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Some advice for Thais looking to ‘migrate to another country’


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Thais I knew in SF were working 2-3 jobs to make ends meet.  I asked them why they don't move back to Thailand and they wouldn't give me a specific reason, but did say "no way".  They still had family in Thailand and they did send money home, but ... 

 

Sure, a lot of the Thai restaurants in SF don't serve good Thai food, but they find the ones that do.  On their days off (or the little time they did have off) they were happy to get out and just relax.

 

There are a lot of Thais in SF and LA areas.  Some educated and others not ...  They don't like the governments that have been in Thailand - and the US hasn't had great leaders either!

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11 hours ago, chilli42 said:

In my professional life, among my other responsibilities, I was responsible for moving our high performers to overseas postings for professional development.  Most positions were in the USA and Europe.  The geographic area was Asia-Pacific.  Lots of people and lots of countries.  Without a doubt, the Thais adapted poorly and were desperate to return home after 12 months .... as compared to other nationalities.  Sure, they all came from monied families but that was the same with all of the people we sent overseas.  My bet is many of the Thais that end up leaving for overseas will be back in short order.  I tried to get my wife to try living back in my home country ... she genuinely hated it.  Had to return to Thailand after 9 months.  It’s not just the food and the expense that is off putting for Thais it’s things as basic as social interactions, humor etc

 

This is changing 

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I’m a big fan of cross-polination of cultures making the world a better place, and encourage Thais to venture out and see what else is out there.  I am always amazed at the seemingly random places that end up having a huge Thai communities— my most surprising was Fairbanks, Alaska.  

 

That said, your quality of life will be much better if you have special skills and great control of the local language (and accents).  A lot of people really seem to struggle with reality there.

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Thailand has never been an adventurous country or empire builder, it has no tradition of people moving abroad. Add to that a fairly unique culture. I suspect most young Thai’s would be homesick. 

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On 5/10/2021 at 9:53 AM, RobMuir said:

I have a Thai friend who is bordering on being a genius. He got sponsored to visit Australia and New Zealand when he was about 20. 

 

He hated it. Tasteless food, boring streets, rediculous prices and he found most of the beer swilling, drug snorting, swearing, loud, beefy, sweaty women quite offensive and masculine.

 

But the worst thing was the cold. In New Zealand he would just hide under his doonah all day, shivering.

 

A lot of Thais do go and live abroad, but once they see the reality of day to day life most of them want to return.

 

Hard to beat the lifestyle Thailand offers.

It all depends on what these Thais have to come back to.  A Thai from a well-off family (or even middle class) would be taking a step down going anywhere else.  Their lives in Thailand are pretty darn good.  I know dozens of Thais who studied overseas (usually the USA or UK) and all returned to Thailand afterwards.  Having a strong network of family and friends are also key.

 

But an Isaan Thai who is dirt poor with zero prospects, they would jump at the chance to go to the USA and would do anything to stay.  It's just tough for a Thai to move up in social class in Thailand.  Not that it's easy in the USA, but at least there's a glimmer of hope.   

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On 5/10/2021 at 9:53 AM, RobMuir said:

I have a Thai friend who is bordering on being a genius. He got sponsored to visit Australia and New Zealand when he was about 20. 

 

He hated it. Tasteless food, boring streets, rediculous prices and he found most of the beer swilling, drug snorting, swearing, loud, beefy, sweaty women quite offensive and masculine.

 

But the worst thing was the cold. In New Zealand he would just hide under his doonah all day, shivering.

 

A lot of Thais do go and live abroad, but once they see the reality of day to day life most of them want to return.

 

Hard to beat the lifestyle Thailand offers.

You know one guy that didn't like it, but he was bordering on being clever.

I know many Thais that emigrated and they love it, especially the cold. I know few that didn't like it. 

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16 minutes ago, Berkshire said:

It all depends on what these Thais have to come back to.  A Thai from a well-off family (or even middle class) would be taking a step down going anywhere else.  Their lives in Thailand are pretty darn good.  I know dozens of Thais who studied overseas (usually the USA or UK) and all returned to Thailand afterwards.  Having a strong network of family and friends are also key.

 

But an Isaan Thai who is dirt poor with zero prospects, they would jump at the chance to go to the USA and would do anything to stay.  It's just tough for a Thai to move up in social class in Thailand.  Not that it's easy in the USA, but at least there's a glimmer of hope.   

You know little about Thai people. Poor Isarnese have much stronger family ties than the middle-class ones. 

Have you spent any time in Isarn? The ones you meet in Pattaya are not the typical ones. 

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16 minutes ago, Neeranam said:

You know little about Thai people. Poor Isarnese have much stronger family ties than the middle-class ones. 

Have you spent any time in Isarn? The ones you meet in Pattaya are not the typical ones. 

I don't live in Pattaya and I do know some Isaan females.  If you're suggesting that most people from Isaan have no interest in living in other countries, I would agree.  I was speaking specifically about poor folks with little prospects....doesn't matter if they're from Isaan or anywhere else.  Don't take things so freakin personal. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/10/2021 at 7:52 AM, Pattaya Spotter said:

Don't do it...you'll be shocked how expensive Thai food is.

not to mention "mai aroi". 

 

All joking aside, but where are they going to go and more specifically, what skill sets do they have to offer?

Not trying to bash them, as it's really not their fault that the educational system is a shambles, but the vast majority of them are under qualified compaired to the average Western graduate. Leaving here to work as seasonal fruit pickers, farm labourers or in massage parlours isn't really that much of an improvement. 

I really pity anybody who has graduated here but has ambitions. The cards are stacked against them. 

Times are hard worldwide and I think only the best of the best have a chance of getting decent employment these days. The job market probably isn't going to improve in the next year or two, unfortunately. 

Edited by djayz
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It would be really interesting to know how many want to leave for economical reasons, how many because they're sick and tired of the dinosaurs at the helm and how many are leaving for other factors (e.g. adventure, experience, love or just to get away from the omnipresent family). 

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7 minutes ago, Berkshire said:

I was speaking specifically about poor folks with little prospects

 

Is life abroad really better for these people though? Genuinely curious.

 

Like, how would life improve for the average low-skilled, impoverished person in Thailand if you gave them a work permit and relocated them abroad? As I see it they'd suddenly be in a brand new place with a brand new culture in which they don't speak the language and suddenly have to fend for themselves against a deeper pool of talent than they'd ever encountered before.

 

So they'd probably slot in at the very bottom of the earnings pyramid (just like they were at in Thailand) and their nominally higher earnings would be offset by the higher cost of living, so would their relative position even improve?

 

I picture the situation of migrant workers in places like Singapore or Hong Kong where those workers are crammed like 10 to a room and have to go out and work for barely subsistence wages and I just don't know...

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11 minutes ago, The Cipher said:

 

Is life abroad really better for these people though? Genuinely curious.

 

Like, how would life improve for the average low-skilled, impoverished person in Thailand if you gave them a work permit and relocated them abroad? As I see it they'd suddenly be in a brand new place with a brand new culture in which they don't speak the language and suddenly have to fend for themselves against a deeper pool of talent than they'd ever encountered before.

 

So they'd probably slot in at the very bottom of the earnings pyramid (just like they were at in Thailand) and their nominally higher earnings would be offset by the higher cost of living, so would their relative position even improve?

 

I picture the situation of migrant workers in places like Singapore or Hong Kong where those workers are crammed like 10 to a room and have to go out and work for barely subsistence wages and I just don't know...

I get you.  The thing is, most of us commenting on TV are not dirt poor with little prospects.  So of course, none of us would want to do what these migrants are willing to do.  Not only Mexicans risking their lives to get to America, but Burmese and Cambodians coming to Thailand to take any menial jobs.  I see migrants working in our moo baan, all day in the hot sun, practically every day.  I wouldn't want to do it.  But they're quite content...because it's better than where they came from. 

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12 minutes ago, Berkshire said:

I get you.  The thing is, most of us commenting on TV are not dirt poor with little prospects.  So of course, none of us would want to do what these migrants are willing to do.  Not only Mexicans risking their lives to get to America, but Burmese and Cambodians coming to Thailand to take any menial jobs.  I see migrants working in our moo baan, all day in the hot sun, practically every day.  I wouldn't want to do it.  But they're quite content...because it's better than where they came from. 

 

This occurred to me while I was writing my previous post and did give me pause. Like, clearly people are doing this (even with Thailand as the destination country!) so there must be some appeal to doing so.

 

But from my (very limited) experience with poorer migrant workers, it seems that many of them are happy to tolerate tough lives for themselves so that they're able to send some money back to their place of origin to help their families still living there. And that's noble for sure.

 

But are most of them willing to endure their difficulties because they know that their hardship is helping their family back home, rather than enduring in an attempt to actually build a life in <abroad country>? I don't have the answers to these questions. Just think the topic is interesting and am curious.

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5 minutes ago, The Cipher said:

many of them are happy

Not trying to be argumentative, but I think many of them "have no other choice". They do it because they have to. Happiness doesn't come into the equation. 

Just from observation. 

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17 minutes ago, The Cipher said:

 

This occurred to me while I was writing my previous post and did give me pause. Like, clearly people are doing this (even with Thailand as the destination country!) so there must be some appeal to doing so.

 

But from my (very limited) experience with poorer migrant workers, it seems that many of them are happy to tolerate tough lives for themselves so that they're able to send some money back to their place of origin to help their families still living there. And that's noble for sure.

 

But are most of them willing to endure their difficulties because they know that their hardship is helping their family back home, rather than enduring in an attempt to actually build a life in <abroad country>? I don't have the answers to these questions. Just think the topic is interesting and am curious.

This isn't about poor migrant workers, unless of course you think that Thais travelling to your country are migrant but people from your country coming here are expats. One of my daughters studies in the UK, at a top university, and another wants to work in Australia. 

It's rather sad to see Colonial attitudes and discrimination against Thais from Isarn. 

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1 hour ago, djayz said:

not to mention "mai aroi". 

 

All joking aside, but where are they going to go and more specifically, what skill sets do they have to offer?

Not trying to bash them, as it's really not their fault that the educational system is a shambles, but the vast majority of them are under qualified compaired to the average Western graduate. Leaving here to work as seasonal fruit pickers, farm labourers or in massage parlours isn't really that much of an improvement. 

I really pity anybody who has graduated here but has ambitions. The cards are stacked against them. 

Times are hard worldwide and I think only the best of the best have a chance of getting decent employment these days. The job market probably isn't going to improve in the next year or two, unfortunately. 

Agree.

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38 minutes ago, Neeranam said:

This isn't about poor migrant workers, unless of course you think that Thais travelling to your country are migrant but people from your country coming here are expats. One of my daughters studies in the UK, at a top university, and another wants to work in Australia. 

It's rather sad to see Colonial attitudes and discrimination against Thais from Isarn. 

 

Dude, I'm Asian-Canadian (parents were immigrants) and a private equity analyst. My girlfriend was born in Thailand (Roi Et in Isan, coincidentally), is successfully employed overseas and works in enterprise software sales - a well paying career that lets her back-and-forth to and from Thailand. I am well aware that Thais (and many nationalities) can successfully immigrate overseas, and also well aware that some do and some don't prefer their lives there.

 

My previous comment in reference was about "poor folks with little prospects" specifically and not the general person. I didn't even mention Isan. If you are taking offense with me calling them migrant workers then I apologize. We can call them immigrants. My point about their relative situation is exactly the same.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, The Cipher said:

 

Dude, I'm Asian-Canadian (parents were immigrants) and a private equity analyst. My girlfriend was born in Thailand (Roi Et in Isan, coincidentally), is successfully employed overseas and works in enterprise software sales - a well paying career that lets her back-and-forth to and from Thailand. I am well aware that Thais (and many nationalities) can successfully immigrate overseas, and also well aware that some do and some don't prefer their lives there.

 

My previous comment in reference was about "poor folks with little prospects" specifically and not the general person. I didn't even mention Isan. If you are taking offense with me calling them migrant workers then I apologize. We can call them immigrants. My point about their relative situation is exactly the same.

Sorry, it was another  poster   suggesting that poor people are from ISarn and sounds like he's sipping a Gin n Tonic whilst posting. 

 

 

Edited by Neeranam
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thais with the financial resources and skills needed to get a decent job in a western country are the most likely to not want to move from thailand. The biggest issue in getting a visa is the high likelihood that they will return home.

 

A single girl without a good job wont get one, or will one who mentions she had a bf there. In that case immigration officials will suspect of them trying to get married on a tourist visa rather than the correct one.

Having kids is also a red flag because she could ear more in the west to send home.

 

I know several girls who are recently become enamored with the move from thailand concept. One works reception at a hotel and speaks english quite well. She was disappointed when I reminded her that while this is a skill here, its not elsewhere. Another works in a mall.

Both are certain that as pretty girls, they will easily find a rich BF cum husband.

 

As I understand it the "leave thailand" FB group is chockful with visa application instructions and polls about what countries are desired to be moved to, but a bit short on how reasonable it is to get any visa approved by a run of the mill thai.

 

I anticipate this fad will blow over as reality smacks some of them in the face, and their failures get reported.

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On 5/10/2021 at 11:17 AM, Fromas said:

 

Do you have any specific, more representative examples of this? Love to hear more.

In normal conversation in UK or USA among friends over a beer one might say to another 'don't be silly/daft/stupid, it's nothing like that'. Among expats that won't cause 'loss of face' it will just stimulate the conversation and cause sarcastic but funny replies ( at least among friends ).

In general, among the Asian races it causes red faces and displeasure and is more likely to cause an arguement.

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The missus has been over here, UK, on a settlement visa and returned

to Thailand PDQ after volunteering to move 2 tonnes of marble slabs,

and 800 cubic metres of mud.

I think she got bored.

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Posted (edited)

Anecdotal, but:

 

My Thai wife lived with me in the US over 10 years, and enjoyed it, but I'd always said when I retire we'd move to Thailand which she wanted, too.  It helped that we lived in a similar climate in the south so she could grow Thai herbs and chili's in the garden.  There was also very nice Thai temple in our area.  Through that we made many friends who were in Thai/Western families or Thai families. 

 

Of more than 30 families we knew, only three have or intend to move to Thailand.  I found it funny that two of my wife's Thai friends who joined her in night school to study for the American citizenship tests dropped out.  She finished, got her blue passport, and we moved to Thailand while they're staying in the US.

Edited by KhunG
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