Unsolicited Reviews of
'Behind The Smile'
~ The Story of Lek, a Thai Bar Girl
in Pattaya, Thailand ~
These pages list further unsolicited testimonials or reviews for Behind The Smile that I have
received permission to publish.
If you have read 'Behind The Smile' and would like to leave an unsolicited testimonial below, please send it to
me and I will publish it whether it is favourable or not.
Please do write me an unsolicited testimonial or review to print on this page because it will help others decide
whether they would like the book or not.
by Owen Jones
4.0 out of 5.0 Stars.
Format: Kindle Edition Amazon Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed “Behind the Smile” because I kept putting myself in the shoes of Craig, an Englishman who
falls in love, then marries Lek, before finally settling down with her upcountry in Thailand’s hinterlands for
a change of life that is totally out of step with the fast paced out of control lifestyle he had been
experiencing in Pattaya.
From my own personal experiences as an expat who’s been living in Pattaya for the past eight years, I can
relate to the huge cultural differences between a Westerner and a Thai woman he falls in love with and how
extremely difficult it is to remain together.
Owen’s description of Craig’s first encounters in the village with Lek’s family are very real, yet in some ways
different from my own. Ironically I was reading this episode while finishing “Behind the Smile” while my Thai
girlfriend and I were visiting her family in a village that I’m sure is practically identical to the one Owen
But I found the bar episodes occurring in Pattaya even more interesting. Most occur on Sois 7 and 8 which used
to be one of my main stomping grounds where I had found many women who went back with me to my room, and later
on to the condo I ended up buying.
But it is later on in the book that I can especially relate to Craig who finds himself to be increasingly taken
for granted by Lek which drives him into the arms of other women, literally under Lek’s nose. For those who
have not spent a lot of time here in Pattaya, Owen’s descriptions of Craig’s indiscretions are simply
unbelievable. Normal people simply do not behave the way Craig misbehaves in the bars.
Yet by my standards, speaking as a Pattaya expat such behavior is normal here because Pattaya is simply off the
charts when it comes to any sense of normalcy.
Ultimately Craig is drawn back to rural Thailand, where the people are better, the traffic far less frenetic,
the air is so much cleaner and where he finally gives up the depraved habits he’s acquired while trying to
adapt to the huge cultural differences he’s had to contend with.
For many such a course remains the sensible one–there are far more Westerners living up country than most
people realize. Perhaps it steers them away from a self destructive oblivion they would surely find if they
remained here where the party never ends.