I think the main point and what a lot of you are missing is the fact that the word 'farang' in and of itself isn't bad in any way, it's just a word after all. It's the fact that people feel the need to categorize others who look different and be so vocal and open about it. I live in China, and the word "Laowai" or "Waiguoren" is their equivalent. Any variation pisses me off. I understand Chinese fluently. I'm white. I ordered a bowl of noodles at the restaurant yesterday and there was some confusion with my order, so the waiter yells across the room to the person at the counter: "What did this LAOWAI order?" The word Laowai is NOT offensive. What is offensive is the fact that he didn't say "what did this customer order"? or "what did this young man order?" or something that places me in the same bracket as I regular customer. It's the fact that they treat us as outcasts - that is offensive, not the actual words spoken. Could you imagine if in the USA a waiter pointed to a customer who was a black guy and shouted across the room: "Hey, what did this black guy order?", or pointed to a Chinese customer "Hey, what did this Asian guy order?". Any of that would be considered extremely offensive. Sure, people may refer to other people as 'black' or 'Asian' or 'white' etc, when they are talking about them, but they at least make an effort to keep their voices down and make sure they aren't heard by that person. If people are whispering to each other about me and I catch the word "laowai", I wouldn't care at all cause at least they would be putting in an effort to not offend and would recognize that it isn't a nice thing to say. Instead they just shout it right in front of me, expecting that I don't understand Chinese, which pisses me off too - this whole concept that people from other countries are too stupid or lazy to learn Chinese (or Japanese, or Korean, or Thai, etc), so they just ASSUME the white person isn't able to speak it. China is an extreme case, I know that countries like Japan and Thailand aren't as bad, but I did experience some offensive people in those countries there too, like one girl in Thailand who thought 'Farang' can only be used to describe 'white' and 'black' foreigners, but Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, etc, who come to Thailand are not 'Farang', they are 'Asian'. Attitudes like that just piss me off. People should be treated like people - with respect and equality no matter what their nationality is. I think the continued acceptance of the use of 'special terms' to categorize 3rd persons 'who look different' does NOT create an ideal condition for equality, tolerance, or cultural understanding in these countries. Yeah, I know Asian countries have vastly different historical legacies and cultural backgrounds than other 'Western' countries, but if they want to mature and globalize, then they need to drop the widespread use of these BS terms. That's my rant for the day. I hope I'm not repeating what others have already said, I didn't read all the posts, but from what I did read, it seemed that a lot of people were missing the point.