I'm planning a trip throughout the whole of southeast Asia this fall. My question may sound silly, but I am legitimately concerned about this. I am a very tall woman (almost 6') with VERY light blond hair. I receive a lot of attention at home in the USA...I'm wondering if I should expect to receive any extra attention (good or bad) due to my appearance. Has anyone with a similar look gone backpacking and had any issues? Should I consider covering my hair, wearing hats, etc., so I don't stick out like a sore thumb? Or are the Asians pretty used to us westerners by now and they won't think twice about a tall blonde wandering around?
#1 aepowers has been a member since 5/5/2009. Posts: 1
I suggest the fact that you are tall and American will stand out more than hair colour.
Being tall will mean that you will easily be seen by touts looking for business. Being American will mean that as soon as you open your mouth the touts will expect you to have plenty of money to pay high prices.
That said, most places you go to will have seen so many varieties of westerners that nothing will surprise them.
As always, respect for their culture (eg. long sleeved garments in temples, etc.) is the primary issue.
I have the same problem when I travel anywhere. I too am really really extremely goodlooking. The good thing about it in a foreign destination is that people pay me to eat in their restaurants and drink in their bars. I sympathise with you on this matter and can assure you that being really really extremely good looking will not be a problem when you travel.
The only people you'll have to watch is the other foreigners in the bars..
Enjoy your trip!! :)
#3 Joshq has been a member since 29/1/2009. Posts: 16
Well, of course everyone is going to stare at you, but that's about it. It's very unlikely anyone will say anything (to you, in English).
Enjoy the trip and your temporary celebrity!
// blond, green eyed, and speaks enough Thai to know when people are saying she looks like a ghost :o
Songkran - watch it during Songkran. I have a German friend of mine, very tall, very blond, very busty... and she was all but assaulted. We had to move her to the middle of the pick up and surround her, every Thai man was dying to touch her breasts or kiss her... And this was in provincial Thailand.
I have another blond friend (not tall, and not particularly attractive) and she LOVES it here (comes to visit all the time). She picks up a different Thai man every vacation. She really enjoys the attention that she does not get at home.
So you should expect a lot of attention and drunk Thai men (of whom there are a great many at night) will certainly be amorous, but usually fun and OK about it.
As for other tourists, I can't say. We don't get hardly any out here.
Your height & hair may draw some stares but what you wear and how you carry yourself will usually determine what kind of attention you get & this probably applies to most women anywhere: Intimidating (cap & dungaree), sexy (low cut, slinky, bare back or mini skirt) sloppy (baggy faded t-shirt & jeans), ordinary (button up blouse & loose pants) or casually elegant (the way you probably usually look). I would say be natural & exercise common dress sense. You wouldn't want to ruin your holiday being paranoid about your physical stature.
#7 tropixblue has been a member since 3/4/2011. Posts: 5
God has given diff. look and features to all human being and so there is always attraction between two opposites. You are bound to get bit more attention due to your ht. as you will stand out in the crowd. Take it easy and be street smart to enjoy your trip abroad.
As a white/semi blonde male with a certain particular feature, I get starred at a lot, and get far more attention then I'm looking for from locals, thankfully I don't understand a word they're saying... :)
Same here Madmac :) They can get fairly personal on some of their questions. I've had people want to touch my beard or arm hair at times. While I was in China , I had a guy kind of get in step with me and was just comparing height and stuff.
#12 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386
One of my neighbors is a Vietnamese lady. Very gregarious, early 50s, good business woman. She will say things like "Did you boom boom (my wife) last night" and make a hip thrusting motion and cackle insanely. Another friend of my wife's will come over and start patting my ass and tell my wife "I like his ass" - like I'm a dog or horse being checked out for physical qualities. And these are normal, middle class Thai ladies - not ex bar girls or something. It's just unbelievable. But it is funny too.
When my wife and I got married in the village, her mother actually asked her "Is it true Falangs have big dicks and are better in bed than Thai guys?" It reaches the point of being so over the top that it's bizarre. Definitely a different culture.
aepowers, I'm very interested to hear your experiences (I assume you've gone to Asia and are back by now)! I'm a 6'4" blonde woman myself, and my husband and I will be doing a RTW trip in the next couple of years-- I can't change how freakishly tall I am, but I'm wondering if dyeing my hair dark might help with unwanted attention (since I get lots of negative attention here in good old liberal blonde California).
#15 valuemeal2 has been a member since 14/5/2013. Posts: 1
6' 4" - wow. Now that's tall. I danced with a woman that tall once.... tall.
If you are with your husband you'll be fine. People her might stare - hell I might stare - but they aren't going to start touching you or something. The men will be intimidated for sure.
I wouldn't bother dying your hair - since you're considerably taller than the locals, you'll stand out whatever you put on your head. But most of the time you won't experience anything other than good-natured curiosity.
Yes you'll get stared at sometimes (all westerners do, especially when you're travelling off the beaten path where the locals are less used to seeing tall / blond / busty / fill-in-the-blank-here visitors).
Yes, you'll get locals wanting to ask you questions about your height or get their picture taken standing next to you (which happened to me repeatedly in Vietnam, and I'm only 5'10" ... I just grin and pose with them for their "look-at-the-foreign-giantess!" photos).
But as long as you dress respectively (keep your cleavage under wraps, especially if it's on the ample side, etc.) and carry yourself with confidence, you're unlikely to experience anything more than some curiosity.
I lived in BKK over 3 years as a blonde, and never had any problems. Actually, my husband quite liked being able to see me easily in a crowd! You might get extra attention around Songkran time, but generally people are friendly and not giving attention in a bad way. If you are friendly and laughing, you will find everything easier. My cute blonde kids are people magnets in Asia, but everyone seems to just want to say hello, again, no problems.
#18 alisonmilliken has been a member since 10/12/2006. Posts: 70
"But as long as you dress respectively (keep your cleavage under wraps, especially if it's on the ample side, etc.) and carry yourself with confidence, you're unlikely to experience anything more than some curiosity."
I've seen this before - this applies in Muslim areas. It does not apply in Bangok, any of the tourist areas or Issan where I live. Girls flash their cleavage all the time. And Issan women can be quite busty - it's a misnomer to think they are all small built in the chest. In general, at least for Thailand, it is less, not more, conservative concerning clothing than most western societies.