A Thai friend recently asked me “Why are there so many loser farang men in Thailand?”, something she’d noticed as she went about her daily life in Bangkok.
Now, before you assume, as most ‘loser farang men’ in Thailand do, no, my Thai friend is not a ‘bar girl‘ (polite word for Thai prostitute). She’s a senior accountant who works for a large accounting firm in Bangkok. But, as part of her job and in her general movement around Bangkok every month, she meets or sees a huge number of what she would classify as ‘loser farang men‘. And, no, she cannot understand why they are all in Thailand.
After I’d asked her what she meant by ‘loser farang men’, she proceeded to describe them and, yes, they fit the bill of exactly how I would see them as well.
A) Old lower-class looking and acting men with extremely young Thai girlfriends, often of the ‘bar girl’ variety.
B) Western men of any age who are badly or inappropriately dressed in cheap, too tight clothes and who smell profusely of cigarette smoke, beer or sweat.
C) Western men who are loud, rude, disrespectful and treat Thais like they are dirt on their shoe. (Odd, I know, as many of these men the average westerner would never have anything to do with).
D) Farang (western) men who are drunk, often in the early morning or the middle of the day, or are obviously under the influence of some illegal substance.
And on and on.
Honestly, it’s hard to explain to a Thai, or to anyone else really, why Thailand has far more than it’s fair share of ‘loser farang men’ or ‘loser western men’, but it does.
So Why Are There So Many Loser Farang Men in Thailand?
After a decade of living in Thailand, the only way I can explain to a Thai why so many loser western men live here is quite simplistic and doesn’t really explain the true complexities of the issue, but here are some of the reasons.
1) A large percentage of western men in Thailand either cannot get jobs in their home countries or only low-paying jobs. So they move to Thailand to be ‘a teacher’. In hardly any other country in the world would low-skilled, poorly-educated westerners be allowed to teach in schools and universities, but many of them are in Thailand. Sad for Thailand and sad for Thai students who often don’t reap many benefits from being ‘taught’ by them.
2) The majority of the so-called ‘loser western men living in Thailand’ are here for Thai women. If a new law was suddenly implemented saying “Thai women are not allowed to date or marry foreign men”, you would see an exodus of around 90 percent of foreign men, particularly westerners.
These men can often find a Thai girlfriend at a level they would never be able to find in the west. After all, I don’t know any western women who would freely date a man who smokes or drinks (or both) to excess, makes less than $1,000 a month at a job he doesn’t always show up for, is poorly and dirtily dressed, often smells bad and is rude to a huge percentage of people around him.
Here in Thailand, however, poorer Thai girls are often misinformed and think these men ‘have money’, simply because they’re western. That’s why finding a beautiful 20-year-old girlfriend is something they can do in Thailand. An act that would never in a million years happen in the west as western women, overall, just have better choices.
3) Thailand used to be a country where it was easy for a westerner running away from the legal system in their own country to hide. That’s why there is still sizeable percentage of western men living in Thailand avoiding the legal system in their own countries, or avoiding paying child support or debt collectors.
Will the Number of Loser Western Men Decrease in Thailand in the Future?
As a western male friend of mine said recently, “Absolutely”. But why?
1) The Thai police and immigration are now working much more closely with international bodies in an attempt to find, arrest and deport foreigners who are evading the law in their own countries. Hence, the increase in arrests of western men in Thailand for pedophilia, selling drugs or other serious crimes.
2) As the number of Thai women getting a better education in Thailand increases, there are less ‘poor Thai girls’ in search of farang boyfriends. After all, when you’re like most of my Thai female friends, from a middle-class or upper-class Thai family with a good education and a great job, you’re much more likely to settle down with a nice, respectable Thai guy than a western man with a low paying job and even lower morals.
3) Thai immigration is tightening immigration laws every year, making it far more difficult for foreigners to work and live in Thailand illegally. As it should be.
Special note — Now, before you go off half-cock accusing me of ‘slamming western men’ in Thailand, nothing could be further from the truth. There are many western men in Thailand who are respectable people, hold down jobs, work hard, don’t drink to excess, treat the Thais well, pay their bills and are all around decent human beings. There is, however, another sizeable percentage that are not.
If you do not fall within the description of ‘loser farang men’ then, honestly, don’t worry about it. Get on with your life in Thailand and have a nice one.
But, if you do, why not stop and think “How could I change myself or my life to a) make myself a bit more respectable and b) appear more respectable to the Thais? After all, Thais aren’t stupid (although a percentage of westerners in Thailand, for some bizarre reason, think they are), and they know that, when you’re looking down your nose at them, if they weren’t so kind and polite the shoe should probably be on the other foot.