Dispelling Thailand Myths and Misconceptions

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I always find it amusing when people, especially some of my friends who have never visited Thailand, ask me really daft stereotypical questions or make sweeping statements and generalizations about Thailand. Usually, I just ignore them, but from this moment on I will send them a link to this article dispelling Thailand myths. Anything that will save my vocal chords for more pressing issues such as berating the missus for lukewarm gravy, singing Gladys Knight and the Pips tunes in the shower, or shouting abuse at tuk-tuk drivers and erratic motorcyclists is a godsend.

All Thai Women are prostitutes!
Not exactly true! I am too lazy to find statistics, but there are over 60 million people in Thailand, so theoretically at least 30 million are women. I can’t even begin to tell you how stupid that statement is, but even guys who have lived here for years talk like that. It’s like saying all Germans wear sandals, all the English are beer-swilling football hooligans, or all Russian men are called Vladimir. I think you will find that the statement is insulting, and let’s face it, some of the Thai girls I have met had much more money and a better quality of life than I, and worked very hard to get to that point might I add. It’s just a ridiculous statement, so let’s not have any more of that kind of talk.

Thai people are always trying to scam money from me!
Yet again, complete balderdash! This reference basically comes from those who stay in holiday destinations where the main focus is on parting holidaymakers from their wallets. Go to any holiday destination in the world such as the Costa del Sol, Amsterdam, Jamaica and even Las Vegas. This happens everywhere and shouldn’t be used to bash Thai people… it’s just plain wrong!

When the King passes away, the Prince will cause big trouble for Thailand!
Again, not exactly true. This is a statement I hear all the time from not just foreigners who live here, but also the local Thais. I have to be careful what I say here, for lese majeste reasons. Money runs countries, plain and simple! Hi-society Thais live and breathe cash, and they also come from very powerful families that make up the politicians, governments, lawmakers, media moguls and the richest business people in the country. Nothing will get in the way of them and their money, not even the Royal family… you better believe that! As long as the world stays on the same megalomaniac path, things here will remain the same, regardless who is supposed to be running the country!

The Thais always make it hard for us foreigners to own land and property here!
I feel where you are coming from if you are a businessman seeking out investments and capital ventures. But let’s face it, what’s wrong with protecting their country for their own people… it makes complete sense to me. Too many countries around the world have sold out to the highest bidder. A Thai friend of mine in Phuket said that if the prices on the Phuket property market continue to rise, normal Thai people will have to go and live in the mountains or under a bush somewhere. No-one is saying that is the foreigners’ fault because many Thais build developments to profit from foreign money, but if England had protected their own interests 30 years ago, there would not have been such a high percentage of unemployed and homeless people. So I suppose it depends on which side of the garden you’re speaking from. I believe that protecting your own interests as an entire nation is a good thing for its inhabitants! Read our next blog posts Transfer of Property Ownership in Thailand to find out how you can own property for you.

If you live here, you will know these statements are very prevalent in everyday life in Thailand. If you say the statements enough times over and over again to people, and they repeat them over and over again to their friends, they become like cast-iron facts. But don’t worry, it’s okay to think for yourself sometimes, it’s not hard, just stop listening to hearsay and form your own unbiased and objective opinions. The world will be a much better place for it!

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