It writes about a lot more than sexpats. A lot of interesting data about the morals of Thais and other bits and pieces. Be interested to know what people think? Especially the guys who live there. IMO there is a lot of truth in this article. What do you think?
"Firstly, one has to look at the rapidly shifting demographics of Thailand, which have caused massive rural poverty. As the government concentrates on encouraging industrial growth and expanding exports, it has poured money into urban development and mainly ignored the needs of rural Thailand. "
This is just a stupid statement of someone who is ill-informed. Thailand has ALWAYS HAD rural poverty and in fact the rural areas of Thailand are FAR better off now than they were just 30 years ago. Road improvements, public water and electric (which in Thai villages is FREE if usage is kept low - my father in law has no electric or water bill), 30 baht medical program. The author is just talking out of his ass here.
"So waves of people come to Bangkok in search of a livelihood in a workforce for which they are ill-prepared. The result according to MP Chuvit Kamolvisit, leader of the Rak Prathet Thai Party, is a burgeoning sex industry estimated to involve up to a million women."
Thailand has had a thriving sex industry since before it had industry. This is not a new phenomenon. When British soldiers were freed from the POW camps in Udon Thani at the end of WW II in their first air drop they asked for 10,000 condoms! This was before they even had physical contact with any other allied troops. Even in Udon, there were working women there in 1945.
Now, she is absolutely right about the nature of these relationships. As charming and handsome and suave as I happen to be, I am sure that no 25 year old hottie would want to hang out with my 51 year old ass for any reason other than money. Anyone who thinks relationships with that kind of age differential (whether it's in Thailand, the US or wherever) is about love is delusional.
The article did a very poor job highlighting this fact (which has been a fact for at least 150 years): Thai men of means almost always have a mistress (Mia Noi). I don't want to get into percentages, but it's over 50% for sure. I have heard anglo women out here in Muk where I live complain they hate seeing older white men with young Thai women but what they don't realize is they are often seeing the same thing with Thai men but don't know what they are seeing because they are assuming those relationships are not romantic when they see such a pairing. Young women selling trim in one form or another has been normal in Thailand for a very long time. It isn't the fault of the government. It isn't the fault of industrial society. It isn't the fault of "the west". It's an ingrained cultural norm - like their food.
The paragraph you quote does contain a distorted history but I think the point of the article is to highlight the fact that Thais know these sort of relationships are driven by money whereas many farangs kid themselves that the girls love them for being Westerners/ their good-looks/personality.
That article is full of nonsense, obviously written by someone who knows very little whatsoever.
Sure some old men are mugs, but most know 'the score', and are happy to pay money and have sex with a pretty and polite girl. Let them enjoy that possibility if it's part of the culture.
Western snide viewpoints are out of place in Thailand, life is different.
"That article is full of nonsense, obviously written by someone who knows very little whatsoever."
Yeah, pretty much.
"Sure some old men are mugs, but most know 'the score', and are happy to pay money and have sex with a pretty and polite girl. Let them enjoy that possibility if it's part of the culture."
They're going to anyway. They don't care what some writer has to say about it. Not even a little bit. Esspecially an ill-informed one.
"Western snide viewpoints are out of place in Thailand, life is different."
Man, you're three for three here. Good batting average.
If I had a dollar for every bar girl who has fleeced a farang/barang I would be rich. I think it must be bar girls that the author is referring to.
I know some of these guys and they are not always old. I've met reasonably good-looking guys in their twenties and thirties who have fallen head over heels for some plain strumpet who has then systematically deprived them of their savings. Build houses for their families, pay for medical treatment for grandmother, open a bar for them etc. So I wouldn't say the article is complete nonsense. How many guys send money to bar girls every month? Girls who swear they'll stop working now that they've found a 'good man.' Hilarious.
As the old saying goes, you can take the girl out of the bar but no way can you take the bar out of the girl.
"I've met reasonably good-looking guys in their twenties and thirties who have fallen head over heels for some plain strumpet who has then systematically deprived them of their savings. Build houses for their families, pay for medical treatment for grandmother, open a bar for them etc"
Yep but that's their own foolishness, usually due to them not getting to properly understand the people and culture beforehand. Anyone with half a brain will think twice about marrying a Thai girl because of what it usually entails, like paying for her family, etc. There's fun, then there's some serious poo that can be seriously detrimental to fun.
However some tourists that speak Thai have done OK with Thai girls. Obviously Pattaya or Phuket isn't gonna be the best Marriage material! ;-)
There are plenty of women to be found in Thailand and Cambodia without trawling the bars. You're right it's a failure to appreciate the culture and more importantly learn some of the language. Attitudes have changed in the last twenty years in Thailand and it seems it's no longer a stigma to go out with a foreigner. It used to be that 'good' girls were afraid to go with a farang in the certainty that they'd be labelled prostitutes but I think those days are gone. The guys who end up marrying taxi-girls are either too lazy to make an effort or too old to find anything else.
Although it's a cultural thing to expect the wealthiest in the family to support the poorest most girls know where to draw the line unless they've been schooled in the bar.
"If I had a dollar for every bar girl who has fleeced a farang/barang I would be rich. I think it must be bar girls that the author is referring to."
Tourists get fleeced a bit. Sending money to some girl who has promised to go back home. They think they're in love... they just haven't done their homework. If you want love in SEA, buy a dog. And some guys here who build a house for a woman without actually getting legally married find themselves on the outside looking in sometimes (although I personally know none). Once your married, assets according to Thai law are divided by half. House has to be sold if the parties can not come to an agreement. I do know one case like this.
"As the old saying goes, you can take the girl out of the bar but no way can you take the bar out of the girl."
Well I do know guys who have married bar girls and it's worked out. But if you go in on something like that will blind faith and trust - well with any woman really - you're asking for trouble. But in general if I wanted to find a wife - and I would never want to do that - I would not go to a bar to find one. Just like I wouldn't go to a ***** bar in the states to find a wife. This isn't rocket science.
'Once your married, assets according to Thai law are divided by half'
Are you sure on that? I thought foreigners weren't allowed to own property (although there is an exception in certain tourist areas)
'I would not go to a bar to find one.'
Why not? Don't nice women drink in The States? :-)
Do you have a bar scene comparable to Thailand? I refer to places like Pattaya with thousands of bar girls. I think Thailand is unique though Manila had a similar scene many years ago.
"Are you sure on that? I thought foreigners weren't allowed to own property (although there is an exception in certain tourist areas)"
You're not. That's why the property has to be sold and assets from the sale divided by half. Although I know one guy who was determined by a judge to be custodian of the property until the children were grown and it could go to them because the wife was demonstrated to be irresponsible.
"Why not? Don't nice women drink in The States? "
Wasn't talking about that kind of woman.
"Do you have a bar scene comparable to Thailand?"
I live in Thailand, so yes, we have a bar scene comparable to Thailand.
Thailand attracts all sorts of people. Sure there are fat old men who prefer to thrrow money and have an easy life. That suits them fine, and Thailand is a country where you can live that kinda life.
Places like Pattaya, and Phuket where there are pumping girly bars are obviously bad wife choices, but then again i would NEVER want to marry a Thai girl because i don't speak much Thai or even care about marriage.
There are however some great fun bar girls that are very nice as well, so it's not to label the odd bad egg money grabber amongst the rest. The thing is to enjoy what one 'understands' of the country, but not get involved with the 'tricky' aspects which may end up leaving one very 'no happy'
For example, having a great time in Thailand does not necessarily involve the need to allow oneself to get scammed ;-)
'so it's not to label the odd bad egg money grabber amongst the rest.'
Bar girls rarely start out bad but the influence of the peer group and the chance to meet men hypnotised by the shallow charm offensive of bar talk make them greedy. You can't blame the girls but there should be a warning sign outside every bar. ;-)
""You can't blame the girls but there should be a warning sign outside every bar. ""
mmm... Bars are seedy places anyhow wether it's meeting a dodgy expat or dodgy local. Thailand has it's fair share of scams. Simple common sense, but above all being careful about making better decisions is all part of travelling. Most blokes can see quite obviously that these bar girls are like that with every customer anyhow. You'll have a hard time trying to reason with drunken westerners though, and if you did, they would probably dislike you for ruining their little fantasy, especially when they are free from the grip of western society dullness and rules- and obviously enjoying it!
Not being funny, but have you been to Thailand? I ask this because it seems like you are making things out to be much worse that they actually are, like that author did.
Live and let live, let them 'play with fire' if they wish, they are adults in a real adults playground, it's all part of the Thailand travel experience and no big deal like it being made out to be. Nobody is forced to marry anyone.
It's all about simple common sense and personal responsability. It should not go out of the window once one leaves the West for any country, wether it's Thailand or anywhere else.
'you are making things out to be much worse that they actually are,'
By saying what exactly? Denigrating bar girls?
I think the boot is on your foot
'Anyone with half a brain will think twice about marrying a Thai girl'
Doesn't exactly promote Thai women, does it?
I think my point was the author of this piece seems to have been listening to hard-luck stories from guys who married bar girls.
To answer your question and without going into too much detail. I know Thailand and Cambodia pretty well. Well enough to speak both languages, though my Thai is a lot better than my Khmer. That's why I've met so many guys who have messed up with local women. I do tend to stay out of bars so my experience there isn't much. I'm happiest in Cambodia sitting on the beach in Sihanoukville sipping 75 cent beer or outside the mini-mart at Wat Phnom watching the world go by.
""Doesn't exactly promote Thai women, does it?""
I like Thai women, but i wouldn't marry one because i don't agree with marriage. It's a personal thing. I therefore wouldn't 'promote' any woman for 'marriage material'.
Newspaper authors mostly focus on negative news because it's what newspapers want. It's a well known fact that newspaper stories are mostly fearmongering bull poo.
I spent some time in sihanoukville a few years ago staying at Victory hill, probably even met you. I love Cambodia but was saddened to see the lovely market burn down and the town lose some of it's old charm... ;-(
I love Cambodia but was saddened to see the lovely market burn down and the town lose some of it's old charm..
I love the country too. When I was in S'ville there was only Freedom. There was pole-dancing upstairs but it could have been put on in a school assembly it was so innocent.They say that the old market was burned down deliberately. Who would do a thing like that? LOL.
Charm? You certainly don't mean the architecture as it's all functional modern. The new mariner was designed by Stalin. Victory Hill is how I imagine Hogarth saw London.The shanty-town in the port (gone now) could have got in the Guinness book of records for the longest line of 'houses of ill-repute.' Otres still has charm though Ocheteal is more a place for eating, drinking and partying. It never was a place to swim with the sewage pipes extending no more than 20 metres. Phnom Penh has more charm.
""The shanty-town in the port (gone now) could have got in the Guinness book of records for the longest line of 'houses of ill-repute""
I guess you mean the 'chicken farm' no longer exists?
When i said town was losing some of it's charm, i meant S/ville in general. I remember when Victory Hill was better than it is now, when Ochoteal was still rather quiet, when Utopia was right at the end of Ochoteal. That was only a few years ago, and now there's been so much change.
Oh well, might return next year!
50/50 split is better than the west. Woman get 70-80% here. It's a disgrace. Many a man has been fleeced despite earning most of the money.
Finding a normal woman in Thailand isn't that hard. I don't know why anyone would marry a trashy bargirl.
"Finding a normal woman in Thailand isn't that hard. I don't know why anyone would marry a trashy bargirl."
This one's easy. Because that's what they meet. They come here, they don't know the rules, then they meet this really cute bargirl with a sob story who tells them they love them... next thing you know, they're in, hook, line and sinker. Remarkably some of those relationships actually work. But odds are against you from the beginning. The girls are jaded, the guy become jaded, and it falls apart.
'Anyone with half a brain will think twice about marrying a Thai girl'
Why? Rather racist comment. Marrying anyone takes some thought to wonder if it's the right thing to do. I think good Thai women are amongst the most loyal and loving in the world. From what I've seen farang/Thai relationships are more successful than farang/farang relationships provided it's a normal relationship and not some bargirl.
"They come here, they don't know the rules, then they meet this really cute bargirl with a sob story who tells them they love them"
Are there still many dumb farangs like this? Every website has warnings about this. They wouldn't marry a prostitute at home but buy the poverty story (mostly lies cause lots of battlers still buy houses and cars) in SEA and fall for it. Hilarious really.