Thailand is a matrimonial society with male overtones in urban
high society, but not in the country. A woman in the country
marries a man to help her support her family. Thus the green
light for whom the daughter is to marry, and who not, is given
by the mother and the grandmother after consideration of
monetary advantages. After paying the dowry, the husband moves
into the house of his wife’s parents, works on their farm, or in
the factory, delivers the pay check to his wife who gives him
back whatever he needs for tobacco, drink and gasoline for the
In the city of Bangkok among Bangkok people, the marriage
partners are treating each other more equals, romance being a
basis for getting married. Dowries may not always be paid.
The females we have come to know in Thailand organize their
marriage and family life from a position of defiance towards the
husband, rarely subordination, and if subordination then through
fear. A women’s number one ally is usually her mother, and if
mother is weak, then her grandmother, a aunt, but rarely her
Those who are long-term residents of Thailand and astute
observers of Thai culture claim that mothers run the homes.
girls become women, men remain helpless mama boys, needing wives
to replace their mothers for cooking and cleaning while having
affairs with young girls, but when they wake up to the fact that
they married their mothers, seek comfort in drinking, fail at
work, and finally take off.
Friendships between women in Thailand are strong. Friendships,
being based on character, among Thai men are not deep and
lasting. Mothers and daughters are close friends, but rarely
fathers and sons.
By way of observation, many western men who marry Thai seem to
prefer ladies with darker rather than lighter complexion. They
may be small, big, skinny or chubby, there doesn’t seem to be a
pattern. As to the preferred age, it cannot be said that the
young ladies or the more mature women are preferred by mature
male. While for many Thai men a lady in her late twenties may be
past her prime, for western she can be a perfect fit.
Thai-Farang marriage statistics have it that more westerners are
wed to ladies from Isan than the other province. The outward
attraction may be their pronounced cheekbones and somewhat
darker skin, but we believe it is their inner quality, their
high character that draws Farangs to them.
Thailand, the age is not a barrier for a Farang to find and
marry his orchid girl, or for a Farang lady to find a young
lover for companionship, sex or marriage. Older Farang means
financial stability, emotional maturity and reliability, and a
moderate demand on sexual performances.
It is a known fact that Thai television, in advertising and in
Thai magazines the Ladies of Bangkok, including those of mixed
Thai-Farang blood, the so called Lukung, are most
definitely the preferred type. Nevertheless, the Westerner may
be fooled into thinking that the beautiful natural, tender and
seductive petit Thai woman with her fine chiseled face and
disarming smile is welcoming only to please him.
The ideal Farang
husband of a Thai wife from upcountry have to be quiet, smiley,
agreeable (a strong assertive character would challenge the Thai
wife’s position of superiority), not over 75 if possible (but
there is no prescribed limit) and a wealth not under $US 25,000
(about 1 million baht) if manages smartly, but ideally around
US$ 100,000, enough to make a new house in the country for
mother to guard and live in, buy a new motorcycle, pickup truck,
and have some cash left over for grandmother, aunts and uncles,
and cousins if and when the need arise.
The question asked of a wife about her husband is not “Do you
love him” or “Does he love you”, but rather “Is he kind to you”.
The smile of a pretty Thai lady is capable of melting an
inexperienced western man’s heart in an instance. It is a smile
trained to perfection from early, very early age. It is as much
a defensive weapon to reduce threatening tension, as it may be
an offensive instrument of seduction and charm to disarm and
Because of its lethal affect on the unwary newcomer to the
Country of Smiles (Sayam Yim), the question of whether the smile
is genuinely transmitting feelings of happiness, love and
affection, or mere courtesy, is really beside the point. The
point is, the perfect Thai smile is an invitation to leave the
doors open for you, the Farang, to enter into or not to enter. A
woman who does not or cannot smile is seen as uncultured, people
don’t want to make business with her.
There are many types of smiles. But I have never seen Royalty
and persons in position of power smile. To do so would diminish
their rank. Is smiling, therefore, seen as an expression
displaying weakness? Perhaps.
In Thailand lying can be a convenience rather than a sin. If
discovered, one simply says: “I had to say something” or “I had
a reason to lie or you would’ve got angry at me”, or simply “I
changed my mind”. Thais know that lying (poot gohock) is
common-place, so normally don’t make an issue when discovered.
The Thai wife taking revenge on her unfaithful husband who is
drinking and sleeping around instead of coming home with the pay
check, depriving her and the children of support, is generally
seen as acting with reasonable cause. “Why did he sleep around?”
would be the public’s response.
The Farang acting like a disloyal Thai husband runs the risk of
being quickly locked out of the house that he built and paid
for, a banishment enforced by the family, friends and the entire
neighborhood. If he shows remorse, words would not be enough. A
gold bracelet weighing five baht at the cost of fifty thousand
baht might undo the wife’s embarrassment and restore her honor.
In most instances, the wife doesn’t care about the husband’s
infidelity so long as she doesn’t know, isn’t told, and her
security is not endangered. The western notion of “love” will
rarely (but sometimes….) become a part of the marital
relationship. Love and devotion are two notions may be one in
the west, but are separate and apart in Thailand. Romantic love
was first introduced by Hollywood movies when Royalty returned
from college in the United States in the early sixties and
encouraged their viewing. Some experienced long-term residents
in Thailand claim that “Thai girls are not romantic at all” has
certainly a sense of reality.
Thais have a keen appreciation for appearance, good looks and
beauty. To garner a Farang raises the rural wife’s prestige, but
only if he is well dressed and groomed rather a slob running
around in dirty shorts and T-shirts.
Since 2002, the
April 18th is our wedding anniversary. The longer we have been
together, the closer we have become. If anything, she gets more
affectionate as time goes by. This flies in the face of the
perception many Farang have of Thai girls. In many cases, those
perceptions may be correct. However, it is my feeling that many
of the problems Thai/Farang relationships suffer are as much as
the result of mistreatment of Thai girl by the Farang, as it is
through unrealistic expectations from either party or the fact
the Farang just plain picked the wrong girl in the first place.
The first problem is the Farang selection process. If the only
stipulations are that she has to be beautiful, sexy and great
behind closed door, that criterion is not the makings of a
successful long term relationship. I don’t mean to stereotype,
but let’s face it : if she has her nose pierced, is loaded with
tattoos, drinks like a lush, and is constantly getting calls on
her mobile phone from English speaking callers, she probably is
not a good prospect.
Does this mean you have to stay away from working girls? Not
hardly. It is not so much where you find the girl, it is the
selection process. If you would be embarrassed to take her home
to meet mom, she’s probably not good prospect.
Also, understand that you have a big hurdle to overcome. Many
men come in Thailand on a holyday, fall into true love, profess
that love to their new found girlfriend, but when they get back
home reality sets in. They have to go back to work with no
chance to returning to their sweetheart for six months or a
year. Absence does not make the heart grow fonder. After awhile
the romance dies a slow death. Even if you can keep her in your
heart, you are living in a romantic wasteland back home. The
girl of your dreams is living in an area where she may be hit on
daily. Reverse the situation and how long would you last?
Also, put yourself in the girl’s place. After four or five guys
pledge their true love to her, but she never sees them again,
what are they going to believe? Over time these girls assume we
lie about love, so they lie back.
Because of this problem, it is my belief that the only way to
obtain a true, lasting relationship is for the Farang to move
here. You can’t nurture a relationship from 10,000 miles away.
That why I moved here.
Since couples generally socialize with couples, my wife and I
have had many occasions to meet with and talk to other Farang
men and their Thai wives. It quickly brought to mind another
reason why Thai/Farang relationships fail. I was astounded at
some of the things I discovered, all due to the mistrust and
lack of confidence of the Farang men.
One Farang would only let his wife eat what he ate, hotdogs. She
was required to stay home when he went out, and he locked her in
the house. She was never given any money and had to ask for
everything she wanted.
Another man will not allow his wife to cook or eat Thai food
when he is home because he doesn’t like the smell or taste.
However, his wife has to cook Japanese food for him and eat what
he eats. He leaves her whenever he chooses, being gone for a day
or two at a time, and rents a hotel room while he fraternizes
with other women. She has to stay home and never leave the house
until he gets back. He checks up on her to make sure she doesn’t
sneak out. Recently a close family member passed away, and she
was not allowed to go to her village for funeral.
Another guy, who is quite well off, married a girl and took her
to his homeland. She was expected to sit at home all day while
he was at work. When he came home, he expected a Farang dinner
on the table plus the amorous attention of his indebted wife.
After all, he gave her a gift of living in his country in a
beautiful home. She had no Thai friends (or any friends for that
matter), no Thai TV, and little, if any, Thai food. She was
miserable. Luckily for her, after two years in his glorified
prison there was a death in the family. He let her go home for a
visit. Once in Thailand, she tossed the return ticket and he
never saw her again. As he tells it, she was ungrateful and left
him, “and look at the money I lost”. Truth be known, I am sure
the time he had with her was better than being with a western
woman and overall a lot less costly too.
I could relate many more stories, but I think you get the point.
The relationships I just described are not marriages; these guys
have women of convenience. What is interesting is, when their
marriages fail, they blame it on the ungrateful wife.
It is my feeling that a good relationship is based more on trust
and respect than love. If you cannot trust or respect your
spouse, what are you doing with her? If you have to lock her in
your house, or enslave her by never giving her any money, what
does that tell you about your relationship?
There are plenty of very good women in Thailand, and even in the
nightlife. But if your head is not screwed on right, the partner
you pick probably won’t have hers screwed on right either. So,
when it all falls apart, before you go pointing fingers, go look
in the mirror. If she was good, you didn’t treat her right. If
she was bad, you picked the wrong one in the first place. Either
way, you blew it.
Many Farang properties other than condominiums are quite
often registered in their wife’s name, the property
usually passes to the wife, without too many questions
being asked. Between Thai couples, things can be a
little different, because if they register their own
assets at the time of their marriage, then they
generally retain them later.
For alien citizen married to a Thai national, the short
answer to avoid many future problems is to form a Thai
Company (see Property laws),
so that upon your death the property remains within that
business organization to be then administrated or sold,
according to your will and/or instructions. This is a
reasonably complex process and requires the advice of
independent advisor (professional people in the field of
law and accountancy, experts, etc…or experienced
The advisory process should start before you do
absolutely anything in Thailand, especially if you are
newcomers to the kingdom. In a recent news story an
elderly European man proposed marriage to a quite young
Thai lady, and was informed that the proposal was
accepted on the condition that he paid a dowry of 1
million baht. He apologetically came up with a sum of
970,000 baht, which was accepted. After no seeing his
beloved “wife to be” for a few days, he inquired at the
hotel where she had been residing, only to be told that
she had departed with her husband earlier, and that the
couple both seemed to be happy.
This illustrates the pitfalls that await the unwary, and
only asking your friends for advice is not the answer,
as they may be too embarrassed to speak their mind on
such a delicate issue. Independent advisors can perceive
a hidden danger or potential problem in the future. The
biggest and most costly mistake that you can make is in
thinking that you understand the local conditions and
trying to go alone.
There are of course many very successful marriages, but
the problems do not end there, as there are plenty of
other unscrupulous people who will “rip you off”, as
this following tragic story illustrates. A Farang was
very happily married to his Thai wife and decided to
place his house and assets within a Thai company
structure, just to be sure upon his death, his wife
would be the beneficiary of his assets. In due course he
passed away, and his wife examined all the documentation
relevant to his “last will and testament”. Imagine her
great horror to find out that the lawyer who drew up the
Thai company structure now owned all of her late
husband’s assets, and that the widow owned absolutely
So you need to be very careful in whom you place your
1. Ask for a permission document about your family
condition from embassy and have two persons who can be
2. When you receive the permission document from
embassy, translation into Thai and stamp by Thai
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, Sri Ayudhya Road, Bangkok 10400, Thailand, Tel
: +66 (2) 643 5000).
4. Divorce certificate (if you were married before)
1. House book (Tabien Baan)
2. ID card
3. Divorce certificate (if she was married before)
A Farang over fifty may stay in Thailand on a
retirement visa. All he needs is to show 800,000 baht in a Thai
bank (US$ 20,000) and a medical certificate that can be had for
100 baht following a five minute check up.
Never judge people when you don't know about them...
We are always
surprised when we read articles in occidental newspapers or
books on how are lambasting western men for prostitution in
Thailand ; this is a common accusation by western females, and
echoes a similar assault by eminent feminists groups.
Yes there is prostitution in Thailand… Yes,but… maybe there are
certainly so many prostitutes per head of population in most western
countries, than there are in Thailand.
In occidental countries you can get sex in any form you want,
hetero, homo, sadism, bondage, young boys, young girls, phone
sex, lap dances, bucks parties, anything, almost anywhere and
Every local paper, including the little towns, has between a
half and full page of advertisements by prostitutes every day.
Brothels are legal and, in fact, if a developer wants to open a
brothel next door to your house, as long as the legal
requirements are satisfied, you have no recourse.
The world’s largest organized sex tour is in Australia ; it is
called the gay and lesbian Mardi Gras. It exists also the "Gay
Pride" festival that is officially celebrated in Europe
(including USA and Canada), and that is extensively promoted by
As claims that prostitutes are disadvantaged girls, forced into
prostitution by poverty, read the ever increasing stream of
autobiographies written by western prostitutes. Most of them
were not impoverished, they entered the business to make more
money than they ever could at regular job. Most bar girls in
Thailand are there by choice. Try to talk them out of the bar,
you are wasting your time. Their job is fun, they have a lot of
friends, they are doing something that they like and are being
paid for it, they work in a workplace which is dedicated to fun
and entertainment, they feel powerful, they feel glamorous and
sexy when they are dancing on stage, admired by lots of men. It
would be very interesting to know what the western females think
about their job, and whether they enjoy it as much.
In contrary of the common ideas, the western men absolutely
didn't bring prostitution in Asia (and in Thailand). It has
existed long time before the arrival of the first travelers as
refers to the narrations of the first visitors as Marco Polo,
and even was totally include in local customs.
Our discuss is absolutely not to make the apology of prostitution in
any form, but for judging people it is necessary to know well
the subject in inquiring it with the concerned people in the
historic and social context.
also that in Thailand many women, with children, separated or
divorced from Thai men and rejected by them, can have a good and
comprehensive husband in European community and so can change
their life for a better one.
2. Some explanations
As we said above, Thai culture has a long history of
prostitution and prostitution has been a way of life in Thailand
from time immemorial, and has not been considered an evil by
Thai society. In Thai society, visiting prostitutes is
considered common behavior for men; many women believe that the
existence of prostitution reduces the incidence of rape, and
view prostitution as the lesser evil compared to husbands taking
mistresses or "lesser wives" ("mia noi"). These working class
prostitutes and their customers are far more likely to refer to
themselves as "rented-wives" or "lady-bar" than the European or
Thai equivalents of the pejorative "prostitute". A study in
1990-1991 found that over 90% of (male) military conscripts
(aged 20 to 22) reported having visited a prostitute in the
Estimates of the number of prostitutes in Thailand vary widely
and are subject to controversy. One such estimate, by Dr Nitet
Tinnakul from Chulalongkorn University and reported in The
Nation in January 2004, gives a total of 2.8 million sex workers
in Thailand, including two million women, 200,000 adult males and
800,000 minors under the age of 18. One estimate published in
2003 placed the trade at US$4.3 billion per year, about three
percent of the Thai economy.
But child prostitution is a serious social problem in Thailand.
This prostitution is a form of enslavement that makes for a
profit that exceeds that of the drug trade or weapons sales or
lotteries or sports gambling. Prostituting children, the
exploitation of children, and their enslavement for financial
gain represent a sad story of human degradation. Girls as young
as 10-12 years old are offered to men in the sex industry and
many of them typically have sex with ten to fifteen men every
day and sometimes as many as 20 to 30.
As in many countries, there are several major reasons about
prostitution in Thailand, including child prostitution.
In Thailand the position of women is a traditional one,
remaining from the traditional position they have been assigned
in Thai Buddhism. This is found in the traditional cultural
attitudes of Thai men, and in the consequences of military
presence, and its resulting culture of recreational sex. The
social turmoil in Thailand provoked by World War II and The
Vietnam War, and the resultant R&R activities. This period was
followed by an aggressive tourism campaign, which encouraged
tourists to come in great numbers. Most of these tourists were
single men and many sex tours were created since that time. Sex
tours degrade a country’s reputation, are immoral and spread
disease. Sex tours treat girls and women like things, not
In Thailand there has been both migration within the country -
from farm to city - and immigration from outside the country.
Farming cannot provide a living anymore. Many farmers even go to
work in other countries to keep their families from starving.
There are no opportunities in rural areas.
Many young women from other countries came to Thailand because
they want to improve their standard of living, and to support
their families. Many of these young women are attracted by the
promise of work, only to find themselves locked up in a brothel
where they have to earn their release. Most of these young women
come from countries in the region where employment is most
difficult to secure.
It is also a racism issue. The women are recruited from the more
than 40 indigenous groups in the country because they have a low
status in Thai society and are generally poor. The country puts
down our indigenous people - they live in the mountains, and no
one wants to know their problems. The way to stop this
prostitution is to give indigenous people more opportunities -
economic and educational - because this is a poverty issue.
In Thailand, there are laws against prostitution, but they are
not enforced. Some mafia institution forces are corrupt and
often join with the pimps in making money.
A second important problem is HIV/AIDS. There is little health
protection for prostitutes in Thailand, and HIV/AIDS has greatly
proliferated. In August 2006 a senior Thai health official said
that AIDS had become the main cause of death in the country.
According to recent UNAIDS statistics, out of a total population
of 62 million people in Thailand, 755,000 are living with