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From ping-pongs to the real-deal. The evolution of sex-shows in Bangla Road.

Tanutam Thawan

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From ping-pongs to the real-deal. The evolution of sex-shows in Bangla Road. | The Thaiger
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PLEASE NOTE: This article contains material that may offend some readers.

Thailand, despite it’s many natural wonders, superb street cuisine, vibrant culture and (mostly) warm weather, still has a reputation well-earned. Let’s call it the three Ps – Patpong, Pattaya and Patong.

Whereas, say ten years ago, you could visit a few go go bars, see an occasional ping pong show and chat up a bar girl, these days things are getting a bit more hard core.

From ping-pongs to the real-deal. The evolution of sex-shows in Bangla Road. | News by The Thaiger

Dateline December 27, 2017: Bangla Road, Patong. No longer content with touting for some seriously over-priced drinks and the option of a ping pong show (choose your own animal accessories), now the offerings are increasingly raunchy. At least three venues along the party-strip are now offering full ‘F**king Shows’. Some of the shows can attract up to 200 people at a time, all whilst plying the customers with over-priced drinks. Drinks seem to run between 300-1200 baht a pop in these venues.

The price for entering one of these shows is around 1200 baht. How much goes to the tout? Our investigation shows that the touts receive 800 baht per customer, making a career in touting for sex shows a seriously lucrative business. Do the sums yourself. There are 300-400 touts working the strip every night, some starting as early as 5pm and crossing over Rat-U-Tit road and approaching families with children trying to lock customers in to see a show during the evening.

From ping-pongs to the real-deal. The evolution of sex-shows in Bangla Road. | News by The Thaiger

Two police officers (who spoke to us on condition of anonymity) claim that authorities don’t want to clamp down on the touts because they are worried that “the young people attracting customers to these shows would end up unemployed and getting into drugs”. Now these young people are getting their hands on plenty of additional, tax-free, income to buy even better drugs it seems.

When we asked more direct questions to our informants they assured me that police don’t accept bribes from bar owners. Facebook page ’Spotlight Phuket’ claimed in an article back in October that bars around the Bangla area were still paying local police up to 20 million baht per night to remain open past curfew and, in some case, run illegal sex shows. That number has never been denied and a crackdown and ‘relocation’ of several of the island’s top police is still being played out.

Officially, the sex shows don’t exist. In practice the shows are getting increasingly raunchy as the battle for attracting tourists into their drinking establishments gets more competitive. And as the amounts of money increase the stakes get higher attracting more crime, more players wanting a piece of the action and more ‘payments’ to make any closer examination unlikely.

From ping-pongs to the real-deal. The evolution of sex-shows in Bangla Road. | News by The Thaiger

The exploitation of female and male sex workers, and others being paid to have sex in public, is just another casualty of the high-level greed being perpetuated along Bangla Road. Because the whole trade is ‘hush-hush’ there’s also no support system for these workers as they’re just a disposable part of the larger sex-show machinery.

The exploitation of sex workers isn’t just the female participants in these sex shows. The same situation exists for young males, some who work in the nearby Soi Paradise establishments catering for the more hidden ‘gay tourism’. One of the workers in Soi Paradise told us he’s been forced into prostitution with some of his venue’s customers with threats of exposing his sexuality to his family or being forced to pay back transport and accommodation ‘loans’ at exorbitant interest rates.

The ‘system’ is unlikely to be broken down – there’s simply too much money involved. It’s long been known and understood that there are a handful of key players who ‘control’ the flow of money up and down the bar scene in Patong. Local authorities appear disinclined to tackle to tip of the ‘Patong Pyramid’ because there’s just too many people making money as the baht paid by the tourist filters its way up through the corrupt system.

These sex shows happen night after night whilst, officially, they are illegal. In stark contrast two Americans show their bare bottoms in a couple of Instagram shots and the internet melts down with people saying they’re disrespectful.

The double standard of the Thai prudishness isn’t helping the situation. On one hand shaking their finger and expressing their mock-shock at acts of overt sexuality whilst turning the other cheek when their daughters and sons head to work at Patpong, Pattaya and Patong in sex shows and girlie bars to help provide income for the families up country.

From ping-pongs to the real-deal. The evolution of sex-shows in Bangla Road. | News by The Thaiger

So what happens after the tourists tire of people having real sex in bars and bar owners fight for their slice of the sex-show pie? What’s the next level of human exploitation these operators will come up with to keep the money flowing?

Patpong (and Soi Cowboy in BKK), Pattaya and Patong are not all about sex-shows, far from it. Most bars simply provide good, clean (if sometimes over-priced) fun. But whilst police seem either disinclined or simply unable to tackle the growth and popularity of f**king shows, there will simply be more opening up as Thai business owners continue to meet the demand with supply with little interruption.

(Phuket Gazette reporters have approached police for comment but not received any reply)

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Pattaya. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

Dengue Fever

Lockdown may contribute to Thailand’s rise in dengue fever cases, study suggests

Caitlin Ashworth

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Lockdown may contribute to Thailand’s rise in dengue fever cases, study suggests | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikipedia

Social distancing and lockdown measures may have contributed to a rise in dengue fever in Thailand, according to a recent study funded by the Singapore Ministry of Health’s National Medical Research Council.

Researchers, which included scientists from the University of Singapore, examined dengue fever cases in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. No impact on the dengue transmission was found in Malaysia or Singapore, but in Thailand, they found that social distancing may lead to an increase in the number of coronavirus cases. They say the largest impact is in Bangkok Researchers say social distancing is expected to lead to 4.32 additional dengue fever cases per 100,000 people in Thailand each month.

Many people in Thailand stayed at home during lockdown measures put in place to control the spread to the coronavirus, but the study found that people in Thailand are typically bitten by dengue-carrying mosquitos at home rather than at work. Some people even travelled back home to their home provinces to be with their families during the lockdown period.

“Although it is possible for dengue infections to occur in workplaces, it was found in one study that 60% of dengue cases live less than 200m apart came from the same transmission chain, revealing that residential areas are a focal point of transmission.”

Reported dengue fever cases in 2019

Lockdown may contribute to Thailand's rise in dengue fever cases, study suggests | News by The Thaiger

Reported dengue fever cases in 2020

Lockdown may contribute to Thailand's rise in dengue fever cases, study suggests | News by The Thaiger

To read the full study click HERE.

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Thailand

Man arrested for allegedly driving with monitor lizards tied to his motorbike

Caitlin Ashworth

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Man arrested for allegedly driving with monitor lizards tied to his motorbike | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Line Today

A man was arrested on animal abuse charges for allegedly catching water monitor lizards, tying them to his motorbike and driving around Prachuap Khri Khan, south of Phetchaburi province.

The man, who is identified as Chaowalit, posted photos on Facebook of lizards tied up to the back of his motorbike. One photo shows a large monitor lizard tied up to the back of the bike, hanging upside-down. Apparently, Chaowalit has been posting photos for about 4 months now on Facebook page on wildlife hunting.

Officials from the Kui Buri National Park were notified about the photos and a team of special unit officers were sent to Chaowalit’s house to arrest him. He was charged with catching and harming protected wildlife as well as violating the Wild Animal Reservation Protection Act. If found guilty, he could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to 1 million baht.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

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Phuket

Phuket tops travel destination list of cheapest hotel prices – Dertour 2020 Price Index

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket tops travel destination list of cheapest hotel prices – Dertour 2020 Price Index | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Phuket Hotels Association

Phuket tops a list of the cheapest travel destinations with a 1 night stay at a hotel costing on average less than $30 USD, according to a study by the German travel company Dertour. Phuket is going through what some say is a “crisis”, certainly a current tourist vacuum. The island province largely relies on income from foreign tourists, but with travel bans over the last 7 months, hotels and other businesses in the tourism industry have been at a loss.

For domestic tourists, Phuket currently offers a serene, peaceful tropical stay where you’ll have a lot of the island to yourself. There are plenty of daily flights to the island, but all from domestic locations at this stage – the international terminal remains closed.

Along with being listed as hotels with the lowest price, Phuket also made the top 5 cities with the largest price drop from 2019 to 2020, according to Dertour’s 2020 Accommodation Price Index. The company studied hotel prices for 75 popular tourist destinations around the world. Bangkok was just above Phuket at the fourth city with the largest hotel price drop. Bangkok hotel prices dropped by 34.6% while Phuket’s hotel prices dropped by 33.8%.

Prices will continue to be low, CEO DER Touristik Central Europe Ingo Burmester says…

“Travel itself will be cheap in 2021… Although it has been a challenging period, we have seen a great deal of interest in domestic travel. We also predict a major catch-up effect for Mediterranean destinations, European trips and long-haul routes in 2021 as soon as travel restrictions are lifted.”

Phuket ranks as the destination with the cheapest accommodation prices at an average price of $29 USD, according to the list. Average prices for 3-star hotels are $26 USD and an average of $54 USD for 5-star hotels.

Bangkok followed, ranking fifth on the list of cities with the lowest hotel price at an average of $43 USD per night. 3-star hotels in Bangkok average at $30 per night and 5-star hotels average at $93 USD.

Top 5 destinations with the lowest price in accommodation

  1. Phuket: Average of $29 USD per night
  2. Delhi: Average of $34 USD per night
  3. Kuala Lumpur: Average of $36 USD per night
  4. Bali: Average of $36 USD per night
  5. Bangkok: Average of $43 USD per night

Top 5 destinations with the largest price drop in accommodation

  1. Amsterdam: Dropped by 51.6%
  2. San Francisco: Dropped by 39.2%
  3. Vancouver: Dropped by 37.1%
  4. Bangkok: Dropped by 34.6%
  5. Phuket: Dropped by 33.8%

To read Dertour’s full report, click HERE.

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

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