Having lived in Thailand for the last 16 years I have seen many Political changes, but no real change in actual Governance. I have lived in Pathum Thani, Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani and Koh Chang, been involved in Restaurants, Recruitment Businesses and Hotels and have seen no fundamental changes in my time.
However, there are two distinct areas within Thailand. Large foreign populated area’s and area’s that are populated by fewer foreigners.
As someone living in Thailand we read lots of news from The Bangkok Post to ThaiVisa and we see lots of issues with densely populated foreign area’s and fewer where there are not so many foreigners. Of course there are the Tourists who take advantage of Alcohol and the Sex Industry, although the main issue is Cultural on both sides. Foreigners have issues understanding Thai Culture and work ethics and Thai’s find it hard to understand Western Cultures and work ethics. For Foreigners and Thais to co-exist in Thailand together is subject to difficulties. For Foreigners no two days are the same and you are always left saying to yourself “I wonder what will happen today”. Thais also get frustrated because of the Language barrier and a Western Culture tends to work a lot faster and logical. Foreigners that are married to Thais also face cultural cohesion issues from simple things like Breakfast to resolving issues in their daily relationships. However, although a struggle, if you both work at it and their is fairness and flexibility on both sides sometimes they can be very successful relationships.
Thailand hasn’t helped Foreigners living in Thailand since Time Immemorial. Visa’s, access to Law and property ownership and Local Governance. However, like everything if you face everything with a big smile and show flexibility to their way of life, most issues can be resolved. Thailand can be a fun living experience if you embrace their culture and offer value to it. If you try to change the way that Thailand operates, you are not only likely to offend. But you are also looking to never resolve anything and frankly have a hard time here. My one single piece of advice that I would offer is if you have any issues in Thailand, find a Thai who can speak very good English, let them know your issue and ask them to try and resolve the problem for you. A quick remedy will then be in sight rather than you trying to resolve it, get frustrated and fail. Never show frustration to a Thai, as an instant block will arise. Also never embarrass a Thai or treat them as thick, or again, you will face failure. Thais work very long hours and try their best for little financial reward and economies of scale do not come into it as parts of Thailand are now as expensive as some Western Countries.
Many foreigners will see corruption in their daily lives. Stay away from it. Also they don’t receive large western salaries but are expected to co-exist with Foreigners. Thus making a strong argument for a Foreigner to let them get on with it. After all it is there Country, not ours. If you have personal issues relating to any kind of corruption that is effecting your own pocket then I would suggest contacting a Lawyer and that is a completely different mind field! However, there are two in Thailand I have completely trusted over the years and one is Kammnod who is based in Jontiem and his email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org and the other one is Benny who is based in Bangkok and his email address is email@example.com. Both are very professional at what they do and can be trusted.
Try and eat some Thai Food, try and make it your staple diet. Don’t drink too much alcohol or take illegal drugs and also try and build a Thai friend base and have fun. You will then have lots of fun in Thailand and most importantly survive the daily struggle of being “A FOREIGNER IN THAILAND”.
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