Police raids: Is this the end for Pattaya?!?!

[Updated] read our update on Police Raids in Pattaya

If you have been following the news in Pattaya or Thailand you might have seen this video from Channel 3 on Thai TV. It is apparently footage of police raiding a venue called Club 4 in Pattaya. This footage seems real as you can recognise the locaation easily as well as the other so-called “Gentlemen’s clubs” at the start. You can also see the “C4” logo on the door and surprised foreigners sitting inside as police officers rush in and up the stairs.

The other day in an article dated 20 February 2017, a British tabloid ran a poorly researched sensational story about Pattaya. The article WORLD SEX CAPITAL was a typical click bait media beat up.

Pattaya in Thailand has a reported 27,00 prostitutes, roughly one for every five people living in the east-coast city visited by more than a million men each year

They randomly pulled a number out of their posterior. 27,000 prostitutes? Did they do a head count? Funny stuff. The Thai police dispute the figure as well. Of course the article was picked up by other outlets who never questioned the maths.

Anyway it must have ruffled a few feathers upstairs. The police need to be seen to be doing something. So they raided a brothel… To prove that Thailand has no sex industry. Talk about catch 22 right?

To show their efforts, police Wednesday raided a bar called Club 4, where an illegal, second-floor operation was selling sex to foreign tourists. Owner Chayanuch Laokliew, 36, was charged with pandering.

A fine of 2,000 baht was divided equally between the sex worker and the bar, with each paying half, the city’s deputy district chief said.

Online forums for sex tourism went into panic mode as some posters wondered if this meant the end for soi 6. The veterans however, see this as just the latest episode, remembering all the times in the past when it was claimed Pattaya would be cleaned up for good.

beer bar pattaya

The Bangkok Post for example, on 21 February 2017 reported

Mr Taweebhong said the effort to change Pattaya’s image may be difficult, but Dasta will work to promote alternative tourism for Thai and international travellers who want to see authentic local culture

Another example of these efforts to focus attention on more wholesome activities is the Valentines day wedding events.Pattaya Mail 24 February article:

An estimated 100 couples brought their own flowers to their wedding ceremony at the Banglamung District office, which was busy from the 8 a.m. opening until the 6 p.m. closing with couples registering their marriages.

A young Australian man and his Thai bride were first in line to get hitched on Valentine’s Day. They attributed the large number of international couples to the holiday’s western origins and standing as a romantic occasion.

I have to say that there are many tourists from all over the world, including families, in Pattaya.  You can even see small kids with their parents at night time on Walking Street going past the bars. It is popular with Russians, Indians and of course the Chinese tour groups. But the authorities have already stepped up their efforts to combat the cheap Chinese tours, which contribute nothing to the local economy. Not to mention clog up the streets with the locust-like crowds of gawking tourists who cluelessly follow the tour guide who is usually carrying a flag or stuffed toy object mounted on a stick for easy visibility.

The authorities recently launched a ferry service from Pattaya to another seaside resort town, Hua Hin on the other side of the gulf.

The double decker passenger catamaran Royal 1 carries 286 economy seats, each is priced at 1,250 baht a trip per head. It also offers 44 business class seats and two VIP rooms with eight seats in each

The journey is advertised to take two hours, much shorter than the five-hour road trip.

 

richard coxley

Richard Coxley is a business consultant with over 12 years experience in Asia. He enjoys playing golf. He has travelled extensively in Thailand and currently resides in Pratumnak, Pattaya.

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