Farang or falang is the Thai name for people with white skin, both tourists and people living in Thailand. People with black skin are often called farang dam, which means "black farang". The word farang is a neutral word, so there is no need to feel insulted if someone call you this, or describe you as such one. (although the word of course can be used with a "negative sense") Farang also means Guava (the fruit), and maan farang means potato.
The origin of the word is disputed. Some believes the word originates from français, which Thai pronounces as farangset. Another theory tells that the word is a loan-word from Persian, in which "farang" means Franks (Germanic federations around the river of Rehn). A third theory mean that it originates from Arabic. Almost similar names describes white skinned people in many Asian countries.
BEACH STROLLING ON HAD RIN BEACH - Photo by Jens W, Yenit.com
The farang has spent a lot of time in Thailand when he/she...
(Note... This is just a playful trifle around "culture differences")
...bows when he/she pass older sitting people.
...has mostly Luk Thung and other Thai music in his/her iPod.
...understands the headlines in Thairath and Daily News.
...goes to a restaurant with his friends, who shares all food and end up in a karaoke club.
...drinks Black Label with lots of ice and soda water.
...not think that four people on a motorbike is "sensational".
...wakes up and wants rice soup and an omelet instead of corn flakes, toast and coffee.
...thinks that loud people has to be at least a little "uncivilized".
...calls the capital Krung Thep, without reflecting on it.
...would never walk more than 500 meters if it's not absolutely necessary.