Is adultery acceptable in Thailand?

July 16, 2022 - Reading time: 8 minutes

For our foreign clients that are involved in romantic relationships with Thai people, we would recommend that they perform some basic research on Thai culture, traditions, and etiquette, if they have not already done so. Understanding certain details about your partner's culture can help you to better understand their mindset and expectations for your relationship. As a leading detective agency based in Thailand, we are often asked about infidelity and whether it is accepted in Thailand.

No, adultery is not generally acceptable in Thailand, and there are stiff penalties in place for those that are caught. However, this is not to say that adultery does not occur in Thailand and attitudes towards adultery can vary depending upon who you speak to.

Some men will knowingly cheat on their wives with what they call 'mia noi's, for example. Loosely translated to "minor wife", a "mia noi" will be a lady that the man maintains a romantic relationship with in addition to his wife, for a prolonged period. While some men might find it acceptable to cheat on their partner in this way through having a long term affair, that is not to say that their actions are not without consequence if they are caught.

An Asian lady wearing a wedding dress and holding a bouquet of flowers while smiling

For Thai ladies that are involved in romantic relationships with foreigners, the motivation for them to commit infidelity is more likely to be financially related. The so-called 'Thai girlfriend scam', as it is known, typically involves a lady forging romantic ties with multiple different guys, who all believe that they are the only woman in her life. Some boyfriends might send money to the lady, others will only treat her to gifts or during vacations to Thailand. Of course, if you are not married to your partner then while it might be immoral for them to cheat on you, their infidelity will not be classed as adultery.

Is adultery illegal in Thailand?

Thai law protects the sanctity of wedding vows, and adultery can carry harsh penalties in some cases.

Hammer and gavel

According to legal experts, if you are involved in a romantic relationship with a person that is married, then you could be sued by their husband or wife. Romantic messages and photos can be used as evidence of the relationship, and if a case is backed by solid proof then the third party can be ordered to pay financial compensation to the husband or wife that was cheated on.

The plaintiff can seek compensation by suing the other person without divorcing their partner, and then sue them again for a second time if the affair continues.

Spouses that are cheated on can also seek to be awarded child support which is deducted directly from their ex-partner's salary.

If you are concerned that your Thai partner might be currently married and would like to check their marital status, then we can help by performing a background check for you.

Is adultery common in Thailand?

According to surveys which were conducted in 2012 by dating site Match.com and condom manufacturer Durex, 56% of the Thai respondents admitted to having an affair on their married partner. This statistic ranks Thailand as one of the most adulterous nations surveyed, with Denmark and Italy coming in second and third places respectively.

Our infographic for Thailand cheating partner statistics

Is polygamy allowed in Thailand?

No, polygamy is not allowed in Thailand. It is reported that polygamy was an acceptable practice in Thailand for centuries until it was banned in 1935, just three years after the Siamese Revolution.

Is marriage important in Thailand?

Yes. Marriage is important in Thailand and in Thai culture. Traditionally, some Thais are thought to believe that a romantic relationship does not truly exist until it has been denoted by marriage (or a wedding ceremony).

While many Thais favour an extravagant wedding ceremony with music and food for their friends/family, not all decide to follow up their ceremony by visiting their district registrar and officially registering their marriage. While those getting married in Western countries tend to always register their marriages, this is not always the case in Thailand and some are happy to forego registration of their marriage after holding a wedding ceremony.

Is marriage important to my Thai girlfriend?

Of course, the answer to this question will vary depending on your girlfriend and her own personal beliefs. In the past, we have heard the excuse from cheating Thai ladies that "we weren't even married, so the relationship was not serious". Some Thais do believe that a romantic relationship is not 'bona fide' until a wedding ceremony has taken place.

As in many other countries, marriage (or a wedding ceremony) can be used to share the news to the lady's community that she is now committed to a serious relationship.

Often a 'dowry' or 'sin sod' will be paid to the bride's family by the groom during their wedding ceremony. A dowry payment will typically consist of a pile of cash and gold, property/land deeds can also be included as part of a dowry payment or even an expensive vehicle. The dowry will be displayed for all to see during the wedding ceremony, which can help to increase the lady's 'face' and make the couple appear to be prosperous. The payment has been described as compensation to the bride's family for taking their daughter out of their household. Once this payment is made to the bride's family, it is usually not refundable.

How can I tell if my partner is cheating on me in Thailand?

Finding out for sure whether your partner is actively cheating on you in Thailand can be very difficult or impossible in some cases. Especially if you are not currently in Thailand and your partner is; or if you cannot understand the Thai language, then finding out whether infidelity is taking place in your relationship might prove to be a real challenge.

A man with a camera taking photos of a couple that are holding hands

As a leading detective agency based in Bangkok and covering all areas of Thailand, we have often helped our clients to check their partner's activities in Thailand. Whether you need us to perform a Thai lady investigation, a background check, or investigate a cheating husband in Thailand, we can help. Please visit our homepage to learn more about us or contact one of our experienced team members for a free quote - please remember to include the exact location of the assignment and all relevant details when getting in touch with us.

Related articles

Sources: Thai PBS


Do I need to send money to my Thai girlfriend?

July 7, 2022 - Reading time: 12 minutes

"Do I need to send money to my Thai girlfriend?" - The answer to this question will of course vary depending upon your girlfriend's circumstances and her financial situation. If your girlfriend comes from a wealthy family, or even a 'middle class' Thai family, then you might find yourself not needing to support her by helping out with money. Indeed if your girlfriend's family are very wealthy, then they might even decide to help you out with spare cash - however cases such as this are not seen by us very often.

Asian lady wearing a white dress

In order to understand the concept of providing for a Thai girlfriend (and her family) by giving her a cash allowance or helping out with money, we feel it's important to understand more about Thai culture and the daughter's role within the family. Having a basic understanding of Thai culture in general can only benefit the relationship that you have with your Thai girlfriend, and we would certainly recommend doing some research in order to better understand Thailand culture and customs if you are dating a Thai lady.

Where does your Thai girlfriend come from?

We think it's safe to assume that your Thai girlfriend comes from Thailand. However, Thailand is a big place and things can vary somewhat depending upon the region. Many Thai women that date foreigners come from the North East of Thailand in an area known as Isan. Isan comprises of several different provinces which are largely comprised of rural farming communities.

Often is the case that Thai people from rural areas will travel to large cities (such as Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, or Chiang Mai) in order to look for work; they will then be responsible for sending money back to their families in the village. Grandparents will often take care of their grandchildren while the child's parents work away in a city. If your girlfriend is in a situation similar to this then you must appreciate her obligation to look after her parents (and/or other family members) by sending money to them on a regular basis.

If your girlfriend's family are based in a more metropolitan area (rather than a rural village which is surrounded by rice fields), then there will be a greater likelihood of them working or being able to earn money.

Are Thai girlfriends expensive?

The answer to this question can vary hugely depending on the circumstances. Again, if your Thai girlfriend is from a wealthy family or has a stable career, then she may not need any support from you. In order to answer this question you should really take a close look at your girlfriend, her lifestyle, and any financial obligations that she has.

Asian lady with a confused expression on her face

If your girlfriend is responsible for supporting her parents or family members that live in rural areas, for example; then the costs associated with living in a rural area are usually quite low, and supporting her family might be relatively cheap in monetary terms.

If your girlfriend is accustomed to an affluent lifestyle on the other hand, and rents a high end condo or house in the city, enjoys eating at nice restaurants, shopping for brand name clothing, perhaps she also has car payments to make, for example; then a main financial burden for you could be subsidising her lifestyle.

How much does she earn? What are her approximate outgoings? These are the type of questions that you need to answer in order to understand whether your girlfriend is likely to be expensive. Due to the Thai concept of 'saving face', it is unlikely that any Thai person will be candid about their financial situation. Don't expect to be able to answer questions such as these by speaking to a lady over the internet, we suggest meeting her and witnessing her lifestyle first hand in order to gauge it for yourself. Or, we could check her lifestyle by conducting an investigation.

Your Thai girlfriend's role within her family

Pensions for the elderly are often very meager (or non-existent) in Thailand, and so it is not uncommon for children to support their parents into their old age. In traditional Thai culture this obligation often falls upon the daughter of the family; while sons are left to provide for their own partner/children (and their partner's parents, if necessary), the daughter will need to send money in order to take care of her elderly parents. 

Of course, this is not always the case, and sometimes sons will be tasked with supporting their parents instead; however, traditionally the obligation is passed onto the daughter of the family.

If your Thai girlfriend is responsible for supporting her parents or other family members then this burden will ultimately be shared with yourself if you decide to date her or get married.

Is there a large age gap between you and your Thai girlfriend?

If there is a large age gap between you and your Thai girlfriend, then the likelihood that she will expect a cash allowance or lavish gifts is probably going to be increased. Indeed, many ladies prefer mature men as they are thought to be more financially well off and more capable of supporting the lady monetarily.

How much money do I need to give my Thai girlfriend?

Again, the answer to this question is hugely subjective depending on the lady's circumstances. There are cases where ladies do not need any money from their foreign boyfriends or partners. In other cases we have heard of men that send 20,000 THB per month, or 25,000, or 30,000, even 50,000 THB or more. It all depends on yourself, your partner's needs, and how deep your pockets are.

A lady clutching dollar bills

We also see many cases where a lady will claim "not to need any money" from her foreign boyfriend for many months or even years until a large expense needs to be paid for. Many ladies appreciate that foreign men are not keen on sending money to them, and will deliberately not ask for money or talk about money at all for a prolonged period - even if the lady is in dire need of cash in some cases.

Again, the Thai concept of 'saving face' is relevant... Asking for cash may not be perceived as a good trait and some ladies will avoid asking for money in order to build up a serious romantic relationship where money will inevitably become involved at some stage.

Are you her boyfriend or are you her customer?

According to statistics published by Wikipedia, at its peak there are 27,000 active prostitutes working in Pattaya city alone. If you find yourself involved with one of these ladies, then you might find a fine line between dating her and simply being her customer.

This is often a line which can get blurred if you are paying for a lady to spend time with you; the so-called 'girlfriend experience' is designed to blur this line and make you feel although you are in a romantic relationship with the lady. You may indeed be in a romantic relationship with the lady, but in a role as her customer rather than as her boyfriend.

Many of the ladies that work in Thailand's notorious adult entertainment industry use internet dating apps to search for serious romantic relationships. Often these ladies will claim to have legitimate jobs in order for the guys they are speaking with to consider having a serious relationship with them. They can pose wearing uniforms for supermarkets or restaurants, for example, and most men will never question their stories - especially if they have never previously visited Thailand. You may think that 'it could never happen to you', however we have seen numerous cases where our clients had the same belief, and would never have discovered the truth had they not decided to start an investigation.

Is your Thai girlfriend being honest with you?

Finding out about the true financial situation of someone can be difficult. Sometimes couples that are together for years or even decades will conceal financial matters from each other. Due to the Thai concept of saving face, your Thai girlfriend might be more likely to tell you things which she believes will make her seem more desirable to you - and this can make it very difficult to uncover the truth in many cases.

Thai girlfriend works at a bar

We deal with many cases where our clients date Thai ladies that works in bars; whether that is a beer bar, go-go bar, nightclub, gentleman's club, or in any similar type establishment.

Usually when the lady is working at a bar, her boyfriend will provide her with a monthly allowance. In return the lady 'will not leave the bar with other customers', and will 'only earn money through tips or lady drinks'. The lady will usually call her boyfriend at the same time every night in order to prove that she has not left the bar with a customer...

We usually find that the reality of the situation is much different. In the majority of cases the lady will continue to leave her bar and travel with customers to their hotel rooms. She will indeed call her boyfriend at the same time every night, however she might be calling from the toilet or balcony of her client's hotel room; in other cases bar girls will call their boyfriends in front of customers who tend to find the situation amusing.

People drinking in a bar underneath red and blue lights

If you found a Thai lady through internet dating and have never actually met her in real life, then if the lady is working in a bar she will typically claim to have a normal job working in a supermarket or restaurant, for example. Finding the truth of the situation even if you decide to later visit Thailand can often prove to be difficult or impossible.

In such cases we can help our clients to check their Thai girlfriends by conducting an investigation.

Check your Thai girlfriend

Bangkok Investigators logo

If you decide to support your Thai girlfriend by sending her gifts or a monthly allowance, then we think it makes sense to check her circumstances in order to protect your investment and make sure that you aren't being played.

We can use a variety of different techniques during Thai lady investigations, from running a background check or using surveillance in order to verify the lady's circumstances and lifestyle. Our services often save our clients far more than they would have otherwise spent in supporting their Thai girlfriend for even a short period of time.

Please visit the Bangkok Investigators homepage to learn more about us and the different services that we offer.


Why you should run a background check on a Thai girlfriend

July 6, 2022 - Reading time: 8 minutes

Our clients will often come to us seeking a prematrimonial background check on their Thai girlfriend, as a way of verifying the lady's identity, checking her circumstances, and ultimately protecting any financial or emotional investment which they decide to make in her.

There are numerous different reasons for which our clients may decide to perform a background check on their Thai partner. We will explore some of the more common motivations in this article.

1. Check her honesty

Often is the case that in order to 'save face', Thai girlfriends will not be fully honest or up-front about certain things which they think might make them less desirable to potential partners, especially if they are dating a foreigner.

For example, if you met a lady while in Thailand or through internet dating, then she might not tell you that she already has multiple children by previous partners. In Thailand it is common for grandparents to look after children in rural villages while the child's parents work in a city; the parents will then be responsible for working and sending money back to their village.

Thailand background checks

Learn more about our background check service.

This can mean that even if you meet a lady in Thailand, you might not meet her parents/children or extended family. In this case a background check can help to verify the lady's circumstances.

If a lady is recently divorced, or even if she is currently married, then she might decide not to mention this to you in order to 'save face' and to maintain your relationship with her. The concept of 'saving face' is an important element of Thai culture and something which may benefit you to research if you are involved in a romantic relationship with a Thai person.

If a lady is working in the adult entertainment industry as a bar girl, for example, and she decides to look for a foreign partner through internet dating, she may decide to claim that she is a university student or that she works in a normal job... You may read this and think that 'it could never happen to you', many of our clients felt the same way until we discovered the truth of the situation.

Not all Thai lady investigations can be remedied through running a background check however background checks form a good starting point in many cases.

2. Marital status and marriage/divorce history

Did you know that if you are involved in a romantic relationship with a lady that is married, then under Thai law you could be sued by her husband? Social media posts, messages, and photos can be used as evidence of your relationship. For this reason we recommend at least checking the lady's current marital status and marriage/divorce history, whether or not you choose to perform a full background check on her.

3. Applying for a long term visa

If you are applying for a long term visa for your Thai girlfriend, then certain factors may make the process difficult or impossible. For example, if the lady comes from a criminal background then you might find it difficult for her to acquire a long term visa or even a tourist visa to visit another country.

Planes taking off and landing during sunset

If the lady is currently married or has been divorced very recently, and she neglects to inform you of this, or of other information relating to her life or living arrangements, then such discrepancies could throw a spanner in the works when it comes to applying for a (often costly) visa to visit a Western country.

Furthermore, if the lady is not able to demonstrate a stable and long term career, then her chances of acquiring a visa for another country may prove to be more difficult. We can also check and verify employment/education records as part of a romantic background check.

4. Avoid falling victim to a romance scam

It is a sad fact that romance scams are on the rise around the globe; with the United States Federal Trade Commission reporting that romance scams increased by a massive 80% in 2021.

Romance scams come in many different forms and guises. Most scams entail spinning a web of deceit, forming an emotional bond with the victim and using an elaborate series of lies to extract money from them.

An Asian lady smells a flower

You may think that 'it could never happen to you', however it is important to remember that professional fraudsters are just that - professionals. The perpetrators of this type of fraud usually practice and hone their skills over a number of years which allows them to become extremely convincing and good and what they do. Cleverly constructed stories and elaborate lies can make the most farfetched claims seem believable, with victims becoming less and less likely to question the person they are speaking to as they begin to develop an emotional attachment to them.

Background checks are one path which we can take in order to check and verify claims in order to eliminate the risk posed by dating/romance scams.

5. Make an informed investment

Often is the case that when a foreigner decides to form a romantic relationship with a Thai lady, that there will be an element of financial support in the relationship. Even if there is not, many Thai families will expect the foreigner to pay them a 'dowry' or 'sin sod' when marrying their daughter, which is typically a combination of cash and gold, however a dowry payment could also include land, property deeds, or even vehicles.

Dowry/sin sod payments at Thai weddings can run anywhere from 500,000 THB up to several million THB in some cases, with much dependant on the bride's family. 

Even if a Thai wedding where a dowry is paid is not on the cards, maintaining a relationship with a person from another country usually entails the obvious costs associated with travel, visas, and relocation. Put simply, there is likely to be financial expenditure at various points during your relationship. And where any good businessman will remind you to perform due diligence in order to make informed business decisions; we believe that it can also pay to protect your investment by also performing due diligence during romantic relationships.

Learn more

Bangkok Investigators

Please click through to the Bangkok Investigators homepage to learn more about us or our background screening services. We offer free, no pressure quotes for all work. Feel free to get in touch with us for more information or to request a quotation and we will do our best to help.


Bangkok Investigators

Thank you for reading the Bangkok private investigators blog.
Bangkok private investigators
Learn more about Bangkok Investigators at our homepage.


Contact us button