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And so, using my own knowledge and experience, and through quizzing three of my good Thai friends, I decided to write a definitive guide to Sin Sod.

You will find a huge amount of misleading information online regarding Sin Sod, and conflicting experiences can be found plastered all over forums and blogs.

The story was of a guy that had met a 42 year old woman online, and after one month of dating was asking for 500,000 Baht for marriage. he should seriously consider his position because it smacks of extortion, a debate ensued regarding Sin Sod – the money paid to a Thai woman’s family by the groom during the marriage ceremony.

I was shocked at just how misunderstood this part of Thai culture is by so many foreigners, many of whom have lived in Thailand for many years.

Any man marrying a Thai woman is expected to pay Sin Sod.

The price is usually agreed between the two families, yet where a foreigner is concerned and his parents aren't present, the duty falls on him to ask the family how much they expect.

I mean, when ex childhood superstar singer Tata Young, at almost 40 years old married Prame, the son of the Fair Tex boxing brand owner, she commanded 100 million Baht.

But for a 40-year-old woman from a poor, rural family and a few kids in tow, it's unlikely that more than 200,000 Baht would be on offer.

Fortunately, I am lucky enough to have a cross-section of Thai friends from varying backgrounds, and being the nosey parker I am, I have endeavoured to collect as much information as possible regarding this tradition.

As you might know, it is common for the average Thai woman to send a portion of her salary to her parents each month.

After marriage this usually stops, so as you can imagine, for parents with no pension plan and little savings, the Sin Sod is a much needed payday.

Of course, if we want to know the truth about Sin Sod, the best people to ask are Thai people themselves.

Yet like many Thai customs, I find that foreigners have a gross misconception of what Sin Sod is all about, inherited largely from other misinformed foreigners.

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