Elephant’s Leg

Nice tan!

Nice tan!

Everybody needs somebody… to look down on, and few lifeforms get less respect than the lowly tourist. In Bangkok, they are easy to spot – bright pink skin, dripping in sweat, wearing a Chang Beer T-shirt and scratching their heads over folding maps and the BTS ticketing system. Tourists are naïve, vulnerable, confused and trusting – everything that the noble expat is not! But to the average Thai conman and opportunist, every foreigner is a potential tourist, and to every tourist, anyone of their same colour is likely one of their kin. But the resident farang is a wiser, nobler and all-round higher class of foreigner, and we must flaunt our status with our behaviour and habits. However, this is something that can only be cultivated over time, with experience – unless you consult my handy guide to…


BE CYNICAL First, and most importantly, try not to like anything. Bitch about people you know and whine about your job. Rule number one – tourists are happy, expats are not.

DRINK ‘EUROPEAN’ BEER Only tourists would drink that inferior local crap. They’ll even claim to like it. Show your superior taste and reach for a Heineken every time. It’s more expensive, even though it’s also brewed locally, but that’s not important.

VISIT IRISH BARS When you live in Thailand, the appeal of everything being cheaper wears off after a while, so it makes a refreshing change to drink at Western prices. Why pay 60 baht for a beer when you can pay 180?

SPEAK THAI Ward off any would-be scam artists by opening all conversations with a Thai, in Thai. For example, saying “Heineken, khrap” when ordering a London-priced beer in a Third World city shows you’re no mug. Having established this, you can return to English.

That's gotta be better than a Thai curry

Tell me that’s not more appealing than a Thai curry

EAT WESTERN FOOD  Thai food has a reputation as among the world’s best cuisines, but that doesn’t mean you should eat it. Living away from home will give you an appreciation of how delicious things like boiled carrots and white bread are, so eat Western food whenever possible, even if costs four times more.

AVOID TOURIST DESTINATIONS (EXCEPT SUKHUMVIT ROAD) You did all that when you first got here, so no need to go again. Oh, you missed some of Bangkok’s tourist attractions? Well it’s too late, you can’t go now, lest people think you’re a tourist. Happy Hour is more rewarding than any cultural site. And by all means stay away from Khao San Road. Weird place – the farangs drink Singha and the Thais drink Heineken. Sukhumvit Road is fine, though – there are plenty of Irish pubs there.

AVOID THE SUN All Thais are as sunlight-averse as vampires, thinking light (or, for those who have an idea about political correctness, “bright”) skin is the key to beauty. While westerners do not necessarily subscribe to this opinion, they do know that avoiding getting sunburnt is a key to not being mistaken for a tourist.

SLEEP WITH PROSTITUTES – AND ADMIT IT Leave hand-wringing recriminations to the tourists who don’t realise prostitution is a valid career path here. You’re actually helping these young ladies! And don’t be shy to boast of your red-light exploits – clandestine whoremongering is classic tourist behaviour, reserved for those who live in countries where the people don’t understand that the more times you pay for sex, the more of a man you are!

A role model to millions

Your role model

HATE THAILAND Yes, you chose to relocate yourself halfway across the world. Yes, the standard of living for a westerner here is great. Yes, it’s sunny every day. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good place to live. Sure, tourists simply love Thailand, but that’s because they don’t know the truth. Gather together with your fellow expats and spend entire nights complaining about Thailand, Thai people, Thai culture, Thai business, Thai food, tourists, and expats in Thailand, and talking about how you can’t wait to leave.

HATE HOME Yes, you chose to relocate yourself halfway across the world, and with good reason. It costs too much to live in your home country, the weather is lousy, the women are ugly, the people are uncivilised and the price of beer is outrageous. Thais might dream of moving to the West, but that’s because they don’t know the truth. Gather together with your fellow expats and spend entire nights complaining about your home countries, their people, their food, their tourists, and talking about how you would never leave Thailand.

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Comment by Mum

he he … thank you !

Comment by yyorick

This sums up tourist experiences! a music video in thailand

Comment by John

[…] Elephant’s Leg ne dezvăluie cele 10 metode prin care expații stabiliți în Thailanda reușesc să se deosebească de turiști. Recunosc, am încercat și eu vreo trei dintre […]

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Sockpuppet fully endorses this valuable guide

Comment by English Sockpuppet

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