Thailand - Girls Page 2
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 virtually impossible for a poor Thai to get a foot in the door of a large company and work his or her 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, 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.
House in the Isaan countryside
The only way many girls can make a sufficient 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. Thais can't look to the state to support them in old age or if they don't work because there is only a limited welfare system. 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.
It's easy to understand why money, or rather the lack of money, plays a central part in the lives of most Thais. With very few exceptions, money is the only reason why a Thai girl would be interested in marrying a foreigner. Nonetheless, relationships can still work provided that there is more to the relationship than purely money.
It is up to the foreign man to ensure that this is the case. The problem with many relationships is that the foreign men simply don't spend enough time with the girls to really get to know them. The girls are fantastic actresses and if you only stay in Phuket for a couple of weeks with a girl it just isn't sufficient time to get to know how she really thinks.
When I speak to farangs about how conservative many Thai girls are, there are still some who roll their eyes in disbelief as if I am completely stupid. One guy told me the girls' supposed virginity was all an act just to make them more desirable.
After all, Bangkok is the sex capital of the world, isn't it? It only follows then that Thailand is the nearest thing we have these days to ancient Rome - just one big orgy.
I'm sorry to shatter illusions but actually it isn't and it says a lot about farangs living in Thailand who think otherwise. It also says a lot about the kind of Thai girls they associate with.
Conservative young Thai girl
I know lots of Thai girls in their late 20's or early 30's who have never had a boyfriend and have no sexual experience. They are quite scared of men and terrified of sex although many are very inquisitive. I don't believe this to be true; I know this to be true.
Southern Thailand is the most conservative area of all but this type of conservatism exists everywhere. The Thai term riep roi is often applied to good Thai girls who don't mess around. Getting involved with such girls means several things.
Firstly, they will be very reluctant to meet you alone and will often bring a friend. Forget about going to their place or them coming to your place. Not only will they be scared of what you might try to do but they will not want to be seen by other Thais going to a man's place. They have their reputations to think of.
Intimate contact can take a very long time. It is not a case of waiting three dates before making your move as might be the case in the UK or the USA; it may be a case of waiting years. One girl I know had a Thai boyfriend she saw for two-and-a-half years and all he was ever allowed to do was kiss her on the cheek.
Thailand is full of contrasts and this is just one of them. There are thousands of bar girls and naughty massage girls everywhere, but if you want to find a good girl you go to the other extreme.
Beauty contests are very popular in Thailand
It can be confusing because even the good girls like to flirt.
Quite a few girls that have flirted with me and suggested meeting later haven't bothered turning up. I know for a fact that many riep roi girls flirt online these days with foreign males. They can explore what it is like having contact with a male while being very safe, thousands of miles away sitting behind a computer.
I would say to any man who 'chats' online to a Thai girl to be very wary and not to have high expectations. Some girls deliberately lead men on but some just have no idea why foreign men are chatting to them.
One of my Thai friends is a very respectable, well educated girl. She has a boyfriend and is planning to marry. She told me she had been using MSN to chat to a foreign man. Naively, she only did this to improve her English.
I don't think the foreign man was chatting to her to improve her English though. The conversation started off normally and they must have exchanged photos. She's a very attractive girl.
She said that he then started asking 'bedroom' questions. After this, he declared his love for her and said he wanted to marry her.
She explained she had a boyfriend and wasn't interested, at which he told her to f*** off. Nice guy. What this demonstrated to me is how so many farang men don't understand Thai girls, and how so many Thai girls don't understand farang men.
There is a saying in Thailand that Thai women are the hind legs of the elephant. They do all the hard work in the background. The work they do is essential, but it often goes unnoticed because it is done behind the scenes. I totally agree. Most Thai women work very hard.
If the women are the hind legs of the elephant, what does that make the men?
From my experience of living in Thailand, around 40% are the head and shoulders of the elephant providing leadership, strength and direction.
Of the remaining male population, 59% are elephants' arseholes. And the ones who aren't even worthy or capable of being an elephant's arsehole become minivan drivers.
As a tourist and new expat to Thailand I really liked Thai men. In provincial England there are gangs of aggressive men who want to fight with males they don't know if those males have the audacity to stray on to 'their' territory. The UK is a violent country, and much of the violence is fuelled by alcohol.
Thai men get a very bad press from many Thai women
As a tourist in Thailand whenever I saw a group of males drinking beer and whisky (a favourite pastime for Thai males) they would hold up their glasses and invite me over. I wasn't interested in drinking alcohol with them, but I appreciated their friendly gestures and the lack of aggression.
After living in Thailand for a while everything changed. Before I continue, I need to state that I have met many thoroughly decent and kind-hearted Thai men (the 40%). The Thai doctor who employed me for several years to teach his staff some English was highly intelligent, worldly wise, and kind and compassionate to everyone he met. He is not the only one.
Unfortunately, a significant proportion of Thai men are completely the opposite. Two things started to change my view. The first was talking to many Thai women about their relationships with Thai men. The second was when I started driving regularly in Thailand and started to encounter Thai drivers.
Upon going for a massage on one occasion the girl seemed very keen to show me bruises all over her body. She had been working hard in a beauty salon in Phuket. Her Thai boyfriend only worked a few months a year in the tourist high season buying bottled beer for Bt16 a bottle at the supermarket and selling it to stupid farangs at the beach for Bt50.
He liked to drink and was apparently very social among his male friends but when he got home drunk he would beat her. This must have turned him on because after beating her he would also have non-consensual sex with her. Rape would be another word.
He ordained as a monk for less than a month and told her the experience had changed him forever but the drinking and beatings continued. Leopards never change their spots, or rather tigers can't get rid of their stripes as the equivalent saying goes in Thai.
She bought a pickup truck in her own name and was paying instalments of Bt11,000 a month but he used the truck for his beer selling business. He would also steal money from her to fund the drinking sessions with his friends.
After one occasion when he gave her a severe beating he ran off, taking her pickup truck and money with him. She told the police but they weren't interested. She fled for her own safety (she had two children to take care of) and was left with some serious financial difficulties.
The girl I originally wanted to marry had an abusive boyfriend who didn't see her very often because he worked on oil rigs. Despite leaving her alone for weeks on end, he would get furious if she left her house to meet friends. She was terrified of him and too afraid to leave because he would do bad things to her. With this sector of Thai men, bullying and physically abusing girls is quite common.
If you drive regularly in Thailand you will also see a different side to Thai men. As I've said elsewhere, driving in Thailand is very aggressive and unpleasant.
Why are there so many problems with Thai men? I'm not sure, but I have some theories.
When I lived in a rented house there were young boys living close to our house. During their play sessions in the street I observed them urinating all over the place. It was disgusting.
I spoke to my wife and also to the boys' parents about this. Their reaction was to laugh and tell me, "They are boys." I asked if it would be acceptable for young girls to do this. "Of course not." They looked disgusted at my question.
In Thailand boys are given special privileges from the moment they are born. They can do what they want and no one will tell them otherwise. They get extremely angry if someone tells them what to do or what not to do. See greng jai.
I taught at an all-boys school for about a month. It was so bad that I walked out after a month. Again, the boys had the attitude that they could do whatever they wanted to do. They were also extremely defiant and didn't like being told what to do, especially by an inferior farang. When I tried to discipline one little thirteen year-old kid he stood up and wanted to fight me. This is how they are.
The school had a special department for discipline, but when I spoke to the people working there they weren't interested. In Thailand, males can do what they want and no one wants to tell them otherwise.
When boys are very young their parents allow them to do whatever they want. In their teenage years there is no discipline at school and they continue in the same way. When they grow up and get cars and motorbikes they can do what they want on the roads because there is no law enforcement on Thai roads.
This is the way that many Thai males grow up. They believe they are the centre of the universe and that no one can tell them what to do.
The behaviour exhibited by males and the tolerance in Thai society for allowing males to do what they want could have something to do with the Thai belief system, in which making merit is perceived as being the most important thing in life.
Thais believe that the only really effective way to make merit is via Buddhist monks and all monks are male. Men, therefore, occupy a privileged position in society.
Thailand isn't the same as India or China, where parents in those countries only wanted boys during the one child per family programmes. During those periods female infanticide was a problem.
Thai parents love their daughters just as much as sons and Thais in general recognise the value of women in society. However, men still have a privileged position in society.
Another difference in Thailand compared to India is that daughters receive money in the form of sin sot when they marry, as opposed to the parents of daughters having to offer a dowry.
I've asked many Thai girls about the percentage of Thai males who they think are bad. The 60% bad, 40% good ratio seems to be fairly consistent. From my own experience in Thailand, I also think this is about right.
The Bride Price
Unlike countries such as India where a dowry is paid to the groom by the bride's family, the culture in Thailand is the other way round. When a marriage takes place, the groom must pay the bride's family.
The first point to make - an important one - is that this isn't another scam dreamt up by the Thais to squeeze a bit more money out of unsuspecting farangs. It's a very traditional part of Thai culture.
Thai gold shop
When a man takes a wife, this is the way he expresses his gratitude to the girl's parents for raising and educating her, and turning her into the woman he deems worthy enough to be his wife. After many years of care and nurturing, he is taking away a valuable asset from them so some compensation is required.
There is also an aspect of 'face' involved. The amount is not a closely guarded secret. People will know what it is and obviously a higher price is good for the girl and her family. If, as a farang man, you plan to marry a Thai girl, don't think of this as a con. It's not and you need to be very sensitive about the issue because there is a lot of 'face' at stake.
There are two basic components associated with the bride price although it seems to get a bit more involved with very 'hi-so' girls - more about that in a moment.
sin-sot (สินสอด) is a gift of money and kong-mun (ของหมั้น) is a gift of gold.
Naturally, upon being told about this, I was interested to hear what kind of amounts are involved. There is no set amount and - to some extent - it is open to negotiation between the groom and the bride's parents. There are various factors involved.
How old is she? How beautiful is she? What kind of family does she come from? How pure is she? (You can start to understand now why Thai society continually drums into girls the importance of remaining chaste.) What kind of education has she had? What kind of work does she do? How many female siblings does she have?
The girl who told me about this is very virtuous and well-educated. She is very good looking, from a good family, an only daughter, and has a good job. Her sin-sot value was assessed at Bt400,000 and her kong-mun value at five baat of gold. (One baat of gold is equal to 15 grammes and worth about Bt10,000 at current market rates.) In addition, her boyfriend has already bought her a new car and various other gifts.
The lowest values would be about Bt30,000 to Bt50,000 in cash and one or two baat of gold for a country girl with a very basic level of education.
With the very best girls that Thailand has to offer - actresses, singers, and the general 'hi-so' crowd, there are apparently no limits. A lot more money and gold obviously but also land, a Benz, a condo, a large diamond ring. The list can go on and on.
The payment can be made in one instalment at the time of the wedding or, if the couple decide on a period of engagement, half can be paid when they get engaged and the remainder when they marry.
I mentioned the 'face' aspect and a big bride price buys a lot of public face for the bride and her family. However, once the sin-sot and kong-mun have been handed over, the bride's parents can (if they so desire) give some of it back to the groom privately without anyone knowing. This is purely a 'face-saving' measure.
A Lot More Females Than Males?
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.
Mook has a foreign father and Thai mother
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.
Friendly Thai girl
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.
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.
He told me 50/50.
I came across the following graphs sourced from: UN, Credit Suisse while reading a news story somewhere:
These graphs show that there are actually more males born in Thailand than females and that women in Thailand only start to outnumber men above the age of 70.
I realise that in many parts of Thailand you will see lots of women and very few men, but there are reasons from this and having researched the subject I think there is enough evidence to prove that the ratio is roughly 50/50.
Thailand for Tourists
Living In Thailand
Thailand is an incredibly photogenic country, both for its landscapes and its people. Regardless of whether you enjoy large Asian cities, beaches and islands, or rice fields and mountains, Thailand has something for you and it is a dream destination for photographers.
One of the great things about visiting Thailand is that hotels are plentiful and a lot cheaper than in most other countries. I always use Agoda to book hotels in Thailand. The company was established in Thailand and has great local knowledge, as well as a huge inventory of hotels.
If you click on one of the destinations opposite you will get a list of hotel deals from Agoda. It's generally a good idea to book on-line because you will get a good room rate and you won't suffer the disappointment of arriving at a hotel to find that it is full.
I book hotels regularly in Thailand and I have always found Agoda to be the best on-line travel agent. At times I have spent a lot of time researching hotel prices and although other deals sometimes look better at first I always end up returning to Agoda.
If you don't wish to pay for your hotel at the time of booking, Booking.com normally allows you to pay when you check in at the hotel. Some people prefer this method, but I have always found Booking.com to be more expensive than Agoda.
If you want to compare prices between different on-line travel agents (OTAs) for a specific hotel, you can use a company such as HotelsCombined. However, you will normally find that Agoda is the cheapest and therefore you can save yourself time and money by just booking through Agoda in the first place.
Images of Thailand