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Thai women - to understand their personality is to understand Thailand itself

Saturday 25th August 2018 7:53pm

It is a question that is increasingly being taken by sociologists and researchers working for governments and universities around the world. What makes Thai women tick?

All women throughout the world are special and quite alike but there is something unique about Thai women as their is something unique about Thailand. The sheer numbers of western men, increasingly led by younger men, marrying Thai women and finding love in Thailand begs the question. What it is not about is the false and demeaning stereotype of Thai women as submissive and promiscuous, neither is it an indictment of western women. This is a positive story about human beings from different cultures seeking love, understanding and a better life.

The flow of western men coming to Thailand looking for love or a new life has continued at unprecedented level since the internet sparked a boom in the trend at the turn of the century. Of course things have changed but what surprises many observers is that the phenomenon appears to be getting stronger with a broader range of western men, including many younger European, American and Australian men who are consciously looking to find an interracial, intercultural relationship and especially with a Thai woman.

Changes that have occured include a a leveling off of divorce rates in western countries and marriage breakdowns. This has been made up for by more younger men seeking a new life and love in Thailand. 'What is striking is that many young men are looking for a Thai wife or partner before they settle down as a first marriage partner and not simply as the reaction to a marriage breakdown which is still a major driver of western Thai relationships. There is also an increase in western men who are already immigrants from their home country and working in a third country who regularly visit Thailand. Today many of these men are ready to settle down and finding a Thai wife has become a conscious choice,' says Carla Boonkong. But why is it? It is very dangerous always to generalise or to stereotype but what is clear is that something funndamental is happening and it is very real and is rooted in cultural and social changes in both Thailand and western countries.

Unique personality traits of Thai women

A lot of has to do with the unique personality traits of Thai women. Many feminists today talk of 'gender mystification' and warn that stereotyping and sweeping generalizations based on gender and even nationality are dangerous. They brand such claims as false and an impediment to equality. However, even feminists in Thailand accept that Thai women in Thailand are unique in terms of their tradition and culture. Indeed the significant and phenomenal numbers of Thai women marrying western foreigners is linked to the personality traits of Thai women which is being driven by a worldwide struggle between traditional and progressive forces. This may be a startling claim but the continued growth of the phenomenon and the increasing sense of social crisis in western countries points to something very significant.

Old stereotypes of Thai women and traits

It should be clear that the old fashioned wooden stereotype of the submissive Thai woman seeking wealth and riches by marrying a rich, older and balding foreigner is no longer appropriate or valid. However this stereotype, with its connotations of prostitution and its links to Thailand's infamous prostitution industry is still both a force and prevalent. It is the main reason why many western men, seeking to explore a new relationship experience and a new start make a serious misstep which often has disastrous and even fatal consequences. They fall in love with Thai women who may be bar girls or prostitutes and while some of these relationships work, most do not. They populate the tabloid newspaper pages both in Thailand and in western countries as a lurid warning to western men to watch out for grasping and dangerous Thai women. These stories, albeit that some are true and based on real happenings, are a gross misrepresentation of Thai women in general and those who seek relationships with western men of the through online dating sites such as ThaiLovelInes. These doomed relationships and the coverage that emanates from them also results in many foreigners with a distorted and bitter perception of Thailand. You will find many of them on Thai discussion forums. The overwhelming truth of the matter is that many hundreds of thousands of Thai women are living in across the globe married western men including many foreigners or 'farang' also living in Thailand in happy, constructive and stable relationships. These relationships are set to become a new basis in the future for promoting Thailand's image abroad and the country's future development as thriving and expanding country with a unique culture and destiny in the world.

Thailand's unique culture

Thailand is currently living under a military government and is a country that has been plagued by political instability yet it is one of the oldest states functioning in the world with a complex and sophisticated legals system and bureaucracy. It has a truly unique culture that has never been overridden by another dominant culture. It is quite exceptional how the country has managed to keep its traditions strong and unique and this is because those traditions are living and real to Thai people. This is what makes Thai women so different. This is not just a hyperbolic claim, it is a real living truth that any western man living with a Thai woman or Thai wife will quickly discover. It is not something limited to elite or educated women but something that, across the board, makes all Thai women unique. It is linked to the strength of Thailand's main religion which is Theravada Buddhism but the traits that the unique tradition creates will also apply to Thai Chinese women and any woman who has been reared in a Thai household.

Traits that Thai woman may share with other women worldwide

It is a set of personality traits that nearly all Thai women share. This does not suggest that Thai women are not similar to women everywhere in the world. Many of these personality traits can be still be found in western society but they are more likely to be found among older generations or our grandparents or even more traditional parents of today's western men. These traits and the culture that creates them are also under threat and changing with the encroachment of western culture in Thailand. It can also be said that many of the political differences that define and separate Thailand today from western powers and institutions are linked to an effort by Thailand's leadership to protect the country's unique heritage and tradition. That tradition is patriarchal and it is why many feminists see Thailand as a target for change. But this is to oversimpy Thailand's culture and tradition which, in some respects, is also matriarchal and produces very strong women. Anyone with a full understanding of Thai women and their unique character and personality traits will know that they are not the submissive and oppressed creatures that many extreme feminists seek to liberate. They are very strong women with a unique sense of belonging to a powerful culture that gives them individually the capability of thriving in an open, free world. This is why they are sought after by many free thinking western men and why they pose a threat to a western concept of feminism which is falling and causing a social, economic and political crisis in the western world.

Why are Thai women so different

Thailand, formerly the Kingdom of Siam, is a nation that has existed for thousands of years. Extended and modernised in the 19th century by its ruling dynasty, the Kingdom of Siam became the Kingdom of Thailand, a constitutional monarchy in 1932, after a bloodless revolution which saw the absolute monarchy give way to a more secular society governed by laws but still centred around the institution of the monarchy and Buddhism which are essential elements of Thailand's culture. It is a country and society that has managed to keep its culture alive and quite apart from the rest of the world. By this we mean that every Thai family lives according to the teachings of Theravada Buddhism in a secure society and tradition that has never been suppressed by a foreign power.

Thailand is a uniquely stable country - this is of course a paradox

The country has always had an abundance of food and first through its monarchy, later through a constitutionally elected government has progressed carefully, slowly but continuously and successfully. Over its modern history there have been regular periods of military rule but the apparatus of state government has continued uninterrupted for hundreds of years. The military in Thailand is also an essential part of the country's culture. It is a respected institution in which all Thai male adults serve at some point. Thus, in spite of the popular association in western eyes that Thailand is the land of military coups, it is a country that has enjoyed stability which makes it in fact quite unique in the world. Thailand is a country full of paradoxes. The role of men and women are clearly defined and different from each other. In the past, women in Thailand had limited education prospects while boys trained through monasteries and the monkhood.

20th century development negatively impacted some Thai women

Curiously, in many parts of Thailand property was transferred through the matriarchal line while men moved about depending on their marriage prospects. In the last fifty years of the 20th century Thailand implemented major development and industrialisation plans which saw the harmony of traditional life disrupted and again curiously the power of more rural and less educated Thai women threatened by a movement from the land to bigger cities. At the same time more educated Thai women saw opportunities as Thailand opened up its civil service to women who also took up positions working in offices throughout the growing commercial sector. The innate skills that Thai women have for commercial activity and their desire for education saw those given the opportunity to learn progress. It is important to note that this was achieved through policies implemented by the Thai government. Through it all, Thai people have fallen back on their traditional values such a respect for elders and community.

Thai girls are thought to be traditional Thai women

From an early bage Thai girls are thought to be That women and to love Thai culture and traditions. This starts with a duty to family and to parents. Most Thai people live in rural communities, up to now often in small wooden houses as part of a close knit community. Thai women have been thought to aspire not to be aggressive, loud or disrespectful. Of course many are not but this is seen as a personal failure. Many will also have lived with an extended family and will be thought traditional modes of behaviours. Such as how to greet parents or a respected elder, how to dance, how to deal with the ups and downs of life's fortunes and how to make merit or interact with Buddhist monks at the temple.

Traditional Thai culture provides a framework and meaning to life for Thai women

Thailand has a unique culture that gives Thai people meaning and value in their lives even without material possessions. It is important to note that we are not discussing a romantic aspiration but something that is real and living. Of course many of these rural Thai communities have, in the past, suffered poverty particularly with the movement to the cities and with a government which does not extend a fully comprehensive social welfare scheme as in western European countries.

As Thailand urbanised some Thai women turned to prostitution

Many of the younger Thai women who were in the past exploited by agents acting for the Thai sex trade and sent to work in the cities as prostitutes. This happened where families had succumbed to debt through personal misadventure or simply bad luck or circumstances. It would be a gross distortion to suggest that all or even a significant proportion of attractive Thai women or girls in rural communities were sent to work as prostitutes. The huge growth of the prostitution industry in Thailand began in the 1960s when more foreigners arrived in Thailand but more significantly when large numbers of Thai men and women moved to the cities as the country industrialised and older community practices receded amidst the arrival of the first taste of western culture.

Myth that most Thai women are prostitutes is an appalling smear

Prostitution only involves a tiny fraction of Thai women or families. The myth of the Thai prostitution industry has damaged and smeared Thai women general around the world driven by western tabloid newspapers who revelled in the unique atmosphere that the industry generated in Thailand. It is testimony to the friendliness and politeness of Thailand as a country that such coverage did not create outrage. Another reason may have been an acceptance that many Thai women did work in the industry and a shared sense of responsibility and guilt. Thai people are actually very concerned about the damage that this industry has done to the country's reputation but are also sensitive to the fact that for hundreds of thousands of Thai women, often supporting families, it is the only path available.

Thai women today, like Thai women in the past, are forging a better future

The truth is that most poorer Thai families and Thai women will have worked hard not to take this path. They will have improved their lot during this era and would never have considered such a course which, while it less of a taboo in Thailand, is still considered shameful. Today Thailand as at the beginning of a new era in the country's development. The country has dramatically reduced chronic poverty even in the last decade and continuously since the industrialization era began. Now today there are ambitious economic plans such as Thailand 4.0 to turn the Thai economy into a high value one.

Thai women have more options and the prostitution industry in Thailand is actually in decline. The government has been steadily taking steps to limit it and suppress its activities. Today it is the hundreds of thousands of brave, enterprising and increasingly well educated Thai women who are making lives around around the world with foreign marriage or life partners who will define the image of Thai women in the future and who will also create a vibrant diaspora for Thailand abroad.

Most Thai people and families lead admirable lives

Thai families will have sought out opportunities or adhered strictly to their belief systems to rear good children as western families in older times strived to do. It is also important to note that the Thai traditional way of life extends to middle class Thai people working as teachers or government officials who also lived as part of the community. The key thing to note is that these were, and are today, admirable communities with families who believe in family unity, respect and adherence to good traditional principles. It is an orderly and organised society with a well organised government right up to the Thai monarchy at its pinnacle. The belief held by Thai people in Thai culture and tradition is thus central to the lives of Thai people. As in most families in the world, it is the women who are the focal point of the family. So it is also within Thai society. Thai men however, are, according to traditional principles, accorded respect and acknowledged as the head of each family. Thus Thailand is acknowledged as a patriarchal society where men are treated deferentially. It is another Thai paradox often difficult to comprehend.

Personality traits that make Thai women so unique

Bearing this background in mind we can now explore what are the traits that make Thai women so unique. This background should help anyone trying to understand that to appreciate that these traits are real, deeply ingrained and not simply a cultural ornament or stereotype from the past. We have already warned anyone thinking of a Thai woman as a love or marriage partner on the basis of the popular cartoon stereotype of sexy gold digger or prostitute, that it is a flawed and dangerous understanding that we will explore later.

Thai women are taught to be feminine and to speak softly

Firstly this of course does not mean that Thai women behave like this all the time. Anyone who has seen Thai women in each other's company as a group will know that they can laugh and be quite noisy. Any man who has disrespected his Thai girlfriend or Thai wife will at times, have found himself at the end of an outburst that would terrify the devil in hell. But Thai women are thought to be restrained, patient and slow to anger. Most Thai women, who have been reared properly, will behave this way with the exception of something that has aggravated them so much and caught them off guard that they lose control. Then beware. What makes such moments so dangerous is that there is a likelihood of all the repressed anger coming out. 'Thai people and Thai women take pride in being restrained and maintaining a calm sense of emotion. Many foreigners in Thailand get angry sometimes and the Thai person will smile as this means that the foreigner is not the same as the Thai people. To Thai people, being calm is the sign of a good person who is at peace. But many Thai people understand that the foreign culture is different. For thai people among themselves, it is different. I know an elderly Thai woman, in the last week, who rebuked her daughter, who is married to a foreigner, for arguing with him openly. The elderly Thai woman felt that her daughter was letting her down by behaving in this way,' says Carla Boonkong. 'Therefore we should not consider this trait as a sign of submission or weakness. To Thai people it is a sign of strength and right order internally to behave like this. It is the mark of a strong Thai woman.'

Thai women like to look beautiful even more than western women

Every girl in Thailand learns to appreciate beauty as most western girls do. Thai culture promotes the beauty of women from traditional Thai dancing to popular festivals. The concept of a beautiful, feminine woman is elevated even in the poorest communities and even more so in middle class and well off families. Traditional Thai costumes and attire accentuate the feminine form. Also, by definition, Thai women are beautiful even in physical terms. A large proportion of Thai women are beautiful. The combination of Chinese and Malaysian blood as well as the unique Thai physical forms means that even in Southeast Asia where most women are very beautiful Thai women stand out. Add to this the beauty, strength and vitality of Thai culture and you have what many in the described as the most beautiful women in the world. Thai women tend to be smaller with delicate feminine features, beautiful large eye and a big smile. Thai women, even in the poorest communities, are very enthusiastic about how they look. Even older Thai women like to look attractive and like to engage with the opposite sex. 'It is not uncommon for middle aged and even older Thai women to look for love again if a husband dies, a Thai woman likes the attention of a man or least living with a man,' says Carla Boonkong. Thai women seem to always find enough money for some special clothes or beauty products even though the country is poorer than developed western countries. In Thailand local markets and online networks sell cheap but effective products as well as second hand shops. There are so many small businesses providing makeup, hairdressing and beauty treatments for a fraction of the cost compared to western countries and economies. Thai women always manage to look very well - it is part of a growing culture that has developed in Thai towns and growing urban centres as Thai women have moved off the land and into offices, factories as well as business outlets and office buildings across the country.

Thai women are very conscious of money

In Thai households, as with many in the world and perhaps in olden times among working class western families, the woman of the house takes care of the money. Men in Thailand are generally less responsible with money than women. Even though Thailand is a patriarchal society where men are often elevated and considered more important, it has traditionally been the role of women to make ends meet when it comes to financial affairs. This might help to explain why Thailand is the 2nd country in the world, far ahead of western countries, when it comes to female CEOs. The number one if another poorer country with beautiful women, the Philippines.

Visit any market in Thailand - most of the traders are women

In a 1940s commercial census carried out in Thailand just after World War II, it was found that 76% of all small traders in the country were women. This still holds true today if you visit any Thai market or small shops. Most are operated by small Thai business women who are small scale entrepreneurs of immense talent. They survive in a financial and commercial climate that, by western standards would be considered cut throat and highly competitive. They often cooperate with each other and inter trade. There is no social welfare in Thailand and this certainly produces a lot of misery and suffering. Again, as in western societies in the past, it is the Thai women who makes the effort to find the solution for the household or family with regard to money.

Thailand's economy impacts but is also driven by Thai women

In rural parts of Thailand, Thai women will become traders, a very small number of unfortunate daughters infamously will have moved to the city to work in the sex industry or the woman of the house will sell something or simply contract a debt. This brings us to a fundamental problem. The level of household debt in Thailand, often with loans to illegal operators at astronomical rates. Many of the leading executives working in Thai banks in Thailand are women and the expansion of the banking sector in Thailand is a key facet in the economic success of the country and also the reduction of poverty. Thai women have been at the forefront of economic development in Thailand going to work in factories, offices and even the government since the 1960s.

Many middle aged Thai career woman seek a foreign partner

Many middle aged Thai women today are unmarried. Many of these are Thai women who have progressed careers at the expense of their personal life. Sociologists have identified that Asian women including Thai women are very unlikely to 'marry down' leaving many of these Thai women stranded without a marriage partner. Thes are among the growing numbers of Thai women seeking a foreign partner. Essentially, Thai women have great experience and capability in managing money and in most Thai families they are the ones making things work out, even to the extent of assisting their husbands or spouses where needs be or where the husband has good steady employment, the Thai wife or woman of the household will manage the family's finances. This implies that Thai men are less concerned about money. In many cases they are. Thai men value friendships and standing in society. They like to consider themselves not dominated by money and are often quite generous people. It's a difficult task and often does not work out but it is the personality traits that we are discussing here.

A Thai wife derives self esteem from taking care of a husband

Again, much has been written about this and it easy to dismiss it as sentiment or another stereotype. It is not a stereotype but a real way of thinking among the vast majority of well brought up Thai women. This does not mean that Thai women do not respect themselves or are content to be submissive 'doormats'. This is simply a false stereo stype and misunderstanding of Thai women. Of course, Thai women and Thai wives can get just as frustrated or annoyed with their husbands or partners behave or do not show respect, if not more, but their thinking is different. It is this thinking and thought process that is instilled by Thai tradition and culture that makes the difference. Research conducted by Thailand's Thammasat University in 2016 regarding Thai wives who had to deal with unfaithful Thai husbands shows that the almost invariable first reaction was not to divorce but to cope and deal with the situation for the good of children in the marriage and to preserve the Thai woman's esteem and prestige in the affair. It was found that many Thai women did not reveal the problem even to close friends such was their shame and embarrassment.

Western culture is being embraced filtering into Thai society

Notwithstanding this it should be noted that as western thinking and values encroach into Thai tradition through western media and the internet that these attitudes may be modified somewhat. Divorce rates in Thailand are rising particularly in urban areas and also among Thai foreigner relationships. It appears that while Thai women are very restraint about seeking divorce where a Thai husband takes a second wife or gik (mistress, girlfriend) according to tradition they are less retained where they are married foreigners if unfaithfulness occurs.

Thailand is still a society that western feminists rail against

It must also be emphasised that the Thai woman is not motivated to take care of a spouse or a husband simply out of fear of losing her marriage partner although this is a factor, to a Thai woman, the loss of face within Thai society is very painful. It is to many Thai women a symbol of success to have a stable relationship partner or husband as well as a family. The Thai wife can be thought of similar to our grandparents or even great grandparents. Even though many wives in western countries do today, there was a time when in western countries family photographs were of immense value to a woman including how her husband was presented and his status in life. It is what most western feminists rail against and it still exists in Thailand. This is also similar to many western women who still take pride in their marriage, family and home. In Thailand the difference is that the society and traditional support structure that used to exist in western countries still exists. In western societies is all but torn down and this is directly linked to religious belief.

Thai women and Thai wives are quite religious

Temples and Buddhist traditions are flourishing in Thailand. They are not just places for prayer and meditation but important centres for resolving and supporting a Thai person's life steps be it marriage, even a financial crisis and of course death. Many Thai women, who took part in the Thammasat University study reported that among their first acts in dealing wit the heartbreak and shock of finding out that their husbands had taken another partner was to visit a temple and seek spiritual support. In this respect, Thai women like this, would be seen as exceptional by western standards in that they value their husbands in these circumstances instead of condemning them and seeking to cut ties with a messy divorce. Such a course would be the now normal reaction of a western woman. This should be seen and understood as the result of changes in western countries and society which have seen marriage reduced to a temporary if initially a somewhat romantic arrangement.

Thailand's old fashioned society and culture strengthens marriage

Today, in some quarters of western society, multiple husbands or partners is seen as an expectation by many western women. Yes, Thai women are different. The value of being seen and appreciated by her husband is something that a Thai women takes great value from. It is not a trait that unique to Thai culture and the mindset of Thai women but Thai society and culture emphasises it through the close bonds and deep spiritual beliefs held by right thinking Thai people.

Thai wife or woman is looking for a husband who can lead

It should also be noted that, in return, a Thai wife or marriage partner will expect her husband to be strong and lead the family unit in terms of financial support and to demonstrate a commitment to work and progressing the family's fortunes. To understand the mindnest of the Thai wife or woman, some understanding of Buddhist teaching would help. The advent of a successful relationship and harmony between a good husband and a good wife is seen by the Thai woman as a valuable achievement and an important step in leading a good life and also seen as sign of good fate and fortune.

Success for most Thai women is a good husband and family

Although Thai men and women are predminaly Theravada Buddhists, it should be noted that the Buddhist religion in Thailand has been waved into the consciousness of Thai people who have many distinct and quirky belief systems that vary according to origins and standing in Thailand and indeed personality. The harmony and love between a good wife and a good husband is something that is very valuable to all Thai women and she takes her role in making this happen very seriously. Again western values have encroached on traditional Thai thinking. It may be that Thai women who are more cosmopolitan and living Bangkok have a less traditional view but on the other hand, these women may often come from more middle class families and also Thai Chinese families who have different but just as conservative beliefs.Most Thai women generally support the view that success in life for a Thai woman is to find a good husband and build a successful family.

Thai girlfriends buy flowers for their boyfriends on Valentines Day

This belief system manifests itself in Thai wives or women who take great pleasure in tending to their husband. A Thai woman working in a busy office with a career will make it a point to make time to prepare dinner for her husband or undertake services for him that demonstrate her love. It is not uncommon in Thailand for Thai wives or even girlfriends to buy their husbands flowers for Valentine's Day to show their love and appreciation. 'I know a Thai woman who runs a successful chain of coffee shops in Bangkok. She is very successful, has a large staff but very day at 4pm she drives to her husbands office to bring him coffee and doughnuts. She will prioritise this task each day over accounts meetings or stock counts or even sometimes meeting important customers. She delights in never letting her husband down and seeing the smile on his face when he sees her. Her husband is an American foreigner. The couple have been happily married for twenty years now.' sasy Carla Boonkong.

Thai women don't like people who talk too much

As traditional Thai culture encourages respect for elders it also therefore encourages wisdom and good teaching or learning. Knowledge of character is something that all cultures value and it is often those that have lived longest among us that learn the importance of character and how to recognise it. Thai women, the right ones who are humble enough to commit to living live properly, learn to work hard and speak carefully. They learn to be mindful of making commitments and to recognise those who make them too easily or speak more than resorting to action. All talk, no action is a popular term that applies here.

Something expressions of love are not enough for Thai women

Also the background of Thailand's development and economic status means that most people in Thailand are reared to appreciate hard work and merit. Thailand's spiritual belief system is firmly entrenched and successful because it has allowed Thai people in even the most difficult personal straits to seek wisdom and apply good principles to life in all situations. This should be compared to western cosity in the last 50 years where young people are encouraged to be expressive and even idealistic and taught that this should be sufficient with a limited amount of work. On one hand Thai women are attracted to western men who a romantic or expressive. This is in contrast to Thai tradition where Thai men are often quiet and very reluctant to express emotion. This is seen as a symbol of strength. Thai women learn that western men are more attentive and expressive but are less than impressed by men who make commitments and promises that are not kept.

Thai women consider excess display of affection as a sign of low breeding

Firstly, we should point out and explain that Thai women are very affectionate and playful. More so than most western women, in fact. There is an intimacy and bond between a Thai woman and her partner that is very warm and touching. It is also quite unique. However in public and even in private, there is a sense of decorum that should not be breached. Even in private, a Thai woman will not like to be roughly handled even in play. This depends on the background of the woman but most Thai women will be offended by vulgar and aggressive actions. In public this requirement is heightened. Such behaviour is considered wanton in Thailand , a sign of lower breeding or a character that is less than wholesome. Most Thai couples will be slow to kiss or display too much affection in public. Of course this attitude is changing among some Thai women particularly younger women who watch western TV and movies. Again it is good to think of a western couple from a hundred years ago such your grandparents or great grandparents. Again this is quite hard to believe when compared to the popular and stereotypical image of Thai women generated by the western media because of the Thai prostitution industry.

To know the true nature of Thai women is to understand the travesty of the association of Thailand with prostitution

It will also give you some idea at how offended some Thai people and in particular Thai women are at that industry sand sometimes towards those who support it. On the other hand, most Thai people are practical and are well aware that the industry supports many vulnerable Thai women who, without it, would no be able to support their families. Also Thai people are very welcoming of foreign visitors and are pragmatic. Thailand's religion is not so judgmental, it's a about the relationship that each person has with themselves and appropriate behaviour throughout life.

A Thai woman will consider a passionate kiss as less than ideal

It is not acceptable in Thailand to kiss openly or in public. In western countries, a kiss on the mouth is the ultimate expression of love between two lovers. The longer, deeper and often more passionate the act, the more the couple beliveve themselves to be in love. Thai women, of course, kiss also in the appropriate situation such as the privacy of a bedroom but the culture is somewhat different. The Thai woman is unlikely to be aggressive and passionate. Indeed, she would consider this to be less than ideal. She may accustomise herself her boyfriend's or husband's desires as she understands the western tradition. Thai bar girls, escorts and prostitutes will think like this but in her heart of hearts, a decent and well brought up Thai woman will prefer something less passionate and to her mind, more intimate.

Thai women don't like violent kissing but offer something deeper and more powerful - it's called a sniff kiss

The ultimate Thai expression of love is what is called a sniff kiss. In Thai language, it is expressed as 'haawm kaem' which means pleasant or welcome smell. With this expression the Thai women will use her nose to sniff her loved one gently and with great tenderness. It could start with her nose close to your cheek and extend to your hair or vice versa. Thai women have incredible smell and this expression shows she loves your smell, almost like an aura. For any western boyfriend or husband who has been at the end of this experience, it is an unforgettable and exhilarating one. It is also most effective when it is given spontaneously and quite out of the blue. It is an expression that Thai people reserve for those that they love deeply with their inner heart and soul. A mother may love a dear son like this while a devoted wife or girlfriend will express this feeling at a time when it is vital. It could be at a time of great joy and excitement or it could quite often by at a time when you as couple are facing a challenge and the Thai wife or woman wants you to know that she loves you. This epitomises the joy and special nature of a relationship between a Thai woman and western man when it is working well.

Thai women have an incredible sense of smell

Women have far superior sense of smell than men. This is true the world over and was confirmed in 2014 when Brazilian scientists used advanced tests to prove that women have 50% more brain cells devoted to smell and consistently outperform men in detecting and evaluating odours. The team from the University of Rio De Janeiro led by Professor Roberto Gent found that this is because of sexual anatomical differences between men and women. A similar study was conducted specifically with Thai men and women in 2013/2014 with the results published in a publication called Asian Biomedicine and it also found that Thai women were far more sensitive and discrimination when it came to odours than Thai men. It is thought that the finer build and feminine nature of Thai women may boost this sensitivity further. Anyone who has dated or spent time with a Thai woman will know that their sense of smell is uncanny. Therefore they are also sensitive to western men who tend to sweat in tropical climate like Thailand so great care must be taken.

Thai women are well groomed and like their men this way also

Thailand is still quite old fashioned a are Thai women. Aside from the unique culture, this may be a key part of the appeal. This means that in Thailand how you dress and appear is very important. First impressions count in Thailand. A Thai woman will always put her best foot forward no matter how limited her means. She will have her hair styled, apply cosmetics and generally Thai women have a critical eye for beautiful fashion. A cursory look at a western managazine and Thai women will spot the fashion trend or nuance and reproduce it. They are conscious of cleanliness and how they smell. So for a western man it is advisable to look neat, fashionable and smart. Thai women are not impressed by bearded men. Again think of your father or grandfather dressed for Sunday as a young man or chic male fashion from the 60s or 70s or today's more conservative fashion lines and you will have what a Thai woman considers to be an attractive and presentable man. Do not underestimate the fashion sense and taste of Thai women, they know what it is to be overdressed and appropriate attire for each occasion. So while a suit, shirt and tie is generally very acceptable, more casual attire is required for family gatherings. Many The women dating foreigners enjoy stepping out of their own traditional clothes and dressing in a western manner. They have a good eye for what is fashionable also for western men.

Thai women take pride in being a couple or a pair

A Thai woman once she enters a relationship with a foreigner who fits her ideal of a dream partner will revel in the relationship. To a Thai woman, interested in dating foreigners, a foreigner or farang represents a status indicator or a message that she is looking beyond Thailand and think internationally. To some the truth is that the Thai woman is stigmatised by the move which up to fifty years ago would have been quite unthinkable. However to many Thai people, a foreigner partner is an indicator of enhanced wealth. Thai women therefore feel a special obligation to make the relationship a success. She will like to see her foreign husband, boyfriend or farang and herself as a successful team. She will do things like insist on getting photographs taken together, be seen goi on holidays together and will delight in having matching possessions wit her husband or boyfriend.

Thai women love indicators that they are a team or 'pair' with their love partner

Many Thai woman admire foreigners particularly western foreigners and will see their new relationship as something that enhances their prestige. A western man might find that his Thai wife or girlfriends lays her mobile phone or briefcase next to his, the message being we are a couple, we area team. In Thai culture this vision of a pair or couple is very strong and powerful, it is like a shared mission or spiritual bond between man and woman that brings good fortune as well as being uplifting for both parties.

Thai women will examine the bill at the end of the evening

Thai women see themselves as the curator of the family's finances and so those of her husband and boyfriends more particularly as a boyfriend or husband in Thailand. But this applies to Thai women wherever in the world you live with them. At the end of an evening in a restaurant or bar, they will ask for the bill and scrutinize it on behalf of their husband or boyfriend. They will also not be afraid to ask questions about anything untoward or unexpected in the bill and will beam with pride if they save their husband or boyfriend's money. This applies to all well reared Thai women or perhaps those who come from families with a commercial background. This behaviour is not universal. other Thai women will look at this behaviour as lacking in class and are conscious of western attitudes. They may view this behaviour as stingy and cheap. However If you find you have a Thai woman with this habit you know you have a lady who has your back while some of the other ladies may be more interested in spending your money than taking care of you.

Thai woman in bed - are they good at sex?

This is a delicate subject which could not be more personal.The honest answer to this question is that a hot hearted, sexy and beautiful western woman is more of a kick in bed. Most western women are more passionate than Thai women and it must be said sexier if sexual kicks are what you are looking for. Thai women, when they are younger are certainly more feminine and delicately built. Some of them, in the privacy of a bedroom can be alluring and seductive but in a quiet gentle way. Of course this is a matter of opinion and depends on the man or woman. This article sets out to discuss Thai women from a respectable background. By this definition Thai women are reserved and quiet chaste. Of course Thai women who have worked in the prostitution industry and there are many, will have learned the arts of a pleasing a man in bed. But remember this is small fraction of normal Thai women despite popular stereotypes and false trope peddled by the western press and media. Many foreign men are particularly attracted to the petite, feminine form of Asian women and Thai women are among the most beautiful in Asia. However it is true that Thai women who are well brought up view sex a something a woman should not be overly interested in. They will however make an effort to please a man in bed and will take pride in a husband who stays faithful.

A Thai woman's attitude towards sex is quite traditional and conservative

Again this also depends on the woman but in general Thai women are less assertive and able in the bedroom than the average western woman if the woman is well brought up. If a western man finds a Thai women who personally likes sex then he may have the best of both worlds as the woman will bring all the other qualities to the relationship and will be anxious to keep her husband or boyfriend. To a feminist, of course, this is anathema and something that has to change in Thailand. Perhaps they have a point.

Thailand is still a society where a woman seeks the approval of her marriage partner

Thailand is still a patriarchal society where women define themselves by the reaction or satisfaction of their boyfriends or husbands. To many modern or young foreign men who married to Thai women this is something that is also unacceptable. It is also changing in Thailand as western values creep in but there is also traditional Thai teaching which suggests that sex is something sacred between a man and women and to do with the begetting of children. To good Thai women it is that and also something very personal and private between a Thai woman and her husband and to be kept that way. Again we have the analogy of how your western grandmother or great grandmother would have thought about sex. It is true today in Thailand among most Thai women with a gradual change of attitude to western norms taking effect with more affluent and younger women in Bangkok and central Thailand. These women are tune with western thinking and feminist ideals.

Even if more modern Thai women still seek eligible marriage partners

Even these young women will still be found at the gym and staying in shape to attract an eligible boyfriend. There is this matter of face and pride that is quite distinct in Thai women and this applies to the world of dating and sexual relations. A young Thai woman is looking for a man with the right 'spec' and when she finds one, she will go out of her way not to lose him. Here there is a subtle difference in values between Thai society and western society even among the affluent or middle class families. Many advanced western countries have a now reached a point where both marriage and having children is beginning to become an object of social criticism. It is this social mood that is driving more younger western men to seek girlfriends or marriage partners in Thailand.

Many Thai women view aggressive sex are depraved

Well brought up Thai women are very self conscious about sex. They are essentially shy and timid in bed. Many are surprised with the forward nature of modern western lovemaking. To them this is 'hard sex' and to certain extent depraved. Some Thai women will enjoy this but they are arguably not as forward as western women. This also depends on the background to the Thai women. We have outlined elsewhere with our news section that there 7 different kinds of Thai women depending on economic status and which region of Thailand they come from. Generally however Thai women are straitlaced and scrupulous about sex, contrary to every stereotype. For most western foreigners in Thailand it is more likely, because of their status, that they can find a more accomplished, more beautiful woman than in a western country. If the western man and Thai women are lucky then they may experience a sexual chemistry. Thai women who are the most enthralling are normally quieter and more submissive in the bedroom. While most Thai women are prudish about sex, many Thai women quietly enjoy it.

A Thai women dressed for bed - this is not a joke

This is quite a distinguishing trait. Thai women will always put on a night dress and clothing for bed. Just as they wear a shower cap for showering. That women also like to shower before bed or at the end of the day. It is considered the mark of a very low person in Thailand to sleep without clothes on or even underwear as is becoming a norm in western countries among younger people. Again think about your grandparents. A Thai woman will present herself for bed in her night clothes and will often say prayers before fully opening the covers and getting in. Again this changes with more cosmopolitan and westernised Thai women of a younger age living near Bangkok.

Thai women like to be a group like all women

We all know that women bond and network together better than men. It is something in the DNA and many scientists have given reasons for it. Thai women, being ultra feminine are masters at networking and communicating together. Many Thai women have small businesses and will network together to loan money or provide financial assistance. This has been noted by sociologists in the the Netherlands and Germany who found Thai women had informal group lending schemes where members clubbed together based on mutual trust and assistance. Anyone who has seen a group of Thai women eating and socialising together will be struck at how vocal and animated they become with each other. Yet behind this sisterly network every Thai woman has a special place for her husband and will judge herself and present herself to her friends as her husband's wife. It is not what modern day feminists want to hear.

Thai women with networks each have their standing and worth

Women in Thailand judge their status by how successful their relationship is and the status of their husband but this is the Thai cultural conditioning which is, of course patriarchal. Yet these women are highly capable individuals who are quite judgmental of each other. They will judge each other by how well spoken they are of other people and will attempt to avoid such discussion according to Buddhist principles. Within the groups each woman has a standing according to her fit with the highest ideals of good behaviour and of course their social status including achievements, wealth and most importantly, character. This can sometimes lead to problems so Thai women are careful who they associate with.

Thai woman will make her husband look good

Most people know and understand the Thai concept of face or appearances and how important it is in Thai society. To a Thai woman the ultimate face or front to the public eye is her husband. Because Thailand is a patriarchal society most Thai women even many younger women still adapt a deferential attitude to their husband or the man they have chosen to be their life partner. In the best Thai manner and high level of politeness, they will be coy about outlining or displaying their own accomplishments or achievements but will feel great satisfaction from having others discover the status or standing of their husband. A Thai woman will go to great lengths to make sure her husband looks good. Where a western woman will berate her husband for forgetting an anniversary a Thai woman will remember it herself and set her husband up to succeed as a devoted spouse. In fact, this is a key trait of very good Thai women. To the Thai woman with a husband, her husband's behaviour is an indicator of how he feels about his wife and to many Thai women being a loved and a successful wife is a superior goal and the sign of a good and successful woman.

Thai women are super affectionate

Despite the reluctance to display affection in public, being prudish in the bedroom and prone to quite old fashioned behaviour, Thai women are very affectionate. A gentle reassuring touch here and there and a warm loving atmosphere is part of the joy of living with a good Thai woman. Although Thai people do not touch the head, many Thai women are intrigued that they can ruffle or touch a foreign husband's hair. Thai women love to be hugged or given a gentle massage and love to be with their boyfriends, husbands as a 'pair' or couple. It is these little expressions and intimacies as well as a wife's politeness and consideration that will impress any western man.

Thai woman will hide her disappointment

A Thai woman will try, wherever possible to avoid confrontation or conflict with her husband or boyfriend. Often times she will smile and move off the subject if something doesn't please her. It is a mistake for any western man to ignore this. Many critics of Thai culture and Thai people clam Thai people can be two faced. This is accurate as Thai people prioritize harmony and non conflict. An astute observer will differentiate a polite but cold smile from a genuinely warm and enthusiastic smile and agreement. Otherwise a Thai woman will keep secrets in her heart and that cannot be good but it is the Thai way.

A Thai woman can keep secrets - unfortunately they come out

Thai women are very feminine and women all over the world are skilled at keeping their own counsel or secrets. Thai women are even more capable. They will keep things back that may cause offence or a conflict. This can be a problem in financial matters or where the Thai woman has a weakness. It can also lead to uncontrollable situations when all the hurts coms forth at a time of crisis when she is pushed beyond her limit.

When a good Thai woman loses her temper - run or calm her down quickly

A Thai woman will avoid conflicts but if confronted by a failure on her part or a loss of face, she will lose control. This is particularly likely to happen if repeatedly criticised for something she feels or she has done wrong. This loss of temper is not just anger and frustration at her boyfriend or husband, it is more dangerous. It is a Thai woman feeling a sense of failure and dislocation because she feels that she herself has broken faith with what is good and right under Thai culture. It is equivalent to momentary nervous breakdown. These situations can be dangerous. It is never a good idea to deeply or destructively criticise anyone but particularly a Thai woman of any age or any background.

A Thai woman will work with you as team

We have referred to it in other articles but a Thai definition of marriage or a relationship is best summed up by an elephant. The man is the leader or front legs and the women is the elephant's hind legs. This is the Thai view of a successful marriage. A good Thai woman will expect her husband to lead and will do everything possible to support him. Sometimes she will cheekily put answers in front of the elephant and perhaps engineer them but it is the husband who must decide. The problems occur when a man does not lead or consistently chooses the wrong direction. Even then, a Thai woman will consider this her fate and will still try to support her husband. This commitment to work as a team and to show defencer to her husband is something that used to be normal in western countries but has been replaced by feminist thoughts on equality and increasingly preset standards and modes of behaviour set externally by the government or laws. Many western men are attracted to this Thai definition and it is one of the reasons why so many western Thai marriages are successful in all respects.

That women like status and 'face' - like many women in the world

Thailand is an old fashioned society with a constitutional monarchy that has preserved its culture and traditions. Status and standing is very important in Thai society and wit Thai women. A good job, good education and financial success are very important as it is for western women also. Again the difference is the status in Thailand is a more old fashioned concept as it was for western grandparents and even great grandparents.

Thai women take responsibility but can lose heart

Thailand is a conservative and old fashioned country no matter what class or level a Thai woman comes from. Old fashioned attitudes tend to instill responsibility. In Thailand there is less room for too many options. Many Thai women come from poorer backgrounds where a personal mistake or misjudgment can lead a family to perilous straits unimaginable in current western society particularly European states with social welfare. Thailand is, in fact, very much a 19th century society in a modern world.

There is also the Thai education system which is not as comprehensive or effective as western education systems. It tends to be more pragmatic but limited. Thai women are very pragmatic even though their thinking is guided by Buddhist principles. One particular consequence of this is a lack of willingness to fight or struggle when the odds are stacked up against a person. It is a fundamental difference between Thai and western culture. The western mentality is to fight and struggle against all odds. Western culture emphasises this as heroic wheares Thai culture teaches people to accept fate. This is why many Thai families accept the fate of daughters sent to work in the prostitution industry or the parting of families due to economic conditions. This attitude may apply more to people from Northeastern Thailand or Isaan which has historically in Thailand ben oppressed. But even among women from Bangkok or central Thailand as well as more middle class Thai families there is a pragmatic spirit that is wary of adventurous and exotic ideas and a pragmatic sense of responsibility.

Thai women have a thing about feet

Thai women like to shower and clean themselves often. They will often shower before they go to bed which is quite different to western practice. They will also clean their feet as a priority. The feet in Thai culture are seen as unclean. It is also not advisable to touch a Thai woman even n play with your foot. It is likely to arouse outrage if not anger. It is a gesture that implies subjugation and very low regard. It is similar to treating the Thai woman like a dog. Similarly when a Thai woman dislikes something strongly, she may express this by showing her foot or feet to the subject. While it sounds funny or a joke, a Thai woman will take such an action to heart and find it deeply troubling. It is a very real insult.

Some Thai women can take risks - another paradox

We have discussed how Thai women are pragmatic and thought to stay very much on the beaten track when it comes to life decisions. This is true. But as with everything in Thailand and Thai women there is a contradiction or paradox. Thai people are attracted to gambling. The Thai woman will feel danger at doing something risky but it is something that excites her. There is an inverse relationship between the teaching to stay on the safe path and the thrill of doing something dangerous that appeals to some Thai women particularly those who make the decision to seek a foreign husband, partner or boyfriend. Many Thai woman are small business people and in the last thirty years as bank accounts have become more widely available, they have been tempted by the financial offers of the banks and loan opportunities to buy property, cars and other status symbols. Many Thai women seeking relationships with foreigners are also fleeing debt in Thailand. This has been shown by international studies into Thai women living in Europe.

Some unmarried and wealthy Thai women with careers taking to online dating

Thailand is a country where, despite relatively new and progressive bankruptcy laws, a debt is never forgotten. The business mentality and financial management talent of Thai women also plays into this. The problem is that when things go wrong, a Thai woman will tend to give up more easily than a western woman or as she would fathom, face the consequences of action, her fate. Of course we must be careful of generalisations, myths and stereotypes. Most Thai women may never step outside the beaten path, there are tens of thousands of unmarried Thai women who have significant assets and life savings working for the Thai government or banks in Bangkok who have never had a relationship. There is some evidence that some of them have taken to online dating looking for a foreign husband which is seen as status symbol in some but growing quarters in Thailand.

The heart of a Thai woman compared to a western woman

We have discussed many traits of Thai women. Must have been brought up in a patriarchal society and have been thought to revere tradition. There is almost a child like quality to a Thai woman's commitment to Thailand and a Thai woman's heart reflects this. They are sincere yet they are capable of caprice like nearly all women. The key differences between Thai women and western women is that Thai women are less cynical about men and have a deep desire to find a relationship with a man that is a success. Culture has thought Thai women to try to maintain a cold heart or not to get excited yet this same culture teaches a deep and profound love between a man and woman living as a couple.That same love applies also to family.

A western woman may be more confrontational

The key difference is that a western woman will struggle and confront a man about challenges and personal shortcomings. However if a western women is committed to a man, she will fight with him against all odds. Modern western culture or feminism sets out to break this relationship and commitment as 'patriarchal'. It encourages western women to think of themselves as individuals and relationships as a partnership of equal individuals. Yet despite this many western couples involving men and women do form unbreakable bonds.But this is becoming increasingly difficult with social media, mainstream media and legislation promoting a relationship based on community, equality and feminist principles.

A Thai woman's heart while loyal and loving may also be more passive

In Thailand the Thai woman looks to her partner or husband as a spiritual and personal commitment above all else. This is wonderful once the couple do not suffer adverse headwinds.The Thai woman, although sincere and loyal, will look to her husband for emotional support more easily than a western woman. In this respect a Thai woman's heart may at times be more passive. Just as western men are more volatile or driven by heart, a western women is also passionate in her support for a spouse once she is deeply committed. There are many reports of Thai women living with foreigners in Thailand who have decided to commit suicide together. In other situations, if a Thai woman is constantly let down by a foreign partner she may quickly lose heart and move away. Thai culture identifies the man as the leader in the relationship and she will have risked loss of face and stigma by accepting and honouring a western love or marriage partner. If the western man fails to lead or is weak, she will lose heart quite quickly. On the other hand, while a western couple may be troubled by new social norms, if the western woman is 'in love' she is likely to be stronger and more aggressive.

Western women are often unfairly criticised when compared to Thai women

Simply put, western women have more fight. Two hearts from two different cultures. This fascinating comparison is what leads some western women to label western men, who week Thai wives or partners, as 'losers'. There may be some truth in this if the man is simply seeking a submissive Thai woman to bolster his ego if he has failed to deliver in a previous relationship. If he is genuine and committed to his new Thai wife or love partner he will find, as many men do, no more loyal wife or partner in a Thai woman. The point of these words is to illustrate the value and appreciation that we all should have for many, if not most, western women who are often unfairly criticised.

Western men seeking a Thai wife, marriage or love partner want a slightly more traditional relationship

Most western men seeking a relationship with a Thai woman are opting for this course as they are looking for a more traditional relationship or are seeking the value the cultural difference that Thai women represent. In both cases it is true to say that it is a rejection of the social trend in western countries which seeks to divide men and women and increasingly dilutes the enhanced and powerful value of a man and woman working together through marriage. This is linked to the decline in religion and the belief in God that is accelerating in western countries. In today's world a Thai wife from a good background and with all the flair and attributes that most have, gives a western man of any age, a better chance in life at finding happiness and success. This is what is happening as even more younger western men seek Thai women as marriage partners. It is true to say that even without the social changes seen in the West, we would still see more interracial marriages between Thai women and western men because of the increasing globalization of the world and the powerful attraction between the two cultures but the numbers would be reduced. Two hearts, two similar but different visions of love between a man and woman.

Honesty and plain talking is not a quality of Thai women

We have discussed how Thai women are sincere but this does not always mean honesty. In Thailand politeness and tact are considerably higher virtues than in western countries. A personals politeness defines hi orn her as good or bad. Direct blunt and sometimes angry person is appreciated in western countries as 'coming to the point'. 'Not beating about the bush' or a rough diamond. It is a particularly highly valued trait in business in the west and this has extended into society even more in the internet age although it is being tempered by politically correct ideology. In Thailand the impolite, abrasive person is an outward sign of an angry heart and lower form of individual. Even more so, in a relationship, a Tha woman is thought from an early age to be demure, quiet and to smile first for the seniors in her family, her teachers and boss at work etc. When dating men she acts the same even though it is rather than traditional in Thailand in some quarters for Thai woman to reach out to men when dating or courting. She may do this but at the same time will never appear forward. This is the Thai way. Subtle, quiet and indirect. In a relationship this can lead to problems.

Honesty and trust must be firmly established in all Thai foreigner relationships

If a Thai woman makes a financial mistake and as is customary, she handles the finances, she may be slow to reveal any bad news. She may not agree with her husbands plan for a new job but she will not express it directly. She can keep secrets in her heart. This is an obvious problem and does lead to personal tragedy and misery. One of the key advices on these pages to any foreigner seeking a Thai wife or relationship partner is to establish, from the beginning, the blunt truth and value of honesty. Ironically it is this approach that has a lead many Thai women to value their foreign or 'farang' relationship partner.

Gambling can be a problem for some Thai women

Gambling is a major problem in Thailand. It is illegal but many Thai people more often men and younger Thais become addicted to gambling. Many Thai women are of a similar disposition. There have been some reports of Thai women who have married foreigners where huge gambling debts were incurred against properties purchased by foreigners in the name of Thai wife, girlfriend or spouse. Obviously this is depends on the background of the Thai woman or spouse but the gambling streak among Thai women is pronounced among many.. Although gambling is illegal in Thailand, a huge proportion of Thai women take part in national lotteries. There are two lotteries in Thailand, one is legal and one is illegal or underground lottery that is accepted by the many in the Thai population since it lends employment to many at the borders of society and is often their only source of income. Many Thai woman obsess, on a daily basis, on the right numbers to win lottery and never seem to stop and think carefully about how much money is spent or lost over long periods. This also applies to casinos which attract Thai women wherever they open up. There is something about the Thai character that is prone to gambling even though it is recognised in Thai culture as a major vice. On the other hand, again paradoxically as this is Thailand, a large number of Thai women will be brought to stay clear of any gambling activities.

Real Thai women are shy with foreigners, some are very interested, some not all

It must remember that dating or marrying foreigners was anathema to Thai women up to very recently. It was strictly taboo. Even with the changes of the last fifty years heralded by cheaper travel and the internet, there is still a taboo in many sections of Thai society. However the internet has really impacted the situation across Thailand with the sheer scale and numbers of Isaan women marrying foreigners playing a big part. This phenomenon very much changed hearts in that part of Thailand and the trend has spread throughout the country. It is important to bear in mind that a majority of Thai women would never consider marrying a foreigner although the surge in numbers has created a fascination and a more positive image. Most foreigners visiting Thailand, living in Thailand or marrying Thai women are quite respected. This is linked to the fact that this trend has been accompanied by inward investment into Thailand with many positive stories on media of Thai women who have found new and successful lives abroad and in Thailand itself. But there are critics and some concern among some Thais on cultural and other grounds.

Learning to speak English and eager to know how western foreigners think of Thai people

Thai women are naturally shy about meeting foreigners. They are very aware of the difference in culture and habits of foreign men particularly western men. This is augmented by many myths and stereotypes. In some Thai circles, foreign men are seen as violent and passionate, in others, they are generous and rich. Most Thai women are shy when first meeting foreigners even those interested in finding a new relationship outside Thailand. They are concerned about their language ability and that their manners are to be pleasing. We are speaking here exclusively of Thai women who do not work in the hostelry business and those working in massage parlours and bars which are fronts for prostitution.

Many Thai women study foreign languages phrases and those that are interested in meeting foreigners must overcome the shyness and nervousness of reaching out to a foreigner. Currently in Thailand many Thai people, men and women, young and old, are learning to speak basic English. The Thai language phonetically is very different to English and it is difficult for Thai people to master the language. There is in fact an enthusiasm i Thailand among its people to welcome foreigners and it is not unusual to be stopped on the street and told that you are welcome to Thailand by an absolute Thai stranger.

Most Thai women are keenly interested in western culture

It is nearly always a good thing to find a Thai woman who actually appreciates the cultural differences between Thailand and western culture. Thai women also have a fascination with Japanese culture which they compare to western culture and which is quite different. The shyness that Thai women experience is the fear of losing face by failing to appreciate or understand western culture or western men when they meet or interact with them.

Many Thai women struggle with English or foreign languages

The standard of English and grasp of foreign languages in Thailand is poor. It is perhaps the lowest in Asia or even in the world. The reason is the strength of the native Thai language and a relatively poor education system when it comes to teaching English which relies to some extent on foreign language teachers and many Thai teachers who have limited or non fluent English capability. It is being urgently addressed by the current Thai government but there are also many language schools in Thailand to cater for all budgets which many Thai women use. Many Thai women struggle initially with limited English but it should be noted that Thai women with fluent English are very likely to have worked or interacted with foreigners. Many successful relationships are formed between Thai women who have worked in marketing or hotels with foreigners whereas relationships between Thai women and those working in the prostitution industry are more likely to fail.

Many Foreign Thai couples report that an initial language barrier can be a good thing

Also research has shown that an inability to speak English or a language of a foreign destination country great islates a Thai woman in a relationship with a foreign man. However many foreigners report a great joy and deepening of the relationship with a Thai women who has learned English or a language to further the relationship. This effort deepens the bond between the couple and many foreigners with Thai wives or girlfriends report that they prefer that their Thai love doesn't speak fluent English. This can be the case even with Thai women who have lived in western countries for twenty years were little speech idiosyncrasies remain and are endearing to the husband or foreign spouse. Initially it is a hurdle to overcome but many relationships that are successful start between a foreigner and a Thai woman who is required to and capable of learning English or a foreign language . This is necessary in any event in order to obtain visas in most countries including all EU countries where a standard language test must be passed in order to prove that the Thai woman or potential Thai spouse has the language capability to live in the destination country.

Thai women are intelligent but not worldly

As anyone that has lived with a Thai women will know, they have an exceptionally high IQ. In fact, Asian people in general have higher IQs than most people from western countries. This is not apparent however as Thailand has a limited education system which is below the level of most developed western countries.

Inter cultural transfer between Thai women and western men

Many Thai women do not have the a deep grasp of history or historical knowledge nor the same grounding in basic mathematics as thought in western schools. The immersion of Thai women in Thai culture and Thai current affairs is very strong and this is understandable as Thailand is very much a true nation with strong interconnectedness and loyalty to each other almost like a giant family. This produces a mindset however that is more inward and in recent years this has been a key driver of a profound desire by many Thai women to reach out and to travel abroad. This is one of the reasons why Thai foreigner relationships are so successful as both parties to the relationship bring a distinct culture and are interested in learning from each other. Many foreigners married to Thai women report that this is unexpected and deeply rewarding benefit of the relationship.

Thai women are excited by foreign cultures but are still discovering their own

Their is a deep desire among many Thai women to explore and learn about other cultures particularly western culture and also Japanese culture. To many Thai women this does not mena a lack of enthusiasm or loyalty to Thai culture. In fact they are excited to discover how unique they are in the world and it heightens their self esteem. To Thai women, learning to understand and be part of western culture has become very fashionable in the last few decades and ha always been part of affluent, middle class Thailand. There is some evidence to suggest that in the last few years this trend has been reversed as Thai women have begun to appreciate traditional Thai culture and even Thai history. There many reasons given for this but one has to be the current instability in the world and a growing appreciation of Thailand's unique identity.

Western dream is fashionable and growing in Thailand

Many Thai women are attracted to the western lifestyle and many affluent Thais live the western dream more than the average western person. Middle class Thai people have also begun to travel to foreign countries on a regular basis with lower air fares and travel offers proving very popular. This is as a result of continued economic development. Many western movies are shown in Thailand with Thai language dubbing while western magazines have local editions with Thai script for Thai women who avidly copy the latest fashions often using ingenious methods on a tight budget. Thai women along with Thai people in general have a sharp eye for fashion and style at all levels of society.

Thai women concerned about their image in foreign countries

It is very touching to see how Thai people love their own culture and their King. This love extends to their family and parents in the form of respect. The country is closely knit so Thai people feel personally involved in a way that many westerners find surprising. While they can be critical of their own country it is walsy unwise to criticise Thailand, Thai society or Thai culture to a Thai woman. They will nearly universally take it personally and be quite hurt. It is quite astonishing to see the genuine hurt on a Thai woman's face if you criticise any aspect of her country. While they recover and compose themselves, you will have wounded them internally and their will be a price to pay ultimately. In other circumstances, they may deny that you are right and defend their country and culture even in the face of overwhelming evidence. If you persist in your criticism you may find yourself being classed as an undesirable or subversive foreigner. Not only are you being impolite but you are also thinking badly and surely there is something wrong with you personally for expressing such thoughts. This is how a Thai woman perceives your criticism of her country or culture. Don't do it or you will be suspect. A word of praise from you about Thai food or the Thai customs or a few words in Thai and genuine appreciation of her country and culture and it will be obvious that you are a person with inner goodness and your Thai woman will smile and bask in the glory of being Thai. Yet she will always ask you to reaffirm your support and belief in her country and genuinely feels that that Thailand is a part of her. Thai people like to read news reports on how Thailand is perceived by other countries and are deeply upset if the country, its leadership or goings on are reported in the foreign media in a poor light. Among each other how Thailand is perceived abroad is an important issue and a reflection on everyone concerned.

Thai women love to travel

We have covered how Thai women are interested in foreign culture and travel. They will be interested to see photos and reports of friends that have traveled abroad. Many Thai women see a trip to a foreign country as a prime indicator of status and are proud of having seen famous cities and places.The deep confidence of their tradition and culture actually drives them to seek new experiences. Many young Thai women enjoy foreign travel and seeing world famous cities and landmarks. Part of this is a sense of deep respect that Thai women have for foreign countries which is engendered by the patriarchal society and respect for authority. Thai culture teaches Thai women to be humble and look for ways to be of service. While they are very proud of their country, they are also very enthusiastic about learning the cultures and habits of foreign countries. The excitement of foreign cultures has been created by an inward looking culture that in the last few decades has been opened up to global media in particular western media outlets. To some adventurous Thai women, foreign travel is an exhilarating step towards a new freedom.

Thai women are thought to be polite

Again the traditional household fostered by Thai culture encourages respect for elders, for authority and for others. Thai women are thought from girls to be women quite similar to our grandparents and great parents. The importance of being polite and having good manners is very much part of Thai culture and Buddhist tradition. A loud and aggressive person is defined within Thai culture as a person with inner problems or even a bad person. The Thai idea for a woman is to be discreet and polite without displaying excessive emotion.

Thai women revere elders and family

It is a key principle of Thai tradition and culture that children and in particular daughters take care of parents and grandparents. This is almost a sacred pact. Of course there are exception and some Thai parents abuse the tradition but nearly all Thai women respect it. To break this patch is to dishonour ones family and oneself. Nearly all Thai women make an effort to be a good daughter to their parents and grandparents in this way. Thai women, as girls are thought to be reserved and respectful when around elders and to listen to what they say always in a position that leaves them physically at a lower level.

Thai women want to live the western dream

Thai women have up to now seen western countries as wealthier and the lifestyle and incomes achieved by western people is only an aspiration for most Thai people particularly those living at a lower level of Thai society and on the land. This is why the numbers of Thai women marrying western men from the Isaan region in Thailand is so high. It has now become part of the social fabric of these areas and many families have western son in laws. As the world opens up with global media, Thai women see the enhanced lifestyle in western countries and this is the dream. Even among very affluent or wealthy Thai women in Bangkok and Central Thailand, there is also a new fashion to seek a western partner as they are seen as more romantic and attentive to women. However this may be changing as Thailand prospers economically and middle class Thai men adapt some of the manners of their western counterparts while maintaining in the unique Thai qualities which are still very attractive to Thai women such as a cool heart and politeness. It is often mentioned that some Thai men have negative qualities but this is overblown. Thai men, like Thai women, have their own distinct culture, dating tactics and manners. To most Thai women, an eligible Thai man with a good character is the ideal partner. Many of the Thai women seeking foreign relationships have been rejected by Thai men or treated badly. Others have made a decision to seek a 'new life' with a western man and within western culture.

Thai women see life according to traditional principles

Thailand can be described as a conservative and old fashioned society by western standards. Thai women are quite conservative although they are open to learning and adapting new ways. Thai women aspire to learning and developing new habits. But it is unlike the culture of cynicism and disrespect for authority that has developed in western society among large segments of the population. Thai women value money and material things simply because they come from society where resources and wealth have been very limited and where money can be easily the difference between life and death.

Buddhist teaching and precepts important in relationships with Thai women

Thailand does not have social welfare system therefore families have learned to become very responsible. In fact for some, perhaps too responsible as this sense of responsibility has produced an aversion to risk. Those Thai women that reach out and seek a foreign love or marriage partner are making a bold and decisive move. A risk often driven either by difficult circumstances or a strong desire to explore new horizons. Good Thai women dating foreigners are bred from sound Buddhist teachings. They are eager to learn and listen to new ideas and ways of doing things once they are practical. In this sense, a Thai woman is thought to live life according to the teaching of parents, those in authority and Buddhist teachings. While they are motivated and value the importance of money, good Thai women temper this with sound buddhist teaching which warns about the danger of greed and behaviour which leads to disharmony. Too many of the horror stories that we hear of foreigners ending up with nightmare relationship partners are actually also easily understood by a Buddhist precept, that of karma. A bad Thai woman or a bad foreigners with wrong ideas will beget a failed relationship.

Thai women sound very different to the western ear

To many western men Thai women are the epitome of the feminine form, delicate and graceful with beautiful looks. It can sometimes be rather disconcerting when they first hear Thai women speaking. It is an accent and sound that is very different to what women sound like in the western world. Of course the feminine sound is there but the way the Thai language sounds is very unique. It is a nasal sound with many different tones as well as many different accents depending on the woman's region of birth and social background. Obviously to anyone in love with a Thai woman, it is the sweetest sound in the world and there are many western men who love the sing song sound of a Thai woman talking.

Thai women are a little discriminatory - to Thai people, Thailand is exceptional

Thailand up to the turn of the last century was a closed society. The strength and vivid nature of Tai culture is very much down to the country's preservation of its unique heritage. While Thai people have always interacted in foreigners, they have always, to some extent extent kept them at a distance up to recent times. Thailand is an old fashioned society with patriarchal and traditional values. While many elite and sophisticated Bangkok Thai women will be familiar with the new politically correct thinking of the western world, it is not so in Thailand in general. For instance there is distinct feeling in Thailand that white skin is preferable. There are even healthcare products that promise to whiten skin. A recent outrage in Thailand was involved a service offering to whiten skin around the genital areas. Even within Thailand, there is a certain discriminatory attitude depending on the part of the country the Thai person comes from. Therefore it is not surprising that many Thai women hold beliefs, whether expressed or not, that would be considered shocking in western countries. This is countered by an ability to be polite and Thai people go out of their way to avoid giving offence but at deep levels, there is an inherent distinction. Thai people have a high regards for western countries such as the US, Australia and in particularly the United Kingdom or European countries with monarchies. Thai people love their monarch which epitomises the country as does family and culture. While many Thai people are concerned about how Thailand is seen in western countries, they acknowledge that to be Thai is to be unique and exceptional.

Thai women love show, imitation, western culture and 'action'

It is another paradox about Thailand that while its people including Thai women are reserved and aspire to inner control and calmness that it is also a country that loves show and spectacle. Thai culture has many entertrainment forms including Thai dancing and stage plays while Thai women, like all Thais, love animated characters from TV and movies. The huge attraction of the 'Hello Kitty' themes for Thai women illustrates one aspect of this as well as the popularity of western culture movie characters such bas Spider Man. Anyone who has seen young Thai women engaged in conversation together will also understand this. Thailand, as a society, is at a stage where the many are experiencing wealth for the first time rather similar to western people in the 1950s and 1960s. Indeed even since the 1950s, Thai people have learned to enjoy the little improvements that the modern world has to offer. The sense of fun in Thailand is more vivid and animated. Thai women can be seen on social network sites like Facebook posing and making 'action' for the cameras as they embrace better life. It is this attitude and joie de vivre that allows Thai women, with relatively low salaries working as juniors in office in Bangkok and or Khon Kaen, capable of adapting the latest western fashions using cheap accessories, makeup and second hand clothes. Yet they look consistently well dressed and turned out.

Thai women are not proud of manual work - work is more about face than money

Thailand in the last 40 years has seen a transformation from an agricultural, rural society, with an urban centre in Bangkok and a handful of urban locations, into more of an urban society with the growth of Bangkok and other provincial centres due to rapid industrialization of the economy. It is now on the verge of beginning its next transformation. Most Thai women still come from a rural background. The change has brought many to regard farming as a less aspirational lifestyle. Many Thai women working on the farm wear hats and head covering to ward off the sun, to prevent skin damage and a darkening of the skin. To many Thai women, a darker skin is a sign of lower social status. The strength of feeling about this is heightened by discrimination in the past towards those working on the land including the fact that up to to the mid 19th century, many Thais in the North worked as slaves. Indeed, it is remarkable that many Thai people still retain Victorian attitudes as it was Victorian values that were introduced to Thailand when it made its first tentative steps towards development into a modern nation state at that time. This old fashioned attitude leads many Thais to aspire to a university degree and a job working with the precincts of an office. While this thinking is now thought of as outdated in western countries, it is still very much part of the thinking in Thailand. Many Thai women will opt to work in an attractive office in a central and visible location at lower salary than working in factory where they might earn over time. Status and face in Thailand is far more important than money for Thai women.

Thai women like to eat out and dislike cooking

Of course there are many Thai women who love cooking but popular culture in Thailand lends itself to eating out all levels of Thai society. Thailand has myriads of food outlets, down to street corner carts selling street food. It is quite normal for many Thai women to eat out most of the time and for many nearly all of the time. It is something quite unique in Thailand. Firstly there is a love of food, Thai food in particular. Snacking is popular and most days in Thailand see a continuous serving of food at outlets wherever there are people gathering. Cooking and eating at home in Thailand is more a middle class pursuit with manners and customs imported from western countries and also from China among those of Thai Chinese descent. Also Thai woman enjoy snacking better working to a philosophy that a little more often is better than large meals. Thai women like sitting on the floor while eating food with relatives and friends and this is an important facet of Thai culture. The western idea of set meals times and appropriate menus or diets for different times or occasions is quite new to Thai people. Many Thai women married to a foreigner adapt to this culture and may also like it.

Thai women call breasts 'milk'

One of the most surprising things that most foreigners will learn about good Thai women is that they are quite innocent. They have been brought up that right way in a traditional Thai family. More curiously, this can also apply to some Thai women who have been forced, through circumstances, to work in the prostitution industry. But thankfully, only a very small percentage do. Therefore Thai women have a guarded, even furtive, attitude towards sex. Many will be shocked to see the bikini styles of western women or even the exposure of breasts while others, living in urban areas, will consider such attire a risky or perhaps exciting experiment. To most decent Thai girls and women a woman's breasts are called milk.

Thai women are not fully aware of Thai history but want to know more about current affairs

Another curious trait of Thai women is that many are not very aware of the history of Thailand and its story. While all are devoted to the Thai King and monarchy, they are less educated about its history and that of the Thai nation. This may not be so surprising as in the 21st century many young western girls in say the UK and USA area less than knowledgeable about history. The reasons for it in Thailand are a limited education system and also the deep impact of Buddhism and its associated culture which in itself absorbs a lot of the attention that people pay to life outside the family. Recent political upheavals in Thailand have spekad an avid interest among Thai people across all sections of Thai society and regions in the country and its current affairs. 'Thai people are very conscious of how the country is perceived abroad. They are also seeking answers to the political troubles that the country has experienced. There is a conflicting feeling of support for Thailand and its own way of doing things but also a misgiving that Thailand may be out of step with the rest of the world. It's remarkable really. I thought some years ago that the colour coding protests in Thailand were quite unique. They certainly were troubling for all Thai people was well as foreigners but what has happened throughout the world since then with polarisation between left and right or even new definitions of that divide with Brexit and Immigration means that Thailand was simply experiencing these divisions sooner and within its own unique context,' says James Morris who is a writer with various foreign media and international publications as well as the Thai news website for foreigners, Thai Examiner.com. Thai women, who are educated are obviously more interested in the outside world and seeking answers. There is a thirst for knowledge among all Thai women as shown by their takeup and use of the internet. The most popular use of the internet among Thai women in Thailand is to learn particularly English or other foreign languages.

Foreigners and farang are quite exotic to Thai women

The strength of Thai culture and the attachment of Thai women to it means that foreigners in Thailand particularly western foreigners or 'farang' are viewed as being quite alien to most Thai women. The exception may be cosmopolitan or wealthy Thai women who travel extensively and have access to significant means and wealth. Even this group is now more likely to have a foreign partner or husband. To the overwhelming majority foreign men or farang are both more wealthy and come from a western culture which they like and even admire but regard as very different to their own. One way on understanding this difference in cultures is for a foreigner to take the trouble of learning the Thai language.

Thai women value a genuine appreciation of Thai culture

The Thai language reflects the thinking and thought process if Thai people and their culture. It is wrong to exaggerate the difference between the cultures and there is also the danger of creating tropes that do not exist. Human being from all countries and cultures have much in common and each individual is different. This is true but the differences between western culture and Thai culture with both their weaknesses and strength is also the basis for the attraction between them and between Thai women and western men. Failure to interpret these differences and misunderstanding of this but also including an exaggerated and false effort to adapt to the foreign culture are reasons for the failure of relationships between Thai women and western men. An example of this is a published story by a Thai girlfriend whose farang or western boyfriend insisted on giving all Thaisa ful wai or bowed greeting. The man failed to heed his girlfriends initially suggestions that such greetings were reserved for people of a higher pecking order or who may be due respect and only to be used for such occasions. The western man continued his wai making activity despite more pronounced reprimands until his Thai girlfriend finally lost her temper which deeply offended him. The relationship broke down because of this. 'Most Thai women interested in finding a foreign partner are looking for an authentic person who is both capable and respectful. They are Thai women who are more interested in western culture and western lifestyle although they appreciate very much an intelligent farang who is knowledgeable and respectful of Thailand,' says Carla Boonkong who has studied Thai foreigner relationships extensively in Europe, the US and Australia.

Thailand is No.1 - there is no argument with Thai women married to foreigners

Thai women have been brought up from an early age to love both their family and country and all of this is part of Thailand's vibrant and intimate culture. While many Thai women show an interest to meeting foreign men and are enthusiastic about learning and experiencing western culture, there is a strong loyalty to Thailand and its roots among virtually all Thai women. In these pages and reports we have met a small number of Thai women in Germany who have grown disillusioned with Thailand because of a lack of support from home and the demanding conditions from some in that continental European nation which was the first to discover the value of Thai women as foreign marriage partners in the early 1960s. This includes a number of Thai women who, although married to German men, were forced, through circumstances, into the legal prostitution industry in Germany. Some of these women have grown alienated with Thailand but they are a very small exception.

Thai women are driving new Thai communities around the world

Throughout the world Thai women in all countries including Germany develop a lifestyle, friendship network and culture centered around Buddhist temples and even Thai restaurants. This is also true for the hundreds of thousands of Thai women who live with their marriage partners in remote areas of the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and nearly every western country. While some may may even be lacking in Thai friends, a Thai network or community surrounding a Buddhist temple, they keep contact with Thailand through improved internet communications including online TV channels and audio visual communications tools such as Skype, LINE, Facebook and WhatsApp.

Thai women never talk down Thailand even those who feel alienated

All of these women, even those alienated from Thailand in Germany, have one thing in common. They will never speak badly about Thailand or talk it down. Speak with any westerners who has married a Thai wife or who is living with a Thai girlfriend. Any western man who criticises or denigrates Thailand or any aspect of Thai culture is, to the mind and more critically the heart of a Thai woman, criticizing her. James Morris has this to say: 'I have learned over 10 years being married to a Thai woman to tell little white lies. My wife will bask with joy when I say something complimentary about Thailand. Even if she criticizes something about Thailand, you'll see a dark shadow across her face if I add my voice to her monologue suggesting that I am also critical of Thailand. Over the years I have never failed to be touched by the love and loyalty that my sweet wife shows to her country. I have no doubt that if I were to be constantly critical of Thailand that it would not be good for our relationship. My wife is well aware of the problems facing Thailand and will often bring these issues up but it is only because she wishes what is best for her country and wants things to be for the best. To my wife Thailand is No. 1 and I have to say I've grown to appreciate that viewpoint over the last decade and happy times that I have lived with her.'

Treat a Thai woman as you'd like to be treated

Because of the closed the culture and homogenous nature of Thai society there are traits that many Thai people have in common. One is that they are particularly adept at copying or mimicking things whether it be creative efforts that are successful or even tactics. Many foreigners living with Thai wives have learned to be more sensitive and more well behaved than they would be with a western partners. One of the reasons for this is that Thai women, while gentle and polite, have a volatile temper when it is aroused. The other deeper and perhaps more meaningful explanation is that many Thai women have a habit of reciprocating behaviour. Your Thai wife, women or girlfriend will treat you the same as you treat her. Begin to lose your temper quite often and very soon she will start to do the same. It may be a facet of Thai culture or what is euphemistically known as karma but it also part of the fascination and respect that Thai women show to westerners and western culture from the vantage point of their own unique value system. When you lose your temper with your Thai girlfriend or wife, perhaps she will be impressed or cowed at first. Thai women are often shocked with the violence and aggression that westerners can summon in an instant without losing control. To the western man this seems like an effective way to behave until sometime later when his Thai wife will imitate the behaviour and he will be shocked to the core. If he's clever, he may even recognise his own actions. Similarly if a western husband is selfish about money and shows disregard to his partner then his Thai wife will behave in a similar fashion when money comes her way. On the other hand if a western man shows genuine honesty, there is every chance that his Thai wife or partner will strive to be the same provided she has the right background.

There is a lot of evidence in surveys from Europe such as social research studies undertaken in the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden into Thai women married to foreigners that suggests that Thai wives show loyalty to husbands that treat them with respect even to the point of balancing it with their sacred duties to their families in Thailand. The key requirements are love, honesty and respect.

Thai women will get up earlier and go to bed later

In spite of evidence that there are less middle aged men coming to live in Thailand as expats in the last two years and recently confirmed by a survey on Thailand's No 1 news forum, Thai Visa, there is contradictory evidence when it comes to foreign men seeking Thai wives or marriage partners. More young western men are seeking Thai women as marriage partners. The demand corresponds to a decline in marriage rates in western countries and concerns about marriage law. Many astute young western men seek Thai women as wives and marriage partners because of the unique code and thinking that well brought up Thai women bring towards marriage. By this, we are not talking about submissive Thai women as portrayed by some media and the common stereotype. Good, well brought up Thai women bring a strength and commitment to marriage very similar to some western women and to older women in western countries from past generations. It is a commitment to the success of the relationship or partnership but also where the man or husband is expected to lead.

Many of the relationships between younger western men and Thai wives are modern ones where both husband and wife budget and work together. However they are more likely to be more traditional. Many Thai women will get up before their husband and will not retire to bed until after him, this is a sign of respect. In return they expect their husbands to work hard and commit to the family. Many will have chosen a western man because they perceive western men as more responsible.

This small group of Thai women have reached out to a life beyond Thailand

This small group of Thai women want to reach out to a life beyond Thailand and feel that they have, competitively what it takes to succeed in the western world while also staying true to their culture. Many, indeed nearly all, are successful. Since the boom of in relationships between Thai women and western men began with the internet in the early years of this century, prospects for Thai women have improved. It is still possible to find beautiful, intelligent and committed Thai women as marriage partners who bring so such to the partnership but today it takes more work to find the right woman. Thai women are learning to take time to choose the right partner since it is a commitment for life.

Thai women are formed by Thai culture and tradition
Thailand is a paradox much like the personaility of Thai women. We explore the personality traits and qualities of Thai women living in Thailand and in growing Thai immigrant communities throughout the world. Foreigners thinking of marrying or a dating a


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