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Most comments here about Thailand are about sex and alcohol. Not this post. This will be about long-term living in Thailand. My point of view is that of a retired man, but most of my comments will apply to men of all ages.

I’m a retired American, former business owner, living in Thailand now 10+ years. All my life, people described me as “a thoughtful individual”. “You do think for himself,” was a comment I heard often. Sometimes it was meant as a compliment. (I read all the books by Ayn Rand.) This post is for other men who are similar. Especially older men who are looking for a safe and comfortable place to live in retirement.


Part 1: Where to escape?

People often ask why I selected Thailand, but I don’t tell them. Instead, I make up palatable reasons about warm weather, delicious food, polite people, etc. But those aren’t the real reasons I’m in Thailand.

The real reason is to escape from what life has become in the USA (as well as other English-speaking countries). It’s a long list of troubles. Here’s the short version:

1. Rise of Feminism
2. Insanity of Political Correctness
3. Diversity as the new religion
4. Spread of the Police State

The main factor was not that Thailand is so wonderful, but where could I escape that was far, far, away from those four threats to my comfort and well-being.

Before making my decision, I traveled to other countries and looked carefully. For an older, white man, Thailand was the best I could find. Since arriving here, I’ve traveled around a bit more in the Far East. Thailand is still the best I can find. Here’s why:


Part 2: The Attractions

Most important, Thailand is lacking in #1-4 above. So this list of attractions will begin with #5.

5. Most people are respectful most of the time.
Especially to older, white, men. This is “a good country for old men”.

6. All the “comforts” of home are available.
Easy to get good rib eye steaks and Burger King Whoppers. Plenty of good books in English (both real books and e-books). Modern tech toys, from computers to mobile phones. Good hospitals and good dentists. And on and on. There isn’t anything I’ve wanted or needed in over 10 years that I haven’t found here, or couldn’t order and bring in easily.

7. “Help” available to make daily life relaxed and comfortable.
The maid does my laundry and ironing, sweeps and mops the floor, cleans the bathroom and, yes, “does” windows. Massage ladies come to give me Thai-style massages, at home, 2-3 times each week. Delivery services bring my orders from the supermarket and the butcher shop (those rib eye steaks), and deliver hot meals from nearby restaurants (such as Burger King).

8. Cost of living can be whatever level is comfortable.
Thailand has a reputation as “cheap”. 10-20-and-more years ago it certainly was, but no longer. Inflation is steadily upward. The Thai currency is strong against the dollar. So it’s no longer cheap, but there are a lot of choices in every price range.

9. There are plenty of other expats here already.
We are slightly unusual, but not “freaks”. Nor are we so rare as to be tempting targets for scams. My white face will never blend in here, but that’s not my goal. I can go anywhere, do almost anything, with no problems and no restrictions as a foreigner.

10. People generally do not meddle in others’ lives.
That’s characteristic of Orientals in general, but especially so in Thailand where the Buddhist culture encourages minding one’s own business. If I’m deep into a good book, and decide to read until 3:00 AM, no one will ask why my lights were on so late at night. If I go away to a seaside resort for a week, the only person who may notice is the security guard, but he won’t care. When a massage lady comes into my apartment and stays for a few hours, the neighbors won't start gossiping.

11. There’s a basic freedom to do with your body whatever you want.
That can be good or bad, but, in my case, I try various health supplements with no problems. A few examples: The solvent DMSO is reported to be helpful for stiff joints. In the USA there are restrictions on buying it. Here, I just walked in to a chemical supply company, put money on the counter, and walked out with a large, 1 litre, bottle. Sodium Bicarbonate is helpful for balancing acidity-alkalinity of the body. Tiny amounts can be bought in any grocery store (Arm & Hammer), but I wanted to try taking baths in it. When I went to buy 50 lbs, there were no questions what I would be doing with a big bag of white powder. The hormone testosterone can be useful for older men. In the USA, a doctor’s appointment and prescription are required. Here, just walk into a pharmacy and ask for it. (Not all pharmacies carry testosterone — need a larger, fully equipped store, but not difficult to find.)

12. Older men with younger women is the normal state of affairs in this part of the world.
My first girl friend when I arrived in Thailand was 27 years younger — my age 61 compared to her age 34. She didn’t see anything unusual with that at all. Older men here are desirable to younger women because we are seen as more stable, and, usually, better off financially.


Part 3: But it’s not perfect.

The language can be a problem. Takes patience and some forward planning. But, even then, the language is so different that it can be frustrating at times.

Other foreigners visiting or living here are starting to cause problems. Because prostitutes and alcohol are so easily available in Thailand, it attracts men from around the world who crave prostitutes and alcohol. Their bad behavior can tarnish the reputation of all expats here.

Thai women are, intellectually, not interesting. When the physical attraction wears off, as it always does, what’s left? Not much. I’ve handled that fact by not marrying — just rent as desired.

Standards of health and hygiene are poor. There are ways that an individual can improve on the low standards, but it takes careful thought and planning. For example, street food and beach food won’t be clean or refrigerated. If you intend to eat it, then buy in advance a supply of charcoal capsules, antacid tablets, and anti-diarrhea medicine.

The culture here is an ocean of lies. Everybody lies, most all the time, about almost everything. Even when there’s no benefit to them, they lie. It’s just in the culture. Learning to catch the lies, and learning how to handle them, is as difficult as learning the language. On the other hand, I’ve discovered that my personal policy of honesty is highly valued and much respected here.


Part 4: Conclusion

As an older man, a thoughtful and independent man, I’ve found life in Thailand far better than life in the USA over the previous 20-30 years. It’s not effortless, but, overall, I know of no place better.

I welcome questions and comments on any of this, including contrary views. And I encourage private messages, too, for personal conversation.

- M.R.G.

Bangkok, Monday, 11 Sep 2017
Great post. Could you elaborate a bit on the different locations within Thailand?
Great post!
I'm a lot younger, but can see the attraction to Thailand as a place to retire.
Couple of things I want to add though.

Quote:Thai women are, intellectually, not interesting.
So true! This includes university educated women! Finding an intellectually interesting Thai is probably harder than finding a virgin 22 yr old 8-9 with a pleasant character in the Anglosphere.

Quote:Older men with younger women is the normal state of affairs in this part of the world.
My first girl friend when I arrived in Thailand was 27 years younger — my age 61 compared to her age 34. She didn’t see anything unusual with that at all. Older men here are desirable to younger women because we are seen as more stable, and, usually, better off financially.
Within reason yes, but don't expect too much. The 34 yr old is seen by high(er) value Thai men as past the expiration date.
Middle class Thai women do get frowned upon (by their own people, not by lower class people) if they have a Western man that's way older/uglier etc.
I'd go so far to say that real upper class Thai women won't be interested in Westerners at all. I'm sure some RVF member has succeeded or can succeed, but it's not within the normal spectrum.
I haven't spent any time in Thailand, but of the few Thai girls I've talked to online, I can confirm most of them are intellectually wanting compared to girls from other countries. Also, more than one of them gave me sob stories about being broke and needing me to send them money, despite Instagrams full of rooftop parties in ritzy hotels. Total bullshiters, so much lying. Honestly, Thailand as a country seems to have some beautiful and interesting spots, but the level of lying they are willing to try and con you with every day is really rather a turnoff. Granted, my sample size is small, but if it holds up for the rest of the country, I'd seriously caution a man against any kind of LTR with a Thai girl. If you like Thailand as a country and want a LTR/marriage, better to probably import another girl from a different country.
(09-11-2017 01:41 PM)John Michael Kane Wrote: [ -> ]I haven't spent any time in Thailand, but of the few Thai girls I've talked to online, I can confirm most of them are intellectually wanting compared to girls from other countries. Also, more than one of them gave me sob stories about being broke and needing me to send them money, despite Instagrams full of rooftop parties in ritzy hotels. Total bullshiters, so much lying. Honestly, Thailand as a country seems to have some beautiful and interesting spots, but the level of lying they are willing to try and con you with every day is really rather a turnoff. Granted, my sample size is small, but if it holds up for the rest of the country, I'd seriously caution a man against any kind of LTR with a Thai girl. If you like Thailand as a country and want a LTR/marriage, better to probably import another girl from a different country.

Thailand's version of Instagram hoes.
These are typical (part time) pro girls.
Some have come to the conclusion there's more/easier money in having "boyfriends" abroad send them money every month than working go go every night.
Mostly it's lower class, but some some of these chicks are even students that are p4p-ing on the down low.

These aren't girls from good families.

Prostitution is rampant in Thailand, don't believe the BS about it being only for tourists. Local men (that can afford it) do a lot of p4p!
Quote:Learning to catch the lies, and learning how to handle them, is as difficult as learning the language.

Do you have some advices of how to handle the lies as a foreigner?
(09-11-2017 12:25 PM)MRG1946 Wrote: [ -> ]4. Spread of the Police State
(...)
Most important, Thailand is lacking in #1-4 above.

I agree with most you point out. However, there is increasing surveillance (bags being inspected at BTS, generally more police presence, new body scanners at BKK airport).
Thailand is far from being a democracy.
Thailand recently threw some guy in jail for a really long sentence for insulting the royal family. The 1st Amendment doesn't apply to the 3rd world. Piss off the ruling class and you can really be in for a world of hurt. As with any country, research before you embark is critical.
Good for you mate. Great post.
Repped, even though I'm not old and have no interest in moving to Thailand.
Good post, but i'd still say over the next 5-10 years you will start to no longer see older farangs with young Thai girls in their 20s. Either because they do not need them anymore or because of the social stigma.

Things are changing pretty fast in SEA, but Thailand will still be a good place to live for the next 10-20 years.
God. This post sickens me. Too many girls (ones open to a foreigner anyway) in SEA are locked down by some older guy who's paying. It's perverse. But yeah it's so common it's somewhat "normal". It makes our life harder actually. Great if you're a busted expat I guess.
(09-11-2017 12:25 PM)MRG1946 Wrote: [ -> ]When a massage lady comes into my apartment and stays for a few hours, the neighbors won't start gossiping.

How could you possibly know that this is true?
(09-12-2017 01:49 AM)Suits Wrote: [ -> ]
(09-11-2017 12:25 PM)MRG1946 Wrote: [ -> ]When a massage lady comes into my apartment and stays for a few hours, the neighbors won't start gossiping.

How could you possibly know that this is true?

He's clearly bugged the neighbor's apartment for OPSEC.
Great post and my thoughts exactly, and why I love Thailand. Haven't gone full time yet, a bit young and have ties back to first world for now.

Some extra points good and bad to add:

Good

The culture of buddhism. They are kind, generous, helpful and happy people. A very pleasant country to be in.
Health care is top notch. Leaves the Australian health care system for dead. Clean, professional and no fuss health care.
You can add 5 points to your SMV, white god status still in effect here
I think food, drink and daily living expenses are very cheap, as is housing.
Great beach and pool weather
Phuket has a steady stream of Russian and Euro women to game and bang if you tire of the local market. And you will tire of the local market...

Bad
Some of the women will fleece you and love you long time bankrupt. Many a hard man thought they had a handle on Thai women get schooled. Its a risk.
You pay the big-nose tax wherever you go. You can pay less with learning Thai, but still you are going to get stung/
The thai people, and the women whose company you will seek are a little unsophisticated. If you seek intellectual joys as well as carnal joys, you will be disappointed.
Hot all the time and wet season is humid and rainy
Freedoms and access are getting tighter. The last few years things have been changing with regulation, rules and static at the border.
Bad
Thailand has arguably the worst electricians in the world. Especially be careful with those electric shower heaters (fortunately there is a test button on the front).
For someone living in Thailand that used to be an electrician back home, consider doing jobs for all the other foreigners because the local competition are complete hacks.

Do NOT get into conflict with Thai people. Thai are vindictive as fuck.
(09-12-2017 01:48 PM)Svoboda Wrote: [ -> ]Thai are vindictive as fuck.

Is that because they spend all day being nice and polite and keeping all of their frustrations bottled up until they snap? Or is there another reason? Are they just naturally vindictive?
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(09-12-2017 01:48 PM)Svoboda Wrote: [ -> ]Thai are vindictive ...

Yes, they certainly are vindictive.
Thank you, Svoboda, for bringing that out in the open on this topic.
It is important for new expats to understand.

(09-12-2017 05:38 PM)Vladimir Poontang Wrote: [ -> ]Is that because they spend all day being nice and polite and keeping all of their frustrations bottled up until they snap?

Yes, Vladimir, your conclusion fits exactly with what I have observed: frustrations kept bottled up until they snap.

Part of the reason for that is the religion.
Part from culture of peasants growing rice: everyone must work together to plant and harvest.
If any disagreements, planting and harvesting won't get done, and some people will starve.
Then the size and strength of the village will shrink.
That's bad.
So everybody pretends to get along.
Until someone can't hold it in any longer and they "snap".
@Vladimir Poontang
I think it's a cultural thing. Indonesians are IMHO nicer (though it varies among the different indonesian ethnicities). And aren't as vindictive as Thai.

Please be careful everybody, being a foreigner does not protect you.
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(09-11-2017 12:30 PM)Beirut Wrote: [ -> ]Could you elaborate a bit on the different locations within Thailand?

For overall country information, I've found Wikitravel {link} to be mostly reliable, although it suffers from a tourist perspective and ignores the expat perspective. (And, of course, everything on Wiki is sanitized to follow feminism/diversity/political correctness.)

For specific locations in Thailand, I suggest posting detailed questions here. I will answer if I know, and, hopefully, others on this forum who have Thailand experience will answer, too. For personal topics, I welcome conversation in private messages or email.
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(09-11-2017 03:00 PM)balybary Wrote: [ -> ]Do you have some advices of how to handle the lies as a foreigner?

That would be very useful topic for discussion.
Knowing something about how to handle lies and scams is essential for any man traveling abroad.
Thank you, Balybary, for bringing it up here.

The topic goes far beyond just Thailand.
I think it deserves a thread of its own in the "Travel" section of this forum.
Balybary, if you decide to start such a thread, I will add some of my advices.
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(09-11-2017 12:25 PM)MRG1946 Wrote: [ -> ]When a massage lady comes into my apartment and stays for a few hours, the neighbors won't start gossiping.

(09-12-2017 01:49 AM)Suits Wrote: [ -> ]How could you possibly know that this is true?


Good point. Suits' challenge started me thinking. The topic of gossip is important for expats:

1. In a culture where direct speech is forbidden, gossip is used to inform someone that he is doing something that violates cultural norms.

2. I listen carefully to gossip that reaches me, in order to mentally "map" the gossip networks which touch me. I try to learn the inputs and outputs of those gossip networks. And I sometimes "salt" the inputs, intentionally, in order to see what comes out, where, and when. (But the actual transmission paths are unknown to me, and unknowable.)

3. I actually pay for gossip, with generous tips, as a way to encourage the locals to keep me informed of gossip (related to me) that I otherwise might not know.

4. Finally, how to I know that the neighbors won't gossip if a massage lady comes in to my apartment for a few hours? People don't gossip about what is ordinary and common. Gossip is about what is (a) strange and unusual, or (b) violates cultural values.

Valuable to keep aware of this. Thank you, Suits, for your comment.
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(09-12-2017 02:20 AM)RatInTheWoods Wrote: [ -> ]Some extra points good and bad to add

Very useful information. Thank you, Ratin, for taking your time to post.
(09-12-2017 01:49 AM)Suits Wrote: [ -> ]
(09-11-2017 12:25 PM)MRG1946 Wrote: [ -> ]When a massage lady comes into my apartment and stays for a few hours, the neighbors won't start gossiping.

How could you possibly know that this is true?

Because they smile at him all the time.

Asians are gossipy as hell. I once got sick and almost puked in the lobby of my apartment after going out to get meds and my fucking landlord called my school and told them that I should "be more careful."

I let it go since he's a good guy and I think he did it because he was genuinely concerned, but who the fuck calls someone's job to tell them about someone's business on their own time?

Regardless, I just want to point out that unless you have some connection to the culture or language you don't know all the stuff they're saying about you to your face and behind your back.

not that it matters since we're all sexpats, but it's important to remember that they see you and probably have a good-natured chuckle at your expense quite often.
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(09-12-2017 01:35 AM)Travel Museums Wrote: [ -> ]This post sickens me. Too many girls (ones open to a foreigner anyway) in SEA are locked down by some older guy who's paying. It's perverse. But yeah it's so common it's somewhat "normal". It makes our life harder actually. Great if you're a busted expat I guess.

"Travel Museums," would you please explain more? I want to know what "sickens" you, exactly. And why, exactly, it is "perverse". Probably I'll learn a lot from your detailed comments.
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