There are many horror stories posted online which relate to Thai wives and Thai girlfriends. Many will attribute this to a percentage of foreign men meeting their partners in Thailand’s notorious nightlife industry. Although relationships with ladies from all different walks of life can still end badly, if you form a serious relationship with a lady that previously worked at a beer bar, a go-go bar, massage parlour, disco, or club, then the potential for this to happen might be considerably higher.
Quite simply, if your partner has decided that they are going to try and extract as much money from you as possible, then you might find yourself falling vulnerable to a romance scam.
What follows is a story that was sent to us by a previous client. Mike, as we will call him here, has asked us to publish this story as a warning to others.
Please note that all contact with us is 100% private and confidential. Mike has asked us to share the following story on our blog in order to try and prevent other people from having similar experiences. We never publish any information from our clients without their clear written permission.
Ian, thanks for giving me a platform to detail my plight, I hope that it can serve as a warning to any other guys that find themselves in a similar position.
I originally met my Thai wife through an internet dating site. She was 9 years younger than me, had a slim figure and I found her very attractive.
After we met through the dating site, we hit it off and were texting/calling each other every day. This continued for 7 months until I had the opportunity to fly out to Thailand and meet her.
May had told me that she worked in a restaurant and shared a room with another lady. After arriving in Thailand, it became clear that she was working at a bar which also served food. As it was my first visit to Thailand, I was quite naive and did not realize that she was a bar girl and effectively working as a prostitute.
Anyway, I had a great time with her and stayed in Thailand for 4 weeks. On my last week there I proposed to her and we got engaged. I started to send her money so that she could stop working in the bar, and she found a job at a café instead.
I visited Thailand every year while we went through the process of planning our wedding and applying for a visa for her to live in the United States. I would spend at least one or two months with her every year in Thailand.
During my second trip to Thailand, I visited her family’s house which was very basic and in some ways primitive. Her family had no electric shower for example, they used a bowl to throw cold water over themselves.
Her family home had a rusty tin roof that leaked when it rained and a concrete floor covered by odd pieces of ripped linoleum.
I felt sorry for her family and while we were there I paid for them to have a new aluminium roof, new tiled floor, new wash room, and rewired it completely. Later on, that year I would give her father 360,000 THB to purchase a tractor so that he could earn money working on the rice fields. We also bought a pickup truck.
After returning from this trip to Thailand it became apparent to me that I was not going to be able to get her a visa to live with me in the States. I decided that I would give up my job and move to Thailand instead.
Some months passed, and I went back to Thailand to spend more time with her. While I was there I decided to purchase a plot of land in her village. This land cost 430,000 THB and was to be the site of a house that I would build for us to live in. As I was not allowed to own the land, it was put in May’s name, of course I trusted her totally at this point.
May’s family farmed cattle and she had convinced me to build a large barn where we would raise pigs. We had planned to keep 40-50 pigs within this barn which would produce an income for us to live on.
I returned back to the States and within 3 weeks May had sent me architect drawings for our new house. I started to send her money, first it was $14,000 as a deposit for the builders and to start constructing the foundations and the concrete shell of the building.
The concrete posts were quickly erected and I sent more money for the roof and brickwork to get underway.
Building houses in Thailand is much cheaper than in the United States, however it still costs a reasonable amount if you are looking for a good Western style building.
Within 8 months the house was completely finished and I was getting ready to return back to Thailand and make preparations for my move over there.
Just 5 days before the flight, May asked me to send her an extra $10,000 for furniture and finishing touches on the house. I sent it. Including land, the house cost me approximately $86,000 US dollars, or around 2.9 million baht.
Everything was great at this point. My house was finished and I was finally going back to Thailand to see it and get married to May.
Soon enough I found myself in the arrivals hall of Bangkok airport once again. However, this time May was not there to greet me. I walked around the airport for over an hour and could not find her anywhere.
In the end I left the airport and got a hotel room close to the airport. I tried to call May and each time her phone would hang up after one ring. I sent her messages; they were unopened and she never responded to me.
I had spoken to her just before the flight and I was becoming more and more worried. I stayed in the hotel for 6 nights and could not get a hold of her during that time. I thought, what if she has had an accident? What if she is dead or in hospital?
Eventually I booked a taxi to drive me from Bangkok up to her village. It was a 6 hour drive and the taxi could not drive down the rutted dirt track to her parent’s house.
After I had walked down the track, I discovered that a new brick wall had been erected around the property which was topped with barbed wire. The gate was locked. I could see lights on at the house and shouted to get their attention but no-one came out.
I thought maybe May was at our house instead. We drove across the village to the plot of land that I had purchased, where our house now stood.
I remember the location vividly as the land was directly opposite the village school and had a view over the local water reservoir.
We arrived at the land I had purchased and there was nothing besides a pile of dirt. I walked around the area and there was no sign of construction anywhere.
May had sent me photos of the house as it was being built. She sent me photos of the foundations being poured, the concrete posts and cross beams being installed, the floors, roof, everything. But I was standing in the middle of this field and there was no house to be seen.
I thought that there must be some type of misunderstanding. I found a ‘resort’ close to the village to stay at overnight. In the morning I would come back to the village and find May.
The next day I revisited her parent’s house, the gate was locked again. I shouted to get their attention but didn’t see anyone.
Eventually I made my way to the local village shop where I sat down and bought a bottle of Thai whiskey. I was drinking to myself when a woman approached me speaking broken English. She told me that May had gone to work in Pattaya, and that she was previously living in her parent’s house with a man from Holland called Thomas.
I couldn’t, and didn’t want to believe what she was telling me. She showed me a Facebook profile belonging to May which was filled with photos of her and this young dutchman.
She told me that May had been living in the village with this dutchman for many years, that May would go off to Pattaya every few months and leave her boyfriend in the village. She told me that May worked as a ‘nanny’ in Pattaya. The only reason for May to visit Pattaya every few months was to stay with me when I came to Thailand to visit her.
She had been living with a different man the entire time. The house that I was building did not exist. She was just pocketing the money and sending me photos of someone else’s house being built.
I will admit that I was foolish to fall for this, but I need to make clear that she was extremely convincing. I believed that she loved me and never had any doubt through the time that I was sending her money. That’s how good she was.
To cut a long story short, I made many attempts to contact her but I never did hear from May again. Her last message was wishing me a safe flight over.
Before leaving Thailand I spoke to a lawyer about my situation and he basically told me that as I was not married to her, that I was simply giving May gifts for her to spend as she saw fit. I am not going to get even one penny back from her.
I am not a wealthy man, and most of the money I had in savings were spend on May. I am so much worse off now and will probably never recover from the financial impact this has had on me.
I have lost so much money and years of my life dating a complete scam artist and a manipulator.
She was so professional and had an answer for everything. I think most men could find themselves being convinced by her or someone like her.
Do you have a Thai wife horror story that you would like to publish on our blog? Please contact us if you have had a similar experience and would like to warn others.
PattayaPI are a leading detective agency based in Thailand. If you are worried that your Thai girlfriend or wife might be cheating on you then we can help to investigate and find out what is truly going on.
We can also help to check your Thai girlfriend by running a background check on her.
We offer free, no pressure quotes for all work. Please feel free to contact one of our experienced team members for help and advice.
Reading online or speaking with other male visitors to Thailand, you are likely to hear many different horror stories from guys that have developed romances with ladies working at bars. Whether the guy found his girlfriend in a beer bar, go-go bar, or a club, many foreigners decide to form romances with ladies that work in Thailand’s adult entertainment industry.
Indeed, some foreigners do settle down with Thai bar girls, marry them, and remain together for many years.
However, for every success story involving a relationship with a Thai bar girl, you will be able to find countless other horror stories of men that have been cheated, scammed, and lied to. In this article we will explore some of the reasons why you should not date a Thai bar girl:
If you are dating a lady that works at a beer bar, go-go bar, or any other type of bar, then she will cheat on you. Period. Even if you think she’s different, even if she promises that she “doesn’t go with customers” or that “no-one can bar fine her”, she will probably cheat on you.
We have investigated hundreds of bar girls over the years and in the majority of cases they are found to be cheating while their ‘boyfriends’ are not in Thailand.
Bar girls work in bars in order to earn money by servicing customers, and will continue to do so in the majority of cases despite having a boyfriend. Bar girls use clever excuses and lies in order to make you believe that you are the only man in her life. The reality is usually different.
If your girlfriend is working in a Thai bar, then we can help to check her activities while you are out of the country. Feel free to get in touch with one of our experienced team members for a free quote. All contact with us is strictly private and confidential.
Thai ladies usually resort to working in bars as they have a family to support and need to earn as much money as possible as quickly as possible. Bar girls are very money orientated and will usually need you to help support them.
If your girlfriend stops working at the bar and finds a low paid minimum wage job instead, then you will need to subsidise her income so that she doesn’t return to working in the bar.
If your girlfriend does not have the education needed in order to secure a high paying job, then you will need to either support her into education, help her to start a business, or subsidise her income while she works at a minimum wage job… Whichever path you choose to take, the relationship will cost you money in both the short and long term.
Of course, some guys allow their Thai girlfriends to work in bars while they are out of the country. However, if you allow your girlfriend to work in a bar then you must accept that she will continue to sleep with customers. We know from years of experience that in most cases the lady will continue her trade despite promises that she has stopped seeing other men.
Most of the ladies found working at beer bars in touristy areas of Thailand (Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, etc), are not local to those areas and have travelled there for work. Bar girls tend to come from the Isaan region of Thailand, and many hail from poor farming communities.
Bar girls do not usually have university or college educations. Many have very poor English-speaking abilities and only learned their English skills through speaking to foreigners in the bar. Sometimes it can be difficult to understand the broken English spoken by bar girls and you might find yourself using Google Translate just to communicate simple things. Many bar girls could benefit from taking classes at a language school in order to improve their English abilities.
If you are dating a bar girl, then try asking her about world history and Western society. You may find that her knowledge is limited.
Family is important in Thailand and you can bet that your Thai girlfriend will put the needs of her family first. If you marry a Thai girl then you will also take the responsibility for supporting her family and making sure that their needs are met.
Remember that Thai ladies are often package deals – when you invest in a Thai lady, you will also need to invest in her dependant family members.
There are some exceptions, however many ladies that work in beer bars or go-go bars do actually enjoy their line of work. Some women enjoy getting drunk every night, gossiping with their friends and earning money when a customer decides to bar fine them.
For ladies that have previously worked menial jobs in factories or similar places, working in a bar can be seen as easy and a way to make quick money.
However, working in a bar for any period of time can change how Thai ladies perceive foreigners, and make it difficult for them to revert into having a normal relationship. If your girlfriend enjoys working in bars, then she might be reluctant to find another job or to change her lifestyle.
We have seen many cases where bar girls told their boyfriends that they found legitimate jobs, however they were merely lying and covering up for the fact that they were continuing to work in bars. Other ladies will actually quit working in bars just to instead freelance in the evenings. Changing their lifestyles can prove difficult, especially if the lady does not want to change her lifestyle.
Even if they are not ‘bar fined’ every day, bar girls spend time with many different guys every day as part of their job. Many bar girls will have their phones filled with numbers and contacts for different men all around the world.
If a bar girl sleeps with hundreds of different guys, then it’s likely that some of them will feel a ‘deep connection’ to her or develop romantic feelings for her. Many will exchange numbers and stay in touch after they leave Thailand.
It’s impossible to know what a lady has truly experienced whilst working in a bar, and it’s impossible to find out just how many guys have her contact details. If you form a romantic relationship with a lady that previously worked in a bar, you should be mindful of this and be wary about infidelity occurring during your relationship.
When it comes to having a long-term relationship with a Thai bar girl, many guys decide that they would like their girlfriend to leave Thailand and come to live with them in their own country.
Getting a visa to visit or live in a Western country can prove to be quite difficult for Thai bar girls. Suffice it to say that most immigration officers will not look positively on a lady that works in the sex industry.
Moreover, bar girls tend to be paid in cash and cannot always produce bank statements showing that they receive a regular salary. If the lady has received bank transfers from many different sponsors, then this could also act as a red flag if her bank statements are reviewed by immigration officials.
As we mentioned in point number 3, many bar girls have only a high school education. A basic education and a meagre minimum wage salary (or no official salary) tend not to seen as positive attributes when applying for long term visas.
If your girlfriend has many different sexual partners, then the likelihood that she might contract a sexually transmitted disease will be higher. Remember, it’s possible to carry and transmit a serious STD without knowing that you are infected.
We describe them as “girls”, but Thai bar girls are adult women. Perhaps a more fitting name for them would be “Thai bar ladies”.
Thai bar girls are far different to ladies that serve drinks in Western countries. The biggest difference is that bar girls in Thailand are usually prostitutes.
Some men do not fully understand their profession before visiting Thailand, which can cause them to form regrettable romances with bar girls. We will try to explain some of the issues surrounding bar girls in this article.
A Thai bar girl is a lady that works at a bar in Thailand. Bar girls can typically be found in Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, and other touristy areas of the country that have nightlife scenes which cater to foreign tourists.
Bar girls are responsible for greeting and serving customers in the bar. They will typically sit and chat with customers, who will subsequently buy them drinks. Bar girls earn a small commission every time a customer buys a drink for them.
Most bar girls are prostitutes. Customers can pay “bar fines”, which are payments made to the bar in return for taking one of their ladies. The customer will need to pay a separate fee to the lady herself on top of the bar fine.
Some customers will choose to spend prolonged periods of time with bar girls. Many guys visiting Thailand will look for a ‘holiday girlfriend’ and spend 1-2 weeks with the same lady.
Bar girls tend to treat their customers as partners, and go all out with a “girlfriend experience”, which leads many customers into forming relationships with these ladies.
In traditional Thai culture, the daughter of the family is responsible for supporting her parents in their old age. And if you speak to women that are working in Thai bars, you will find that many of them are mothers.
Child support is uncommon in Thailand and so when their relationship with the child’s father breaks down, many ladies will find themselves with the burden of providing for their mothers and fathers, as well as their children.
The minimum wage in Thailand is very low, and not usually enough to support a full family of people. Without a university education or a decent career, many ladies will struggle to earn enough money to support their families and get by.
Working at beer bars, go-go bars, and similar ‘adult entertainment’ venues, is often seen as a means to an end for Thai women. Working at a beer bar can allow the lady to earn good money, whilst she hopes to find a rich foreign boyfriend who will sweep her off her feet and take care of her needs.
Thai ladies will hear stories about their friends or relatives that have started out working in a bar, and eventually found a foreign boyfriend who has built them a nice house and bought a car for them. These stories can motivate many women to start working within the adult entertainment industry, especially if they are in need of money.
Some bar girls enjoy the lifestyle of getting drunk every day and spending time with foreign men. Some bar girls might prefer to have a normal job but have chosen their trade just to make ends meet. Everyone is different and circumstances can vary from one lady to another.
There are several different types of establishment within the Thai nightlife scene, however the role of bar girls generally remains the same in most of them.
Beer bars are prevalent in tourist hotspots such as Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, and many other places in Thailand. There are indeed several types of beer bar, such as sports bars, girly bars, pubs, and arenas which house dozens of small, separate girly bars. Drinks inside beer bars are generally cheaper than other types of establishment, however the cost of drinks is also highly dependent on the location of the bar.
Inside go-go bars you can typically find a number of ladies dancing on stage, who will work in shifts and rotate between other ladies that are resting off-stage. Ladies working in go-go bars usually wear numbers so that customers can easily identify them and let the waiting staff know which girl they would like to buy a drink for. The dancers will typically be wearing more or less clothes depending on the establishment.
Go-go bars are usually more expensive than beer bars in terms of the price of drinks, lady drinks, and bar fines. You might also find that the girls are more eager for you to buy drinks inside go-go bars.
Gentleman’s clubs are effectively beer bars which are fully enclosed and airconditioned. They tend to have less of a party-atmosphere than beer bars with quieter music.
As gentleman’s clubs are enclosed, they are sometimes favoured by married men, as it allows them to drink and speak to girls outside of the public eye. If you are drinking at a beer bar with an open frontage, then there is always a risk that someone will walk down the street with a video camera – you might find yourself posted to YouTube where your partner could view the footage. Gentleman’s clubs solve the problem of being seen and are effectively more discreet beer bars.
If ladyboys are your thing then you will be able to find ladyboy beer bars and ladyboy go-go bars in most tourist areas. Ladyboy bars typically operate just the same as bars with regular ladies.
Nightclubs and discos are not bars in the strictest sense; however, bar girls often tend to work at these venues as freelancers. Bar girls (and any ladies living in Pattaya), can visit nightclubs when they are not working in order to hook up with customers.
Often is the case that freelancers will also earn a commission on drinks which are purchased for them, however this is not always true.
Most Thai bar girls do not learn to speak English in school. They will pickup most of their English-speaking abilities through working in the bar. Many ladies speak “bar girl English”, which is a form of broken English that some foreigners find hard to understand at first. Instead of saying “Could you buy me a drink?”, for example, a bar girl might say “I want drink. Can you pay drink for me?”.
What follows are words and phrases which you are likely to hear spoken by bar girls:
Butterfly: A butterfly is a client that spends time with multiple different bar girls. Instead of sticking to one girl, a butterfly will spend only one or two nights with each lady. Many bar girls resent ‘butterflies’.
Bar fine: A bar fine is a payment which is made to the bar in return for a lady having time off. We have written more about this in our blog post ‘How much are bar fines in Pattaya?’.
Cheap Charlie: A ‘cheap Charlie’ is basically a cheapskate. Drinking at a bar without leaving a tip, or trying to negotiate a bar girl’s fee down will probably earn you this label.
No money no honey: This is a phrase which is often tossed around in areas such as Pattaya. It is fairly self-explanatory… Bar girls are with you to earn money, and when the money runs out so will their attention. As bar girls will tell you, they “cannot eat love”.
Short time/long time: Another self-explanatory phrase. Ladies will typically offer two different prices, for either ‘short time’ or ‘long time’. If a lady is staying with a customer for several days, then she might offer a different rate or a bulk discount.
Mamasan: Many bars will have a mamasan. The mamasan is usually an elder lady who will look after the ladies and manage any disputes within the bar. If you have a problem with a bar girl, then the first port of call is usually to speak with her mamasan.
Short time room: A short time room is a hotel room which can be rented for a short period of time, usually for around 1 hour. Many beer bars also have rooms available above the bars.
Ring the bell: Many beer bars in touristy areas of Thailand have bells, horns, or even buttons. When a customer decides to ring the bell, he will buy a drink for every member of staff in the bar. In some bars ringing the bell will also purchase a drink for every customer in the bar.
Lady drink: Lady drinks are drinks which are purchased for bar girls. As bar girls earn a commission for each drink purchased for them, ‘lady drinks’ are usually more expensive than regular drinks in the bar. Prices can vary depending on the type of bar you are drinking in and the general area.
Cheque bin: When you visit a beer bar in Thailand, you will normally find yourself being approached by a lady who will ask what you would like to order. The lady will then return to your table with the drink of your choice and a wooden cup which is called the ‘cheque bin’. The cheque bin will gradually fill up with bills for each drink that you order, which you will pay before leaving the bar.
Thai bar girls usually earn money through several different sources, such as:
Bar girls usually receive a basic salary from the bar which employs them.
Bar girls can make money from tips, whether they are receiving a cut of the bar’s pooled tips, or tips which have been handed to the lady directly. Most customers will leave a tip when they are drinking in Thai beer bars.
Bar girls earn a small commission each time a customer buys a drink for them. Don’t be surprised if a lady asks you to buy a drink for her - most bar girls will aim to receive as many drinks as possible while they are working.
When a customer pays a bar fine for a lady, she will usually receive a small cut from that fee.
Bar girls obviously charge clients for their time. The fee which is charged will be up to the lady herself and paid directly to her. Bar girls can charge anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000+ THB.
A main source of revenue for Thai bar girls are their boyfriends and sponsors. Men will often meet with ladies that are working at bars, spend time with them, and send money to them after returning home from Thailand. This usually forms the largest source of income for successful bar girls.
As a detective agency based in Pattaya, we have seen hundreds of bar girl scams over the years. Usually, a man will meet a bar girl, spend a prolonged period of time with her, and start to develop strong feelings for her.
Eventually he will need to leave Thailand and return back home, the lady will then continue to work in the bar but tell him that she “will never go with a customer”. When we are asked to check whether this is true, most of the time the lady is still very much available and leaving the bar with different customers on a regular basis.
Bar girls know exactly what things they can say in order to convince their ‘boyfriends’ that they are not continuing to sleep with other men. A common tactic is to call their boyfriends every night as proof that they have not left the bar with a customer. In reality, the lady might make an excuse to leave her customer for a few minutes and call her boyfriend.
Maybe her “battery died” or she “was tired” and could not contact her boyfriend for a few hours. Bar girls know what excuses they can use and unless you are in Thailand it is virtually impossible to keep tabs on what is really going on.
When guys fall head over heels in love with bar girls, they will always believe that “she is different” and “she really doesn’t go with other men”. The sad reality is that most bar girls are not different. They are working in the bar in order to earn more money to support themselves and their families. The need to earn money is not reduced by having a boyfriend… As bar girls will tell you, they “cannot eat love”.
Sending money to a bar girl so that she can stop working in the bar is another risky endeavour. Many ladies will simply take the money and continue to work in the bar, earning themselves as much money as possible.
Other bar girls will actually stop working in the bar until their boyfriends have sent a lump sum of money or helped to build a house. Once the lady feels that she has extracted as much money as possible, she will start working in a different bar until she meets another boyfriend with the net worth needed to become her next pay day.
You might think that it could never happen to you - many of our clients also believed this until they were confronted with the truth.
Many bar girls start working in bars with the intention of finding a foreign boyfriend and settling down. But whatever her original intentions were, a bar girl’s mentality will be shaped by her experiences working in the bar.
If you’ve found a girlfriend working in a Thai bar, consider how many guys she slept with before you met her. She may have been with hundreds or even thousands of men before you stepped into her bar.
How many foreigners made promises to her which they didn’t keep? How many ‘boyfriends’ has she had which never sent her money? How many of her boyfriends broke up after returning back to their home countries?
On the flip side of that, consider the information she has received from friends and other ladies working in the bar. Maybe one of her friends has 6 different boyfriends and is earning a lot of money. Perhaps she knows a lady that scammed her boyfriend for several millions of baht.
The bottom line is that you do not know the lady’s history and the type of experiences she has previously had while working in the bar. She will sugar coat as many details as possible in order to help convince you that “she is different”, but the bottom line is you cannot read her mind or find out what she has been through.
While there are bar girls who will stop working in bars if they are supported by a foreign boyfriend and given enough money, there are plenty of other women who are simply trying to earn as much money as possible by scamming their customers.
If you would like us to investigate a lady that is working in a bar, then feel free to get in touch with one of our experienced team members for help and advice. Our service is 100% confidential.
Many of us have read and heard stories about ‘Thai mail order brides’, and Thai women generally taking advantage of their foreign partners for money, but how much truth is there in these stereotypes? Are all Thai girlfriends expensive?
Supporting a Thai girlfriend can be relatively cheap or relatively expensive. Much depends on the lady’s lifestyle and how much money she spends every month. If the lady is used to a luxurious lifestyle, or if she is not able to provide for herself, then she will obviously need more help from you financially.
There are many different variables which will determine whether or not supporting your Thai girlfriend is likely to be expensive, we will explore some of the more common circumstances in this article.
In Thai culture the daughter of the family is often looked on to provide for her parents in their old age. If your Thai girlfriend sends money to her parents on a regular basis, this will be an ongoing expense for her which you might be asked to help with, particularly if your girlfriend has no sisters to help support her parents.
If your Thai girlfriend also has children that are living with her parents, then she will also need to provide for them and ensure that they have a decent standard of living.
If you are planning to give your girlfriend a monthly allowance, then be sure to factor in some money for supporting the lady’s parents if her situation calls for it.
If you met your Thai girlfriend while she was working in a beer bar, a go-go bar, massage parlour, or any other establishment which caters to ‘adult entertainment’, then supporting her may turn out to be expensive.
The reason for many ladies to work in nightlife venues is so that they can enough money to support themselves. Often this type of work is seen as a means to an end for women who do not have steady careers or the education needed to secure well-paid jobs.
Unless you are happy for your girlfriend to sleep with other men in order to earn a living, you will need to give her money on a regular basis and subsidise her income until she is able to start a business or find a well-paid job.
Of course, it is very common for bar girls to continue to work in bars despite telling their boyfriends that they have stopped. Other bar girls will have several different boyfriends supporting them at the same time. You may think that it could never happen to you, but these are typical scams which we see played out in Pattaya very often.
Many foreign men enjoy spoiling their girlfriends with champagne lifestyles. If your Thai girlfriend previously had a foreign boyfriend that was giving her lots of money every month, then she will be more likely to expect a similar treatment from you.
Other ladies might hear stories about foreign guys buying properties/vehicles for their Thai girlfriends and spending a lot of money on them in general. Saving face is important in Thai culture, and so these stories are often exaggerated, which can create unrealistic expectations for ladies that are looking to date foreign men.
Similarly, if your girlfriend was previously working in somewhere such as a go-go bar and was earning anything from 80,000-100,000+ THB per month, then she might be used to having a high disposable income and spending lots of money.
Let’s face it, if there a decades wide age gap between you and your Thai girlfriend, then she is likely to expect that you will spend money on her and spoil her with expensive gifts. Whether your girlfriend is 10, 15, or 20+ years younger than you, many ladies expect to be taken care of financially when they involve themselves with older foreign men.
You might read over this point and think that it definitely does not apply to your girlfriend... According to the Bangkok Post, household debt reached an 18 year high in 2021. With many businesses affected by the pandemic, it is likely that Thailand will be dealing with the fallout of its borrowing for many years into the future.
Household debt has always been common in Thailand, and it is very possible that your girlfriend has debts which you don’t know about.
Due to the concept of ‘saving face’ in Thai culture, many ladies will be dishonest with their foreign boyfriends about their finances. If your Thai girlfriend (or her family) has a large amount of debt, then she might be worried about scaring you away by coming clean with the truth.
In order to fully understand your girlfriend’s situation, you will need her to be honest with you and explain any debt that she is responsible for.
If you are concerned that your Thai girlfriend will be expensive, then it’s important to first assess her financial situation and be realistic about how much help she will need from you in both the short and long term.
Some men will say that they will “never give any money to their Thai girlfriend”. However, if they have started a relationship with a lady from poor farming community in rural Thailand, then it’s important to be realistic about her situation.
Take a look at your girlfriend’s home. Do her parents live in a tin hut that looks like it could fall over with a strong breeze? Does your Thai girlfriend have a university education which could lead her into a stable career? Does she have children to support?
If you are not willing to give your girlfriend money, then it would be advisable to find a lady that has a stable and well-paid career.
In order to truly figure out whether or not your Thai girlfriend is going to be expensive, you should run through a full breakdown of her monthly expenditure. Does she need to support her family? How much is her rent? Does she have any debts?
Establishing a full breakdown of her expenses will help you to properly understand her finances and her priorities in life. Does your girlfriend need to have the latest iPhone and the most expensive handbags, or is she content with a modest lifestyle?
All ladies are different and the answer to this question will depend entirely on her lifestyle and what she is looking to gain from your relationship with her.
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Reading stories online about relationships in Thailand between Thai ladies and foreign men, you might occasionally hear the reference to a “sick buffalo”. The phrase has become an often repeated idiom by expats and men that are in relationships with Thai women.
The “sick buffalo story” in Thailand is an example of Thai ladies telling a story in order to generate sympathy from their foreign boyfriends and to try and get more money from them. Some ladies will tell their boyfriend that their family’s buffalo is sick and that they need money for veterinary bills. The “sick buffalo” story has been told in Thailand for decades.
Although the sick buffalo story is now somewhat of a joke, poverty in Thailand and across south east Asia is not a joke.
In Thai culture, the daughter of the family is traditionally responsible for supporting her parents in their old age. Your Thai girlfriend may be responsible for supporting her entire family as well as herself.
Often is the case that Thai ladies will have children with local Thai men at a young age, when their relationships break down, they are then expected to provide for their children as well as their parents. The concept of a child’s father giving money to his ex-partner as child support is uncommon in Thailand.
As the minimum wage in Thailand is quite low, many women struggle to make ends meet, especially if they do not have steady careers or a university education. This can lead them to working in bars, and other adult entertainment venues in order to provide for their families.
Many of these ladies will go on to forge relationships with foreign men in nightlife venues; which is where they might tell the sick buffalo story in order to ask for extra money.
As many Thai ladies tend to hail from poor farming communities in north east Thailand, many of their families will earn money through farming pigs, cows or water buffalo, making the story that her family’s buffalo is sick plausible.
Many ladies might not claim that their family’s buffalo is sick, but instead that they urgently need money for medical bills or another emergency. While the story itself might not be truthful, the lady may or may not be in dire need of money for one reason or another.
Is your girlfriend’s water buffalo really sick or is there a more likely reason? A more common reason for Thai ladies to need money is debt repayments.
If your girlfriend does come from a poor faming community and has a family to support, then it is very possible her true reason for requesting money from you is to repay debt or to provide for her family.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, household debt in Thailand ballooned to 90.5% of GDP in the first quarter of 2020, which is the highest level in 18 years according to Bank of Thailand data. Many will be dealing with the fallout of this debt for years to come.
Due to the concept of “saving face” in Thailand, and the general fear of causing upset, it is not likely that your Thai girlfriend will be totally open and honest with you about her financial situation.
Put simply, if your Thai girlfriend is struggling under a mountain of debt, then she might prefer to tell you that she needs money for her family’s sick buffalo instead. Of course, it is more common for ladies to claim that their mother or father is gravely sick in hospital and she needs money for the medical bills, or that she is having another emergency.
Although it’s easy to tell jokes about sick buffalos and Thai women telling lies to their foreign boyfriends in order to extract money from them, poverty is not a laughing matter, and the true reasons for women to tell these stories are often dire.
With all of the above said, you should not allow yourself to be taken for a ride whilst in a relationship with a Thai lady. While many Thai women are good and honest people, there is definitely a subset of women who try to take advantage of their foreign boyfriends, and practice what is known as the Thai girlfriend scam.
These ladies are often found in beer bars, a go-gos, massage parlours, and other nightlife areas where they interact with a high volume of foreign men.
In this current day and age, there is also a growing number of women that instead prefer to meet men through online dating websites and apps.
The “Thai girlfriend scam” typically involves an attractive Thai lady forming relationships with several different foreign men. These men will all believe that they are the only man in their girlfriend’s life, meanwhile she is speaking to multiple guys every day, often taking steps such as setting up multiple Facebook profiles for each of her boyfriends in order to make the scam more believable.
For some Thai women, especially those working in nightlife areas, relationships with foreign men pays their bills. Some ladies are able to earn vast amounts of money through scamming their boyfriends.
Determining whether a lady is genuine, or if she is simply telling stories about sick buffalos in order to extract as much money from you as possible, can be quite difficult. In such cases we are often asked by our clients to place a lady under surveillance in order to monitor her activities and check if she is meeting up with other men behind her boyfriend’s back.
If a lady is running a dating scam or involved with other men for financial gain, then conducting an investigation in this way can often help to save our clients huge amounts of money.
There is a fine line between supporting your Thai girlfriend and helping her to better herself, and simply being taken for a ride. For more information on this subject, read our blog post 11 signs that your Thai girlfriend is using you for money.