Libertarian Prepper

The world divides politically into those who want people to be controlled, and those who have no such desire.

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15 things I hate about Thailand

This is based on my experiences of living and working in Thailand, and also of traveling a little as a tourist. Mostly though, I saw and heard what tourists wouldn’t, and almost none of it was good, so rather than try to make a balanced list of pros and cons – something I don’t think is even remotely possible – I’m just going to make a list of stuff that I hated.

That’s not to say that my experiences were wholly bad, but the redeemable parts of my time in Thailand usually had little or nothing to do with the country or its people. I’m sure that the below doesn’t apply to every Thai person, but this has been my experience of the majority of cases.

  1. In schools, teachers walk around with sticks that they use to beat children every day. The beatings begin in kindergarten, with children of 4 years old, and continue until graduation. Rulers and hands are also used, and of course there’s the endless screaming…
  2. Most apartments will not return your deposit at all, or will find a way to scam you out of a part of it. Common wisdom in Thailand is to assume that any deposit given on an apartment is lost money, and if you somehow recover it, to count it as a great bonus. Deposits are often between 1 and 2 months rent, so it’s significant. With all of the scams and thievery in Thailand, despite working here full-time for several months, I left this country with most of my savings depleted and significantly poorer than when I came in.
  3. Institutionalized racism and two-tier pricing for foreigners, here called “farangs”. If you’re a foreigner, expect to pay anywhere between double and 10 times the price that a local will have to pay. Many restaurants have two menus, with the English one having inflated prices. The government officially endorses this policy, with most tourist locations such as museums charging several times as much to foreigners. I paid 5-fold to get into a museum once, and it was a pretty sucky one at that.

    Apartment buildings will also charge farangs more for renting the exact same room. So if you’re expecting to save money here, think again. Racism and discrimination is widespread here, but although every white person is treated as a bag of gold that needs to be shaken down, black and Filipino people here have it much, much worse. If you want to teach English, all you need is, as Thais say, a “white face”. It doesn’t matter if the black candidate for the job speaks better English than you. And when non-whites do get hired, they’ll be paid a third to a half less than their white colleagues.

  4. Thailand is the country of smiles the way America is the land of the free. The Thai smile is mostly fake and completely inappropriate. Thais will smile when they’re happy, angry, sad… it doesn’t matter what they’re feeling. This country is filled with the least emotionally healthy adults I’ve ever seen, and I’ve traveled quite a lot. In one case, I inquired about the photo of a young man on a wall, and the teacher, while laughing and smiling, told me that he was someone she knew, and that he had died because of a bomb explosion…
  5. Medical costs here are higher than in private hospitals and clinics in Europe. One night in a private hospital costs $550. Have fun trying to get your insurance to return that. Oh, and avoid the government ones, they’re more like a pre-morgue waiting area.
  6. I tried to buy some Bitcoins on a Hong Kong exchange. I went to Kasikorn bank where I have an account and asked for them to transfer $100. They said the fee for a $100 international transfer would be $37. Never in all my experience of travel has someone tried to charge me 37% for a transaction. Except governments of course.
  7. I once tried to send something by Thai post. When my co-workers found out, they were shocked. Apparently I should have somehow known that anything put into that system would be stolen. My boss told me that 10 million packages are stolen or lost by the Thai postal workers every year. When a postal worker is caught stealing, the punishment is that they’re “made to apologize”. Neither the stolen items nor their value (they are usually sold immediately) is returned, and the worker does not lose their job. The postal service is therefore filled with career thieves.
  8. In my time teaching English in Thailand, every single lesson on occupations involved a significant number of my students saying they wanted to be police officers. This is despite the common knowledge that all they do is arrest people and steal money. When I tried to elicit “What does a policeman do?” Nobody knew what to say, as the idea that police “help people” here is laughable. So they were acting with full knowledge of what they’re getting into. It’s pretty depressing to know how many of my students are planning to be career criminals with a badge.
  9. Many Thais are passive aggressive. They will avoid any direct confrontation and not tell you what’s happening, usually to act behind your back. Ask for feedback from an assistant during a lesson and they will say “everything is okay”, only to have a meeting of unresolved issues that have festered a month later. Oh, and though the Thais in the meeting are all English teachers, they’ll all speak in Thai for an hour so you can’t understand or respond to them. Enjoy hearing your name or “farang” but having no idea what they’re saying.
  10. Packs of wild dogs will run after you at night. Sometimes even during the day. Get a series of rabies shots before you come here. Camping out at night is dangerous.
  11. Mosquitoes carry dengue fever and malaria. Most people who’ve stayed here for longer than a year have had dengue, and it usually ends in a multi-day hospital stay. Make sure you have the insurance to cover it.
  12. Many agencies that place teachers with schools will be late on payments or not pay you the full amount.
  13. Everyone in Thailand is a matchmaker. In fact, half of them are matchmakers even if you’re already in a relationship. As a foreigner in Thailand, expect people to ask you if you have a girlfriend several times a day, and then run off looking for one for you if you don’t. They’ll take pictures, too.

    When your students in college find out that you do have a girlfriend, the next question will be: “Do you want a mistress?” (in Thai, of course, their level of English cannot handle such sentences). In the school I worked at, I was told to avoid getting into an elevator with students because they will grope (sexually assault) you.

  14. There is no concept of privacy or boundaries of any sort. I learned quite quickly that within a few hours everyone will know everything you shared with a Thai person, no matter how private. The culture here lives on gossip and rumors. Thais will ask you the most personal questions, only to run off and tell everyone else minutes later. They’ll try and spy on you, too. If you want a private life, you’ll need to come up with a lot of elaborate lies, because simply keeping quiet is interpreted as a sign of great disrespect.
  15. The nationalism and religiosity makes me sick. Seriously. Every movie at a cinema, after 35 minutes of adverts, begins with a nationalistic song and a series of creepy pictures of the king, all of which are a good 20-30 years old… because pictures of an aged king just won’t do I guess. And everyone around you stands up on command like trained puppies, until the clip ends. In schools, the anthem plays in the morning and everyone must freeze… If you think nationalism in the West is bad, wait till you get to Thailand.
  16. The expat community is composed almost entirely of alcoholics. Being a teetotaler, this made my interaction with other foreign teachers and expats here a largely miserable experience. I thought college was bad, but it paled in comparison to the psychological dysfunction and alcoholism here.
  • just want to know

    everything have 2 sides, just like a coin. Thailand might have the bad side which i totally agree with that but according to your ‘experiences of living and working in Thailand, and also of traveling a little as a tourist’.Isn’t there anything good in Thailand??.If there is just a little part of it then why didn’t talk about it too?

    • For one thing, a routine search for “Thailand” will reveal lots of marketing and tourist propaganda. There’s very little negative stuff to be found out there, so in some ways this post is supposed to balance this out by mentioning what most other people simply won’t.

      But really, the issue is that it wasn’t at all like a coin. Yes, there were some nice experiences, but they made up perhaps 5-10% of my experiences there.

      It was nice when one family stopped to give me a lift when I was hitchhiking after the Songthaews stopped running (about 7pm). And there was one kid that I tutored who I thought was really intelligent and curious and actually wanted to learn. I’m sure if I think long and hard I’ll think of something else nice, but seriously, my experience was not at all balanced.

  • al

    Not everyone is cut out for MSEA. Refusing to learn the language (at a beginning level) where you are working is Colonial to say the least.

    • Who says I refused to learn the language? I took courses both before I came there and during my time there, and got fairly decent at communicating about mundane things with random strangers who couldn’t speak any English at all. This has no bearing on my experiences, since I met people who have lived in Thailand for 10 years, were fluent, and still got routinely scammed for rent deposits and the like. It’s not a matter of language, it’s a matter of racism and lack of moral scruples. If you’re white, you’re seen as a money bag.

      • Web impact

        If you believe you got cheated or scam. Call the tourist police and show them the evidence.

      • Wendy Lim

        I agree with you Libertarian Prepper.
        I don’t see the point of learning their inferior Asian languages.
        After all, they are only interested in how much money you are willing to waste on them. Most of them are not even interested in communicating. They are only interested in money or profiting from us and then bullying or dominating us with their horrible Asian culture. .

  • kwcarter

    Hi there Preper,
    I’ve been living here in the north of Thailand for about 3 years now, teaching English as well. While I certainly agree on several of your observations, I would contest that your experiences are not the same as mine in some areas. Obviously you can only report on your own personal experiences and give your opinions based upon these experiences.

    For instance the punishing of students you describe I have seen, but never to the degree or frequency that you have. In most schools it’s not legal to do so, but working in a school here in a small town in the north, I have seen it. Usually one firm swat on the ass. I disagree with it completely, but I’ve never witnessed a beating, especially not on a child as young as you have.
    The weaseling of apartment deposits is a problem I’ve never had. I’ve rented multiple times here and the only time I’ve ever had a scumbag landlord try to unjustly keep my deposit was in the U.S.

    I’ve also never had a single one of the stray dogs do anymore than bark at me. As far as the mosquito thing goes, I and my girlfriend are still disease free, and so are most expats I know. I’d say that was a bit exaggerated, but yes the mosquitoes do carry diseases.

    The agency which has helped us find work since we arrived here has never been late on a payment and has always paid in full. I will say though that business and planning here in Thailand is done in extremely lackadaisical fashion, and I’ve had various other frustrations on that end.

    I’m sorry you were groped sexually, that’s quite odd. I’ve never had students, even adults pursue a line of questioning beyond whether I’m with someone or not. I’ve definitely never been groped or felt uncomfortable around Thai students though.

    I agree with you to some degree or another on your other points, and I understand your feelings on the expat community here. Living up here I’ve seen a lot of nut cases and drunks, but not all of us are brunt-out booze hounds. Although I will say it’s hard to make good, long-term friends here, especially libertarians and/or voluntarists. The point of my reply is not to shit on your point, but rather to show that people are living here and having very different experiences, and that people can come here a really enjoy it too.

  • Barney Wilson

    Agree with pretty much everything you wrote about the “Land of FAKE smiles”. The
    country is full of thieves, liars, prostitutes and drug addicts. I
    lived there for 5 years before I realised I was wasting my time and thought I should move on. Doesn’t matter how long you live there, or if you’re married to a local and have kids; you will ALWAYS be known as the farang who is expected to pay for everything. I don’t trust any Thais after my experience living there.

    • Hi Barney – I’m sorry it took you 5 years to move out of what in my experience was an absolute hellhole. I feel bad enough to have wasted 6 months there and then recovering my health afterwards!

      • Peter

        I hate Thailand with a passion!Slimy scamming prostitutes everywhere. I would love it,if the country went broke!

        • ศรีเลิศชลาลัย อาทิ

          Sorry for your unfortunate in owing to encounter bad people,anyway, please don’t stereotype us in the term of prostitute; from theThai motto, we learn about whatever the places where we should not come in, but surprisingly the White people seem favor to step in.

        • Apis Bluemountainz

          So you would just come to Thailand just to find prostitutes? Come on, man! You better do something else, having a good family!

        • maybe you should stay away from prostitutes. then they wouldn’t be able to scam you.

    • iverhardy

      Snap.

    • Wendy Lim

      Very true. The fact that Thailand is infected by Chinese Thai culture or Chinese Asian people is also another reason for their arrogance and extremely expensive and low standard place to live in.

      I think most farangs are making a big mistake in having a Thai wife because that would just make it worst for the world.

  • Hi Prepper, interesting article. I have lived in Thailand for 15 years and will continue doing so. Being a fellow libertarian, I can tell you why: This is a place where you can have a comfortable life with relatively little taxation and government interference in your life.

    Many of your comments had much truth to them, but not the one about hospitals. There are inexpensive private ones, as well as really good government ones, where you can pay a bit extra and get excellent service. Thailand is a place where you can put a little money in the bank and pay for your healthcare out-of-pocket. That means you can shop around for your healthcare needs, and not be bugged down by government and insurance companies. Is that a good alternative to Obamacare or what?

    Strangely enough, you did not list corruption as one element you hate about Thailand, like a lot of other people do. I actually find the corruption here useful. As a libertarian, I value the possibility to buy ones way around rigid government regulations instead of being a victim of them. Since no country seems to want to create a society with limited regulations, this is the next best alternative to the libertarian state. Perhaps you need to come back, but this time not as a teacher! I have my own publishing business here, and I deal with really nice people, not at all like the teachers and school administrators you have met.

    • Hi Dag, thanks for your insightful comment.

      I didn’t personally run into any corruption in the short time I was in Thailand, but if I had, I would not list it as a negative. I agree that when government laws and regulations are overbearing, corruption is a fantastic way to get through the red tape and get things done.

      In my time in Hat Yai I had been to three hospitals and two clinics, and it was definitely my experience that the private ones ripped you off (25,000 baht for an overnight stay at a private hospital was about 90% of my salary!), and the government ones looked horrible. Which city do you live in where this isn’t the case?

      Also, as a teacher with a 30-32k salary per month I found that saving money was very hard. Before I arrived I thought I would spent no more than 15k and save the rest, but in reality it turned out that the lack of a kitchen in most apartments and the poor quality of street food meant that I had to eat out in more expensive restaurants to get food that wouldn’t give me (as much) food poisoning and which was healthier. I also lost about 12k in deposits to two apartment buildings, and a lot more than that in healthcare costs.

      I think to save in Thailand I’d either need to get paid a lot more, or somehow survive on atrocious street food while almost never getting sick.

      • Sorry Prepper, but you have to eat on the streets in Thailand, that’s where the food is freshest and best (and extremely cheap, as you noticed). You just have to find the right places. It’s not difficult to find a good and clean place in any neighborhood. Hat Yai is in the South, where the food is a lot spicier than elsewhere in Thailand. Not my favorite place..

        Your salary was rather lousy, but I guess that’s a factor of the supply of teachers. Foreigners in other occupations often make a lot more than this, at least double. Not easy to save much on 30k, unless you want to live and eat like a Thai and engage in free pastimes. Thais with university degrees now have a starting salary of 15k (by law). But many Thais still make less than 10k. Not much fun to be had for that kind of money.

        I move around a bit, but my business is located in Pattaya. There are good government hospitals here. You can pay extra to get a private room. Seems you ended up in the most expensive hospital if you paid 25k for one night. That was very expensive by Thai standards.

        • ati

          Dag Ekeberg
          One of my American friends got 30000-40000 per month in Phuket, he lives gladly with 2 kids and he plans to earn more instead of blaming his neighbors and abuses the land he is standing on.

      • tektoe

        Songkranakarin hospital is the best hospital in Hat Yai because that is a medical school. Have alot of specialist doctor . I think you go to Bangkok Hat Yai hospital . That is 5 star hospital so it absolutely expensive. For public hospital, it not the best and look dirty but it can save human lift trust me and if you do not have much money or you want to save your money you can received treatment .

        And for the food around the university have alot clean fresh food and very delicious . I think you are so unlucky if you have a good friend and fine the good place maybe you will feel better than this . In Europe if you have just 1 or 2 euro you cannot fine some meat to eat but in Hat Yai you can eat half-length of fry chicken.

    • Wendy Lim

      That is the problem with Asian societies. They expect lots of money for every little thing they do or for every substandard service they offer.
      At the end of the day, it is just not worth it investing in anything in Asia or specifically Thailand.
      Most Thai Chinese who are actually migrants too but have became so arrogant that they tend to mistreat and look down on other poor outsiders, tourists or farangs.

  • Gloria Supatra Bhargava Harris

    I’m half Thai with a perfect command of both English and Thai, and although I do agree with most of your points, I feel like they were written from a narrow perspective of the working class culture in Bangkok. For instance, none of my friends from our international school had a desire to become policemen and none of us felt the need to play matchmaker with the “farangs”. There are educated people in every country and it was just your luck or your low-income job ( 30K is considered low for expat standards) that put you in the same bubble as the uneducated. I know I sound crass, but it’s honestly the truth and the people I know would agree. Now, my husband is English and has two M.A.s from good schools and his experience with the country is extremely different from yours. Not saying that he doesn’t share some of the same frustrations you’ve had with the country, but perhaps you should join clubs or organizations with more intellectual members if you want to have deep, thoughtful conversations. Just my advice! 🙂

    • Passageways

      I dislike your attitude toward what you refer to as “a narrow perspective of the working class culture”.

      I love Thailand and Thai people, but those who constantly disparage the so-called “working class” are part of the problem.

      “your luck or your low-income job…put you in the same bubble as the uneducated.”

      That is not crass, it is arrogant and pretentious.

      • Gloria Supatra Bhargava Harris

        The author wanted more intellectual conversations with Thais, and the truth is that you’re not going to get it conversing with the lower income bracket of society. Sorry if I offended you. But then maybe you fall into that category, so that’s why you’re defensive about it. 🙂

        • Karolis Kaunas

          lol, if you don’t hear yourself, no one can help you…

        • Maykie Leo

          Im thai and yes you are a part of the problem, typical thai Racist and obsessed with class, just typical thai “im in a higher class then you” well this thai can say, that not all thais that speak english or got a higher education like uni or collage are intellectuals as you claim, just look at you and the way you portray yourself kinda confirms my hypothesis that thai collage student like you and your so called friends are as intellectual as any typical brainwashed and illogical thais.
          I bet you and your friend never had a deep debate about politics or social problems in your life, the intellectual conversation of a thai collage student like you and your mates are basicly where the fuck should you and your mate go out and get drunk in ekamai or Asok on friday night, and end up in places like Zadica club on new years eve just to get burn to death in a fire because of a bunch of intellectual thais like you and your mates decided to shoot fire works in doors, yeah right…
          And if you are an Intellectual upper class fucks like the yellow shirts (who can’t even spell “EDUCATED”) then you should go and hold on your holy savior Prayut (not Prayuth “Pra-Yuth) Chan Ocha hand and all of you can jump of the cliff, that is the only way to saye thailand. oh and thanks for the article 44 and 112 fucker!!!

          • Gloria Supatra Bhargava Harris

            Lol you know nothing about me. How do I portray myself?? The only going out photos were from 6-7 years ago when I was still in college lol. Also, for someone who can spell “educated”, you sure don’t know when to use “than” instead of “then”. Also, have you heard of run-on sentences? I graduated with first class honors and just had a major art show in NYC. And the type of rich thai that you describe are the ones that I hate too, but yet you think that I’m in that group lol. I’ve never been to Santika because I was too young when it burned down. I honestly don’t like clubbing or drinking so much. My idea of having a good night is to knit, make art, read, or watch a movie with my boyfriend. From your post earlier, it actually sounds like you have a lot of anger towards women, especially your mother. I really hope you’re not the typical chauvinistic Thai male we girls are accustomed to seeing, who salivates about chicks they don’t know, like using a pic of a stranger as your profile picture. I don’t even live in Bkk anymore, and I’ve become a lot less bitter since. Dude, you should try it too, since you don’t even live in the country anymore. Chill and peace.

          • Maykie Leo

            that is my photo…. and im a girl. my name Maykie? Is that a man’s name to you…? even if Leo is not my last name but that is for me to know and for you to find out. and as for “i know nothing about you” its true because i have not looked at your photos of your so called old party pics, and you don’t know me too because you typically got my gender all wrong…. Honor in art, good for you, but you have no skills in Social sciences, history or the ability to analyze bias or none bias evidence, or even analyze the facts in front of you like Pics on the avatar and name. I hope you have a better eye for art.

            As for art i don’t know anything about art, but all i know is that with today modern art or surrealist art any body can get there finger paint or a rock on display in New York, because the surrealist art movement is full of crap. But I’m sure you are a scholar of fine art…

          • Gloria Supatra Bhargava Harris

            “as a thai i have no argument about your claims because i totally agree with you and its true 🙁 sad really for a thai man like myself to come and hate my country and its ppl so much.”

            So, why did you say you’re a “Thai man” lol… in your own words. Perhaps you meant to say a Thai person, but I see 10 years in England still hasn’t improved your English.

            As for the surrealistic movement, I’d like to hear why you think it’s full of crap. Or did u just say that to shit on my profession lol? If I said that I was a classic painter or post-modern impressionistic? Would you say all that was crap too? I’m genuinely curious about your thoughts. Help me out here please.

    • Nick

      Even “educated” Thais are part of this nationalism and institutional racism. Your comment is not really relevant and it seems like you are trying to say that you or your social class is so much better or something. Most of the things he mentioned except wanting to become a police man are not related to social class but rather to culture

    • Denver

      Agree with most points to some extent, but also agree that the tone feels like an angry rant.
      Concerning the return of the deposit, I rented 5 different places in different areas of Bangkok, never had any issue to get my full deposit back quickly. Heard it’s not always the case though.
      The point I’d agree the most with is the widely spread and officially endorsed difference if treatment between foreigners and locals : dual pricing makes me sick. I find it equally unacceptable to see some touristy places displaying a sign “Thai not allowed” , in their own country, unbelievable !

    • esbee

      You are right, none of the educated Thais want to become policemen. They want to be (in their words) “owner”and do fuck-all (except look down on the working-class). I wonder what the next trend will be after disgusting bakeries, horrible coffee, overpriced imported beer and bicycles.

      …”if you want to have deep, thoughtful conversations”… hahahahahahaha… Do you mean like:
      -“I know CP’s owner” – yawn,
      – “My haircut cost me 100’000 baht” – yawn,
      – “I have a Benz” – yawn,
      – “I came to eat with you (despite not being invited) but I don’t want to pay my 70 baht share, can you pay for me?” – grrrrrr, sell your 1 million baht Rolex you’ve bragged about during the whole dinner,
      – “My dad is the bestest dad in the world and mostest important dad in the world. Therefore, despite me being useless, I am the mostest important and the bestest in the whole world too and do not have to respond to the law” – grrrrrr?

      To add to this list:

      17. You will be jailed, if you express any political view.
      18. You might be killed if you disagree with someone’s view and tell them what you think.
      19. Thais behave like 12 years old children.
      19a. Thais have a inferiority complex.
      19b. Thais are cheats, lazy, liars, thieves, greedy, selfish, arrogant, and extremely jealous.

      Every time I travel back to Europe, I am amazed by how nice people/the food/the taxi drivers/etc. are over there.

      Somehow I am grateful to Thais, as they really made me enjoy home much more.

      I have got 2 more years to work here in Bangkok! And, after 14 years spent in Thailand, I will go back to Europe. I can’t wait to go back to civilization!

  • John

    There is one thing about Thailand that everyone ends up not liking. The singular focus on extracting money. Taxi drivers who change the agreed price after the start of a journey etc. However, the pluses of Thailand cannot be ignored. Where else in the world can you go into bars and take your choice of pretty, fun, enthusiastic girls who give you a great time. And before you say you can find paid for experiences anywhere, please consider that such a remark is nonsense. Yes, if you want to go through a horrible experience that leaves you disgusted, then of course you can. Oh, I hear you say, why not go chatting up the freshers in the local disco till you are sixty, with all your like minded work mates? You are single and you wander into a bar or resteraunt in any other country of the world. What happens? Everyone else there ignores you and yaks to their family. The staff expects you to que at the bar and grudgingly serve you, like you have given them a migraine. Yes, the frustrations you describe are well understood, but life for a single person over the age of 24 is possible in Thailand, rather than wandering through an existence where you can sometimes be left feeling like a misfit, because you don’t have an elderly wife and two kids, and your sick of people at work talking about when the school holidays start, as you left school an extremely long time ago and could,nt really care less. Also, Asian children give you a warm smile and say hello when they see you, except for those with a Farang father, who tend to be stuck up horrible supercilious children, which of course is no fault of their own.

    • Frank G Anderson

      Psychological dysfunction and alcoholism among the Thai esp. male community is sky high. Hopelessness and fear, intimidation and lack of expectation, fake sincerity lend to the hotbed.

  • Luiza Tavares

    You forgot to mention the traffic. The worst ever, no respect for rules and if you are walking be prepared for no sidewalk constantly. This and the scary dogs are enough for me to dislike this country.

    • Peter

      I agree with you Luiza.Thai’s are rude and arrogant, and drive accordingly.

  • Peter

    I hate Thai’s.And absolutely, cannot stand the dodgie ‘go go bars’.I would rather eat my own feakel matter than be with one of them.Have you noticed,Thai’s don’t have arses? Their unattractive!

    • Chu li lee

      With all of the corruption going on in thailand will eventually burn to the ground —-I’m really tired of fake hi-so—-now all the halfies are trying to become thai and denying their other side.

    • Apis Bluemountainz

      Those bad guys are always try to stick with you but still there are a lot of good guys out there.

  • CrystalCube

    Hi, I’m 12 years old Indonesian and I’m forced to live in Thailand for 2 years or more.

    My school is in EIS, one of the most cheapest international school ever.
    And there are a lot of Thai ppl here.
    And guess what? THEYRE REALLY LOUD
    my ears are gonna break if I stay here.
    My Thai teacher is really bitchy, and is really offending. She doesnt know what RESPECT means.

    The traffic is ok, if u say the traffic is hella bad, go to Jakarta in Indonesia.

    And yes if u go watch a movie, the ads are for like 20 minutes, and after that, u need to stand up and see pictures of the king while listening to crappy music for 2 or 3 minutes.

    And thai ppl are racist. In a nearby shop i saw a poster with a duck that is black on it.

  • Pablo Crawford

    That’s right on the money. I lived and worked there for 4 years, and everything you say is 100% true, the petty nationalism especially pissed me off. In particular, the king worship is ridiculous, and really got on my nerves; “Thai people love the king”, **** OFF YOU GOAT!! is what I felt like saying. And don’t get me started about being called “farang”. I worked at their top university and was commonly referred to as farang, and not Dr xxxx. I have never, in my life, heard such ignorance and xenophobia in any other country in the world, even in racist Singapore where I worked for 2 years prior. The fact is, you are not welcome there, and all that you have mentioned are merely a symptoms of this fact. More disturbingly, there has been an epidemic of white murders in the past 5 years, these are generally covered up by the police and describe in the local media as “suicides”, generally “balcony jumps” and “hangings”. Advice to English teachers: Stay away from Thailand at all costs, this is by far the worst place in the world to work. Try Vietnam or Malaysia for a safer more civilized experience.

  • Saul Freedman

    That’s right on the money. I lived and worked there for 4 years, and everything you say is 100% true, the petty nationalism especially pissed me off. In particular, the king worship is ridiculous, and really got on my nerves; “Thai people love the king”, **** OFF YOU GOAT!! is what I felt like saying. And don’t get me started about being called “farang”. I worked at their top university and was commonly referred to as farang, and not Dr xxxx. I have never, in my life, heard such ignorance and xenophobia in any other country in the world, even in racist Singapore where I worked for 2 years prior. The fact is, you are not welcome there, and all that you have mentioned are merely a symptoms of this fact. More disturbingly, there has been an epidemic of white murders in the past 5 years, these are generally covered up by the police and describe in the local media as “suicides”, generally “balcony jumps” and “hangings”. Advice to English teachers: Stay away from Thailand at all costs, this is by far the worst place in the world to work. Try Vietnam or Malaysia for a safer more civilized experience.

  • Fat_Bob

    That’s right on the money. I lived and worked there for 4 years, and everything you say is 100% true, the petty nationalism especially pissed me off. In particular, the king worship is ridiculous, and really got on my nerves; “Thai people love the king”, **** OFF YOU GOAT!! is what I felt like saying. And don’t get me started about being called “farang”. I worked at their top university and was commonly referred to as farang, and not Dr xxxx. I have never, in my life, heard such ignorance and xenophobia in any other country in the world, even in racist Singapore where I worked for 2 years prior. The fact is, you are not welcome there, and all that you have mentioned are merely a symptoms of this fact. More disturbingly, there has been an epidemic of white murders in the past 5 years, these are generally covered up by the police and describe in the local media as “suicides”, generally “balcony jumps” and “hangings”. Advice to English teachers: Stay away from Thailand at all costs, this is by far the worst place in the world to work. Try Vietnam or Malaysia for a safer more civilized experience.

    • Telliwag

      I come from Singapore and I highly disagree that we are racists. Learn to respect every country’s culture in terms of personal opinion and be fair. Yes, racism exists in every country but it should not be viewed as a whole. It’s like saying the US or UK are racists because they allow neo-nazis to exist in their country.

      There is always the good and the bad, but don’t just lean in entirely on one side just because you have had bad experiences.

      I personally have many Thai friends in different parts of Thailand and I think they are one of the friendliest people I know. Yes, I have also encountered rudeness/hostility from the locals in Thailand too. There was even a local telling me how much he despised the U.S and how my country is like a leech with no natural resources. If their opinions/actions upset you, then it is their fault and not the entire nation’s or culture.

      I would readily show any foreigner a good time in my city or in Thailand. (been here countless of times and even stayed in the North for a year when I was a kid)

      Peace.

      E.

      • Wendy Lim

        Singapore is indeed another horrible Asiatic place to live in for poor people. I know that for a fact because i lived there for seven years. Unfortunately, Asia is full of unpleasant place to work with. But most Asians would refuse to acknowledge their Asian culture breeds hostility and nastiness because most Asians have became too arrogant over their so-called success.

  • ati

    Throughout the Considering from your attitude; you’re rather fast to judge the people whose own the country you are working in. The 30000 of Thai Baht per month is not much, but it’s rather expensive for the narrow perspective and non-educated English teachers; Bunches of that organic waste know nothing about Thailand despite they have been living there for ages. Anyway, where are you from?

  • Azz

    You pretty much hit the nail on the head. Things need to change in Thailand in the meantime I will stay away and avoid them as much as possible.

  • cmpw

    I visited Thailand 2years ago with my mum and sister and it was by far the worst country I have ever been!

    We were being scammed the moment we left to airport at Bangkok. Taxis constantly short changing us or charging four times the price, to scammers forcing us to hand over £300 to pay for a boat ride that Justin happened to stop in the middle of a canal, when we refused two men got up s though they were threatening to throw us over board if we didn’t. To the police laughing in our face when we asked to get a statement from them so we could at least claim the money back on our insurance…

    I will never in a million years go back to that country! I only wish that there were more articles like this out there! Because before we went we really had now idea what we were getting ourselves into…

    • Wirinthorn Jaroensri

      About Taxis, Look at the meter all the time ,the driver should turn it on, if not , tell him to do. It shouldn’t blink crazily.

      Anyway I understand that you will never want to go to such country like this . I just want to tell you 🙂

      • Wendy Lim

        There are also rude taxi drivers who rudely demanded money for the toll even before I reached the destination.

        They are really rude and abrupt. Horrible experience with their Asiatic nastiness. It just make the whole taxi ride even more unpleasant.

  • Wirinthorn Jaroensri

    The 15. is the BEST LOL

  • Wirinthorn Jaroensri

    Anyway, I think your student don’t REALLY plan to do that, but they try to disclose it to you that how fuck this country is.

    And you forgot about the examination issue, the government, education’s failure, and too many terrible attitudes that I couldn’t explain..

    If there’s someone told you that Thai people proud to be Thai,
    please
    DON’T COUNT ME AS ONE OF THEM.
    Cause I’m not.

  • Adrienne

    I’m Thai and i agree with all of your points. It’s truly that Thailand is a country of a fake smiles and behind of them is had something.

    The 13. It’s so fucking true Haha (Sorry for being rude) and one more thing i think the Eastern culture included the Thai culture it’s so strange unlike the western culture
    (่It’s Just my opinion),Sorry for my bad English

  • Helle

    When you want to live I Thailand, leave the farangs behind. Live with the Thai people, when the land Lord tries to con you on deposits, acting cool and smile, have your documentations in order. Stand tall and smile, don’t be rude.
    Not all schools beat the kids, some do, yes.
    I left Thailand, because of the political climate, with my friends loosing jobs and so on.

    I miss my friends, and I don’t expect things work as they do at home. But that’s a part of living abroad. Deal with it, or go home,

  • thitivorrada

    i agree with you on all points except the 15 one. Yes, i am thai and i learn at an international school. its just our culture and religion. the king is really important to us because he helped us with agriculture. he has a heart and donates stuff to the poor. the reason why there isn’t pictures of him when aged is that he is kind of sick and old and doesn’t like to take pictures that much. the songs, clips, and the anthem is just what we do. and ps the pictures are not creepy.

  • endless mysteries

    read stuff by professor tongchai winichakul.
    thailand is a developing country, with the ruling elite and military that keeps all the gold and manipulates the population thru propaganda.
    the chinese ‘tao de ching’ says, ‘keep their bellies full and their minds empty’.
    i’ve been visiting and working in east asia since the early 80s. since then, the changes in thailand have been huge, especially in tourism.

  • Chris, Phuket

    Its true there are not many foreigners in Thailand but the vast vast majotory of Thai people have gone out of their way to help me and to be genuinely friendly. They don’t have any agression or cyicism and are layed back people. I don’t see anything fake. There is a strong sense of community, maybe similar to the French, everyone does see to know each other, but I haven’t had anything in the way of malicious gossip. They really appreciate it if you make the effort to learn a few words of Thai so that you are less like just another tourist. Some restaurants have a tourist menu with inflated prices, most, in my experience, don’t. Maybe because I tend to avoid the tourist places anyway and go where the locals eat. There are some dogs, and also in some places more cats than dogs, wondering around. Most of the dogs and all of the cats I have come across are friendly – I have been chased by one dog, luckily I was on a motorbike. I don’t know about the alcoholics point, most westerners seem unfriendly and guarded compared to the Thais though. I have days when I feel I want to get out of here and run home, but the vast majority of the time I am glad to be here rather than in England.

  • Anonymous

    I hate everything that’s Thailand.

    • Wendy Lim

      I too hate everything about Thailand.
      I hate their obsession with money.
      I hate their hostility towards people with very little money.
      I hate their pretentious and exploitative Asian culture.

  • maggie Lin

    I am sorry you had such a bad experience. I agree partially with your critism. I have had many foreign friends here. It’s not easy for a foreigner to survive here therefore they drink and etc. Then there is another group that works and exercise. Then there is another group that that are just spoiled. On the other side, there is a group of Thais that aiming to marry foreigners. Probably the ones you have met. The students are not with growing hormones are excited to be with farang. They want to learn English, they want to know about you because you are different. The way they ask if you have a girlfriend and matchmaker is they want to be your friend. Okay… now there is another group of working Thais. They work, excercise not interested about other people’s life but responsiblities. Then there is another group that keeps there life very privated. For you to understand a bigger variety, yes, I suggest you to join social groups outside.What group as you might feel left out because some groups are not interested in learning English like a biking group? Well start off from a Thai friend and then see and learn from her local life. It takes several trials and failures to be accepted by a certain group.

    The law and politics this I agree. The law is grey. However, Thailand is not the only country with scammers. I almost got scammed from a banker in Bank of America in US. Thank goodness I was clear or else my money would have gone to a blank account where she could have taken out later.

    The national athem is just a culture here. You will not believe but when I went overseas and there was no national anthem, I felt strange thinking they don’t respect anything here???? But it’s impossible they don’t have a monarchy so they can’t have an new song every 4 years for a each different president. Ha ha ha ha…. just think that it’s a culture so just go with there culture.

    You don’t have to accept everything here. However, try which possible to make your life easier. Same as you go any country. One every country is for everyone. Just like not all cooperate is for every employee. If it’s too much for you to take or change them probably have to move on.

  • Kha

    Sorry for digging out discussion after about two years, but unfortunatly I have something to add to this. I live in a central European country, in a big as for central European standards (more than 0,5 mln citizens) city. There are a lot of Thais on the local medical university. I accidentaly met one of them last year. She seemed to be the most polite and tolerant person I ever met. I thought so for almost a year. Well, bullshit. She was really the biggest liar I ever met, not to mention the biggest self-benefit steered person… and I am living in a country considered to be full of hateful, self-benefit steered people. It’s not me judging the whole nation for one person… it’s me judging the one Thai who behaves in my own country as she was in Thailand…. and have total acceptation for that behaviour from other Thais studying here. Europeans- no matter if Spaniards, Dutch, Germans, Hungarians, Polish or Lithuanians can bare many things;however lies, disrespect for the country Thais are guests in, and treating EU locals like a shit by Thais isn’t a thing Europeans will always tolerate.

    Dear Thais, I do respect, that you have unique culture and habits, that you didn’t allow to colonise your homeland. Everybody who arrives to your country have to listen to your rules. And it would be nice if you would respect rules of countries you’re visiting as well. I do not deny- we have a different culture than you do. But at least we aren’t trying to hurt anybody. Please, tell to your students living abroad, that pissing off locals by ignoring their morality is never a good idea, and respecting other cultures won’t hurt you… especially if it goes about telling the whole truth.

    • Maykie Leo

      im thai mate and im sorry for your experience with that miserable thai…
      as a thai i have no argument about your claims because i totally agree with you and its true 🙁 sad really for a thai man like myself to come and hate my country and its ppl so much.
      Ive been living in thailand most of my life apart from my high school studies in Cumbria, England, i can say that i have more friends from the UK, EU and the US then thai friends and what i see is that the west is losing their culture because of tolerance.
      what i see in the UK, EU and the US is that westerners are pressured because of the word “racist” (is only apply to westerners but not asians) is making westerner feel like walking on thin ice ever time they have to interact with a foreigner no matter if they are african, asians, south american etc, but then you have this thai women and, my mom (-_-“) this is the reason i stop talking to my her
      My mom now lives in the UK (don’t know why because she hates the UK yearns to come back to thailand) i have no shame of saying that she her self is a brain washed typical thai. Now keep in mind that she never studied abroad in her life yet shes been living in the UK with her boyfriend longer then me and see has made no effort to learn their cultures traditions or even mastering the language, lets just say that her 10 years living there she never been or know Cumbria and lake district let alone heard the name “Ben Nevis” because all the ten years shes been living in the UK she been watch Thai broadcasting TV for all of the time but when i asked her if she wanna swap places, she can come back and i can go live in England instead, she says “no” lol hah she just wanna live and benefit in a environment that is developed, less corrupted, and less dogmatic then thailand, and now she is trying to force thai tradition and values (yeah right) no to my half sister even finding a thai bf for her… thats her delusion. any way the point is in the 10 years she lived there she has been arrested so many times, offences ranging from minor littering, domestic disturbance and even assault, but the one that takes the cake is when she assaulted an English women with “Naam Prik Kappi” the most smelly thai chili paste ever, because the lady said it was quite smelly , and that is when i draw the line…

      Sorry for the long read man, but what i’m trying to say is “I feel you man” but its not all bleak, I can say that there is good and understanding thais out there but it only make up of 0.02 per cent of the whole fucking thai population…. 🙁

  • Thiago Machado

    [INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL]
    I have been in Bangkok for two weeks when visiting my ex. She’s from an international school and therefore she’s different from the average Thai according to the comments in this page. That could be true I guess. Everyone I got into contact, mostly her family and friends, would be sincere when smiling (if I changed the subject to an rather unhappy topic they would not fake a smile over it so there is no doubt about it).

    [SCAM]
    There was once, in an elephant ride, we got scammed and her brother had to pay the riders. I think it wasn’t much cuz none of us had any money left anyway. But being a brazilian I know that lots of people are dishonest. If you are a foreigner then you are actually targeted without noticing it. Maybe most of the interaction a foreigner have is more likely to be initialized by the locals (not by the foreigner), and people who wants to scam you certainly would engage in that. I’m trying to say that the real average person is “deep in a cave” – not desperately trying to reach and interact with you.

    [BOAT SCAM – not really]
    Someone in the comments mentioned a small boat scam.
    Hell we got a tuk-tuk in order to experience it and visit some temples. I was buying water inside a store while she was discussing the deal, when I got back everything was settled up. While riding I figured out he said the templed we wanted to visit was closed (that was true but I didn’t buy it) and so I expected him to take advantage on that – by offering something else from a business partner instead (without actually telling us, of course). He took us to a small boat by the river. I promptly declined to take the ride (my ex found that sligthly annoying since I had to be bold about it =_= as if I was being studborn or something – I actually didn’t know exactly where to head to aftwerwards in order to cross the river or maybe she kind of agreed beforehand, so that’s an unconfortable situation – not that much). We ended up walking for 15 minutes until we got “bus boats” for 15 bht or something – much cheaper! But now when I think about it, back then, that could easily have led to a boat scam.

    [SCHOOL CHILD ABUSE]
    Once I commented following a friend’s comment on a Thai girl living abroad and criticizing the child agression in schools in Thailand, but she didn’t face it directly. She just complained her personality was obscured in her childhood when teachers would measure the girls hair and cut it, sometimes publicly humiliating them or even saying the they would never be a good/proper cietzen for not obeying the rules. I heard this public humiliation thing is very enforced in Japan.

    [STATISM – KING]
    Given this enforced public humiliation culture, people would tend to value being in conformitty to others a lot (or not at all). That makes it easier for governments to dominate them. So this love for the kind (also weird from my point of view) is just a ripple effect from those early policies and propaganda. If they actually feel good about it, after the childhood has already been interfered, thats their problem. At least they can stay in conformity and enjoy the “social pleasure” that “follows” it. Even here in Brazil, in a soccer game, I refused to stay up and pray to the state and my family felt quite unconfortable. It’s kind of like: “why endure this unconfortability if you can just get up and sing a song?” Sure, libertarians would appreciate those acts but demanding that behavior from people that had the state education on their childhood would be like punching a knife – would be quite an effort to change nothing since it’s a ripple.

    I’m not sure if I want to go back (or even live) there. I would really enjoy helping to spread libertarianism in Thailand, I kind of want to do that. And, you know.. here in Brazil all of the things you hated about Thailand could be much much worse, everything from scams to school girls. Except for the fake smiles I suppose, that’s not something I think of the average brazilian.

  • Kawin

    Your just trying to get popular did you know what the aged king your talking about did how much he suffered for Thailand, yes we have 2 prices because when ever we go to other country’s you have 2 prices too.

  • thai expat

    The very worst thing is the standard of driving- about the worst in the whole world from the death figures on the roads. You cannot tell the drunks from the others as they all take the most appaling risks

  • ErmieJoy Suyamin Rn

    I had that bad experience too.. people are arrogant..not all but most..im sad to experienced how people shouted at us,most of them dont know how to speak english,in two weeks only one person says welcome to thailand and hes just a tuk tuk driver. In phuket airport no one smiles..in bangkok,taxi driver left us somewhere..as usual,dont know how to speak english.

  • Azz

    You really hit the nail on the head, I had a year contract there but couldn’t stand the place so I restricted it to 6 months instead. I can certainly say I liked them more before I really knew them.

  • woody

    I just happened to see this discussion. I have been living half the time of a year between Thailand and the U.S. in the last decade. I think the author has some good points, but I have some to dispute.
    It looks to me most of the harsh comments here were from those who have tried to make a living in Thailand. People who travel to a different country for vacation will just enjoy the part of the good things the country has to offer, and forget the things they don’t like and leave them there. They spend money and time to travel for enjoyment not for the misery of it.
    I think a few things are important to take in the situation where one wants to make a living in Thailand..
    1. If one’s ability is only to be able to speak English, that is not enough to make one’s rise to stardom. Unfortunately if that is the only thing one knows how to do, then learn the Thai language and be good at it. Take Adam and Andrew Big, both are quite famous out of teaching English in Thailand because both learn to understand the local language very well.
    If one knows other skills there are always some things one can do. Some Aussie I know made it good by being a stock analyst/ trader. Some runs a company to send Thai students to colleges in Australia.
    2. What is called manner, depends on the society not a universal thing. Says, if you are a teacher in Thai school, and you happens to walk pass your head of your English department, what would you do? Do you just pass by in a way you think it is a polite manner? That is arrogant in the way Thais look at it. They will forgive you for not knowing the manner, but it wouldn’t help to make people like you.
    3. It is true that in Thai culture, they don’t have much secret among themselves. This is called privacy in the West. It is truly a cultural issue. One can see this in the newspaper that a cabinet has a meeting, and before announcement all the press know about it.
    This is somewhat like every body is part of the whole. A Thai walks into a room full of people, immediately he/she feels like being a part of the group. It is also reflect in the situation when you talk to some one, other people in the area seem to be in the talk too.
    You have the right to feel irritated on this, but please just let it go. It is the local culture. Need to view it from their eyes. As we go to another country, we are not there because we want to change their culture. There are baggage that come with the way they are doing, and we don’t know enough. It suits them for some reasons.
    About the match making thing, it is just that they accept you into the group. It is fun for them, and not in anyway with intention to invade your privacy or make fun of you.
    4. Thailand is an agricultural country. Seventy percents of the population are farmers, though farming produces just over 20% of the GDP. Most people are cash poor. But most people are happy despite all the catastrophic events be it political or financial crisis. The country manages to keep the cost of living low. So is the labor cost. So forget about making good money from your labor. Try some thing more novel, and you will be surprised. I remember the day when one Malaysian brought in a sweet bun to Thai market, and it was a hit for a couple of years.
    I hope my comment is useful for some one who wants to go and make a living in Thailand.

  • Claire C

    Soooo true!!! I will never come back to this
    country! So happy to be born elsewhere. Thanks god. I see asian everywhere now and you know what? I will treat you the way treated me, as shit and prostitute.

  • Annonymous

    But you shouldn’t say like that to Thailand Kings.