Thai Women and Money

Having dated my fair share of Thai women over the years one common trait seen in many of them is an inability to exercise financial discipline. No doubt there are many Thai women who are responsible with money but most seem to take the attitude that Buddha will provide and see no reason to put forth any effort to secure their own financial security.

I was once told by a middle-age, university educated, woman, “What good can my money do me if I’m dead? If I don’t spend it now I might not get the chance.” Sadly, this is exactly how many Thai people from every financial strata view money.

This isn’t about your latest and greatest mobile phone addicted bar girl. These women can be educated, poor, middle-class, or wealthy. It’s just a mindset about money that really damages the country as a whole.

Of course, the hardest hit are those who cannot afford to spend the money. Many of these girls don’t have two baht to rub together but the second they get any money they spend it. Not on essentials but, more often than not, on things they don’t even need.

Not all Thai women are like this. I’ll admit that. But too many are. For a country where most people are living one step above the poverty level the inability to save even a modest amount is somewhat troubling.

In the West we call it Ghetto Rich. Actually, there a more offensive and racist term but let’s just go with Ghetto Rich for the sake of keeping things out of the racist category.

The Urban Dictionary gives several different definitions for both Ghetto Rich and the more derogatory form.

Primarily invested in depreciating assets i.e. cars, clothes, jewelry.

Spending your money unwisely on things you dont need that wont last you that long.

Spending all the money you have as fast as possible just because you have it.

The reason it has the name Ghetto Rich is because that’s exactly where that kind of attitude with money will keep you, in the ghetto. And in Thailand, the culture is such that everyone is worried about “saving face” or “gaining face” which essentially means showing off wealth.

I can’t even count the number of Thai women I’ve known that have been thrown a lucky curve in life and watched them waste it. For example, one girl I met told me about how her ex-boyfriend used to give her 100,000 baht per month to live on. This is a girl who came off a farm in Isaan and was working as a waitress in a restaurant making 7,000 or 8,000 baht per month before she met the guy. She dated him for nearly three years and despite receiving 3.6 million baht during that time period, she said that when they broke up she had 500 baht in her bank account. Surely, she bought a house or a car, right? Nope. She blew every single baht on taking her friends out to hi-so restaurants, partying, and “helping” all of her less fortunate friends.

A girl who I dated previously dated a guy who was making about 300,000 baht per month salary here in Thailand. He gave her her own ATM card to his account and his credit card. She dated him for about four years and at the end of the relationship she had 200 baht in cash and a room stuffed to capacity with clothes and shoes.

I wish I could say these are isolated incidents but they’re only isolated in the sense of the figures involved. The mindset that all money has to be spent and that it should be spent in a way that lets others know you have wealth is one of the core problems facing Thailand because no matter how much money you pump into the country it will remain a poor country as long as the money leaves people’s hands as fast as it comes in.

What compounds the problem is that in many cases the girl winds up with an entourage of leeches. The girl I described above had a cousin who learned that sticking her hand out was easier than getting a job. Here’s this 20 year old cousin living in Bangkok, perpetually unemployed, and asking the girl I was dating to “help” her with the rent or food or whatever. Every morning I would hear the SMS ringtone and the girl I was seeing would read it and show me yet another request for some “help.”

I know many people are thinking that I was simply being set up but I didn’t give her money to give to her cousin. I told her that I wouldn’t because if she didn’t have any money to give then her cousin might finally go out and get a job. As long as her cousin could get by without working she would. It was only when the money was cut off 100% that she would do something for herself.

And that’s exactly what happened. After a few months of not getting any money she left Bangkok and went to give live with her parents who were slightly annoyed that the girl I was dating didn’t do more to help.

She also attracted other leeches during her rich years. She had a small army of girls who kissed her ass and let her be the leader of their gang (Thais like to call groups of friends, their gang) as long as she was footing the bill at nightclubs, helping them pay the rent, taking them out to fancy restaurants, etc. When the money quit coming in her friends all dumped her and only came back sniffing around when we started going out thinking the money train was back. When they found out it wasn’t they were gone.

Many foreigners think that they’re being scammed when in reality they’re just experiencing Thai attitudes towards wealth. They can’t imagine having millions and millions of baht and not throwing it around to let others know how rich they are. And if they have a “rich” (rich is always relative in Thailand) boyfriend all of their friends and family expect some crumbs to fall off of the table. If there are no crumbs for them then she loses face.

My current girlfriend used to have the same problem. She was a shopaholic. We’re talking complete loss of sanity in any sort of shopping environment. Literally, it was like she was on a drug. She would forget I was even with her. In fact, she told me she left her friends at the mall once and forgot about them until she was in the taxi on her way home with her big shopping score. She had to call them from the taxi when the buzz wore off and apologize.

After she agreed that she couldn’t live like that anymore, one of the first things I did was put her on a budget. Normally, she got paid on the 1st and was broke by the 12th. When we first started going out, once she went broke she would ask me for small amounts of money here and there for food or to put money on her mobile. But that grew old for me fast so I started making her turn over her pay to me on the first and I would dole it out to her. She wasn’t happy about that one bit and I listened to many pleas about “needing” a new pair of shoes or a new dress but I held firm.

Actually, what I did was take all of her monthly fixed expenditures like rent, monthly stipend to the parents, etc. and give her that right away so she could take care of those obligations. After that I divided the rest up into four weekly payments and gave it out to her accordingly. Even then she was blowing through the cash as fast as I gave it to her. If I gave her the money on Monday she was often broke by Tuesday. When I refused to release any more funds for the week and she would pout and sulk and tell me I didn’t love her but it eventually sunk in that the money had to last the entire week.

I have to say that even though we had some fights about this method she really did want to learn how to live on what she was making. I have to give her credit for wanting to change and being willing to stick with it.

Once she could live on what she made I figured the next step was to teach her how money is supposed to be used. That it’s a tool to help you make more money and that you want to buy appreciating assets rather than assets that depreciate.

For this, I actually had to reach into my pocket. I made her a small loan of about 3000 baht. I told her she could spend the money any way she wanted but I would show her how she could turn the 3000 baht into 4000 baht.

I walked her through several examples of buying something at wholesale and selling it at retail. How that 3000 baht could become 4000 baht and if she took the 4000 baht and did it again it could become 5300 baht. And if she took the 5300 baht, well, you get the picture.

She got very excited when I showed her a path to being able to replace her job income with her own business. She always wanted her own business and hates what she does (retail sales) but never saw a plan laid out that showed her how to get there. Plus, had she not learned how to live on a budget she would have blown through her capital.

We’re still in the early phases of this experiment but after several brainstorming sessions on what she could sell she’s made a successful trip back to her hometown in Isaan and used the 3000 baht to buy some locally made items that she’s been able to sell to her friends. Her first turnover netted her back 3800 baht which was short of the 4000 baht goal but at I can see a change in her attitude about money. She’s squirreling away money out of her weekly allowance so she can add it to the 3800 baht and buy even more stuff on her next trip home.

Of course, at this stage I’m still financing part of the business. I pay for her trips back home and I’m not really interested in getting my original 3000 baht starting money back. I’m also prone to helping her feel good about how she’s doing by taking her out to celebrate or buying her little gifts as encouragement.

But I’m also getting something back too. I no longer have to explain to her why I’m not spending my money like a drunken sailor. She understands that I need my capital to invest to generate income. When I flip an investment for a profit I show her how I did it and she’s even showing an interest in my business and asking if she can help. And like a good little businessperson she’s also learned to ask for a cut of the profits rather than a straight fee when she does help me. 🙂

When I was thinking about whether to write and submit this article I realized that what I’m saying might sound somewhat controlling but she asked me for the help in getting her spending under control. I didn’t take control of her money so I could have some sort of power over her but so that she could gain some power over her own spending urges. So despite the controlling nature of the teaching I feel that in the end she’s more empowered.

59 thoughts on “Thai Women and Money

  • June 20, 2010 at 7:38 pm
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    So true. A very good assessment of Thai people’s (specially girls) attitude towards money.

    But I am wondering what is the savings rate of Thailand vs USA? I don’t know. USA was almost negative at time and it has picked up a bit recently.

    I bet many in Europe will also do that same nut in those countries there is a safety net (unemployment insurance, etc.) so it’s not obvious and people are not bumming from their friends.

  • June 21, 2010 at 2:19 am
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    I read somewhere that the official Thai domestic savings rate is 35% but I suspect that this may be heavily skewed by the income gap as I’ve also read that over half of all savings are held by residents of Bangkok. The number might also be pre-Asian meltdown so the numbers would presumably be worse.

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  • June 21, 2010 at 8:32 pm
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    Good article.
    As with the child-like quality the whole thing is actually due mostly to ignorance.
    You have educated your girlfriend somewhat and its taking hold evidently. She sees the results and gains the wisdom of simple enterprise.

    A Thai associate of mine observed one day that most of these Thai girls with mobile phones really can’t really afford them, and that an extraordinary % of their income is devoted to their mobile phones. And there is no doubt.

    People and money…always an interesting

  • June 23, 2010 at 5:14 am
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    I have seen a very similar if not identical behaviour from the girls that I met here. I thought it was because of their way of living the nite life. But then I got to meet other Thai girls and even Thai men and couples and I saw the same thing. Not all the Thai people I met behaved in the way you are describing though. I know of two couples who seem to live well within their rich means. But the majority I did see, male and female, live beyond their means. They have “toys” that were very expensive, yet they live in a poor area and dress accordingly….

    Of course all societies have this problem, but it seem to be wide spread here in Thailand. Not sure if it is the ” mai bin rai” attitude or the religion.

  • June 23, 2010 at 5:24 pm
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    @mando: Sure all societies have it but most of those societies don’t have 80% of the population barely making enough to survive.

  • June 27, 2010 at 12:01 am
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    That is why I said that it is widely spread here in Thailand and may be also spread in a few other Asian countries…

  • June 28, 2010 at 3:45 am
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    To be fair, Thais don’t need to save as much for retirement because health care costs are lower and they have their families to take care of them. It’s not like the US where you have to store up enough to fend for yourself after retirement.

    Anyway in my experience this is not really a “Thai culture” thing — it’s the behavior of people with lesser education and resources. The author himself points out that the US has something similar, and official stats more than back this up: US personal savings rate is 3-4% (http://www.bea.gov/briefrm/saving.htm), Thailand personal savings rate: 11.5% (https://ww.dbsvresearch.com/research/DBS/research.nsf/%28vwAllDocs%29/6CDCFC2C3B157AAC4825770000315F00/$FILE/TH_higher%20rates_9Apr10.pdf).

    Well-educated, middle/upper-class Thai women can and do save money, and to be frank, it’s patronizing to say that they can’t. The author’s stated experience is primarily indicating that he interacts with lower-class women, despite his claims to the contrary.

  • July 13, 2010 at 9:55 am
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    You still dating that girl? Seems like when two start making money together and become a team, they end up getting married sooner or later.

  • September 1, 2010 at 9:58 pm
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    Perhaps you aren’t aware of this yet, but what you so aptly describe here about Thai women is true for Filipinas, Indonesians and North American Indians! Oh yes, most of the indigenous Latino Americanos, peasant Malaysians et al in Southeast Asia.
    Basically hunter/gatherer peoples whose heritage is to be somewhat nomadic and live off the land in eras past, they simply carried that hand-to-mouth lifestyle forward, and treat any God-sent resources in the form of male walking bank accounts as if they were simply resources to be used in any given local area until those resources run out, and then it’s time to move on…
    Filipinos have a saying here, “bahala na”, which means “God will provide” and so when a foreigner arrives in their lives, it’s taken as a sign that the expat westerner or generous oriental asian was sent by the Creator, and so life is good.
    And so why bother planning for the future when the well might run dry for any number of reasons. Ah no, why bother. Much too hard. That’s work. And so, as you say, when the well does run dry, there’s nothing to show for it, and our generous kind intentions are simply bled off.
    In a way, it’s an utter disrespect for us, for they don’t think that every piso, peso, dollar or baht they receive is a translation of our lives into currency. In other words, mindlessly and essentially disrespectfully, they are spending the currency of our lives. No matter how hard we labored to accumulate and then give to them, after all, it’s God sent and so all is good.
    Well … oh well!

  • September 1, 2010 at 10:09 pm
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    As for Nitty above, what you say is somewhat true, but if you look closer, enquire more deeply, you will likely discover that the more sophisticated southeast asians who more likely than not live/work/play in the capital cities have taken on western ways. In other words, because all that is white is good, then of course they emulate the west, and adopt our practices: because they are good and practical, and tend to minimize the hard times when they arrive. Emergencies no longer need to once again bankrupt the family because one has planned for that. And so I agree with you that the article writer’s experience is with the less well-educated women, and perhaps only with those who are country girls who in fact are ignorant, who learn from each other such practices, whose families teach them to grab all they can for everyone in the family while the going is good. After all, life is so precariously uncertain in most of SE Asia, and so if a thai woman has been blessed by this “rich” white guy in her life, then who can blame her for behaving as she does….
    As for face, there’s more of that in Thailand and Vietnam than in the Phil and Indonesia, and so yes, that get’s tossed into the mix to further complicate things.
    May the western man be more discerning, less generous and more appreciative of all that these lovely women do bring into our lives!

  • September 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm
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    Sad state of affairs. There is a real need in the world for people to get financially educated. Although I’d like to say that I could sympathize with these girls if they are just trying to live a dream what I’d like for them is to realize that when the dream ends, they will probably end up back in their farms with a baby in each arm. 🙁 More and more of this happening especially with girls in SE Asia looking for the white man of her dreams.
    Anna recently posted..Genital Herpes Treatment

  • September 2, 2010 at 4:30 pm
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    Yes, Anna, so true re babies on each arm, cos there’s neither awareness of the importance of birth control, family planning and financial burden. And cos so many SE Asian women migrate to the cities, they somehow miss that having kids ad infinitum doesn’t fit urban life. And cos they tend to be wretchedly poor wherever they live, if one doesn’t have a TV or something that otherwise keeps the evenings occupied, why not make love .. over and over again. Hence lil brown babies on each arm, wrapped around each leg, and one suckling at the breast. And so white are the rescue package.
    But .. but .. but .. many white men are rascals and worse! Some are what pinoy call babaero (or womanizers) in these lands, and go from one chocolate beauty to another and another, leaving behind white SE Asian babies, and only a few, it seems, are scrupulous enough to support that child.
    And so the woman/mother who has already proved that the white rescuer formula works, searchs ever more diligently for another, online or in the cities. But the sense of urgency is palpable, desperation runs deep, cos if she has a pushy family, a couple older indigenous children, and a cross white infant/toddler, then her chances of landing another generous white guy narrows, cos she’s aging with the wear and tear, the stress and relative distress.
    So it’s all mixed up in Asia, and in the end the whites with big hearts are often stripped of much of their life savings, or those without big hearts leave the wreckage behind in their joie de vivre of unending beer and chocolate chicks.
    As many so callously say in private, “ah but the pussy is good!”
    Woe is us!

  • September 2, 2010 at 4:34 pm
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    There’s a lot of different angles to this thing.

    Teaching children the concept of money….. something that neither tastes good, smells good, looks useful or desirable to the untrained mind…. is a very difficult thing to do. I remember my children grasping at the idea of money.

    Here you have girls who reach physical (salable) maturity, who probably never had a 100Bt note of their own in their life, being thrust (usually by their family) into the avaricious culture of money. Suddenly she’s getting 1000Bt tips…or perhaps many thousands… from “customers”… having learned nothing about money, sex, self-dignity or much of anything else.
    In the original piece here… the writer managed..by a degree of force… to educate an ignorant person in the folly of her ways.

    The wealthy spendthrift Thai suffer the same ignorance…but because they never had to think about money a day in their life…and likely never will have to.

    That said, many of the Issan prostitutes I know are pretty loyal about taking care of their (often brutally demanding) family back home …especially if they have children…and deprive themselves of even the simplest most basic things.
    The few live-ins I’ve had were all like that…and had no children.
    I was very careful to take good care of their needs myself, and equally cautious about cash given to be sent home.

  • September 24, 2010 at 5:58 am
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    I do agreed with this article at some point but i think is more to culture and how we bought up in the family. some family will teach the kids when they were young how to save the money and how to spend it.. but some family don’t.. perhaps they ( parent) don’t know how itself.. that why some farmer only know how to teach children to be a farmer like them but some got smarter don’t want their children to do what they do but don’t know what else that can be better than go to school and do something else ..so what i am saying is not only Thai woman have problem with the money Thai man as well .. due to culture and how we been raising when we were young .

  • September 24, 2010 at 4:32 pm
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    Yes Knitpa, esp. if the family is always poor..

    Yet let me ask you this question:

    If the family makes more money on the rice crop this year, where does the extra money go? Does it go to celebrating the good harvest? Or do the parents set aside the extra for a day of need?

    In other words, no one needs to be educated to save what the family doesn’t need. It’s simple common sense.

    And yes, the women tend to be better than the men, but if a thai woman has an easy source of money, esp. from a western man, then soon she gets converted to that way of living, and then money has no meaning. It’s soon taken for granted, and nothing is saved or built from that money that would keep the family going during the hard times. Lack of discipline is the greater part of it, not the culture or ignorance.

    My mother had very little education, but what she did have was determination and intelligence: what was left over after food for the family was put away for a rainy day. And when there was an emergency, or when she wanted to give some money to a worthy cause, she had it to give, because she looked into the future a few years and saw that life could get very difficult if her husband died or lost his job or if the crop that year was poor.

    So tell me, truthfully, honestly, what is the biggest factor preventing thai, or for that matter, many/most southeast asians poor forever? And your asian cousins in Taiwan or China or Japan rich beyond dreams?

  • September 25, 2010 at 12:52 am
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    Yes Daen, I do agreed with you at some point that nothing to do with education to save money in the rainy day at western world .. but in Thailand people do spend money left and right all year wrong ( if they have it or if they don’t have it they will borrow it to do so if you let them that how they are) when i said the culture it mean local believed and how they do in the village . specially Esaan and north family . if they were poor and got nothing .. then one day they have some money . the first thing is come to their mind is to spend it with something that they want ( could be anything ) what i am trying to say is not just a woman ( man as well) but woman more coz of woman nature anyway to spend on something that just because they look cute more than what we really want it in life.. and where you are come from in Thailand is make the difference believed as well.

  • September 26, 2010 at 9:37 am
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    Yes, i hear you that generally Thai men lack financial discipline.
    And I guess that when you are poor, then a little money is like a celebration and so why not spend it on something that will be fun, instead of something that is boring like rice, a new house roof, or clothes for the kids.
    In general, Knitpa, married women in western countries are more cautious with money than their men: they realize that the family must be protected, and so they will usually spend wisely, save a little when able, and seldom go out to buy some jewellery or clothes they don’t really need. Single women also tend to make sure all their payments for rent, food, transportation, etc. are made before they’ll spend on things that don’t matter so much.
    Western men usually will spend more loosely, but we also are taught to be cautious, and still have our toys, like motorcycle, snowmobile, gas barbeque, etc. And so it is much different.

    I think the hard part for western men who give to their thai friends and lovers is that it’s not appreciated. It’s NOT just money, but most of the time that money is earned by very hard work in their own countries. In other words, most white men aren’t rich in their own society.
    But a good white man may be generous cos he likes her, he wants to help, he sees the poverty in the family. But it’s a mistake cos it’s not seen as precious money, but just a gift from the gods and so is to be used to bring happiness, even though money won’t buy that.
    And so after awhile most white men learn to give less, much less, and maybe stop giving at all. And then the girl, or family, just goes back to being poor, until another sucker white guy shows up cos she’s pretty and desirable…

  • September 26, 2010 at 12:29 pm
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    Daen,
    I am from middle class family in Bangkok got scholarship and went to school in England. my family can’t afford to buy me any toy when i was young so now i buy anything of everything as i can afford it coz i thought it make me happy. so when i get older i spend less and less as i got everything that i ever want it.. still spend some money on more cloths and shoe Ect. sometime shopping make people happy..i guess so i am not blame them if they do. but need to limited how much that you can afford and responsibility in your family . so i don’t have anyone that i need to taking care of . so i never thought about spend money it bad thing to me.. as i worked hard for it so i deserved what ever i want..it that sound bad to you as Thai girl who live and work overseas still views money that way?

  • September 26, 2010 at 1:54 pm
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    What you say here supports what I say: you likely earn your own money and so can spend it like you want. That is responsible living. And yes, you learned thru life experience that spending on certain things is only a temporary fix, and others satisfy much more.
    If a Thai woman lives and works abroad, then she learns what money means the hard way, and will send a lot to her poor provincial family, and have a little left for herself.
    This is very different from the Thai women who go online to find a sweet sugar daddy to keep them like a queen in the city or resort town.

  • September 26, 2010 at 3:55 pm
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    well ..I don’t know about you but most of western who come to Thailand and spend money on the young girl .. ( as you call sugar daddy ) i think he not feel good about himself and hopefully by have someone who much younger than his age to take him around to show off on other that how good he is that woman want to be with him.. ( again like old Thai man as well) i guess men in general will do that specially he got a lots to offer her.. woman who doing that have to handle society as become who ever you will call her??? it all about choice in life .. someone choose to live that way and someone choose to pay other that make him happy… even in the end of story not quite happy ending as they expected .

  • November 28, 2010 at 1:05 pm
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    I have met many Thai girls, especially from north eastern area, who are like this. Some of them are gold diggers. The y will look for western man only. One girl told me that English men ar their favourite becasue of the high exchange rate. Europeans are also famouse among these girls, but North American men not so much. They will buy properties in their name before they married to him, so to be said that the house, land, gold, etc. are hers before marriage. I was disgusted by the way the act, talk and show how much they have from western husband or boyfriend. Some will find a western man for their sisters, cousins, friends and relatives. Parents will teach them how good it is to have farang husband, go for it girl! One of the lady i know is dating the married man from England. The man continues to fund her (give her salary) for 4 years, and the lady thinks that someday he will get divoce and marry her. She said ” He loves me and I love him, and I don’t care if he still have his wife in the UK. Sometimes I just think this is my job. I make him happy. He pays me and that’s it” This lady secretly think that she is unofficail married to him. She wears her ring just like how married western women would do (engagement ring and wedding band together) to show people who don’t know her situation thin that she is married to him. I don’t understand why she has to try so hard to win this married man. Does she have any selfworth? Sad….

  • November 28, 2010 at 6:00 pm
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    Pam:

    In Thailand being a kept woman is a job.
    The Thai even have a term for it: “mia noi”.
    It means minor, or 2nd, wife (though a man may have more than one). Its a bit more than a girlfriend or mistress in the Western sense (where its unacceptable), as you may well have children and a home together etc….unbeknownst to the #1 wife; for Thai wives do not question their husbands.
    We don’t have a term for “mia noi” in the West as there is no such thing. Here its part of the culture, though its a private affair usually, and not spoken about per say. A true “mia noi” is usually expensive and provided with a home, car money…. unaffordable for most men. Many, maybe even most, are or were “working girls”…many not so.

    So it is perfectly natural for a Thai girl to be happy being a “mia noi” or kept woman for a farang who sends her money and adores her. It is her job indeed, to care for him when he wants. “What’s love got to do with it?”

    Of course they’re gold-diggers. Ever stayed in one of their village homes? You wouldn’t wonder for very long why they’re on their backs in Bangkok for a 1,000 Bt a pop and looking to win the farang lottery.

    I know quite a few Thai girls (the bar/agogo type), and have lived a a few as well….. They prefer Japanese above all others because they are foolishly generous….but the Japanese are picky.
    Of Westerners they find Scandinavian men most attractive because they have money and take very good care of them. And being rather cool-hearted about romance…. and more about money…like the Thai girls themselves… they are well-suited for each other.

    Its good to have a little empathy and put yourself in their shoes before you pass harsh judgments on others.

  • November 28, 2010 at 8:48 pm
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    Pam
    i share your sadness, esp when it comes to their intentions to land a bankroll thru the ATM called “white farang.” Of course economic/financial concerns are very much a reality in SE Asian countries where the govt and other institutions specialize in greed that corrupts the country’s ability to provide for its own, but when anyone forfeits his/her own heart for money, then of course a sort of personal death, esp. over time, occurs. Life is imperfect, yes, but the choices we often make definitely don’t help…

  • November 28, 2010 at 8:56 pm
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    Kevin,
    Thanks for your comments here.

    Yet there is a distinction between being a kept woman and a gold-digger. The kept woman has taken on the accepted role of all-around partner when he’s with here, yes, but the goldigger has somehow lost her way. So the culturally acceptable arrangement of the kept woman works; the moneygrubber who may no longer need it cos of her lifestyle choices years ago is another issue…

    I live in the Philippines and have had a Thai girlfriend also on Phuket, and there are some differences, but the arrangement of matters around money and sex is essentially the same. In fact, the mercenary feeling that is part of Asian culture much more than in the west is hard to get around. In other words, doing less than favorable or ‘wise’ things for money is almost perfectly acceptable. Let’s add, however, that if those same countries allowed young people opportunity, few of them would need or want to latch onto a farang to make a life. Alas, not so…

  • November 28, 2010 at 11:15 pm
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    Daen:

    You’re final sentence is most pertinent.
    In these 3rd-world Asian countries, a small elite wealthy class hold the money and the power. They keep the poor class “enslaved” by depriving them of education, political power (witness the military governments now ruling Thailand and Burma’s “democracies”) and any chance or opportunity for economic advancement.
    Poor rural Thai have the singular disadvantage of having never been a colony (they call an honor) and hence have not mastered the English or any other language but their own (the upper class excepted), further hobbling their opportunities in the widening world. To this day they have no real public education system or vehicle of escape.

    The prostitution/sex industry, and farang who finance it, offer a golden opportunity for a poor Thai country girl, especially if she is intelligent.

    A good example of this is Nang, a girl I met when she was 20 and lived with for several years. She knew thew value of learning excellent English from me and computer skills, and was beautiful enough to be a selective freelance “working girl” the whole time she stayed with me. We both knew that I lacked the funds to provide the house in Isan and that her future was with a wealthier farang outside of Thailand, a goal I encouraged; (though I never did anything like pimp her to farang prospects).
    She left me after five years (and I don’t regret one minute of my time with her) and last I knew was headed to Holland.
    Nang told me that the guy in Holland loved her (good luck with that after knowing each other two weeks), and I mentioned that she didn’t say she loved him. She replied “No problem. If I get to Holland and I don’t like him I can find new man in Holland easy.” She’s probably right.

    I call it looking after #1 (and her family) and not being a gold-digger. Its simply practical to cash in on your greatest (or only) assets, in her case great beauty and a clever enough mind to make the most of it.
    I miss her like hell….but life goes on and I wish her the best.

    I’ve have come to believe that marriage (or marriage -type ) relationships are more custodial than romantic in Thai culture. Even among the higher classes many are arranged or come about based on family status and money.

    The only Thai who marry outside their class are prostitutes who marry farang.
    And I have nothing bad to say about it. I’m on their side.

  • December 2, 2010 at 8:44 pm
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    Yes, i know the feeling that creeps into our hearts about keeping the poor SE asians poor. After all, if these countries got their acts together, their currency would appreciate, and we’d no longer be able to live so plentifully here.

    As for Nang … this is complex. I recently met a young 20 year old filipina, a mountain girl w a short experience w another “foreigner” … and she wants to marry me before she knows me… She’s lovely, bright yet characteristically simple, and has a body to match. She’s not obsessed with having kids, but she’s oh so young. Most white farang here are with 20 year olds and I’ve held my ground against having a partner who’s younger than my own kids, and it’s hard cos most young women who are older than 24/25 have at least one little one. And so the custodial thing you mention isn’t exclusive to Thailand: the grinding poverty and the lackluster drive that goes along with it, the laidback whatever lifestyle, combine to create this financial vacuum that is only overcome by the strongest in each family. I carved my own way out of poverty into a good life, and yet don’t know the depths of despair that these people contend with cos i wasn’t born into poverty.
    And so, as you suggested much further up this column, it’s complicated. And yet, in many ways, it’s just human stuff. It”s much easier to reach out toward someone who offers an instant life transformation than to struggle thru life toward a better future the hard way. The relative indolence is pervasive here, likely more than in Thailand, and so an odd mix of pathetic apathy, like algae in a stagnant pond, is the order of the day…
    Hmmmmm….

  • December 7, 2010 at 2:18 am
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    Thank you for posting your observations, “Anonymous.” I’ve come to notice the same kind of spending habits from my Thai girlfriend, too. I keep her on a budget and I never veer from it no matter who is pressuring her from the family to tap me for some kind of payment. When it’s gone, it’s gone. And nothing more until I get paid myself. I’ve slowly whittled down her allowance, too, with no explanation. Anyway, it’s a good read, your article. Informative, too.

  • April 3, 2012 at 8:15 pm
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    Who’s the girl in the pic? She seems familiar.

  • June 7, 2012 at 5:57 pm
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    since when whitemen or china can with the new name Thailand or Siam? i’m a thai woman of siam origin. i’m not from isaan northeast, nor lanna nor south malay (former malaysia) which were conquerred by siam almost 300 years ago. Siam people live in central plain. women of siam like us insult isaan women who go for whitemen as prostitutes. isaan women are failure guys who want status equal to siam. up to present siam people are still best of the best and the few in the central plain of the new name Thailand, and women of siam can still climb up to the highest rank and get very high pay. isaan people are also rejected by loas, and are not considered as true tai ethic because their look are totally different from siam people or loas people. Women of siam insult whitemen and other races since birth as whitemen or japan fail to conquer Siam but we are the few and our words are very influential. All statements that insult isaan women who marry whitemen come from women of siam, and before us, the siam, all isaan cry out as dogs. THAILAND MOCKS WHITEMEN WITH JUST ISAAN GIRLS IN THE NORTHEAST WHICH IS IN FACT COLONY STATE OF SIAM, and even Loas reject Isaan girls. Thai ethic of Siam accepts only Loas not Isaan ppl.

  • June 7, 2012 at 5:59 pm
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    Thailand has the lowest employment rate.

  • June 7, 2012 at 6:03 pm
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    Thailand has the LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT rate. (sorry for the previous wrong wording in the no. 28).
    WE MOCK WHITEMEN JUST WITH ISAAN GIRLS, and all the girls who go for whitemen are insulted. in fact, noboday wants whitemen. just poorest women from poorest northeast Isaan. and Isaan was conquerred by Siam about 300 years ago. Even Loas reject Isaan girls.
    and i’m a thai women from siam family, not isaan nor lanna nor south malay(malaysia). i never want any whiteman, i love my thai men of siam origin who are the best looking on earth.

  • June 7, 2012 at 8:32 pm
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    Thank you, Tuk, for your educating words. Many of us white men don’t know about your history, nor about the differences between differing ethnic groups in Thailand.
    I live in the Philippines, and the native mountain people talk about the malay people in southern Luzon and the other provinces as “lowlanders.” The mountain people are distinctly different from the malays.
    And so two things here:
    I deeply respect what you say about the original siam people. Please be kind to me because I don’t know much about the history of your people or of that part of Asia. Yet i add that it’s also important to be humble because we all are human, and so we all share certain common things that make us brothers and sisters of one another, no matter of our historical backgrounds, gender, religion, color or orientation.
    The second thing is that most of the white men you see in Thailand aren’t the best kind of white man. Many in any part of Asia are losers or bad people in their own countries also, and so when they come to the Philippines or Thailand, they bring their garbage with them, and often treat thai, siam and other ethnic women the same. Not knowing about cultural differences usually doesn’t matter to them: they are looking for cheap sex, for an easy life, for many sex partners, for things that they did in their own country.
    So please don’t suggest that all white men are the same. For instance, I live alone most of the time because I don’t want to go from one pretty filipina girl to another. I look for the right woman who is a good personality fit to mine, and therefore am not interested in being a white man dog.
    Let me ask you a question: why are you so angry sounding? If you want, feel free to email me privately at the above email address.
    Take care, good woman.
    daen

  • June 8, 2012 at 5:03 am
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    There are many many Farangs who are of good to excellent background who “CHOOSE’ to go to south ease Asia for work or to visit. they are not loosers. Of course they are the low life Farangs just like there are low life people in every culture including Asia.

    Thai men use the services of the Isarn and Bangkok bar girls MORE than Farangs do, they just do it discretely! Thailand’s economy heavily depends on this business. If you know anything about Thailand, you know this to be true.

    The moment some one thinks their race is better than the next race, is the moment one looses my respect for sure. The thinking that one’s race is better than the other is what caused WWII and millions of people dead. What is wrong with Isarn, Laos, Cambodia, or any other nation or RACE. All peoples are humans and anyone who thinks they are better that others because they accidentally happen to be born in a certain area, is not worthy of my respect. One differentiates one’s self by knowledge, attitude, contribution to family, self and to society not by being born rich or born to a certain clan….That racist thinking would be rubbish in my mind. This is my opinion, yours may be respectfully different. Racist name calling lowers your argument to below zero!

  • June 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm
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    may be tuk forgot that is not only a question of unemployement rate, but if you work (construction workers get 200.250 bath a day)for so little money, i can imagine that you can have always somebody use you and employ you
    besides in the industrial area prachin buri and near, mostly industry belong to japan sweish and other westerns and that China has all gold shops in front of your eyes they make huge profits…so be proud of your meaningless unemployement low rate hahahaha
    how about the richest man in the world? look at google who he is…and how about most of thai people have 500 bath a month pension?
    so it is a cheap challange to mention thai unemployement with highly paid unemployed people in europe, which unemployement money most of the time is a real salary and not to mention the extra money they make with work black and also with extra money at flea markets…
    about Isan women, I agree…are invadent beggars, liers , cheting, use culture like blackmail and are so selfish and when have car are exibitionist like we in europe 50 years ago and are women without proud and dignity and for money they can do everything…you can imagine what i mean for everything and they are east west south and nort in thailand and you never know who is who….

  • June 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm
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    with thai salary so very low and pension of about 500 bath a month, then government give stay permit only if you deposit 800.000 bath in bank or if you have pension about 70.000 bath a month which.
    so thai people can live with 500 bath a month or ith low salary but farangs must bring money or go away, because thai government does not forbid prostitution (which is in first place in the world also famous thailand=sex industry), because they need farangs money and dont care if loose reputation in the world and dont care if prostitution is in pattaya or chiang mai or else where and who does it…money is money….laos is a poor country, but government dont want prostitution, you can be punished with prison or 5000 us dollars fine or more,,,
    laos girls go to isan for money, but just to help poor parents, not to cheat farangs and have new car and houses and gold,,,so dont confuse the 2 things
    if laos woukld have a place like pattaya and same prostitution, at least 80% farangs would be in laos ,,,i bet anything you like, because laos women are much more beautiful and extreme sex appeal and great feminility…
    Yes I was in Laos many times and i was at many partyes and i always hear laos peopel speak bad about thai women…of course they know only isan women…no wonder….

  • June 10, 2012 at 7:42 pm
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    This is such a complicated discussion because there are customs of cultures that are so different from others that sometimes i think we can only define things out of our own culture and personal experiences.
    But I am thankful for this educational process, yet there are many things common to the human race: I would suggest that any people who are extremely poor and in many cases alienated or ostracized from the dominant culture will do almost ANYTHING to make life more bearable. I would suggest that Isaan women may ‘prostitute’ themselves more than siam women because they are much more marginalized. Therefore it’s easy for some to denigrate (put down) these women as cheap and trashy. This may not be the case; in fact, likely isn’t the case.
    I would further suggest that the news has been out for decades now that if a poor woman can land a farang as a long or short term life partner, then she’s saving herself and the family from remaining in the desperately poor circumstances they would otherwise be imprisoned in.
    Let’s skip to the Philippines: the muslimo people here are the most marginalized in the country, and are therefore the poorest. Yet they seem to be much less inclined to prostitute themselves to the westerners, but will with impunity steal land and property from their christian neighbors, or band together in a business enterprise and in turn mistreat the catholic filipinos in return for the discrimination they have to endure. But in general, most catholic filipino women will lie, cheat, steal, borrow and otherwise be parasitic toward anyone whom they can take advantage of. In fact, they ‘prostitute’ themselves with such openness that it’s like a ridiculous little dance of the pathetic!
    And … this is remarkably similar to what many of you say here is true about many thai women….
    I would also add that Cambodian and Laos women haven’t become as aware of the ‘benefits’ of getting a western man. They therefore are likely much more innocent, sweet and wonderful than their Isan cousins who have learned the worst side of things. Give them a few decades of exposure to the whites who represent a major shift in life circumstances, and they too will be like filipino, siam (yes, because I had a siam girlfriend), and isaan women. In other words, I will repeat: give anyone a chance for a better life even when being a prostitute is involved, and WE all will stoop to do it.

    Oh yes, prostitution isn’t all about sex. It’s about discarding our core life values and beliefs in favor of an easier life, better clothes or money for our families. In fact, in western societies, there’s a saying that sometimes the artist will ‘prostitute’ himself or herself for money: the musician, for instance, will put out a shallow pop song CD to make money; in this case, they’ve dumped their serious artistic work in favor of selling a lot of CDs. This also represents the struggle to survive, but is less apparent than in poor SE Asian cultures.
    In the end, no need to spread one’s legs for money. If any of us throw out our heart, we are well on the way to prostituting ourselves.

  • June 10, 2012 at 8:02 pm
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    Tuk … the working women in Manila who have a good education and a decent altho low-paying job often don’t want to have a white man for a life partner. They won’t settle for just anyone.

    The difficult thing about the filipino man is that he’s so unfaithful to his filipina, not to mention his laziness, irresponsibility, that most filipino women no longer want anything to do with their men. Often the filipino man would rather take the children’s school money and spend it on a fighting cock. These are some of the reasons why they want an older white man … because quite often he is fairly decent and responsible, and of course usually has more money than she and her family will ever see in a lifetime.

    As for Isaan women, they are in a hard place! They are Laotians, but are rejected by their people on the other side of the Mekong River. They are Isaan and not Siamese women, and therefore aren’t treated fairly by the thai population. It seems that they are a marginalized people with only their land to save them from a being a totally lost people.
    I feel bad that these kinds of injustices happen … and not only in your country, but everywhere where minorities are set apart and looked down on because they are not part of the dominant culture: the ‘native’ people in Taiwan endure this from the dominant Chinese society; the muslims in southern Philippines, and likely in southern Thailand; the Aborigines in Australia, the Maoris in New Zealand, the American Indians in Canada and the USA. AND the same kind of parasitic prostitution happens there all the time…

  • June 10, 2012 at 8:58 pm
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    so many useless discussion
    asian especially thai and philippines are only interested in money and they are aware that farangs are those kind of men who never find a woman in their country and then come to thailand or philippines with hard cock and full loaded and also more loaded in the brain on naibìvity…why so many duscussion and for what?
    you want to discover asian culture religions and many othe things? dont gossip here, just look at google.
    about unemployement, the milions or more of thai prostitutes, how do you consider tham ? employed or what?
    I am really curious about it

  • June 11, 2012 at 6:28 am
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    you are very confusing..
    Two times you ask why have ‘so many discussions’ here and go to google to find out more, and then you ask two questions that will only get more discussion. Make up your mind…

    As for googling information, how is google going to be better than my own 10 years of experience in Asia? I don’t know everything, but i have experienced enough of parasitic 3rd world cultures to see patterns of behavior that both cultural-oriented and human nature based. So we learn from each other that is very often as good as or better than google, wikipedia, etc. After all, we are smart and see patterns in societies if we are interested enough…!

    Yes, many westerners who are losers come here and get a young girl/woman, give her education and money, in other words, the easy life, and in the end get stolen from by their girlfriend/wife and her family, and sometimes get deported cos there was a very bad thing happen. This is not exclusive to 3rd world countries. Russian women, for instance, are some of the most beautiful women on earth, and yet it’s reported that they are some of the worst ‘prostitute thieves’ in the world.

    It’s generally understood that the trade-off of sex and money is ok, is part of the game of life. He gets to sleep with this lovely brown-skinned beauty, and she gets his money for herself and the family, and quite often all are happy as long as things go smoothly. It’s not necessarily a bad thing … for many people.

    And yes, many farang are naive, some are stupid, and many are weak men who can be manipulated and often robbed of their life savings. But there’s much more to this than you suggest: many western men are generous, trusting, responsible and kind. Many of us tend to be compassionate, and so when we see our fellow human beings suffer or struggle so hard to exist, our hearts go out to them. We give because we see the need. Of course we can be called naive because we come from countries where we can trust most of our fellow citizens, and because laws are strongly enforced there, we can often get justice when we are robbed or taken advantage of. So often white western men bring good things to 3rd world people, but most desperate thai or filipinas don’t look past their survival-focussed minds, and so grab all they can without considering the future. Such is life when simple people are uneducated, ignorant and superstitious.

    I have talked to thai women who are prostitutes, and they feel caught in a terrible situation. They don’t want to be prostitutes, at least at first, but they feel forced to that lifestyle because they often don’t want their own men, who are poor, apathetic and unmotivated. And when the news gets out that getting a farang is life transforming, every woman wants to have some of the easy life. Can you blame them? No, not at all. So once a woman gets into the sex trade, it becomes easier let a white man screw here to send money home to the family than to go back to the rice fields, no man at all, and hardship. Many pinay view letting endless men screw them as their work. They take it very seriously, and often work long hard nights to satisfy the unending lust of their clients. In many ways they are professionals: they have to dress enticingly to sell and market themselves; they have to keep their appearance as youthful and pretty as possible; they have to maintain a budget between the needs of themselves and the family and the white guy(s) they are dependent on. It’s a very tough game … and yes, it’s employment because it’s a fulltime job.

  • June 11, 2012 at 6:45 am
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    ant45,
    When white men were in the German concentration camps or Japanese labor camps, they would suddenly be forced into a terrible survival situation. It’s been reported that those men from decent families and ‘civilized’ cultures would do ANYTHING to survive, to get just one more little bit of food so that they’d not die. They would steal from each other, hide food, betray their own people to just stay alive. This is basic survival.
    So in the end, all human beings have to choose between having too little and selling out to get more. The lovely little women in poor countries feel forced by their families to abandon their kids and go abroad, or go to the big city and sell their bodies.
    So of course it’s all about money. That is how things are. If a young woman is reluctant to work in the rice fields all day every day of her life, then she will look for ways to survive in other ways. And it’s human nature to look for the easiest way to make that happen.
    It’s just too bad that the focus stays in survival mode even when they’ve landed their foreigner! Quite often they don’t know how to shift from being a survivor to becoming a flourishing happy person with great plans for the future.
    Those who are able to shift gears often do well because the white man, if he’s smart enough, has taught them to be humble and to work hard at a little business to make their lives better. In other words, they become able to think outside of the ‘survival’ box. And then their lives become what is considered by westerners to be normal…

    Tell me, ant45, what is your nationality? Where do you live? How long have you lived there? Where does your own family live, and how do they survive?.

  • June 11, 2012 at 8:12 am
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    An accurate yet sad explanation of the psychology that goes on between the Farang and the Thai women.

    Thai society does not give these “working” women the tools to make the right decisions when they come into some money form their Farang BF. I have personally experienced a Working lady who had a gold platter handed to her only to let her bad decision making process mess it up and she is back in the bar and most of us know that this is not a rare occasion more it is very common.

    The Thai social, economical and political structure basically drives the need for the average Thai, read “most” Thais, to be always in a financial survival mode and hence most Thais are surviving just above the poverty level. Remember I said “most”. You and I know that there always the exception to the rules and in this discussion we are generalizing. I do not approve of their ways, but it is their country and I will have to deal with it if I live among them.

    Just like there are some nice Thai ladies who can be good partners for the Farangs, I want to offer to you for your intelligent thinking that there are quite a few smart, well educated and yes handsome middle aged men who chose to go to SE Asia for work or for pleasure. they have had enough of there own Western world problem and they chose to go there for a major change.

    I have said it before, what is wrong with an old bald Farang using the services that are offered in SE Asia? the same services that are offered to Thais and all Asian men? He is paying for some happiness and companionship, in his older age, something he most likely can’t get in his own country. It benefits him and keeps the Thai economy going, also, a lot of the bar ladies enjoy their work. They make more money than educated professionals in Thailand.

  • June 11, 2012 at 11:52 am
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    google at least tell true about everything including laws and accurate advise how not to be stupid and naive when you go to asia…and 10 years in asia, if not for work (like in my case) than is for menattly damaged person to live there….what culture of asia do you understand? temples? artificial plastic constrctions all so boring…how about art? do you know that 70% of art culture is in Italy? you never get bored about gothic renaissance barocco buildings paintings, not to mention operas and others
    in London over 50% of art is italian and everywhere in europe are so many wanderful things to admire that you need to live at least 1000 yesrs to visit and enjoy…in asia some old temple (ayuttaya for exemple) and rest so very boing that you dont need so much time to visit and probably 90% of western men dont have so much time, because only look at pussy and busy to drink all day long
    I insist that google has complete acnowledge of all the world included asia and also included women blackmail and other dirty affairs while you have isolated personal experiences and rest is pure gossip…..
    about what happened in Germany or rest of europe after war is just about shorts periods, while cheating and blackmail in asia and especially thailand is something which will never end as long as there are people looking for sex…so if italy has 70% of art culture of the world, thailand has 70% of open easy pussy in asia…may be is also culture for sick drunk farangs…why not?

  • June 11, 2012 at 7:46 pm
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    Yes, Mando .. but the thai women who end up back in the bar after missing her opportunity to make good w her bf are a lot like the poor North American who plays the lotteries and hits the jackpot, say several million dollars.
    Often in a year or so they are broke again, sometimes back to working in some dumb job or lining up for a monthly welfare check, and of course playing the numbers again…
    Most people who buy lottery tickets in developed countries are fairly poor, of low education, and often aren’t very intelligent or have much thought for the future. Does this sound familiar?
    And so thai and filipino women have ‘hit the lottery’ when they land a farang, and yet, unfortunately, don’t know how to improve their lives when they get him. And if the man is not all that much of a winner in his own country, it’s likely to fail, and sometimes miserably.

    As for your comment about ladies of the night making more money than well-educated professionals … so true! I am very well educated with a lot of work experience in the teaching/training and counselling/coaching fields, but when I applied at a well-known Manila nursing college as a fulltime instructor, they were going to pay me a lousy 16,000 pisos or about 12,000 baht a month. I’d been working half-time for a Manila publishing company and earning 75,000 pisos per month (but still poor money in my own country for the same kind of work), and to me this education institution was paying next to nothing for a lot of hard work!

    In contrast, the prostitutes also in Manila can earn 3000 pisos/night, or, if they are diligent and pretty, about 60,000 pisos a month (likely about 40,000 baht).
    Well, we all know the world is half-crazy. The college professor can’t afford to buy a car, but the prostitute can buy 2 cars.
    But the cost to the heart is where the professional leaps ahead. The whore dissociates internally as yet another sex-crazed man pounds her; the college prof can go home feeling tired but happy with her/his day, satisfied that they’d given their best to their students.

  • June 11, 2012 at 7:52 pm
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    ant.. you didn’t answer my questions.
    Instead you seem to want keep beating your drum … which is ok, but i don’t connect with you about all that…
    As for the farang you have seen, we have agreed that many/most of them are losers in their own countries, and so why go on about culture. As for thailand being the asian capital for pussy, it’s being challenged by indonesia and philippines. In fact, I think white men are starting to check out other countries now because they tire of the thai scene…

    Anyway, not sure how to reply to you anymore…

  • June 11, 2012 at 8:32 pm
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    i am so much used to so many silly commentary and I dont need read everything…about women, thai philippines too easy and too boring…only asian women i really like are laos women, who live in Laos, but is a problem to love them because is really dangerous to have a relation with them, because of strict laws against prostitution within Laos in relation to farangs (laos men can do what they want)
    In Thailand I have discovered farangs (western) women free and not scroungers, may be opposite and alone and willing to meet other farangs
    koh samui is best exampleand they are there for sex relations and farangs are blind and dont see that….
    also in europe, austrain women are sexy and very passionate for sex as well as German from Bayern,,,and believe me, are very easy for sex and complain that dont find men…funny but true…
    do we really need thailand and philippines indonesia or Cambodia?
    anyway, if I must choose amongs all the over mentioned countryes, it is true that many faraanags now look for new pussy (all second hand anyway) in there and dont like so much thailand and thai women anymore, but at the end the smile and semplicity of poor people, the fact that thai people dont cheat so much as in other countryes when you buy food or other things, the nature the anumals, the quality of life for the prices, is thailand , i must admit always number one believe me…..just dont fall in love with thai scroungers women and then you are in a wanderful country

  • June 11, 2012 at 9:25 pm
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    anyway come for sex to thailand is like buy choccolate in nice looking shop display, very much the same, same words same smile same discussion….” I want to marry farang” I want man no lie….I want true love ….and so on …only same words repeated milions time to their interest and good for your sex interest, but emptyness…because farangs in thailand are the cheapest western men from their countryes and thai women are born in a world of plastic and cannot know what is outside, only their convenience, their superficial feelings and lies lies lies…because such lie can bring them a new house a car and money for them and their family and Government laugh at stupid farangs who pay for the…
    I think other asian countryes, women want the same, just with less smile and less blackmails…
    I think you should try polinesian islands….i am sure you will love the places much more than dirty thai beaches and people very friendly and women wowwwwww, make sure you have safety belts when you have sex with them…they love it !!!!!

  • June 20, 2012 at 6:21 am
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    The main article stated these comments:

    “….most seem to take the attitude that Buddha will provide and see no reason to put forth any effort to secure their own financial security.

    I was once told by a middle-age, university educated, woman, “What good can my money do me if I’m dead? If I don’t spend it now I might not get the chance.” Sadly, this is exactly how many Thai people from every financial strata view money.

    This isn’t about your latest and greatest mobile phone addicted bar girl. These women can be educated, poor, middle-class, or wealthy. It’s just a mindset about money that really damages the country as a whole.”

    Is this a SE Asian thing, or is it true of 3rd world peoples globally.
    In the Philippines, they have an expression ‘bahala na’ which means God will provide. That means they accept what God brings them, whether disaster and serious family and possession loss, or a good or bad man. It’s just so laidback as to keep these countries trapped in corrupton, poverty and dependency on westerners who naively become enthralled with these lovely little women and often loss their shirts in the bargain. Is there anything more to say about this? It’s their reality and it’s sad and it’s a patented formula for never becoming an adult or becoming personally solvent. It’s so bad that why bother with them…

  • August 10, 2012 at 9:45 am
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    Upon reading this article and all the responses to the article, I was appalled by the posted comments. The majority of these comments were abrasive, ignorant, false, and downright racist. There are few who seem to understand the culture, political/governmental policy, and the livelihood of poor people in Thailand, especially in the Northeast and Northern regions of the country. For that I am grateful for your understanding.
    I am saddened and disgusted by the comments made by ant45, Daen, and a Thai woman who calls herself “Tuk.” I have seen this woman’s writing before and she often uses the handle “Tukkata Thai.” But what’s giving her away is her hate toward her fellow Isaan and Lanna sisters, her ill-written English, and her ignorance concerning the history of Thailand. She does not seem to understand anything beyond the 300 years mark in which she has often mentioned. The history in which she has learned is often skewed by the Nationalist ideology embedded in its laggard educational system. (I had an opportunity of caring for a young Thai student from the Central plains during this past year. He knew Vietnam and Laos were Thailand’s neighbors but had no idea the geographical location of these two countries…..Sad)
    And for those who bring religion into this article. I say to you to do your research or continue making a fool of yourself. There is no “Wealth Gospel” in Buddhism as in the Christian West. Buddhism teaches self-reliance.
    As for “Tuk” or “Tukkata Thai,” since you continue your hate and ignorance, I feel compelled to educate you about the history of your Central Plain. Since 95 percent of Thais are Buddhist, I would infer that you are a Buddhist. First, being a Buddhist is to have compassion toward all beings that includes compassion and empathy toward your fellow Lanna, Isaan, and your Southern Sisters. This is the fundamental teaching of the Lord Buddha. Secondly, concerning the Central Plain history, have you ever wondered why the dance, the costumes, and many old-style buildings (for example the old pagoda in Nakhon Pathom or the ruins in Lopburi and Ayutthaya) eerily resemble those that are in Cambodia? Or is it your belief that the Cambodians or Khmers stole the Thai culture? Tukkata Thai, before Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin, there was the Khmer Empire. It covered most of the South, all of the Central Plain, the Northeast, and part of the North. Since ancient times, people migrated, learned from each other, and mixed with each other to increase their chance of survival. That being said…I am not so sure if there is such thing as a “pure Siamese” as you are like to call yourself. Modern day people of the Central Plain exhibit Thai/Lao, Chinese, and especially Khmer in their facial features. Please, Tukkata Thai, get yourself educated and train yourself on compassion and other true teachings of the Buddha.
    As for Dean, I have the feeling that you are a middle age male WASP. I see your trail of prejudice. You were trashing Isaan women in 2010. In 2012, you have changed your tone. It is hard to understand a poor person’s perspective when you yourself were not born into one. As I combed through your posts, I have come to the conclusion that you are a bigot and a hypocrite. Statements such as “ if these countries got their acts together………we’d no longer be able to live plentifully here,” “I‘ve held my ground against having a partner who’s younger than my own kid, and it’s hard cos……..” You are also a racist as your action is telltale. You courteously and politely thanked “Tukkata Thai” for her so “educating words” who had just abrasively, blatantly, blasted her fellow Lanna, Isaan, and Southern Thai sisters. In my eyes, one who convenes with a racist is a racist. You are no better than ant45 who sees all Isaan women as a lies, cheats, and de facto prostitutes.
    Ant45, what makes you think that having a relationship with a Lao woman will make your life better? …… After all Isaan and Lao are of the same tree. An apple does not fall too far from its tree. I am dreading for any woman who is in a relationship with you, including a Western woman. You have a disease in which I call the “Chauvinist Racist Complex.” Grow up and expand your mind! Cheating, lying, and stealing aren’t just inherent in Thailand. There are in every segment of our society. In the West, the most powerful men and women embezzled millions and billions in Dollars and Pounds. Same as the “Gold Diggers” phenomena, they’re in every society. In the West, high-class prostitution is called an “Escort Service.”
    Lastly, to answer Dean’s Sep. 24, 2010 posting- “if the family makes more money on their rice crop this year, where does the extra money go?” Dean, poor farmers never have any extra money to save! Farmers borrow money each year to farm their lands. The majority of the cost is for fertilizers. In addition, some use the money to pay farm hands and equipments necessary to start the yearly farming production. When the rice crops are harvested, the farmer will keep his portion to feed his immediate family. If they have not paid the farm hands, the rice is paid to them in lieu of the money. The other portion will be rationed among extended family. The last remaining portion will then be sold. The money is used to pay off old debt and for their daily living expenses. This money does not last all year. This is a reason why so many young men and women migrate to Bangkok and Pattaya in search of money-making opportunities. Please, ladies and gentlemen, look at your own blemished first before you cast your eyes on other people’s blemishes.
    For those Westerners who are lucky enough to know a decent Thai women and her family, I would like to thank you for your generosity and patience. For the poor, money has not come easily for them until just recently. Gently educate and encourage your Thai girlfriend and her family to save for their future needs.

    One Isaan Woman
    Information on SE Asia History goes to http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com. Search word: Divining Angkor. The article was published in July, 2009. It summarizes the extent and influence of Khmer Civilization in Southeast Asia. Check out timeline, 3-D animation of daily life in Angkor, and learn about the temples of Angkor.

  • August 10, 2012 at 7:33 pm
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    I don’t think we see with either eyes…
    The looking for farangs to cheat him and also in cruel way, is not fantasy but reality and seems that this point is completely avoided

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