Thai women meeting Danish men in the growing and more complex world of online dating between Denmark and Thailand
Forty years on, in the midst of the internet dating revolution, the egalitarian and modern nature of Danish people combined with the unique culture of Thailand is producing some interesting relationships and personal experiences.
This year a Danish public body confirmed that Thai women are the most popular choice for Danish men marrying
foreign women. They also observed that more women from Thailand arriving in Denmark are coming from more affluent backgrounds and with
better standards of education. Something new and interesting is happening. Danish men marrying Thai brides is no longer
solely a question of Thai women seeking a better economic future and Danes looking for more traditional women.The trend
is still being driven by the internet where international Thai Dating and lower world travel costs are opening up a whole new
world of international relationships. Danish men have been at the forefront of this revolution but there now also new factors.
The story of Danish men dating Thai women has become more complex and sophisticated.
Social forces in Denmark and Thailand driving new relationships
The Danes are a modern and fair minded people. This is part of the reason why Thai women have been marrying
Danish men in significant numbers for the last forty years. The numbers took off with the growth with the internet and better
world communications. Today the surge continues and is being driven by an increasing self confidence among women in
Thailand and the social changes in Europe. The age of Danish men is also lowering. Denmark is experiencing all the social
movements impacting western and European countries with increased feminisation and insecurity driven by mass migration.
All these forces are new factors although we must bear in mind the context. The numbers of Danish men marrying foreign
women is still only approximately 5%.
Thai women continue to attract foreign men to Thailand
The growth in romance between Thai women and foreign men from all over the world continues online. With
smartphones, cheaper air travel and more routes to and from Thailand, the global love race is hotting up. The result of this
has seen not only large pockets of Thai women living in all parts of the western world but also western men moving to
Thailand in large numbers.
Many Thai women believe in a positive western man stereotype
Consequently there is not enough recognition among Thai women that not all foreign men or western are the same. In
Thailand, UK and Danish men emerge among the country's favorite western men in terms of numbers and a high regard
among the Thai people for the United Kingdom and Denmark and also the the Queens of both countries. It appears that
Thai people having a sneaking regard for European countries that have monarchies as a reflection of Thailand's own
culture which reverence of its the monarchy. Hence the popularity in Thailand of Swedish men, Belgian men, Dutch men,
UK men, Norwegians and of course, the Danes. All the nations have their own distinct relationship with Thailand.
Danes love affair with Thailand and Thai women
The numbers of Danes visiting Thailand is significant. From 2002 to 2012 the numbers of Danish visitors to Thailand
nearly doubled to over 160,000 visitors per year. The latest numbers published by the Thai Tourism Ministry show over
65,000 visitors alone for the first 3 months of 2017. Thailand has become the most popular tourist destination for Danes in
particular those seeking winter breaks from he cold and dreary skies of northern Europe. 2017 figures also show proportion
of populations Danes are the singles highest nationality marrying Thai women from official figures published in Thailand for
marriages registered with foreigners. The same is true in Denmark and Copenhagen. This year a researcher working with
the Danish Institute of International Studies confirmed to the Copenhagen Post that Thai women were far and way the
favorite women for Danish men marrying foreigners.
More Thai women marrying Danish men from affluent backgrounds
Sine Plambech also pointed out that while many Danes have traditionally met Thai women through word of mouth
reference from Thai women living in Denmark, the new engine for the growth of Thai Danish marriages and relationships is
the internet and internet dating on Thai dating sites like ThaiLoveLines. She also confirmed reports that as well as women
from the poorer North Eastern region of Thailand that now Denmark is seeing more women from Central Thailand from a
more affluent background and with higher levels of education.
Denmark offers a new life to Thai women but some Danes love Thailand
This comes as no surprise to Carla Boonkong who has worked with many Thai women in Denmark. 'Thai women are
now more independent and capable, it is good to see that many are opting for life with a foreigner on their own terms and
Denmark is a good country once there is respect for Danish law,' she told the TLL News Centre. The migration trends are
also working in the other direction. Even though Denmark is recognised by the UN and by international bodies as one of the
most desired places to live in the world, many Danes opt to leave the country in preference for a life in Thailand. One such
Dane is Bernd Jacobsen who recently in interview with the Thai Examiner, a news website for foreigners in Thailand, told of
how life is so much better in Thailand for him and his Thai wife: 'There were may personal reasons why we decided to to live
in Thailand. In fact it was after a holiday that we had in Thailand and when we were in the boarding area at Suvarnabhumi
airport to return home, my wife and I felt so depressed that the thought occurred to us to try something new. I think there have
been many changes in Denmark in recent years and the business environment was more and more challenging, I was also
not very happy with the way my wife was treated in Denmark.'
Danish rebels opt to move to live in Thailand
'Denmark is a great country if you have secure job on the higher end and enjoy fitting in,' says James Morris a news
commentator in Bangkok. 'There are apparently many Danes who don't fit into that category and quite a few who rebel. So
many of them find their ways to Thailand's sunny shores.' Morris points out that there are quite a few reported cases of life
turning out badly for Danes in Thailand including suicide, murder and cases where Danes have been left destitute when the
money runs out.
Thai woman not impressed by her Danish visitor from Odense
However, it appears not all Thai were so impressed. Toey is a Thai woman who works as a legal secretary on the
outskirts of Bangkok. Her family are from Rayong. She is 38 years of age and still single. Toey is an attractive woman, an
eldest child, she has been too focused on her work and duty as a daughter to her mother and younger siblings.Over the last
five years she has been using online Thai dating sites including ThaiLoveLines. Her evening activities including online chat
and messaging and learning English online.
Every year to eighteen months she meets one of her online suitors when he arrives in Thailand to visit her. She has not
been as lucky as most. She supports her mother and younger sisters in Rayong and any relationship she contracts must
respect that. Her last visit was from a Danish man who lived in the city of Odense in Denmark. The Dane from the dating
website told her he was a businessman with his own home and needed a break and some sunshine. 'I spent over a week
with the man from Denmark, he was a nice man but we did not find love together,' she explains politely. The true story is that
the man, whom she collected from Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, had not made a hotel booking and she was expected
to put him up in her small flat in Bangkok.
Danish online friend from the dating site was tight with money
He was fair, he paid her for his stay but only a measured amount linked to the going rate for the cheapest hotel room.
Toey was too polite to request anymore and even suggested that no payment was needed. She is an independent minded
woman and fiercely proud of the fact that she pays her own way in life. A holiday to Pattaya followed which was not very
romantic. 'He ask about the price of everything, this was too much and so on,' she said. Toey also was less than impressed
with her Danish guest because he was short and had no hair. 'In the photos online he had some hair and I didn't know he
was so short. He had a tattoo on his arm and wore his sunglasses on top of his head.'
Thai woman switches attention from Dane to German musician
When they arrived back in Bangkok, the Dane took his leave to visit Northern Thailand and did not return. They kept in
remote contact online. Toey was less than impressed with her Danish visitor and has become coy about offering to be a
guide for foreign men in the future. She is currently talking with a German musician from Berlin.
Thai woman loves Denmark, Danish men and her life in Copenhagen
Benya Ostergard is a lot older than Toey. She has lived in Copenhagen for he last thirty five years years. She works in
management at an exclusive hotel near Copenhagen and has made her life and fortune in the small European kingdom.
She is also a Danish citizen with a very wide circle of friends and family in Denmark. She says that this is not typical for a
Danish man. 'They are very generous people and fair minded. But they are not foolish,' she says. Benya says Danish man
dislike insincerity and flashiness and she has come to appreciate this quiet, reserved way of living. 'If you are looking for
romance and joie de vivre then your Thai woman should look for French men or something like that,' she says. 'I love Danish
men the best.'
Thai woman living in Denmark explains how Danish society has changed
Benya also explains that Denmark is a very modern western country where equality is a driving force. 'I think this means
many Danish man have lost old fashioned chivalrous notions and perhaps Thai women feel at a loss for this,' she says. She
explains that many Danish women have left behind the idea of marriage or relationships, at least in the traditional sense.
'Many go to get a better education or a better job,' she says. 'They go to the city or other cities in Scandinavia or Europe.' This
explains, she says, the deficit of marriageable women in rural areas in Denmark. It also explains a division of culture and
political thinking between the city and rural areas in Denmark which has been observed.
Danish man feels his Thai wife is more respected in Thailand
Bernd Jasperson runs a business in Thailand and has never regretted his decision to move from Copenhagen to
Phetchaburi province in Thailand in 2014. He explains that it was in the boarding area at Suvarnabhumi Airport, as he waited
with his Thai wife to return to Denmark, that they both had the same feeling. They didn't want to back to life in Copenhagen.
Bernd explains that one of the reasons for this was the way his wife was treated in Denmark. 'Our relationship wasn't
respected. I can say that clearly after years living there and now in Thailand. It's very unfair but many Danes and particularly
Danish women will not forget their idea that a marriage between a Thai woman and Danish man is not worthy of respect. We
have not been back to Denmark in four years now. I prefer to put it all in the past. We have friends in Thailand who also say
this. Life is good here, so let's enjoy it.'
Thai woman living in Copenhagen confirms negative stereotype of Thai women exists
Benya agrees. She feels that the stereotypical view of a Thai wife as a submissive woman who betrays her gender is in
fact growing as more Danes marry Thai women. She is married to a Danish man for all many years and knows more than
anyone that the stereotype is not true. 'There are now some young Thai women living in the city who live an independent life
but most Thai women prefer to have a relationships and make them work. The Thai woman is very strong, capable, like all
women but even more so as she comes to a foreign country, she must work and achieve success in whatever new life she
finds herself in. The Thai woman is not submissive but has respect for older ideas in most cases. It is not fair, you see, but
there are some Danish women who see the Thai woman as something that is not keeping with the new order for the modern
working woman. It's in the media, the magazines but it is not true at all. Women are women everywhere in the world.'
Thai women continue to thrive in Denmark
Despite Bernd's experience with his Thai wife, Denmark is a European country where Thai women have thrived and
Danish men continue to seek Thai women as wives. This is particularly true for men living in Danish rural communities. The
Danish social welfare and support system was openly praised in 2008 by a Thai government minister who urged Thai
women looking for better life to find men from Denmark. Similarly, an award winning documentary in 2010 by acclaimed
filmmaker Janus Ketz, stirred up international interest in the subject of Thai women, often from poor backgrounds or even
working as prostitutes, who had transformed their lives and that of a rural community in Denmark. The film was titled 'Love on
Thai widow allowed to return to Denmark after being deported
In recent years the story of a Thai widow, Suthida Nielsen, whose deportation from Denmark was reversed after a
campaign by local people in Denmark highlights the success of Thai women in establishing a good reputation in Denmark.
Suthida's neighbours managed to change the hearts of the authorities through people power. They welcome her back at the
airport in Denmark in a joyful reunion. This uplifting story, which occured in 2013/2014, was all the more remarkable as
Denmark has become a country which is more hostile to immigration. It highlights the positive nature of immigration
involving Thai women as partners or wives to men living in Denmark.
Thai woman's story highlights the variety of Danish Thai relationships
It's December 2017 and Chutima, a young Thai woman is visiting Frederikshavn in Northern Denmark. She is staying at
a family compound outside the town owned by a well known local family. This is her second visit to Denmark in the last three
years. Chutima's Danish husband died four years ago in hospital following complication as the result of a car accident. He
was a doctor who had previously worked for Medicine San Frontiers and also the UN. The story is strange because
Chutima, who is 30 years old, still lives in Thailand and has no wish to settle in Denmark despite a warm relationship with
Jacob's family. The Thai woman never had her marriage to her Danish husband registered in Denmark. Sadly and
shockingly, Chutima now works in Thailand as a prostitute in a massage parlour. Although her marriage was not registered,
her husband's family have always accepted her and have even told her that his home on the family land is hers as this was
his wish before he passed away following his car accident. They do not know the nature of her work in Thailand.
Night meeting sparked love between Danish man and Thai woman
Chutima met Jacob on a beach in Jomtien near Pattaya one night in 2009. He was walking drunk having broken up with
a short term Thai girlfriend. She worked in a small hotel as a cashier but she was also as 'hostess' at a nearby bar. She had
just finished her work and at 2am and ahd encountered this man, who was crying. Their relationship developed from the
next morning when he came to pick her up at the hotel after breakfast. A month later, they were married in a Thai Buddhist
ceremony in her home in Kalasin province in Thailand. It is the sort of thing that experts including those on ThaiLoveLines
warn western men not to do. relationships with bar girls are far less likely to be successful.
Short marriage between Dane and Thai wife ends in tragedy
Chutima gave up her work with Jacob's support. The Thai woman visited her husband in Denmark regularly but
particularly for Christmas during the course of their short marriage. The couple had an apartment in Bangkok which he
maintained. One evening in Bangkok she got the call to say he had been in an accident but was recovering. However two
days later he suffered a heart attack and within 24 hours he had passed away in a terrible personal tragedy for Chutima and
her husband's family.
Thai wife returns to work in the Bangkok sex industry
Chutima opted to return to work and to continue to live in Thailand following the death of her Danish husband. Jacob's
family even offered to sell or mortgage the home he owned on the family compound in Denmark and give her the money but
she steadfastly refused. Her strange resolution to the tragedy was to go back to work in a Bangkok massage parlour. She
says she had no interest in meeting another husband or foreign partner. 'This was the love that was meant for me, I am
happy working here where I am. I am happy just to have the support of my husband's family and I can also take care of my
own family,' she says. She sees no reason to complicate matters or to be greedy. She explains that she knows her husband
has a young nephew and that in time the property was meant for him and it would be wrong to push for financial gain.'My
husband and I had four and half wonderful years, it was true love and I have no worries. 'Why would I want to complicate the
matter?' she asks. 'It would destroy the good friendship we had and that I still have with Jacob's family.'
Good Thai women come from all backgrounds and are not greedy
Carla Boonkong concededes that this attitude is highly unusual to say the least but she has come across similar
incidences of Thai women preferring to work in the sex industry rather than become dependent or enmeshed into a western
lifestyle where they would be imposing. It is also a reflection on Buddhist teaching which teaches that greed can have very
negative consequences. Carla suggests that the Danish family supports the Thai woman and perhaps there is some
reciprocity involved in the relationship.