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How much should you Pay for a Thai Dowry

Getting married in Thailand can be both a cheap and an expensive affair. The Thai Dowry is the most expensive part of getting married and as Thai people see it, the Dowry is the payment made to the parents who spent years raising their daughter, it is considered that once the daughter goes off with the husband that she is no apart of his family and little to do with theirs. The big but in this case is if the husband happens to be a foreigner.

How much should you Pay for a Thai Dowry

For foreigners however it’s typically the case that the parents of the bride fork the bill for the wedding and that the mans family typically spends little, this is because being fair, it’s more often than not that the bride is the one who wants the special day to be extra special and not the groom, so in most cases it’s the bride and the brides family that pays the cost of the wedding.
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In Thailand being true also that the woman wants the fancy wedding and it’s true, but the groom has to pay for it! Hence the dowry which is to offset the cost of the wedding. These days however the dowry is more common as a keepsake of the past and that typically the dowry paid is more often than not returned to the groom and the grooms family as a sign of good faith between the families. The dowry is typically displayed as gold bullion, jewelry and cash at the time of the wedding and returned once all the festivities are over.

Greedy Thai parents however will not return one cent of the Thai Dowry and will keep everything that was originally agreed upon, not only this days after the wedding it’s been said that the brides family demand more money and ongoing maintenance fees for the family. This is bogus and if you’ve married into a family that does this then good luck, they shouldn’t be asking anything and in fact you shouldn’t even see them, you need to be strong and simply say no, what they are asking for and demanding is wrong and against Thai culture, they are simply taking advantage of you because you are a Farang.

The dowry also known as “sin sod” is also a way to say to the parents of the bride that the groom is financially able to take care of the daughter which is why it is mostly returned. It’s not uncommon though for the parents of the bride to return the dowry and instead demand lifetime monthly payments instead. It’s often cheaper to pay the dowry but then if you do then also expect that the brides parents will eventually ask for more money down the road. If you can get away with not paying anything at all would be a miracle but also think about this, your new wife loves her parents and probably has younger or older siblings that need to be taken care of as well, they are your family now too so don’t you want the best for them as well? If your wife’s family go down the tube, be sure to think so will yours.

How much do Thai men pay for a Dowry

The amount of the dowry for a Thai man varies depending on the age of the girl he intends on marrying, her status, and her families status. Typically if a woman has been married before or has kids then no dowry should be paid at all. You wouldn’t pay for a opened can of beans would you? This is the same for Foreigners however for the dowry for Thai men and Foreigners is typically the same, hence the reason why there are so many unmarried Thai men in Thailand, it’s simply because they lack the funds to pay for the dowry.

1,000,000 one million baht plus for someone like a movie star or daughter of high ranking official.

200,000 two hundred thousand baht for an educated Thai from middle class family

40,000 forty thousand baht for a typical farm girl

sin sod Thai Dowry สินสอด

Typical Thai Dowry

How much do Foreigners pay for a Dowry in Thailand

The cost of the dowry for foreigners who marry Thai women should be the same as that of a Thai man, however they will often look at you and think you have way more money than you do because you come from overseas and will more often than not ask for more than what is expected. Thais view the dowry as a sort of Social Security or old age pension, that’s why Thai girls are revered here because they bring in the bucks when it’s time to move on and why Thai parents protect their girls so much. A girl running around loose and not studying is like a girl who is worth nothing. Thai parents want to protect their daughter as much as they can so they can get the money they think they are deserved.

Most foreigners pay in dowry about 300,000 – 400,000 thousand baht. This is typically made in gold bars jewelry and cash, if you don’t negotiate on the sale of their daughter then your just stupid. Everything in Thailand is a negotiation and that also includes the Dowry or the sale of the Thai parents daughter. Make sure you negotiate, your wife will probably have a good say in this too and if you can negotiate your money back after the expenses of the wedding then power to you.

Finally a Dowry is simply a tradition that is passed on from generation to generation and in no way is it legally binding or mean that you are actually married, in fact when you register your marriage nothing is ever asked about the Dowry and how much you paid, as soon as the money has left your hands and into the parents of the bride is considered a gift. The woman may even decide not to even marry you and you’d be left heartbroken as well as a few quid short. Always consult with a lawyer regarding giving a dowry because as much as you love her, there are many stories of men falling in love in Thailand, paying a Dowry and never seeing their bride or money again, be warned.

Final comment on how much to pay for a Thai dowry is think about it like a wedding ring, in the west you would pay one whole months wages for the wedding right, if you make $4000 a month before tax then that’s how much you would pay for the ring. The same could be said about the Dowry but it’s more than the ring, lets say you make 30,000 baht per month, the dowry should be 3 times what you make per month or 90,000 baht. Let it be known that’s what you make and what you can afford to pay, if the parents won’t allow it and are too stubborn, then maybe you’ve picked the wrong girl to marry.

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About Chris

Chris founded Living Thai and author of the books Learn the The Thai Alphabet and How to make money in Thailand also the Blueprint for Living in Thailand. Chris started this blog with the aim of educating westerners on how to have the best time in Thailand, to make new friends and to vent his frustrations Chris is also fluent in both written and spoken Thai.

22 Responses to How much should you Pay for a Thai Dowry

  1. Eric December 13, 2011 at 9:28 am #

    Another great bit of info he gives us…

    Hail to Chris..

  2. Charles February 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    Follow your heart.

  3. pogo May 14, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    A friend of mine came up with a perfect solution. While discussing sin sod with his future father in law, he admitted that he was not wealthy and was embarrassed that he had no money to give. He suggested that he write a check for a large amount that would not be able to be cashed. The father would gain face for having a “wealthy” son in law and the farang would not lose face for being poor. Win-win for both.

    • Chris May 14, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

      awesome idea thanks dude

      • erik October 22, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

        ok if u are a smooth talker i guess…

  4. JB October 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    Sin soot is utter bullshit. I would not pay a penny for any woman, no matter how beautiful. If she was unusually smart, holding a steady, well-paying job, yes, I can understand it, but for most girls and women, that is not an issue. Some help to the family, only warranted if the relationship develops along, and in times of need, not for just any reason.
    I didn’t pay one baht for my current wife, but then again, she is not that young anymore, has the IQ of an average yard bird, and talks incessantly.

    • Chris October 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

      55555555555555

    • Derek October 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

      OMFG, Chris get this guy to do a few guest posts for you, inject some great humour to the site.

    • Jake October 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

      “Get what you pay for.” :D

    • Eric November 8, 2012 at 4:10 am #

      5555555

  5. MagicMax October 21, 2012 at 8:20 am #

    “she is not that young anymore, has the IQ of an average yard bird, and talks incessantly.”

    I can’t believe someone would admit to that!

    • erik October 22, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

      cmon… we all know that most are a bit…. “slow”
      for want of a better word.. it is they way things are here….
      the schooling.. the upbringing.. the goverment control and all the rest.. but hey, the girls have a certain sweet charm to them… we know that…

      yes, some seem dumb as a doornail sure…

      • MagicMax October 23, 2012 at 7:25 am #

        Well actually, my lady is young, sharp as a knife and only talks incessantly with her friends or when she get’s pissed (not so often nowadays)!

  6. Andy October 22, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    ok fine i’ll pay the dowry and the girl in return will pay dowry to my dad
    and mom! seriously the sin sod is b.s. and unless you are 60 year old
    marrying 20 year old there is no need to pay, you will
    financially support your wife and family anyway.
    So if i marry a thai girl it means i will take care (also financially) of my parents, her parents, the wife, the kids, myself and probably some brothers or cousins lurking in the backyard?
    probably should start saving…

  7. Pete November 7, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    OK I understand the negotiation part. I got my 21 yo Thai g/f knocked up about 4 weeks ago. I live in USA and am not wealthy or liquid with the measly assets I do have. She saying the parents want 500,000 bhat for their daughter. My problem is she talking about abortion which I am totally against… She is uneducated, living with mom, dad, 1 sister an 1 brother. All 3 kids sleep in same room. This seems ridiculous to me as we will need all our (my) money just to support our small family. When I told her i read about sin soot an quoted your numbers above she said.. you not want to marry because 500,000b ok. you can work USA… ohh brother! But I love her an want the baby…

    • Chris November 7, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

      Talk to the parents tell them you’ll send them money for the rest of their lives ect they’ll be happy with that trust me. Uneducated 3 kids in the same bedroom you should expect to pay about 9000 baht a month if you live in the USA and 5000 baht a month if you live here. That would not be unreasonable.

    • Andy November 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

      tell them ok but your parents want sin sod too, 500K dollars, plus gold
      house, car, moped. why not? :)

    • charlieboz July 14, 2013 at 3:15 am #

      Tell her that is fine; she has gotten pregnant to a farang and will have had either an abortion or a child. No other thai guy is going to be silly enough to pay anywhere near that amount for what thai’s will think of as ‘spoiled goods’.
      The only reason she wants that much money is to gain face in front of her village. If that is more important to her than you and her child’s future then you should count yourself lucky if it causes you to split

  8. gentleman March 2, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    i’m thai man and i totally disagree with this act

    • Chris March 3, 2013 at 6:23 am #

      Thanks for your comment, could you be more specific and let us know what you disagree with and why?

  9. Evangelion Chai March 20, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Chris. Are you still alive? I need your help. Can I ask why we need to pay 300k bath for dorey? Hows can negotiate with their parent? Need advice ya. Thanks.

    • Chris March 20, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

      Do you have to pay for the wedding on top of that? If so i think that’s reasonable, but if you can’t pay then I’d say talk to the elders explain your situation and feelings and stand by them. Normally a compromise can be found, you have to show something though.

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