How to Survive Your Thai Holiday (Hint: Dont Be Stupid)

Tourists are kicking the bucket in droves in Thailand these days. Or so it seems. Either that or they’re going blind from getting STDs sprayed in their eyes, or breaking their necks diving into pools, or offing themselves on purpose at the prospect of having to go back to their home country. If you read a random weekly news cycle out of Bangkok, it would seem like The Land of Smiles is actually a death trap for foreigners. And it is—if you’re a moron.

These guys said goodbye to their friends as they got dropped off for a quick bj at a popular bj bar. Not very subtle.




This is in no way meant to disparage anyone who has encountered misfortune while on holiday here. Sometimes bad things happen and when it happens, it’s a tragedy. Having said that, though, it does seem—from the point of view of this middle-aged GenXer—that the human population is getting gradually stupider. Certain things that were considered common sense when I was a kid are alien concepts to younger folks. They need warning signs on everything. For f*ck’s sake, they were eating laundry detergent last year. And Thailand is really lacking in the warning sign department. Living here requires a fair amount of self-reliance, common sense, situational awareness, and maturity. OK maybe not maturity. But you need to have your head on straight. As a great rapper once said, “You better check yourself before you riggity wreck yourself.”

A girls’ night out takes a hard left turn into a gogo bar. Is it shameful? Not really. But the red light district is a slippery slope. These gals have a 50-50 chance of ending up in a “Hangover” situation.






Most of us here in paradise are doing just fine. Because we’re smart, practical, well-adjusted, normal, happy, independent people. But I bet everyone reading this knows at least one complete disaster of a person who either should never have come here, or who needs to make some major changes if they want to survive Thailand. So in an effort to help those poor retarded souls who drag down the collective reputation of foreigners year in and year out, often hurting or killing themselves in the process, I offer three basic rules that, to me, should’ve gone without saying, but because it’s 2019, people need to be told. So here goes…

Rule number 1: Control yourself.

Upon reading in The Sun about the Brit who died near Patpong last month after being in-country less than 4 hours, I was somewhat shocked. As the self-proclaimed and unofficial farang mayor of Patpong, I couldn’t abide the thought of the place being dangerous. But I suppose any place can be dangerous if you throw caution completely to the wind and get passed-out drunk in a foreign country on your very first night. Look, this should go without saying but if you’re in a new environment, thousands of miles from home, don’t speak the language, and don’t know any natives, BE CAREFUL. So many tourists come here and go completely hog wild, behaving like children, bearing no responsibility for themselves and just trusting that someone else will look after them or fix whatever mess they make. Just because you’re on holiday, you don’t stop using your brain. On a nearly daily basis, I see injured tourists (usually backpackers) gingerly limping down the soi with some body part wrapped in gauze. That gauze screams “avoidable injury.” Hey bruh, how’d you break your arm? You were taking a drunk selfie while hanging off the back of a songthaew and you fell off? Who’da thunk it? Oh, you crashed the motorbike you rented despite never having driven one? Shocking! Wait, you did what? You jumped off a waterfall and broke your leg on a shallow rock? Inconceivable! Actually, it’s totally conceivable. OK look—here’s a good rule of thumb. Don’t assume anyone else is looking out for you or will help you when you’re on holiday. The only person keeping an eye on you is you. You are in charge of yourself. So don’t be a git.

Rule number 2: Remember your place.

If you’re a tourist, or an expat, or even the husband of a Thai lady going on your 20th year in Thailand, you’re still a guest in someone else’s country. So don’t start fights, don’t be condescending, don’t yell at Thais, and don’t disrespect their culture or religion. Don’t be surprised when someone doesn’t understand you—you, the foreigner visiting a country where they don’t speak your language. Don’t act like you’ve done them a favor by coming here, or that your culture is so much better and more advanced than Thailand. It’s actually far more likely that you’re a walking pile of shit and every Thai you come in contact with is a finer human being than you are. Not to be mean, but I gotta keep it real.  I’ve found that people who travel a lot or who spend a good deal of time abroad know this. The act of traveling—of turning the journey of life into a literal journey—typically educates a person in this area. We wanderers have learned from the different cultures and peoples we’ve encountered. We’ve gained some wisdom through the experience that people who rarely leave home rarely learn. So if you’re here, or you’re thinking of coming here, and you haven’t yet learned that myopic narcissism is an impractical world view, please take note. This should go without saying, but when you are visiting a foreign country, be polite. Be patient. Be humble.

Rule number 3: Don’t take your safety for granted.

This young couple look like they’re about to take a walk on the wild side. Ping pong shows can be an interesting experience, but if you don’t know what to expect, you might choke on your cocktail at the sight of it. And a gullible tourist is preferred game for anyone looking for a victim to scam.








This goes back to the fact that the only one looking after you is you. Your drunken mates won’t do it. Your girlfriend won’t do it. And Thais certainly won’t do it. Now, because Thais are for the most part good people, if they do see you about to put your foot in it, they’ll likely warn you, but it’s not a guarantee. The criminal elements in Thailand are few and far between, but there’s no doubt whatsoever that their ideal victim is the oblivious, careless, senseless foreigner walking through their holiday like a lost lamb. Be aware of your surroundings. If you make yourself vulnerable to be scammed/robbed/kidnapped/murdered, whose fault is it if it happens? That’s right, it’s yours.  Similarly, if you find yourself in bed with a stranger you picked up in a bar, and decide to go down on her, and then you end up with Chlamydia in your eye, you’ve no one to blame but yourself. This should go without saying, but somehow these days it’s got to be said. Perhaps it would be prudent to adopt the motto “If you wouldn’t do it at home, don’t do it in Thailand,” although that wouldn’t quite be enough. For example, someone might drink themselves into a black-out in their hometown. Someone might go down on a stranger in their hometown. So let’s modify the motto (modifotto for short, copyright BKK7): “If it’s a bad idea in your country, definitely don’t do it in Thailand.”

Hi-so girls having an upscale dinner in Patpong. That’s right, you heard correctly. The Steakhouse Co. classes up the red-light.








Whew! Alright, I think we can end with that. It feels like good advice. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to foolishly blow 2,000 baht that I don’t have on fancy food, wine, and girls in the red light district. Do as I say, not as I do. And until next time, keep your balls clean, your eyes free of the Clap, and cheers to another injury-free week in the greatest country in the world (if you’re not an idiot): Thailand.