Anyone who chose to live in Thailand, including me, made many mistakes in their new Thai life. Some of them cost money, others pride. But I must also say that, I’m happy for my mistakes, as it helped me to learn faster and faster to penetrate into the local way of life, which is in many ways very different from the way, to which we are accustomed. So my mistakes deffinitely helped me to avoid maybe even greater losses in the future. Each week there are many foreigners arriving in Thailand, decided to settle here for long term and many of them, probably the most of them, have totally unjustified feeling from their previous visits, that they know everything about Thailand and they are just specialists to Thailand and the life here. Unfortunately, their first week usually and painfully remind them that they know nothing, if they are willing to admit it. Probably most common mistakes are associated with women and money. Let’s have a look at what’s the most common mistakes committed by newcomers in Thailand. 🙂
Mistake No. 1: Bring the girl to your appartment
Clearly, if you came to live here, you had saved some money and do not want to spend it all in the first week. So it may seem, to take the girl to your home is the easiest and cheapest option. However, this may not be, and in many cases it is not. Especially, when “short-time” hotels can be purchased as cheap as 140 baht per hour. Too many rookies took the girl to the amusement of their home and woke up in the morning with no money, laptop and other valuables. Another problem associated with this is, that such a girl then knows, where you live and she can always knock on your door, especially at the moment, when you least want it and you’re in the bed with her friend 🙂 Girls here, particularly of this kind, can be pretty beasts. The best rule of thumb: If you want to take one girl less than 3 times, then you may not want her to know where you live.
Mistake No. 2: Not asking for discount
The fact, that you ask someone in Thailand for discount for goods or services, is not taken negatively or cheaply here. In fact, if you do not ask for discount and pay the first asked price, then Thais will eat you for breakfest right the first week. Simply ask for discounts and promotions, because that you are foreigner, it does not mean, you have to pay more. However, do not mix it with bargaining on the Turkish bazaar, everything with respect. The advantage is if you know someone local who you can trust. Such a friend, then can help you to save a lot. Often I send my wife first, to see the price and then only we go together to buy it 🙂
Mistake No. 3: Spend all money and end up broke
Unfortunately we are no longer in the eighties, when everything was for a penny in Thailand. And although you can still enjoy main meal for 40 Baht, it is unlikely, that newbie will live as ordinary Thais from the first day. To find oneself broke very quickly is quite simple in Thailand, because there is lot of attractions. And although it is cheap here, it is no problem to spend 10.000 Baht in one day.
Mistake No. 4: Lend someone money
As a foreigner and especialy as the newbie you will attract endless crowds, who will want to borrow money from you. It may not even be a large amount of money. Here 1.000 Baht, there 5.000 Baht. That is because, first Thais think about foreigners, that we have an endless source of big money, and second because, to take a loan from a bank in Thailand is something like sci-fi. It seems, that Thai banks know more then well, why they not lend the money so easy. You can be 100% sure, that if you will lend money to someone in Thailand, then you will never see them again and you can write off that loan as a gift to a friend. There are thousands of cases, when newbie made that mistake and borrowed another foreigner or Thai tens of thousands of baht, only to find out, that he will never see his money again.
Mistake No. 5: Take standing taxi and taxi ride without taximeter
Taxi or Tuk Tuk, which is just standing there on the side of the road will costs you twice, then these which are moving. It is because they are waiting there exactly for you. 🙂 This is valid mainly for Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Another big mistake of a newcomer is to ask taxi driver for price and to ride without taximeter. If you will go with taxi without taximeter, then be sure you will pay 5-times or even 10-times more then normal price is. On the contrary, when Tuk Tuk is concerned, you must ask Tuk Tuk driver for price in advance, or you will pay the same as to taxi without using taximeter. Also never accept any offer to get a free ride with a Tuk tuk, otherwise you will end up forced to visit clothing factories or expensive shops where they will push you to buy overpriced products and they will be very rude if you will not buy anything. That is something you deffinitely do not want to experience.
Mistake No. 6: Open a business – often too quickly
You feel optimism and energy, which you do not feel back home and it seems that there are endless opportunities how to make good money. But attention here….majority of the Thai population earns under 10,000 Baht per month. How much of it, you think, they can afford to spend on vital unimportant things? Do you want to sell to tourists? Then you need a Thai partner and this is exactly the moment, when it is probable, that you will lose everything. So in terms of business in Thailand, be very careful, patient, and especially do not trust anyone! A good lawyer is more than worth it in this case!
Mistake No. 7: Wrong friends
One of the facts, which must Newbie always remember is that Thailand is full of criminals, dodgers, deserters and scammers, who deceived everybody in their own country and then decided to move to Thailand, where nobody knows them, who they realy are. If you choose to live in Thailand, then you can be sure, that you will meet tons of these people. The problem of gullible newbies in Thailand is, that many of them will be friends with these scammers, who will use the situation to their advantage. There are endless numbers of cases, when the newcomers with their dubious friends makes incredible mess arround, which end up in prison or hospital then(at the best). For your own safety, do not believe anyone in Thailand. Most Thais and foreigners, which you will attract in the first weeks of your life here, are chronic liars, who will “stab you in the back” at the first opportunity. Having enemies is also not good, so you need to be on alert and polite, friendly, but very careful and patient, if possible, without emotions.
Mistake No. 8: Life in Thai village
It was confirmed, that newbies are very curious about what life is like in the Thai village. They will very likely meet a girl, who wants to take them to her village, where she comes from. And that’s the biggest mistake for many reasons. First of all Thai village is just one big “hole”, where there is nothing. You will come to a place at the end of the world, where you will be draged from house to house like a trained monkey while you get acquainted with her family, with family of family, and with their other family and if you’re lucky, they will introduce you to a pair of water buffalo. Nobody speaks a language other than Thai, which you can not understand and you will totally depends on your “tour guide” and moreover, in such a hole, where there is even no ordinary pub. Believe me it’s the last thing, which you would like to do. If you will live there, then you will find yourself after some time, paying for everything for the family of that girl, which in reality will be at least half of the village. Do not confuse the Thai village with the French or Italian village in some romantic movie. There is at least a pub and romantic vineyards. There is nothing like that in the Thai version. Keep away from the village just at any price. In some Thai villages there are seein a strange figures of wretches, who did not follow this advice and got trapped, without any meaningful activity, by which they would kill the time. And so upon a closer acquaintance with such a foreigner you only find, that he had become an alcoholic over the time, who had nothing better to do, than drinking from dawn to dusk, to stay here at least a little more comfortable. Believe me, that Thailand is full of great places, that are far much better for a local life, than a poor village in northeast Thailand.
Mistake No. 9: Too quick serious relationship with a Thai woman
One does not need to be too smart to see one of the main reasons, why many guys are coming back to Thailand every year. Local girls are beautiful, cute, friendly, tanned, exotic, caring, funny and most of them are not arrogant bimbos. Thailand has, of course, many other reasons, why to stay here, such as food, weather, relative freedom (one often feels freer here than back home), prices, sea, nature, pace of life, etc. However, for a large part of the visiting male population are the local girls the main reason. Often, even if it is a prostitute, the guy just can not help himself and fall in love with the little cute creature. But that’s exactly the problem. Bar girls are deceitful financial black holes and are loaded with extra bonus in the form of large families and children, which newbie can not understand. And beside bar girls even a normal good Thai girl can turn into a nightmare. If you are not patient about girls in Thailand and you run into releationship too fast, then get ready for it, that it may, and probably will end up, with big big trouble. Remember – this is Thailand, and there are millions of amazing girls, so why to hurry and get the first one?! If you are smitten with a bar girl, then better run and get yourself a very cold shower. It will be much better for you on the end.