Danish man and his Thai wife say No to life in Denmark and move to Thailand
A Danish man living in Thailand with his Thai wife is critical of his home country and the way his wife was treated while they lived in Copenhagen.
To most people Denmark is an idyllic place to live. A model, fairytale kingdom where the folk have refined the essence of
living to what is simple and effective. It is a wealthy country that features at the top of most UN indices and one of the most
sought after places for Thai women seeking a foreign husband and a new life.
However one Danish man and his Thai wife have rejected this and bucked the trend. Having lived in Denmark together
for five years they simply were not happy and decided to live where they both felt happiest, in Thailand.
Thai Danish couple have epiphany moment at Bangkok airport
A Danish national and his Thai wife were boarding a flight back from their holiday in Thailand to Copenhagen in
Denmark in 2014 when the couple suddenly realised that they were both deeply unhappy about the prospect of returning to
Denmark from Thailand. It was an epiphany for the couple who were both inspired with the same thought. In that moment
they both knew and decided that they would be happier living in Thailand. Four years later they are very sure that they made
the right decision.
Prayers answered as couple move from Denmark to Thailand
A lucky break for Bernd and Nan Jasperson once they arrived back in Copenhagen after this allowed them to sell their
home and property in Denmark. After taxes they had a life changing sum of money. This allowed the Danish man and his
Thai wife to move home and live in Thailand. They achieved this within six months. 'It was a very exciting moment for us,
almost like our prayers had been answered, everything fell into place, when I arrived in Thailand on our return, I have never
felt happier and the feeling has stayed with me,' says Bernd.
Peace of mind is the key for Danish man and his Thai wife
The couple have run a graphic design and marketing business since September 2014. They are financially secure. 'We
have managed to break even and not lose so much financially and we are very mindful about this. However it is like this, the
freedom to live cheaply in Thailand still exists. This has meant amazing peace of mind to me and my wife. I would never
think about going back but I am careful to remember that I am still in a foreign country,' says Bernd.
Danish man explains to Thai women: not all Danes are the same
The Danish man feels that life in Denmark is changing and it no longer suits him as a small business person. The
Danish man understands why many Thai women every year move in the opposite direction to Denmark as Bernd's wife Nan
did in 2009. Bernd explains that, while there are hundreds of Thai women who move to Denmark every year, they are still
quite a small community and moving to a country with a very different culture. He also points out that there is a big difference
between Thai women who meet and marry Danish men who live in rural areas and who have bit of property. 'There are all
different types of men in Denmark. I suppose with different circumstances and lifestyles, some easier than others for any Thai
bride. Denmark is a very modern country and for Danish women, equality is now the key. There has been a change
in society even more than in other European countries in these last fifty years. My country is good country and takes care of
people well but I feel it too regulated. For me as a small business man working in a city, it was hard and it was not so easy for
my wife either.' One of the main reasons that Bernd decided to make the move from Denmark was what he perceived as a
less than enthusiastic response to his Thai wife even after the couple had lived in the country together for five years.
Danish husband felt his Thai wife not welcomed in Denmark
Berned explains that he noticed this in the first few weeks while living with his wife in Copenhagen in 2009. 'We would be
shopping and my own manner is to be cheerful and smile, but with my wife I did not get the same responses as before. I talked to some
people about it and they told be I was too sensitive. But there was incident after incident. At the hospital and government
office it was better but in those situations I was treated rather coldly. It was when we were returning from a happy holiday in
Thailand that both of us could feel the same thing. Here in Thailand, there a great respect for the foreigner provided, you
know, he is not a burden or anything like that. Maybe it is also just that Thailand is so much more a happier place to be, this
could be it.'
Dane adamant that Thailand is a better place to live
In the intervening three and half years, Bernd has built up his business in Thailand. He feels the Asian kingdom is a better
place to live. This despite many international bodies rating his own country Denmark as one of the most favourable places in the world to
live. A UN annual index rates Denmark as the second best location in the world to live while some surveys place it at the top
of the list. Bernd does not agree. 'Maybe I am a strange man or something but this is not what I have experienced. For me
and my wife, Thailand is for sure a better place to live than Denmark.
Why Thailand is better for Denmark for Danish Thai couple
Bernd cites the following as key reasons why his life with his Thai wife in Thailand is better in Thailand than
- Weather: 'I can see the sun everyday when I open my eyes,' says Bernd. This relates back to the striking moment
that the Danish man and his Thai wife experienced while waiting to board their flight back to Copenhagen in 2014. 'It was
the thought of the dreary sky, the cold and the wind. We knew we were going back to all that,' he explains. Bernd says that
the weather alone is significant reason for why his life is better in Thailand.
- Taxes: Bernd enjoys peace of mind regarding his taxes and financial affairs in Thailand. 'I have an old fashioned
accountant. The taxes in Thailand are fair and low. There is no inquisition. The rate of tax in Denmark was simply too high.
Every year there are more taxes or fees that occur for things I never asked for. For a small business person it was nearly
impossible to cope. Not only the taxes, but the cost of preparing the accounts and keeping books and records. Here in
Thailand, my good wife brings the paper to my accountant and the bill every month is a fraction of what it would have been in
Denmark. My business is smaller but my income in Thailand goes a long way. There is simply not the same pressure,' he
- Cost of living: The cost of living has always been estimated at 20% of that in western countries. However in the
last decade some will say this has changed in Thailand with higher prices linked to more economic development and
prosperity. However Bernd still feels that the cost of living is radically lower than Denmark. 'It starts with property. We own our
own home here in Thailand. We did in Denmark also but there were taxes. Now in Thailand there is no rent or anything but
property is also far better priced. What is also significant is that there are no ancillary charges and regulation. For instance
car premiums are lower, petrol is lower. To me it is about less government in Thailand and more freedom. It reminds me of
what life in Denmark might have been like many many decades ago in my grandfathers time. It is so many things like this
that make the battle of this life easier to win and less pressure every day.'
- Regulation: 'In Thailand, my God, there is so much of papeworks and regulation and that's simply impossible so I
get my accountant to do it but it is harmless stuff. In Denmark the government has less paperwork for sure but far higher
costs and laws that really make it difficult for a small business person,' he says. 'I have seen where there is a steep price to pay
to be in business in Denmark.' In March 2017 a report into worldwide business startups prepared in conjunction with the
Wharton School of Business and communications firm Young and Rubicam named Thailand as the best country in the
world to begin a business. Bernd's feeling on the matter might not just be a personal hunch.
- Society: 'I have to tell you that I am not a dinosaur or old fashioned monster but I grew tired of the equality debate
between the men and the women in Denmark. I was married to a Danish women before and we are still friends so I'm not
really a bad guy. I met Nan in Thailand and brought her to Denmark. Our relationship is so different and supportive. But this is
maybe because Nan comes from a more old fashioned society. In Thailand, there is still room for the man to breathe and not
to always be on tender hooks. I guess what I mean is there is not so much conflict here between men and women. Yes, there
are other problems but in Thailand people can still relax and enjoy things. Denmark used to be liked that but now it is, like
other European countries, too controlled. At least it is this way in the city. This is only my personal feeling of course. Not
everyone and every other thing in Thailand is perfect either. They are mostly fine and good people in Denmark. But life here
is easier, more relaxed and there is more joy, at least for me, this I how I feel.'
Danish man feels himself and Thai wife were not respected in Denmark
Bernd also feels that in Thailand his wife enjoys a better life and is treated better in Thailand than she was treated in
Denmark. He feels that the politics of equality and progress in western and European countries has become too intense. He
explains that there is an animus towards Thai women among some Danish women in Denmark particularly in urban areas
and that this extends also to many Danish men. 'I was not comfortable that my wife was welcomed in Denmark or that we
were respected as other couples, this is perhaps too hard but it is how I felt, and I felt it strongly,' he says.
Thai women the most popular foreign brides in Denmark
Surveys have shown that Thai women are the most popular foreign brides in Denmark followed by women from the
Philippines. However the number of marriages involving Thai women in Denmark in 2014 was still only 1.5% of those
registered in the northern European kingdom. 95% of Danish men still married Danes despite increasing numbers of
Danish women who are no longer interested in marriage. However, Denmark does have an acute problem with a very low
birth rate. This is an increasing irony as Denmark is a society and economy that provides the highest standards to care for
newborn babies. The problem is that they are few in number than ever before.
University Prof confirms genuine Danish Thai relationships
Steen Baagoe Nielson is a lecturer with the University of Roskilde in Denmark. He studies inter racial and intercultural
marriages. Mr Nielsen confirmed in a report carried in the Copenhagen Post recently that many Danish men still seek more
traditional gender roles in an increasingly progressive and modern environment in Denmark. He points out that marriage is
often the passport that foreign women seize upon to make a better life as more Thai women come to live in Denmark.
However the current immigration climate in Denmark is increasingly restrictive. In spite of all this Mr Nielson confirms that, in
his interviews with foreign women and Danish men, there is a genuine basis of love in such relationships. He also
acknowledged that such relationships are surprisingly resilient and long lasting. 'A surprising number of the couples stay
together. Both parties display great patience and tolerance by staying together. It's not just business. The vast majority of men
I have interviewed speak of infatuation and long term love.' he told the Post.
Denmark - World No. 2 as a place to live and for antidepressants
Bernd reveals that, while living in Denmark, he was treated for depression and prescribed the drug Prozac. A recent
report in the Thai Examiner, Thailand's news website for foreigners which also featured Bernd's story, describes Denmark
as the world's second capital for antidepressants. This is another peculiar irony as Denmark is also listed as number two in
many of the surveys for being the best place to live.
Flourishing relationship between Denmark and Thailand
There are many Thai women who have moved to Denmark and live happily in the small country famous for its beer,
modern furniture and quality of life. In fact, quite a few Thai women have made fortunes in the country. It is a country, like others in Europe such as Germany and Sweden, in
the grips of a cultural and political upheaval right now centred on mass immigration. Hundreds of Thai women marry Danish
men every year on arrival in the country and even more Thai women have personal relationships and friendships with Danes
including many who travel to Denmark to work and study. Denmark is one of many European countries with a growing and
vibrant Thai community driven primarily by the continued inward immigration of Thai women as spouses and marriage
partners. There are many Danish men also, like Bernd who make to decisions to live in Thailand. Denmark like other
cosmopolitan and wealthy home to many citizens who holiday in Thailand.