Tuesday, October 7, 2008

City of Angels???

Bangkok means City of Angels. The actual name of the city is a tongue twisting 20 word soliloquey which means a little bit more than "city of angels", so the fact that the name has been shortened to something quick and easy is actually quite fitting.

Perhaps if you are male, you might well agree that it is a city of angels, with beautiful thai women only too eager to please. Yes this is the heart of sex tourism, where seriously ugly fat old men have no trouble finding a sweet young thing to adoringly hang off their arm. And they are everywhere, on every street, in every restaurant, at least in the expat area in which I stayed during my time in Bangkok. Perhaps if I'd stayed elsewhere it may not have been so obvious. In fact I've heard that Khao San Rd has become a tourist attraction in itself for checking out the western backpackers trying hard to be hippies for a few months with their dreadlocks and tattoos.

Sex tourism is big in Bangkok, with girlie bars and sex shows galore. The commercialisation of sex continues to feed demands for more girls, leading to coersion and the selling of young children into the trade. Of course it isn't just the westerners feeding the demand, thai men regularly visit huge brothels on the outskirts of the city. And apparently prostitution is illegal in Thailand!! Now besides the seamy side of Bangkok, it's a huge modern metropolis with enormous shopping malls, state of the art public transport with the metro and skytrains, and numerous buddhist shrines and temples. I took it pretty easy, just stayed with a friend and got some much needed chores done, like a haircut, applying for a new passport and buying a property!! Transferring that sort of money when you're on holiday can be quite a shock!

I'll be coming and going through Bangkok over the next few weeks and months so I'll add to the photos as I go.

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