Thai Ladies and White Skin

If you’re a regular visitor to Thailand you’ll know all about Thai ladies and their obsession with white skin. Maintaining a light skin tone is seen as a way of opening doors and enhancing their quality of life with the prospects of a higher social class marriage aand status. Dark skin to Thai girls is an announcement to everyone around ‘I’m a poor country girl and I work in the rice fields’.

Sunhats, sun cream, whitening lotion, umbrellas, handbags and books are all used by Thai women to shield bright sunlight from their faces.

However if you haven’t got any of those skin defence weapons at hand then a girl must make do.

I took the above photograph in Nong Khai and it shows the lengths Thai girls will go to in order to protect their skin colour.

On the right is a blown up crop of the photograph.

Whoever said Thai girls were lazy may have to reconsider their statement after I captured this young woman working real hard at keeping up her looks and complexion. Wouldn’t it be easier to just buy an umbrella.

The woman was carrying a large toy car along the shaded area of Nong Khai’s Tha Sadet Indo-China market but as soon as she broke cover and the sunlight hit her, the sunshield went up and over her head.

I reckon there is some kind of reasoning in the mad method employed but to my eyes Thai girls are truly beautiful irrespective of their skin colour.  



I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

17 Responses

  1. Talen says:

    Martyn, that is classic! I’ll never forget getting into a discussion one night with 3 Thai ladies in the village about all the skin whitening creams they use, particularly the nipple whitener ( or is it pinker ) The one lady was so adamant that her nipples were now 5 shades lighter she had to show me to prove it.

    I don’t know what color they were before but that night they were as black as coal 🙂

  2. Hoo Don says:

    Talen thanks for your story, that’s a classic one too and your choice words could get me a few keyword search hits as well.

    I just had to post the toy car photo I took in Nong Khai yesterday. It certainly is a once in a lifetime photo shoot.

  3. Mike says:

    Martyn I don’t know about skin whitening but its a great photo. Perhaps given the appalling death toll on the Thai roads a few of her countrymen could try this mode of transport.

  4. Hoo Don says:

    Mike as you know when we were in Phu Rua we knocked a dog into the next village, not sure if he was drunk but he well messed up the paint work. In total knowing the right people it cost 1,600 baht to put right. Smashing job.

    I haven’t seen the road fatality figures, are they bad?

    I think it’s a great photo too.

  5. Snap says:

    Martyn the first time I saw skin whitening cream, I laughed…couldn’t believe there was such a product, likewise, the face cream purported to reduce the effects of pollution, in Hong Kong. You know how fickle ‘some’ of us girls can be, wanting the opposite to what we have. I have a daughter who has spent a small fortune over the years on tanning lotions, trying to look darker…go figure!

    I dread to think what’s in some of those creams, some still being sold with ingredients banned in other countries.

  6. Hoo Don says:

    Snap there is one hell of a lot of bad skin whitening products out there. Some of the night markets sell creams, pills and lotions which Boots wouldn’t dare sell. Some of the diet plans with their pills and drinks must also be on many pharmacists banned list.

    I’ve been trying to watch your New Year video but my laptop refuses to load it up.

  7. There is really a lot going on in that picture – a slice of Thai life. I think toy car hats are going to be all the rage in Paris this year.

  8. Hoo Don says:

    Paul I took the photo sat outside a bar I always frequent when I visit Nong Khai. It’s a great spot for people watching and also where the samlors pull up at the market. It’s amazing how many Thais can squeeze into the back of a samlor.

  9. Snap says:

    Martyn, not sure what’s going on with the video…it just worked for me. Maybe it’s the Udon Thani internet service? I know sometimes our hotel server just refuses to play.

  10. Hoo Don says:

    Snap I’m sure it’s my laptop and connection. For the first time ever I’ve got internet here at the village house but it’s a touch slow. I’ll try again later.

    I’ve just returned from walking our dogs about 3 kiliometres along the country roads. Just done a head count, no casualties, we all made it back safely. Shower, shave and a couple of Hong Thong’s coming up. I love village life, even the TV soaps have there appeal, not much else to do apart from surf, surf, surf.

    All the village house lights are out by nine. Mine usually flickers away to just gone midnight.

  11. Snap says:

    Martyn…I havn’t been able to view any Youtube videos all afternoon, but can tonight…I give up!

    So you are well and truly outside of Udon Thani, the town? Village life sounds very peaceful 🙂

    PS. Comment Luv has decided it doesn’t think I’m worthy of a post plug lately, either…not just your site 🙁

  12. Hoo Don says:

    Snap I’m 65 clicks from Udon Thani city and about the same from Nong Khai. The nearest decent town falang wise is Ban Dung which is 32 kilometres away. There’s four or five bars in that town but nothing else much.

    CommentLuv loves me and leaves me too, mai phen rai krap.

  13. Pattaya says:

    It´s better to protect the skin with a toy car than using all this bleaching cremes many girls do. Just check once all the different cremes on a market, most of them are very harmful to the skin.

  14. Hoo Don says:

    Pattaya – You are in the perfect location to judge Thai girls and their skin protection methods. Pattaya must see methods of pure genius on a regular daily occurence.

  15. Catherine says:

    Martyn, I’m coming in late (apologies). And I’ll agree with everyone else that’s a fabulous shot! Priceless.

    When a new expat gal comes to Thailand the first thing she runs into are the whitening underarm deodorants. Then I hear all about it. I still haven’t figured that one out.

  16. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine sorry about my slow response in replying, after your recent air travels you’ll know exactly what I mean. I’m now back in the UK after a hotel to home journey of 33 hours. Absolutely washed out would be an understatement. Underarm whitening deodorants are a new one on me. It’s amazing what can sell.

    Thanks for your comment.

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