Thailand expat forum happiness survey provokes denials

Published:  12 Jul at 6 PM
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The overly positive results of a recent happiness poll undertaken by Thaivisa Forum have resulted in many forum members having their say in a less than overjoyed manner.

Thaivisa Forum covers Bangkok and most of the larger Thai cities as well as Cambodia, Myanmar and South East Asia in general. The site claims to have over 200,000 members who regularly visit the selection of specialist forums including visa requirements and experiences as well as activities and hobbies such as gardening, Buddhism, food, golf and more. It’s a favourite for new arrivals wanting local information and for expats confused over the ever-changing visa requirements.

The survey involved just 884 respondents, with 85 per cent actually living in Thailand and the rest scattered around the world. In spite of the small number of participants, the results were represented as meaning that expat residents in Thailand are ‘deliriously happy’ and that the country is a safe haven in which to live and work. Regular readers of the forum might have been somewhat confused by the eulogy as many posters seem to spend most of their time complaining about their lives in the so-called Land of Smiles. Others post dire warnings about Thai matters such as younger wives, con men and the loose interpretation by officials of the Thai legal system.

Immigration is a favourite with the moaners and even more so since a new requirement linked to visas and their extensions was announced. The new form requests information such as parents’ names, makes, models and colours of cars and motorbikes, social media details, email addresses and phone numbers, bank details and frequently visited places, and caused a riot of disapproval when it finally became a legal requirement. Another target for posters’ ire was the conclusion that Thailand is a safe country for expats.

Bangkok scored highly in safety, in spite of its controversial reputation, especially regarding the high number of motoring accidents, local scammers and greedy locals. The even bigger controversy about the Koh Tao killings and cover-ups wasn’t even mentioned.

A number of posters, possibly known for their strong opinions, complained they’d not been asked to take part in the survey, and others wrote they’d thought it was April 1 or that the poll was simply an advertisement for the forum itself. One poster challenged Thaivisa to mount a poll in which all posters could give their opinions. In the end, a majority rejected the findings, but the happiest expat of all will be the as yet unannounced winner of the ‘best post’, who’s about to get two nights in a luxury villa, presumably just for saying he or she was ‘blissful’.
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