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My first Isaan visit.


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I don't go to bars but still think Issan is the mostly ghastly area with probably the worst corruption, poor infrastructure, boring landscape and decidedly primitive health care. Oddly there is more Issan music in Bangkok than Issan, if you like it there then good for you.

Have you been to Loei, or the Mekong, or many of the National parks in Korat, ? Take your google glasses off and get a grip. Take a look at Bangkok now....or the Oily stenchy beaches of Pattaya.... Clean up here, pal.

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I don't go to bars but still think Issan is the mostly ghastly area with probably the worst corruption, poor infrastructure, boring landscape and decidedly primitive health care. Oddly there is more Issan music in Bangkok than Issan, if you like it there then good for you.

There are an increasing number of Farangs who do not share your view.

There is more corruption per square kilometre in Pattaya than you can shake a stick at - and that is just the Farangs - never mind the imported Thais.

If you think Isaan is ghastly just come and have a beer on my patio, watching the sun down with khao Phanom Rung on one side and khao Pribad on the other.attachicon.gifCopy of DSC03402.JPG

Is this photo your view from your patio..? thumbsup.gif

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I don't disagree with you. I am kind of disappointed that people think of my home these ways. It is not the most desire place for most Falangs but it is a good enough place to live a comfortable life. Wonder what it is going to take to make Falangs desire Issan cities, obviously Issan girls is not enough, lol.

For me after visiting some places in Thailand there have been two favorites : Ayutthaya and Udon Thani.

Due to the fact that my ex GF lived close to Udon I decided for Udon (province, Kut Chap) so she won't be as alone when I'm in Germoney.

Even after separation I stayed in Udon as I like the place and the people.

There are not too many tourists here so you are treated as an expat farang mostly.

I enjoy going to restaurants with only a Thai menu and then working out what I would like to eat. Never a problem, same as in motorbike workshops.

Only in places where there occur tourists I have to be careful and try to place some of my little Thai conversation pieces to point out that I'm not...

For me the climate is perfect, not as humid as in Bangkok, the city not as crowded, I rented a house in Amphoe Mueang but surrounded by greens - what else can I whish?

OK, the perfect Thai Girlfriend is still missing cheesy.gif

Bye,

Derk

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The OP is on the right track...one can be generous without becoming an ATM.

If the relationship continues, rest assured that some family member will ask to "borrow" some money. It is on you to evaluate such requests and say 'yea' or 'nay'. A refusal will likely result in a bunch of talking and you being asked again...just stand your ground and set the precedent.

I guess your crystal ball is 100% accurate?

Been living with my wife for nearly 5 years, legally married for 3 years. Very large extended family. No one has asked for a handout or a loan. Everyone works. Neither do I pay my wife a "salary".

Maybe you have been reading TV too long?

Rest assured my comments are based on experience and living in Isaan. If we want to have a pissing match about it, I have you beat on years with my wife and years married to her...so what?

If you have never had a single person ask you for a baht, good on you. I admit I might have been generalizing a bit...but, I was doing so in an attempt to prepare the OP for his next visit, in case it did happen. I would be happy to see an update from the OP after his next visit where he says "the second visit is completed, with no requests for money".

Can you truly say that no family member or any of there drinking buddies has not tried to get you to buy a bottle of whiskey?

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Lets be honest though apart from a few nice towns like roi et and ubon, issan is one hell of a boring place to live, bit like an open prison, Most falangs who claim to live in issan do not live in villages miles from anywhere they live in places like those mentioned or KK or Udon, not really the same experience. Life in a village where the highlight of the week is insect hunting or fishing (emptying a pond) is not very attractive. There are falangs of course who live in nice houses they have built insulated by sat tv, internet and a bike ride into a town for sanity and maybe eatable food. But this is not the issan of wooden shed houses, nothing to do and being surrounded drunken lazy villagers. issan sucks, that my opinion after 20 years of visiting the place, towns excepted.

I don't "claim" to live in Isaan. I LIVE in Isaan. Granted, I'm a relative Isaan newbie, only 5+ years now (17 years full time in Thailand).

And I plead guilty to living in an area that doesn't give me your Isaan " .. experience ..". But that's personal choice. So Isaan doesn't necessarily "suck". Your choice of lifestyle "sucks" -- in your opinion.

For me, at my age, KK is my smartest and most comfortable choice.

I can see Khon Kaen as being a good compromise between being in one of the more "mainstream" larger metro areas and being in a 40-house village swatting flies.

I spent some time there for work some years back and liked it pretty well.

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Boring people would be bored anywhere. If you are a happy, adjusted person and like clean living, and good healthy habits, Isaan can be heaven. The weather is in the 60's and 70's, sunshine, happy people, I hear birds in the day, and at night, the critters and frogs. Bring your hobbies with you. Nobody can be a tourist 24/7. Any beach is a short hop on an airplane. Udon to Phuket is 1000 baht on air asia...same costs as your taxis. Have to laugh. Can get to Pattaya by flying one hour to bangkok, and then a quick bus ride of 1 1/2 hours. Some nonsensible people think there is nothing to do because they have nothing between their ears. Its not prison..its freedom.

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Isaan does not mean "farm" it means a geographical plateau Region. Includes towns, villages cities and yes, farmland. However, you will find farmland in all regions of Thailand. So saying cities are not Isaan is just silly. Many Isaan people live in cities...or perhaps unread and unwise self proclaimed experts have actually thought that Isaan only refers to farmland.??? Shaking my head. Just incredible, but when your only tour is to Pattaya and Phuket, then its just sad.

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Isaan does not mean "farm" it means a geographical plateau Region. Includes towns, villages cities and yes, farmland. However, you will find farmland in all regions of Thailand. So saying cities are not Isaan is just silly. Many Isaan people live in cities...or perhaps unread and unwise self proclaimed experts have actually thought that Isaan only refers to farmland.???  Shaking my head. Just incredible, but when your only tour is to Pattaya and Phuket, then its just sad.

According to my wife, Isaan is just the name of the region, it does not mean "farm" or "dry place" or anything else.

But she is an uneducated Isaan lady, so maybe she does not know as much as some farang ;-)

Sent from my Xoom using Thaivisa Connect Thailand mobile app

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Isaan does not mean "farm" it means a geographical plateau Region. Includes towns, villages cities and yes, farmland. However, you will find farmland in all regions of Thailand. So saying cities are not Isaan is just silly. Many Isaan people live in cities...or perhaps unread and unwise self proclaimed experts have actually thought that Isaan only refers to farmland.??? Shaking my head. Just incredible, but when your only tour is to Pattaya and Phuket, then its just sad.

According to my wife, Isaan is just the name of the region, it does not mean "farm" or "dry place" or anything else.

But she is an uneducated Isaan lady, so maybe she does not know as much as some farang ;-)

Sent from my Xoom using Thaivisa Connect Thailand mobile app

I was always under the impression, it means, north east, but then again I am just a dumb farang.

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The OP is on the right track...one can be generous without becoming an ATM.

If the relationship continues, rest assured that some family member will ask to "borrow" some money. It is on you to evaluate such requests and say 'yea' or 'nay'. A refusal will likely result in a bunch of talking and you being asked again...just stand your ground and set the precedent.

I guess your crystal ball is 100% accurate?

Been living with my wife for nearly 5 years, legally married for 3 years. Very large extended family. No one has asked for a handout or a loan. Everyone works. Neither do I pay my wife a "salary".

Maybe you have been reading TV too long?

Rest assured my comments are based on experience and living in Isaan. If we want to have a pissing match about it, I have you beat on years with my wife and years married to her...so what?

If you have never had a single person ask you for a baht, good on you. I admit I might have been generalizing a bit...but, I was doing so in an attempt to prepare the OP for his next visit, in case it did happen. I would be happy to see an update from the OP after his next visit where he says "the second visit is completed, with no requests for money".

Can you truly say that no family member or any of there drinking buddies has not tried to get you to buy a bottle of whiskey?

I can truly and honestly say that no family member (don' know any of their drinking buddies) has even hinted at getting even a free beer from me. Maybe part of the reason is that I don't drink. Sorry I don't fit the stereotype that you seem intent on advancing.

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The OP is on the right track...one can be generous without becoming an ATM.

If the relationship continues, rest assured that some family member will ask to "borrow" some money. It is on you to evaluate such requests and say 'yea' or 'nay'. A refusal will likely result in a bunch of talking and you being asked again...just stand your ground and set the precedent.

I guess your crystal ball is 100% accurate?

Been living with my wife for nearly 5 years, legally married for 3 years. Very large extended family. No one has asked for a handout or a loan. Everyone works. Neither do I pay my wife a "salary".

Maybe you have been reading TV too long?

Rest assured my comments are based on experience and living in Isaan. If we want to have a pissing match about it, I have you beat on years with my wife and years married to her...so what?

If you have never had a single person ask you for a baht, good on you. I admit I might have been generalizing a bit...but, I was doing so in an attempt to prepare the OP for his next visit, in case it did happen. I would be happy to see an update from the OP after his next visit where he says "the second visit is completed, with no requests for money".

Can you truly say that no family member or any of there drinking buddies has not tried to get you to buy a bottle of whiskey?

I can truly and honestly say that no family member (don' know any of their drinking buddies) has even hinted at getting even a free beer from me. Maybe part of the reason is that I don't drink. Sorry I don't fit the stereotype that you seem intent on advancing.

Truly, I am advancing no stereotype...I am only relating my experiences, and those of a few other Westerners I know here (I am not depending upon ThaiVisa posts for this information).

My wife has a large family and there are a couple that have big ideas, but never the money to do anything (which is probably just as well). If they come to me with a request, I politely listen, then just say no. They know that they can ask me once.

It does not make them bad people.

And why are you apologizing? I have no idea what your situation is, other than what you have stated here. You may have missed it, but I did give you kudos for never having been asked for money.

Hey, your life in Isaan is going well, as is mine.

Life is good.

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Asking for a loan is commonplace in Thailand, particularly between family members, paying them back isn't quite as commonplace lol. However it's part of life here, and so will likely happen, you just need to work out how you're going to deal with it. Generally Thai people don't like to directly say no, and so make up flimsy excuses instead (lying is often more acceptable than blatantly saying "I think you're untrustworthy" lol, which is where farang often rub people the wrong way, we're too honest lol). Your gf should divert anyone who wants to ask for a loan, as she'll know that it's not something you want to deal with.

Since I met my gf, she has been asked for loans from 1 uncle (Who lives in BKK), her half brother (who lives nearby) and her half sister (Who she met for the first time at her father's funeral last year).

When the uncle asked ~2 years ago, my gf didn't want to say no (But also knew he wouldn't repay any loans, as already had long term debts to her mother), as it might be impolite, so just told him she'd give him 3000 THB instead of loaning him the amount he wanted. He hasn't asked again since.

When her half brother asked, it was so that he could buy an old truck to use in a water delivery business. I know that he's hardworking and honest, so loaned him 40,000, and he stuck to the repayment schedule without fault and repaid it in full. His business was successful, and so I'm really glad that I loaned him the money.

When her half sister asked for 3000, both my gf and I knew she probably wouldn't pay her back, but we both agreed that it was only a small amount of money, and it'd be worthwhile to see if she was trustworthy and honest or not. She lived up to our expectations, and we haven't heard from her since (Apparently she also skipped town as she'd borrowed from the mafia as well).

I've had a few random drunks ask me for whiskey, they're usually just randoms though, rather than family/friends, and easy to turn away.

But my point is, just use your judgement well when deciding who to loan money to in Isaan. Your gf should be able to tell you who is trustworthy and who isn't. If you're not sure, then only risk a small amount of money with them, as 1000 THB or so isn't really going to break the bank if they can't pay it back, but it'll teach you a valuable lesson about the person's character (Which is important since you'll probably be stuck with your wife's family for the rest of your life lol).

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Re: Stereotype: In your own words, "I admit I might have been generalizing a bit..."

Re Apologizing: Not an apology, just a manner of speaking.

Re Kudos: Odd way to give kudos. In the same post you said:

"If you have never had a single person ask you for a baht, good on you. <snip>

Can you truly say that no family member or any of there drinking buddies has not tried to get you to buy a bottle of whiskey?"
One of us is confused.
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Nobody claimed Issan was just one big farm, it is indeed a plateau, and as such mostly boringly flat and dry as a bone, when it's not flooded that is! Every small town looks like a concrete copy of another with very little of interest that Thais have ever constructed. However I am all for issan folk keeping up their culture, Lao and kahmin should be taught in Schools, instead Thai authority does not and would be happy to see regional language die away altogether. Similarly 'real' Issan music is almost totally ignored by Thai TV networks, there are no regular morlam programs on the main TV channels and is there any TV broadcast in lao? I think not. No wonder there is such a split down the middle of Thai society when a large part of it has been ignored, sidelined and when they do vote in who they want the tanks roll them over. I don't see any support at all in Issan for Suthep and his laughingly called 'democrats'.

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Nobody claimed Issan was just one big farm, it is indeed a plateau, and as such mostly boringly flat and dry as a bone, when it's not flooded that is! Every small town looks like a concrete copy of another with very little of interest that Thais have ever constructed. However I am all for issan folk keeping up their culture, Lao and kahmin should be taught in Schools, instead Thai authority does not and would be happy to see regional language die away altogether. Similarly 'real' Issan music is almost totally ignored by Thai TV networks, there are no regular morlam programs on the main TV channels and is there any TV broadcast in lao? I think not. No wonder there is such a split down the middle of Thai society when a large part of it has been ignored, sidelined and when they do vote in who they want the tanks roll them over. I don't see any support at all in Issan for Suthep and his laughingly called 'democrats'.

Ubon has, or rather had, 3 Democrat MPs in the last Parliament, Peua Thai 6 I believe.

Today in Ubon and other Isaan areas there were large demonstrations against the government.

My 'real' Isaan friends regularly listen to 'real' Isaan music on TV; and why have Lao and Khamin taught in schools - the locals speak Isaan and Thai. I know very little of the local dialect, but manage OK with the locals because they speak speak Thai to me.

You have a thing about slagging Isaan and its people, why do you bother? I don't go on the General section saying nasty things about your negative contributions.

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