Intercultural relationships in Thailand


We invite you to share some fun anecdotes and information regarding intercultural marriages and relationships in Thailand. This will provide some insight to current and future expats regarding relationship norms in mixed relationships and marriages in Thailand.

What are some of the best things about being in an intercultural relationship/marriage?

What are some challenges that you have faced or are currently facing? How do you address them?

Are intercultural relationships/marriages common and accepted in Thailand?

What are the benefits to being in an intercultural relationship/marriage?

Do you have any fun or interesting anecdotes to share regarding dating norms and rules for intercultural relationships/marriages?

Thank you for sharing your experience,


Why am I not surprised by the lack of response to this topic.  Guys simply don’t talk about this stuff. 

Most guys will have their eyes glaze over and their mouths go dry at hearing or seeing the word relationship.  The best you are likely to get is, “women, can’t live with them, can’t live without them.”  They will pat themselves on the back and assure each other than no one could possibly understand women so why try.

Now if you ask a question about visas, jobs or cheap food, shelter, transportation or sex then you may get some answers.  Anything you can measure or quantify is good too. :D

Well let me see :)

Marriage is easy get married :) Making it legal is a challenge trip to Bangkok then back to my wife’s  local Amphur , All said and done 7-10 Days.

Be prepared to pay some Mothers Milk $$$$ To the Parents or Family :)
Gotta be adaptive and flexible to a different culture and way , Compared to America , Europe, Australia or U.K.
I love it personally my wife and Family are great to me :)

It only took us an afternoon of interviews and signing papers in Bangkok.  Didn’t pay any Milk Money but that is unusual.

I guessed if I stepped out onto the dance floor first, others might follow. :D

Yeah the Amphur was the delay , One day in Bangkok.
Nor did I pay Mothers Milk , But have Friends that did :)

Thai Law.

What you take into the marriage is (by way of a prenuptial agreement) yours

What you acquire in the marriage is 50/50 even if wife puts nothing in except "in kind work"

A Will can sort out issues but bare in mind the above

I see 20 ish women with 65 + year old guys and so is this love?

This may sound cynical however in my line of work I see it all

MMA says protect yourself at all times and the same applies here

Don't leave your brain on the plane

Hello Priscilla

Havent had much time to think about this subject really, but one thing I do know being British the sort of humour we are used to in the U.K. is vastly different to many other countries but particularly in Thailand.

Very easy to assume the sort of wacky, dry, sometimes almost sarcastic humour we are always using in my country is the norm. and if you are not careful can be misread in almost the opposite way in Thailand.  So my advice is to get to know people well before practising this somewhat unusual form of being funny until you have a firm relationship and others know you well. Can be misconstrued as to be even insulting by so many other nationalities rather than what was really intended.

Learnt the hard way!  Take note.

My Mrs once saw me looking intently on a website called peopleperhour, she was quiet that evening until she asked about it. I was roaring with laughter and so was she when she understood what it was.

I can confirm it is not only Thais who find British behavior abrasive and insulting at times.  I write it off as a result of tribalism and perhaps a modern class divide.  To be fair, a lack of civility seems to be burgeoning trend in the world today.  There is no shortage of foreigners treating Thais with distain, as well.

Though currently I am not in any relationship but sharing my views in below :

1. Best thing in intercultural relationship is that both partners remain curious to each other's culture,
    norms. So things not get bored.

2. Among the challenges, one challenge is that sometimes we may not read the psychology of our
    partners as these things vary due to culture, environment etc.

3. It is not common in rural area. But it is acceptable in urban areas.

4. There are lots of benifits. You can get to know new people, food, culture. And new things never gets
    bored untill its get very old.

Klingon63 :

Well let me see :)

Marriage is easy get married :) Making it legal is a challenge trip to Bangkok then back to my wife’s  local Amphur , All said and done 7-10 Days.

Be prepared to pay some Mothers Milk $$$$ To the Parents or Family :)
Gotta be adaptive and flexible to a different culture and way , Compared to America , Europe, Australia or U.K.
I love it personally my wife and Family are great to me :)

:D   And there is the sick buffalo scam. 

I lived and worked there in the South for 8 years.  I had a love/hate relationship with the kingdom.   I liked the girls just fine.  Hated the boyz, in general.  It's a pretty landscape for sure.  Great food, hard to learn language. 

Hotter than sh*t in the lowlands.  Never live in a country where they believe in reincarnation.   Unsafe drivers beyond belief.

Hello ,

I tend not to be judge mental of others feed back and opinions , So sorry you’ve had such bad experiences and feelings in Thailand and seem to be a tad on the anti Religion thing.

That’s ok your choice and opinion , I tend to be friendly here take what applies to me and leave what does not.
I personally believe in reincarnation, I’ve interestly been reading about Biocenterism  very interesting.
As for bad people there’s good and bad everywhere in the World , So you have to make your choices where you feel comfortable.
The same applies for weather , Personally I love the weather in Thailand !!! :)
As for drivers you are correct there crazy here , But if you keep your eyes and ears open you can mostly overcome that issue , My Wife is Thai she drives well and is very alert in avoiding those types of drivers and giving them wide brith in there crazy driving.

Buffalo and Thai women ,  Again there’s scammers everywhere in the world.
Just use coomon senses and you will largely avoid this.

Best to You
Bob T. U.S. Citizen/ Retired Resident in Nakhon Ratchasima Thailand Proudly and Happily :)

I forgot to add that the women are just fine - however they are under extreme pressure from the family to provide for the whole family and then some.

Thai men are mostly lazy and if they can get the wife or girlfriend to get easy money then they will pressure them. Thai men have whats called "sweet mouth" and this is sometimes like lying to the women to get what they want (usually money) then they go off and spend it on whiskey and other women.

This is not stereo typing as it is very common. Learnt from fathers actions over the years.

If you can find a women then most guys have them on salary. Sadly this is never enough.

If you want to protect you and your assets then do so with proper agreements in place that are signed and witnessed.

But above all - enjoy yourself and the country.

Hopefully everyone understands that buffaloes have long since been replaced with etok (tractors) and etan (trucks).  Buffaloes are more often found in pampered herds or in stockyards headed for slaughter.  They are not sick family members who need a doctor and donations from a foreigner.

Well now, I have been in a relationship for the last two years, and will probably get married when my divorce comes through. I actually met my girlfriend in the UK, I had only been to Thailand for one and a half hours before coming over to see if I could hack it. We tried Kanchanaburi for a year before deciding it got to hot and moved to Hua Hin backend of 2017, we have the occasional miss understanding but she has a great sense of humour, I do explain the sarcasm and British ways to her, she did live there for nearly four years. What I find hard to accept is her reticence to ask people in stores for information ref products or services, but she is getting better.  I just start to talk they then look to her for the Thai version and she usually obliges lol. We do have large age differential but I don’t think it is a major problem as we think alike have more or less the same values.
I have found that I am more tolerant these days than when I was with previous partners, but find the relationship smoother, she ticks all the boxes, makes no bones about wanting the money and to be looked after. But it’s the language difference, women in the West want exactly the same, she works hard in the relationship as well. We pay towards the upkeep of her dad, mum passed away a few years ago, we take the nieces on holiday with us, the older brother and wife sometimes tag along. The other brother got a great job always pays their way, even let me borrow his car for a week, didn’t want payment but I insisted he took what it would have cost to rent, he reluctantly took it in the end.
So overall I would say, it is win win.

Hi forgot to mention I am moving to retire in Thailand later this year, tried twice to get her a visa, both refused, I am now certain it is a scam. Both times refused, said she was going back to work, my answer to that would be if that was the case why did she go back to Thailand, surely she would have overstayed in the first place


Great read !!!

I’ve live in Nakhon Ratchasima Thailand  with my Thai Wife for one year now but I traveled back and fourth from the U.S. to Thailand over 3 + years before coming to retire here , We live in a condo but in 9 Days we are moving to our newly constructed home.
As the same there is an age difference between me and my wife , She’’s 29 And I’m 54 But it works well she gives 100% + in the relationship and her Family is great :)

Wish You , Wife and Family the Best
Best Regards
Bob T. American Citizen Retired Resident in
Nakhon Ratchasima Thailand :)


In the past I’ve used Siam Legal Office in Bangkok , They have a website and can assist you from anywhere in the World.
Safe and dependable and I found whenever you get into a rut there great , Of course there’s a legal fee but best money I’ve ever spent !!!

Best To You Good Luck !!

Same as I did

Klingon63 :


Great read !!!

I’ve live in Nakhon Ratchasima Thailand  with my Thai Wife for one year now but I traveled back and fourth from the U.S. to Thailand over 3 + years before coming to retire here , We live in a condo but in 9 Days we are moving to our newly constructed home.
As the same there is an age difference between me and my wife , She’’s 29 And I’m 54 But it works well she gives 100% + in the relationship and her Family is great :)

Wish You , Wife and Family the Best
Best Regards
Bob T. American Citizen Retired Resident in
Nakhon Ratchasima Thailand :)

Just wondering how can foreigner buy house in Thailand. I thought a foreigner could not own house & land. I am just wondering how can I buy a house & land but also protect myself and not lose my investment. My wife wants me to buy a house & land but I want to buy a condo so I can put in both our names. Someone just in last few days posted story of being kicked out of the home he and his temple married Thai wife built on land that he paid for.

I know in the US, if I bought house with my own separate money the house would be only in my name and my new wife would not have any legal rights to it. I could then WILL it to her or to my children if I wanted it to go to them.

So, if I buy a house in Thailand and have to put in wife's name then it is legally hers and i have no legal rights to it, is that correct?

In theory one can get a usufruct which permits you to live in the house for a set number of years or until you die, depending on which option you choose.  My wife got one for me to help protect me from her family in the event something happens to her.  Having lived here most of my life I don’t put much faith, or dependence, on legal procedures.  Even with a legal right to stay in this house there are a million ways people in the village could make life unbearable if they wanted me gone.

I am not a fan of the company ploy as a way of getting around the law which forbids the ownership of land by foreigners.  It is not difficult to spot an inactive shell company set up to facilitate the purchase of land.  Speculators may be able to turnover properties and make enough profit to justify the risk of a government crackdown but there is a risk.

When we finally built this house we had been together for ten years and were in a very stable relationship.  I had no qualms about putting everything in her name at that point.  I am more concerned with providing for her future when I am gone than I am about protecting myself from her.  If that were an issue for me I never would have built this house.

Thanks for the insight. Even though we've been together 4 years, we've only been married for 8 mths. The userfruct sounds like good idea if I decide to go that route but I think I would feel better about buying a condo right now in both our names until we get more time in marriage then can do house in her name later in life.

Thanks for the info... Kindly

We lived in a condo for our first ten years and it sure made travel much easier.  My condo came with a thirty year lease and I sold it for a little more than purchase price even after eating up ten years of the lease.  Renting would have cost me much more over that same length of time.

Even though we swapped the condo for a house with near eight times the floor space, the truth is we could never recover anywhere near the cost of this house and land.  I consider were I live an extravagance and not an investment, unlike the condo.  If you go for a condo, I would go for a starter unit in a better building with a better location as apposed to trying to minimize cost and maximize space.


You can also create a small or large  buisness and take 41% ownership and when she passes away it’s your property and home and vise versa for your wife.

I have a contact person that can provide info and full details  if your interested ?

You can however buy and own a condo or apartment if you choose so and out right have full ownership, Of course I would generate a will as a Protection factor.

Best of Luck
Bob Tyrrell

I am an American still living in America. I am in the process of selling my house in Oregon to relocate with my kuu mun (fiancee) in Chaiyaphum.

I have been doing much research on the pitfalls of intercultural relationships with Thai women. I believe I have found a good one. She has never asked me for a thing. Even when I offer she will not accept. I have known some American men who have been married to a Thai woman and their marriages all failed for similar reason.

Here is what I have learned:

1. Learn as much as possible about Thai culture as you possibly can. Accept the knowledge gained without having to understand the "why". I wasn't raised in their culture so it may not make any sense at all. Just accept the way it is but educate yourself so you can be prepared as well protected. Knowledge is power.

2. I decided to learn to speak, read and write Thai before I get to the country. Since it irritates the hell out of me to "press 1 for english" here in America I thought it best to not be a hypocrite. I found an excellent on line program with one on one classes via skype. It seems to be very important to my future Thai family that I be able to communicate with them.

3. Be open to religious freedom. I have started learning about buddhism so I can better understand my prospective Thai family.

4. Respect all people at all times. The display of respect is about the one bestowing the respect not the one who is receiving it. Represent yourself in the way you want to be seen

5. Realize that you are now a foreignor in a foreign land. It is good to be proud of where you came from but the assimlation process is up to you to adapt. It is not the Thai peoples responsibility to adapt to you.

6. I have decided that I would become a part of my new Thai family. Be a brother to your wifes siblings and a son to her parents, which means much more than it does in your homeland. Much more will be asked of you. Again, learn Thai customs and traditions.

7. I have no issues with providing financial assistance to her family. She owns the village market and she runs the family farm. I plan to help her build those up so she can produce more cash so less comes out of our personal accounts.

8. Communication!!! We discuss everything before hand. Her family seems to be quite surprised and happy that I think the way I do.

It is all up to you.  Good luck


Excellent outlook so you should have fewer problems than most. :one

Hi Villagefarang
I think you are correct in your assumptions about the UK, I am late sixties and I find it distasteful the crap that often come out of their mouths. I think a lot of it is to do with the way they are brought up these days, not knowing when to draw the line. I think years ago when I was a youngster there was more respect towards all races, but sadly not today, I also think your country was responsible for this to a certain degree, what happened your side of the pond surfaces on ours in a short time. I have lived and worked over there, and like our problem, you also suffer with it. I was talking to an English guy on a USA airforce base in the UK, we had just delivered some off road machines, he told me they had to keep them occupied as near 100% of their leisure time or they would kickoff, both on the base or down town, booze fuelled, no different than our lot.
I am lucky in the fact I was reared in a house where we were taught to respect other people and their property, RESPECT is what is lacking increasingly throughout the western world.

Civility is also lacking much of the time, but not in your post.  There are multiple sides to every issue and plenty of blame to pass around.  In the end all we can do is be aware of our own actions and behavior, while trying to be better.

Hi Villagefarrang
Great to read your reply’s, just about to take a shower lol.

Hi villagefarang
I totally agree with you, but in the defence of the younger generation, they don’t have the same values we hold, they haven’t had to fight as our fathers did. I have been lucky in my life that my father taught me to respect people until they showed me disrespect, but even then to walk away from them, rather that show aggression.

I missed this topic. Got buried in the email inbox. Just catching up. Reading through. A quick bit of input: During my first stretch of time exploring Thailand, I frequently felt like a cultural buffoon -- like a bad dancer -- but then I met my future wife in her restaurant. She was instantly beautiful to my eyes; but, really, when she served up my lunch, it was "love at first bite". That first encounter occurred over two and a half years ago . . . and I'm still getting nudged and gently whacked at social gatherings, etc, to this day. What confuses me is that my wife carries herself very well when over in the western culture, although quieter than usual. We depend on each other when moving between our cultures, but somehow she manages to look a lot more elegant in the west than I do in the east. My in-laws treat me wonderfully and there are 4 career chefs/restauranteurs in the family, so there is always something on the table . . . and my waistline continues to expand. We had a lovely traditional marriage at the local temple (I really fumbled around at that event) and then we had the official marriage at the District. I paid only for basic expenses and at the temple the family of chefs catered in such an amazing looking feast for the monks that their glee was quite noticeable. With regard to my new family, I must have lucked out because any generosity that I display (without the asking) is always returned tenfold. I also think my new family likes my presence because I provide them with some good laughs, whether I intend it or not. Anyway, to cap off before I continue to read through this thread, I feel that I've become much more enriched in so many ways and perhaps a little wiser since I embarked on this cross cultural adventure. The education is endless. Heavenly.   dcb

Hi davidcolinburt
I think I can equate with you twist on it, my girl doesn’t seem to have a bad bone in her, so to speak. Her family are both generous and friendly towards me, if they ask for financial help they repay when they say they will. The help is a reciprocal situation, usually when the exchange is bad or saves me getting the bank rate instead of the normal remittance company I use. I give them all a laugh as you say not meaning to.

In October 1972, the US Air Force sent me to Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base. As a non-flying officer I lived in a contract hotel in downtown Ubon while I worked on the base. In December 1972, my Thai girlfriend began work at the Officer's Club at Ubon Air Force Base as a cold towel girl. We met there dated and in January 1973 she became my trelok and we lived together until my return to the US. While living together, she cooked meals for me that were never too spicy to eat, but introduced me to Tabasco sauce with which she added to soups and dishes to make them hot enough for her but only mildly hot for me. In November 1973 after asking her to marry me flew her to the US on a fiancee's visa and we were married on December 8, 1973. While in the US I always allowed her to cook Thai, Speak Thai , read and write Thai as well as teaching her English so she could work. She worked three years as a hotel housekeeper at the Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Florida and 28 years as a Hotel Housekeeper and Supervisor at the Boca Raton Resort and Club. After getting her driver's license in 1976. she was always permitted to drive and drove four different cars to work. Her two sons remained in Thailand and were raised by her older sister. We would send money monthly for their care and schooling. In 2010, we both retired early and began receiving social security and retired to Thailand. Since she was born in Thailand and although a US citizen, naturalized in 2006, she has a Thai ID card, has land that our house is built on, owns a Honda Civic and gets her medical for basically free. Since Thailand's roads are narrower than in the US, my wife drives here. We have two kitchens in our house indoor for her to cook my food and outdoor for her to cook the Thai food. In July last year, we sold our house in the US freeing money so that we now live well and that the sales people at the local Big C, Foodland and Home Pro know us by sight. Although we live in Samutsongkram, we have traveled to Hua Hin, Cha Am and Ubon.


Great Read !!  :)

I’m American former U.S. Army 1st Arnored Division,  Now retired in Nakhon Ratchasima Thailand with my Thai Wife and truly enjoying it !! :)
We just finished a new construction home.

Best Regards

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