Ex Pats, Residents in Thailand, SE Asia

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Ex Pats, Residents in Thailand, SE Asia


This is a message  for Westerners, 'farangs', who live in or are frequent visitors to Southeast Asia.

Why learn about Thai culture, Lao etc. values, do’s and don’ts? Why learn about Thai, Lao, Cambodia cultures? Well, you have decided to retire or semi retire in Southeast Asia. You spent money on, maybe bought a nice condo or house as a retreat from cold, dark winters back home.  You have invested or will invest a lot of your money, maybe your life's savings and your feelings too, to enjoy a good life in SE Asia.

A large part of a nice life in SE Asia is about relations!

Interacting with local people!  So it seems natural that the first step should be to learn some local language

Or are you one of those who think it is too difficult and maybe don't care? Then you can stop reading here! You have bought your home, sweet home, in Thailand near your retired home country friends and will go golfing, gin tonicing, wining and dining with them maybe even whining about strange local people's habits . ‘Poh laeow’ , enough, basta for you. Stop reading here. You will be  the ‘farang’ who does not understand! Choc dee=Good luck. You will need it!

Still curious? Go on reading!

This message is for you if you care to understand the cultures of SE Asia. Want to learn more about local culture to enjoy life in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, SE Asia?  To use your investment wisely! It is OK to start to learn some local language. But this is actually not enough! 

Think about it! How would you feel about someone back home, an immigrant, who spent 5 years in your country but does not speak a word of your language? 

Understand your new neighbors!

Surely you want to settle in as easily as possible, to live and interact smoothly with local people, make friends, talk to shopkeepers, doctors, police and other authorities. To be able to get along with local people you must know more than just to speak some of their language.  You need to know more about your local colleagues, partners, and friends. You should make an effort to understand their backgrounds, their behavior and values, to understand what and how they think! 


Some features of Southeast Asian culture may interfere with your usual way of thinking. Then what? You will blame the locals? It is a helpful skill to know how other people think and feel. It is called people, social skills, empathy! 
  • To understand the language, what another person says is not enough!  
  • To understand why he says so is more important!  
You know it is easier for you to understand your friends back home than it is in Thailand, Southeast Asia. 

Intercultural misunderstandings

Intercultural misunderstandings make people lose faith in other people and lose face too. So important to avoid in SE Asia! Intercultural misunderstandings are all too common and unnecessary. They result in strained relations, conflicts, lost quality of life, time and money! You don’t enjoy your investment in a life abroad as much as you could, as much as you should! You are not using your money wisely!

Cross Culture Training in Thailand is for you if you have read this far

Understand your new country and its people!  Avoid misunderstandings! Our training provide critical and quick insights into Southeast Asian thinking, facilitating understanding and cooperation and avoiding the typical misunderstandings that result from cultural and language barriers.
We have trained thousands of people who want to learn about SE Asia culture, values and behavior, to have successful relationships with local people.
Openmind Projects arranges for customized Cross Culture Training for managers, ex pat residents and visitors to SE Asia who want a very useful introduction into the major cultural differences between Western and Southeast Asian cultures.
The focus is on facilitating cross cultural understanding and avoiding the frequent, frustrating and unnecessary misunderstandings that sour relations between foreigners—farangs—and their local colleagues.

Some typical inter culture misunderstandings

The Thai Maybe and the ex pat "Maybe" experience – when the Thai says maybe it may mean No. You need to know when!
Mai Pen Rai means ‘never mind’ or ‘you are welcome’ but do you know what it really means?
Kreng Jai is to be considerate. Key behavior in Thailand, not wanting to cause alarm or disturb someone that’s why the Thai will not tell you the bad news even when it's important to you. How to make sure you get the bad news in time? Do you know how?
‘Thai time’ versus ‘German timing’. How to compromise? Do you know?
Relations go before results in SE Asia. How to work that to the benefit of your company instead of complaining that your local staff cares more about their family than their job? Do you know?


Contact Us for more information - Learn more about our Cross Culture Training  for Ex Pats

Ex Pats, Residents in Thailand, SE Asia