Last night the Pattaya police did a patrol of the beach road promenade which is a known haunt for freelancer prostitutes including more than a few ladyboys. I wasn’t on hand to witness it, but it seems some police walked down the sidewalk and sex workers scattered.
Channel 7 in Pattaya reported that the many sex workers in the area were more or less unaffected. They just “melted into the sea of normal people” then miraculously reappeared later when the patrol had ended.
This reminds me of the occasional police pass through of places like Geylang in Singapore or Wat Phnom in Phnom Penh. The cops pass through and catch whoever they can while everyone else disappears. As soon as the cops are finished with their activities, the same old sex workers come back out of the cracks and push their services once again. It’s hard to keep the world’s oldest profession down!
It may seem strange to have a patrol against prostitution in Pattaya. After all, the city is more or less known as a world center of prostitution despite the family friendly image some are now trying to promote. Sure, you can take a family there. There’s a beach, a mall, and even a water park. But there’s also thousands upon thousands of prostitutes selling sex on nearly every street in the city. The very history of the city is tied up with foreigners buying sex from locals in fact!
That’s really no matter in Thailand of course. Everyone knows what goes on there, especially in Pattaya. It’s impossible to imagine that the Pattaya police of all people don’t know there is prostitution on Beach Road. Most days you can see prostitutes standing there next to the beach even while the police stand right next to them. According to reports, some 676 ladyboys have been recorded by police engaged in any crime efforts. That’s a lot of ladyboys!
So what gives here? Why were the Pattaya police patrolling the Beach Road promenade? Apparently it all stems back to some video or another that went “viral” on the internet. In the video, some ladyboys were apparently getting pretty frisky. Nothing out of the norm that you can’t see on Soi 6 any day of the week, but the issue here is that it was exposed to the rest of the world.
As is usual in Thailand there is a difference between allowing things to go on and admitting they go on to the whole world. It’s a question of face and face saving. It’s also a less exotic matter of keeping certain things under wraps, which might be more familiar to readers of this site.
Apparently the police have actually tracked down the ladyboys who appeared in the video. They admitted they did what they are caught on film doing, believe it or not, but they say it was all in the past. The police seem to have completed their patrol and now it’s all good and back to normal as long as no more videos appear online.
What else can I say but “TIT.” This is Thailand!