How To Ruin Your Life As A Foreigner In Thailand

Last updated: January 9th, 2018 | in Living

Ruin Your Life in ThailandYou may think living in Thailand is paradise and sure there is nothing wrong about it – as long as you are playing the rules and don’t make some major mistakes. I’m not talking about cultural faux pas like kissing in public, pointing to the queen’s picture with your finger or putting your feet on the table.

It’s much more severe things that you might not even consider problematic on a three week backpacking trip around the country but the longer you live in Thailand, the more likely you are to ruin your life as a foreigner with the following things.

Being Addicted to Girly Bars

There’s no problem with hanging out in the beer bars or go go’s once in a while, if you are in Thailand for a holiday it might even be every other day just because you haven’t got it at home. But if you are really living in Thailand for months and years you should realize that it’s mostly a tourist thing.

I do enjoy going to bars regularly for playing pool and I mean all sorts of bars, and sure why not having a good time in Walking Street once every two months but the problem starts when you don’t go for “normal Thai girls” at all but pay bar girls for sex every other night. Worst scenario when a foreigner marries a bar girl and believes he can “convert” her into a good girl and ends up totally broke, everyone has heard the stories.

There’s a nice saying: You can take the girl out of the bar, but you cannot take the bar out of the girl. Dating Thai girls is super easy so just don’t get lost in Red Light Thailand.

Not Learning Thai

Okay, you probably won’t ruin your life in Thailand in terms of getting broke, but as for any other country in the world if you want to understand the local culture you need to learn the local language. If you go to Spain you study Spanish. If you go to Brazil you study Portuguese. It seems different with Asian countries and especially Thailand where I guess more than 70% of all expats are not fluent in Thai.

Most of them think it’s difficult but the truth is it’s not. The five different tones are indeed a bit tricky for the first few months but that’s just a matter of time until you got it and then the grammar is super easy, no conjugations of verbs, no past or future tenses, words that you can use from English, many combined words, just start learning Thai and you will see Thailand in a whole different perspective.

Setting Up a Company / Buying Land under your Girlfriend’s Name

Giving control over your business worth several thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to a woman that you know just for a couple of years or even less – would you do that in your home country? Probably not. So don’t make one of the biggest mistakes by giving a Thai girl a 51% ownership of your Thai limited company or buy land in her name.

Sure the law clearly states the majority of company shares have to be Thai owned – but that doesn’t mean it has to be a natural person! Inquire at some of Thailand’s legal firms and they all have solutions how you can keep control over your Thai company legally.

I remember how some German guy told me the first crazy Thailand story back four years ago down in Hat Yai. The parents of his best friend died in a car accident and all the money he inherited he invested in some quiet beach restaurant – giving the majority of shares to his Thai girlfriend. Three months later they had a fight and she told him to basically fuck off and never enter “her” restaurant again. Another classic to ruin your life in Thailand.

Not Making Money

May sound general but it’s true. If you don’t find a job that pays enough for your living or if your retirement pension is not sufficient – you will get broke. That’s easy. Very common thing in Thailand that you see are foreigners that open restaurants or hotels without having ever had prior experiences in these industries. Again: Would you do that in your home country? Probably not.

It’s not just the lack of experience in the relevant industry but also the constraints and difficulties for foreigners to run a business in Thailand (Work Permit, Company Set-Up, Corruption etc.). Do what you’re good at and make money or you’re broke quicker than Nok can say “short time”.

Eating Street Food

You may rather save money than getting broke by eating cheap street food but then be careful what you are eating. There are no two opinions that Thai food is great but the range of dishes and snacks is so huge that you can also get a lot of stuff that is just not good for you. Take all the fried food for example, Gai Tood (Fried Chicken), Gluai Tood (Fried Banana) or Manfarang Tood (Fried Potato). Not just the oil as such but also the fact that most vendors fill it up in plastic bottles by the end of the day and re-use it the following few days to save a few baht.

There’s nothing wrong with street food once in a while but the longer I have been living in Thailand the more I go to the food courts (especially in malls where I know it’s clean) to eat Thai food. Or if I eat on the street I’m at least more picky on what I eat. So be careful not to ruin your health in Thailand by eating bad food for years and years.

Do you know of other things that can ruin your life as a foreigner in Thailand? If yes please leave a comment below – I will reply to each of them.

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38 Comments on "How To Ruin Your Life As A Foreigner In Thailand"

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Tihora
Tihora

I am surprised you have not mentioned to most obvious of all, the drinking problem, many farangs get drunk twice a day, drinking daily will inevitably Ruin Your Life.

Vanessa Riordan
Vanessa Riordan

Hi all, I am a South African, considering working in Thailand teaching English. I am really concerned from what I have read in the comments. I am 48 years old. Sounds like I shouldn’t even consider going to Thailand.

Pocket
Pocket

I have only one thing to say don`t do it. Your in the prime of you life. Why work for peanuts. I have seen so many people here stuck here. Some not enough to money to even go home so they have ended their life. It happens all the time

Ivan
Ivan

Dude ime from South African been to Thailand, you will have so much fun.. Just go and enjoy. Don’t let fear stop you :) .. buy a return ticket, problem solved.

Jey
Jey
I think staying in Thailand long term generally will ruin many westerners, myself included. Psychologically, a lot of people will probably get burnt out trying to deal with the locals, getting tired of being unable to trust anyone, dealing with the language and cultural barriers, always being treated as an alien and always being ripped off. Not to mention the physical things, the substandard government healthcare (or good healthcare but only if you are super rich), lack of support for westerners, eating dodgy food and general problems of living in a polluted, third world country. In my personal experience: I… Read more »
Ed
Ed
Well spoken Jey. I have been here for 11 years now, have a reasonable job (>100k/mnth), wife and kid. Still I find it a difficult and expensive place to survive. Everything has to be paid for, and you as farang pay more than Thai. Schools are expensive, there are no proper sport-clubs, hardly any parks where you can go for a stroll for free and that is clean & maintained, for nearly everything you pay upto 10x entrance fee than Thai (even with social security card), majority of Thai always trying to rip you off, no job or service is… Read more »
jeff simons
jeff simons

100% correct
jeff

Cpt. Picard
Cpt. Picard
How to ruin your life in Thailand? Have feelings other than a stiffie for a bar girl. I believe the days of finding a good Thai wife have all but vanished. The country consensus is that farangs are ATM’s to be milked until dry. To have a good retirement here my plan is simple…cook much of my food, stay where big stores are, don’t give money to bar girls unless it’s ST (that way they don’t get in your house and steal your stuff, yeah, it’s happened. My friend also got drugged and robbed while just on holiday.) Realize that… Read more »
Andy
Andy

Never a truer word spoken ! Anyone who is learning about Thailand and perhaps has been once or twice and is considering trying to have a relationship with a thai and going to live there ,
HEED THIS GENTLEMANS ADVICE ..
The majority of Thai have this mindset . Before is was not so prevent but now it’s just engrained in to their minds . Farang = ATM. Sure you may find true love , I sincerely hope you do .
But be warned .. They will get your money .

Older people
Older people

2000 baht a day is what I get approximately and no rent

Roberto
Roberto

I’ve never known such terrible people, thank god I have a well shaped blue eyed English wife, I would have nightmares waking up to a flat faced, flat chest and flat bottomed woman

Jenn
Jenn

ahh yeah, you’re awful.

Garry Hoddinott
Garry Hoddinott
Head to a small city. I live in Lampang, have 4 businesses here and will add another soon. Met a lovely lady when I went to the local table tennis center, we have been together 5 years. Problem number 1 – HEAT / HUMIDITY. I am seriously considering a move to Mae Sot. I follow the weather both here and there – 4 hours drive apart. I have seen it up to 12′ cooler (feels like temperature) in Mae Sot. It is a few hundred feet higher. Now that a major new road is nearing completion the place will boom.… Read more »
Garry Hoddinott
Garry Hoddinott

Most farang don’t look past the tourist areas. Truthfully, Phuket and Pattaya and much of Bangkok is not really Thailand.

S.B.
S.B.

I was in Thailand as a tourist for the first time and I am quiet sure that Thailand i a paradise if you have money and it is a hell if you have not enough. I am sure there are a lot of decent thai people, but I didnt met any of them in my short trip. All is about money.

Live@BKK

I eat Thai street food since birth, no problem. Just avoid the one that look dirty or unhealthy like deep fried foods.

Newbi
Newbi
Not an expert but I think to live here successfully the biggest things you need are self control, common sense and regular income. Surprisingly lacking with many who come here. If you know you have problems with drinking, hookers, drugs etc in your home country these will just magnify once here and this country will chew you up and spit you out leaving you broke or crazed..probably both. Get yourself set up with a good salary somehow, dont hang out in the red light areas and learn the language and culture. Then everything will be fine. Otherwise stay away!! Way… Read more »
Steve
Steve

Hi All

Can anyone tell me how long an expat can stay in Thailand without any form of a special visa? I am from Ireland and curious if I need a visa to come and how long can I stay until I need to leave and do a ‘visa run’? Thanks – Guys

Steve
Steve

Without a visa, I would say 30 days per visit.

Ocelot
Ocelot

500 USD you can scrape by in Chiang Mai, Bangkok or a resrt town ,no. 1000 usd, you can do okay if you are cautious, 1500 USD, you live well. 2000 or more a month, living well.

At any point, if you have an addiction, ultimately, you won’t last in Thailand, because its so very, very easy to indulge.

But the old retired guy can do well there.

DD
DD

I am not talking about the bar girl / sex worker types of ladyboy.

DD
DD

If you publicly date ladyboys will that ruin your reputation? Will normal thai girls not accept that you dated them before?

Dave
Dave

Don’t west your life in this country. I live here 15 years already now . And I have 1 baby . This people have nothing to Do with love . Life . Baby . Wife or husband or even family . All is about money in this country and they have major cultur ( suck forgin blood till end ) you can see it everywhere.

bangkok Raiph
bangkok Raiph

Well its kind of difficult for Thai people to come to England, but in general we pay foreigners to live here, give them a house and treat them better than the indigenous population. There’s this whole fucked up situation where I couldn’t get a visa for my Thai girlfriend due to on paper poverty, whereas my polish friends could import her tomorrow on a marriage license due to different laws in there own country they don’t live in anymore. Go figure…

Capt Cook
Capt Cook

What has this whinge of your about visa regime got to do with how to ruin your life in Thailand? UKVI did you a favour in not granting a visa as I suspect you ‘wife is ‘illiterate’. If she is good looking with nice curves, he will dump you the minute her eyes are opened.

Count your blessings me ol China

Milah
Milah

It’s a funny situation… a lot of foreigners living in Thailand to live their dreams. But and if it was the opposite? Thai people moving to Europe? Would they also be treated very good and allowed to live in Europe?

American Input
American Input
Different people are different. If there was only one person in Europe, you would have an answer. I believe that the British, Dutch and French share a fascination with the Thai people, and a humility about colonial abuses in SEA that causes them to maintain gentle manners even when there is a misunderstanding. People of certain European heritage seem to enjoy the beauty of people of certain Asian heritage. There are currently rising sentiments in the west against immigration, but this is about specific populations that have exploited and attacked us because of open policies. I don’t think the Thai… Read more »
Capt Cook
Capt Cook

Fascination with their fanny nowt else. Most Thai immigrants, you will find, are mail or ex bar brides. I suspect that is not healthy for the seeds

Capt Cook
Capt Cook
Lots of Thais are able to live in Europe. I think this forum is mostly dedicated to bar girls and working class/illiterate Thais. Of course they would struggle to live in Europe on account of poor education and earning prospects. A brickie/chippie from UK can still holiday and gorge on bar girls in Thailand on account of their earning power. I doubt a Thai spark has enough baht to travel to UK. I don’t live in Thailand but know some thais needless to say they are uninterested in foreigners or living in UK. They are also graduates and are not… Read more »
Alex
Alex

I’ve met many men who left Europe in a rage at how badly they were treated, and had now settled in Thailand, where they raged at how badly they were treated. A very wise old man in London once said to me, “You know, you can go to the Moon to get away from it all, but when you get there, you must face the difficulty that you have brought yourself with you.”

Jonatan
Jonatan

Alex, the best advice I´ve read in this website. Excellent!!!

Thank you!!!

Peter
Peter

You forgot to mention dont get stupid drunk and wake up with a thai hooker in your bed who wont go away. I literally had to change hotels to get rid of one.

Heg
Heg

;p lol

jo
jo

heard the tip with the food courts somewhere before. start too use them more and more. think about MBK. i bet many tourists don´t know the great options on the higher floors, so they go to burger king right at the entrance…

Brian
Brian

What is your monthly cost of living and what is the lifestyle that you current have in BK?

Also are you planning to stay in BK for the long haul?