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Ever wish you were Asian?

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

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Postby Rock » Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:17 am

ladislav wrote:I look a bit Mediterranean but not to Thais. They call me Farang. Where it happened? Along Petchburi Road going West I believe. Several places.

Massage parlors mainly. Also, in Klongtoey. Quite a few expats also told me about those things happening to them. Same goes for private clubs, etc. Pattaya is a tourist area built for tourists. Again the year was 1993 and the AIDS epidemics was at its apogee. Maybe things have loosened up. I have no idea what went on but it was not me imagining things.

Thais call me Farang, not Kaak.

Other expats not reporting this? Well, if it happened, they would probably experience cognitive dissonance.

No way SE Asians can discriminate, only white people can. So they cannot absorb it.

It would also be digraceful to admit it. And maybe they were just lucky. I have no idea. No explanation at this point. I still do not know how some people can go to a country and experience rejection and discrimination in buckets and some will go there and have the time of their lives. I have no idea but I would not be blaming the victims.

It is the same with crime. Over my two decades visiting the Philippines and living there on an on and off basis, I have only had one run in with a drunk and it was mild. And I am not careful. I walk around bad neighborhoods at night, I can get loud and sometimes am in a bad mood and can say stupid things and get angry at Filipinos. I have known guys who got beat up bad and have heard of murders and foreigners kindnapped. But NOTHING like this even happened to me. I also knew of two American guys in AC who consistently get hateful SMS from Filipinos- "get out of here, go back to the US, you will die here, we will kill you". And white guys being killed in the province of Pampanga was fairly common just recently. And it is still common. Same in Cebu, Manila.

Constant news of Americans shot, robbed, beaten. Even last time in Angeles 9 white people were killed by a guy who hated white foreigners and Filipinos who married them. It was scary. But nothing like this happened to me. Most of the time when Filipino people see me, they somehow take to me and turn their mild side to me. Even if I get angry, they do not take me seriously. And I also go to Mindanao all the time and walk alone at night. At 2 AM I go out and hang out all alone. And I went to Muslim areas! There is travel advisory for people not to go there. Even for Filipinos! But did anything happen to me since I have been a regular visitor in Mindanao since 1998? Nothing! I have even been introduced to a Muslim leader there. Did they bother me? No!
What gives?

So we chime, and Thais and I do not chime. Why, who knows?

Also, I am very susceptive to the body language, can learn languages easily and know what people are saying about me. Many expats do not speak the language and do not know what is going on. But this is only a partial explanation. There must be some deeper, perhaps karmic causes.

Obviously being kicked out of a bar for being a Farang is easily understood, but maybe if it did happen to them they would just shrug it off and go off to another bar. Or just hang out in tourist areas. Even in smaller towns.

I have not been to Thailand since 1996.

There was a Black American gentleman here some weeks ago who had told everyone here that he had NEVER experienced any racism in America. I am sure he is not the only one and there will be possibly millions of such people who will say that they have also not seen/heard/felt any racism in America. I do not know what to say or comment about it.


You lived there in 1993 and last visited in 1996. That's pushing 15-20 years, pre-Internet and well before the Asian Economic Crisis. Things change fast there. In some ways, its an entirely different place. High-end shopping malls, extended BTS and MRT, lots of fast tollways, high-speed rail link to new airport, newer and nicer taxis, lots of luxury high rise condos, and a big influx of foreigners (visitors and expats) from all over the world including Asia. Areas which used to be free of foreigners have been invaded. The general standard of living has improved and I think many of the locals, at least the ones involved with tourists, are somewhat more sophisticated now than in the old days.

The urban locals can generally discriminate between whites, blacks, and middle easterners and or Indians. These days, some go gos and clubs on the tourist beat will refuse entry to guys who look Indian or Middle Eastern. Guys who appear to fit this category (even well presented Americans) often report such treatment. I even remember an outside bar which clearly posted something to the effect of "no Arab allowed, we don't want you drinking and molesting our women". If you go to some of the online Thai massage places and look at girl profiles, many will state "no Indians" and some even state "no Arab" or "no black".

Some Thais I meet will guess that I'm Russian, esp. in Pattaya. Even the Indian tailor touts will shout out things to me in Russian sometimes.

Many Thais are also big English football fans. Thaksin owned Man U for awhile.

BTW, I've personally met Thai girls who are only interested in black guys (the hip-hop groupies) - no attraction to Thais, other Asians or whites. I don't think its a very large group but it goes to show, Thailand has developed its niches.

I think the Internet has made it possible for people to pursue alternative lifestyles based on their own deeper personalities and motivations.

Perhaps you should visit again sometime. Sure, deep down inside, the locals generally don't like us (who can blame them given the general quality of visitor). But things have changed a lot and you might find something there more to your liking than last time. Its become very user friendly.

BTW, I'm off to Bangkok again tonight and will visit China on my way back.
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Postby ladislav » Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:49 pm

The No Indians and No Arabs/ No Blacks thing in Thailand is not new at all. But the No Farang thing started mainly in the 1990ies with the AIDS scare. And I am not talking about tourist areas where in some places the No Arabs was a policy dating way back. I am talking about just bars/massage parlors among the general population. They did not tell me They "do not allow Arabs". They said- No Farang. That means "me".

There was one time in Pattaya when I got very tanned and mistaken for an Arab but I explained to them I was not a Saudi and they let me in.

The locals deep down inside do not like any non Orientals and it is very obvious to a person who can read body language and eye language. But they need money and love money more than anything else on earth. So, the mouths smile, the eyes drill you with deep mistrust.

How is the visa situation in Thailand now? Can people stay there long term?
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Postby E_Irizarry » Fri Oct 22, 2010 5:25 pm

ladislav wrote:The No Indians and No Arabs/ No Blacks thing in Thailand is not new at all. But the No Farang thing started mainly in the 1990ies with the AIDS scare. And I am not talking about tourist areas where in some places the No Arabs was a policy dating way back. I am talking about just bars/massage parlors among the general population. They did not tell me They "do not allow Arabs". They said- No Farang. That means "me".

There was one time in Pattaya when I got very tanned and mistaken for an Arab but I explained to them I was not a Saudi and they let me in.

The locals deep down inside do not like any non Orientals and it is very obvious to a person who can read body language and eye language. But they need money and love money more than anything else on earth. So, the mouths smile, the eyes drill you with deep mistrust.

How is the visa situation in Thailand now? Can people stay there long term?


I don't know how it is [now], but I had kept on renewing it by running to Cambodia ever 60 days (Only did that twice and back-to-back mind you).
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Postby momopi » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:51 pm

My 3rd GF in college was Thai-Chinese. Back in 1980s there was a little Thai outpost in Buena Park (southern edge of Los Angeles county), down the street from Knotts Berry Farm on Beach Blvd. The old Thai Nakorn restaurant was considered one of the most authentic Thai places in Southern California. No fancy decor, just lots of cheap fold-out tables and chairs and home style cooking. You'd share the same fold-out table with other Thai families in a cramped dining room. The Captain Thai Cuisine that opened across the parking lot had better dining room, but not better food.

I've always thought Thai Nakorn's cramped dining room and kitchen violated at least a dozen fire codes, which is ironic considering the fire department was within walking distance. The staff weren't fluent in English, but they were at least hospitable. As long as you can look at the pictures in the menu and point, you can order, hehehehe.

Back in 1970s, the ethnic Chinese population in CA were mostly Cantonese speaking (or at least another Southern dialect). I've been told that if you went to a store in the ethnic enclave and asked to buy something in Mandarin, they'd just ignore you. I thought it was silly because as a merchant, turning away customers is bad business, and selling roasted duck is not the same as running a massage parlor in Japan.

Then one day, I experienced the same discrimination at Korean restaurants in Garden Grove in the 1990's. No English signs, no English on menu, no English speaking staff, and no service to non-Korean speakers. Blah. Other people would've either given up or pull a drive by at 1am to cap a few windows, but not me. I called my Korean friend and had him write "May I please order a bowl of noodles" in Korean, printed it out in larger fronts, and went back to the noodle restaurant. When the waitress came by and said "no english!", I handed her my little sign and her eyes got big. She took the paper and ran back into the kitchen to show everyone (!). The manager himself came out to converse with me in broken English, and I got my noodle in a XL sized bowl. From that day forward, I never had a problem dining there.

Moving forward to present day, the foodie culture is in full swing and hordes of gaijin invade ethnic restaurants. It's a funny sight to walk into a Koran restaurant in K-Town with no English signs & menus, and see half the room filled with white people armed with digital SLR cameras. Galbijim and japchae please, and refill my banchan!
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Postby ladislav » Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:44 am

One Korean student who was working at a Korean restaurant in LA told his teacher in class that last night some foreigners had come to eat at his restaurant ( it was in Los Angeles, again). The teacher became curious- "Who were the foreigners?"
"Americans", he answered.
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Postby The_Adventurer » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:19 am

I have never read anything that makes me want to go to Thailand. Ladislav is not the only one reporting stories of discrimination and the like. I read too much of that everywhere. I have been slowly losing interest in the Philippines too. Even though, like Ladislav, not one bad thing has ever happened to me in my 2 years there, I am sick of the stories. Even locals tell me stories of getting robbed and mugged in certain areas.

Sometimes I also just want super fast internet and a high quality technological environment. That's why I love Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai (though Shanghai only sports 4Mb compared to Tokyo's 56Mb and Seoul's 100Mb)
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Postby Rock » Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:26 am

ladislav wrote:The No Indians and No Arabs/ No Blacks thing in Thailand is not new at all. But the No Farang thing started mainly in the 1990ies with the AIDS scare. And I am not talking about tourist areas where in some places the No Arabs was a policy dating way back. I am talking about just bars/massage parlors among the general population. They did not tell me They "do not allow Arabs". They said- No Farang. That means "me".

There was one time in Pattaya when I got very tanned and mistaken for an Arab but I explained to them I was not a Saudi and they let me in.

The locals deep down inside do not like any non Orientals and it is very obvious to a person who can read body language and eye language. But they need money and love money more than anything else on earth. So, the mouths smile, the eyes drill you with deep mistrust.

How is the visa situation in Thailand now? Can people stay there long term?


OK, but you also said that SE Asians can't discriminate between foreigners. These signs show that some clearly do, at least in some ways and in some cases. Also locals guessing one person is from say Italy and another is Russian or that one black guy is from Africa (perhaps they still don't distinguish much between sub-Saharan African countries but neither do a lot of westerners) and another from USA shows that they have some sense of different areas of peoples of farangdom.

I'm visiting Thailand again now and I have a friend who's lived here for over 3 years. Before that lived in Taiwan for about 8. Like Winston, he doesn't like Taiwan even though he dated and got physical with a lot of girls there. He thinks Taiwanese people are generally unkind to each other, a lot more selfish, and even rude. He felt pretty bad living there. But here in Thailand (I'm visiting now), he feels people are much gentler and softer to each other. He said they treat him well too and he is quite happy and at peace here. Amazingly, he dated a lot in Taiwan but has not been dating here. He's trying to focus on his career and hobbies and told me he doesn't feel the need for girls now.

Perhaps with Thailand, you've got to consider which population you're dealing with. I think you mentioned before that people from the NE, who the central Thais generally look down on, feel much differently about Farang. Perhaps most Central Thais and Thai Chinese hate non-Asians as you say. But does the same apply for NE Thais? Remember, that region alone has a population similar to Taiwan's.

I will try to say more later. For now, I can tell you that in some ways, Thailand along with its people appears to have changed dramatically since my first visit here as a kid.
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Postby ladislav » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:33 am

When I said they can't discriminate, I did not mean they can't distinguish. I meant- discriminate racially as in treat with contempt. And most Westerners cannot fathom the idea that an Asian can treat them with racial contempt. That is why when the Japanese do not rent you an apartment or when the Thais do not let you into a cafe, most Westerners do not know how to describe it and simply do not register it. Because of politically correct teachings in which the white race oppresses others and not vice versa.
I am happy about your friend's experience and that Thailand is better than Taiwan. I did not live in Taiwan so I cannot relate to it. If he had tried the Philippines he would have liked it better.
Also, NE Thais, especially the non ethnic Thais- such as Khmers in Buriram are cool, but what is that supposed to mean? That when in Thailand we should move to the NE? Who needs all that when you have a choice of not living in Thailand, period?
Thailand has changed but do the still believe that the Farang brought AIDS to their country? Do the still not want to get into an elevator with you? How about half the people at work not wanting to have anything to do with you?
If there were two countries left on Earth- Taiwan and Thailand, then I would definitely move to Thailand. Luckily there are other choices.
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Postby Falcon » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:39 am

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j13t4bkRo5w[/youtube]
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Postby chanta76 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:22 pm

Bringing this thread back on track. As an Asian man ...there are some disadvantage and advantage being an asian man in Asia.

But as someone pointed out..If your Korean man in Japan it's more advantageous to be non-Korean in Japan so it really depends. Saying that..the advantage is that you can have the same access that an local Asian guy can have but this will only work if you know the language and some of the culture. I can tell you as a Korean man in Korea I had access to Korean girls that a white guy cannot get...so I saw that as an advantage.

Disadvantage..in a GLOBAL scale white guys not black guys, asian guys , or any other color guys have the advantage because of the Western power. If the Western power goes under or bank rupts (could happen ) than it may change the image of western white men.

Overall..it's better to be hunky , young and establish..regardless of race. I mean if your a young good looking color guy with a good job and your life together ..it wouldn't be hard to pull p***y in any country.
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Postby xiongmao » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:27 am

I think I would have fitted in well in Japan, maybe I should have been born Japanese. I think I would have had a good salaryman job and I would have enjoyed wasting my Yen going to idol photo sessions in Akihabara and drinking Kirin with my colleagues.

I'm also ruthlessly competitive enough to have fitted in well in China, especially the super busy coastal cities.

I don't know about Thailand. I didn't rate Thai women but last night I watched a TV show filmed in Chiang Mai. My god, the women there are awesome! Maybe Northern Thailand is worth a visit.
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