There are many things that are well known about Thailand, but one thing is either made fun of or kept a secret locally.
It is the nation’s prostitution and red light areas. There are a good number of tourists who come to Thailand particularly to experience this “vibrant” side of Thai culture.
Many foreigners travel to Thailand in search of sex. Even the lower economic classes in countries like Japan, Malaysia, Europe, America, and Australia can now afford to travel great distances, in contrast to the past when only those from more privileged social classes could partake in long-distance tourism.
The social and educational standing of this relatively new breed of tourist is more likely to be lower, and they are also less likely to utilize condoms during sexual activity. Bangkok is home to an estimated 30,000 sex workers, of which 7000–10,000 particularly work in the tourism industry. Foreign visitors frequent about half to three-quarters of the city’s 600 commercial sex facilities. Other popular destinations for sex tourism include Chiangmai, Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui, and Pattaya.
Overall, Thailand has a sizable, varied, affordable, and easily accessible commercial sex market. One can meet sex workers almost anywhere and be sure to find someone who can satisfy their sexual demands. These qualities make Thailand a top destination for those looking for sex. Those who are on vacation tend to be a little more careless.
Tourists are free to engage in sexual activity without facing judgment because they are removed from their peers and national social mores. Similar to this, Thai sex workers who serve foreigners—particularly women—enjoy greater freedom and control over their sexual interactions than their contemporaries who work with citizens. In Thailand, both single and married women are expected to be obedient, gentle, and subservient, and neither group is given much sexual freedom.
Both sex workers and foreigners have more personal freedom than is typical, which leads to more discussion about condom use and overall lower use. As a result, the commercial sex sector in Thailand that attracts foreigners poses a threat to the global spread of HIV.
Check out our recent post about Top 10 best countries for sex tourism