Thailand is so different to Western countries in so many ways that it is a very difficult country for foreigners to understand. It took about four years of living in the country before I started to see the truth and I will never stop learning for as long as I live here.
Thais have completely different value and belief systems to Westerners, and thus a completely different way of thinking.
Superficially, as Thailand continues to develop, it is starting to look more like the West but the underlying beliefs, ideas and values remain.
One very important thing to remember about Thailand is that nothing is ever what it appears to be on the surface. Thais hide the truth for many reasons and what you see and hear at first is never the reality of the situation.
It is many tourists' favourite destination - The Land of Smiles. When I used to visit as a tourist it always seemed like the perfect country and when I decided to leave the UK there was no question in my mind where I would go.
Now, almost nine years later, the country looks very, very different. There are many social problems and behind that 'Land of Smiles' sobriquet there are many nasty people.
This doesn't make the country or all Thais bad; it just makes Thailand very different to how it is perceived by most tourists who have no experience of living in the country.
This applies to Thai girls as much as anything else.
In theory the match between Thai girls and foreign men should be perfect. The majority of girls come from desperately poor backgrounds and, apart from prostitution, have no opportunities in life to better themselves or to get enough money for a comfortable life.
At the same time, Western men of a certain age who were probably shunned by women in their own countries can find young, attractive, slim Thai wives who will take care of them. The girls aren't concerned about looks or age, provided the men can support them financially.
That's the theory but nothing is ever as it seems in Thailand and the reality is very different. Some relationships do work but the Internet is littered with stories of disastrous relationships between foreign men and Thai girls.
I took a long time to find a Thai girl who I believed wouldn't be problematic. After two years of marriage I don't believe that such a Thai girl exists.
Every marriage needs a lot of maintenance to make it work, but when there is a massive culture gap the marriage probably needs more maintenance than most.
If you plan on going down the path of finding a Thai wife, exercise extreme caution.
The majority of Thai girls aren't really interested in foreign men. Most will be polite and give a polite Thai smile but as far as relationships are concerned they are a lot more comfortable with Thai men, with whom they share a common language and culture. A few are genuinely attracted to foreign men but not that many.
A significant proportion of the population is poor; especially those living in the north and northeast (Isaan) regions. Many poor girls will actively seek relationships with foreign men because the man's money will give them and their families a better life. The girl's sole reason for wanting to meet a foreign man is so that he can support her and her extended family. They want relationships but the only reason is for money.
As a percentage of the entire population there aren't that many Thai girls like this but they know exactly where to go to meet foreign men. The majority of foreigners visiting Thailand only ever visit a handful of places and thus the chances of a foreign man meeting a Thai girl whose only interest is money is quite high.
There are also some Thai girls who seek out vulnerable foreign men who don't understand anything about Thais or Thailand in order to cheat them out of money. These girls have no interest in any kind of a relationship. They are simply scammers and they are no better than the crooks in Bangkok who try to sell foreigners worthless gems.
That's really all you need to know, but if it's that easy, why do so many foreign men have so many problems with Thai girls?
There are various reasons. Most foreign men who visit Thailand don't understand Thailand. They only visit tourist areas and what they see is not a real representation of the overall situation. Thai girls who are only interested in foreign men for money flock to these areas and so it seems that a high proportion of Thai women are interested in foreign men. That is not the case.
The girls are very good actresses, and men who can't understand spoken or written Thai are easily deceived. Some foreign men also have a big perception problem. Their problems begin even before they get on the plane to Bangkok.
It is not every young Thai girl's dream to meet a fat, old foreigner and go off with him to live in the West. Most Thai girls I know are attracted to young Asian men, whether they be Thai, Chinese, Korean or Japanese.
Most Thais I know are also very happy living the Thai way of life in Thailand. The last thing they want is to move to a foreign country to live a foreign way of life away from their families. Thais have extremely strong family ties.
Life for most Thais is just about perfect ... apart from one thing. Thais have an eye for beautiful things and enjoy the good things in life but there is never, ever enough money.
Because of the unfair way that Thai society works, poor Thais will never get an opportunity to make a decent amount of money. For that sector of society there is only one possible option for financial gain, and that is through a relationship with a foreigner.
If you have no money, forget it. Not even ugly Thai women will be interested if you're broke, and you don't stand a chance with the attractive ones. The "No money, no honey" T-shirts aren't a joke.
But don't be discouraged by any of this. If you are a good man and you are seeking a genuine relationship with a good Thai girl there are plenty out there.
You just need to realise that there is a right way to go about meeting Thai girls, and a wrong way.
If you plan on spending two weeks bar-hopping in Pattaya to meet your perfect companion, and you believe you know better than the foreign men who have lived in Thailand for several years, expect a multitude of problems.
I'm certainly not an expert but I visited Thailand many times for vacations as a single man - beginning in 1987 - and I have lived permanently in Thailand since the end of 2003.
My conversational Thai is reasonable; I've met many Thai girls; I've attempted to form relationships with some of those girls; I've had problems with Thai girls; I've spoken to many men here about Thai girls; through this site I have written to a lot of foreign men who've had problems with Thai girls; and I finally married a Thai girl in 2010.
I've noticed certain patterns; I've heard lots of lies; I've observed lots of behaviour; I've worked out good signs and bad signs; I've found that some places to meet girls are good while others are bad; and that Thai girls working in certain professions tend to be far more honest and reliable than others.
There are no secrets but the one thing you can't do is rush. You need to get to know the girls in a natural way, just the same as anywhere else. For that reason, a two-week holiday anywhere in Thailand just won't cut it, especially if the location is a well-known tourist area that attracts lots of bad Thai girls.
The other thing, of course, is language because to find out about the girl you need to communicate. English language skills are not strong in Thailand and if you rely on the girls to speak English it simply isn't enough. What also compounds the problem is that the girls you should do your best to avoid normally speak the best English - because it is in their interest to speak good English.
Thai girls who make a living preying on tourists need to speak reasonable English, and so do educated girls from wealthy families but most girls in the latter category simply aren't interested in farangs.
In most cases, the Thai girls who would make the best partners for foreign men speak no English. Something else you will find when your Thai reaches a certain level is that you can tell an awful lot about the girls by the way they speak Thai and the vocabulary they use. An awful lot.
The answer? Learn to speak a little Thai. Don't waste endless hours on Internet sites reading about foreign men moaning about Thai girls just because they met the wrong type of Thai girls in the wrong places.
Use that time instead to learn a little Thai. There is no better skill to have if visiting Thailand.
'Only in Thailand' or 'This is Thailand' are phrases you might hear or read when foreigners discuss Thailand. Lots of behaviour is simply inexplicable. Stupidity is one reason, but apart from that, Thais don't think the same way as Westerners regarding lots of things.
What is important to Thais isn't necessarily important to Westerners, and vice-versa. Thais are superstitious and in awe of the supernatural. Their beliefs and values are very different to the beliefs and values of Westerners.
As a single man in Thailand you can isolate yourself from a lot of the weird behaviour by locking yourself away wherever you live. As a married man you can't. Living with a Thai female permanently can be very trying at times.
The differences are too many to list, but they should never be underestimated. For example, in your Thai wife's world her family will always be more important than her husband. I read somewhere that it is a curse in Thailand to say that a woman loves her husband more than her family. Her loyalty will always be to her family when you think it should be to her husband.
She will want to spend your money on things that you don't consider important, and will insist on doing things that you consider a waste of time.
Even though you know there is about as much chance of winning the lottery as finding an honest tuk-tuk driver in Phuket, she will buy lottery tickets because she believes that a supernatural power has guided her towards the winning numbers.
These things may sound amusing at first but the accumulation of so many differences in how you both think can put a serious strain on the relationship.
The more you understand about Thai cultural behaviour, the better your chances of dealing with these issues.
Since putting up these pages, quite a few foreign men have written to me. What is interesting is that the same thing always happens.
First, the man goes to a tourist resort in Thailand and meets a bar girl. He pays for her not to work in the bar and they have a great time. He falls in love and insists that her feelings are the same, even though she may be 45 years younger than him. She is the most perfect girl he has ever met.
He tells me that she hates her work and the men she has to go with, but she is forced to do it to support her family.
He isn't interested in what I have to say because that only applies to other Thai girls and not to the one he has met because she is different to all the rest. She always is.
He returns home and the correspondence ceases for a while. The only thought on his mind is getting back to Thailand to be with the girl who loves him so much.
That second visit is always an interesting one. She knows that she is now in a position of power over the man and that is when she starts to make demands. The man - being naive - is surprised at her behaviour because he thought the relationship was about love, not money. Don't be naive. With poor Thai girls it is always about money.
One man who wrote described a slightly different situation on his second visit. Between his first and second visits, another foreigner had appeared on the scene offering more money to the family.
On his second visit he was told about this, and also told that her could outbid the other man. I've heard other tales of foreign men getting involved in bidding wars over Thai girls. If you find yourself in that situation, my advice would be to simply walk away. It's not worth it.
After the second visit, the 'relationship' normally ends and I normally get an e-mail saying I was right.
If you go down the tourist resort/bar girl route expect the same. There are lots of great girls in Thailand who don't just view foreign men as ATMs with which they can support their families. However, you're not going to meet them in a Phuket or Pattaya bar.
Plan to spend an extended time in Thailand, keep away from tourist resorts, learn to speak some Thai, and meet girls who don't sell their bodies for a living. Thai girls working as teachers or nurses are my personal favourites, and there are lots of them. You won't get to sleep with them five minutes after your first meeting but in the long run you will have far fewer problems.
There are many reasons to stay away from Thai girls selling their bodies. It doesn't matter whether they do this while working in a bar, in a massage shop, or in a Karaoke place. Sex is sold through various channels in Thailand but no matter how it is sold the girl involved is still a prostitute.
Having made this career choice it demonstrates that money is more important to them than anything else. Many are also bone idle. Doing what they do requires no effort. They sleep until noon, eat, tart themselves up for the evening, chat with their friend, get taken out by a strange man to eat, and then all they need to do is open their legs.
It must be difficult and quite frightening when they first start working as prostitutes but within less than six months many seem to find the work easy and enjoyable. The girls that have been working in the trade for a while are as hard as nails and they have the ability to separate all feelings and emotions with the physical aspect of their job.
I've written to men who have tried to have relationships with bargirls and one of the biggest problems is getting them to stop selling their bodies. The girls just see it as a normal job and to get them to quit they expect a man to match the salary they made while selling sex.
What they had to do to earn that money seems irrelevant; all that is important is the amount of money. Men who try to have relationships with bargirls will obviously want them to stop sleeping with other men. The girls can be very demanding about what they want for this to happen, and if their demands aren't met they will simply start selling their bodies again.
Foreign men who have obviously only ever experienced tourist areas of Thailand have written to me challenging my views about normal Thai girls. Their e-mails make it obvious that they have never set foot outside of a tourist beach resort, and that they have never had any dealings with Thai girls who aren't prostitutes.
Their views are correct for the areas of Thailand they are familiar with but not for the country overall. For the reasons given in these pages, the tourist areas will attract certain types of girls who are not representative of the majority of Thai girls.
I used to visit the tourist areas as a tourist so I know what goes on there. I have also lived permanently in Thailand away from the tourist areas since the end of 2003.
Given my overall experience, I think I have quite an objective and balanced view. If you have only experienced places like Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui, that isn't experiencing Thailand.
Life in Thailand is tough for the majority of the poor, rural population. Career opportunities that exist in the West just don't exist in Thailand. Unlike Western countries, it is extremely difficult (impossible?) for a poor Thai to get a foot in the door of a large company and work their way up by hard work and determination.
The circumstances in which a person is born pretty much dictate how they will live for the rest of their life. It's not fair and it's not nice but it's the reality of Thai society. A girl born into a small village community in a poor area of the country, regardless of how clever she is, doesn't have many options in life.
Working in the fields is back-breaking work and pays very little. The same applies to construction work which many Thai females do for a living. There are lots of menial jobs available throughout the country which also pay very little and involve a lot of hard work.
Despite certain politicians' claims to be helping the poor, this is dubious. Real help would involve a huge investment in education and the setting up of businesses in rural Thailand in order to break the poverty trap. This isn't happening.
The only way many girls can make a decent amount of money for themselves and their families is by moving to Bangkok, or to one of Thailand's major tourist areas, and doing whatever it takes to earn money.
They make enormous sacrifices so they can earn money to take care of their families. They live a long way from where they come from, share squalid accommodation with other girls to keep their living expenses down, and many leave children in the care of their parents.
There are powerful cultural reasons for doing this. People can't look to the state to support them in old age or if they don't work. Parents rely on their children to support them later in life and the cultural concept of bhun-khun reinforces this support.
Bhun-khun is the debt of gratitude Thais owe their mothers for bringing them into the world and nurturing them and it can never be repaid. Repaying this debt continues for as long as the mother lives.
A visitor to this site wrote to me with an interesting theory.
Dave maintains that a lot of the behaviour demonstrated by Thai girls can be attributed to the fact there are significantly more females than males.
He goes on to say that if the same situation existed in other countries then the girls in those other countries would behave in exactly the same way.
He actually counts the number of Thai males and females at specific places at specific times. According to his theory there are about four times as many women in the country as men. He admits himself that this can't really be the case but suggests it is more like 60/40 rather than the 50/50 given by official statistics (which he believes are lies).
When I looked up some demographic information on the Internet I found the following:
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2000 est.)
As you can see, these figures indicate that more males than females are born in Thailand - about 105 males to every 100 females, but by the mid-teens there are more females. (Not surprising when you see how Thai boys ride their motorbikes).
Dave counts mainly in tourist areas (he lives in Hua Hin) but many Thais from poor regions go to work in the tourist areas and this can give a distorted view. Tens of thousands of Thai girls from the north and northeast have moved to the main tourist areas in huge numbers to earn money whatever way they can.
When I spent some time in small villages in Isaan in 2004 I was struck by how few girls there were in the 18-35 age group because all the girls of that age were living and working in Phuket or Pattaya or Samui or somewhere. There were lots of young female children and lots of old women, but not many females in between.
My view is that nature wouldn't allow for such a huge imbalance. I believe that the official statistics are true but that in different parts of Thailand the ratios differ enormously. If you go to Pattaya or Patong beach and count the ratio of Thai males to females in those places it will be very different to the ratio in a poor village by the Mekong.
Dave says this isn't the case; he says that there are still plenty of girls to go round in the poor areas, an enormous supply in the tourist areas, 50 or so young female caddies on every golf course he plays at, and not to mention the hundreds of thousands of Thai girls who have left the country to marry men abroad.
I know what he means but if he were to get out of the tourist areas more then his view might change. The male to female ratio is about the same where I am in Songkhla province but I know, from when I visit the main farang tourist areas, that these places can seem very different.
There are other reasons why it may look as if there are more females than males.
Thai females tend to have jobs where they are a lot more visible, such as retail, whereas much of the work done by Thai men is behind the scenes and they aren't so visible. The women also tend to work harder. Just take a look in one of the many snooker halls in Thailand during the daytime and count the ratio of males to females.
The Thai army is huge because military coups are an important part of the Thai political process. Most soldiers are male but for most of the time they are in their barracks and out of view.
Finally, I spent many years after I arrived in Thailand looking for a suitable wife. There were various reasons why relationships failed, but what I found was that almost every Thai female I was interested in already had a Thai boyfriend.
Thai girls always deny having a boyfriend initially, but if you try to take the relationship to another level then the truth will eventually come out. Believe me.
If there really are so many more females than males in Thailand then why is it that so many Thai girls already have Thai boyfriends?
If you visit a tourist area in Thailand you will see girls everywhere - apparently alone and single. They tell you they don't have boyfriends, and that Thai men are bad, but don't be fooled. The ratio is about 50/50 and if a Thai girl is still fairly young and attractive she is guaranteed to have a Thai boyfriend somewhere in the background.
One final comment regarding this matter.
During my wife's pregnancy she made monthly visits to a clinic to check the health of the baby. At around six months the doctor can determine the sex of the child, and if you really want to know about birth statistics in Thailand there is no one better to ask than a Thai obstetrician.
While at my wife's six-monthly checkup I mentioned the theory espoused by many farangs that there are a lot more females than males in Thailand and asked him for his opinion.
Women, generally, may be physically weaker than men but mentally they are a lot stronger.
Loneliness is a terrible feeling but it is a feeling many Western men experience. It can get to the point where a Western man will simply leave his country of birth and move to a country where he believes he stands a better chance of meeting someone to end the loneliness. That's why many foreign men move to Thailand.
Thai women, despite a lack of formal education with many, are very perceptive and very good at reading emotions.
A foreign man in Thailand with some money behind him should hold all the cards in Thailand but what you will find is that a Thai girl (even a poor, uneducated one) can soon have all the power in a relationship.
Thai women instinctively know how to treat a man, and what strings to pull. The girls from Isaan are especially good at this. Foreign men can get themselves into a real emotional mess when they get involved with Thai girls and, if the girl is the wrong type, they can lose a lot of money.
It's extremely easy to get involved with a Thai girl and it's a great way to make those feelings of loneliness disappear, but if you are emotionally weak in Thailand it can be dangerous.
I was emotionally weak when I came to Thailand but in order to survive I had to change.
For many years I couldn't understand why some foreign men allowed Thai females to give them such a hard time. Ninety-nine percent of relationships are purely about money, and it is the foreign men who have all the money and thus hold all the aces.
How could poor Thai girls with hardly any education or money have such a hold over the men, especially when there are so many other poor girls in the country? If a girl starts acting up, simply get rid of her and find a new one.
It's never that simple. Nothing is ever simple in Thailand.
The girls may not be very bright academically, but they are good with people skills and they know what men want. They are very good at drawing men into their lairs and getting their feet under the table.
In the event that the man starts to develop feelings for the girl, the emotional attachment he has towards the girl gives her power. That's the first problem.
The second problem is that she won't just go if she doesn't want to go. There is nothing adult or mature about Thais in relationships. If she doesn't want to go she will kick and scream and put up a fight. This is the time to hide all your kitchen knives.
If you don't agree on something and don't wish to end the relationship, the girls are very good at making your life hell until you give in. Take my word for it. I've been married to a Thai girl for a couple of years.
As you become more involved, the Thai girl you are involved with acquires more power over time. Thailand makes sure that Thais always have an advantage in Thailand over foreigners. The playing field is anything but level.
By law, foreigners cannot own land in Thailand and therefore can't own property. The exception is buying a condominium because there is no land involved. There are various ways to get around this law but none are straightforward.
If you marry a Thai woman, the quickest and easiest solution is to buy the property in her name. It's also easy and convenient to do the same with other large purchases, such as cars.
Even if there aren't any laws to prohibit a foreigner from doing something, the bureaucracy involved and the necessity to be able to speak and read Thai fluently make it easier just to do everything in your wife's name.
If you retire to Thailand and find a Thai wife there will eventually come a time when almost everything you have is in her name. You may have had control of the purse strings initially, but Thais are very clever and eventually the situation gets reversed.
At first, of course, she is very sweet and demure putting her signature to documents to own things that you pay for. "Don't worry," she will tell you.
When she has complete power - and she will know when this is - there is a good chance she will change.
Despite what you might read elsewhere on the Internet the real danger with Thai girls isn't what they might do to you, but how they might make you think; and what you might do as a result of that (incorrect) thinking.
I could give countless first-hand examples, but I will give just one as an illustration.
A couple of weeks ago (as I write) it was the Loy Gratong festival in Thailand. I went over to the local university so that I could watch hundreds of pretty Thai girls parading around wearing traditional costumes. Loy Gratong is the best day of the year for girl-watching in Thailand.
I went alone but I met up with a large group of girls in their 20's. They all seemed genuinely interested in me, and one girl in particular never left my side. She acted as if I was the man she had been waiting for her whole life.
Before I left to go home, she asked for my e-mail address. I wrote it down, along with my phone number. I never hear from her again. This type of thing has happened to me many, many times in Thailand.
Whenever I meet a good-looking Thai girl, it doesn't matter how interested in me she may appear to be, my expectations are never very high because 99 times out of a hundred nothing ever happens.
Now, what if I had met this girl while on vacation in Thailand as a lonely tourist?
After returning home it is likely that I wouldn't be able to get her out of my head. All my thoughts would probably turn to Thailand, and I would try to devise a way to get back permanently in order to see this girl who was so crazy about me.
This kind of thinking could lead a man to give up everything in order to return to Thailand. He might quit his job, sell his house, give up his life and burn all his bridges.
But on his return to Thailand he would face immense disappointment because really she had no interest at all, and by that time there might not be a way back to his old life.
Why does this happen?
It varies from girl to girl. Some girls like to play games with men as a way of boosting their self-esteem. Some do it to deceive men out of money.
However, the majority have no bad intentions. Most Thais are polite, considerate, hospitable people who like to make people feel good. As a guest, you will be taken care of and looked after.
If a girl shows a lot of kindness but you misinterpret that kindness, whose fault is it? I've asked myself this question many times. Was she misleading me, or was it just me reading something into a situation that didn't exist?
The problem is cultural (as are most problems for foreigners in Thailand). Something that happens between two people in the West might mean one thing, but in Thailand exactly the same thing could mean something entirely different.
Don't apply your own values to situations in Thailand, and don't misread signals. If you start to dabble with Thai girls, take your time. It takes a long time getting to know how Thais think and behave.
If you are a fresh arrival and try to hurry things along, the chances are that everything will end in tears.
Thai girls - your best dream or your worst nightmare?
Last updated: 2nd June 2011
A foreign man meeting a Thai girl should be a dream for both parties. Taking care of others is a big part of the culture and Thai girls really know how to take care of men. Age difference isn't a big concern and most Thai girls are small and slender.
Many ordinary foreign men beyond a certain age wouldn't have a hope in hell of attracting a young, pretty girl in their own countries but they can in Thailand.
On the girl's part, many Thais live just beyond the poverty line and a foreign man's income - even if it isn't actually that much - can make a huge difference to their lives. It should be a dream and I've met many men with Thai wives who think it is.
On the other hand, it can all go horribly wrong. Poor Thais, as well as having no money, have no opportunities in life either. They will never get well paid jobs and they will be poor throughout their lives. A poor Thai girl's only opportunity to escape the poverty trap is to meet a foreign man.
Many will do this honestly and in return for the man's financial support they will take care of their husbands and be good wives.
Unfortunately, there are a small minority of Thai girls who are not honest. In fact, they are deceitful to the extreme. They probably already have Thai boyfriends but will stop at nothing in getting money from foreign men.
The following is an e-mail I received from a lady in Australia whose son had been scammed. This is the reason why you need to be careful when getting involved with Thai girls. This example is quite extreme but it can - and does - happen.
My son, unfortunately, has been "conned" by a very nice (so we thought), ordinary girl from Phayou. He has had a relationship with her since last year and this year they got "married" in a Buddhist ceremony in front of her whole village and grandparents who brought her up.
My husband and I travelled over to Thailand for the wedding, as did 3 other couples (his close friends) and their children. We all paid our own airfares and accommodation. At the wedding ceremony, my husband and I became a part of the whole thing but we felt that the grandparents were very cool and distant towards us.
My son paid for the gold for his bride, gave a lot of money to the grandparents, bought his fiancée a car, paid for 300 guests at the reception and was looking at building a new home for the grandparents. His "bride" chose not to have the relationship formalised in Thailand but proposed that they have a wedding over here when she came.
She arrived on Saturday, 21 May and left on Sunday, 29 May after telling my son that she wanted to go home and didn't like it here. He phoned her this evening to find out if she intended to return and when she said no, he said that he wanted his gold and money back - she refused (of course) and said she has already spent it.
My son has spent over $35,000 on his "bride" which works out to over a million baht. She is sitting pretty and probably has a boyfriend in the background who will now have a nice life. My son feels an absolute fool, even though he is really quite intelligent and astute and as he said to me tonight "I've said for years that I wouldn't get caught like this."
One of the problems was that he met this girl who is a friend of the de facto of his close Aussie friend who lives in Thailand - his de facto has been with him for over 10 years - and he thought she was genuine.
Please warn others about getting involved too soon - my son genuinely loved her.
Getting involved with Thai girls can be very rewarding but it can also be a minefield. Be very careful and never rush into anything.
How much should I pay my Thai girlfriend each month?
Last updated: 3rd June 2010
Nothing. Thai men don't pay their Thai girlfriends, and foreign men with foreign girlfriends don't pay their girlfriends. When foreign men living in Thailand hear foreign men living abroad asking this question, they know the man doesn't have a clue about Thailand.
It isn't unusual to find Thai girls giving their Thai boyfriends money each month so the men can drink with their friends. The girls either work, or receive money transferred from stupid farangs abroad, which they then pass on to their unemployed, lazy boyfriends.
By all means take care of the girl, and treat her, but there is no need to pay her a monthly salary. All that does is make her a live-in prostitute.
What if you have a girlfriend who is working and you never see her because she works 15 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year in a beauty salon, or has another kind of low-paying job? This scenario isn't unusual. I've been there myself in the past.
If you want her to quit working, and thus cut off her monthly salary, then it isn't unreasonable to provide some compensation. What you need to realise is that these girls earn very little each month. If she tells you that she normally earns Bt30,000 a month, and that is what she wants from you, then she is lying.
And anyway, if you pay her to quit working she won't have to spend all her waking hours doing menial work. Why should you be expected to pay her the same amount for making her life a lot more relaxed and enjoyable?
What if she makes a living selling her body and wants you to give her Bt60,000 or more to compensate for her loss in earnings as a prostitute.
The answer to that one is that it is hardly a fair comparison. If she can see no difference between living an honest life and being a prostitute - apart from how much she earns each money - then I would not recommend being with such a girl.
Thai girls talk to each other and they have all heard stories (maybe some are apocryphal) about how much foreign men give Thai girls to be their girlfriends.
Some Thai girls seem to think they have won the lottery if a foreign man shows any interest in them and they get greedy.
If you get involved with a Thai girl who starts making greedy demands for money each month, simply leave her and find another. As long as you are reasonably presentable and financially solvent - even if you aren't that rich - independent, self-supporting Thai girls are easy to find.
If you meet the right Thai girl there won't be any demands for money. With the good girls there is almost a sense of pride in working and being able to take care of themselves. I know this from experience as well.
Both Thai men and foreign men keep mia nois (mistresses) in Thailand. For example, there are lots of northern and northeastern girls living in southern Thailand who are kept by Malaysian and Singaporean men.
The men pay for their accommodation, expenses, and give them an allowance. Some get motorbikes and some even get cars. All they need to do is make themselves available when the men are in town.
However, this is completely different to having a girlfriend, and even this type of arrangement should be approached with lots of caution.
I once heard of a girl who had four Malaysian and Singaporean men keeping her at the same time. She rented four apartments and owned four phones. She would live in the appropriate apartment and use the appropriate phone depending on which man was in town at the time.
I also heard of a rich Singaporean guy who was keeping a very pretty young Thai girl. She kept making bigger and bigger demands, and he always gave her what he asked - a shop, a car, money, etc., etc.
One time after he had given her a lot of money, she ran off with the Thai boyfriend who she had been seeing all the time she was being kept by her Singaporean sugar daddy.
There's definitely a connection between demanding Thai girls and trust. The ones who demand the most are often the ones who can be trusted the least.