Bangkok Sex Industry

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Bangkok is known as the carnal capital of the world as a sex industry, adept at peddling fantasies of cheap thrills on tap. Over a thousand sex-related businesses operate in the city but places such as Patpong and Sukhumvit’s Soi Nana give a misleading impression of an activity that is deeply rooted in Thai culture.

Go-go Dancer - Red light district

Go-go dancer – Red light district

Tourists travelling around quickly gain the impression that Bangkok is not much different from other major cities in Thailand, the locals are genuinely friendly and the street consists of the usual food stalls, shopping malls and night market all forming a culturally rich vibe known to the northeastern hub, when the sun sets the city’s night market quickly changes followed with the atmosphere and people it attracts.


Outside Bars - Bangkok Red Light District

Outside the bars – Bangkok

Although prostitution is illegal in Thailand, and has been for almost 70 years, the country is home to a large sex trade. The industry thrives on foreign visitors who come for companionship, thrills and even wives. Thailand’s tourism minister, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, has pledged to bring an end to the country’s sex industry, how it’ll affect the city’s tourism and economics is still unknown. Kobkarn stated that she wants Thailand to be about quality tourism and she believes that tourists don’t come to Thailand for the sex industry, they come for the beautiful culture which is definitely true but it’s undeniable that a large proportion of their tourists do in fact visit for the sex industry.


Thai Prostitutes - Downtown Red Light District

Thai Prostitutes – Downtown Red Light District

Thailand is home to over 123,000 sex workers, according to an Aver report. According to Havocscope, which tracks the global black market, the industry employs 250,000 people, although other accounts say it is far higher. There are many concerns that getting rid of the sex industry could result in falling income from tourism. Thailand’s minimum wage is around 300 baht ($8.59) a day, Sex workers earn roughly around 1,200 baht ($34) and each transaction for go-go girls is estimated at $85.

Men who wish to find companionship in Thailand are required to pay a bar fee in order to sit and drink with a girl such as the escorts from Absolute Angels Bangkok. Police receive payoffs from bar owners for turning a blind eye to what goes on inside, meaning that if the industry is affected they would also feel the back-draft. The research shows that if the sex industry is to go then it would have a huge impact on Thailand as a whole, not just the nightlife but the local and collective economy also tourism, business and even the culture, whether this is going to be a positive change is completely undetermined as it’s still too early to predict what will happen.