British man recounts shocking encounter with racist Russians in Phuket

Photo by Alexander Kaufmann via Unsplash and Facebook/ Kata Printing.

A British man recounted an unsettling encounter with some racist Russians in Phuket, southern Thailand. His unfortunate experience has led him to declare that he will never return to the island.

The British man, who shared his story on the Reddit platform under the username Wanderlust3r0, started his narrative by stating he is a black British man with a Thai wife.

“I have been coming to Thailand for the last ten years and this is the first time I have experienced racism, not from my Thais but from Russians in Phuket.”

The British man explained that Phuket is his wife’s home province. He met his wife in 2016 and visited her from time to time until February 2020, when she moved to live with him in the UK. Over these years, he had never experienced racial discrimination in Phuket until a visit this year.

The British man said he and his wife arrived in Phuket in mid-September and stayed near Karon and Kata beaches. He felt discriminated against on several occasions when using the services of various restaurants and later discovered that the discrimination was not from locals but from Russians who now own many businesses in the province.

The man gave other Reddit users an example of the racist situation he faced, explaining that it happened at a small restaurant and bar on the beach where all the items on the menu were in Russian. He explained that he turned on his favourite music playlist on the restaurant’s stereo and enjoyed the atmosphere.

Russian invasion

Unfortunately, his positive experience took a turn for the worse when a bar and restaurant manager turned off his playlist after a group of Russians arrived.

The manager then gave all control over the songs to the Russians. The music was switched to Russian songs, prompting the man to ask the Russian group to switch back to his playlist, which had only a few songs left.

The British man insisted that he had asked the Russians politely but the group did not understand English. So, he used a translation application to talk to them.

The British man said the Russian people finally understood him, but they denied it and chased him away, shouting

“N*gger, go away!”

The man said his wife asked him to leave but he refused and urged the manager to call the police. The Thai police did nothing other than write some notes and leave.

Racist Russians

The man stated that he would not return to Phuket due to an incident involving a Russian individual who had exhibited racist behaviour, thereby souring the positive atmosphere and introducing more negativity. He emphasized that he was not making a sweeping generalization about Russians as a whole but had encountered such behaviour exclusively in Phuket.

On Reddit, many users expressed sympathy for the British man’s ordeal, with some even making allegations of disrespect, rudeness, ignorance, and loudness against Russian people. Conversely, some defended the Russian group, contending that it was unfair to impose his playlist on other restaurant patrons and that he should not have requested them to complete it.

A number of Reddit users also noted that a significant portion of businesses in Phuket is owned by Russian operators, aligning with the sentiments of locals in the province. A Facebook page named Phuket Information Centre went further and accused Russians of running illegal businesses and working illegally in the province.

Residents of Phuket who engaged in the discussion on social media platforms supported these claims, asserting that they had observed Russians working in various roles such as chauffeurs, guides, taxi drivers, singers, musicians, construction workers, and more, often without the necessary legal documentation.

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

Phuket NewsThailand 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