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Wasn't sure where to bring this up so I thought I would tackle it here.

Been a member here on Addicts since it more or less started but not a big poster.

 

I am trying to understand a bunch of stuff that does indeed involve Thai culture and thinking.

I have a Thai gf who I have been with for 4 and a half years. We have a delightful little 3 year old and are happy. The problem is boredom I think.

I work in America for 4 and a half months then comeback for 2 extended stays every year.

We have a house in Isaan (Roi ET) which is modest but quite nice. The trouble is that gf needs something to do. She is bored out of her mind. She dreams of decent money generated from the family land in partnership with her sister and brother in law all very nice, honest people.

Please understand that I am already aware that making money by any kind of agricultural pursuit in Isaan is pretty much doomed to failure. I understand that flogging eggs to other dirt poor farmers in the boonies isn't going to create the next Bill Gates.

What I do want to do though is to slowly build a multi product farm. The key word is slowly. 1000b here 5000b there and so on.

Tomorrow I leave Pattaya to drive the family back home in Roi Et. We are going to have 10 dumper trucks bring earth to level the land a bit around the house. Then the electricity is going to be connected properly. Then perhaps 10 lime trees (manua). I think that will mt the money for now. Next time more fruit trees and we get the chickens started. Perhaps just 5 to begin with.

Eventually there will be a variety of fruit trees, vegetables, mushrooms, chickens and I am also thinking of a modest catfish / tilapia fish farm.

None of this is earth shattering and we all know it is a losing proposition so I don't expect untold wealth. The money comes from my business in America and it always will.

There is also strong talk of buying a tractor to both use and rent out all year. This looks like it actually could bring money in. Big outlay though.

 

I wanted to start a discussion with this thread and get some input. I am no newbie to Thailand and Thai culture but I also am not an expert compared to someone with 20 years here. So I ask for your experience and knowledge.

Thanks.

Edited by izifaddag
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It all sound doable but would be careful with renting out that tractor (or only with your driver) . 

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all that farming sounds like hard work  :GoldenSmile1:

Well yes it would be hard work except I won't be doing it. This is an effort to provide something for the gf to do plus just possibly an additional source of money in the future when I spend more time here. A way to alleviate the constant money I send each month to take care of my family. Not a solution a way to slow down the flow of blood.
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It all sound doable but would be careful with renting out that tractor (or only with your driver) .

Glad you mentioned that. The idea with the tractor is that it would be operated by brother in law. Providing him with an income and hopefully a little ROI for me. It would be in his best interests to maintain and operate sensibly.
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I have lived among a farming village for a number of years.

 

At that time rubber and chilli farming was popular and made an income.

 

Tractors were bough on finance and if you go that route suggest you do the same. As if it doesn't work out then you lose the deposit only.

 

If you just have a few rai of land forget about making any money.

 

If she is looking after your baby St home then it would be difficult to run a business too.

 

Maybe something that she can do at home

 

 

Sent from my SM-G7102 using Tapatalk

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I have lived among a farming village for a number of years.

 

At that time rubber and chilli farming was popular and made an income.

 

Tractors were bough on finance and if you go that route suggest you do the same. As if it doesn't work out then you lose the deposit only.

 

If you just have a few rai of land forget about making any money.

 

If she is looking after your baby St home then it would be difficult to run a business too.

 

Maybe something that she can do at home

 

 

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Thanks for the input. The idea with the tractor is a good one. As for the land they seem to have quite a lot. I was in the fields the other day as the family emptied a fishpond they own. I didn't know they had one. For anybody other than yourself (I realize you have seen it before) they have a deep large pond which they raise fish in. The water is then pumped out and they get down into waist deep mud and pull out the fish by hand. Interesting but a bit dumb. Easier to have above ground tanks which are more controllable but nobody is listening to me. I do think the usage of water lilies to provide oxygen is a good one.

I couldn't get an exact handle precisely how much land they have but from what I could make out they have a bunch. Up to now they grow the proverbial rice but there is no money in that. The idea is to switch the paddies to vegetables but for that they need a tractor. Could work I suppose. As for looking after the baby not so bad. Baby is 3 now and there is the usual extended family system.

So busy working on the builders yard that is supposed to be a house right now that this is going to take time. Kid will be in school.

Thanks again for all input. I know there are many in the same position as myself. Perhaps this thread will prove useful.

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the issue with what your doing is that you are still selling to the dirt poor.

 

you need to think of something that sells to the "rich felang"

 

not sure what that could be but everything else is a waste of time and maybe money on the end.

 

IMHO

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the issue with what your doing is that you are still selling to the dirt poor.

 

you need to think of something that sells to the "rich felang"

 

not sure what that could be but everything else is a waste of time and maybe money on the end.

 

IMHO

If you scan through the thread you will find I am in complete agreement with you. Basically I am allowing myself to be strung along because I don't want hurt feelings (which has already happened). She needs to keep busy and this is really just that. She hopes for some self generated money out of it but frankly it is unlikely. The best she can hope for is he head above water.
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Something to occupy your wife, or support/employ her complete family

Tractor purchased on finance including a maintenance scheme

You need to know how many Rai they have

Are any young enough and bright enough to attend agriculture college.

They will be wary of any new methods that they do not know, so if you are not there they will revert to their old systems.

Who is going to be head of the family, if strong enough it should be you via your wife. It should not be her father/brother/mother.

Who will control the accounting/cash-flow and to what level before referring to you for clearance.

small rural Thais often have little business sense or understanding thereof.

 

I once looked at this and decided in our case it was not possible, I now employ some in jobs that they can do but which demand little responsibility. Within the direct family except for two siblings who live a great distance away the lass is now the head and make most of their decisions subject to my approval if it involves any amount of money beyond their salary.

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Unless you can farm on a large scale there is nothing in it unless it's a crop that has very high value.

 

Fish farming Aqua culture possible but you have to have a good understanding of the science of it. I would grow Barramundi a sort after table fish.

 

 

My idea though would be something completely different and that is to buy an established laundry in town servicing the hotels, hospitals etc

 

Or if the Family have great culinary skills maybe a restaurant, but do they know how to cook for Farang as that's where the money is. 

 

Do they have any business nous , else it might be money up in smoke.

 

 

What ever you decide, I hope it works out well. Best of luck. :)

 

 

P.S. I can't see the tractor being serviced, and then would it be hard  for them to not lend it to Cousins and Uncles etc for no payment expected?

Edited by Harry Brown
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OP ive done the tractor scene and all the rest.. if you cant drive it your self then thats money down the drain, you CAN NOT trust others to do your work for you,diesel will be syphoned..jobs will be hidden from you, take a look at what the average farmer owns ie property & vehicles if they actualy own anything at all, most spend there lives in dept. you need a shit load of money to fund it all, and you will ask your self this....why isnt much coming back in... my advice forget it   set her up in a little fashion shop..and watch that crumble too,dont feel guilty that she says she's bored, sorry to sound negative , im being realistic.

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Its still not entirely clear to me what the real motive is here. You say its to keep the gf busy, but it sounds like you're aiming quite high and are looking for a big return.

 

My ex has just started a very small restaurant just outside of her home, Isaan village style with a very limited menu. Out of her own pocket. It surely keeps her busy and supplements her (family's) income besides farming, and pays for that bit of extra luxury for herself. I think its more to do with independance then anything with her. She won't get rich from the venture anytime soon but shes making more already then 2 factory jobs together after just a few months.

 

I would be very wary of big investments and we farang usually think of "great" ideas that dont seem to work or are too complicated for us to leave entirely up to our Thai families.

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I would like to emphasise the "making more then 2 factory jobs together" part. That would be 15-25k/monthly. That might not appeal to us or to thecaverage farang wife, but that is how small Isaan ventures survive.

 

The problem with that I hear often, is that the wife of a farang wouldnt want to be seen running such a small operation in the mooban.

Edited by fugazi
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My experience (limited, observed from the outside) in Thai farming, is that everything is from hand to mouth - they work when it's needed, not to make some extra money. You might have some ideas on how to make things more effective, but I promise you that no one will believe you, or even care.

Besides, it takes a lot of land to make money farming... And luck on choosing the right thing to farm!

 

Best bet would be something that is hers alone, where she is not dependent on the family's help... a small roadside food place, fruit sale from one of those rolling motorbike shops, or something like that.

 

 

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Edited by Bek
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  • 2 weeks later...

I have just returned from 11 days up country at the house. I have a much better idea of what I am up against now. The house needs a fortune spent on it, my little girl needs to go to a school where she will get a modicum of English and the thought of farming is ridiculous. I saw fish farming Thai style and wasn't impressed although there are some great photos to be taken.

It would seem one or two of you have not read the thread. I have never expected to make anything out of this. It is a dead end and merely a financial drain. Go back and read all the posts!!

I am going to satisfy myself with making a decent home and give the illusion of creating a 'business' as I can see it is impossible.

Yes she will be bored but frankly there is so much work to be done on and around this house it doesn't matter. She will have to suffice with that.

PLUS it isn't like I am overflowing with money stateside. I have my own problems here and frankly that is the wellspring. Nothing in Thailand will ever even begin to supplement it let alone replace it.

So I give up.

They do indeed only want the money for the job in hand and are not interested in doing things any other way than their own. It is all subsistence stuff and unless I am taken notice of and run things my way I won't finance it. So end of story.

Thanks for your input.

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I dont say businesses up country which are financed but not run by a farang cant make money ....it must be possible ...... but from the guys I personally know who have tried it in its myriad of forms (pigs, fish, rice, sugar cane, eucalyptus, ducks, cafes, restaurants, small hotels, spas, hair salon, nail salon, apartments for rent, resorts, internet cafe, t shirt store, taxi (invest only) and of course bars .... all have after a few years at the max seen the their income stream (as in their personal ROCI) gradually dry up and eventually often cease and also seen the initial capital lost or substantially devalued by a combination of bad luck, poor management, poor investment research but primarily and simply being ripped off by wifes parents or the in-laws extended family or friends of the in-laws or Thai friends of the investor. I think if you are not their to oversee things its going to be an uphill climb. :WhoSaw1:

 

Old joke ..... one farang asks another ...... ''How can I make a small fortune in Thailand''?

                    other farang replies................ ''Invest a large one'' :Think1:

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Question for those FAR better informed than me - 

 

TG (not from Isaan) was telling me that she wanted to open a smoothie shop/boba tea type place in her village.

 

Let me first say that I am NOT "investing" in it nor am I paying for it, but it did pique my curiosity because it seemed like a "different" idea from the usual clothing shop, hair/nail/beauty shop, convenience store, or restaurant.

 

Anybody have any thoughts or experience on a business of this nature?

 

I was thinking location is important (and rent effectively eliminates any profit potential), but then wondered if it's the type of business you could run on a "moto basis" (like the street food vendors in Pattaya).  

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I dont say businesses up country which are financed but not run by a farang cant make money ....it must be possible ...... but from the guys I personally know who have tried it in its myriad of forms (pigs, fish, rice, sugar cane, eucalyptus, ducks, cafes, restaurants, small hotels, spas, hair salon, nail salon, apartments for rent, resorts, internet cafe, t shirt store, taxi (invest only) and of course bars .... all have after a few years at the max seen the their income stream (as in their personal ROCI) gradually dry up and eventually often cease and also seen the initial capital lost or substantially devalued by a combination of bad luck, poor management, poor investment research but primarily and simply being ripped off by wifes parents or the in-laws extended family or friends of the in-laws or Thai friends of the investor. I think if you are not their to oversee things its going to be an uphill climb. :WhoSaw1:

 

Old joke ..... one farang asks another ...... ''How can I make a small fortune in Thailand''?

                    other farang replies................ ''Invest a large one'' :Think1:

I couldn't agree more with everything you have said. It is a losing proposition.

The village / house is about 5 miles south of route 202 in Roi Et. About 30 km west of Yasothon.

Exactly where you turn to go south from 202 there is a motel. It is actually quite nice and well kept up. She has expanded it since I was last there and now has conference facilities.

Next door there was a restaurant / karaoke place. This has now disappeared leaving an empty building and a massive area in front suitable for parking. It sits well back from the road.

This motel is serviced by absolutely nothing. Nothing west and about 10 km east to the nearest gas station. The nearest 7/11 is in Nong He 5km south through an obstacle course of a road.

If you stay in the motel there is nowhere to eat or buy anything except getting into your car and going for a long drive. Some scrappy Thai shops not too far away but they really aren't much.

SO! I am beginning to think of a motorcycle arrangement with a noodle stand. Mobile, cheap and easy to run.

 

I don't think it would be a big investment and it would keep her busy. Just a thought.

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Question for those FAR better informed than me - 

 

TG (not from Isaan) was telling me that she wanted to open a smoothie shop/boba tea type place in her village.

 

Let me first say that I am NOT "investing" in it nor am I paying for it, but it did pique my curiosity because it seemed like a "different" idea from the usual clothing shop, hair/nail/beauty shop, convenience store, or restaurant.

 

Anybody have any thoughts or experience on a business of this nature?

 

I was thinking location is important (and rent effectively eliminates any profit potential), but then wondered if it's the type of business you could run on a "moto basis" (like the street food vendors in Pattaya).

I guess in the middle of a busy city maybe. Right next to a Big C or something.
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Question for those FAR better informed than me -

 

TG (not from Isaan) was telling me that she wanted to open a smoothie shop/boba tea type place in her village.

 

Let me first say that I am NOT "investing" in it nor am I paying for it, but it did pique my curiosity because it seemed like a "different" idea from the usual clothing shop, hair/nail/beauty shop, convenience store, or restaurant.

 

Anybody have any thoughts or experience on a business of this nature?

 

I was thinking location is important (and rent effectively eliminates any profit potential), but then wondered if it's the type of business you could run on a "moto basis" (like the street food vendors in Pattaya).

Well - is there any other shops like this in her village? If not - it's for a reason!

 

My impression is that these small tea/smoothie/milk stands, barely makes a living outside of tourist areas.

My girlfriend worked in one for 3 months, and some days she would sell less than 6 drinks in 10 hours. She worked at a shop next to a gas station in Udon Thani.

 

A (gay) friend of my girlfriend has opened up a shop in his village. First month had plenty of customers - people were curious. Then it settled down to barely nothing now. Thai habits on food and drinks are hard to change... They don't really like to try new things.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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any shop in the village wont make money..

 

the profit is low

 

buy 1 box of beer...you get 1 bottle profit around 55 bhat...same lauw kauw  etc..works on about  5 percent

 

 

take  of the electric for cooler for beer...items given away...you trade on a loss

 

 

however most thais in the village work on...i have sold 2000 bhat to day,,they think its all profit ,dont allow for the outgoings..so the shop fails

 

and thats any thing to do with a village...

 

keep your money in your pocket

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Having just spent some time in the village ( having a small house built ) very hard to make a business work , they are no different to rural areas around the world Set in there Ways and don't take being told how to crack an egg by strangers

 

I have in a small way financed GF mother in two ventures in Pattaya , none that worked as she had no business acumen what so ever and now knows not to ask again

 

Having said that girlfriends aunt who's like second mother to her sells salads and soups from front of her house and makes 300/ 400 a day

 

And don't make light of rice farming , on a good year can sell a some on the market the rest will feed the family and is there most important crop

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OP, how much land are you talking about? 

My Thai girl's parents have 100 rai of land that they rent out to rice farmers and such,  they get paid once or twice a year when the harvest goes to market so it isn't a monthly income type thing.

My Tg's father kept a a chunk or rai for himself to raise chickens, pigs, a pond with fish fruits and veggies, not enough to generate income but enough to live off of on a daily basis.  It's hard work, but he's happy.  

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