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Boom boom on the border – Thailand’s unlikely red-light district

The Thaiger

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Boom boom on the border – Thailand’s unlikely red-light district | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The attractions of Thailand’s southern border town usually become apparent after sunset

On one side of the Thai/Malaysian border is Sungai Golok, on the Malaysian side it’s the town of Rantau Panjang. The two towns are separated by the Golok River as well as decades of furious fighting between Muslim separatists who want to reclaim some of the southern areas in Thailand under the Malaysian flag.

The Thai Buddhists on the other side are happy for it to remain part of the Kingdom of Thailand. Enough of the politics…

The real story in Sungai Golok is the thriving little border town that attracts Malaysian men nightly to enjoy the ‘pleasures of the flesh’, loud music, karaoke, copious booze and ‘the ladies’. All the same ‘lifestyle items’ frowned upon just south of the river in Malaysia.

Although the border town’s most infamous days are in the past it still lures plenty of traffic across the river nightly.

Thai merchants, nowadays cross the major border checkpoint in Sungai Kolok to enter Kelantan, the Malaysian border city, to sell food and household goods as the neighbours now have more purchasing power than before.

Poised at the very south of Narithawat Province, Sungai Golok is ground zero for border boozing and debauchery. With a population of around 38,000 it’s hardly a thriving metropolis but when the sun goes down the men from south of the border flock across the river to enjoy entertainment unavailable to them in the strict Muslim province of Kelantan.

Boom boom on the border - Thailand's unlikely red-light district | News by The Thaiger

The death toll in the deep south is equivalent to the toll in the Gaza Strip

If it wasn’t for its strategic location on the main road heading south from Thailand you would never hear of Sungai Golok. But apart from its rising reputation as the southern red light district it’s also a strategic target for bombings and outrage from people south of the border who see the town as the epitome of everything wrong with ‘Thai and Western decadence’.

The death toll in the deep south is equivalent to the toll in the Gaza Strip conflict – around 7,000 since 2004. But the violence in the Deep South is rarely reported in international media.

Violent attacks happen almost daily in the southern provinces of Thailand – Pattani, Yala and Narithawat  – with little sign of any drop in attacks from the insurgents.

Back in Sungai Golok it’s just part of the nightlife where the noise from the discos is occasionally interrupted by a bomb. Does it deter the men heading across the border for their nights of revelry or the Thai women working in the bars? Hell no.

Boom boom on the border - Thailand's unlikely red-light district | News by The Thaiger

The Golok River is very small and easy to cross without using the main bridge road – Malay Mail

The nightclubs and bars are regular targets for the indiscriminate home-made pipe bombs and car bombs, almost daily, but it does little to dampen the enthusiasm for a good night. In fact the reputation of Sungai Golok as the ‘place to go’ for a good time continues to rise – which just puts it higher up the target list for the insurgents who want to make their point.

The troubles in the town do little to dampen the enthusiasm for the men that visit and most of them will head home after their night of fun to the conservative Malaysian state over the river unhurt. But for the girls that work in Sungai Golok it’s a constant threat to their lives. The stakes are high.

The men are paying good money for the services provided in the town – the girls are eager to part the men from their money and are willing to take the risks of plying their trade in such a dangerous location.

With a single bridge across the Golok river you would think that police and army can control the flow of traffic across the waterway but many of the visitors slip across by boat and cross the border undetected, usually without passports or any means of identification if the worst happens.

If you’re heading south from Thailand and wanting to cross the river border into Malaysia there’s only one official road, through Sungai Golok. So it seems the little towns future, and reputation, will continue to grow along with it the violence that sees no signs of abating.



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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Coop

    March 7, 2019 at 12:54 am

    A restaurant in that town food poisoned me when I was making a visa run. My Thai girlfriend and I ate the SAME dish, and yet I got extremely sick!

    She made the mistake of telling them where I was from, which caused them to try and kill me.

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Village leader killed in Yala in an insurgent ambush

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Village leader killed in Yala in an insurgent ambush | The Thaiger

FILE PHOTO

An assistant village headman has been ambushed and shot dead in Yala’s city district just after midnight today (Wednesday).

53 year old Sakariya Waemamah was killed on the main village road in Ban Taseh village at about 12.05am while riding home on his motorcycle.

Police found 23 spent shells from an M16 assault rifle and two spent shells from a shot gun at the scene.

Police said Sakariya was riding home at the end of his night-shift keeping guard at the village’s security post when he was ambushed by at least two insurgents.

SOURCE: The Nation

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‘Boonrod’ plucked out of the Gulf of Thailand, 220 kilometres offshore

The Thaiger

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‘Boonrod’ plucked out of the Gulf of Thailand, 220 kilometres offshore | The Thaiger

The story of a lucky dog. But how did he get there?

by Nicola Stow via VIRAL PRESS

Workers onboard a Thai oil rig noticed a dog’s head poking above the ripples as she was paddling around the Gulf of Thailand on Friday. The rig was 22o kilometers off the coast of Songkhla. It’s understood the Aspin dog, named Boonrod (Thai for ‘survivor’) by her rescuers, fell from a fishing trawler, according to the Bangkok Post.

Offshore drillers called out to the exhausted dog and she swam towards them, taking refuge among the rusty metal bars of the rig.

The workers then lowered a rope down to Boonrod and pulled her to safety. She stayed on the drilling platform for two nights while a special cage was welded and staff gave her food and water.

Boonrod was finally lifted by crane onto another oil vessel passing through the area last Sunday, which delivered her to vets in Songkhla, southern Thailand.

Khon Vitisak, an oil rig worker, who pulled the animal to safety, says he would like to adopt her if no owner comes forward.

“We just saw her small head but if the ripples were bigger, I think we probably wouldn’t have noticed her at all. We found her trying to swim towards our rig, which is about 220 kilometres from the shore. Thankfully the sea was quite still because the wind was calm.”

“After she made it onto the bars below the rig she didn’t cry or bark at all. We looked for a way to help her and in the end, decided to use the rope to tie around her body to lift her up. When we first took her on board she was depressed and tired from being in the water for a long time.”

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: thesun.co.uk

'Boonrod' plucked out of the Gulf of Thailand, 220 kilometres offshore | News by The Thaiger

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South

Parents offer reward to find the suspected killer of their innocent son

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Parents offer reward to find the suspected killer of their innocent son | The Thaiger

by Khanitta Sitong

The parents of a Mathayom 4 schoolboy, shot dead in Trang’s Muang district last December, are offering a 50,000 baht reward to anyone who could provide information leading to the arrest of the 51 year old suspect. He was the innocent victim when bullets, intended for someone else, hit and killed him instead.

Police say they have failed to arrest the wanted man at this stage.

Anan Burachana and his wife Song have made an online appeal for help from citizens to locate the elusive suspect ‘Teerayuth Somsu’.

Teerayuth allegedly shot dead the 16 year old Theerawat Burachana during a night ambush on December 2, 2018 in an intended attack on his rival 42 year old Worawat Klabjit.

Worawat at the time was driving the motorcycle with Teerayuth riding pillion. The teenager was an innocent party but received a fatal shot to the head, while Worawat sustained a gunshot wound in his arm.

SOURCE: The Nation

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