Finding a Thai Girl

There she sat across from me looking absolutely stunning.  Of course, that’s not a big surprise as she was in her late twenties and Thai.  Most men would give their left arm to be sitting across from her.

A mutual friend had arranged this blindish date.  We had spoken a few times on the phone and the friend had arranged picture swaps so we both had some idea of what to expect for the evening but this was the first time we had ever seen each other in the flesh.

As she spoke, her command of English (or lack thereof) and breadth of topics indicated to me her level of education.  Her style of dress, hairstyle, and cosmetics gave me a good idea about her financial situation, where she likely lived, and under what sort of living arrangements.

Most likely she had studied at one of Thailand’s numerous mediocre universities which are designed to do nothing more than give students a diploma and a chance at a job that doesn’t involve working in a factory or taking one’s clothes off.  That means she is probably making about 15,000 baht per month living on the outskirts of Bangkok either by herself or sharing with a friend or relative.

Her comfort with making and holding eye contact as well as the fact that her smile was genuine rather than shy and forced told me I was not the first farang she had been out with despite the fact she claimed never to have had a farang boyfriend before.

Although some of her facial features had already told me that she was an Isaan girl when she confirmed it I already knew a major part of her life story.  Whether she was from Korat, Udon Thani, or Buriram was of little consequence nor do I remember or care.

We were only twenty minutes into the date and I already felt like I knew everything about her.  I spent the rest of the evening struggling to find something about her that was unique or at least noteworthy.

Did she have any hobbies?  Did she have any interesting or exciting life experiences?  What was she passionate about?

Alas for all my effort I was unable to find anything.  She was just like the hundreds of other girls I had met and/or dated in Thailand.  In fact, I remember more about the restaurant and the meal than I do anything about her.

I detest being one of those people who pigeonholes people but if there was one place in the world where you’ll end up being right more often than wrong stereotyping people, Thailand is that place.

I’m not saying that every Thai girl is like this one.  There are many different types of Thai girls.  The issue is that once you figure out a girl’s type there probably isn’t much else to know about her.

That doesn’t mean that she’s not worth knowing or that she isn’t absolutely lovely to be around.  It simply means that if you ask two girls from the same type about their life story the differences between the two tales will be rather trivial.

Due to a mixture of how wealth is distributed in Thailand, Thai society’s strict rules about class and gender roles, and a value system that rewards conformity, finding Thais who live outside certain parameters is rather rare.

Like I said, I’m not trying to dehumanize anyone but the story about growing up on a farm and coming to Bangkok to make money for the family is so common that it’s cliché (almost as cliché as saying something is cliché).

I find myself being drawn more and more to women who are different.  It doesn’t need to be anything major.  A simple hobby that they’re passionate about.  Someone who has travelled beyond Thailand’s boarders.  Does she play an instrument?

Women like this exist.  I know they do.  I’ve met many of them.  Unfortunately they’re either married (even worse, to my friends), have boyfriends (again, many of who are my damned friends) or not that particularly into farangs.

What do I do?  Do I give up?  Do I keep searching?

22 thoughts on “Finding a Thai Girl”

  1. I really enjoy reading your tales. I do love your writing style the way you handle words. On the other hand, it is wrong stereotyping Thai (Isaan) girls, especially when communicate with them in English. Even when you write: “I’m not saying that every Thai girl is like this one.” – you’re saying that. You should try harder…

  2. your are so full of yourself, I have meet so many Thai women that are all different and nice and cute, what and asshole, must be from England

  3. If you cannot chat to a girl about life the universe and everything, then theres never going to be much hope for the relationship. I have a Japanese Girlfriends who can chat about the anything, has traveled the world as much as me, and I never get that nagging feeling she is with me for a passport to escape life or support her family.

    I have meet some very smart Thai girls working in Japan but can be hard work at times. Filipino girls English is excellent and they always seem to want to improve their knowledge of the world which I find attractive.
    Just being nice and cute will not last in the long term though if you want to date a girl long term of whatever nationality then to put it crudely you got to have both heads stimulated or life becomes boring.

  4. Ok, I’m sure this Thai girl is smart but she wasn’t born speaking English. I’m sure it’s hard to express herself in English and so she remained quiet. Don’t be so sterotype about Issan girls in Thailand. We have never been under any countries and that’s why Thai people don’t really speak English. You are in Thailand, you want to date Thai girls then you have to learn Thai and don’t expect Thai people to speak English in our own country. What a closed-mind farang!!

    Thai flight attendant in Chicago, USA

  5. Thailand has never been colonized by any countries and so we learn English as a foreign language-not a second language.
    I moved to the US and I had to learn English and never expect Americans to learn my language. This is a very basic common sense thing. If you want to date Thai women in Thailand then learn our language. There are some classy farangs in Thailand and some of them are not. Same way in every countries, there are good ones and bad ones.
    If you want to meet some nice Thai girls then STOP HANGING OUT AT BARS OR IN PATTAYA BEACH!!!!

    From a Thai flight attendant in Chicago who is proud to be Thai.

    BTW, I speak only 3 languages. My English is good enough but it will never be perfect!

  6. I have to agree with the Thai flight attendant from Chicago.

    Thai ladies who have to work hard to express themselves in English are going to be “shy” about what they say. They know that they are making mistakes when they speak. This inhibits them. If you want to make a cultural observation, note that Thai who lack confidence in their English language skills will be circumspect.

    Thinking that “girls from Isan are all the same” merely betrays how little that you understand about them, about Isan, and about Thailand and about Thai culture.

    Like people from every other country in the world, Thai people, and Thai girls, are all different. They are all individuals. Just because a girl grew up on a farm does not mean that she can be accurately pigeonholed with all other farm girls. That girl has interests, she has hobbies, she has ideas and opinions. You merely are not capable of eliciting them from her. You are incapable of getting her to open up about them.

    In fact, it is not she who is “the same as all other Isan girls,” but you, who is “the same as all idiot farang.”

  7. @Rujira: As someone who has tried to learn the language (still learning) I wish to disagree with you about expecting Thai people to speak English. I don’t expect Thai people to speak English for my specific benefit but I do know that the country would be far better off if more Thai people did speak English. I’ve traveled around SEA and even in countries far more impoverished than Thailand and I’m always surprised at how many people speak English.

    The most spoken languages are:

    1. Mandarin Chinese (837,000,000)
    2. English (370,000,000)
    3. Spanish (300,000,000)
    4. Bengali (189,000,000)
    5. Hindi/Urdu (182,000,000)
    6. Arabic (174,950,000)
    7. Portuguese (170,000,000)
    8. Russian (170,000,000)
    9. Japanese (125,000,000)
    10. German (98,000,000)

    I’ve done work all over the world and English is the language of business. I even worked for a company that was almost all Scandinavians but the employee manual stated specifically that only English was to be used in business meetings.

    There’s a reason why wealthy Thais force their kids to take extra English tutoring and send their kids off to English speaking countries for education. Your current PM received his education in the UK and even the King was born in the US.

    More Thais don’t speak English because the educational system in Thailand is a joke. The vast majority of the country is getting by on a sixth grade education, and a shoddy sixth grade education at that. Even if they go to university they get 40 hours over the course of a year. I’ve probably spent more time than that listening to Thai language CDs and my Thai is still only good enough to get me a taxi or order a meal. I certainly can’t hold a conversation only in Thai.

    And your “we’ve never been colonized” is the kneejerk reaction nearly every Thai has when confronted with something negative about the country. Even when people were complaining about the protests that closed the airports Thai people were commenting on BBC stories talking about how Thailand has never been colonized.

    So what? What does that have to do with learning English or not shooting yourself in the foot and destroying your tourism industry? What about the countries that were colonized by the French and Spanish and have a higher percentage of English speakers than Thailand?

    And what was with the comment about bars and Pattaya? The guy said he met the girl via a set-up from a friend and that she had a good job. That’s another kneejerk Thai reaction. Immediately assuming that every farang guy is meeting girls in the bars.

    Whenever you make a Thai uncomfortable the sex tourist and “we’ve never been colonized” stuff comes out. Get over it.

    I don’t disagree with a lot of what you’re saying but you need to check your tone. Of course there are classy women out there. Of course there are interesting and accomplished Thai women out there.

    But I also have to agree with the author. Go to an online dating site and read the girl’s ads. They all say the same thing whether they write it in English or Thai (yes, I do use Google Translate to read their profiles). It’s almost scary how similar the ads are.

    BTW, only in Thailand would you find people who list sleeping and eating as hobbies 🙂

    He didn’t say that she didn’t talk. It wasn’t a question of her English skills (as far as what he did say). He said that he found her to be predictable. And that is often true with Thai women. Given a certain set of parameters most farangs could put together a rough sketch of a Thai woman’s life that would have about a 70% chance of being correct. For instance, if I know the following data points I can construct a pretty reasonable picture of what kind of life a woman has had:

    1. Age
    2. Where she born/raised
    3. Whether she has a university education (and at which university)
    4. Type of job (secretary, sales, service industry, etc)
    5. English abilities
    6. Whether or not she has a child(ren)
    7. Whether or not her last relationship was with a Thai or farang

    I’m not saying I know EVERYTHING about her. Just that I can paint a pretty accurate picture of her life up until that point. Because all of those data points demonstrate very powerful clues about a girl. For instance, the kind of job she has might tell me things like how independent she is or how much time she has for hobbies and other interests. A girl from a modest background with a university education and a job working as a secretary in an office tells me that this girl’s family probably sacrificed a good deal to educate her. She chose a safe profession because she is risk averse as her parents and siblings have put so much faith in her. If she’s in her late-twenties or early-thirties she’s probably getting pressure from her family to find a nice guy and to start a family. And so on and so on.

    So my read of what the author said, which I agree with, was not that he’s going out and dating bar girls or girls who are too shy with their English skills but that Thailand’s class system and highly predictable culture produce women who tend to have very easy to decode lives. And like the author I do find it very attractive when I meet women who don’t fit into the mold.

    I mean, is it wrong to want to meet a woman who is passionate about a hobby or music (and no, not just hip hop or trance) or writing short stories or reading poetry or enriching her mind?

  8. Give up, where’s the fun in that, look into different avenues to meet ladies who are likely to be more interesting, use your imagination, if you are looking for a lady who plays an instrument go to a concert or start learning one yourself where you will probably see ladies there doing the same and so on.

    I did some Voluntary Teaching when I moved to Thailand 5 years ago, met several nice ladies, one in particular who I have been with for 4 years and Happily married for 2 & half years.

  9. @Rujira

    I speak Thai sufficiently to hold a basic conversation, and it’s not the lack of English that is a problem, it’s a lack of things to say. The vast majority of Thai girls are utterly uninterested in anything beyond their nose and their next meal. Abstract topics of any kind bore them to death. This applies across society, including several Chula graduate students.

    This refers to my (fairly random, I assume) sample of Thai girls. Perhaps your circle of friends is different. Perhaps my circle of friends in the West is different and an average girls there is just as shallow. Still, I think the observation is fairly accurate.

  10. @crocodilexp: I wouldn’t say that there are none out there but meeting women who have varied interests is difficult.

    I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that most women are pretty lazy. How many times have you heard the phrase “Oh, you think too much” or “I think too much and it make my head hurt”? If it requires too much thought or is uncomfortable many women have no interest. So, keeping up on Thai politics or even Thai news . . . well, since most of the news is negative it’s much easier to go ga-ga over some pandas. Your average expat living here knows far, far more about local happenings than do your average Thai girl.

    And I mean, come on . . . it’s their country! I’ve lived and travelled all over the world and never been to a country where people are more disinterested with current affairs than Thailand. Even most Thai taxi drivers can have a decent conversation about current events.

  11. Ruai I like your response. I think we all tend to generalize when it comes to other cultures. In my experience of dating different women. I will take a Thai girl anyday. They have great qualities. The flight attendant above is my girlfriend. She is probably the most intelligent girl I have dated thus far and I am aphysician at Harvard. My recommendation is to keep an open mind and experience these things for youself

  12. Anonymous,

    I love your honesty. I love that you want to find a chick. That’s more than awesome and to be admired.
    You have to see this as a marathon. Most guys would give their lives to be sitting across from attractive girl after attractive girl. And ones who, I assume, are trying to flirt with you? You should be happy just to have hundreds of women attracted enough in you to meet you for tea.
    But, you are misunderstanding the fulcrum of all starting relationships. The most important thing is HER INTEREST IN YOU. You’re concern is to be only doing things that raise her level of feelings for you.
    Yes, you will meet zeroes. But, if you have a hottie who is attracted to you, who laughs at your jokes, and doesn’t dance on a table, and you are mad she doesn’t have a hobby, you need to get real. Every married man would love to have what you are depressed over.

  13. It seems it wll be interesting to meet a thai girl and be friends with no strings attached and freedom for both sides.It is okay as long as expenses are met and yet be friends and enjoy.


  14. SmallDickTracey

    ” I can paint a pretty accurate picture of her life” – Ruai July 18, 2009 at 11:42 am

    I’m sure all of Ruai’s pictures were tested for correctness and completeness. A living legend in his own mind!

  15. with respect, do you have a site where thai, ladies live in the uk, london area. ive no interest in going to thailand.thanks, EDDIE.

  16. i have read all of this views..i respected all of your views ( some i do agree with and some i don’t ) i think people who live in Thailand should respect Thai culture ( even most of stuff i don’t agree with it) just like ” go to Rome do what Rome do” if you don’t like what you see then.. leave.. Thai people will have the right to change it if they don’t like it.. seem like the Thai style .. way of living life in Thailand that people do what they want.. that why foreigner like it so much and want to move to Thailand..what can i say??

  17. I want to bring a girl to my hotel, Majestic Suites Hotel, in front of Nana Plaza. Should I get one
    1 – From go-go bars, or
    2 – From Nana Hotel Parking, or
    3 – From road side, or
    4 – Ask the bell boy/ reception to arrange one?

    Can you tell me the option with least risk factor.

  18. From the go go bars be prepared to pay around 2/3000 baht as they ask silly money these days plus the bar-fine between 800 to 1000 baht and the quality is not all that, be sure that when you get the girl to your room ask her to go shower and put all your valuables in your room safe, if there is not a safe you should not be staying there, this rule runs with all guests to your room, don’t forget they are complete strangers.
    The freelancers outside Nana or roadside are more tricky as if anything happens you wont find them again so extra precautions, they are cheaper of course with no bar-fine and you can haggle them down on what ever they ask, dont forget the Golden rule with safe sex.
    The bell boy will fix you up but you may not get chance to see her first and he will only probably grab one off the street and take a commission, alternatively if you can pop down to Pattaya and save your self some money as there is far better quality there and cheaper, I can personally vouch for the LK Metro area and the bars/go go’s there, stunning girls in places like Oasis, Sugar Sugar, Champagne, Mash Kiss & the Office, good rates too.
    Bangkok has gone down as far as I am concerned, it used to be good and the prices are sky high now and all they all say is ” Because it’s Bangkok” so what, I dont bother now as Pattaya has so much more to offer.

  19. i’m a thai girl of siam origin, not an isan which is in fact the colony land of Siam. I doubt you Why All farang like you love to find an isan prostitute from our conquerrd land Isan northeast? When that isan northeast was conquerred by Siam almost 300 years ago, our King never took any girl from there into the royal court as any concubine. I speak language of siam or the true Thai since birth and was born in the central plain, not an immigrant from other conquerred parts of Siam. Thailand is a new name invented to deceive those people lands into believing we are the same people. Siam people insult these isan girls (including lanna north, the malay south(previous malaya) as slave. We are not the same guys, have different languages, different traditional dresses, and physcially different. We mock all farangs from western world when you marry just Isan girls in the northeast for a long long time.

  20. That’s okay, Tuk. I think a lot of people mock Thai people like you too. A people so proud of having accomplished very little. Other than Thai food there is almost nothing invented, created, or thought of in Thailand. There is no great Thai literature, no great Thai films (all of the decent ones are written or directed by Japanese or Chinese), no Thai architecture (stolen from Burma and Cambodia), actually, nothing at all.

    So proud of not being colonized but forgetting how Thailand caved in 12 hours to the Japanese during WWII. So proud of being the hub of SEA but forgetting that they only achieved that place because western countries needed a bitch in SEA and Thailand was the least fucked up and willing to do anything if we waved a little cash in your faces.

    And you think you’re better than the people of Issan? Why? At least the people in Issan have a reason for being poor and uneducated. You “pure” Thais are ignorant by choice since you think school is for having fun instead of getting a real education.

    The average bar girl working in the bar for a year speaks better English than many of those who graduate from the “elite” Thai universities with a degree in English.

    But your time is coming, honey. Vietnam is catching up. The people in Issan are starting to figure out all of the ways the “pure” Thais have held them down. Cambodia is finally starting to recover.

    Thailand is on its way back to third-world status in the next 10 or 20 years because you can only sell your cheap Issan labor to the rest of the world for so long. You better hope those pissed off Issan people don’t decide to extract some revenge.

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