Dissecting Thailand’s expat community as a whole

Published:  17 Oct at 6 PM
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Being an expat in Thailand is somewhat of a challenge these days, but it’s not stopping a good number of foreign residents from sticking to their guns and staying put in the hope common sense will prevail. Expat communities in the major cities tend to be defined by character, with the separate groups sticking together in areas, thus making themselves easily identifiable. This trend smacks of type-casting, making preferences and lifestyle clear to new arrivals.

Perhaps the most obvious sector as regards motivations for choosing Thailand as a home from home are males who arrive looking for love after a failed marriage or two. The legend of the average Asian wife’s obedience, submissiveness and politeness is just that – a legend, and these guys are in for a shock! Others are looking to upgrade to a younger better-looking model wife, trading in their older partners after hitting the nearest bar or picking a favourite on a Thai dating site.

Bangkok is a hub for expat businessmen convinced they’ve found the goose and its large clutch of golden eggs by landing a job with an international company. It’s true that salaries can be huge, but so are the bar bills in the hedonistic city, and the expat bubble in which these guys live will soon be pricked one way or another by enterprising locals of both sexes.
As regards retirees, the majority of whom are now desperate due to the soaring baht, they’re an easy target for both the local ladies of the night as well as a rapacious government eager to top up its GDP by creatively emptying expat pockets .

Expat English teachers are easy to spot due to the worried look on their faces 24/7. Firstly, visas aren’t easy to get or extend and, secondly, after the first few classes, they’re fully aware they’re wasting their time as the kids pass all the tests no matter what they score. Expat entrepreneurs arrive to make their fortunes whilst enjoying the sunshine, and some actually manage todo just that, even doing it legally by getting a work permit! Others take the easy way out by becoming ‘financial advisors’, but tend to leave in a hurry when their recommendations fold without warning.

The above are just a few of the many sub-sections within Thailand’s expat communities, with sexpats, misfits and digital nomads all found everywhere there’s an expats club or other regular meet-up for those who’ve taken the plunge before testing the water. Amongst the morass of bodies, you may even find a few genuine guys who’ve researched the country and its offerings and are fully aware of the pitfalls and how to avoid them. These are the expats who genuinely care about the country and its peoples, but you’ll rarely find them at expats’ clubs or in bars.
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