Monkey Abroad

Videos and stories of the life abroad – food, culture, travel & work

Russians in Phuket


Russians in Phuket are a bunch of stone-faced vacationers. They can be seen walking down the beach with their ever-frowning spouses and children, browsing beachside shops searching for something new to become angry about. You’d think a guy who retreats from a grey, cold country like Russia to go on holiday in beautiful Phuket would be a little excited. Not Russian men. They scowl at anyone daring enough to make eye contact. All while wearing a banana hammock.

Russians in Phuket

This Russian is listening to a self-help audiobook titled, “The Art of Frowning.”

Russian women are even worse. Even their breasts seem to wear a frown. Though I’ll admit they’re usually quite supple. So I guess that’s pretty cool.

And don’t get me started on the kids. I’ll wave at them, say hello. You know, southern friendliness. They just hiss at me and spit at my feet. You can’t teach that. It’s genetic. Russians, with their long, bony faces, don’t care about southern hospitality. Maybe they just inverse whatever emotion you show them. The bigger your smile, the longer their frown. Funny, considering this is the ‘Land of Smiles.’

Russians in Phuket

A Russian man scowls at his family while they scowl at fish.


Americans vacation to Mexico. Russians go on on holiday to Thailand. That much is evident based on the number of Russian restaurants on the coast here in Phuket. In fact, I’m sitting at a Russian restaurant this very moment tapping into the free WiFi to write this article.

This restaurant is run by friendly Thai folk who cater to the Russian hoards and provide coveted internet access to all foreign travelers pro bono. If it was managed by Russians, they’d probably require an initial deposit of my left hand for the first hour, followed by a new finger from my right hand for every additional hour I access the WiFi of their motherland.

To the Russians in Phuket: lighten up. Maybe even practice smiling every once in a while. Just start slow. I don’t wanna be responsible for any injuries to the face. Once you get the hang of it, smiling can actually be kind of fun.

Author: Kevin Cook

I want to inspire you to pursue your own dream of traveling and/or living overseas!


  1. Amazed at the things you are getting to see and witness every day. One would think the Russians would be ever so grateful to be out of the Hell Hole they exist in everyday and in paradise…Hard to understand but I guess after a while you just have to laugh at their stupidity, right?

  2. In Mother Russia, only the “Wi” is free. The “Fi” you have to pay for!

  3. Been to Russia many times and it is a wonderful county full of happy generous people. Take a trip there and see for yourself

    • Some day I probably will. I don’t actually think Russians are angry people. I just think that Russians generally seem to have a frowning culture.

    • The. Why are they so repulsively cold faced. And what’s going on with that John wain phony muncho massive ego. Just seeing that shit charitor is depressing to see on holiday. If you can’t smile piss off

  4. Went to book a flight in travel agent in Phuket owned by a Russian, I was told sorry only deal with Russians

  5. We found a lot of angry Russians in Dahab, Egypt as well. But I think it might have been the excessive amounts of booze…

  6. Sorry, it seems like a very biased observation based on limited obviously negative experience. Americans for instance are called “loud” in Europe. Does it mean every American is loud? It is not very bright to put labels on nations. People are different. As for Russians in Thailand. It is a very specific crowd. Making conclusions about entire nation by this crowd would be similar to looking at Vegas crowd on the strip and making conclusions about what Americans are as a nation…

    • I understand where you’re coming from. I don’t actually think Russians are angry people. I just think that Russians generally seem to have a frowning culture (copied and pasted from my previous response to another concerned reader).

    • I’m an American living in a Thailand. Whoever says this article is biased or not accurate – does t travel very much. This article is spot on.

      Russians come and visit from December to Feb most of every year and they come off as miserable people. Always have scowls and frowns. They think there is some kind of strength in not smiling but the truth is, it takes more strength and discipline to smile when you are having a bad day.

      Their kids are disrespectful, loud, bratty and run through the stores, taking other kids toys I can go on and on. I live in a condo on the beach and when the Russia s come in its always scowls, loud in their rooms, banging furniture, running through halls and rudeness when out and about.

      This article is spot on.

  7. difference between looking and being angry. of all the nationalities i have experienced on holidays, the Russians, whilst maybe looking a bit fierce, are definitely not the worst.

  8. In Russia, if you smile without a reason it basically means youre stupid, you know, like one of those people that laughs at the jokes without even getting them. And smiling at everyone out of politeness seems to us like youre fake and desperately trying to make people like you.

    Theres a good post about why Russians dont smile

  9. this made me smile thanks!

  10. This is incredible because my partner and I have not stopped talking about the Russians here in Phuket all week. They are so miserable and rude to the friendly, happy Thai people. They are an infestation on Phuket ans will suck the life out of here if they stay coming in their throbes. They are too dominant here and ruining the vibes! Sorry to generalise but this is what Im seeing.

  11. Totally agree Nee
    We are here now also and I am gob smacked at how rude and arrogant the Russians are to both the Thai people and fellow tourists.
    We won’t be back. And that is purely because of the absolute domination of this island by the Russians.
    It’s very sad for this beautiful place.

    • I’m in Phuket at the moment and there are miserable, angry and aggressive Russians, everywhere. Not all Russians are like this but with absolutely no exception those are the ones that turn up in Phuket.

      As with Goa, they eat at Russian owned Restaurants, stay in Russian owned accommodation and use Russian owned travel agents. All this takes money out of the local economy and keeps other nationalities away.

      I can’t wait to leave and won’t be back again.

  12. Lyn, your comment is rude and inappropriate, you have no right to call people stupid, it is a part of their culture and upbringing, to them it might be stupid when North Americans smile all the time, why are they so happy all the time? They are loud, they don’t smile enough, they
    don’t speak to people, is that wrong? How come we are so understanding to other cultures and traditions.

  13. i am russian and for 20 years i live in US. I understand what Kevin tries to say, but just trust me Russians in Russia are very different people. They kind, generous, fanny and may be little bit of short temper. My husband, who is an American, loves to go to Russia and have fun with our Russian friends. These crowd, that we call, “new russians” are very different from the rest of the country. I think, because they made money quick and easy, made them very ignorant and rude, just like Americans in the beginning of 19 century. I don’t like them myself…

    • New russians? There’s no such term in Russia anymore. Nowadays, even people with an average income have an opportunity to spend a couple of weeks in Thailand. New Russians are just not the point. It’s all about our mentality and attitude to life. Many foreigners do not even know that some of us (Russians) try to avoid other Russians abroad, that we even feel awkward when someone asks us where we come from. It is hard to believe, but many Russians feel uncomfortable in their own country surrounded by millions of their fellow-countrymen.

  14. What a stupid and superficial article written by obviously a frustrated person.
    I’ve been 100 times in Russia and can tell you that I prefere when people don’t smile me without a reason like in Russia then being scammed by a smiling Thai people!
    But it’s up to you! Many people love hypocracy but a smiling one!

  15. Sooo true. We have been having holidays at Karon for the past 8 years and the Russians there are fowl.Little moscow we call it – even the locals dont like them.We come back again and again for the friends we know and the locals who are absolutly awesome.
    Eat mor bananas Nth Qld needs your help – cheers

  16. Yah Thais are so friendly they keep murdering and raping innocent tourists because they know the police don’t give a shit

  17. haha yep nailed it. rude arrogant and obnoxious if you ask me, go be miserable in your own country and start treating the locals with a bit of respect. I’m leaving the hotel I’m staying at because i can’t stand their level of arrogance. cheers buddy you hit the nail on the head.

  18. Awesome article. My wife and I just returned to Bangkok after our first ever trip to Phuket. One positive of the trip: Now we know where to go to find a lot of Russians. One other point from our six days there is that I never once heard a Russian tourist say even one word of Thai. Even we famously-monolinguistic Americans take the time to learn basic greetings and obvious customs. The Russians we saw seemed to think they were above ever saying hello or thank you to anyone in Thai. They smoke in front of NO SMOKING signs, they leave trash on the beach, they take booze to Muslim villages.

  19. Pingback: the red tides of Phuket – Todd Bradley's Galaxy

  20. The arrogant dumb pricks expect the Thais to speak Russion as they Are too stupid to learn English or basic Thai

  21. I was raised to be non judgemental and while i have meet rude and obnoxious tourists from all countries, there is nobody like russians..

    The problem is not it a few a aggressive or yelling or drunk….you will see this from brits, americans, germans and everybody else(all very big countries have a superiority concept deep down and mskes it worse) but what makes russians different is that while there are many of them who will not be agressive or drunk, there are almost none of them who will be considerate of others and will never ever change their behavior to anywhere they go…a simple thing like a TINY smile or even a nod when people are trying to create room for them abd their kids in a hotel elevator, or moving when you sit on the stairs and people need to move…

    Russians touridts are the first people where i have never found “the good” one….i would love to have a pleasant expirience and have a conversation with a russian about their fashinating and indeed beautiful country but it is just impossible…

    People try to defend with “this is culture” but that is the whole point. Nobody is trying to adjust even an inch!

  22. Yes, that’s a cultural thing. Russians do not automatically trust strangers (including other Russians). Once you get to know each other a little bit, rudeness goes away.
    Let me put it into this perspective: Westerners are always kind to me from the beginning, but it rarely turns into a genuine friendship. Those arrogant Russians, once they become your friends, WILL get out of their comfort zone when you need their help. Much less likely with westerners who will kindly apologise and refuse. Of course, I am generalising here (as does the author of the article).

  23. I returned from Kata, Thailand yesterday after staying a week at the Beyond resort with my girlfriend. I try not to judge or generalise when it comes to different races. I only comment on individuals that I have dealings with. I would say that 90% of the tourists that were staying at the same hotel were Russian. Nearly everyone of them that my girlfriend and I walked past gave us an up and down look. When we were standing talking they would just walk between us. While at the buffet they would either cut in front of you or while you’re serving yourself they’d just reach straight across in front of you. While I was out poolside I saw some apparently free chairs and asked a young Russian lady if the chairs were being utilised. Her response was to shrug her shoulders and give me an annoyed look. I personally observed both male and female Russians just point at the object they wanted expecting the waiters/waitresses to provide it to them. No please, thankyou,smile or friendly gesture, just a frown or a scowl. Our experience with them has really left a sour taste in our mouths. I really feel for the Thai people and other tourists who cross paths with the Russians that I experienced as they were all rude, demanding, sour faced and totally miserable. Other tourists and Thai people that I also enquired with about the Russian tourists all described them in negative ways. I won’t be returning to Thailand.

  24. Why do you expect someone should smile for your bitch ass? Not everyone in the world is from the united states of America and therefore will not share the same sense of manners as you do. It doesn’t make them horrible people.

    Thailand caters not only to Americans but the rest of the world too. But maybe that’s too much for you to handle.

  25. Casper and Scott – You are exactly correct. LBC – Your missing the point (perhaps your Russian): Most (at least 90%) of the World have a basic idea (even if they were never taught it growing up) of manners, politeness and being friendly & courteous – Most Russians have little or none, of ANY of these qualities. Hence everyone is saying they are unpleasant to be around, and bring a ‘down’ mood to an otherwise friendly, happy and inspiring place (Thailand).

  26. They are not miserable, sour faced or angry, nor do they have a national inferiority complex. They are on the other hand very arrogant, nationalistic, collective, and incredibly rude prone.. Not a Russian? Then you are trash, especially if you are a Westerner ( unless you have money.. of course and are naively generous ). Its that simple. I lived with them,. .

  27. Just read this. I’m in Karon now and yes …it is full of ruskies. Going to smile at one tomorrow and see what happens.

Let me know what you think


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