5 Things I’ve Learnt About Thai People While In Thailand

After having traveled through Thailand for over a month now, I’ve seen and learnt quite a few things – not just about the country, but also about the Thai people.

Here are five things that’ I’ve learned about the Thai people that never seems to fail:

5 Things I’ve Learnt About Thai People While In Thailand

1. They always give you the warmest, friendliest smile – if you smile first.

Thai people are often incredibly friendly, and many do smile at you on the street. But most of the times, they look at you, and if your eyes meet and you smile, THEN they smile back right away.

If you don’t smile, however, neither do they. My experience has often been that they smile bigger and brighter than you, when you smile first.

2. The street hustlers are not scamming you, they just try to make a living.

Scammer, hustler or just working? … There are whole websites and forums out there that only talk about this topic, the scammers in Thailand.

Sure, there are some big scammers around here, but I wouldn’t call the guys trying to sell you crappy suits, tuk tuk rides or ping pong shows scammers, they’re just trying to get by and make a living.

And frankly, a truth that some people prefer to ignore, is that they can only live off of our greed. We want the cheap stuff, we want free – free – free, although we should know that nothing in this world is really free.

When you sit down and watch them work the street, see them working for hours on end getting rejected, ignored and yelled at, they deserve some respect.

How many people can handle getting turned down or treated as though they don’t exist?

If you just make sure to them that you’re not interested in what they are offering, you can often have a nice conversation with them about other things.

3. They serve the man first, but give the woman the larger portion.

First we thought this was just a random thing, but nearly every time we eat at a restaurant, they always serve me a huge portion, and Nathan a much smaller one – and he always gets his food first.

It’s the same all over the country – if anyone knows why this is, please let us know!

4. No matter how early you get up in the morning, most of them will already be awake and working.

It’s true, I’m an early bird, but no matter when I get up, it feels like the city has been awake for just slightly longer than me.

People are already in their shops, at the market or on a moped. The young girls have their hair curled and the middle aged ladies have already put that same bright pink color lipstick on.

It’s not that the city never sleeps, they just don’t sleep in like we do in the West.

4. When it comes to transport, there is no such thing as full.

They can always fit one more person in – always. Even if some kids have to hang off the end of the bus, there is still space for more people. We had about 33 people in a mini-bus which in Europe would legally fit maybe 8 people – CRAZY!

5.  They have the most innocent sense of humor.

I’ve found Thai people to be very innocent and gentle people. The men are often very feminine, something which is not just accepted but also encouraged.

The teens dress in a pop rock punk style, but walk around with a teddy bear under their arm, or a furry baby hat on their heads.

When they laugh it’s a sweet giggle rather than the manly macho laugh.

What they laugh at is even more innocent. I’ve never seen a whole bus full of people in all ages laugh so much at a filmed live show where a woman pulls a guy’s skirt off and he stands in his knee long underwear.

And every time Nathan bumps his head into the umbrellas put up at the vegetable markets everyone around him breaks into a big laugh and tell all their friends who missed it about what just happened.

It’s all really cute, but I wonder what they would think about our Western humor… ??

If you have been to Thailand, what did you learn about the people? Checkout this article and video about an Amazing Luxury Trip to Thailand

Here is a Thai People

(photo credits: Hanumanninrime_nasrultanvach)

75 Responses to 5 Things I’ve Learnt About Thai People While In Thailand

  1. yTravelBlog January 16, 2011 at 9:27 am #

    We lived in Thailand so we learned a lot about them and I must say that you are pretty spot on. We loved how warm, friendly and accepting they were. It was wonderful to see the male students at school embracing the lady boys as friends, when you knew in other countries they would be beaten.
    Thai’s will always laugh when something embarrassing happens to you, this is their way of saving face, and helping you to feel better and not be embarrassed.
    We never noticed that the food portion thing was deliberate, but Craig would often complain when we received our meals. He would look at mine and then at the size of his and say “I ordered the wrong thing again.” How funny to find out this was intentional.
    We had many Thai friends, and we found they could not do enough for you. Our one friend would invite us around for dinner and absolutely cook a feast. We could not believe the amount of food she would cook, and it was all for us. We always felt so bad because we could never eat it. They love to give, but they hate receiving. When we would buy them gifts they would quickly put it away and pay it no attention. It was really strange at first for us to understand this, but we learned that they just don’t feel comfortable about it.

    • Sofia January 18, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

      I agree, it was so nice to see how they accepted people for who they really were!

      Thanks for clearing up the laughing, that they do it to save your face, good to know hehe ;)

      It’s interesting how different cultures treat giving and receiving, thanks for sharing your experience, really cool to hear.

    • nadda July 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

      I am Thai when we receive any gifts It is rude to open gift infront of the one who give it to you.We appreciate all gifts and we love it.It is our traditional not open gift wrap infront of the one who give you.That ‘s all.

  2. Jase January 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    what wonderful observations those are Sofia :) thailand sounds amazing.

    • Anonymous January 17, 2011 at 2:04 am #

      Thanks Jase, yes Thailand really is wonderful, it’s easy to understand why it’s known as “the land of smiles”.

  3. Adventurous Kate January 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    You sure hit the nail on the head! I had never noticed the portion thing, though!

    I’ve been thinking about a “Top 10 Thailand Quirks” post for awhile now…one is definitely the affection for reggae, and another is how they give you straws and plastic bags with absolutely everything!

    I love the innocent sense of humor…whenever I have no idea what to say (major example: when they ask me “Why you have no boyfriend?”), I just giggle and they accept that as a response.

  4. OneGiantStep January 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    I found the humor thing applies to Vietnam also. The sense of humor there was childlike and sometimes I thought they were pulling my leg by laughing at something so silly. It’s kind of refreshing, isn’t it? Cheers!

    • Anonymous January 17, 2011 at 2:22 am #

      Oh yes, very refreshing! It’s nice to see that things don’t always have to be provocative to be funny.

  5. Ayngelina January 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    Great lessons, they made me smile because I think they apply to most places.

  6. Jack and Jill Travel The World January 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    Oh, they sound like wonderful people. I’d appreciate the larger portion too. Hmm, maybe we’ll go to Thailand after all on our RTW trip…

  7. Magda January 16, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    Great observations, I especially like number 3. I haven’t noticed this one myself during my stay in Thailand, but will surely have my eyes wide opened next time I go there.

  8. ts January 17, 2011 at 2:31 am #

    I like the hustler observation, and while a little naive, i has a kernel of truth to it. MANY of these guys are just trying to make an honest living and should be treated with respect for how hard they work.

  9. Rebecca January 17, 2011 at 3:13 am #

    I like your observation in #2 – a lot of people do need to remember that in these countries $1 or $2 (which you’d be happy to pay in your own country) can mean a lot to a local.

    I’ve never experienced the food portion thing, but I’m going back there in April so I’ll keep an eyey out!!

  10. Andrew Murray January 16, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    What a lovely post, I can’t wait unil April arrives and we finally get out to Thailand. All this talk of Sanook, Smiles and laughter is really getting us excited about our trip. Thanks Sofia

  11. Anonymous January 17, 2011 at 3:41 am #

    I always loved seeing a mid-twenties, Thai male on a motorbike with a stuffed teddy bear hanging off the front!

  12. Nick Laborde January 16, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    I haven’t been there yet, but this makes it all that more appealing.

  13. Michael January 17, 2011 at 6:56 am #

    Awesome list! The feminineness is true for most Asian countries. Got me thinking to create one of these for China.

  14. Dee January 17, 2011 at 8:43 am #

    We might of been on that 8 person mini bus with you when it was filled with 33 people! lol So gruelling at the time as it was becoming one of those days but quite funny now to look back on. lol

    But yes, Thai people were some of the most friendly people we have met on this planet and this still continues in our day to day lives back home. We get this exceptional friendly service or random encounter and find out they are Thai later in the conversation and can’t help but have a huge smile in it as it hit a soft spot in our heart from our travels.

    Definitely one of the reasons why we love(d) Thailand so much was the people!

  15. Jeremy B January 17, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    Fascinating insights on Thai culture. Our differences are quite interesting between western culture and Thai culture. However, the one thing that seems to be a theme in these lessons is that the people are genuine and respectful in whatever they do.

  16. Chelé Norrie January 18, 2011 at 1:57 am #

    I love this post, absolutely love it.

  17. Mica January 18, 2011 at 2:35 am #

    Great post. This is good for me since I swear I eat enough for two sometimes! Can’t wait to get to Thailand in July. This is obviously the reason most people go there-for the friendliness. Sometimes a bad vibe can really ruin a place for me. It really does sound so refreshing. Thanks for sharing.

    • Micah January 19, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

      Always nice to meet another Micah – even if you’ve slimmed down the name by dropping the H. : )

  18. Micah January 19, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    Great little post. I’ll be in Thailand later this year – good prep material. Looking forward to adding to the conversation when I’m on the ground!

    • Sofia - As We Travel January 22, 2011 at 8:27 am #

      Awesome, looking forward to hearing about your experiences!

  19. luna January 19, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    How cute! I love hearing about laughing people! A lot of Asian countries I’ve visited are very reserved, I love to see that people of Thailand love to laugh!

    • Sofia - As We Travel January 22, 2011 at 8:26 am #

      Hey Luna, they laugh a lot, and they’re not reserved, although they are sometimes a little shy :)

  20. Sarah Wu January 21, 2011 at 6:40 am #

    Interesting… base on your # 4. They sounds like super hard working people. Making living as if the city never sleep.

  21. Veeree January 21, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    For no.3 As I know. We do not have the rule to serve for man first and different portion. It may depend what kind of food you order. In the restaurant will keep the same portion for both male and female.
    For your experience , I think because they like you. ( and serve woman much no trouble to serve man.)

    Thai people when they know and like you. They like to give.

    • Sofia January 22, 2011 at 8:22 am #

      Hi Veeree!
      Thank you so much for explaining it to me. I guess that after all it was just random, or they just liked me better than Nathan (hehe).

    • Sofia January 22, 2011 at 8:22 am #

      Hi Veeree!
      Thank you so much for explaining it to me. I guess that after all it was just random, or they just liked me better than Nathan (hehe).

  22. enrolled agent cpe January 23, 2011 at 3:10 am #

    I have to agree that the Thai has the warmest smile that can just melt your heart. I share the views as you when it comes to people who are just trying to make a living. They’re really not different as anyone else and while there might be some who are scammers, this is not always the case. I feel bad myself if I see them get yelled at our receive such unsolicited comments from tourists.

  23. Priyank February 3, 2011 at 4:06 am #

    Hi Sofia, very curious observations! I find this gift exchange and hospitality thing quite “eastern” – its quite common in India as well. :-)
    Priyank

  24. Rob February 9, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    I know of many western men who have had dealings with thai people plus I have heard so many stories of these people they all tell me that they are all cunning and deceiving. Who wants to be around people like that. Most of the thai women have been in the sex industry at some stage yet on the other hand they call themselves buddhist. Even one of the pre cepts of buddhism says to refrain from sexual mis conduct. I prefer to be around honest, sincere people not cunning people who try to cheat and deceive you.Thailand is the most f…uked up buddhist country that I have ever been to but never again. My advice stay clear and that goes for the westerners.

  25. Nancie (Ladyexpat) February 13, 2011 at 2:01 am #

    I’ve never really thought about who gets their meal first. I’m thinking about some people I ate with a few weeks ago. There was one male in the group, and he did receive has first. Maybe it wasn’t a coincidence!

    Thais do work long hours. Over the years I have found that the tuk tuks and songthaw drivers who are out on the roads hustling for business will give you a fair price, versus those who never move an inch until they find a “mark”. Thankfully, there is always an honest one close by.

    Love the Thai smiles!

    • antonio February 26, 2011 at 4:01 am #

      thai people smile at you if you look into their eyes, ok I totally agree….but try meet the eyes of a rich thai person or of an important person who is rich or enough wealthy and i bet one milion dollars that he will not smile at you. I had to experience that. I met many people in small villages, mostly farmers and they really always smile so sweetly. But I happened to meet professor and people on that level in the thai society and I also played tennis with a governor of a big city , with his wife, with vice governor and other men and women around the governor….well, they were friendly not more and not less that european people and they never never smile. In Thailand only poor people smile and their smile has brought many advantage to the thai reputation especially regarding the publicity about ‘Thailand the Country of smile”, but they never mention that the poor people smile and made the country famous for it in the world and the rich people who never smile, they get all the advantages, being them mostly owner of hotels resorts restaurant and so on…so poor people smile and the rich never smile but get all the advantages…

  26. Rob lee April 17, 2011 at 7:58 am #

    Thai people are the most cunning and deceiving people I have ever come accross yet on the other hand they call themselves buddhists. The thai women have all been in the sex industry but I guess if your really desperate for a women you can pick one up cheap for a few baht . I prefer people who are honest and straight with you and one who is sincere . My advice to anyone is stay away from these people as they are not good buddhists.

  27. Sandy April 19, 2011 at 6:31 am #

    You are right about the street hustlers. They are only trying to make a living and it’s got to hard sitting under the sun hustling day in day out. I don’t think anyone would actually pick this profession. Great 5, thanks for the reminder.

    • Sofia - As We Travel April 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

      Yeah I agree, the people who work on the street don’t really have a choice. Thanks for sharing your thought Sandy!

  28. Robino June 27, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    The land of cunning and deceiving people . The land of currupt buddhists.

  29. Robin June 27, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    Thai women are all cunning and deceiving so why try to hide the truth.
    Who really wants to be around these type of people who are cunning and like to deceive people. I was brought up to be honest and sincere unlike these fake people who will do anything to cheat and deceive you then they say they are buddhist . Read the bible it tells you what god says about cunning and deceiving people.

  30. Fdsfssdfsfs August 2, 2011 at 6:40 am #

    Thai people are very immoral, illogical, shallow, and materialistic.  Kindness only comes if you paying a big amount of money here.  I heard the word ” Nothing is Free”  but this is only true in Thailand.  Their smile is not real and even if you are a customer, they do not smile unless you are a rich farang.  Thai people are racist to Asian people as well; they  look down and Asian and overrate the farang.  It is the media and the cooperate that controlling the people mind and because of the people not being critical and logical, they don’t know what is right or wrong.  They are so shallow that they simply think white is good, black is bad.  The service level is very bad.  They always look like they just want to get rid of you even if you are in an emergency situation, for example when you need medical help and so on.  Most travel agency will rip you off.  They are not looking for a long term customer, but some quick cash. There is no moral nor ethic in this country.  Sure you have some tourist saying good thing about Thailand, but they don’t know the reality.  Live here for few years, and you will know for yourself.

  31. Nicha August 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    Thank you for all opinion of our country, yes you really spot on.

  32. Thaicunt September 10, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    i don’t know who you are, but clearly you have not spent adequate time in thailand, them cuntrats deserve to be strangled in front of their children, you are a cunt for writing this and your mother should gullet her own womb just so she can’t have another one of your calibre, you are a cunt spreading these lies, the thais are rats, i hope they bomb that shithole and i hope you’re there when they do, cancer for your family and for them rats, praise the boxing day tsunami, one every year would be justice, 100,000, not enough, cancerous cunts

  33. Ann September 28, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    I’m Thai and really like your observations. They’re very interesting. You judge people individually and are also optimistic. As far as I google about Thai people’s traits, I think all of them are generalized. Not all Thai people are so and so. Really appreciate it ^_^

  34. BeMyGuest October 2, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    Obviously Robin (aka Thaicunt and any other pseudo he used here) doesn’t get  he’s different from thai people only because he grew up somewhere else in another cultural and social environment. Identity, freedom of thinking and choice are illusory, everything is the shadow of the past.

    I love Thailand and Myanmar smiles :-) But one should know it can have many different meanings http://www.into-asia.com/thailand/culture/smile.php

    • Thaicunts October 20, 2011 at 3:15 am #

      i am different from thai cunts, I’m not a cunt like them cunts, if i was the same, i wouldn’t be here to type this very message to assure u i am not the same, as i would have taken matters into my own hands and killed my rat self to ease my conscience for being a thai cunt, also, i am not ‘robin’ our styles of writing are very different, that much should be obvious, but then it has become transparent that things that are in plain sight you find difficulty in seeing, hence your shameful opinion that them rats aernt rats, plus (and i understand that you couldn’t have known this as you don’t know me personally) but i would never spew any bible related comments, anytime, ever.  annual tsunamis, 100,000 Thais wasn’t enough, peace

  35. chalene October 15, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    thai people are very nice and friendly always smiles…
    people that say something bad about thai people,i just wanna know how much they know about….so what about their own countries? are they thatt nicee?…geezzz! ..i’m not thai and i’d never say some stupid thing to them even i know some bad facts about it…cause’ i’m pretty enjoy staying in CNX.
    …the cultures there are very interesting…f people who thinks thai’s sucks. lol

    • SW January 26, 2012 at 3:04 am #

      Actually, the way you write sounds exactly like a Thai writing in English. For example, “I never say some stupid thing to them even I know…” A native English speaker would’ve written, “I never say anything stupid to them, even though I know…” Subtle difference but different nonetheless. 

  36. Thaicunt October 20, 2011 at 3:16 am #

    i am different from thai cunts, I’m not a cunt like them cunts, if i was the same, i wouldn’t be here to type this very message to assure u i am not the same, as i would have taken matters into my own hands and killed my rat self to ease my conscience for being a thai cunt, also, i am not ‘robin’ our styles of writing are very different, that much should be obvious, but then it has become transparent that things that are in plain sight you find difficulty in seeing, hence your shameful opinion that them rats aernt rats, plus (and i understand that you couldn’t have known this as you don’t know me personally) but i would never spew any bible related comments, anytime, ever.  annual tsunamis, 100,000 Thais wasn’t enough, peace

  37. Rk October 20, 2011 at 4:48 am #

    I have been to Thailand and believe me its such as s*** a** nation controlled by a wussy king. The people are such scammers and literally want to rip every baht from you. Thai people are racist pigs and most wouldn’t respect anyone other than their own race. The women are especially bitches and the ones working in hotels don’t know how to treat customers. One of the worst customer service is in Thailand.

    By the way about scamming, its a true fact most of these Thai ppl are con men and I wouldn’t agree with the author’s comment. My mom had purchased couple of jewels at a reputed Bangkok jewel shop(run by the govt.) while we had been there. My mom had paid the amt. thru a debit card and finally we came back to our room. A couple of days after returning to India, mom got a call stating that someone at the jewel shop was trying to misuse her card(which was seemingly duplicated by the clever conmen) and the transaction declined because my mom had added a high level of security before leaving for Thailand. Just imagining how could such a thing happen in a govt. controlled jewel shop. This incident has left bad impression about Thailand.

    Thai people smile —–only if you a rich farang. Only if you have enough money to spend so that they can rip your a** off every baht.

    Thai people are (not) friendly ——the most racist pigs. They think they are superior over all others since their country was not colonized.

    Thai people are conmen——ripping every baht from you.

    • Yuko081 October 30, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

       I’m Thai and I just wanna tell you that not all of us wanna rip your A** off every baht. Maybe you’ve been in the big city like Bankok in Thailand, I mean it’s a big city but not many people respect and friendly like you said. Why don’t you go to the country side of Thailand, there, you’ll see a truly friendly people and you might not want to insulting us or comment on us like you just did.

      • Thai January 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

        I don’t mind how you see Thai people, cause that is just anyone’s opinion. But NEVER call our king like that. period.

  38. IgnoranceIsAppalling November 18, 2011 at 11:16 pm #

    Jeez!  I have Thai step mom and I wanted to share about how spot-on your observations were about the culture’s innocence and polite sweetness and hospitality of the people.  Then I scrolled down to see what others had to say…  My mistake!

  39. LLTKjimmy November 24, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    Dear Author,

    Some of your points are accurate, some are not.  I will not hide behind some internet-based guise in order to convince you of my opinion, but suffice to say that I know what I am talking about.  Your opinions of Thailand seems to be so frought with misconceptions that I am almost skeptical of why you posted them.  Nevertheless, I am glad that you are positive and optimistic about Thailand.
     
    Thais are usually honest and certainly not scammers, but allow me to say one thing: don’t be so culturally relativistic that you actually condone the behavior of scammers.  Thailand has scammers, period.  There are plenty of ways to make a living that does not involve lying.  Unless of course, you believe that it’s OK for thieves in Europe to hold up banks, right?  Or is that just too big to really lump in the same group?  Lying and cheating is about principle.  Most Thais in Thailand do not cheat, but there are some who do and it should be pointed out.

    The smile that you are referring to is most likely misinterpreted.  Thai
    culture is inherently non-confrontational and therefore, smiling is
    simply a way of diffusing social tension.  Thais are generally friendly
    and more so to farang.  However, if you are in the inside of Thai
    culture (meaning you are Thai), you will realize that Thais can also be
    very judgmental, unforgiving and critical.  Yes, they are sanook and
    easy-going, but again this is simply a social coping mechanism. 
    Thailand is a highly stratified society with each class/caste having
    deep misgivings and distrust regarding the other(s).

    Moving forward, a poster made a comment about the rich “Thais.”  There are rich Thais of some mongrel Thai-Chinese descent and yes they are quite arrogant.  Chinese people have been going to Thailand in droves for the past two centuries (but also before then) and have quickly assumed the top of the economic hierarchy.  Mind you, they have not been responsible for innovating, creating or doing anything of cultural significance.  To be specific, they form the bourgeoisie of Thai society and maintain a level of arrogance that is absurd.  Naturally, some of them are good people, but some have unfortunately decided to look down upon the native Thais.  Mind you, it was the famous Thai hospitality that welcomed them into Siam when they arrived starving on filthy boats from China.  Of course, educated westerners will see right through this arrogance and realize that these people are considered second-tier Asians by most East Asians.  Try having a conversation with these “upper-class” Thais about anything outside of their field of expertise.  You will be left stunned by their culturally and intellectually shallow the conversation will become.  Again, this is not an intellectual or cultural elite, but a economic one and they are thriving in a consumeristic, materialistic Thailand.

    Also, the innocent sense of humor point is absurd.  If so you spoke Thai, you would realize that Thai humor is highly sexual (albeit playful) and can match western humor toe-to-toe!

    OK, I could go on for a quite a while, but I’ll leave it at that.  Best of luck on your travels!

  40. Robin November 27, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    The truth is that thai women are cunning and deceiving and manipulative . I warn any western men to stay away and look closer to home .

  41. Craig December 8, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    Im so happy I’ve been to Thailand. I spent 2 weeks traveling through Phuket, Krabi, Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi, Kao Lak – I loved it.

    The Thai people never gave us any hassle, they were always friendly. The food was stunning, the prices were just as amazing.

    We spent the whole time trying to avoid the tourists and eat locally – I think generally the tourist regions are where the scammers are worse and prices are higher.

    I didnt notice the portion size difference but we were definitely used to Western Style sizes, they didnt really ever give us enough. But we were humbled by this because it made us realise how much food we consume compared to how much we actually should.

    My finace and I are getting married next year in phuket and can’t wait to go back.. I loved Thailand so much.

    • birdherrillll January 17, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

      I hope Thai women wont be nasty to your fiance. I really dont think good idea to bring your finance. Thai women pretends to be nice to men (just to marry and get money or if you are American, to get a greencard). But to women, they are nasty as hell. My best friend was deceived by a Thai bitch who wanted to marry him. He felt so sorry for the poor girl, he rent his car to stupid thai bitch who was planning so much to break him and his-ex fiance up. She told his fiance in front of him “because you are ugly fat American caXX, your fiance cheated on you” and laughed like a witch. He never cheated on his ex. Thai bitch thought she could be a replacement if she could break them up somehow, even by saying lies. Dumb ass bitch

  42. Jonoweets December 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    haha the last point is funny! i banged my head on an umberella next to a massage parlour with about 10 women outside. everysingle one of them was in stitches! it was very embarrasing!

  43. Jadekayak December 25, 2011 at 12:21 am #

    I lived and worked in Bangkok for 1 year(foundry work-not teaching english)and it is really nice to see you taking a positive look at life there.The sad reality is that the scammers are not just trying to make a living but rip off tourists but this is not the only place in the world that this happens.Most of the rest of what you said is very close to the truth and I felt welcomed everywhere I went.I guess speaking the language to a good level also helped

  44. Kcgallery January 17, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    I think i can speak for the so-called middle class Thai. I’m half Chinese, not rich not poor, graduated. The thing about “rich thai don’t smile” is that there’s a reason. You see, deep down inside most of the Thais mind is the sense that “farang” are some what more “civilzied” than us. If you look at our history, we had many major cultural reforms in order to made us more westernized and there for more civilzied.

    I can say that every Thai people shares a positive attitude toward “foreigner” since in our history we had never face any horrible consequences of war and colonialism, hence the smile.

  45. Kcgallery January 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    Continue:

    But, no human being, no matter what races or countries they are, want to be considered childish and naive by other, right? So when some Thais are now having a better education and way of life, they want Farangs to considered them “equal” as a friend, not “children” that you want to say “awwww…that’s cute!” there fore, no more stupid smile from them. It’s not that they are arrogant, they just don’t want to be casted like what the poster did; innocent children.

    • watchouttothai January 17, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

      Thai are not educated. Most stupidest Asian. Their education levels are far behind from China, Japan, south Korean and Vietnam.

      • Massmodels January 19, 2012 at 7:26 am #

        Is there such a word like stupidest ? 

        • SW January 26, 2012 at 2:55 am #

          Well, there is, but it usually isn’t preceded by the word ‘most.’

  46. Embarrassed January 19, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    Learnt? How embarrassing! Please tell me you are not from the USA!

  47. Dls981 February 14, 2012 at 3:13 am #

    Embarassed: Learnt is correct spelling in many English speaking countries, just not the USA

    Male smaller dinner portions: (old restaurant trick) if Papa is still hungry he will order more food.

  48. Leon June 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    My sweet and lovely Thai girlfriend of four years and finance came across this post and felt appalled at the ignorance of the commenter(s) spewing hatred of Thai women and Thais. I realize that anyone so drunk with fanatical hatred is not even worth responding to, but she wanted some reality injected, so I’ll give it a shot.

    A very few Thai women actually work as prostitutes, and it’s almost certainly started from village girls going to the big city to meet and marry a rich Farang hero so she can help her desperately poor and indebted parents living in poverty conditions, parents whom she feels to be her biggest responsibility. Soon they find that the reality isn’t what they’d thought, and their hearts and spirits are broken by what inevitably happens wherever they end up with whatever ruthless boss they get. It is very sad. One must ask oneself who ruins these girls and why it happens.

    Many girls work in hotels as maids or other jobs for something like 9000 baht per month (300 dollars or so) 6 days a week, and still manage to send money home to their parents and would never dream of going into prostitution because they think it’s wrong and they’re too proud. The lure of supposedly easy money is too strong for some, though.

    There are also women who choose to go into prostitution because they like the life. Anyone with any sense would steer well clear of these women, their environment, and their associates. If you are stupid enough to seek a lasting relationship with one, you will very likely get damaged. If you put your hand into a snake’s mouth it will likely bite you too. But if Farang seek true love with hardened bargirls, what do they expect will happen? If they don’t know, they’ll learn. It won’t be pretty. Afterwards they can spew their pain in anti-Thai sentiment. Some starry-eyed fool from the US is no match for a hardened bargirl, not to mention her superiors.

    The sex tourism industry came into Thailand by way of the US military during the Vietnam war as Thailand became an R&R destination. Comparatively speaking, the level of prostitution in Thailand is lower than the US. They don’t feel compelled to hide it as much, being Buddhist and holistic, not Puritanical and hypocritical, but they do keep it well within certain areas, where decent Thais (and Farang I might add) would seldom if ever go.

    Thai culture is quite different and very difficult to understand from a Western perspective, especially US, where we are so sure that the world must run according to our rules. Surely some Thais may be deceitful but they certainly have no monopoly on that. I have remarked that the national sport is removing money from the pockets of Farang, to Thai amusement. Fair enough. They are definitely not simple children, however, but quite sophisticated within their own culture, and only seemingly simplistic in dealing with Westerners. It’s not easy to get inside their culture, especially when you’re wearing the eyes of another culture and you don’t speak Thai or have truly close, long-term Thai friends or relatives.

    And it depends on how you act, as well. Many Farang, though long and intimately associated with Thais, continue to treat and think of Thais with arrogance and disrespect in a closed-minded manner. The Thais will put up with it if the Farang brings much-needed material resources, and also out of a Buddhist sense of compassion, but they will not open up. Not that Thais don’t have problems in their own culture, weaknesses, etc., that they well know of and are trying to overcome. They are the same as anyone. But they certainly don’t deserve to be indiscriminately bashed.

    I personally found the original post a little offensive, since it looks at an old and unique culture from a bit of a Disneyland perspective, as if the country and her people were some sort of an exhibit subject to the top 5 whatevers and not an equally legitimate place worthy of respect. It helps to understand reality a bit, which is that Thais aren’t “Thai” but people just like you who are quite different yet equally valid. They are, of course, in a different position, and have learned to respond accordingly.

    If you really want something to complain about, try living in China for a few years. They are less pleasant and accommodating than Thais, yet they are well worthy of respect in their own right.

    You know, there’s something deeper that connects us all, and it’s nothing to do with skin color or culture. If you really want to see the world, try to get down (or up, if you prefer) to that level.

    Enough said. Fan kon Thai’s request has been honored.

  49. Ann05 June 30, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    @LLTKjimmy and @Leon Thanks for sharing the truth!

    I am a Thai female and I feel blessed for who I am.

  50. Dangermouse July 14, 2012 at 8:04 am #

    Just love this ype of narrow minded view. can you you really speak for all 69 million thai people? says to me that your male friends obviously are only interested in sex tourism in thailand. If you go to the red light areas well of course your gonna find a lot of sex workers and also a lot of the wrong kind of people who are interested in scamming tourists or cheating them because they dont know better. Thailand has a lot more to offer than this. Your friends should try visiting some of the real thailand and then maybe they might see how kind and warm thai people really are

  51. Crocodiles_love_naam_thuaam July 16, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    If it comes to people traveling to Thailand as tourists, Sonia’s post is quite nice and representative of what to expect when visiting the country (except the food portion thing which is just plain weird IMHO…). As a holiday destination (especially for non-southeast asians), Thailand is indeed a wonderful and exotic place to discover and locals are pleasant and welcoming!
    Traveling and living somewhere (especially as a foreigner) are very different experiences, and this website is about travels. Concerning the price, there may be an unintentional mistake when translating from Thai numerals to Arabic numerals … sometimes… but who is to blame? ๑๐๐บาท = 500 baht or? :-)

    To all those who will travel to Thailand, have a wonderful time! (and if you can, do not come last Friday as it rained badly! – most obviously none of you have traveling machines so it should be fine :-))

    P.S. As was mentioned in another comment, Thai people prefer to avoid direct confrontation, so if there is one rule, smile, stay calm and positive and everything will turn out fine.

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