Located in Chiang Mai, expat Shama Kern has created an incredibly informative series on Thai relationships.
From his site, Spirit of Thailand:
The “Relationships in Thailand” article series is a real eye opener – you won’t be taken by surprise if you ever come here. Enter the sometimes strange world of cross-cultural relationships, even if only for the fun of reading about it.
A recommended read for anyone who is planning on staying for any length of time in Thailand and walking in blind. This includes those of you who are in relationships and those of you who don’t plan to date. Shama’s series will give you a great primer on the fundamentals of how things work here.
Thailand travel is popular for many reasons: the warm weather, beautiful beaches, friendly smiling people, good value for your money, interesting culture – and last but not least – WOMEN! Thai women have a reputation among foreign men of being beautiful and ‘easy to get’. How justified is this reputation?
Why are there so many relationships between Western men and Thai women? Why not Thai men and western women? What do Thai women see in those men and why do so many men fly half way across the world to find a bride in Thailand?
In Thailand it is very common to see older Western men with young Thai girls on their arm. Are they prostitutes, girlfriends, or wives? Often the answer is not so obvious. Does paying for a woman make her a prostitute? In the western view, mostly yes. In the eastern view, not necessarily.
Why do many Thai women prefer a western man over a Thai man? What do the Thai men have to say about that? What is a second wife? Are women exploited in Thailand?
The Art of Extracting money from Western Men
In this section of the series I want to focus on the part that Thai women play in the relationship arena. There is a wide range of behavior and attitude among Thai women. Especially outside the large cities you find many very conservative and traditional women who will not touch any man with a ten foot pole without the approval of the parents and the blessings of the monks.
In Thailand it is not always easy to distinguish between prostitution and legitimate relationships. Let’s say a foreign man hires a woman to be his girlfriend for a certain amount of time – quite a common scenario in Thailand – and pays her a fixed salary. That must be prostitution, you would think.
Why are Thai men not interested in relationships with foreign women? And why don’t western women care about Thai men? After all Thailand is known for cross-cultural relationships and men come here by the tens of thousands to find female Thai partners. Why is this a one way street? Why do you rarely see Thai men with western women?
How do you find a girlfriend or wife in Thailand?
Let’s be honest, millions of westerners have come to Thailand for that very reason. There are lots of websites promoting such relationships, and there are many dating sites where Thai women are actively searching for western men.
How to communicate effectively with your Thai partner.
Say you found a girlfriend or prospective wife in Thailand. You live together and get to know each other. In almost all cases your English will be much better than hers which makes communication easier for you. Here is a checklist of things you should not assume:
Paid Relationships In Thailand.
Different strokes for different folks, as the saying goes. Your definition of a good relationship may be quite different from those of a different culture. We all assume that our way of thinking is the only correct one. But this assumption can be shaken severely when you travel to other parts of the world. The concept of paying for a relationship may not agree with your way of thinking, but in Thailand this is quite common.
Learn more about relationships in Thailand by reading my post, Sex and Dating in Thailand, written from the perspective of a female expat in Thailand.
For Thailand solo travel and safety tips, in addition to Thailand information you won’t find in traditional tourist guides, please visit my post Tips For Women Traveling To Thailand.