Coming to Thailand for the first time is a powerful experience that few men ever forgets. Especially if you’re a white dude with a middle-class tourist budget.
Your reality goes from being a middle-class working horse living in a boring suburb to living an intense lifestyle with treats and dopamine triggers on every corner.
Suddenly you have unlimited access on beautiful feminine exotic Asian babes, you can eat the best food in the world to the fraction of the price, you walk on white beaches while you look out on crystal clear blue water while you holding around your temporary girlfriend.
Can it be better..? No. It can’t quite honestly. Describing how Thailand feels like for the first time is next to impossible. You have to experience it.
For me it was so good that I had no other choice but to move here, and in 2015 I did! I had the best time of my life, and I still have today!
But something happened over time…
Time passed by and the novelty of staying in Thailand started to brush off. That intense vibe of being in Thailand disappeared, it was no longer the adventure it once was. I started to feel home.
Then more time passed by and I started to get pissed of by things I earlier never realized was a problem. I noticed things that I could never notice on a regular vacation.
The facade started to burst.
Here are a few things that could be deal breakers for me if I knew about it before I moved to Thailand in 2015. Maybe it can help you making better decision..?
1: VISA runs
If you’re over 50 years old, and have access to the Retirement VISA you can ignore this point.
For all us other people that stay in Thailand without having a ‘real job’, whatever that means, will get fed up with the VISA situation. It was fun in the beginning as a good excuse to see other countries, but now after two years it’s just a pain in the ass to be honest.
Every three months I have to fly out of Thailand, find a Thai embassy, waste an entire day convincing the bureaucrats that I have my own business online, and that I don’t work illegally in Thailand.
Besides, why would anyone from the Western world work illegally in Thailand? The pay is shit and you have no free time. No thanks!
I have to bring updated bank statements, statements from customers, fill out a ton of stupid forms and sit at some pub for one night waiting for the visa to be ready the next day.
Why do they make so much trouble for us? It’s not like I’m here to steal social benefits from the government or to start riots in the street. I only want to mind my own business.
I make my own money from outside Thailand, and I spend them inside Thailand. I make Thailand richer. They should give me free VISA and a cake.
On my last two VISA runs I have been thinking more and more about leaving Thailand. In the Philippines I’ve heard it’s super easy to get VISA’s and you don’t need to leave the country when you want to extend, and people there are much better in English too.
In Cambodia you can just buy a one year multi-entry business VISA, no questions asked, and you can stay for one year. However, Cambodia is too rural for me so I could never live there long term.
Maybe it’s time to find new pastures..?
2: Friends, expats and locals
Most expats in Thailand are total shit heads. Old bitter cunts that sit in the bar from morning to night. They have no hobbies or goals in life as they are lazy fuckheads that live off minimum pension from their home country. Go inside any forum about Thailand and you understand what I mean. Some of these guys have been here for over 10 years and they don’t know one fucking word of Thai except “Sa wat dee Krap”.
I’ve heard that you become the average of the 5 best friends you have. I don’t want to become like those lazy cuntz so I will stay far away thank you. I don’t want anything to do with them.
Finding good expat friends in Thailand is very hard in my opinion. I have three expat friends that I consider friends, one of them I consider a good friend that I would trust with all my money. That took me almost two years to build up. Thailand attracts so many weird guys with all kinds of baggage, so I’m very careful with who I trust and tell shit to.
There are many old vicious fat expats out there who can’t stand that a young handsome guy like me make all my money online making me free as a bird, while they had to work all their life in a boring factory job just to collect a small pension in their old days.
Tell the wrong bitter guy about your business, and you end up having stalker that will do whatever he can to ruin your life.
If people ask me what I do I usually just say I’m here on a three week vacation.
Finding good local Thai friends can also be hard in my opinion. Thailand is a Buddhist country in Southeast-Asia, not a Christian country in the Western World. Their reasoning, values and thinking are very different from the Western world.
If you want to get involved with local people, build up a network and get friends, you HAVE to learn the Thai language. Go out to eat with a group of Thai people and they will ONLY talk Thai, even they KNOW you are there and all of them have GOOD English skills.
3: Bullshit, drama and jealousy
Local people are a chapter for themselves. And as you probably already know, Thai people are very friendly, they always smile and they rarely make any trouble.
That is until you break trough the facade and realize that all this politeness and smiling is just that, mostly a facade.
The truth is, Thai people are some of the biggest drama queens on the planet. They constantly make drama, backstab each-other, are jealous and put out false rumors. All the social circles I’ve been in down here have been just like that more or less.
“We can’t go there today because right now person X has a problem with person Y, and person Y is there today..” bla bla..
It’s an endless loop of drama and backtalk. And no one ever confronts anyone about anything because then they ‘loose face’. It’s just an endless circle of backtalk and drama that’s going on in the background, but when everyone meet each other nothing is wrong and everyone is smiling. It’s really bizarre to witness.
“He said that, so that means she will do like that, so that means you said X but really means Y…” you get the deal here..
This is not really that big of a problem, it’s just tiresome if someone drag you into it. You get endless messages in Facebook and Line about stupid shit you don’t want to spend time on. You get invited into stupid group-chats where people talk about how to solve the stupid drama, where everyone talk in Thai anyways so you don’t understand 80% of it because all of them write so fucking fast.
Normally most drama is forgotten and forgiven after a couple of days / weeks.
The best you can do is to just ignore it, and try to not get involved. To be honest, when Thai people start their drama, all I hear is this:
4: Constantly getting ripped off
You’ve been a good boy and learned the Thai language so you can learn more about this amazing country and culture?
Well, congratulation. Now you realize just how much you’re getting ripped of on a daily basis all year long all over Thailand.
As soon as I go outside my regular path (where the locals know me), I get constantly ripped off. It happens ALL THE FUCKIN TIME.
Let’s say I order a Goay Tiaw (noodles) from a street vendor somewhere I’ve never been. I see the price (in Thai) that it costs 40 baht. When I’m done eating and I want to pay the dude quickly says “60 baht”…
I’m thinking ‘he’s probably just an asshole’. Then right after his six year old daughter runs over to him giving him a hug making him smile big. Ohh… So he’s not an asshole, but he still ripped me off. Nice!
On my last VISA run to Laos I took the third class train back down to Bangkok because I wanted to go from city to city.
There are people on the train that sell food, water, soda etc.
Suddenly I hear a lady yell ‘mee naam yen yen sib baht naa kaa’.
This basically means ‘I have water only 10 baht”. The train is a hot place so I run over to the lady telling her I want a bottle of water.
’30 baht’ she answers. She say this without flinching, and the people around me just look another direction or smile. What they don’t know is that I understand everything of what’s going on here.
Both of these rips-offs are just 20 baht (0.5$). Why do you care Tim? It’s almost no money.
That’s true. It’s not much, but it does add up when it happens several times daily all year.
By the way. I don’t really blame the Thai people. They work very hard and long days. Many border to poverty. They probably think I’m just a regular tourist on a big tourist budget. I get it..
But sill… Taxi drivers, motorbike taxis, street vendors, train staff, hookers, bars girls, restaurants… ++
It adds up, it fucking irritates me and it make me feel I’m not welcome in Thailand.
5: You loose touch with reality..
Read my intro again for this post.
“Coming to Thailand for the first time is a powerful experience that few men ever forgets. Especially if you’re a white dude with a middle-class tourist budget.”
The reason coming to Thailand for the first time is a powerful experience don’t change, it just becomes your new normal. You get used to girls jumping on your dick from every direction, you get used to getting treated like a little king and you get used to hot girls doing your laundry without asking for it.
Choosing a girl from the gogo-stage becomes just as normal as going to 7/11 picking out what potato chips you want..
And I don’t think that is a good thing.
Last week I met a young guy in his early twenties in Bangkok. He owned real estate and he used the profit from that to live in Thailand. This guy was on a pretty hardcore “I’m the shit” trip.
This dude would be a total loser in the Western world in every aspect, but because how he gets treated down here by whores he really believed he was a cool guy.
He looked like a homeless dude, he smelled like shit, he was cringe af, no humor and he had strange ticks in his face, but still he talked about himself like he was a fucking God and had amazing game with regular girls and hookers.
People like that will have a brutal wake up call one day and half of them end up jumping from Mike’s shopping mall in Pattaya.
I hope I’m pretty good at keeping a grip on the reality. I know I’m no casanova or special, I’m just a white dude in Asia. I do realize that this lifestyle is a “fake lifestyle” in many aspects, and I’m also prepared that something might happen one day that forces me to move back home living a much more reclined lifestyle.
However, many people that move to Thailand, or that stay her for longer periods lose grip on reality, and start to have bigger thoughts about themselves than what is healthy. They never land back on the ground, not even when they get back home.
That’s not good.
The pollution in Southeast-Asia is absolutely horrendous. Three months after I moved to Bangkok, my nose started clog up and itch, and it’s still like that to this day. Sometimes when I clean my nose the mucus that comes out is not yellow / green, but light/dark gray. It’s disgusting.
In Northern Europe we have strict rules about emission. A bad day in my hometown is a good day here in Bangkok.
And Bangkok is not even that bad. Vang Vieng, Siam Reap and many other cities around Southeast-Asia is much much worse.
Exhaust, hover dust from the roads, cooking fumes, cigarettes, smoke combined with sky high humidity levels. It’s no joke.
When I was driving my motorbike around in Vang Vieng I had trouble keeping my eyes up because of all the dust in the air. I actually bought a medical mask that day because I was afraid I would get some type of breathing attack while driving. The same is true for Siam Reap in Cambodia.
Just let me tell you. Breathing is something you take for granted until you can’t fucking breath because you cough up black mucus lumps while you having a itching attack.
People might laugh at me for wearing a medical mask, some even say to me I’m ‘wannabe’ local what ever that means lol.
Lets see who laughs in 30 years when I’m out running in the park while you are connected to a breathing apparatus.
Living in Asia is not perfect. However, the positive aspects of this lifestyle beats the negative aspects in my opinion. Down here I can be 100% location independent. I don’t have to meet up at some boring job everyday. That’s a freedom I’m willing to sacrifice a lot for.
I can live with occasional VISA runs and a little bit drama for that type of freedom.
I have the same buying power, if not more, than of what I had home. I’m also able to save more money here as everything is much cheaper.