RIHANNA VISITS PHUKET AND EXPOSES ITS DIRTY SECRETS – Phuket, Thailand despite the amount of bad press, really does hold a wonder for many foreigner tourists.
However, are the wonders for all the wrong reasons; that is are foreign tourists mostly made up of men simply looking for cheap booze and equally cheap and easy sex?
According to the Thai authorities there is no prostitution in Thailand, for such an act is illegal under its plethora of morality laws.
Recently, the international pop star Rihanna visited Phuket and her activities on Twitter now appear to have the Thai authorities rallying around trying to subvert the damage to Phuket’s family destination holiday image.
There are some who feel that the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has never really cottoned on to the fact that the internet can expose the truth in the blink of an eye; it can of course also spread lies in order to ruin the image of a person, group or indeed an entire country.
So what’s the entire ruckus about? This particular issue falls in just one spot; that being Soi Bangla in Patong, Phuket.
One of the first images of Rihanna’s trip to cause public outrage was of her holding a Lorrie; a creature that is not only protected under Thai law but is also highly endangered.
From the flurry of activity on Twitter it was immediately obvious that Rihanna wasn’t aware that she was paying a tout for the pleasure of having her photo taken whilst holding an adorable creature, that is in fact endangered and where they are ‘supposedly’ protected by law.
This of course doesn’t stop the touts, for you can visit Soi Bangla any night of the week and there will be a parade of touts with all manner of protected animals; all in front view of the police who simply turn a blind eye – or worse are paid to.
The fact is that Rihanna was subjected to a quick, short and sharp education lesson and therefore decided to look a little closer at Soi Bangla.
Considering prostitution is illegal, along with lewd acts, it didn’t take Rihanna long to release another tweet which read;
“Either I was phuck wasted last night, or I saw a Thai woman pull a live bird,2 turtles,razors,shoot darts and ping pong, all out of her pu$$y.”
The issue here is that unless you are blind then the problems facing Soi Bangla, which reflects not just on Phuket but also Thailand as a whole, need seriously looking at.
We live in an electronic world where getting the message out can be achieved in an instant. A quick press of a button and you have a photograph that can be uploaded to a plethora of social networks. Take a moment more and a description of what you are seeing, hearing and experiencing reaches a worldwide audience.
Long gone are the days of media containment; for everything and anything can be reported to a worldwide audience in a heartbeat.
One of the issues that plague Thailand is its inability to produce a long-term solution to a problem; many have voiced their concerns that the Thai authorities merely place a band-aid over a gaping wound hoping the victim will survive.
A perfect example here is the action taken by Patong’s authorities after Rihanna uploaded the photograph of her and the Lorrie condemning the practice; that was after she was told exactly what was going on and of course she had to protect her own image.
The result was the authorities immediately called upon the police to arrest those touts with Lorries.
It could be construed as a commendable effort in reducing this vile trade but the truth is only two people were arrested and even they were quickly given bail; it’s likely they were back on the streets with their Lorries the very next night.
During the arrests a number of people noted that the police only targeted two touts and ignored all others carrying endangered animals. Yes, it was nothing more than applying a band-aid to the situation and it didn’t take long to remove it.
Did you know Lorries bite? Like any wild animal it will do it’s best to protect itself and often biting is the mode of defence. However with the Lorries that these Patong touts own there is no chance of that happening for it is widely known that these Lorries have had their teeth extracted.
It is, in any sense of the word, a highly cruel and despicable trade.
Patong is eroding under the weight of its own sleaze; often perpetrated by greed that is fueled by corruption.
Sun, sand and sea… it’s more like sun, stink and sex with a goodly measure of sleazy and despicable activities thrown in for good measure.
Patong of course couldn’t survive without the number of tourists visiting Phuket and for some reason there appears no shortage of men, from all nationalities and age groups, willing to sit and drink large quantities of alcohol whilst fondling one or two bar girls – a notable extract from Rihanna’s twitter comments.
Patong does of course have other attributes; there is the constant stink of raw sewage that flows through the open gutters from every hotel, bar, shop and restaurant.
There is also the glamour as transvestites line Soi Bangla in their wonderfully colorful costumes; of course darting in and out of these and every other person in Soi Bangla are the dozens of underage children; mainly girls from the ages of 4 and upwards.
These children should be tucked up in bed asleep in the safety of their homes with dreams of a future. However, they are often forced to sell flowers to the foreigners who are grinding against the one of hundreds of bar girls, all hell-bend in securing a foreigner for the night in order to have their palms crossed with silver.
These issues only scratch the surface on the problems of Patong, we could mention the issues with Tuk Tuk’s and how they have managed to secure every parking spot – despite the previous Governor and officials from Bangkok clearly labeling some as designated public parking spots.
We recently published an article “Two Week Holiday Hell in Thailand” which received some of the vilest comments we have ever read. Meebal.com has a policy of not moderating comments because people need to be able to see how others react – they also have a democratic right to voice their opinions.
What most people failed to take into account was the ‘perception’ of a tourist visiting Thailand and that whilst it may only be one voice, that voice in the digital era is able to propagate quickly and therefore cause irrevocable damage to Thailand’s image.
However, I will say this, in the words of the well-known journalist Richard Littlejohn…
“Not for the first time it’s obvious that those ‘liberals’ who preach ‘tolerance’ are themselves the most vile, intolerant bigots imaginable.”
What was disturbing about so many of the comments is that not one of them offered up any solutions – it was nothing short of a deplorable attack on the person’s character and an unequivocal denial that Phuket has any issues.
There are those who will vigorously defend Thailand and what goes on within its seedy and highly questionable tourist industry.
Of course this article may be perceived as having little to do with Thailand’s tourist industry on the whole but rather a tiny fragment of it.
Unfortunately, as with the Twitter message from Rihanna’s account, people and above all the Thai authorities, must understand that there are millions of people who are completely ignorant to the geography of Thailand and will therefore condemn the entire country – it is this very fact why Thailand must either accept that change must occur if it does indeed want to attract a much wider demographic and geographic foreign clientele.