Welcome to the streets of Chaweng, where the beer flows freely from the 7-11’s of Koh Samui and the nightlife springs to life with dancing Lady-boys and an outrageously large population of women pursuing men. Chaweng is definitely the centre of all the attention when it comes to people seeking adventure, and the captivating beauty of Thai women is one of the most produced goods on Koh Samui.
The streets of Chaweng are lined with women of all sizes, ages and genders looking for someone to take them back to their home country. But the outcome can only be achieved one way. There is a price for stealing away a Thai woman. Literally.
It’s called Sin Sod (or sin sot), and it refers to the Thai custom where the groom-to-be pays the family in cash, gold, sometimes cattle and often cars – it’s a dowry of sorts. The most commonly stated rationale for the bride price in Thailand is that it allows the groom to demonstrate that he has enough financial resources to support the bride (and possibly her family) after the wedding. In many cases, especially when the amount is large, the parents of a Thai bride will return all or part of the bride price to the couple in the form of a wedding gift. The most common and formal way of translating this payment is that the groom is replacing the labour she would have contributed to the family wealth.