Tuesday, 30 March 2010

REVEALED: Where to meet Thai women

The next instalment in my recent series of rants takes inspiration from a great many expats, those who regularly vacation in Thailand, those who regular post to Thai Visa and, to a far lesser extent, those people who would email me in the days when my email address was listed on this blog.

All are people searching for a Thai wife.

[This, in itself, really bothers me...but that is for a future rant]

So here is Jonny Foreigner's simple guide to finding 'your ideal Thai wife'.

But before I begin, any guesses on location?

[Hint: the answer is closer than you think.]

Drum roll please...

The answer is...she is outside of Thailand.

I'm not basing this on my own experience (I met my wife whilst she was studying/working in London) but instead the following factors which negate the most common issues in farang-Thai relationships (pulling no punches).

1. She speaks YOUR language

Living abroad your potential partner is likely to be fluent, or at the least capable, in your native language which overcomes the language barrier, one of the biggest hurdles many farang face when dating Thais.

This may be intimidating to some men who like to take control, and enjoy the position of knowing their woman's English means she must lean on them. But for most of us, who aren't (yet...I WILL get there) fluent Thai speakers, the Missus' ability to speak English is crucial.

2. She isn't poor

If you meet your Thai partner when she is abroad the chance are she, and her family, are not poor. It doesn't mean they are rich, but even owning a passport and passing visa requirements is not easily and indicates family life is comfortable at the least.

The importance of this may seem harsh, but boy is it true...you try switching Western comforts for a life in a remote areas (like Issan) where life is far from what you are used to, or could even imagine. Having lots of foreign cash won't much change the dynamic of life, though granny might finally get a roof which doesn't leak. Yup, it takes a special type of person to be able to adapt to a differential scenario in Issan, or even Bangkok.

Plus, most importantly, if your women is not poor she is less likely to be after your money...the classic X factor in many farang-Thai relationships. How many men would give for that?

Probably less than you think...might be a little harder landing a women who doesn't need Jonny's big farang bucks to give her a better quality of life.

3. She is educated

Again, similar to my poverty point, your expatriated single Thai is educated to degree level (typically) such are the requirements of visas.

Her education is likely to put her on a similar level as you, giving your relationship more balance and equality.

For me, this is perhaps the most important factor. Yes, my wife is Thai but she isn't 'A Thai Wife'; in fact, if you disregard the aesthetics for a second, you'd be forgiven for thinking she was Western.

Do all men like to be on an even intellectual platform as their partner? What about in Thailand? Hmmm...I think many accept, and perhaps even embrace, the imbalance. Am I wrong?

4. She has left Thailand

Precious few Thais actually own passports, "travel broadens the mind" so if your partner has travelled and lived abroad the chances are you are getting a partner who is more likely be on a similar wave-length...of course men and women cannot occupy the same wave-length, any fool knows that.


Finding your Thai women outside of Thailand is a great deal harder than just turning up in Thailand as a foreigner. Suddenly all the men around you have the appeal of farang-white skin, domestic wages/saving, etc.

No doubt the old fellas who strut across Pattaya beach hand-in-hand with a twenty-something lass will struggle to replicate this in their own country, but, if we're trading cliches on where to meet Thai women, mine is your local bar, book shop, park or anywhere you meet local women at home.

Disclaimer: I'm not being overly cynical, just generalising. Of course, some foreigners do meet Thais who are less educated, poorer, less travelled (etc) and live happily ever after...but I suspect many expats have a different story to tell.

Btw, Thai Square in London is a great place


Talen said...

Jonny, that really is a pretty broad brush your painting with. I do agree that a lot of expats get into trouble with their relationships in Thailand and while it can be the girl in a lot of cases it can also be the expat.

There is nothing wrong with meeting and falling for someone who doesn't speak your language. You have a choice to make which most expats ignore....learn her language.

Poor or rich I don't think matters...culture on the other hand does and a whole lot of expats and travelers to Thailand ignore that fact when choosing a Thai mate.

While most rural Thai's don't have a great education it surely doesn't mean they can't hold an intellectual conversation. The language barrier may belie that fact but I have met more than a few rural Thai women that know whats going on in the world and can give a great conversation.

Personally I think women are the same the world around...money, education and traveling experience usually aren't the specific things anyone looks for when entering into a relationship...otherwise we would all end up dating ourselves.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your points from the perspective of the woman. However, there is one downside! I have two friends who both met and married Thai women in Europe then later decided to move back to Thailand and start-up businesses. In both cases they have now separated. It wasn't the Thai wives who changed - it was the men. The men went from a life where their wives are exotic and different to the norm to a situation where they are surrounded by beautiful women with many opportunities.

martyn said...

Jon this is an interesting post. You may have to lengthen your comments box if this gets the hits it deserves.

To use Talen's brush theme then I think you have probably painted the ideal Thai/Farang relationship. To put it into a UK perspective then the rich English farmer's daughter marries the university educated local vet. An ideal match but the colour of the paint is magnolia. Life is a little more complex than that, its rainbow has many colours.

I have often likened the old Pattaya ex pat with the young Thai babe to the wealthy UK builder with a wife half his age. The main attraction to all parties is on one side beauty and the other money. The Pattaya expat is scorned upon whereas the UK builder is admired. I can never figure that one out.

If your lady can't speak any of your language then sure you have a big problem but if she can get by with a little lingo then I think it puts a hell of a lot of fun into a relationship.

As far as education goes then I really don't think that's a 'major' because if you're in Thailand then she's a lot more educated about the country's ways, means and culture than the falang will ever be. Education to me is not only about qualifications but about being streetwise. I believe a university educated person in more liable to get mugged in a foreign city than a streetwise ghetto kid. The Thai girl is a lot more educated about Thai life than the farang. In London or New York then the opposite is true.

How many western men have fallen for the plain looking girl next door rather than the spoilt rich kid. Money and education doesn't always come into it.

I think you and your wife have just had a huge slice of luck in finding each other. Others have got to load their dice accordingly.

Excellent post and could I recommend a firm that does a first class job on comment box extensions.

Boonsong said...

An interesting post, but things are not always either/or, plus/minus

Pattaya Girls said...

what / where is Thai Square in London, is that a nickname for somewhere ?

Jan said...

i quite agree with your view, however, its not always the case . i wonder how educated your wife is...... how do you define educated is it a person who have a degree or a person who is intelligent but no formal education ( could be she speak good english) through practice etc
anyway just remind you that dont generalise thai women , because we might be thai but we are very uniqe as individual.

Jon said...

Hi Jan,

Thanks for the comment, sorry for my delay in responding.

For the post I defined educated as 'university graduated', though I appreciate this isn't a very accurate way of necessarily measuring intellect but certainly a recognised one.

This post started as a joke but then I realised it has legs, many problem relationships can be out down to a mismatch. Without overly generalising, women outside of Thailand are more likely to hold mutual interests and be of a similar mindset but I do appreciate this doesn't mean other relationships cannot and do not work.

Love is not scientific at the end of the day.

DanP said...

Interesting post. I've dated some very intelligent Asian women. I'm not sure they're for me though - they often have quite complex agendas.

Query_89 said...

There is no magic formula for relationships other than how they get along with each other. I can hold a conversation in Thai with anyone, including immigration officials. I could of married a reasonably well-off Thai women, but I would have died of boredom. I have built a great house in Issarn and I also have a house in Krung Thep. I did not care that my wife was poor, and we have 4 children together, and we are still together after 20 years. I do believe that money is very important, and to marry rich has many advantages.