Pattaya has been making the international news lately. One with a recent incident with a bargirl falling off a balcony to her death and just in general. Primarily in the UK and mostly in rubbish papers. They seek sensationalism of sex tourism.
It’s Not A Secret
There is no big secret in Thailand what Pattaya is about. Foreigners come here to get laid and Thais come here to get paid. Even the Thai government is starting to give up on the whole we are cleaning it up act. It is what it is and life goes on.
For reports to come out that shockingly paint a picture of a town full of prostitutes is a joke.
Pattaya was created by the US Airbase U-Tapao during the Vietnam war. The Americans turned a sleepy little fishing village into one of the biggest whore houses on the planet. From there, things took off. Everyone was happy. Thais making money and servicemen getting laid.
What makes these articles on sex tourist nothing more than sensationalism to draw attraction is that it’s always linked with criminals and child human trafficking. Nothing reads better than a good crime story with a human element of children being victimized by pedophiles.
The reality is far from the image painted in these articles written by people who have zero understanding of what goes on.
I’d be a liar if I said that child human trafficking doesn’t exist. It does and it’s a sad state of affairs but the there is so little of it that involves foreigners. Most of it is done by locals themselves. There was a huge scandal last year with high ranking Thai officials being offered underage girls for sex. There are only occasional incidents of foreigners being involved with underage sexual acts. Then again, when writing sensationalism articles, why bother checking that when its better to say all foreigners are implied pedophiles.
The criminal element is the same. Yes, there is foreign criminal gangs here. Thais aren’t very fond of them at all. In fact, they go out of their way to break them up as fast as possible. If you are smart you will figure out why especially if you live here. It does not take a degree in rocket science to figure it out.
Then again, to the average punter they know none of this. They are are here for their 2 or 3 week holiday and have a good time, spend some money and go home. Everyone is happy and no one cares.
So Why Write About It
For the average middle class person anything that goes on involving sex for money and children is anathema to them. Most people are brought up, even in today’s world that you get married, have kids and raise them. Prostitution is immoral and all pedophiles should be castrated.
Papers know this and use it. Rarely do they write about the activities in their own backyard when it’s so much easier to pick a destination such as Pattaya which is known world wide. It makes it even easier if a citizen of the country is the subject matter. Clearly these bad apples in society go to a place where they are clearly accepted if not welcomed with open arms.
They are fluff pieces and easy to write and quick to generate buzz. It is sensationalism at its best and it’s cheap and easy to knock out.
Reality Vs. Perception
Pattaya is a town full of individuals. I mean that in a way, that it’s really made up of people that don’t blend be it Thai or foreigners. The Thai bar scene is thriving just as much as the farang bar scene. I drive past tons of Thai bars full of Thai patrons. These are just watering holes for a Thai to enjoy a drink. They are on equal footing with their foreign counterparts offering similar services to customers.
The whole it’s full of prostitutes catering to foreigners and pedophiles is a joke. Criminal elements aren’t running wild through the streets announcing themselves screaming look at me! I am a criminal! In fact, when a Thai tells you they are mafia you can freely laugh in their face. No real Thai mafia person is going to announce that. Instead, they will just beat the living shit out of you later.
There is also the reality of that this place draws lots of non-sex tourists as well. There are tons of tour groups coming in on package tours from China, Korea, and India. Russian families come here to enjoy the beach (no fucking idea why). Pattaya has a very good food scene if you are a foodie and there is an infrastructure to support all this short of the occasional traffic jam.
Not everyone comes here to get laid and break the law.
Sensationalism Isn’t Journalism
In the end, sensationalism isn’t journalism. It’s just a quick way to get an easy headline for gullible readers who aren’t ever interested in learning what the real Pattaya is like. No one ever bothers to talk to the real Thais without an agenda. Expats that have girlfriends or wives and aren’t out boozing and whoring while running scams or on the run from law enforcement.
To do real journalism would require work and no one wants to pay a journalist anymore to do real leg work. Easier to just run a few Google searches, reach out to well known sources and write a piece that paints an entire city in a bad way.
Many of you already know this but you are biased. You are the 2 week holiday goer here to bang and have a good time. Nothing wrong with that. Just also realize, that there is a lot more to Pattaya than meets the eye and too bad no one ever writes about that.