The Truth About Isaan Girls

Last updated: October 9th, 2020 | in Isaan | Thai Girls

Isaan Girl

Can you imagine Thailand without its Isaan people? Or let me put it another way: Do you even want to imagine this country without Isaan? Probably not.

Why am I asking this? Well, it’s because you meet people from northeastern Thailand everywhere you go: The hotel receptionist in Koh Phangan, the housekeeper at your apartment in Hua Hin, the taxi driver in Bangkok, the bar girl in Pattaya.

Out of the four regions of Thailand, none of them has nearly as many people leaving their homes to work in other parts of the country, especially in the big tourist centers. I’m not only talking about prostitutes here, but I will come back to this category in a moment.

And besides that the northeastern region, that’s more commonly referred to as Isaan, is the biggest of all regions in Thailand, consists of 20 provinces and is a true paradise for off the beaten track traveling (and mongering).

But let’s be honest: When you hear someone saying “Isaan” you probably don’t think of taxi drivers in Bangkok or Wat Nong Wang in Khon Kaen. What you rather think about are Isaan girls or women and the experiences you have made with them. And the opinions you have about them. Or maybe the prejudices you have about them?

Because this is the point: There is no other topic that’s so controversially discussed in the foreign men community in Thailand as whether Isaan women are good or bad, what characteristics they have, what you can expect when meeting one of them in the bars, when dating one of them, when marrying one of them and so on. Everyone likes to think that he is the expert on this topic, but what is really the truth about Isaan girls?

The Most Common Prejudices About Isaan Girls

If you stay in Thailand for a while, you will sooner or later talk with expats or long term tourists who will come with their “I have seen it all” attitude and tell you like the prophet of the new world: “Stay away from Isaan girls. They are selfish and only want your money. They say they are single, but they have a boyfriend or even husband they don’t want you to know about. They are lying a lot. And if you meet her somewhere out of Isaan then they probably also have a baby that’s back in their province with the grandma.”

The family. If you mention this word in combination with Isaan ladies to many expats in Thailand they will tell you all sorts of different stories about how her family would always be more important in her life than you could ever be. And that at the same time you should prepare for being the sole financial caretaker not only for her, but also for her mother and father and probably also for her brothers, grandparents, dogs and chicken in their home’s backyard up in good old Isaan.

Sounds horrible? It is. And that’s not because any of these arguments, or prejudices I should say, about Isaan girls were true about the majority of these girls. What I mean is that most of the Farangs who tell you such things have no idea what they are talking about. And the reason for that is because most of them only get to know one type of Isaan girls: The hookers.

Of course hookers are all about money. That’s their job. And of course you shouldn’t take everything serious what they are telling you about their marital status, how old they are, when they had sex for the first time, how long they have worked in the bar and so on. Would you trust and fall in love with prostitutes in your home country? Probably not. A lot of Farangs here think that prostitutes in Thailand are different than prostitutes in their home countries. Think again.

I know I’m writing a lot about hookers and the red light scene on Thailand Redcat. But I’m also regularly trying to show you the bigger picture – and if you look at the bigger picture you will see only a small fraction of bar girls among the millions of girls from northeastern Thailand, and if you look at the “normal” girls then you will discover completely different characteristics compared to the ones described above.

What Isaan Girls Are Really Like

If you ever had an Isaan girl as your girlfriend who was not working in the bar then you will know from your own experience what I’m about to talk about. You will probably be like me and don’t even listen to the desperate Farangs in the bars anymore who tell you about all their terrible experiences. I have written more than 800 words in this article and think it’s now time for the most important of all statements I make here:

Most Isaan women take care of their men in the best way possible.
pûu-yǐng ii-sǎan sùan-mâak duu-lɛɛ pûu-chaai dii tîi-sùt.
ผู้หญิงอีสานส่วนมากดูแลผู้ชายดีที่สุด

You can call yourself lucky if you have an Isaan girl as your girlfriend or wife. You probably know the saying “once you go Asian, you never go Caucasian“. I would even go a step further and say: Once you go Isaan, you never go another type of Asian again.

If you have come in contact with girls from other regions of Thailand you will know that southern Thai girls are more rough and less sensitive, and that central Thai girls (especially from Bangkok) are a lot more career-oriented and “emancipated” than Isan girls. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but there is nothing compared to Isaan girls in the way they make you feel like a man and do things for you that you would never have expected possible after dating girls in your home country.

At the same time you should be aware of one thing: Of course you will be expected to be the main financial caretaker in a relationship with an Isaan woman. But that’s just the same with any type of Thai women or Asian women in general. And what you get back from Isaan women for providing for them is usually much more than from any other type of women I know.

I have been to all neighbor countries of Thailand and also in the Philippines and Indonesia, and nowhere I have experienced anything comparable to the empathy and kind heartedness of Isaan women. Sure, if you know a bit about how women are like in those countries and be a nice and gentle guy it won’t be hard to meet and sleep with girls anywhere, but what I’m talking about is a relationship with girls and that’s where I cannot see anyone seriously compete.

I currently have an Isaan girlfriend (she is actually half Lao and half Isaan Thai, from Udon) and she is doing everything you can imagine for our relationship, from doing housework and cooking to all the small little things like sending me messages every day when she is at work or in college about how my work is going today, if I have eaten yet etc. She couldn’t be more caring about my happiness and well-being. She has never asked for money, but at the same time I want to take her to nice restaurants, buy her new shoes or a backpack and take her on a trip from time to time.

Ask anyone who has been in a relationship with an Isaan girl for more than two years who is not a bar girl about how they feel about Isaan girls and they will highly probably tell you that they are the best kind of women for relationships in the world.

Taking Care Of Her Family

This is one of the issues that causes the biggest misunderstandings and problems in Thai-Farang relationships. A lot of Farangs just don’t understand that in Thai society the young people take care of their parents when they get older. It’s actually the same principle in western countries: You pay money into the retirement fund that is being distributed among the retired people. The only difference is that in Thailand people do it by themselves.

As I’m sitting here and writing these lines I have just confirmed with my girlfriend how it usually works among the Thais: Assuming the Thai guy earns 20,000 Baht a month, then he would usually pay his Isaan girlfriend a salary (ngǝn-dʉan, เงินเดือน) of about 3,000-6,000 Baht a month. She would then transfer most of that money to her family to support them. They call that “to help a little bit” (chûai bâang, ช่วยบ้าง).

Yes, this practice is more common if you have a girlfriend from Isaan and less common if you have a girlfriend from southern Thailand. The main reason for that is because the Isarn is the poorest region of Thailand due to the dryness and few natural resources. Their main source of income is rice production. They don’t get much from tourism like other regions of Thailand that also have more natural resources like water, fruit, vegetables etc.

And no, this practice of supporting the girlfriend’s or wive’s family isn’t exclusively expected from Farangs. Because that’s what a lot of people falsely assume. They think only they need to pay because they are regarded as the “rich foreigner”. The truth is that if the family asks for support, then that would also be the case if the girl had a Thai boyfriend instead of a Farang.

That said, it’s not always the case that you are expected to pay money if you have an Isaan girlfriend. Like in my case, I was never asked for it thus far. And I know more than enough people to confirm that not everyone pays. And even if you pay them like 4,000 Baht a month – what’s the point? It shouldn’t be your main concern to pay this kind of money, but rather to be ambitious and make a lot of money so you can support for a great life for you, your girlfriend and your future family.

What do Foreigners like about Isaan Girls?

I could have also written “what do men like about them” because it’s not just us foreigners who adore Isaan girls – many Thai guys feel the same way. I remember when I visited Roi Et earlier this year and met a Thai couple in the White Elephant restaurant. It turned out that the guy was from Bangkok and was visiting his girlfriend in Roi Et.

When she went to the bathroom we took a short break from playing pool and I asked him how he felt about Isaan girls. He just confirmed what I told you earlier by saying that they are kind-hearted and take care of the men extremely well (jai-dii, ใจดี and duu-lɛɛ dii, ดูแลดี). They are extremely grateful for everything you do for them, great mothers, open minded and loyal. If you have doubts about this, again ask yourself where you have met the girl.

Apart from these great characteristics it gets even better if you consider how attractive and beautiful most Isaan women are. It feels like the further north you go in Thailand, the smoother the skin of the girls gets. Sure, you can meet nice and attractive girls anywhere in Thailand, but girls from the northeast just seem to be a category of their own with their beautiful curves, black hair, dark eyes and skin like silk in combination with their unique charisma, charm and smile.

Summary

I know it’s not usually a good idea to make general statements about certain groups of people. However, I just felt this post was necessary since you hear so many foreigners complaining about Isaan girls when they really only know bar girls or simply don’t respect the rule of giving and taking in relationships with women in this country.

What’s wrong about paying your girlfriend a monthly salary of 5,000 Baht? I know foreigners who have happy relationships and marriages with Isaan women and don’t even want them to work and pay them significantly more than that. It works just fine because in turn they get an amazing partner who isn’t only sweet and attractive, but who takes care of them and the whole family in the best possible way.

I have mentioned it a few times on this website: This idea of relationships was exactly the same back in the western world not too long ago. The men earned the money, the women took care of the rest (yes, very simplified). Now that women have changed and become “emancipated” many men are fed up with this attitude and look for a Thai or Isaan girl. This is fine, but you should not forget to do your own part to make the relationship work. It’s not only about taking, but also about giving.

10 Responses

  • Gideon Arava says:

    You full of it . You write of the issane girls in a positive way but I have been here for seven years and tell you this : Issan girls all hate men and hate sex they are all acting like they love
    You but it’s just money they interested in .
    On second date with them they were ugly clothes and put no makeup and look like mountain girls . After getting you to fall in love with them they do everything to avoid having sex with them and always claim they tired .
    My biggest concern is they don’t speak English . They know few words and now you have agirlfriend whom you can run any discussion in English . They are good to marry if you old and sick and need an aid with everything but if you young they are very good for sex but fuck them and leave them the next morning.

  • I have no name says:

    Yes I thought so too, the amount of time we sent snaps and chatted, she was busy working like a beaver during the rice period and so on and so on.

    Found out because I am good at finding out stuff and she was insanely good at hiding this, not a trace anywhere on her facebook (the ones I knew i about) or anything else about another guy.. I want to trust people so I wasn’t really asking or snooping her phone but she would sometimes want mine so I just did the same.

    Then she told me 4-5 weeks before that she has to go back home she is going to help her family with the rice and she has to work like crazy and the internet is not good for video calls but we can send messages and pictures.

    I trusted her like I would normally people, because we have to trust or this is useless.

    Woops, she had been prepping a visa for months with her ex who came after me but before we took back together.. She told her son and everyone that she was going home but kept it a secret. I just thought she was helping her mom and dad up in her home because she was a good girl.

    She would normally use things like “I was soooo busy” when I sent a “Good morning sweety”, because well it was only about 1am and not 9am, and then at 4pm my time (Thailand) she would send me “Oh good morning bae, I was so busy working today”.. Then around 8pm she would send a message telling me that she is so tired, she is going to sleep. When in reality it was 1pm and by sending this she was effectively signing off and I mean I am not disturbing her sleep.

    She got away with this for about 6 weeks of the 8, until I figured this out. When I did she said she went there to BREAK UP with him face to face and was waiting to come home to tell me. , and oh by the way. She was no bar girl and she has no bar girl life experience, I know her entire history.

    She may not be a bar girl but she was non the less, doing what so many do, improving her odds, she messed up a bit when she had a picture of herself in a vague area in a forest could be Isaan, but held a mug that had, that countries writing on it.

    All of this came home together and when I figured it out, everything else that was peculiar fell right into place and everything unraveled down to details before she “left for home”.

    Mark my words, this is the 3rd time this happens to me, but this was the worst time, this one stung the worst as it had been a long one, and we’d known each other before dating for over a year.

    She even sent me a photo saying she loves how she can trust me, and only me, that she knows I am the kind of guy for her.

    Im not saying every Isaan girl is bad, but their reputation is far from “Just few farangs that don’t know any better”.

    My girls were not bar girls, one worked on a hotel, this one worked as a taxi driver.. So they are not just bargirls, massage girls, and the rest of Isaan is awesome.

    Please also note I was not the cheap type, I paid her hospital bills, I paid her songs school tuition, I paid for new everything under the car for us, I gave her salary of 15k baht to have for herself and her family.. She still wanted to get more, and take the chance of rolling the dize…

    So just be careful, If you start having any doubts, something is off, then do the digging, do get her phone (I wouldn’t to western girl but from here on out, no way I wouldn’t even ask her to hand her phone to me if she really loved me). Check messages, check suspicious things she may do that are a bit off.

    It’s true there are always bad apples everywhere but let’s just say it’s harder for you to find the good ones than the bad ones especially if you live in a touristi area.. Maybe if you run into her in Roi Et for example but, run into her in Krabi or Phuket or somewhere else, buyer beware.

  • Saamee Farang says:

    Guys…. Yes… All said hereabout Issan Girls is SO True….

    10 Years married to the same Issan ( Korat ) girl ( now longer than any marriage I have ever endured to a Western girl! )

    If you carefully pick the “Right One” she will look after you especially well.

    She has to Respect you, you have to be the boss ( none of this we are equal western nonsense ) you have to be ready and able to look after her and her Mum and Dad to some degree ( 4,000 baht a month here )

    The 1st 9 years we were in OZZY but now we live in Korat full time.

    They are the most loyal, sweetest, cutest and caring girls in Thailand in my humble opinion only…….

  • Rio says:

    I’m also an Asian guy but from other country, you are definitely right…it’s been 1 year I’m in relationship with isaan girl…I feel really good, she take care me well, understand me, makes me feel special and she never ask money from me.

  • john says:

    Leave the Isaan girl in Issan. Once you bring them to the west, they will westernize very quick. Then she is worse than the native western.

  • Areeya says:

    Hey there, I must agree you’ve discribed Isaan girls with 100% accuracy. I’m a Issan girl and I want to say Thankyou so much for writing something positive about my people. If you have any questions about Issan people, I’d be happy answer to the best of my ability 😊

    • Johan says:

      I have a woman from Isan
      The problem is not to help her family
      The problem is in not rich and pay rent and bills.i have not finacial problem because i have har loan a lot.
      And she want to send about 20000 Bath every month
      I Will help and i love her.
      But if i say i dont have money then she say …you dont care about us.she have a son 12 year

  • Jimbo says:

    Hi all, like your experiences, I am with a Pattaya ex bar girl, been 1 year now. We had THE discussion the first time I met her and set out the frame work for a relationship before I would go any further. I e who will I be paying for, how much and for how long???
    Do not, do not come back later for another bite of me was my stead fast approach.

    Deal done, just like negotiating to buy a new car with extras. 5000- mum per month, 5000 daughter until she finishes Uni ( 1 year)

    Now my daily battles with her are, – getting her to clean the Condo two times a day instead of the usual 3 times.

    – I can clean my own shoes and my motor bike helmet and everything else I own, you do not have to do it, or feed me, spoil me rotten. ( it is nice however, but I feel like she is a slave when actually she is doing the Issan wife thing)

    My advise to you, do your homework, learn about Issan women, what makes them tick. Make a deal, stick to it. Do not, Do not ever put anything in any other persons name but you own, think with your head, talk to Farang who appear to be on the level and not those who just think with their ——-.

    If you get it right, you will have a women who is DEDICATED to you. She will strive to please you in every way.

    Yes, she was a bar girl who worked for her only child and her mum ( dad died when she was 7.) I don’t blame her for selling her body, just annoys me that these girls have to do such a thing. If you spend time in the village and with the family, the turmoil that must have gone on in their heads at the time would have been incredible. From loving family to Bar girl and bar fines. Tough ask for any girl, any country.

    Good luck guys,
    Jimbo

    • Bjarne Eriksen says:

      I shall just tell this, you are maybe correct, because, I did not even read your article, complete.
      I just say to your writing, there is 11 000 farang, staying happy in Udon, take away some few. WHY DO THEY DO IT, MAYBE THEY ARE HAPPY, AND THE uDON GIRL, HAPPPY, TOO???

  • Adam says:

    I really wish i can find one