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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.
For a guy who has lived 6 years in Thailand he seems to know remarkably little about Thai people. Let's put it this way, Thais are mostly outwardly courteous to everyone they perceive as the same class level, a foreign visitor from a country with money, or a person of higher class. The lower class Thais are particularly enamored of western expats because it's been their bread and butter for so long. However, this doesn't mean you are accepted and there are certain expectations involved.
The fact that he even mentions the more superficial aspects probably indicates he lives in your usual tourist haven or western expat community and is surrounded by the usual gaggle of Thais who live off this.
Some of what he writes is kinda funny. For example, "In fact, some barber shops also function as brothels (but be careful, not all)". That sounds a lot more like China or Taipei a long time ago. Also, he mentions several "several dozen brothels". If P4P establishment in Bangkok is a brothel, the number is closer to hundreds to well over a thousand.
But let's put this into perspective. Thailand is probably no paradise for anyone (what place on planet earth is?). But it may be one of the best options for many. As an old retired guy, what are your choices?
1. If you have been married since youth to the same women, you may have a soulmate of sorts to grow old and die with. That probably sounds romantic to some and even though she's not probably not sexually attractive to you anymore, it may nice in many ways. You have time, some money, and don't feel too lonely. But, these days, the likelihood of you being in this type of 'happily ever after' relationship has gotten quite low. And even if you are in one, you still may secretly crave some young stuff. From what I hear, most men's taste in women does not mature with age like their faces and bodies, lol.
2. If you are like many others, you live alone, have grown children living in another city busy with their lives, and an ex-wife or two who enjoying their lives on what they took from you and others. You may have some friends you meet up with who are just like you. But the vibe in your life is depressing. Basically you are all just passing time, waiting to die. You and your friends likely drink a lot too which may help lift your spirits temporarily, but will take its toll on your already fragile health.
3. If you get sick enough, you may check-in or get checked-in to an assisted living facility or nursing home. Then what you see around you is even more depressing. Perhaps they will keep you high on drugs to ease the psychological and physical pain?
4. If you maintain decent health and are pretty rich, you can travel to many places around the globe and act like a big shot. You will have plenty of friends who want to join your entourage and lots of grade A top of the line young women available to you for companionship and sex. Some of them will be very good at acting genuine, perhaps so good that it doesn't need to matter. Just don't give it a thought. Enjoy your remaining time living the playboy lifestyle partying and being taken care of by some of the hottest young women on the planet in places like Russia/CIS, Brazil, or even Germany.
5. If you have the health but not the wealth, don't give-up. Assuming you have net assets of a typical western nest-egg (a few hundred thousand to a few million dollars), you can still enjoy many of the benefits of Hugh Hefner in No. 4 above if you stick to countries with budget options. Some places to consider, depending on the size of your nest-egg, might be Colombia, Peru, China, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Cambodia, Philippines, and of course Thailand. Of these, some parts of Thailand may have perhaps the most convenient and effective infrastructure for westerners who want all the easy creature comforts while engaging in a party lifestyle and paying modest prices. Pattaya may be one of the top spots on the planet, value-for-money wise, for retirees who wanna engage in a full-on second childhood illusion.
6. If your nest egg is even more modest than No.5 above, you can still re-locate to many places overseas. But you might need to work. Assuming you consider the default English teaching option, some parts of China might be your best bet. Life in China can still be cheap outside the largest cities, teachers are paid fairly well, P4P is generally a bargain, and you might even have access to some regular women for dating. Of course, it behooves you to learn some Mandarin and general cultural skills there too. Unlike Thailand, the infrastructure in China is generally not set-up around the western tourist industry.
Look, as you get older, your body starts to conk out on you, and you become invisible. No option is perfect. But Thailand may be an attractive alternative to wasting away alone in the west for guys with some money. What's critical for them to thrive there long term is that they avoid the many risks, traps, and pitfalls. Not impossible.
There are certain areas of Thailand that are "paradise" for white men- as compared with rotting away in Podunk, WS, but one thing I have noticed about Thailand- Thais of the same class or higher do not really like white men. They will accept E/SE Asian man but rarely a white one. Lived and worked there and speak the language. A big disappointment.
Most white men either get hookers that have already been popped by Thai guys and other hand me downs, or end up with the cast offs of the Thai society. Getting a normal Thai girl of the same education as you who is decent looking is not easy if you are a white man. Unless you are a big shot exec. But even then for a good decent Thai girl to be seen with a white guy in public is a shame.
E/SE Asian guys do not have that problem. So , I would say Thailand is really a paradise for well heeled Malaysians, Singaporeans, TWese, HKese, etc. Not for a sincere white guy looking for a romantic home with love and all.
Don't like the place at all!
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
What are your favorite countries for white guys? Where do you think they will fare best with the normal local women?
From what I've read and heard, middle class and above girls in the Phils also tend to prefer locals to foreigners. Do you think that's true?
I know an upper class girl from the RP, related to Marcos, could go into politics. She moved to L.A., rebelled, married an L.A. 3rd rate comic and works an ordinary job in an office.
She wanted/wants to live life on her terms.
She has over $1M USD in her private bank account.
If you guys are on the adventurous side, even for expats, rural China outside of a 3rd tier or 4th tier city city is a great bargain. The best way is to teach English to become part of the community because I see NO foreigners here who do not teach. You will be one of a kind. If you put in the time, learn Chinese and settle in, there is a good chance you can meet one girl and settle down. You might not become part of the community - you are White, after all - but the Chinese think that mixed babies are super cute and very beautiful.
Even though the Chinese are 'poor' by western standards (and you all have read what I think of that), these girls are NOT clamoring to marry someone with a higher income or more assets. I can buy them a house and a car and I earn many times (3X to 10X) what locals earn, but this does not matter to them. It's just like a small US rural town. You move to work for a year or two and the locals are not going to bring you in to the community unless you are going to stay. They know you are passing through and they treat you as such.
I estimate 2 or 3 years and tell people that you want to live there permanently would get them to change their approach.
From expats i've known past and present the best countries for typically "white" western men would probably be
2) Parts of China
4) Singapore (if you have a lot of marketable skills)
Although, it seems when a white western guy wants to live abroad for marriage or dating reasons they usually choose Eastern Europe or South America.
Which is probably a good thing for most of you guys in Asia. If the balance ever tilted to the point where there's crowds of young aggressive western men in bars/clubs everywhere I think local hostility and violence would go up quite a bit. Just consider what the attitude of locals are when the U.S. military base is in town.
Most former Spanish colonies, the poorer and more racially ( White+Black+Indian) mixed, the better. Spanish language is desirable. Except in the Philippines. Argentina and Uruguay are not good though. Very much like the US- European settler country with very few natives or too little native/black mix. Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, the DR, etc.
Stay away from Guam and Puerto Rico, though. Avoid them like the plague.
They are not actively seeking out foreigners to go abroad and change their lives. But if you live in the Philippines, learn the language and work yourself into the local community on the community's terms ( I always reiterate that), then you will just have to court them like any other Filipino guy would. That means that you are now a 'local'. But if you are a strutting all American boy talking like one, acting like one and not trying to fit in, then you will attract poorer girls who will be attracted to your American-ness first and everything else later. Which means millions. As a rule, that is and there are always exceptions.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
Perhaps I should have thrown in a further distinction which is I think is relevant to this question - age group. Loosely speaking, we can separate 3 rough categories - young aged (up to around 40), middle aged (40-60), and old aged (over 60).
For at least some types of white guys in the young group, I definitely believe that Taiwan should be near the top if not the top of the list. You may get the bigger handicap with the ladies here (vis-a-vis the west) than with other Asian countries, living cost is fairly low, and a reasonable living is easy to make via English teaching route for Joe average or professional route for guys with sufficient finance, technology, or entrepreneurial skills.
But my question was geared more for retirees who would generally fall in the middle aged and old aged groups. I think Singapore is a bit much for anyone who doesn't meet the Joe big-shot category from my last posting. Phils may be best bet if the guy wants serious girlfriend who is much younger. Infrastructure there is also geared more for the westerner in many places. But if a guy wants to go P4P route, I'm guessing Thailand, especially Pattaya offers generally better quality, more diversity, and better value for money. Can't really comment much on Indonesia. As for the 3rd tier cities and smaller in China, I suppose its quite doable for guys willing to compromise on creature comforts and localize to some degree. But that option sounds better for the loner/pioneer type. If you need a bunch of like minded mates to talk sports, bitches, life back home, etc., then Thai and Phils is probably a lot more user friendly.
From what I've read, Panama and Cost Rica have been ruined by huge influx of retiree expats from North America over the last decade or so. Colombia and DR might be good. But keep in mind P4P not in these countries not as cheap as Thailand on a like-for-like quality basis. Perhaps one of these older retiree types could find willing young girlfriends from those poorer girls with more African blood and darker skin? One thing I really liked about Colombia was the girls I saw who generally looked black from a US perspective did not act at all "ghetto". Many I saw were very elegant, polite, well spoken, and quite attractive.
I don't doubt what you speak of from personal experience. But keep in mind, there are still exceptions. Perhaps some westerners fit in better than others even? I don't know.
One of my good friends has been living part of the year in Thailand for the last 8 years. He's been with one regular middle class girl most of that time. They met when they were both around 23 and married a couple years ago. He is a tall, good looking, blond, intellectual, loner, but broke Norwegian guy. His attitude about work mirrors Winston's but with some financial help from his family, he survives. She is a extremely cute and definitely not any type of bar girl. But she's not hiso or intellectual either. He's a smart guy and did a lot of due diligence on her as time passed and they got increasingly serious. She passed. So far so good for them. I was kind of surprised they could stay together so long as he's very intellectual but she's not. But in some ways, they really are similar. Both of them have an extremely easy going non-conflict oriented personality types. I've traveled with this guy in China, Cambodia, and Thailand and never once seen him get angry or lose his cool.
I also know of other western guys who've hooked-up seriously and/or married regular Thai girls, mostly in Bangkok but also one in uni back in the States. And I myself got involved with one Chinese Thai from a wealthy family and a couple more middle class Thais from solid families. The Chinese Thai introduced me to her mom and one of the others introduced me to a couple of her family members. One of the non-Chinese Thais later did an extended European tour with her uni and the other ended-up going to the States for grad school.
In all of the cases I observed including my own, I never got the vibe that they felt any shame or reluctance in walking around town with their western dates/boyfriends/husbands. But I supposed Thais can be very subtle and I hardly know any of the language. Its possible that I as the stupid farang missed the elephant standing in the room.
A few questions..were you in Thailand or in the U.S. at the time when dating these women? If it's in the U.S. or another western country they aren't going to mind.
In Thailand I have seen the self conscious attitude with some (women walking way in front of their western bf/husband..avoiding eye contact with other thais etc..)but I think most just don't care or they want you to go to places that don't have the usual westerner/bargirl combo around.
I had a similar conversation with one of my old friends who lived here for 6 years and is 100% Italian from Rome and speaks fluent Thai. He says that he does get some comments/nasty looks occasionally and some of your average Thai people don't really like it much. However, with that being said he did get along like a house on fire with a lot of Thais. Plus his girlfriend(s) were all regular Thai girls. I often use his experiences as a comparison/contrast with Ladislavs.
I did notice one thing, the girls he went out with were fairly attractive but definitely not "mainstream" girls..as in the hot trendy looking university thai girls you see walking around. It seems they were more non conventional types and willing to date foreigners.
It seems like you dated quite a few Thais but i'm curious as to why it didn't go further with any of them?
Having been to both Phils and Thailand numerous times, I submit that a great way to proceed is to meet and marry a nice girl from Philippines and THEN retire with her in Thailand. This is my plan as I love filipino women (married to one now) but I don't necessarily like the idea of residing in Philippines.
The key is to find an open-minded filipina who has a sense of adventure and isn't opposed to living in Thailand. I always tell my wife that Phils is only a 3 hour plane ride away so we can go visit her family frequently.
I've taken my wife to Thailand on holiday a few times. Interestingly, once the locals find out that your wife is not Thai, then the "sex tourist" label is instantly removed and they treat you very well!
Oh well, that's a plan. Except that from even a short distance away, she is a "Thai" to them." Looks" will abound. At least she will not mind it herself since this is not her country. I remember talking to a Filipina on a Bangkok street and the looks we got was like a white man talking luciviously to a black girl in Alabama in 1930ies or something. One grows immune to it and then, well, not all Thais look at you like this, anyway.
Anyway, I am in Mindanao now and with a girl and no one looks at us except as a couple. There is no sex tourism in Mindanao and a white man is always presumed to be a husband or an internet boyfriend. In the Christian Philippines girls have been marrying/dating white guys since 1400s. It is as normal as the rain.
May I ask you why you prefer Thailand to RP? I can think of one thing- the food. But there are Thai restaurants here as well.
I cannot imagine why so many guys prefer Thais to Filipinas. Outside of the hostility to white/Asian couples and being taken for a whore inconvenience, there are also visa problems ( almost none in RP), having to pay the bride price, huge cultural and language differences -it would be hard for both to adjust to each other's cultures. And then a Filipina's US-style education in English and openness to other cultures and races makes it so much a better choice. Mixed kids are also accepted in the Philippine society and are well liked. And a Thai and a Filipina look the same basically. So, why do those men prefer Thais?
They are not subtle if you know the language. I do pretty well. So the horrible things they say and the way they call can you make your ears wither.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
May I ask you why you prefer Thailand to RP? I can think of one thing- the food. But there are Thai restaurants here as well.
There are many things that come to mind. I'm 6'4 with a hint of blonde hair. When I walk down the streets of Cebu, the impoverished tend to flock to me like I'm the Grand Messiah. It's cute for a few hours but then I tire of it fast. Filipinos have a "thicker face" than Thais. When in Thailand I walk the streets in peace and nobody bothers me or gives me a second look.
I also like the fact that I can hop on a plane and be at some of the world's best beaches in a few hours. IMHO, the beaches in Thailand are nicer and less polluted. Believe it or not, I feel more safe in Thailand. I've walked in downtown BKK at 3am in the morning and I've felt very safe. Conversely, I only had to wait 20 minutes in Manila before somebody walked up to me from behind and sized me up for my wallet. The taxi drivers in all parts of Phils have been dicks.
Yes the quality of the food ingredients tends to be better in Thailand and there is a better selection of quality restaurants which usually tend to be reasonable.
Lastly, the ammenities in Thailand are better. The roads are better, fewer brownouts, better internet, fewer storms. There are others, but those would be big reasons.
Ladislav, it may be a mute arguement if the US Dollar slips farther. In the end, I may not have a choice but to retire in Phils. Time will tell!