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Thai Chinese while still respecting traditional Chinese principles are find new love online

 

Monday 24th February 2014 11:30pm

Dating a beautiful Thai Chinese girls is now possible in Thailand through online dating

Since foreigners began looking at Thailand for love partners or wives, it was understood that find a Thai Chinese girlfriend or dating a Thai Chinese girl was out of bounds, this has now changed.

Many foreigners to Thailand will discover pretty quickly that not all Thai women are not the same. The Thai girls that some farang or foreigners meet in the sex clubs of Bangkok or Pattaya will more than likely be ethnic Thais from poor family backgrounds. This is also true for many of the Thai women online looking for marriage. The success of these Thai foreigner relationships and marriages is now acknowledged all over the world.

The majority of Thai women who form this ever increasing wave of Thai women marrying foreigners are from poorer backgrounds in particular, Thai women from Isaan.

Beautiful Chinese girls in Bangkok

What many foreigners will notice is that Bangkok and some of the key urban centres are full of very feminine, attractive 'office girls' or smart and very beautiful looking young women. All of these Thai girls are from respectable and traditional Thai families, a large proportion will be Thai Chinese women.

'I remember when I first came to Thailand I was told by other foreigners that Thai Women like this were out of bounds,' says Colin a British expat who has been in Thailand for over thirty years. Colin lives in Bangkok but spends his weekends in Pattaya. He says that things have changed. 'Now younger blokes are coming to Thailand to live and work, aiming a bit higher, I know two UK lads who are dating beautiful Thai Chinese girls, now it wouldn't be my own cup of tea but I never thought I'd see anything like that.'

The background to this is the affluence and success of the Thai Chinese in Thailand.

For the last three hundred years Thai Chinese have been immigrating to Thailand and have established themselves as a sizeable minority in the Kingdom. 'The Thai Chinese are synonymous with successful business in Bangkok' says James Morris an internet commentator in Bangkok who writes extensively on Thai society. 'Although it is sometimes exaggerated, they are certainly a powerful economic force.'

Rich Chinese playboys on the streets of Bangkok

Today in Thailand many foreigners arriving in the Kingdom will have heard about the low costs of living and the poverty that has driven millions of Thai Women to seek love abroad. They are often surprised to encounter rich young playboys driving Porsche sports cars around Bangkok escorted by beautiful, intelligent and articulate Thai women. In many instances the Thai women will be Thai Chinese and often the rich playboy will be a scion of a Thai Chinese family who have made it in Thailand and are a powerful force in the Thai economy.

'Of course most Thais have some Chinese blood. Even the Royal family has Thai Chinese blood, before that, King Taksin was the son of a Chinese Immigrant. Today in politics the Shinawatra family including the current Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is Thai Chinese,' says James Morris. 'All that said, the key thing to bear in mind is that not all affluence and power in Thailand is in the hands of Thai Chinese. You could be forgiven, however, for thinking otherwise.'

History of Thai Chinese in Thailand

The concentration of Thai Chinese in Thailand is centred on Bangkok, as well as central and Southern Thailand. Chinese immigrants flocked to Thailand throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Although many were labourers, a significant proportion were business people who often specialised in tax farming taking on the tax collection duties in some areas, cooperating with each other and developing commercial enterprises.

The levels of Thai Chinese were so high in 1909 that King Chulalongkorn or Rama V introduced a law requiring Thai Chinese to assimilate into the Thai population by adapting Thai surnames. Rising nationalism in Thailand and China at this time caused tensions added to by the increasing success of Thai Chinese business people and also their involvement in the illicit opium trade and abuses by Thai Chinese involved in tax farming.

The growth of Thai Chinese continued in to the early 20th century. Initially Chinese coming to Thailand did assimilate by marrying Thai women but in the early twentieth century there began a trend among Thai Chinese to marry Chinese women from China and to establish distinctly Thai Chinese communities particularly in Bangkok.

This was curbed by the government of Prime Minister Plaek Pibulsonggram in the 1930s during a period when Thailand's politics was dominated by strong nationalist feelings. Then the Thai government introduced measures to control the dominance of Thai Chinese business people and cartels.

In the early twentieth century the number of Thai Chinese grew from 10% to 12% of the Thai population. After World War II, the Thai Chinese again emerged as a key force in driving the Thai economy forward often setting up companies in construction, banking and manufacturing while other elements in Thai society could not do this or at least could not do it as competitively.

By the 1970's the Thai Chinese had become very assimilated into Thai society. So much so that they regarded themselves and were regarded by most Thais as Thai also. Thailand restored diplomatic relations with Communist China in that decade and Thai Chinese residents were allowed apply for Thai citizenship. Fewer than 200,000 out of many millions were found not to have taken it out already.

'The Thai Chinese community has assimilated very well into Thailand much to their credit and to the credit of Thai society also, although they are a distinct community and very proud of their Chinese heritage. They are also firmly now more Thai than Chinese or I could say that they definitely view Thailand as their home and have come to value the freedom than Thailand has given them, this is not true of other countries in Southeast Asia.' says James Morris. Thailand is home to largest Chinese community outside mainland China. Other large Chinese communities in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia have experienced tense relationships with the ethnic majority in those countries. In Thailand however, the Chinese have had more success except for periods of heightened nationalism in the early 20th century.

The Rich Thai Chinese

Bangkok is home to some of the wealthiest families in the world. Thailand is a society where all the conveniences of a 21st century modern lifestyle can be found in its urban centres particularly Bangkok. It is also a society of gross social inequality. On the streets of Bangkok where many Thai girls from poor northern families go to work as sex workers, it is not uncommon to see families sleeping or living on the streets. On the same streets, it is also no rare sight to see the latest sports cars such as Mercedes, Lamborghini or even Ferrari being driven by hip young Thai men or women. Not all are Thai Chinese but it is a disproportionate amount. These are the Thai Chinese families who have made it in Thailand.

Not all Thai Chinese are rich. In fact, the majority are not wealthy but it is true to say that they are more disciplined, organised and principled about working hard than their Thai ethnic countrymen as a general rule.

Many work in official positions in banks, large enterprises or government agencies. The Thai Chinese population is concentrated in Bangkok near the Chao Phraya river in the city. In Thailand, Bangkok traditionally exerts a disproportionate amount of power over the country as a whole far more than most capital cities in the world.

Class conscious Thai Chinese women

Many Thai Chinese families, even more middle class families live in homes with maids and servants. The majority of Thai Chinese in Thailand are Teochew who are known in China for being a very class conscious people. 'Many Thai Chinese in Bangkok, while they are very honourable and decent people, do have sense of their own importance and value. It's only a personal opinion but I'd say many involved in the ongoing political crisis with Bangkok are Thai Chinese although I'd very wrong to suggest that the Thai Chinese represent the famous Bangkok elite, but they are certainly part of it. Most foreigners coming to Thailand find this very hard to accept. I mean that the Thai Chinese are so assimilated as to be absolutely Thai but also having a subtle sense that they are a cut above the ordinary Thai person.'

Education is key for Chinese in Thailand

The Thai Chinese middle class, even those that are not very wealthy place a great emphasis on education. In this they are joined by others from the more affluent elements of Thai society. The Thai Chinese are renowned for being careful with money and for working hard. The Chinese community has been extremely successful in assimilating itself into Thai society and fully consider themselves as normal Thais.

'The Thai Chinese did experience some problems in the 1930's and 40's. During that time they adapted very quickly changing surnames and making a conscious effort to be seen as part of Thailand, this was very successful. Not all Thai Chinese are rich but in Thailand they are seen by and large to be more disciplined and hard working.'

Chinese - leading the business world in Thailand

In Thailand and Bangkok, Thai Chinese families are at the heads of many of the country's leading companies including banks, department stores, breweries and companies which are household names in Thailand.

'From the well known Thai Chinese families whose wealth rivals anyone in the world down through the middle classes working as small business owners or functionaries in government departments, Thai Chinese are generally better off,' says James Morris.

'Thai Chinese are seen by many in Thailand as business people, entrepreneurs and wealthy. This is the stereotype but it is not always true. It is certainly true to say that there are a large number of wealthy or semi wealthy families in Bangkok who are Thai Chinese. The facts are startling. All Thai billionaires are Chinese, 96% of the top Thai companies have Chinese origins and out of 25 top business personalities in Thailand, 23 are Thai Chinese! In many cases the grandparents have amassed a fortune and the family works together. This is why you may see Thai Chinese young men and women studying abroad, being able to set up businesses in Bangkok or other urban centres in Thailand and generally living a good life.

Thai Chinese woman goes to work in Bangkok

James gives an example of a young Thai Chinese women stopped during the government protests in Bangkok recently. The young woman had parked her Mini Cooper car in the car park of a shopping centre and was walking towards her job in another building when she was stopped by men posing as protest guards. They stole her state of the art iPhone and 20,000 baht in cash. The young woman was heading toward her job which paid a salary of twenty thousand baht a month ($600). Her Mini Cooper was paid for her by her family and was worth 2.8 million baht ($90,000).

'For some lucky Thai Chinese the world is their oyster and there are quite a large number of well off Thai Chinese but underneath them is a larger number of middle class families who work hard and plan for success, many of the grandparents of these families have worked hard often grandmother and grandfather working together to establish the families prospects. While not all Thai Chinese rich, they have a community that has established itself.'

Dating a Thai Chinese woman

Most Thai Chinese women at all levels are very attached to their families and are guided by the opinions of mother and father in all personal relationships. It would be true to say that Thai Chinese women are more conservative than western women and it is quite normal for many Thai Chinese women to marry as virgins. 'Even in Thailand today many Thai women are beginning to follow their sisters in the western world when it comes to relationships and se before marriage is no longer taboo however for Thai Chinese women it still is, I would think.'

Pimmara Chamrueangdej is a Thai Chinese woman who is a little different. Once from a well to do Thai Chinese families her parents lost their business when a lucrative government contract was lost. She is a beautiful 28 year old Thai Chinese woman with a vivacious and witty personality. Not only that she has studied in London and has an MBA. She earns her money as a party hostess and is frequently seen in Bangkok's elite hotels.

'Yes it is true, I know of some Thai Chinese girls who have broken off engagements because the father thought the suitor wasn't up to scratch and that was it. It also happens when the man has not got a stable job or even enough income. Of course it depends you know on the family. Many Thai Chinese families are very warm, they're not all dragons but at least they are all quite serious about being able to take care of the daughters of the family,' she says.

Key pointers for dating Thai Chinese women

Pimmara says the following are key points for anyone interested in dating a beautiful Thai Chinese woman:

  • Only a little different: Thai Chinese women are not altogether different to normal Thai women or even western women. This is important to remember. It is simply that they are attached to their family like all Thai women except that Thai Chinese families are a little stricter and the parents have a little more authority.
  • Disciplined: A Thai Chinese woman will in general be well presented and organised. Not unlike her parents or ancestors, she will be money conscious. However because of the closed nature of many Thai Chinese families, she may be less independent than normal Thai women, certainly less than western women. 'Sometimes this can appear like immaturity and sometimes it's just that. I have worked with many Thai Chinese women like this but some men like a woman like that,' says Pimmara.
  • Financial considerations are important: Some families may insist on sin sod but they are more interested in the ability of the potential partner to provide for the Thai Chinese Daughter. 'This is not just about getting the money; a very rich man is not always the best, it is more important that the man be steady and have good future prospects.'
  • Good background: The Thai Chinese family will be very interested in the background of the man. While it is acceptable in some sections of Thai society for an older man to marry a younger women, in Thai Chinese families it is less so. It is thought that an older man with a large age difference would reflect poorly on the Thai Chinese family. Certainly if the man has been married before, this would be out of the question.
  • Good manners: Thai Chinese families place great emphasis, like most Thais, on appearances and manners. A man who is noisy or who drinks a lot would be frowned upon.
  • A Thai Chinese mother's greatest fear: Every Thai Chinese mother fears that her daughter will marry or end of dating a 'playboy'. 'I think this is how you can see Thai Chinese families are really very mindful about the welfare of the daughter of the family thinking about dating the foreigner. All the vetting as regards ability to earn, personal appearance and you know, deportment - this is all about the happiness of the Thai Chinese woman leaving her family and moving into her husband's care, so dating a Thai Chinese girl is a big deal for mother and father.'
  • Thai Chinese families: Thai Chinese families like all Thai families are very close. However with middle class Thai Chinese families often there is a busy social life revolving around the family. 'It is true what they say that when you marry a Thai Chinese girl you are marrying her family, this can be true before and sure also after the marriage. Thai Chinese believe in working within the family all the time building connections. Not all Thai Chinese women are like this and often you will see Thai Chinese girls who think for themselves, even want to get away from it. Also in Thai Chinese there is sometimes politics and rivalry. I think it is true that Thai Chinese families as well as they like to work hard, they are also competitive even with each other' says Pimmara.
  • Thai Chinese dating foreigners no longer forbidden: Thai Chinese families come from different cultures and backgrounds. There are some who follow ancient Chinese traditions while other Thai Chinese families are very similar to any Thai family. Attitudes to foreigners vary.
  • 'For quite a few Thai Chinese families dating with a foreigner would not be good, this used to be forbidden altogether. But now it will depend on the generation of the family and their background, some Thai Chinese families already have international connections and there is a fashion now for studying and learning overseas. I think that a normal Thai Chinese family although they may be unhappy at first, would be open minded enough but the guy must be the right guy. You see the Thai Chinese parents really are thinking about what is the best thing for the daughter.'
  • Thai Chinese Mums and Dads know best: In Thai Chinese families the parents of the daughter exercise a lot of control over the Thai Chinese woman before she finds a marriage partner. It is not unheard of for a relationship to be called off if the family or father of the family feels that the relationship is not the best thing for the young Thai Chinese woman's future.
  • 'It is a surprising thing about Thai Chinese women, how many will be guided or even governed by the father in things like this. I even know that sometimes it is the father who will propose the marriage to the man or even tell the lover that he is no good for the Thai Chinese daughter. Of course, in these days not all Thai Chinese women are so dependent and they know the modern ways but they have great respect for the mother and father. The Thai Chinese girl will try to bring the family and the boyfriend together if she really likes a man but she will always listen to her mother and father.'
  • Thai Chinese family networks: In Chinese culture it is normal for the woman to move to the husband's family after marriage. This is also true for Thai Chinese but the close ties within Thai Chinese families often mean that Thai Chinese women stay involved with their families particularly among middle class and wealthier Thai Chinese families. Often the two families through the marriage will form networks and connections.
  • 'It is part of the success of Thai Chinese in Thailand and particularly Bangkok that extended networks are created around the same values. For instance a man who marries a Thai Chinese woman might decide to switch his motor insurance from his current company to that where his brother in law works. Even providing loans between each other as there are many Thai Chinese who are small business owners. I know that this is true for many Thai families but I think the Thai Chinese families are just more organised like this.'

Thai Chinese women dating foreigners

In the last 10 years younger men from foreign countries have come to Thailand looking for long-term partners or wives. Some have become regular visitors to the Kingdom while others have moved to live there. After some time in Thailand they begin to distinguish between different types of Thai women.

'It is like this, the whole Thai women thing has become international and many of the younger men coming to Thailand today can easily find a woman in their home country but they are looking for a different sort of relationship. Today in western countries young women have become a little more assertive or less feminine. To a visitor to Bangkok for instance those beautiful young women and pretty dresses seem very attractive' says James Morris. 'Also I think some western men are attracted to the idea of dating a Thai Chinese girl from nice steady family.'

Foreigners and Chinese women in Thailand

Pimmara does not quite agree. 'I have met many farang coming to Thailand in the last five years and know many who have been here a long time. The men always are looking for something that they cannot have. Often they can meet Thai Chinese girls like me who they see about town. I would not date a foreigner because I already have an attractive Thai boyfriend and much richer, why should I? But some foreigners want to meet a good Thai Chinese girl instead of a woman from Isaan or something like that.'

Isaan women are poorer Thai women from northern Thailand who make up the majority of Thai women who marry foreigners or move abroad to live with her foreign husband.

Can a foreigner date a Thai Chinese woman?

It used to be conventional wisdom that it was out of the question for a foreigner to date a Thai Chinese girl. Today in the Thailand and Bangkok of the 21st century, the answer to the question is yes provided the foreigner has the right attributes and depending on the Thai Chinese family. But it is not common place and certainly not a desirable first choice for the respectable family of a Thai Chinese girl. However it has become a matter of choice for some contemporary Thai Chinese women particularly through social interaction at the work place, entertainment centres and online dating sites.

'Many Thai Chinese families really would prefer for the daughters of the family to find other Thai Chinese partners or eligible Thai partners. It is generally not felt to look good for a Thai Chinese woman to date a foreigner. It would be like the family is looking for money and reflect badly. But today many Thai Chinese families are more open minded and may like to have an international character. In the last ten years Thai Chinese families have become more open minded and some Thai Chinese girls like the idea of dating a foreigner.'

Thai Chinese or Isaan women

It appears that Thai Chinese families are quite different from the Isaan Thai families in northern Thailand who have welcomed foreigners because of the benefits that such marriages have brought to the individual families and even to the localities.

'The Thai Chinese families are very different. They are better off. If they are not generally very rich at least they are more likely have secure jobs and are very proud of their position in Thailand. This is particularly true for Thai Chinese families in Bangkok. The influx of foreigners into Thailand has created a lot of news in Thailand, not all very good. Many Thai Chinese families would regard foreigners coming to Thailand as men looking for sex or playboys. There is also a healthy scepticism as to why they have come to Thailand looking for love partners and their financial status. I hate to say it but many Thai Chinese are very class conscious and what appears to be popular with less well off Thai families is bound to be unpopular with them.'

Thai Chinese marry foreigners for Love

There are no accurate figures for the numbers of foreigners marrying Thai Chinese as the numbers are so low. It is clear also that the vast majority of such relationships involve the foreigner staying or residing in Thailand often in Bangkok, central Thailand or key urban centres in Southern Thailand.

One of the reasons for this may be found in ongoing research conducted by Thai academia into Thai women who have moved abroad. In a number of reports it has emerged that Thai Chinese who marry foreigners often experience a dramatic drop in social status when they move to a foreign country particularly those that have moved to Europe.

'In some of the studies Thai Chinese women have married professionals from European countries in some instances without the approval of their families. One example was a Thai Chinese woman with a Masters degree from a well to do Thai Chinese family. The woman found that her degree was not recognised in Germany and had to take a job as a chambermaid in a hotel. Can you imagine this? This lady came from a family with household servants with a successful career in Thailand. Luckily she worked her way back up. It must surely have been love,' says James Morris.

There are other instances in different reports of Thai Chinese women finding it difficult to cope in foreign countries for the same reasons. One report also identified that Thai Chinese woman found it more difficult to build a network on Thai friends in foreign countries as most of the other Thai women were from poorer backgrounds and notably from the northern provinces.

But Pimmara has a word of caution against this theory. 'Not all Thai Chinese women are so dependent and even if they are they are quite capable. I think the family work ethic gives Thai Chinese women great strength to work hard and seriously in any situation. Many Thai Chinese women are very strong women and quite capable of being independent. I worked and studied in London for two years and had to provide myself without any support from either husband or a family at home and I came through it.'

Is a Thai Chinese woman so different?

It is important to remember that the Thai Chinese community is very much assimilated into Thai society. So much so that it is very hard to tell the difference between a middle class Thai woman in Bangkok and Thai Chinese woman.

The key differences are cultural or perhaps Thai Chinese women may have slightly longer names as Thai Chinese chose their names when required to take Thai surnames and often mixed them with words which had a meaning in Chinese. Many Thai Chinese also have lighter skin. It should remembered however that a large proportion of all Thais have Chinese origins.

Ethnicity of Thais and Thai Chinese

Ethnic Thais originated from Chinese populations in the southern regions of China in particular the Dai people from Yunnan province in China. Thailand is comprised of people who have migrated from all over Southeast Asia so that the Thai Chinese are not particularly different. It should also be noted that there are two distinct groupings of Thai Chinese, those who migrated from China over the past two hundred years building on a population that existed at the end of the 18th century and secondly Thai Chinese from Malaysia and other countries in Southeast China who have moved to Thailand because the freedom of religion and lifestyles which the country has always offered to immigrants. These Thai Chinese are called Peranakan Thai Chinese.

However there are cultural differences and differences in appearances between Thai Chinese and ethnic Thais as well as Thais from Northern Thailand or Isaan.

Key differences with Thai Chinese women

  • Lighter Skin: Thai Chinese have a lighter complexion than ethnic Thais in general. Old sepia photos from old Siam show dark skinned Thai women from the Thai's elite. There is a perception that this does not exist today and that most of the elite in Thailand have a lighter skin complexion. It is though that the elite, educated Thais in Bangkok and key urban centres appear to have lighter skin. But this is not altogether true; there are many darker skinned Thais who form the elite of the country. The growing influence of Thai Chinese families has produced many wealthy and influential Thai Chinese with this lighter skin. They are seen working in the media, in government positions, the academic world and of course in all facets of commerce. Thailand as a country has become fascinated with skin colour and appearance. This can be attributed to the advent of mass media and commercially advertising where models tend to be lighter skinned and even western.
  • Education and job security - key factors for Thai Chinese women: The Thai Chinese in Thailand are often better educated than average Thais because of the strong work ethic and a determination by most Thai Chinese families to achieve. Of course the same can also be said for a growing number of middle class ethnic Thai families even poorer families sacrifice and take advantage of Thailand's growing economy to send the first daughter or son to university. The Thai Chinese community in Thailand have always placed a particular emphasis on education as route to better job security and income. It is now quite common for even less well off Thai Chinese in Bangkok and other key urban centres to send children abroad for a broader education. 'This attitude can act as a chiller on many Thai Chinese families if the prospect of a daughter dating a foreigner were to present itself. The family might not be as easily bowled over by a display of wealth. They are looking for an educated partner from the right age group and with some level of financial security. It's not exactly the dating profile of the average westerner seeking a Thai wife but there are now guys like that coming to Thailand.' However the profile is still in contrast to the majority if not all foreigners seeking love in Thailand. One of the key findings that recently emerged from survey of foreigners seeking Thai women as marriage partners from the United Kingdom was that the men were more likely to own a property without borrowings but were also less likely to have security of employment. 'This might explain why Thai Chinese families would have a problem with a daughter dating foreigner. Firstly they cannot check out his track record and there has to be a slight distrust of foreigners seeking love in Thailand. I'd say that the key is to the particularly characteristics of the foreigner when he comes to meet the mother and father of the Thai Chinese woman. With an ethnic Thai family from Isaan it is often based on the foreigner's ability to display money or be lavish in his hospitality. With a Thai Chinese family it is a far more serious and considered ball game. It is also worth noting that this is something also that has gone out of fashion in western societies. Neil Thomas is an international lawyer from London who has recently become engaged to a Thai Chinese woman who is twenty years younger. He has lucrative legal practice operating in three cities around the world and thinks his fiancé is the sort of woman not to be found in London or New York. 'I am university educated and I am a director of international business. I come from good old English family and I have many love options at home. It is simply that I have never been happier with any relationship so much as I am now with my Thai fiancé. It's taken me decades to find a relationship like this. Many western men think there is something wrong with them as it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a relationship at home. I came to Thailand five years ago and I am now relaxed and secure with my bride to be and her family.' Neil's bride is a Thai Chinese twenty year old legal secretary with a university degree from one of Thailand's leading universities.
  • More sceptical and questioning about Thai Foreigner relationships: Thailand is very class conscious society. There is a general view that Ethnic Thais from poorer backgrounds have a very laid back and almost fatalistic view of life. This has changed in recent times as the Thai economy has grown over the last twenty five years but it still holds true for poorer Thais living in rural communities. Poorer Thais are often prone to gambling, drinking or other vices. This behaviour among some Thai men is recorded in many academic reports as the prime motivator for many Thai women seeking love abroad. These women often cite financial insecurity and abuse as the reasons for their life changing move. 'This is true for a certain pool of Thai men at a certain level, it would be wrong to think all ethnic Thais or even any sizeable proportion are like this, this is an extremely small minority. This should not reflect on the many very respectable Thai families in Isaan or from poorer backgrounds have welcomed foreigners as love or dating partners for women in the family. Yes, it's true that the foreigners are often seen to be more dependable and of benefit to the Thai family. And by and large this has worked out,'' says James Morris. 'There are some Thai Chinese like this but it is quite uncommon, Thai Chinese families even those who are poor have a particular capacity for being frugal with money and sticking to the course, this is what makes them so competitive and explains their success. However this also breeds a certain level of scepticism towards any foreigner dating a Thai Chinese daughter.'
  • Different culture for foreigners dating Thai Chinese women: Many Thai families, who have opened the arms to foreigners seeking love with daughters or women in the family, have been welcoming and accepting of the ways of foreigners. It is true to say that in some parts of Thailand such as Isaan that the taboo associated with dating foreign men has faded and in some areas of the country and sections of society, it is now considered a desirable thing. At the beginning of the explosion in foreign men coming to Thailand to find love partners, most of these foreign men of 'farang' were middle aged, separated or divorced. A minority were younger western men looking for a different sort of relationship. It is not uncommon for the Thai family would often encourage the foreigner to entertain the family with lavish meals and consumption of alcohol. 'Visits by foreign sons in laws returning to Thailand with a Thai woman to meet her family are often a cause for celebration with the family. For many poorer Thai families this is something keenly looked forward to. It is also often an occasion when the Thai family will have a list of projects or ideas which the daughter of the family and the foreign husband will be invited to help out with. I was recently at a dinner in Udon Thani where a Norwegian man was entertaining a local family. One daughter in the family lives in Norway and this Norwegian gentleman was courting her sister. At the table in the hotel were seated many of this woman's relations and cousins. It was a festival atmosphere with drink being ordered and the full run of the menu being given by this very generous suitor,' says James Morris. This would be out of the question with Thai Chinese families of good standing. Many foreigners readily undertake this role and bask with the appreciation of the Thai wife's or girlfriend's family while others view it as an unwanted intrusion into the relationships based on western values. However with Thai Chinese families, it is not like this. 'The Thai Chinese family will be more concerned that that the suitor is serious, honest and has the means to pursue a real relationship. Marriage is the question and the proposed married couple must be careful with their resources. They would be appalled with any vulgar display of excess,' says Morris. 'It is more likely to be the case that there will some gatherings at home and the father of the family may take the foreigner for a quite drink. It is matter of trust and there is a certain amount of honour involved. With better Thai Chinese families, the family may even help the couple. This is more likely to happen if the man is Thai Chinese but even then it depends on the standing that he has achieved within the family. Firstly it is somewhat unusual for a foreigner to marry into a Thai Chinese family but it is now a growing trend.'

The numbers of foreigners seeking love in Thailand continues to grow. The age profile is declining and the socio economic status is increasing. It is clear that there is an interest among many foreigners in dating beautiful Thai Chinese girls in Thailand. 'Internet dating and now international dating is becoming a very sophisticated. Today for younger men it is a conscious lifestyle choice. It's still a bit rare but I have met a few men in the last few years interested in dating Thai Chinese women and some have developed good relationships all around including the family, it's a win win situation. It takes a bit more effort but it just might be worth it in the long run.'

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Some Thai Chinese girls have now begun dating foreigners in Thailand
Thai Chinese women in Thailand are beautiful and often come from more affluent households in Thailand and Bangkok. Many Chinese girls in Thailand now use the online dating to find love sometimes even with foreigners.
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