A Family RTW Travel Adventure (2008-2009)
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Farang Friendly


Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia never to have been ruled by a European power.

The Thai kings (and by extension the people) were able to maintain their independence largely through a healthy skepticism of foreigners.  One example:

During the late 1600s, a Greek named Constantine Phaulkon, became a key advisor in the royal court of King Karai.

Phaulkon helped the King fend off attempted colonization by the Dutch and English, but allowed 600 French troops into the kingdom. Bad decision.

The Thais, fearing a takeover, expelled the French and executed Phaulkon.  The country sealed itself off from the West for the next 150 years.

Though Thailand has built a strong tourist industry, a healthy distrust of the farang, or foreigner, exists to this day.

The Thai people are gracious hosts, and we have found them to be friendly, warm, honest and helpful. But long-time expats have told us that it is best to avoid confrontation in Thailand – than any disagreement between a Thai and a farang will not end well for the farang.


We have been struck by the local interest in our kids, especially Conor.  Part of the attention they receive comes from a cultural affinity for family and children.

But part certainly is their “farang-ness” – Caroline and Conor just look completely different from Thai children.

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February 20, 2009   6 Comments

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