My Post "Don't Move to Thailand"

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Anonymous

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Dec 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/30/97
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Concerning my post "DON'T MOVE TO THAILAND", I do not intend to reply to
the usual outraged Thai nationalists and the minority resident pro-Thai
apologists, but I just want to make these points and leave it at that.

I deny the criticism of cultural ignorance, being married to a Thai,
competent with the language and having spent much time in Thailand. I have
also studied cross-cultural issues as they relate to Thailand. My post was
not generated by negative-only experiences in Thailand - I stated that I
have not personally lost my all doing business in Thailand. But I have seen
too many foreigners go to live in Thailand because they enjoyed being a
tourist there, and think they will do well moving there. In most cases they
will not. Yes, Thailand can be a nice place to live, but have your own
money - don't expect to make any serious money - and *don't* see it as a
land of business opportunity for westerners because it is not, and not just
now because of the collapse but previously also. Where are my facts ? -
the Thai nationalists and farang apologists ask. Examine the Alien Business
Act and the visa laws, listen to individuals (not multi-nationals for
heaven's sake) who have had small business in Thailand, or foreigners who
have "bought" land/houses there, or any farang who has had a business or
legal problems with Thais - and hear what they have to say about having no
redress or rights. Read the posts of "burnt" foreigners to this newsgroup!
Find out about resident foreigners who have met with violence because they
fell foul of Thais in business (crime figures from Pattaya would be a good
place to start!) The truth is that Thai business, visa, residency and
employment laws applying to westerners are appalling and discriminatory.
Marry a Thai and register the marriage and you both lose business and
property rights so most couples don't - a fact beyond dispute, and quite
shameful. In my country, Thai people own land, business, have legal rights,
can vote (if granted citizenship and many are) and much much beside. Such
rights are totally denied to foreigners in Thailand.And another fact:
foreign subject-specialist teachers in International Schools might earn
reasonable salaries, but the going rate for English-only teachers in
Colleges etc in Thailand is often around $5 a hour. This is what many of
the tourist re-settlers end up doing to earn some money to stay in the
country. Talk to many of these teachers as I have and you will know. I
simply state that any tourist thinking of moving to Thailand must be told
these things before they take any decisions to move. I do not like to see
foreigners move to Thailand with all their money and high hopes only to
leave eventually empty-handed and bitter. And it happens a great deal. I
think it is time that those of us who know these things to speak out.

One last comment: my views are not based on dislike of the Thai people. I
have travelled widely in Thailand and enjoyed my experiences - particularly
in rural areas. Most Thais are exploited by the rich elite who dominate the
country, and I feel very sorry for them in fact. But the underlining
realities of the country with regard to foreign expatriation cannot be
denied. If the current economic mess in Thailand caused by the ruling elite
leads to a change in the fundamentally nationalistic Thai culture that
govens the business and residency laws then so much the better, but for now
that is how it is.


Willow

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Dec 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/30/97
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I resided, against my will, in Thailand for two years (see "Nightmare in
Thailand"). During that time I had a change to study Thai customs and
business practice - I worked in a law office and was exposed to many falongs
who had elected voluntarily to stay in the country.

I agree totally with your comments. I would add one reason for staying.
Many a falong goes to Thailand and "falls in love". It is very easy to do.
Many try to "save" bargirls and others, or just find a wonderful Thai lady
(in the strict sense of that word) and are entranced. Then they decide to
stay, which is normally the start of a very steep downhill road. I saw this
repeated again and again. "But the house and put it in my name to avoid the
law" - such an innocent remark. Only her brother si with the police and
suddenly the real owner is deported. One fellow came back to try to regain
his money - he is still in jail there (a Brit, I believe). To make matters
worse, most falongs tend to marry on the basis of love, not the family
position of the woman. In Thailand, as a foreigner, this makes matters much
worse. Without powerful family support, the falong is trapped into a never
ending series of family obligations - the Thai custom of helping family
members. Enough to bankrupt all but the very wealth. And rare indeed is
the well breed Thai lady who would marry a falong! Her family wants an
alliance with a more powerful Thai family.

The Thai law is discriminatory and unjust. On that we certainly agree. The
law as it is promotes the fleecing that goes on daily, no matter how hard
one tries or how many lawyers one uses. You cannot own land (other than
defined condominiums) and must have a majority of Thai control in any
company - trust agreements only go so far in protection.

The only practical solution if one really wishes to move there is to pay the
local police enough so that you have some protection - but that will
evaporate if you innocently offend the wrong Thai in business - such as by
cutting prices and taking customers by good service.

I find your comments very true and wish more would head them...

Regards,
Willow.

eric phillips

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Dec 31, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/31/97
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On 30 Dec 1997 08:00:05 -0500, nob...@REPLAY.COM (Anonymous) wrote:

>
>Concerning my post "DON'T MOVE TO THAILAND", I do not intend to reply to
>the usual outraged Thai nationalists and the minority resident pro-Thai
>apologists, but I just want to make these points and leave it at that.
>

deleted for brevity


>
>One last comment: my views are not based on dislike of the Thai people. I
>have travelled widely in Thailand and enjoyed my experiences - particularly
>in rural areas. Most Thais are exploited by the rich elite who dominate the
>country, and I feel very sorry for them in fact. But the underlining
>realities of the country with regard to foreign expatriation cannot be
>denied. If the current economic mess in Thailand caused by the ruling elite
>leads to a change in the fundamentally nationalistic Thai culture that
>govens the business and residency laws then so much the better, but for now
>that is how it is.

I cannot find anything to quibble about with this posting.
It is pretty much how it is in Thailand. I consider Thailand as my
second home but no way in the world would I invest into a business
there. Too many people want their cut! eric phillips
>
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>
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