A Guide For An Outrageous Vacation
The Thai Way
Be careful what you wish for...
For a couple years now, the Thai government has been on a Social Order crusade. (Perhaps they're taking their cues from America's religious right? No, no, perish the thought!)
The idea is to save their youth from drugging, drinking, and whoring. What this means in reality is that bars must now close at 1 am instead of 2 am, including those in the tourist areas where no underage (or overage) Thais patronize anyway as those places are too expensive.
The bars have also toned down the racy shows (Bummer! I say, bummer!) Now just who, other than sex tourists, came to Thailand in significant numbers during the Tsunami, Avian bird flu, and SARS crises?
The Thai government, in its venerable wisdom, has publicly declared they want only "Family" tourists; not those who come to have a good time. The government should be mindful of the adage "Be careful what you wish for; for you may get it." If the government really puts teeth into its campaign, it runs the risk of killing the golden goose of tourism.
As you might guess, whoring itself has not really been reduced; just slightly changed. For example, due to the Nana Entertainment Plaza's new early closing time of 1 am, the Nana Hotel's parking lot - just across the street - has become a literal open-air brothel meeting place after 1 am. It's a very seedy scene and I'm sure the Thais are somewhat embarrassed.
The other, positively brilliant, change I came across is in the realm of alcohol - a substance which is near and dear to all Thais. I wanted to get a couple bottles of wine. Couldn't do it. There are no sales to anyone under 18 OR between the hours of midnight to 11 am and 2 pm to 5 pm.
But if you are purchasing 10 liters or more of alcohol, you can buy it any time and restrictions don't apply!
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