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Dating an Isaan (NE Thai) woman: a one-of-a-kind story from a Taiwanese American
So yes, I did end up going out with an Isaan (rural NE Thai) woman, who's from the Thai-Cambodian border region. However, I found that my experience dating her was far, far different from what most farangs (white folks) had been saying about their dates with Isaan women. My past experience dating rural Mexican women has certainly been a major plus; another thing is that being a young East Asian guy in his 20's who tries to "go Thai" does make a huge difference.
None of what I had ever read online would have prepared me for the wonderful times I've had dating this wonderful Isaan lady.
This is a long post with lots of savory stuff, so enjoy.
What's been written about Isaan women so far
Most of what's been blabbed about relationships with Isaan women on the Internet, in English, is about middle-aged farangs with young Isaan bar girls, from the lonely middle-aged farang's perspective. Anything else about Isaan women is virtually not written about. Usually, Isaan women have been getting a lot of flak as money-grubbing unfaithful leeches, but this is because the bar-hopping mongers and the well-off Bangkok expats have been by far the most vocal. From what I've seen, there is far, far more to Isaan women than simply the bar scene.
Isaan folks are everywhere in Bangkok, and they are the heart and soul of Bangkok's working class. Many of them work as street vendors, restaurant workers, taxi drivers, motorbike drivers, construction workers, janitors, and all sorts of very visible occupations. I've had many great conversations with taxi drivers and street vendors from Isaan. Yet there is surprisingly little English-language material about the Isaan men and women who work in these highly visible jobs.
Nevertheless, because I'm in Bangkok for professional purposes, I also interact significantly with upper-middle-class central Thais in top-notch universities and organizations, and also have some of them as online friends and chat buddies. However, I keep them and my Isaan friends completely separate from each other. Rock told me that it would be very risky to take an Isaan girlfriend to a Thai university or company, as that would often be seen as inappropriate. So, my Isaan girlfriend will have to kept secret from my urban central Thai acquaintances, in most cases.
So, my Thai girlfriend is not at all a stick-thin 20-something-year-old girl in a bar girl uniform, and I have never been to a bar with her before. I met her while I was playing music on the street, and she approached me first while a Thai guy was still talking to me. She started chatting with me, and the rest was history.
My Thai lady is actually somewhat older than me (same case with Everdred and his gf), wears no makeup at all except for basic lip gloss sometimes, is not stick-thin, and has a very down-to-earth and genuine look. She is actually quite dark even for an Isaan woman, and is an ethnic Khmer from Sisaket Province. I've shown pictures of her to Rock, who then commented that he honestly she looks like an "obasan" (Taiwanese slang for an unattractive middle-aged woman) or that she'd be a maid. I found that to be really hilarious though and laughed it off; Rock also made sure he didn't offend me in any way.
Talking her talk, walking her walk, eating her grub (literally), and going temple-hopping with her are very, very highly rewarding. We cuddle a lot, sing together, dance together, and go exploring together. We're able to develop a kind of deep mutual understanding and care for each other that she said would have been quite difficult to do so with a typical middle-aged farang. Plus, I seem to be the closest equivalent she can get to dating a well-educated central Thai too.
Xiongmao has actually met my Thai lady in person. She took us to a hole-in-the-wall restaurant hidden in a poorer corner of town. Since the restaurant had karaoke set up, she sang a lot of catchy Isaan morlam songs, while she and I danced together, moving our arms in wave-like fashion. Xiongmao was intrigued at how the dancing seemed to look quite Indian. The songs were in Lao (Isaan), and had themes such as "Sao Phutai" (young Phuthai lady [the Phuthai are an ethnic minority from the Sakon Nakhon area of Isaan].
I then gave her 100 Thai baht to buy several big bags of insects for us all to eat. And voila! She came back with fried grasshoppers, big crickets, smaller crickets, water beetles, spicy red ant salad, and even silkworm pupae! Unfortunately she fed the spicy red ant salad to Xiongmao first, which got him choking and apparently a bit traumatized by the extreme spice. I think Xiongmao tried a few crickets later on, but then decided not to go any further. At least he got something checked off his to-do list!
The two of us have ridden public buses (often around 7 baht, but often free), songthews (pickup trucks), boats, taxis, and trains all over Bangkok. One of our favorite things to do together is to visit different temples, and she'd show me various that Thais would perform for good luck. She loves sticky rice and would prefer that to ordinary white rice anytime, so we're often on the hunt for that too!
So my Thai[-Lao-Khmer] girlfriend is indeed full of fun! She's a great singer, guide, and friend. Her familiarity with Thai, Lao [Isaan], and northern Khmer languages and cultures, and mine with American, Mexican, Chinese, Taiwanese, etc. would give us plenty of things to talk about. We converse in Thai most of the time, occasionally using pidgin English when necessary.
As Xiongmao has seen, she, like many other Thais in Bangkok, knows enough English to get by talking to foreigners, but strings the words together in very confusing ways so that we wouldn't really get what exactly she was trying to say -- only the topic or basic gist of it. Since she has experience selling toys, clothing, cosmetics, portraits, and other merchandise on the streets of Bangkok, she can say some numbers in an impressive variety of languages. Well, now I speak some Lao and Khmer phrases to her, and taught her some basic Mandarin Chinese and Spanish phrases too!
Sometimes the two of us would go shopping together, and I'd buy some basic apparel for my Thai gf like dresses, flip-flops, sunglasses and even underwear. However, since she came from rather poor circumstances, she has that classic Asian bargaining mindset. For instance, while looking around for dresses, she and I would both agree that paying 500 baht for a dress is too much, and we'd set our limit at 300 baht. She had aggressively haggled things down from 190 to 150 baht, and 600 to 500 baht with an Ayutthaya tour guide for 4 people. My Thai gf is certainly not the type of person who would through huge tantrums for not buying things costing 1,000+ baht! Plus, she'd be more than happy to help me find things that I'd need too. And no, she has never asked me to give her any monthly allowances, send money to her family, or help out some supposedly sick water buffalo. On the other hand, we get cheaper rates for many things whenever she's leading, although inevitably money will run out faster if you're paying for two people going out together. Still cheaper, and better, than hiring shoddy Bangkok tour guides though.
Sometimes when I buy her stuff, My Thai gf puts them to very good use too. Once I bought her a phone charger and some phone credit. And guess what? She started calling me nearly everyday, whereas I would rarely take the initiative to call her myself as I'm often quite busy with work. Every phone call would include asking me how I'm doing, and often whether I've eaten yet and gotten enough sleep.
When I took her to my place, she immediately started cleaning my room: mopping the floor, unplugging my shower drain, cleaning the bath tub, and dusting my furniture. She folded all my clothing, even though I kept telling her that she really didn't, and shouldn't, have to do all this for me. I was beyond stunned! She is a very, very clean person, which completely defies the ridiculous notion that poorer people have poorer hygiene.
Chinese men and Isaan women: not a common sight
On the other hand, ethnic Chinese dating dark Isaan women is quite rare, and my being with her was certainly surprising to a lot of people, even my girlfriend herself. Chinese Thais often have a very strong preference for being in serious long-term relationships only with other ethnic Chinese, although some of the older-timer ethnic Chinese in Thailand may also date the lighter-skinned central Thais and northern Thais. The recent arrivals (last 20 years or so) would usually date only ethnic Chinese. Everdred, some ethnic Chinese residents, and other guys I've talked to have said that they aren't aware of any ethnic Chinese acquaintances who have been in serious relationships with women from Isaan.
In fact, the old-timer Chinese Thais have become so well integrated in central Thai society that being "Chinese Thai" has nearly become identical with being "central Thai." And as we know, the central Thais do not view Isaan people as their equals.
Some positive opinions from ethnic Chinese here though; as a note, they are all recent arrivals and not the old-timer Chinese deeply integrated into central Thai society:
(1) One guy from Sichuan Province, China that I met in Bangkok said that a great option for me would be to consider ethnic Chinese women in Thailand. When I asked him "How about Isaan women?", he answered that Isaan women are likely to be very poor, but often have very good hearts (in Chinese, "心肠很好"). He said that there's nothing wrong with dating women from there if I'm feeling more adventurous. He's been working as a sales representative in Thailand for several years, and goes back once every few months to visit his wife and children back in China.
(2) Once I told a Guangzhou exchange student studying at a local Thai university that I was dating a Thai woman. He said out of the blue, "She's from Isaan, right?" I was surprised, and asked him how he guessed this right. He replied that he could tell by my vibe and personality that I would be into the country women, not the urban middle-class women. He was extremely positive though, and said that "many women from Isaan have very good hearts (again, in Chinese, 心肠很好)" and actually congratulated me for that. He told me that Bangkok middle-class girls are often quite materialistic, snobbish, and difficult to please, just like the middle and upper-class women from Guangzhou and Taiwan.
(3) I took my girl up to Ayutthaya once by train, and we met a young couple from Guangzhou, China who were also on their way to the Ayutthaya temple ruins. I approached them by asking about their camera, and then all four of us struck up a great conversation and ended up being together for the rest of the trip. The Chinese girl was quite impressed by how well my Isaan girlfriend would treat me: making sure I get enough water, constantly putting food on my plate, always holding my hand, and even doing temple offerings for me so that I'd have good luck. The Chinese girl told me, "Wow, she treats you so well! She seems to be so traditional too! (哇，她对你好好哦！她好像也很传统，对不对？)"
The Chinese couple was also extremely delighted when she took us to an Isaan food place that served very delicious sticky rice (khaaw niaw) and tom yam soup. They said that their Chinese-language guidebooks had never mentioned anything about sticky rice and Isaan food, and that this was by far the best food they've had so far in Thailand. In fact, they've been eating ordinary noodles and white rice for most of their trip, and said that they had trouble getting an authentic, local experience due to the language barrier. The Chinese girl even congratulated me for being able to get such a kind-hearted Thai lady who could show me how to really go local.
I had to translate between Thai and Chinese constantly though, since when my Thai gf and the Chinese couple couldn't really communicate with each other in English beyond some basic sentences.
(4) At Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport, I met some middle-aged Chinese women from Jiangxi Province who were on an organized tour. Their 12-day Southeast Asia tour had started out in Singapore, made its way up to Malaysia, and then to Bangkok and Pattaya. I showed them pictures of fun places in Bangkok and Ayutthaya, which they said they never got to see. I then showed them pictures of my Isaan girlfriend to see what they'd think. The first question I got from them was, "Why don't you find an overseas ethnic Chinese women?" I replied that it doesn't matter to me, and that she doesn't have any Chinese ancestry. Their attitude was pretty much "Chinese women aren't good enough for you?". They definitely viewed my being with her as a curiosity. The mainlander Chinese from interior provinces would usually be much more surprised, but not the coastal Chinese (Guangdong, Shanghai, Hong Kong)) and overseas ones. Of course, the guys from the interior would be much less used to seeing interethnic relationships.
So it does turn out that most the Chinese who go around by themselves instead of restricting themselves to organized tours would be much more open-minded and curious than the ones on tours.
However, the worst reactions are from the Thais themselves, although many are quite supportive as well.
(1) While we on the train with the young Chinese couple, a Thai worker on the train who was selling food suddenly teased us by asking me, "Is she [my gf] pretty? (suay mai?)" He laughed and then grabbed his dark-skinned female Thai co-worker by the should, and barked out, "Is she pretty too?" It was obviously a really mean way of saying "Your preference for these dark-skinned women is laughably ridiculous." I was really indignant at this, and pointed to all the ladies -- "They're all pretty!" The Chinese couple didn't immediately get what was going on until me and my gf just told them what had happened. My Thai gf told me that nearly all Thai men do not like her looks, and that her very dark skin is heavily looked down upon by Thai society. She then added that I was actually the very FIRST Asian guy who really appreciated her dark skin for what it is, as well as going far beyond superficial looks.
(2) However, some Thais have been incredibly appreciative of my being with her. While in Ayutthaya, we met a middle-aged local lady who was curious about us. She complimented me on speaking as much Thai as possible (which is not what the Chinese tourists do), having a genuine relationship with a rural Thai woman (again, not what the Chinese usually do), and being such a cool guy in general.
(3) We do get funny looks from the middle-class Bangkok Thais, especially on the SkyTrain (rot fai faa) and other rapid transit systems. Since farangs with dark Isaan women are a common sight, they don't really get stared at, but a couple like me with my Isaan girlfriend do get curious and/or condescending stares. The SkyTrain is comparatively more expensive than the cheap city buses, and so has a relatively high presence of middle-class professionals. These folks would give us a look that seems to be saying, "What on earth is this tall, central-Thai type NE Asian doing with a very dark Isaan woman?"
Thais are extremely aware of skin color as a marker of social class. I've noticed that Thai men almost never be with women who are darker than them. Their girlfriends and spouses would always be at the VERY most only very slightly darker than them. I've plenty of chocolate-dark guys with lighter caramel-colored women, but never vice versa. But my Thai gf has a chocolate-like skin color that looks almost South Indian, whereas I'm light brown. As a result, I (and also Winston himself) am really an oddball case of an Asian guy dating a woman who is much, much darker than himself. I do feel self-conscious about this sometimes, but fortunately my Thai gf is not. She knows about this of course, but would tell me, "It's all right / Don't worry about it (mai pen rai)." And indeed, the middle-class Bangkok Thais will actually be quite polite to her and be more than happy to give her directions when she asks for help.
The Isaan folks are more laid-back about this, although they do stare at us sometimes, to a lesser extent.
P.S.: Chinese-Burmese girl
That's not it! This has really been a "zero to rockstar" experience for me, as I'm actually having TWO women seriously interested in me now. This has happened in less than a few weeks, which is a far cry from getting absolutely ZERO long-term relationships in the US even after years upon years of making good friends, getting a great education, and joining social clubs. Thus, the cliche "It'll be much harder to date after college" is actually completely 180 degrees around for me, and as well as for many guys who go abroad after getting out of college in the US. The main thesis of Happier Abroad is seriously 100% true for me!
So, Everdred has introduced me to a Chinese-Burmese girl who works as a waitress in a Bangkok restaurant. She's a bit younger than me. Well, my Thai gf had called in while we were at the restaurant, hehe, but I don't think any of the waitresses really overheard any of it (which was in Thai). Xiongmao was there as well. Haven seen both of my ladies, I think he's got a pretty good sneak peek of my future.
When she first approached me, she was quite shy, but definitely appeared quite interested. The girl was standing around me for quite a while, and looked shy but really intent on talking to me. She also said pretty soon afterwards that she would like to go out with me sometime, maybe hang out at another restaurant.
Everdred later told me that she was asking him why I haven't responded to her messages and QQ friend request in a timely manner. That was definitely a really good sign of interest from her! So then I got on QQ and had a great chat with her. As it turned out, she, like most other ethnic Chinese in Burma, are descended from Yunnanese migrants. She has really attractive SE Asian features, which look more Burmese than mainstream mainland Chinese ("not the real China" according to Rock, haha). Well, we've both even talked about possibly visiting Burma together sometime next year.
I'm back in the Great Spirituality-free Corporate Monastery (aka the US of A) for now, but will head back to Thailand in a few months to see my two ladies. If the number goes up, hopefully things wouldn't get a bit unmanageable. I'm looking forward to visiting Isaan, Cambodia, Burma, Taiwan, and many other fun places in the months to come.
Any chance of these women speaking good english and being interested in a mid 30s eurasian dude? Am into down to earth women with great lower body curves who have bubbly personalities. I like them being girly (heels, dresses, some make up and long hair) and very nurturing.
By the way, what is the update on ur latina GF? I vibe more with latinas and not really with thai girls on the few times I've been there.
Yeah, eating a load of insects, that one's ticked off my bucket list. The ants were sadly way too spicy for my liking. The crickets were somewhat better.
The soup in that restaurant was exquisite. Fish without bones is something I never saw in China.
I need to reduce my cost of living here by eating more street food. But having lived in China I'm happy to eat a load of Western and Middle Eastern stuff. Rock showed me a great Middle Eastern restaurant here. It's typically chaotic, with about 250 dishes to choose from and 6 TV's playing 6 different channels.
Thailand has a lot of Indian influences. It's good food-wise, but bad when your hotel is full of Indian tourists (who could be worse even than Chinese tourists).
The Chinese-Burmese girl is really cute. She looked a lot like the girl who ran my favourite juice bar back in Guangzhou. The Burmese girls in the KTV place were quite nice - if I remember they were tall, dark and with quite nice facial structures.
Everdred and I hit China Town again but the Chinese women there love money even more than the women in China do! Incidentally I did get your text message but my phone didn't seem to work in that Chinese tea place.
As far as dating in Thailand goes, your only competition is from poor Aussie tourists and guys in their 70's. On the downside, scammers and hookers are much more common here than in China. I'm not sure if it's a good place to find a wife, but it's the best place in the world to find a girlfriend.
Isaan women who speak very English are likely to have had been snagging farangs for some time though. I'd highly recommend the ones who really don't speak that much English, and making as much an effort to learn Thai as possible. I'd say that good countryside Asian women who speak proficient English would pretty much be limited to the Philippines and India.
My Thai gf looks like she could be from Guatemala, Peru, or even southern indigenous Mexico actually, and has a warm, sincere vibe that seems very much indigenous Latina. She certainly is very nurturing, and has long hair and wears dresses too.
Excellent post Falcon. I love your fresh prospective and and am confident you will put-out a lot of pioneering stuff on Thailand when you return. Here are some of my own impressions about Issan and the people:
1. I visited Issan last back in late 2010 and half recommended it to Winston as some of the cute girls I met there actually seemed to like the way he looked - see my posts of October 29-31, 2010 in this thread:
2. Issan is a major component of Thailand accounting for roughly one-third of the country's population and land-mass. Issnites abound in Bangkok's manual service industries and in foreign oriented P4P and overwhelmingly dominate the local population of Pattaya area.
3. Many of the people I've met from that region strike me as 'salt of the earth' types. They are very pragmatic and in some situations will speak directly without regard to tact. If they don't like you or something about you, they may very well tell you directly to your face. They love their freedom and independence. Many are also very tough and fearless. Majority I've met at least have some fighting sense and know how to hurt someone. And when they drink or get jealous or angry, they use it as an excuse to box lol. Oh, many of the girls will fight too under right circumstances (Not just working girls but rather regular types you might see up-country). But, many are also simple and even kind and generous. The reputation they've been given in much of the English written sources out there seem to be exaggerated to the negative. I would expect P4P subsets to always be like that though and it's not fair to use them to represent the whole population.
4. As I mentioned in my attached post, not all of Issan is populated by very dark skinned people. Many these days (even workers) cover themselves to a degree anyway to avoid sun exposure. And as I mentioned in my post, the areas closer to Laos seem to have a lot of people who are naturally medium to lighter skinned, some even about as light as what we think of as Chinese skin tone.
5. I think the middle to old aged white male with Issan girl is too cliche. Fact is, most whites and blacks no matter the age who pair with Thai girls tend to do so with Issan girls. Many such pairings I see are reasonably age appropriate too. Lots of foreign guys in their 20s and 30s date, marry, and/or have babies with Issan girls. For example, the handful of resident whities in Nong Bua Daeng were younger guys married to local gals and at least a couple of them had local babies and could speak the local dialect to a seemingly fluent level. They also seemed rather rough. The night I went out there, the English guy running the local expat bar ended up busting an empty beer bottle over some resident Danish guy's head. And a couple of the local gals decided the bar owner was in the right and joined in fray on his side lol.
6. Kids in Issan do not seem so sweet, happy, friendly or curious about foreign visitors like the their counterparts in provincial Phils or even Metro Manila. I'm sure Lad knows why lol. And dogs are freakin everywhere lying all over the roads and moving out of way when vehicles come through slowly. They seem fearful and suspicious of people too so I wonder if people there tend to treat them badly.
7. There are certain pockets of Issan where a high percentage of women seem to have paired-up with farang and the fruits of these matches can be seen by the nice houses and cars in the driveway. Living relatively high gives a family major face. No wonder so many people are willing to pretend they don't know what the young girls do down country to gain access to that kind of money. As I said, Issanites are very practical lol. But much of Issan is just provincial cities with a smattering of foreigners or rural backwaters where foreigners are fairly uncommon.
How about the curves? I like Latina curves more than latina looks...I might go on a short trip to Isaan before hitting China then. Can't wait to sample the local delicacies (I'm referring to the insects, gutter brains! Lol).
Thanks Rock! However, I'm wondering whether you've seen any NE Asian men (not Thai, Cambodian, or Lao) dating Isaan women before. I'd expect to see a few adventurous Japanese and possibly Korean men with Isaan women once in a while. As I've written, my being with an Isaan women strikes all the other Asians as an anomaly. I guess it may also be harder to tell oftentimes, since many southern Chinese, like me, can pass perfectly for Thai.
I know there are small numbers of Thai and Cambodian brides in Taiwan, but I guess many of them may be ethnic Chinese.
Well here's one of the karaoke songs that my Thai lady sang while Xiongmao was enjoying the bugs. This is a classic folk song Luang Prabang, Laos that also happens to be quite popular in Isaan.
She also sang this one.
As for folks being darker by the Cambodian border, it's because the southern part of Isaan was historically part of the Khmer Empire. The area highlighted in green means there is a large presence of Khmer-speaking residents. My Thai gf is from southern Sisaket Province, which has seen a lot of border conflict recently as Thailand and Cambodia are battling over the nearby Preah Vihear temple. Thailand sees it as part of Sisaket Province, while Cambodia considers it to be within Preah Vihear Province in Cambodia.
Last edited by Falcon on July 30th, 2013, 9:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
I'll keep an eye out for Japanese men with Issan girls.
There are loads of Koreans here, but they're mainly ladies. Younger guys who have some game and like white legged Korean ladies could probably do OK here.
My own Thai dating experiences are off to a very slow start. A major problem is the stupidity of the ladies on Thai dating sites. I mean, why do they need to ask me my name, it's already in my fricking profile! And half the ladies who put their location as Bangkok don't actually live anywhere near Bangkok. The only smart women on Thai Love Links are the ladyboys.
So it's slow progress, and if you want an immediate girlfriend here, just go to a bar. If you want a middle-class type of Thai lady, be prepared to spend a lot of time here.
For guys who have limited experience in Thailand, Issan is not a place I would recommend them going for women. Go there, have some fun, but don't get serious with anyone there until you have a firm grasp on the language and the culture. If you just want to get laid, of course it's possible but it's easier to pay.
I lived in Udonthani for about nine months before it underwent major changes. There was very little to do when I lived there. The Mall was crap, there were no Coyote Bars, but there were Karaoke's and Thai restaurants. They could be fun and I made one place a regular stop because of the number of attractive women working there. I had a girlfriend who lived in one of the villages and also a few girls on the side. She never asked for a monthly stipend or handouts. All she wanted (and the others) was to get married. At the time I wasn't interested in getting married. Not all the women in the area were so disinterested in money though...one girl I was sleeping with had a sister. While at the family house, which was a shit hole, every one got drunk on Lao Khow. When no one was looking the girl's sister cornered me and told me she would suck my cock if I gave her 1000 baht. That fling didn't last very long.
Every day I would drive a motorcycle around the city and in the villages. Every so often I would stop at a shop house for food or water. Many times the owner of the place would say something like, "I have a beautiful daughter, let me get her." I would tell them I already had a girlfriend but this didn't matter to them. After a while it got monotonous...I just wanted to f**k, not get married. The only way I was able to hook up was if I isolated the girl from her friends or family.
I do think the women from Issan get a bad rap but regardless of where you are in the world, it pays to take your time and not rush into anything. Many are a little rough around the edges, as one might expect, others are completely lacking in social graces once outside of Issan. Issan women are generally very accepting of whatever their men do as long as they don't bring it home and as long as they're providing for the family. Southern women are the complete opposite. f**k around on them and you're asking for trouble. However, there is a saying here, "If the South girl loves you, she loves you a lot and truly loves you." In other words, they have a reputation as straight-shooters. They also have the reputation of being stubborn and hot-headed, which from what I've seen is true.
As Thais from Issan tend to be poor, fighting is one way for young men to make a better life for themselves and their families. In the past, fighters from the Issan region tended to be the best in Thailand. Their dominance has diminished slightly but there are still many formidable fighters from the area.
Dogs in Issan and in Thailand in general are treated poorly...and sometimes eaten.
There are also many foreigners with women from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Southern Thailand. If we're going to generalize I would say that many of the foreigners who end up with Issan women, especially Europeans, end up with bar girls.
Jboy - Issan women don't have the same curves as Latinas. In general, they're much less curvy.
Xiongmao - Just wondering why you're using Thai Love Links? It's simple enough to find Thai women willing to go out and date.
The only competition comes from poor Aussies and guys in their 70's? Maybe I misunderstand this statement...
I have friends and acquaintances here from Australia, the US, UK, the PI, and Canada. I'm 50 - most of my friends are between 25 and 55 or so. I'm married now but even when I was younger I never felt the only competition came from poor Aussies and guys in their 70's. Granted, I've never been rich but I've always brought in between $3000-$10,000 a month. Some of my acquaintances make less than this but most earn between $2K and $5K. That's certainly not poor.
As far as education visas, they're relatively simple to get and their are numerous schools willing to assist you. The Thai Walen school is one, Thai Language Station and Pro Language are two others, but there are many.
The Japanese and Korean men don't tend to stay with Issan women. Some do but most just bang em.
I highly recommend Myanmar. There is P4P. Although it is possible to get with regular women, it's more difficult than in Thailand. Don't go there specifically for the women, whether P4P or not.
Falcon - despite what you may think, your experiences are not so different from those of other Asians or Farang. Thai women cleaning your room, mopping the floor, folding your clothes and doing other chores is not unusual at all. Some of the whores still do this but when I first started coming to Thailand, virtually every woman did this.
There is another old saying here, "Every guy thinks his girl is different until he finds out she's not."
Thais are generally extremely clean, even the poor ones.
Quite a bit of what's written about Thailand has to do with the nightlife and the women who work in it and thus the "blabbing about relationships with Issan women." Also, well-off Bangkok expats tend to end up with a higher class of woman, whether they are from Issan or elsewhere.
I can understand your hesitation to introduce your girlfriend to your urban central Thai acquaintances. Many Farang would not hesitate to introduce her to his friends. To you, their not knowing matters. Many Farang would think nothing of it.
Well those kinds of positive experiences certainly aren't blabbed about very much on the Internet, at least in English. The ones that do exist are heavily eclipsed by the ubiquitous "Isaan girl rips off old farang's money" stories.
It's good to know that many Thai women still take the initiative to clean their boyfriends' places. Rock told me that this happens a lot with rural Filipinas too. This would be definitely be very unusual for young Western women though!
I know that my Thai gf is not that different overall compared to all the other women from rural southern Isaan, as well as rural southern Mexico and Guatemala. It's a great relief to know that these kinds of women are really the norm in many parts of the world; Rock had reminded me that America is really an anomaly:
Also, folks of Chinese descent tend to be quite cautious about which mates they introduce to their friends and family, because they can come down quite harshly on you if you have the "wrong" mate. Western Europeans, Americans, and Australians don't tend to hesitate as much because they generally face less pressure than the NE Asians to find a "proper" partner.
My Isaan gf would never hesitate to introduce me to her friends, whereas I always hesitate. At first I even hesitated to introduce her to Xiongmao, but I changed my mind seeing that how laid-back, non-judgmental, and supportive he is. Middle-class Chinese can often be highly judgmental of partners who come from rural, poorer, or even simply non-Chinese backgrounds. If I were to introduce a girl to my relatives and many of my friends, I would only be willing to do so with the Chinese-Burmese girl I know.
I'm using Thai Love Links because I don't really know anyone here yet... plus my real life game is limited!
Hopefully as I get to know more people here I can ditch it.
I've found a language school that can get me a 1 year ED visa. The price is about a third of what it cost me to study in China. Sure I have less classes, but it's ideal if you just want a visa. On the other hand the class sizes are so small that learning is guaranteed.
I've had a few girls smile at me so they're definitely more approachable here than in China. But I need to find a respectable place to live first, no regular girl in Bangkok is interested in a guy who lives in Nana!
Western guys don't really care about what anyone thinks of their gf. Face is just an Asian thing although guys do care what their gf thinks about them.
We've got to get a HA meet up arranged in Burma!
Met a guy from Buriram (southern Isaan) at a market while I was out with my Isaan lady. He asks us where I'm from, and I say I'm Taiwanese.
He then asks me if I had met my girl in Taiwan.
Turns out, his elder brother is working at a factory in central Taiwan.
In Taiwan, Thai guys are notorious for hitting on Indonesian maids.
See this documentary too -- Thai workers in Taiwan: A lotter for Life Long Debt.
Wow, an old historical thread
So much has happened since. I've met Issan lady a few times and we've had some bonkers nights out in the little bars here and there.
Funny saying I wanted to visit Burma, as I have now dated a Myanmar lady. Well she was hot but a pain in the ass. Is it worth dating anyone hotter than a 7.5? I doubt it.
I think I am stuck in Bangkok in my own personal Hotel California. It's going to take something momentous to shift me from this place. I almost quit last weekend, but I stood my ground this time.
One strange thing about Bangkok is that there really are no seasons here. My body still thinks it's June. Well the Geckos have noticed that it's not so hot, as they keep coming into my room for warmth.