What is Living in Thailand REALLY Like?

Pattaya, Expats, Fighting, Songkran

I'm not sure why, but I get about 6 emails on average for every post on this blog and less than one comment!

The hot topics are ones where I talk about bargirls and other crazy stuff. I like to talk about that, but really, I don't see this blog going that way. I want to share a lot of positive about Thailand and not so much negative.  But here I'll share some negative with the hope that some farangs see the hopelessness of fighting a Thai in Thailand.

There's negative and positive here and most of us know what the negative is. But, the more expats that I meet the less I'm reminded that it's positive here too.  Why are so many expats jaded about living here and Thai people and Thai ways. Yeah, we're different. REALLY different. And, different enough that it pisses me off sometimes too. But then I forget it when I remember that I chose to come here and put myself in it. Why gripe about them, I'm the one to blame if I continue to stay here.

I'll repeat my past assertion that Pattaya is a "hole".  It's filled with more derelicts and idiots than I've seen elsewhere in Thailand. It's like where the azzholes gravitate to. I've been here about a week. I thought I'd come to give it another shot as I have had numerous people write in and tell me that it's not so bad, and that I must have just had a bad experience the last 3 times, and whatnot.  I've not stayed for any length of time, before this 5 days was the longest I could stand… This, being a social experiment, I'm taking it slow and with a lot of patience and just watching the goings on.  

I've seen 2 fights in clubs here in the last week. Thais' and farang. What is going through the mind of a farang that wants to fight a Thai person in their own country I couldn't imagine.  I've never seen a farang come out as winner!  NEVER!  Why is that?  I remember about a month ago, maybe 5 or 6 weeks… there was a photo in the Pattaya Mail – or was it the Phuket-gazette?  Hmm, I can't remember, but anyway, there were these HUGE Russian guys that had been fighting with a group of Thais' they were all bloody faced and didn't look so great.

It really doesn't matter how big you are.  Numbers will aways beat brute strength.  Have you seen a few hundred fire ants on beetle or a worm?  That's what a farang -Thai fight reminds me of.  Thais' don't understand a man on man fight. There is no such thing as one-on-one as we all know. They go for the weapons quickly too!  In the states, someone might go for a knife after a little while – when it looks like the other guy might give him a beating. He might go for a knife, a rock, a pen, anything available.

A Thai guy will pull out the knife or break a bottle and go for the neck almost immediately. There's no playing around. If they're fighting, they are trying to kill you.  I've seen them kick a guy in the head so many times that they got tired. 3 guys kicking one guy in the head HARD and bouncing bottles of beer off his skull until they got tired.  He was already cut in the neck and stomach from a broken bottle and was probably either dead or close due to loss of blood – evident all over the sidewalk.  But, they KEPT AT IT until they were exhausted.

I've seen police watch the fight until guys tired and then go talk to them.  They might be killing a guy, but the cops just watch until the excitement has died down – and danger to themselves is somewhat diminished, before they go try to talk to the participants.  Nobody is pulling fighters off each other here – it's just a free for all like pay-per-view until they get tired of killing someone.

I guess I'm writing this now because Songkran is either starting today or tomorrow – depending who you're listening to. I've not ventured outside yet but I'm ready.  I'll wait until it gets really toasty in the room here and then I'll welcome the icy cold water that awaits…

Songkran is a time when the majority of young guys have been drinking all day and night and day and night. They are in the craziest state of mind of the year and there are sometimes conflicts between drunks that end in violent fights. In Songkran there are so many people on the street that if you as a farang choose to be stupid as ALL HELL and fight someone during this time, you'll die for sure.

At the 2nd Songkran I attended last year in Ubon there was a really nasty fight between Thai guys. One guy was dead and the other had serious cuts from a bottle but was able to drag himself under the vertical metal door to his home while the crowd through broken bottles UNDER the metal door into his house where his grandma and a child were (I saw before they shut the metal door).  No telling if the grandma and kid were hurt from that. But, it was an absolute free-for-all fight where I watched a guy die in front of me (30 feet away) as I sat in an open-bed pickup truck with a group of prathom 2 students and their father with front row seats.

Be careful during Songkran – try hard not to offend anyone and not to embarrass people. If someone offers you a drink – you should drink it. Doesn't matter if you don't want their home-brewed Thai whiskey – just drink it to keep everyone smiling – and yourself alive until tomorrow.


I created this site to focus on expats living in Thailand, and tourists visiting Thailand. Don't miss the blog - Thaipulse.com/blog/. I hope you come away with something positive as a result of visiting Thaipulse.com. Feel free to leave questions or comments at the contact form under Home | Contact above. All written content on this site by Vern Lovic. Contact me at Google+. Cheers!

4 thoughts on “Pattaya, Expats, Fighting, Songkran

  • April 13, 2007 at 8:30 am

    Wow,If that’s how it is in Thailand I can’t wait to get to Cambodia.

  • April 15, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    It can be bad, but just watch yourself in Thailand -and no worries! We just finished Songkran (sort of) and I saw no fights, but 2 close calls. A great Songkran this year…

  • April 20, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    Vern, I always appreciate your insights, I actually looked at moving to Payatta, but I will forget it now…..Thanks, Scott from Hawaii….Hope all is good for U…

  • April 20, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    I think for some people – they like it a lot. If you can keep Jai yen – cool heart – it can be an OK place. I don’t have any problems here but it sucks watching others have problems. Pattaya has got one thing – farang food. I’ve had some great Italian food here lately. How’s Hawaii? I had a dream last night about bodysurfing and bodyboarding! Small but perfectly breaking waves. Awesome dream. I dream about once/6 months. This was a good one to have.


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