WHY DO FOREIGNERS LIVE IN THAILAND? – At meebal.com we like a bit of controversy; in fact most people do and when it comes to living in Thailand the expatriate community seem to take controversy to a whole new level.
Over the past year meebal.com has published a number of articles on Thailand, uncovering a number of issues ranging from foreigners marrying Thai women to human rights abuses that often Thai officials are involved in.
As outsiders; that is never having been to Thailand, we have relied on ‘inside’ sources for information and even published entire stories on behalf of foreigners and Thai nationals who want to be heard.
Of course we all have the right to be heard and meebal.com has often been forced to defend its position on publishing an article that is viewed as controversial.
So why do we publish such content? The cynics will tell you it’s just a means to draw in vast numbers of readers. In part this is true for controversy does draw a crowd however our remit has always been, and will remain so, the ability to let people voice their opinions.
For the cynical who might view this as an opulent view as a way to capitalize on visitor numbers let us just interject and state that meebal.com does not currently carry any advertisements; therefore any and all visitors we attract does not involve capitalizing directly from advertising revenue; if you care to read the following article it will shed a little more light on the subject.
We are supposed to live in a democratic society; even Thailand purports to be a democratic society albeit a fledgling one.
Over the last week we have produced two articles that really did stir the pot:
Considering how many articles we have produced on Thailand we were surprised how these particular two articles appeared to create so much controversy. Like most articles these two created a balance of comments from the two camps of ‘agreement’ and ‘disagreement’ however it soon turned into an all out slanging match between the opposing groups.
At meebal.com we interjected on a few occasions, not by removing comments but rather adding our perspective. This appeared to only fuel those who vehemently disagreed and meebal.com was even accused by some cynics as to fabricating the story. Of course fabricating a story is not within our remit and serves no purpose and therefore we vehemently refute such a claim.
We did receive a number of emails from readers asking us to moderate some of the comments but we have declined to do so and there are a number of reasons for doing so; let us explain:
- Meebal.com upholds the principle of freedom of expression. As a UK based news site we believe in the democratic freedom of free speech and restricting any comments would be hypocritical to that principle.
- For comments that are deemed offensive we can only say that such comments could be construed in different ways; that is what some may find offensive others will simply see as the truth. We all perceive things in a different way and our job is not to judge and above all respect that an individual has a right to express their views.
Due to the two articles getting so much attention and causing so much controversy we decided to look a little deeper and ask the question… “Why do foreigners live in Thailand?”
It would appear from many of the comments that foreigner see an awful lot of injustice in Thailand that is leveled at foreign nationals mainly including racism and bigotry.
With the article – Ashamed of Being a Thai, we were not overly surprised that the author wanted to remain anonymous; she was obviously fully aware of the possible responses to her story.
From our perspective there appeared little in the way of comments taking the middle ground but rather consisting of either a congratulatory note of being brave enough to speak out or hostility for how Thais treat foreign nationals, covering both expatriates and tourists.
With the amount of hostility we at meebal.com could do little but sit back and watch them grow and we were appalled at just how personal some people would get. It appeared that some expats really hated Thailand and Thais with a vehement passion which again had us asking the question; “Why do foreigners live in Thailand?”
Looking closely at a number of the comments in the past two articles it would be easy to surmise that Thailand is probably one of the few countries that retired males can go and find sexual companionship from very young women, often whom are young enough to be their granddaughters, at a very cheap price.
It might also be easy to surmise that most of them spend a vast amount of their time sitting in a bar nursing a beer in one hand and an 18 year old girl in another.
Of course this appears a common stereotype of expatriates in Thailand considering what is written on many of the Thai expatriate forums.
During our research we decided to spend a little time on ThaiVisa.com, a well known and very popular Thai expatriate forum. We’ve mentioned this fact before as a source of information and were immediately attacked by a number of people for visiting a site that promotes nothing but hateful loquacious; we were accused of being little more than a ThaiVisa.com clone.
The truth is that ThaiVisa.com is not unique in attracting their fair share of hate-mongers however it does have some very useful information if one only takes the time to dig a little deeper; a rose after all is surrounded by manure but the true miracle of its beauty lies beneath the surface in its roots.
So the question stands; if things are so bad in Thailand why do approximately 300,000 to 400,000 foreign expatriates decided to set up a permanent home in such a country?
There are of course other factors to consider here and this is plainly evident from the comments we received on the last two articles. These factors include those individuals who are in fact content to live in Thailand and do not allow the so-called ‘Thai System’ to affect their overall perception and therefore take over their lives.
There are many men and women happily married to Thai citizens who don’t fall foul to being scammed by their Thai spouses; the truth is that such incidents would appear, from what we’ve read, to affect only a minority of the foreign expatriates.
Look on the bright side, according to many expatriate we’ve spoken to the weather is generally very nice and if you happen to live near coastal areas the scenery is often stunning.
Living in a foreign country really is a lifestyle choice that is not suited to everyone as there are always cultural differences that many find impossible to live with.
We can only conclude that Thailand does have its problems but there is no such thing as a Utopia and that every country has its own set of unique problems; many of which drive nationals to leave and seek haven in other countries.
Surely Thailand must have a good side for it could never attract the numbers of foreign expatriates if it was all bad.
We at meebal.com are now expecting a barrage of abuse from certain quarters of the foreign expatriate community due to our ignorance. Before you do pass on your salacious pieces of information consider the fact that we are honest enough to admit our ignorance of the issues in Thailand. All the articles we have published come from internal sources and this particular article ‘Why Do Foreigners Live in Thailand?’ is merely an investigative piece to uncover the good, the bad and the ugly about living in Thailand from the perspective of an expatriate.
If you have an issue you would like us to publish then by all means feel free to contact us and we will consider publishing what you have to say.
Please leave your comments below.