Did you always have a thing for Asian females, or did you perhaps find that in Thailand the local females showed a lot of interest in you? Thai women might be easy to meet, but for a Western man forming a successful long-term relationship with a Thai woman is rather more challenging.
Some foreign men are obsessed with the Thai women. To them, Thai women are the Holy Grail. But it’s usually Thai women, and not a Thai woman. Like so many, they struggle to make a relationship with a Thai woman work.
My observations of Westerner / Thai relationships are that the success rate isn’t great. I’d even go as far to say that some of these relationships are dysfunctional and some are just plain toxic. Sometimes it feels like Thai women and Western men just aren’t a great match.
The big issue in these relationships seems to be one of compatibility. Each comes from very different backgrounds and often each have their own ideas about relationships, responsibilities in relationships and life in general.
In a very simplistic view, he may think they will have a modern relationship where expenses are shared as are household duties, while she may be thinking about a traditional wife’s role, looking after the home and the kids with no responsibility to work outside the family home and bring home the bacon. Or the opposite might be true where he wants a wife to stay at home whereas she wants to go out and work.
It should be simple to talk through such things but often it isn’t which can leave each party wondering if perhaps they just aren’t compatible.
Of course there are many relationships between Western men and Thai women where each party is truly happy. What is it that sets the successful relationships apart?
There are a handful of predictors that may increase the likelihood of a relationship working between a Western man and a Thai woman. Just one of these 5 may be enough for the relationship to work; more than one is probably a good base for a strong, loving and mutually satisfying relationship, so long as each party is truly committed.
- He is relatively wealthy and is generous with her.
If he is genuinely financially secure, is generous, puts the family first and makes sure all of her and their family’s needs are met, the odds of relationship success increase massively.
Conversely, many Westerner / Thai relationships break down because he is broke or she feels that he puts his own needs and wants ahead of the family’s.
- He and she have shared interests.
Coming from very different cultures, at times it can feel like there is a chasm between a Western husband and his Thai wife. Compatibility in the bedroom is a big positive, but is it enough to create a bond that will see the relationship through difficult times?
Shared interests ultimately means you want to do the fun stuff with your Thai wife and she wants to do it with you. Shared interests help create a bond that lasts. It could be something as simple as a love of Hollywood action movies and looking forward to going to the movies every weekend together. It may be a shared passion for antiques. Or it might that you are both Premier League fans and support the same team. Shared interests means doing stuff together, something a lot of Thai / Farang couples don’t always do.
A lack of shared interests can cause problems down the track as each prefers to spend time with friends and away from the family home and their spouse.
- Both are Christian.
My observation is that some of the happiest Thai / Westerner relationships are where both are Christian, especially those couples who go to church together. It is my observation that if both were Christian before they met (i.e. one did not convert) there is a very high chance of a long and happy relationship.
As a side note, if both are Buddhist it doesn’t seem to have the same effect (and I have no idea why).
* For the record, I have zero religious leanings and if religion somehow became compulsory, Christianity would not be my choice.
- They met in the West and / or they live in the West.
Relationships between a Western man and a Thai woman where they met in the West and live in the West seem to have a higher degree of success than relationships where the couple met in / live in Thailand.
If she was educated in the West, that seems to have a hugely positive effect on the relationship, and the better her education, the higher the odds are it will work. If she went to Harvard or MIT or Oxford, you’re on to a winner!
It could be that Thais who make it to the West come from a background that makes them a little more worldly and perhaps they have a better idea of what to expect with a foreign guy. Or it could be that Western men in Thailand with a bit about them have so many options that they stray which sooner or later causes relationship problems.
There is no doubt in my mind that relationships between Thai women and Western men living in the West are more stable than such relationships where they live in Thailand.
* In relationships where they met in and live in Farangland, it doesn’t seem to matter whether he has been to Thailand or even knows much about Thailand before he met her.
- One speaks the other’s language fluently.
They needn’t speak both Thai and English fluently but one ought to be able to speak the other’s language to a high standard i.e. fluently or almost fluently. Generally this means she speaks English to a very high level or has attained fluency because the reality is that few foreigners reach such a high level in Thai. With fewer barriers to communication, each partner is able to express their thoughts and ideas in such a way that their partner can truly understand what they mean, and the relationship has a better chance to flourish.
None of this is rocket science and most of these predictors of success apply to all couples. But it all needs to be said because it seems that in so many Westerner / Thai relationships that this sort of commonsense goes out the window. Why, for example, do some get surprised that their relationship goes tits up when neither of them speaks the other’s language very well?!
Thai women are lovely and are easy to meet, but I don’t think they’re easy for the average guy to have a great relationship with. I truly believe that the average Western man is likely to have a better relationship with a Western woman, and the average Thai woman will almost certainly have a better relationship with a Thai man. That’s not to say that Thai / Western relationships can’t be mutually satisfying, but they may need more work.
When it comes to relationships with a Thai woman and making a success of it, go back to basics.
Last week’s photo was taken inside Five Star in Soi Cowboy, the small, often forgotten-about bar next to Tilac. Amazingly, not one Stickman reader got it right. Hopeless! Do you lot never go in to the bar? Haha! For those who like a bit of raunch Crazy House-style, Five Star has been known for similar goings on….so it might be worth stopping by. I’ve heard later on in the night is best…nudge, nudge, wink, wink!
Stick’s Inbox – the best emails from the past week.
Petitions, Thailand and farang.
What do petitions in Thailand and pissing in to the wind have in common? They both have the same identical result.
All cool in Korat.
Went to Nakon Rachasima Immigration yesterday for my 90-day reporting. A bit nervous as it was 90 days since I returned from a trip to Europe and no TM 30 had been submitted on my return. After reading of the recent experiences of others, I expected a reprimand at least and maybe a demand that my wife come in and submit the form, or perhaps a fine. I had only been there 5 minutes when my number was called. A pleasant and not unattractive young woman efficiently did the necessary and even gave me a polite wai. I was out in record time and no mention of the dreaded TM 30. All cool in Korat.
Brits’ exchange rate pain.
I’m one of the Brits being hammered by the rubbish exchange rate but I’m pressing ahead with my next trip in a few months time through gritted teeth. I’m still working and earning reasonable money, but as you’ve mentioned it must be getting to crisis point for the many Brits living there on a fixed modest income.
Observations on the ground.
Just a few quick observations from Bangkok. Biergarten virtually empty with just 4 farangs. Thermae rammed, mainly with Japanese. Long Gun, now at 10:56 PM, there are just 2 farangs, me, and one Japanese. Bacarra is absolutely rammed solid, insane. In Nana, Billboard was rammed. Angelwitch had a few customers but was spoiled by Americans throwing 100 baht bills all over the show. Very poor form. For what it’s worth, I’ve just come back from a week in Japan with the family which is no more expensive than Bangkok and is absolutely amazing. In days gone by Japan was marketed as astronomically expensive. Trust me, it’s not the case now. Trains and hotels can be pricey but if you plan and research it’s not that bad. Having been in Bangkok since 1996, I will always love it, but I must admit that Japan is a notch above when it comes to manners, respect, honesty, and all the good qualities we strive for.
Showing Pattaya home movies in Blighty.
In reference to those who brag about bargirl conquests, there is an old guy in my local pub here in the UK who seems a rather odious person. He has taped his Pattaya exploits and was showing these to all and sundry one night. Even the broadminded were taken aback.
Something different in Pattaya.
There is an s-bend in Soi LK Metro and a hotel called Air-Con Bar. Just 2 minutes walk away are several barber shops. One is called Stylez and has several really pretty girls doing the barber duties. For 400 baht you can have your pubic hairs shaved. I went and did it and had a real looker shave me. It was a very nice erotic experience, well worth the money!
Very strong rumours have it that Queen’s Park Plaza, the ramshackle bar area on Sukhumvit soi 22, will close next month. Word leaked a while back that the master lease was coming to an end from which time leases would be on a month by month basis. Rumours of Queen’s Park Plaza’s demise have been doing the rounds for years so is this just another case of Chinese whispers? It seems not. This time it really does sound like it’s real. From multiple sources including bar owners and massage girls working in the area, Queen’s Park Plaza will be raized in September and cleared to make way for a new hotel. They say it will be built by the same Japanese developer that bought the Citrus Hotel next-door some years ago, a property that nothing has happened on since. A few years back I predicted soi 22 would be the next soi to undergo major development and would move upmarket and become a more happening place. I really thought the future of soi 22 was bright….but I got that totally wrong. Queen’s Park Plaza is an odd bar area that never really took off. Will anyone miss it?
Up the road in Nana Plaza, the crazy Korean is hanging on by a thread. Geisha remains open but those in the know say it is only a matter of time…
The consensus is that it’s grim in the bar areas and word is that there are lots of Indians and Chinese around, but relatively few white faces. Just remember that it’s the middle of low season and it’s not like anyone expects the bars to be busy at this time of year.
The one bright spot I hear about in the bar biz is in Patpong where Bada Bing is doing very well, as is Glamour. That’s no great surprise – when I was last in town Glamour was fantastic. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, in the gogo bar business the French know what they are doing (both of these bars are French-owned and run).
A new “nightclub” with a ‘70s / ‘80s theme will be coming to Patpong in the next couple of months. Can’t wait, most of my favourite tunes come from those two decades.
Down in Pattaya, Beavers is Sin City’s newest gogo bar, having opened its doors last night in the space that was previously Babydolls, in soi 15 off Walking Street. The Club Electric Blue group is behind Beavers so it should be worth stopping by.
In the same soi as Beavers, some say Sapphire has one of the very best lineups of lovely ladies in Pattaya – and on Sunday nights it’s happy hour prices all night long.
Could it be that Bacarra is not the busiest bar on Soi Cowboy after all? I guess it’s possible. So if Bacarra is not the busiest bar, which bar is? Crazy House? No, I don’t think so. Dollhouse? Not a chance. Tilac? You’re 10 years late! There is one bar on Soi Cowboy that is rammed every night and that bar is……Country Road. WTF, a live music venue busier than the gogo bars? It might just be. Country Road is said to be rammed every night – and the outdoor seating area is jammed too. Even if you don’t think of Country Road as a Cowboy bar per se, it is located on Soi Cowboy. So if Country Road is booming, Soi Cowboy must be doing a great trade, right? Not necessarily. Word is that foot traffic on Soi Cowboy is decent, but step inside the bars and customer numbers aren’t great in some bars. Anyone thinking of starting a business on Soi Cowboy might like to look at Country Road, and forget about chrome poles.
I mentioned in the last column that Lolita’s and Kasalong were visited by the boys in brown last week. What I failed to mention was that Duangporn’s Haven (the old Som’s Haven) was also visited, and it too was closed for a day. It reopened the next day, business as usual. What were those visits about – quality control?
Which begs the question, do the authorities know what really goes on inside the bars? I mean what really goes on, from the dark corners of the likes of Toy Bar and Fanny’s to the rooms upstairs from some bars on Cowboy which are only available to regulars. Of course they know what’s going on! And yes, they know exactly what’s going on! Thais have mouths like radio stations and the boys in brown know which bars have rooms rented by the hour and in which bars oral relief takes place in dark corners and in which bars <edited!>. Whoever it was who said that there are no secrets in Thailand should be given a medal.
Two big Liverpool fans want to put together a Bangkok Liverpool FC fan club. They have found a fantastic venue in Shenanigans on Patpong where the upstairs has been renovated to a high standard with 5 pool tables, dart boards and an 82” TV. Big discounts have been agreed with management for members of the fan club – 40% off house spirits and wine, Tiger and Heineken 99 baht per pint, 15% off all food – and these discounts will apply 7 days a week for members. The first meet-up is planned for August 17th at 8:30 PM to coincide with Liverpool playing away at Southampton. Memberships will initially be free of charge and on a first come, first served basis. So if you’re a fan of The Reds, get along to Patpong this coming Saturday and meet up with some like-minded folks and join the party.
Still on football or soccer as I prefer to call it, Le Pub in Soi Diamond, Pattaya, is hosting a Fantasy Football competition. Use the code on the poster a little further down if you’re keen to play. The winner gets a 2,000 baht credit to use in the bar.
If a motorbike taxi rider requests a higher fare from you than they do from most locals, take a look in the mirror before you start ranting about dual pricing. Many motorbike taxi riders charge more if the passenger is big, irrespective of whether they’re Thai or a foreigner. And if you’re really big, some motorbike taxi riders may refuse to take you at all. It’s a size thing, not a foreigner thing.
And still on motorbikes, following on from last week’s column and the 500 baht reward available to those who snap photos of motorbikes riding on the footpath, there is a certain profile of rider who you see on the sidewalk more than most – men in tight brown uniforms! Which begs the question, if you were to snap a uniformed copper speeding along the sidewalk and submit it, can you still expect to get the 500 baht reward?
For pizza lovers, Gallery Pizza has opened a new branch on Ekamai. This popular, American-owned pizzeria has quite a following in expat circles, especially amongst night owls who like being able to order a pizza until 4:00 AM. The new location means delivery should be even quicker in the Sukhumvit area.
The Bangkok Post website’s lead article this past Monday was about the furore – great choice of words – from foreigners who have to report to Immigration using the TM30 form every time they return home from a trip abroad or from simply overnighting in another province. This issue is getting a lot of press now – but will it be enough for things to change? I imagine it will take a Thai with power and influence to suffer a loss from it and then – and only then – might something happen. Take the example of a Thai landlord with multiple properties who finds his foreign tenants saying the TM30 requirements are too burdensome to comply with and they’re leaving Thailand. As a result, he loses tenants / money. Or perhaps a Thai company loses critical foreign staff for the same reason. If / when powerful Thais suffer indirectly from the effects of this law, they’ll raise it with those in power and make a case to get rid of it. And let’s be frank, the benefits Thai Immigration gains from it in knowing the current address of foreigners is negligible. Even if a foreigner doesn’t complete this form, odds are they would be able to find a foreigner quickly enough if they really wanted to. Many expats are up in arms about this requirement and three different Bangkok Chambers of Commerce are each looking in to it.
On the subject of immigration matters, is the Chaeng Watthana Immigration Bureau one of the only offices in all of Thailand that is not overstaffed?
And still on visa and immigration matters, reports have it that those flying in to Don Meuang Airport (a favourite for visa runners as it’s the airport that budget airline Air Asia uses) with a 60-day tourist visa are being asked to show proof of funds to finance their stay as well as a ticket out of Thailand. Neither of these is a new requirement but seldom have they been asked for. Those who did not have an onwards or return air-ticket are given the option to buy one on the spot….and presumably if they didn’t, they would be declined entry. Enforcement of the entry requirements is getting stricter all the time.
The local Thai Facebook groups lit up like a Christmas tree at the start of this week when word broke that Thai Airways was reverting its economy class baggage allowance back to 30 kg. In April, Thai Airways reduced the checked luggage allowance from 30 kg down to 20 kg. Many Thais resident here in New Zealand were very unhappy about it as they make money carrying stuff between New Zealand and Thailand. At 300 baht / kg it can be quite the earner, and if they manage to get a discounted ticket and arrange a decent payload, it can cover the price of their air ticket. Incidentally, in something that is very unThai, in the same discussion a number of Thais said that they prefer QANTAS between Auckland and Bangkok (which means a brief stopover in Sydney). The reasons they cited were that QANTAS is cheaper, has a 30 kg baggage allowance in economy class (Thai has been 20 kg for the last 4 months), has more farang passengers (I kid you not, they said it) and, they claim, provides better service. Many Thais are loathe to talk up a foreign business over Thai so this was quite a surprise. Some commented they found the Thai Airways crew stuck up. I’ve got to say that I have never found that to be the case. And just quickly getting back to the increased baggage allowance on Thai, apparently if you purchased an economy class ticket between April 4th and August 9th of this year, the allowance remains at 20 kg. It’s only those who purchased from August 10th onwards who get 30 kg.
The Kiwi dollar went sub-20 against the Thai baht this week and it would be no surprise if the Aussie dollar followed. The Sterling crashed below 37 baht as economic data showed the UK’s economy had shrunk. The Euro is holding above 34, but for how long? I think we used to all think of Thailand as an affordable destination. Do you still think of it that way? (Answer: I don’t!)
Are Thai eateries as popular in your country as they once were? Their popularity is waning a little here. When I was growing up, New Zealand’s ethnic dining scene was dire and invariably meant Chinese. Thai food emerged in the early ’90s with Thai restaurants popping up all over. They were popular at a time when I think it would be fair to say that most Kiwis knew little about Thailand. Thai food remained popular for 20 odd years and is still popular today, but I don’t think it’s nearly as popular as it was. I get the feeling today that for many, Thai food is kind of passé. I guess it’s a natural part of the cycle of new ethnic foods enjoying a period of popularity until something new comes along. These days, Indian seems to be all the range, if the number of Indian restaurants is anything to go by. I was planning a day trip to a neighbouring town and checking online for a spot for lunch and noticed Indian restaurants outnumbered Thai by about 3 : 1. I did a count of the ethnic eateries where I live and the ratio was about the same. Has Thai food retained its popularity in your part of the world?
Reader’s story of the week comes from Mr. Anonymous, “Taking Miss Thailand Home“.
Quote of the week comes from Si, “Thailand can make all the rules it wants for foreigners to live there, but the country shouldn’t be surprised if foreigners choose to live in another country with less demanding visa and financial requirements.”
The TM30 requirements from Thai Immigration continue to get a pounding in the mainstream press with even more coverage in the Bangkok Post this week.
Phuket’s star status is fading as the paradise island faces many challenges.
The drought in Thailand is so bad this year that a submerged temple at the bottom of a dam is now free of water.
Thailand is looking at introducing visa-free entry for Chinese and Indians which could see the number of visitors from these two countries soar.
A heavy-drinking Frenchman is found dead on the side of the road in Ko Samui.
Good for Bangkok taxi drivers, an increase in taxi fares has been approved.
A rich Thai kid torches his Merc after Daddy refuses to pay his bar bill.
The imminent closure of the Queen’s Park Plaza bar area in Sukhumvit soi 22 comes as no great surprise. I don’t remember anyone talking that area up. I suspect trade has never been great in most of the bars there and given that they have managed to remain open this long, I can only imagine that rents are very low. Despite sitting on a large plot of land not that far from the main Sukhumvit Road the landlord hasn’t seen a great return. At Queen’s Park Plaza it feels like the landlord has essentially been subsidising the bars. Some might be sad to see it disappear but I am a firm believer that it’s a natural part of the cycle for businesses which may or may not be viable to fail. Sad at times for sure, but sometimes a clean-out is necessary.
Your Bangkok commentator,
Stick can be contacted at : [email protected]