, New Zealand and the rest of Scandinavia for being as close to corruption-free as it is possible for humans to be. Does this suggest there is little or no correlation between infidelity, dishonesty and general trust issues? With most of the other countries rating high in the infidelity stakes being European (and hardly registering in the corruption index), there would appear to be no correlation between the two.

Religion, climate and economic strength can all probably be ruled out with none a common factor amongst all the countries which score highest in infidelity surveys.

Certainly we shouldn't be too hard on the Thais when it comes to infidelity because while they may top the charts, they're not the only country represented and others are snapping at their heels.

I've long felt that in these parts that there is a notion that if you can do something which might not be necessarily right nor admired – and which might in fact be considered plain wrong or even illegal, so long as you are absolutely certain you can get away with it then you do it anyway.

Are the reports of widespread infidelity simply symptomatic of a scofflaw attitude where almost anything is ok so long as you don't get caught?

Getting back to the 56% of married Thais in the Match.com survey who responded that they had cheated, I wonder what percentage of Thais involved with foreigners play around? But the number I'd really like to know is the percentage of foreign men married to a Thai woman and living in Thailand who play around. That number just has to be higher than 56%!






Where was this photo taken?



Last week's photo was taken of Wat Po at night from the intersection of Thai Wang Alley and Maha Rat Road.


FROM STICK'S INBOX (These are emails from readers and what is written here was not written by Stick.) Preference may be given to emails which refer to the previous week's column.

EMAIL OF THE WEEK The so-called cultural differences.

There has been endless head-scratching trying to come to grips with "Thai ways" and culture. To me, a large component of "culture" is simply about being pragmatic in coping with the circumstances in which you live. Hence people's habits in different societies can vary giving the appearance of a different culture, which it is, but there is nothing esoteric or out of reach about it. In large part it comes down to only practical considerations. As a means to entering the Thai mindset, just imagine what a western society would become if its universal and generous social security system was abolished; old age pensions in particular. Just like here in Thailand, people would have to start living on their wits, grab whatever they can, sell themselves etc in a daily struggle just to get by and also meet the obligation of caring for the elderly. In trying to come to grips with local practices, factoring in this critical difference really helps to clarify the so called cultural differences.

Expat experience similar in Japan.

In your column on home and acceptance many of the points you illustrated are made by foreigners here in Japan as well. You can never be accepted as Japanese, so what's the point? I've found varying levels of acceptance myself in Japan. Of course, I'll never be accepted as Japanese, but that's because I'm not. When I used to work for a company though, I was accepted as a member of the company, and I've been accepted as members of other groups as well. I eventually started my own company, and I now have acceptance from my staff as their boss. I'm not sure you would call this true acceptance, since I pay for it, but regardless it's still acceptance to a degree. For me, Japan feels like home. Your article made me question why, and I think I have narrowed it down to a home and family. I have a wife and a kid, and while we rent, our home is filled with our stuff, and I've carved out a nice little life for us. So I guess for me, the old adage 'where you lay your head is home' is true – as long as I'm laying my head down with my wife and kid. I don't plan on staying in Japan forever – in fact I've already started plans to move on myself, expanding my business to other areas in Asia and then beyond. But for now, I have all the elements of home that I'd have at home – a home, family, friends – and I do the same things I'd do at home – go to the gym, go to work, meet up with friends for the occasional beer etc. Anyways, I think that if I didn't feel at home here, I'd be ready to jump ship ASAP as well, so I fully understand your decision to move onwards.

Kaeg!

I only have one word to say – Kaeg or แขก. Look at how Thais view Indians who have been here for generations. Why do you think they are called ‘แขก'? <In English means "guest"Stick> They are just visitors who have not left yet! I am Thai, grew up in Thailand and later in Australia. I speak / read / write Thai, have family and friends here but after looking at the way Thailand treats foreigners who would like to settle down in Thailand and contribute positively to the country, I am appalled and will never call Thailand 'home'.

Tolerated rather than welcomed.

Your column about Thailand-as-home rings true. I've lived in Tokyo and Bangkok, but now my home is Hong Kong. Why do I call Hong Kong “home”? Because I have an ID card that certifies me as a permanent resident (Singapore has a similar scheme – you can get PR status if you satisfy certain requirements). The Hong Kong legal system is based on UK law and PR status entitles me to right-of-abode in the HKSAR. Culturally, Hong Kong is an international place and there are people from many nations (West, East, and Hong Kong) I consider friends – and I think they would say the same. Tokyo was the opposite: the Japanese word for foreigner / farang is “gaijin”: literally, “outside person”. I was the English-speaking freak who was trotted out for entertainment. I had Japanese clients, but did I have friends? I did not. By the time my contract was up I couldn't even turn on the television or radio – I couldn't even listen to the language being spoken. When I consider these two extremes, I realise that Thailand is firmly in the “gaijin” camp and farang are tolerated rather than welcomed. They'll let you live there on a retirement visa or whatever, and if you're polite and don't cause loss of face for the wrong people, you can enjoy whatever you can afford. But is it “home”? My opinion: not as far as your average Thai is concerned. You're a farang, your home is Farangland.





Similarities with Jim Thompson.

It was interesting to read of your rationale for leaving Thailand but it also triggered a sense of déjà vu. I realised why almost immediately. In a biography of Jim Thompson called "The Ideal Man", near identical reasons were cited as causing him a form of anxiety. To be honest, I found the details about his failed assimilation to be of more interest than the mystery of his disappearance. So, in around 50 years little or nothing has changed in the Thai attitude to foreigners and I doubt there will be any improvement soon. In fact, as a gambling man, I think there is a good chance things may get worse. However, as I read the expat forums I am often stunned by the Thai-er than Thais who seem oblivious to the fact that they have few, if any, rights. With ASEAN and other changes hovering nearby you have to wonder how many of these people are deluding themselves and ill-prepared for changes in which they have no influence over.

Taxi takes a detour.

Yesterday my friends and I decided to go to Soi Cowboy for a night of drinking and fun. After the night was done, we picked up a taxi outside Soi Cowboy and he agreed to take us to Huay Kwang for 150 baht. It was 3:30 AM and the roads were clear. Then all of sudden the taxi driver made a left on to Din Daeng Road in to a police checkpoint from Asoke Road when he could have kept going straight along Rachadapisek Road. The taxi stopped at the checkpoint and the police ordered us out of the cab. We had a total of 3 guys and 2 girls in the cab. The police ordered me and my friend to empty our pockets while they left my other friend and the girls alone. It was obvious that they were looking for drugs. After not finding anything, they let us go and the taxi driver made a U-turn and drove down Rachadapisek Road to our hotel. It didn't dawn on me until this morning when I sobered up that the driver purposely drove us in to the police checkpoint. Are taxi drivers getting a reward or commission if the police catch anybody with drugs or whatever else in their possession? We have never experienced this before. We are all of Asian descent so it shows that the police are searching everybody. It's sad to see Thailand turning in to a police state.

Bangkok successfully shaking off its once unenviable reputation.

I believe we are seeing the gradual demise of Bangkok as an international sex tourist destination. The bars are going under for one simple reason – there are not enough customers. I see it as I look around Sukhumvit, and even downtown and on the klong boats – this place is not the domain of single men any more. There are lots of couples, single farang women and families with kids walking around, even at night on the sois around Sukhumvit, and families rule the downtown tourist areas. I remember when I first started coming here, even on Khao San Road, I would see sour looking farang women sitting around looking disapprovingly at the effortlessly beautiful local girls, and I would think to myself "Why did you come here, white woman? This place is not for you – go home!" Now I don't think that way at all as the city has changed; it is an internationally respected tourist destination, a place where people from any country that has winter would want to come, with their families in tow. Ten years from now Nana will be a condo construction site, if not sooner. We should all be happy that we got to enjoy this city a little before the good times ended, as all good things do.



Girl of the week

Yoko, escort exclusive with NewBangkokEscort.com
Yoko is not the youngest escort out there, but she is confident and self-assured
which in my experience often means dynamite in the bedroom!







Yoko with last week's girl of the week, Soda.



The empty shophouse with the white roller door between Sahara and Cockatoo towards the soi 23 end of Soi Cowboy has been subject to much conjecture over what it may become. There are two new rumours doing the rounds. The first is that Soi Cowboy may soon have a new miniature beer bar – miniature because the vacant space is not deep like most of the bars on Cowboy, but in fact rather shallow. This means it's not suited to, well, much at all. Word is that if it does become a beer bar that it will be a beer bar without a hong nam. The other rumour is that it is going to be a small Thai food outlet that operates day and night.

The empty space in the back left-hand corner on the ground floor of Nana Bar that was until recently Underground is available for would-be bar industry investors. In an unprecedented move, the owners of Nana Plaza requested I include mention of its availability in the column. Interested parties can contact: [email protected] The monthly rent for that location is more than the monthly payments for a 911 Turbo or a downtown mansion so you'd better have a good business plan, especially as that spot is partially concealed due to the wall separating it from Spellbound. And with the entrance to the gogo bar proper set well back from the walkway, any new operator has challenges to overcome to make it a success.

Chins are wagging amongst bar bosses in Nana about which will be the next bar to fail. No-one is confident Jail Birdz on the top floor will ever open and unless there is a serious adjustment to the rent, will anyone take over the aforementioned spot that was Underground. Two people I trust both point to the same bar as being the next to fail and suggest that the current owner might have to return to London as Bangkok was never his calling.

Nana Partners (the company which manages Nana Plaza) delivered a letter to all the bars in the plaza this week stating that the plaza must be clear of people by 3:00 AM. Bars in the plaza are closing at 2:00 AM or a touch after. There have been worries from the management company that the many people still lingering around the plaza deep in to the night is the cause of frequent visits by those in uniform, something which makes many customers uncomfortable.

Asking a Nana Plaza bar manager how business this week was, he didn't mince his words. Slow as fxxx!

Popular former Rainbow 1, Rainbow 3 and Hollywood Strip mamasan, Ann, is now working in Mercury. She's long been a popular figure in the plaza and is looking forward to welcoming old friends to Mercury.

As per recent columns, be careful of black spots on Sukhumvit Road from where light-fingered ladyboys operate to pickpocket valuables from inebriated or merely unaware foreign men. Generally east of the Asoke intersection has been safe, but that's no longer the case in the dark stretch between sois 20 and 22 which has become a new hunting ground for a pair of light-fingered ladyboys preying on passersby late at night.



Soi Cowboy



The large banner that had hung across the middle of Soi Cowboy since 2012 that said Safety Zone has gone.

Making the rounds this week, Soi Cowboy stands out as the most welcoming of the bar areas, where there is less pressure and generally a more relaxed vibe. In one gogo bar in the neon lane this week, trade was reasonable with a steady stream of punters. But the whole time I was there – a few hours – not a single girl was barfined. Bars make money from drinks but they also want to see girls going out the door. It did seem rather a few customers were nursing drinks or on cheap draft beer so perhaps the Scotland and New Zealand business associations were meeting that night?

Dollhouse is currently my favourite bar, one of few venues I actually enjoy myself. The ladies are fun, the sound system is good, there's a great music playlist, and Dollhouse has the longest happy hour in a Soi Cowboy gogo bar – through until 9:30 PM. Dollhouse eclipses the other bar I currently like a lot, The Strip in Patpong, for one specific reason – Dollhouse is non-smoking. Take note, bar owners, there are A LOT of us for whom that makes a big difference.

Down in Pattaya, long-running Diamond A Gogo on Soi Diamond has closed. Around 11 or 12 years ago Diamond A Gogo was considered by many locals to be in the top handful of chrome pole bars in Sin City.

Also in Soi Diamond, Gentleman's Club is struggling and some are wondering whether it could follow Diamond A Gogo.

Popular Pattaya bar manager Larry, previously of Secrets and now of Babydolls, will celebrate his birthday this coming Friday, March 27th. When asked how old he will be, Larry got cryptic and said you're only as old as the lady you feel. Kind of apt, given where he works.

There is talk that Oscars on Soi LK Metro may revert back to an open-air bar in the not distant future.

Bar Bar, Thailand's most popular fetish bar, will celebrate its 9th anniversary this coming Friday and Saturday. All sorts of surprises are planned including a human birthday cake and a slave auction. A fetish house, Bar Bar is nothing like any other bar in Patpong. It's something of an acquired taste while at the same time it's one of those places fans of the bar industry should check out at least once. You can't really say you have done Patpong if you haven't crawled around on all 4s in Bar Bar in nothing but a dog collar while being whipped by a slavemaster in leather. If that's not you, a drink and a quick look will suffice. Bar Bar is located at the Silom Road end of Patpong soi 2, right next door to The Strip.

As I wrote in a recent column, the lady drink system is broken – and the tomfoolery surrounding lady drinks which started in Bangkok has spread nationwide. It mightn't be as bad outside Bangkok but the nonsense has reached the most far flung expat bar areas. Complaints have come in from some bar customers in Udon Thani where word is some girls have learned that downing a shot glass of water Tequila in one gulp and immediately asking for another is much more profitable than nursing it and sitting patiently with the same customer in the hope of being offered another.






With the Internet now very much part of most people's lives and the distinction between the real world and the cyber world becoming more and more blurred, we're all conscious of what is said / appears about us online – and barladies are no exception. The worry for bar staff is being photographed inside bars not fully covered and those photos being seen by members of their family. That was unlikely to ever happen until Facebook came along, but now it is a very real concern. In a Soi Cowboy bar this week with 2 friends, we were looking at photos on a friend's mobile phone that he had taken inside a Patpong bar a few weeks earlier as part of an organised photo shoot. One of the girls in the bar sees us looking at photos – no attempt had been made to conceal what we were looking at – and next thing we know she has complained to a waitress that we were taking photos inside the bar. Said waitress comes over, sees photos taken inside a bar and tells my pal to delete the photos. We explain that the photos were taken in another bar and are not relevant to her or the bar we are in. Not that we needed to, we explain that they were from an organised photo shoot carried out at the request of the owner of that bar who is a friend of the owner of the bar we're in now. You'd think that would have been the end of it but no, suddenly we have half a dozen girls surrounding us – and they are ANGRY! Even though the photos were clearly taken in another bar altogether, they didn't believe us. They really believed we had been taking shots in their bar which we hadn't. They wouldn't listen to reason so we played it the Thai way, "The girls in these photos are all beautiful. Look at them – they're all tall, have white skin and are not tattooed. Can you show me any dancers in here who are tall with white skin and without a tattoo?" In fact the ladies weren't tall and didn't have white skin but they weren't paying that much attention to the photos. They got the message and retreated.

But that's not the only story this week about photography inside bars. I heard about an incident that occurred in a middle floor Nana Plaza bar a few weeks ago where a young foreigner was caught taking photos inside a bar with his iPhone in a showing bar. In fairness to the guy, from the way the incident was described he was probably in a bar for the first time and didn't realise photography wasn't allowed as he made zero effort to conceal what he was doing. When he was spotted taking photos a waitress told him it isn't allowed and said he had to delete the photos. He refused. Bad move – that's worse than taking photos in the first place. He was set upon by a bunch of girls, some of whom removed their shoes and hit him repeatedly on the head with the tip of her stilettos. Nasty stuff, and it's a strong insult in Thailand to be hit on the head with the sole of a shoe. He quickly left the bar and was seen exiting the plaza, a bloodied mess.

The girls are much more concerned about photos in the bar these days and while there are heaps of videos online from folks who have managed to surreptitiously record inside, things can get out of control. If you build a rapport with a bar lady, many will allow you to take photos of them inside the bar if the phone / camera is pointed away from the stage so others aren't in the shot. It helps if it's a bar with no showing.





A new internet domain name suffix will become available very soon, .sucks. Yes, this is real and not an early April Fool's Day joke. The new domain name suffix is tailor made for the likes of Lolita's, Som's Haven and other venues of that sector of the industry.

Business has been terrible for many businesses on Sukhumvit soi 22 since Queen's Park Hotel closed with some businesses folding, including half a dozen or so massage houses. Some of those still in operation have gone against local business practices which often see prices go up when there are fewer customers around, and they have actually dropped the price of a massage by 100 baht an hour which goes against what some of us joke as Economics 101 – the local practice of putting prices up when there are fewer customers around.

As of March 1, Jim, manager and proprietor of popular California2 on Phnom Penh's riverfront, has turned the lease over to Sundance Inn on Street 172. The new name will be Sundance Riverside and it will be managed by Mick. Sundance Riverside aims to provide Sundance customers and new visitors to Phnom Penh the same level of hospitality former California2 visitors and friends have been accustomed to. Many of the California2 staff will stay on board so repeat visitors will be greeted with a familiar face. Jim will remain in Phnom Penh so you might catch him there on the other side of the bar. Jim and Mick are working together to ensure a smooth transition and bookings can still be made using the California2 email address. The new email address will be : [email protected]

The announcement of the closure of the Thai Consulate in Brisbane on March 27th is a great shame for Australians as that was perhaps the one Thailand mission in the world where everyone raved about how friendly and efficient the service was. It was long known as a soft touch without the headaches some report at other Thailand embassies and consulates. Visas were usually issued within an hour, sometimes within 5 minutes. Its closure really will be a great loss.





More sad news this week with confirmation that the flagship branch of Sunrise Tacos will close on April 1st at precisely 6:20 AM. The great thing about the soi 12 branch is the outdoor dining area which is unique in downtown Bangkok. Fortunately, Sunrise has other branches downtown so you can still get your fill of Sunrise on the 4th floor of Terminal 21, at the branch on Silom Road plus other spots around town. 4 new branches of Sunrise Tacos are due to open in the coming months – on the corner of Sukhumvit soi 7/1, the ground floor of The Phyll on Sukhumvit soi 54, the 7th floor of MBK and at the Petchaburi MRT station.

Good burgers weren't so easy to find when I first arrived in Bangkok unless you were prepared to spring for Hard Rock Cafe or Planet Hollywood. These days many places do a good burger, some even do an outstanding burger. But with prices on the up, you might end up paying as much or even more for a burger in Bangkok than you would at home. If you're on a budget but crave a taste of home, Bus Stop on Soi Nana's cheeseburger is as good as ever – and still a bargain at just 130 baht. That gets you a burger with fries, without the ridiculous ++ too many restaurants add to the bill.

How does the Thai baht stay so stable against the US dollar? As currencies around the world have plummeted in value against the dollar in the last 6 months, the baht is only down about 1%. Why is that? They say the Singapore dollar is to Asia what the Swiss franc is to Europe, but the Thai baht seems more deserving of that title.

Frustrated foreign residents are known to have the odd rant about life in Thailand at times, but sometimes we need to take a look at the big picture and consider that things are not as bad as they may seem. A mate who gets around Bangkok by motorbike tells me that whenever he parks his motorbike, he leaves his helmet resting on the handlebars, attached by a simple clip. This is something he would never do in his native Belgium for it would likely not be there when he returned but in 10 years of riding in Bangkok no-one has ever taken his helmet. Still, I have never seen his helmet and maybe the shocking pink colour and the slogan I love ladyboys in Thai on the front has something to do with it? OK, just joking about the colour and the slogan!



Babydolls Pattaya










Quote of the week comes from Zef, "If getting a Thai wife to live happily ever after requires a normal guy to throw around money like he's a millionaire and put on a smile every time he's treated like a 2nd class citizen by the locals, then it's time to give that option the middle finger salute and look for people and places where real values and equal treatment are the norm.

A fight breaks out in Pattaya between a Polish woman and a ladyboy who is accused of propositioning the ladyboy's husband.

Reports a Thai woman arranged the murder of her British husband in Texas is a story getting much attention in Thailand.

The government has declared underboob selfies unlawful, an offence punishable by up to five years in prison.

A New Zealander is sentenced to prison and HARD LABOUR in Myanmar for posting an image of Buddha wearing headphones.

A Thai model caught in a stampede of Chinese tourists in Korea rants about the behaviour of Chinese travellers.

A 21-year old Scottish tourist goes to a gun range in Phuket and shoots himself in the head.





Ask Sunbelt Asia Legal

Sunbelt Asia's legal department is here to answer your questions relating to legal issues and the law in Thailand. Send any legal questions you may have to me and I will pass them on to Sunbelt Legal and their response will run in a future column. You can contact Sunbelt's legal department directly for all of your legal needs.



Question 1: Surely there must be some legal clause that the team at Sunbelt Asia can come up with and apply to stop our Stickman absconding from his important duties to produce a weekly column?

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisors responds: Under the Civil Commercial Code: Persons, Chapter I, Natural Persons, Part II, Capacity, Section 28, a person of unsound mind may be adjudged incompetent by the Court on the application of any spouse, ascendants, descendants, guardian or curator, a person taking care of the person or the Public Prosecutor.

The person adjudged incompetent under paragraph one must be placed under guardianship. The appointment of guardian, power and duties of guardian, and termination of guardianship shall be in accordance with provisions of Book V of this Code.

Section 29. An act done by a person adjudged incompetent is voidable.

If you feel Mr. Stick is of unsound mind because of the many years dealing with foreigners, going to bars and listening to stories then this would be a good clause. The best example of this clause being enforced is from last week's column where he admitted no desire to even fulfill his responsibility to update readers by visiting the bars. He basically stated he has lost the plot. Rumour has it that he has been seen with green suspenders holding his pants up to his armpits and a large metal amulet around his neck, standing in Nana Plaza mumbling to passersby "Take care your wife!" The tom toms have it that he told his mates Lecherous Lee and the Dirty Doctor that his name is "Voice Trink." At Sunbelt Asia we have handled unsound mind and quasi-incompetent cases. We strongly advise you to contact our legal professionals as soon as possible so Mr. Stick gets to enjoy Songkran again and again and not give a hoot about the water.



Question 2: I am thinking of selling a condo I bought well over a decade ago. After I had agreed the purchase price at the time I transferred the money in to Thailand from abroad as advised by the realtor. I was then advised that I would have to make the payment mostly by bank draft and partly in cash. On the day of signing at the Land Office, I was introduced to the lawyer who was acting on my behalf. I was given all the documents that required my signature and soon realised that the purchase price shown on these documents was significantly less than what had been agreed (and what I was actually paying). I questioned this with the realtor, who, matter of fact, said 'This is the way things are done in Thailand' and then deferred me to the lawyer, who confirmed the same. I was surprised but proceeded with the transaction. I now have two questions:
1. Was this indeed a normal way of paying for, and recording, a real estate transaction in Thailand?
2. Will the difference in the purchase price as shown in the paperwork from the price that I had actually paid adversely affect me if I go to sell the condo on in turn?

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisers responds: It is very common for sellers to try and minimize the tax and fees that he / she needs to pay. This is why they request that the buyer support their statement of a much lower price than the actual agreed on price. In Thailand there is no capital gains tax. Instead there is a seller's income tax, but this tax is reduced by taking in to account the number of years that the condo is owned by the seller (owner of the unit). It is better for the foreign seller to declare the full selling price to the Land Office as this declared selling price will be listed in the official sale and purchase agreement (Land Office version) which will provide a proven record of the funds that were transferred by the foreigner.





Question 3: If someone takes legal action against someone and the person taking the legal action dies, what's the legal situation?

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisers responds: On the Claimant's (Plaintiff) side, this would depend on the type of case. In some cases the beneficiaries / heirs can continue with the court process. While on the defendant's side the case would usually reach its end upon the death of the Defendant.







After shirking my responsibilities last week and not going anywhere near a naughty bar, I made it out and about this week. It wasn't busy and with Songkran not far away, traditionally the marker for a slow-down in trade, it's already that time of year when bar bosses are getting concerned. I won't be making any predictions about the future of the industry in the last few columns because there are so many unknowns and things really could go any way. With the general outlook for tourism positive, this could cause the bar industry to see improvement, but with the state the industry is in, it's hard to see a lot of these mainstream visitors checking things out more than once. And mainstream visitors don't usually spend much. A drink or two at most – some are only concerned with a quick walk through and taking a few selfies as proof that they have been there, done that. My best guess is that Bangkok's expat bar areas will meander along, with not much investment made leading to a slightly more run-down feel in some areas. At this stage, that's about the only prediction I am prepared to make.



Your Bangkok commentator,

Stick