Whatever You Do, Don’t Argue in Thailand!

The tale: A 46-year-old German man, the owner of 99 Beer Bar on Chaweng Beach (a well-known entertainment district on Koh Samui) and his Thai girlfriend were in a nightclub parking lot when they found three teenagers sitting and drinking alcohol on the German’s motorcycle.

The German man became angry and began arguing with the teenagers, demanding that they get off his bike and leave the parking lot. The three Thais lost their temper, punched the German in his face, beat him with beer bottles, and stabbed his neck with shards of glass, witnesses say.

The suspects fled following the attack, witnesses told police. Medical workers say the victim died from stabbing wounds. Police in Koh Samui say they are investigating CCTV footage from the area of the crime scene to identify and arrest the three suspects.

The moral of the tale: never, ever argue with Thais. Yelling at a Thai is treated as a mortal attack and he will respond with a mortal attack on you.

Last year it was an American businessman who’d lived in Thailand for 7 years and certainly knew better than to argue with a tuktuk driver over his fare, loudly accusing him of cheating him out of $4.90. The tuktuk driver responded by hacking the American to death with a machete, right in the middle of Bangkok.

Have I mad myself clear? Learn to greet frustration and disappointment the Thai way: practice saying mai pen rai – with a smile.

The culprits, if they are ever caught, will be given relatively light sentences because the judge understands that they were acting in self-defense. Strange but true…

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about: a tuktuk driver beating up a farang who argued loudly with him about the fare:

Here’s more about arguing in Thailand

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