Foreign man asks netizens to weigh in on dowry conundrum

Photo via Facebook/ เช่าสินสอด ทองหมั้น by Let's Marry

A foreign man sought opinions from netizens after paying a 230,000 baht dowry to his Thai wife‘s family. He posed the question, “Was I stupid to agree to the dowry?”

Around two weeks ago, the foreigner took to Reddit to share his marriage experience, asking fellow users to weigh in on whether his decision was right or wrong. His post garnered over 200 responses from netizens before the comment section closed.

The foreigner disclosed that he came across various posts discussing dowry payments, with many men stating they did not pay the dowry or had it returned after the marriage ceremony.

He confessed to experiencing remorse following his decision to pay 230,000 baht to his Thai wife’s family. The foreign man elaborated that he married his wife in 2022 after engaging in a four-year online dialogue.

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His wife, aged 47, was two years his senior and resided in Isaan with her mother and two elder sisters. She had not completed her bachelor’s degree and had been previously married.

Initially, the dowry was set at 300,000 baht but was later reduced to 150,000 baht in cash and 80,000 baht in gold. He agreed to pay this amount and never saw his money again.

The man expressed ignorance regarding the expenditure of the money, yet observed purchases of a new tablet, mobile phone, and motorcycle by his wife’s family members and relatives. He harboured suspicions that his funds were invested in these items.

The foreigner conveyed his respect for Thai marriage customs, acknowledging that the worth of an individual transcended any material possessions. Nevertheless, he remained contemplative about the wisdom of his decision.

Dowry complications

Most of the Reddit users suspected that the man might not have a happy married life, prompting him to regret the payment. Some argued that a woman with a history of marriage and divorce should not request a dowry.

Others criticised the man’s decision to marry someone he had only known online for four years. Some accused women from the Isaan provinces of seeking foreign husbands only for money.

An American man raised a similar issue in September last year when his girlfriend’s parents demanded a million baht dowry.

Advice among netizens varied, with some suggesting that he should agree to the dowry to prove his ability to support his girlfriend. Others warned against the high demand, seeing it as a red flag.

The issue of marriage ceremonies and dowries is also controversial among Thais. Some couples see ceremonies as unnecessary, some have them to please their parents and relatives, and others dream of having a perfect and happy ceremony once in their lives.

Dowry management varies from family to family, with some parents keeping the entire amount, some sharing it with the couple, and some returning it after the ceremony. Some couples avoid marriage altogether to avoid the complications of dowry.

The issue of dowry is also giving rise to a new business model, dowry for rent, which allows couples to rent cash, gold and other valuable items to display at their weddings.

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

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