American man faces dilemma as Thai girlfriend’s parents demand 1 million baht dowry

Photo by Ben Stephenson via Flickr

An American man asked netizens for advice on what to do after his Thai girlfriend’s family demanded a million baht dowry, known as sinsod in Thailand. He said he loved her very much but was not a foolish farang.

The American shared his story on the social media platform Reddit yesterday, September 12. The man began by explaining that he was dating a Thai university student from a province in the Isaan region of Thailand. He expected that his girlfriend did not make much money from her career after graduation but her parents are middle class and own a shipping company.

The parents asked the foreign man to give them 1 million baht as a dowry, half of which would go to his fiancée after the wedding ceremony and the other half would be kept by the parents for safekeeping.

The American added that the amount was not negotiable whereas his girlfriend believed that the amount was reasonable because they had to show the dowry during the wedding ceremony.

Related news

The foreign man concluded his post by stating that he would be departing Thailand in two weeks and might not return, leading him to decide to end the relationship.

The post garnered over 300 comments from Reddit users. Some individuals online suggested that the dowry served as a form of security for the woman, as her parents might have been concerned that a foreigner would eventually abandon her. Others believed that the parents simply wanted to ensure that the man could provide for their daughter.

Some advised the man to end the relationship, as he might end up having to provide even more for the woman and her family in the future. However, the majority of netizens recommended that he should approach his girlfriend and her parents honestly, informing them that he would not pay the dowry, rather than leaving without any explanation.

A top comment under the post was from a user who claimed to be half Thai and half Australian.

“There is a stereotype among Isaan people that Western foreigners are wealthy and marrying one will bring you and your family a better life. So, if the assumption is that you, the potential husband, is rich, then the sinsod is sort of the first step in your commitment to take care of her and her family”.

The Thai-Australian man also advised the American man to refuse the payment as it was a red flag that the man would have to pay the bills for her and her family forever.

Another foreign man asked a similar question on Reddit in March. The man said his girlfriend had jokingly asked him for a million baht dowry. He wanted to know if he would get it back and if the amount was too much.

A Thai woman answered his question by saying that she was about to marry her Irish boyfriend and that she had not asked him for a dowry. Her father, who was a policeman, eventually accepted the condition, even though he did not like it.

In Thai culture, dowry is mostly seen as a way to show a good image and the financial status of the family. The bigger the dowry paid to the bride the more he is accepted by the family.

However, a lot of the younger generation does not prioritise the amount of dowry on top of their dream wedding anymore, but some of their conservative parents and relatives still care. Read the full story here.

Follow more of The Thaiger’s latest stories on our new Facebook page HERE.

Thailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

Related Articles