Good luck there I have to say

‘Thailand is closed to sex trade’, says country’s first female tourism minister

But unconvinced it’s going to be easy.

11 thoughts on “Good luck there I have to say”

  1. Reminds me of the mayor of Amsterdam saying he wanted a better class of tourism rather than people going for weed and sex shows. The problem is, Amsterdam pretty much has the Anne Frank house, a few nice Rembrants and not much else.

  2. Something that isn’t widely known is that prostitution is illegal in Thailand.

    The other mistake people make is looking at Thailand’s sex trade through a Western prism. Generally speaking, in the West, one is either a prostitute or one is not. In Thailand it’s a bit more complicated. Unless you are working a professional job in Bangkok, Westerners will never come into contact with a normal, educated, middle or upper class Thai woman: these women simply do not work in shops, bars, and massage parlours that foreigners hang out in. So they are staffed by girls from out in the sticks, who come to the tourist cities purely to make some cash. Some will be out-and-out prostitutes who ask customers to pay to sleep with them. Others will work in bars or massage parlours, and will be expected to sleep with the customers if that’s what they want, in return for money. Others will work in bars or massage parlours and will be open to sleeping with customers for money, if that’s what they want to do (but are not obliged to). Others will work in shops like Robinsons in the hope of meeting a foreigner from whom she can extract money in return for sex, one way or another. Prostitution in Thailand is not a black and white thing, it is a spectrum with all shades of grey. One thing is generally true though: any girl a Westerner is likely to encounter will be available at a price, but she will be from the jungle somewhere. The ordinary, middle class Thai girls are so off-limits the Westerners wouldn’t even know where to meet one.

  3. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, the country’s first female tourism minister, made the pledge following a series of police raids on Thai brothels last month, amid concerns over human trafficking and underage sex workers.

    Gotcha, so we’ve got the feminazis usual excuse for a crackdown in the form of paedos and snakeheads. Not surprising, but lets see how that pans out.

    Where are most of these girls working as prostitutes from in Thailand? They tend to be from the rural North East provinces of Isan and they tend to get jobs in Bankok and the coastal resorts like Pattaya, where the tourists go.

    Chances of the feminazis classifying this as “trafficking”? I’d say close to 100%

    As for employing underage girls, I can’t say. Certainly I’ve never seen one that I would definitely say was underage in my visits to Thailand, in fact I’ve found the opposite to be true in that most of the ladies are actually older than they appear.

    Most places that allow them to stay overnight will only do so after taking a copy of their identity card, so it would be difficult for an underage girl to carry on as a prostitute in many circumstances.

  4. One thing to add to Tim’s excellent description of the Thai sex industry is that the majority of exchanges of sex for money are between two Thais. If they want to close the country to the sex trade it’s more of a domestic issue than a tourism one.

  5. Certainly I’ve never seen one that I would definitely say was underage in my visits to Thailand, in fact I’ve found the opposite to be true in that most of the ladies are actually older than they appear.


    I’m sure you could find “underage” if you asked around enough, but you’d more likely end up with a 19 year old Thai who swore blind she was 15.

  6. Dongguan John,

    That might be true for the number of exchanges; but is it true in terms of value? I imagine the average foreigner pays a much higher rate.

    Tim Newman,

    Reminds me of the old joke: The school system in Thailand must be terrible: I found a magazine with Thai schoolgirls and they all looked about 30! (Substitute the country of your choice.)

  7. That might be true for the number of exchanges; but is it true in terms of value? I imagine the average foreigner pays a much higher rate.

    Difficult to tell as those exchanges go on between the Thais alone, but I expect you are right.

  8. I imagine the average foreigner pays a much higher rate.

    They would, but any girl who’s got her claws into a foreigner isn’t going to be spending much time servicing Thai clients (and you don’t get a lot of young Thai men around the holiday resorts anyway). But she will almost certainly have a regular Thai man on the go somewhere, probably a husband, who Johnny Foreigner (also her husband) knows nothing about.

  9. I know it used to be possible for “girls” to get ID cards that understated their age. For professional reasons. (I know of a bar where the “girls” are their 50s and the customers are in their 70s. You don’t want to be dealing with a 40yo tearaway at that age, I guess.)

    I also did know of a genuine 16yo working in a bar, (legal age is 18) but as she was the size of the proverbial brick-built outhouse you wouldn’t have guessed.

    Also, as Tim N. said, bar girls aren’t really prostitutes in the western sense, but you get fed up trying to explain that after a while.

  10. The Telegraph is so wide of the mark it is almost funny. Take their top tips-

    “As Telegraph Travel’s Natalie Paris explained last year, several seemingly mundane activities can end up getting you arrested in Thailand, such as eating sandwiches in public,”

    Nonsense! Finding a sandwich is tricky.

    “reading 1984 by George Orwell,”

    That was a student fad just after the coup – no longer true (it is in most university libraries)

    “wearing red clothing,”

    Another bit of nonsense – you can pretty much wear what you like as long as it doesn’t offend public decency. Reed shirts were the ‘uniform’ of the left wingers who were causing trouble before the coup.

    “and raising the “Hunger Games” three-fingered salute.”

    Another student fad from just after the coup that is no longer relevant.

    “Insulting the royal family is also punishable by up to 15 years in jail.”

    Now that is true. The Thai royal family are revered in Thailand and criticizing them in public will get you a beating before they haul you off to jail.

    “It is also illegal to leave your house if you’re not wearing underwear”

    Try telling that to the northern girls who don’t wear underwear and even take off their tops during the summer- not as exciting as it sounds after you see bunches (they hang) of 80 year old breasts.

    ” or drive a car if you’re not wearing a shirt.’

    Bloody silly yes, as you’ll stick to the seat but illegal? Anyway 99% of Thai cars have heavily tinted windows so you can’t see inside.

    Like many things in the land of smiles, the law is observed more in the breach. Thais pretty much do as they like (the word ‘Thai’ means free) and the police usually turn a blind eye – except to lese majeste and drugs.

    Regarding prostitution – yes street prostitution is illegal and streetwalkers are often carted off to the police station, fined ten quid and turned loose. But working in a club as an ‘entertainer’, offering happy endings, is not. That loophole was created after howls of anguish after prostitution was criminalized! There are very, very few trafficked or under-aged women in the ‘in your face’ western gogo bars and clubs, but they do exist serving the locals or, more often than not, the laborers from adjacent countries who work in the kingdom. A few years ago a secret brothel in Pattaya burned down and they found the corpses of women chained to their beds.

    TBH many waitresses and salesgirls are up for a bit of pin money and many Thai girls fund their university education with a little bit of paid hankey pankey – in fact there are picture books available in cafés close to campuses containing pictures of the girls and what they’ll do for the money. You have to speak Thai to get to see them though. The girls call it their ‘alternative life’ and does not attract the stigma it has in the west (it is far superior to being a shoe-mender!). Other girls see it as a way of raising capital to start a business: I know one lady who has a fleet of taxicabs, another has two hotels and a nightclub and another has a small chain of supermarkets. Others see it as a way of getting off the farm and out of grinding poverty.

    However, as the economy if NE Thailand has improved, particularly as many factories are opening there, plus the advent of a minimum wage, the number of girls attracted to the profession as a full time career choice is declining and many of the clubs catering to westerners are struggling to get girls and turn a profit so it’ll probably die a natural death anyway. The karaoke bars for the locals (where full sex will set you back a princely 6 quid) will still be in business as will the high-flying clubs with their very expensive (and picky) coyote dancers, as will the discrete ‘gentlemen’s’ clubs where they keep your personalized whisky bottle behind the bar.

    I leave you with one little anecdote from a few years back where a retired British guy was living in a hotel in pattaya and was minding his own business, reading the paper and drinking his early morning coffee in the pick up bar/coffee shop, while ignoring the trio of desultory early morning hookers who were also in the bar, when he was set upon by a western feminist who started berating the poor chap for leading the women in the bar astray. It appeared that the ladies in question knew enough English to understand that she represented a threat to her livelihood so they set about her and were in the process of giving her a thorough beating, so much so she had to be rescued by the ‘persecutor’. The question is, did he do the right thing?

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