Farang in Thailand
Local Perspective

There are a lot of aspects contributing to the reputation of a farang in Thailand. When you are here for the first time, especially if your visit is quite short, you normally don't get to see anything except for the famous Thai hospitality. Wherever you go, you see only smiles and welcoming 'wai' (traditional Thai greeting). It does make you feel good and special, no matter what could be hidden behind that broad smile.

So, what is the real local perspective about a farang in Thailand ? Well, first of all, you are a guest here and guests are always welcome (don't forget that the country survives mainly on tourism). But as a guest, you are expected to keep to certain behavioral norms and rules, and as long as you do – you are genuinely welcome. One more thing: no matter how long you stay in the Kingdom, ultimately, you will still be viewed as a guest, an outsider. Thai people are very friendly and easy to communicate with, but they do know how and where to draw the line you are not allowed to cross.

The same way you get fascinated and intrigued with some of the most ordinary things for Thai people, like an exotic plant, a strange-looking dish, or an elephant walking in the street, Thais may get fascinated and curious about things they find different. If you are very fair-skinned or have naturally light hair, this alone can be an attention-drawing factor. As in many parts of Asia, fair skin is considered to be the height of good looks and even adds to one's status.

It is not a secret that practically any male farang in Thailand has good chances with local ladies – from bar girls to those from the high society. Apart from your light skin, which is your natural possession, what counts as well is the size of your wallet. The latter is not a problem for the most farangs as well, since even an average income in the West is enough to live a luxury style in Thailand, which is still undergoing an economic development.

Since Thais are very particular about personal hygiene and good looks, by simply bathing more often and keeping a more or less neat appearance, you can boost your chances with highly attractive local women. Unfortunately, a typical farang in Thailand is often associated with out-of-bed looks, body odor and dirty clothes. In the Thai language, backpackers are called by a phrase that can be translated as "bird-shit tourists", clearly indicating the local perspective on this segment of foreigners.

Thais are known for their tolerance, though. Even if they disapprove anything, they rarely show it, preferring to keep to their own business and not interfere unnecessarily. However, they will never tolerate any kind of disrespect towards their religious symbols, monks or HM the King. Therefore, any farang in Thailand is advised to learn cultural and social nuances to be sure not to insult the feelings of the highly hospitable and genuinely nice nation.

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