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Meet Your Thai Companion

Many locals want to be your companion as it bestows high status to them among their pals, and allows them to travel. A companion helps you find your way around Thailand. They know their area, speak the language, show you sights you would otherwise not see, and keep you from getting over-charged or ripped off. Not only do you save some money that way, you also make someone very happy. Hotels charge per room, not per person. It won't cost you more if you share a room.

Avoid Moneyboys and Moneygirls

They can be expensive and most only stay with you for a short while. Although it is practically the mainstay of their tourist industry, prostitution is technically illegal in Thailand, especially for under 18 year olds. The bars and night clubs usually operate by making helpful contributions to their friends in law enforcement.

Professional Friends

Tour guides provide helpful services to visitors for a modest fee (around € 10-20 a day) but don't always speak much English. Your compensation for their efforts over a week or two will keep them housed and fed for over two months. Please accept their offers if you're not hooked up with a student. You are really making a difference. They rather go on holiday with you than sweat in a factory all day.

When you arrive at the beach they will choose you before you even know they are around. In the low season (April to October) there will be fierce competition among them to catch one of the few tourists available. You may find several coming to you at once, wanting to meet you. Choose the one with best language skills.

Students and Genuine Friends

Most students speak fairly good English. Often students want to meet foreigners (Farang) to improve their language skills. They also like to travel but usually can't afford it. So they ask if they can go with you. They can become long time friends. Treasure them.

Make contact well before you travel to establish a rapport on facebook.com and such sites. You'll be surprised how open and direct some of them discuss intimate subjects.

You may find you are too young for some of them. Many Thais want to meet more mature westerners who tend to stay with them longer. Younger travellers have a 'Butterfly' reputation, as they often hop from one partner to another.

Find a Real Friend

You are better off when you find a genuine friend. They may stay with you for years and you both have a great time getting wet together in the sea, lakes, and waterfalls. Be approachable and they will find you soon. Remember to be polite and smile.

Typical Conversation

Where you from? You alone?
Easy questions to start a conversation.

What your name?
They will then tell you their nickname, usually one syllable, like Lee, Nui, Nueng, Tee or Wut. This name was given to them by a Buddhist monk when they were born, or they made it up.

What you like? You like boy? You like girl?
Give an honest answer. If necessary they introduce you to a friend of theirs.

Where you go?
Can also mean: How are you?

I go with you!
You have been chosen and they ask your permission to be your companion.

When you ask what they'll do after you went home, they may say: "Look farang."  They'll find another foreigner. That's what they do. Get real about this.

Overnight Guests

Most hotels ask for overnight guests to leave their ID cards at the reception, and the reception will call your room when your friend leaves to check that everything is alright. This also protects you from scams by underage kids trying to blackmail you.

Remember that the age of consent is 18 for boys and girls. Always check your new friend's ID card. You don't want the responsability of travelling with a minor.