Update! Bangkok Escort .com girls can now be found on Smooci. Here you you’ll find exclusive discounts on the Bangkok Escort girls as well as other escort agency girls and freelancers, with live bookings and GPS tracking on all escort arrivals.
Whitney, Faline, Carla and Nelly are young, sexy, sweet and available. Whitney works with BangkokEscort.com while the other 3 ladies are available through PureBangkokEscort.com. Typically escorts in Bangkok can be a little older than the ladies you find in the bars, but these 4 are on the younger side, ranging in age from 18 – 26. In the last of the interview series of articles from my recent soiree to Bangkok, I had a chat with these 4 ladies about the life of an escort in Bangkok working with foreign men.
Fooling around, from left to right: Whitney, Faline, Nelly, Carla
Can you tell me a little about yourselves and how you came to work as an escort? I'm always intrigued on what triggers someone to start dropping their knickers for money.
Whitney: I needed money to take care of my brother and my mother. I have many expenses at home that I need to take responsibility for and as I don't have a Dad to help the family I took that responsibility on myself.
Faline: My parents don't have any money either. I don't want people to gossip about my parents not having money and I wanted to do something to help them so that is why I chose to do this. No-one is happy doing this job. We do it for the money. Let's be frank, it's all about the money.
Carla: Money. We've always had money problems in my family too. We're poor. I'm from Kampeng Phet and we have had debts as long as I can remember. There are kids to be raised and I can make really good money doing this and that is a huge help to the family and makes a big change in everyone's life.
Nelly: I saw a friend doing this work and she made a lot of money and that attracted me. It's fun.
What do you mean by "it's fun"?
Nelly: We get to meet people we would never otherwise meet so it's a chance for new experiences. I meet new people and go to new places I would otherwise never get to experience.
Thailand is changing and attitudes are changing a lot. From when I first moved to Thailand until I left, some things changed markedly and one of those was the general attitudes towards sex. I know the view of older Thais towards what happens in the bedroom which strikes me as rather hypocritical – demean all those who screw around while doing exactly that yourself – but what about young people today? I mean, is sex sacred – for want of a better word – or is it just something you do, to use your own words, for fun?
Whitney: I know a lot of Thai women like foreigners today because the foreigner takes care of them. We get new experiences and money, but it's not just money. Some customers take good care of us and do things with us like take us to places we would never otherwise get to see. They really do take care of us and even just the little stuff like the way they want us to be comfortable is different to what I have experienced with Thai men who for the most part are not like this at all. Take the example of checking in to a hotel – the foreign man will tell me to sit down and he handles everything and looks after me. For Thai men it is different. The style of foreign men makes me happy.
Faline: I'm not so sure about comparing the past with the future. I can only say that I prefer foreign men. Farang men are more sensitive to a woman's needs and I think they are more genuine in looking after a woman than a Thai man.
Whitney: When I genuinely believe that a guy cares about me and makes me feel warm, I want to have sex with him right there and then. I want him so much. It's that feeling that he makes me feel so important to him that makes me want to do everything I can to make him happy too.
Faline: Yes, even if he is not handsome, if he treats me well I want to have sex with him and that is not about the money. I also like it that foreign guys are not picky about how we look. Whether or not I spend a long time applying makeup, he is happy.
Mamasan (interjecting): Farang men bullshit just the same as Thai men. Be careful, girls!
Faline: I even had some Farang guys scrub my feet clean! No Thai guy is ever going to do that!
Whitney: I think for young Thai people things are more relaxed these days with regards not just to sex but to inter-racial relationships and even marriage.
Faline: My parents are happy that I am happy. They see young Thai women have a lot of boyfriends and many think so long as their daughter is happy they are happy. It was not like this in the past. 20 years ago things were completely different.
Whitney, aged 22, has the potential to be an escort superstar.
OK, so while it may be ok for you, how would you feel about those close to you doing as you do, working as an escort? What about people in your family? What about if, say, you have children and they worked as escorts or in another part of the sex industry? How would you feel then?
Whitney: I would be ok with it so long as they took precautions to look after themselves. In that situation I would be ok with it, but they need to take precautions and always practice safe sex.
Carla: I think the world is changing and now students are fxxxing at high school age and some have kids of their own even before they leave school. The way of thinking is changing. I think people see high school kids dating as normal today, the new norm. In the past if unmarried adults so much as held hands in public, people were surprised but now it's completely normal.
Whitney: Let's just say that from when we have our first period, things start happening…
Nelly: I agree with what my friends say. Society has changed and with social media we can see what other people are doing, so we do it too. I think so long as we get good advice to start with then everything should be ok. Good parents will be understanding to the changing ways. When I was young my parents were not close to me and when I had problems they were not so helpful. I had a boyfriend who was very close to me and he helped me and I guess I became closer to him than my family because he was there for me when my parents weren't. My parents gambled money and were often away so what was I supposed to do?
Whitney: There are 5-year old kids with mobile phones posting on social media now. The opportunities to meet people are limitless.
You can have a lot of sex with a lot of customers. Do you get bored of sex? Does sex perhaps become primarily a way to make money and to get what you want from a man?
<I receive 4 sets of very confused looks….they don't get the point I am trying to make.>
Ok, let me try to put it another way. Do you still feel a desire to have sex with a special person when you are having sex on a daily basis, sometimes with multiple partners? For example, I like European chocolate but if I were to eat chocolate every day I would not appreciate it any more.
Whitney: Sometimes I don't feel like it is sex. It is just something we do. I meet a lot of customers and sometimes I feel like a sex machine. If someone pampers me and is gentle with me and makes me feel special and makes me reach orgasm first then that is nice. If he has a big cock and he can get me off and help me to reach orgasm then I really like that.
Faline: For me, sex with customers is just work, servicing customers. There are no feelings. If they ask me what I like, it won't be special. If it is to be special they will figure it out and we will just follow each other's feelings. So many guys ask me what I want to do, and what I like in bed. Can't they figure it out themselves?! When they ask this question it's like they don't actually know, right?
Carla: Sex with a customer and sex with a boyfriend is different. With a customer we follow a routine to reach conclusion, but it's not like that with our special someone.
Whitney: I really don't think that this work prevents us from having feelings with a special person. I try to make every guy happy and try to think of every guy as if he was my husband.
Nelly: If a guy is special, we don't have to just have sex to feel good with him. Just being around him we will have a good feeling…and that will make us want to have sex with him, at least that is how I feel.
What do you think of Western guys, in general? Do you genuinely like them, or are they merely a source of money? Do you think Thai women would like Western men if it was not for the fact that generally we Western men have more money than Thai men, or, forgive me for being harsh, have more money than the Thai men ladies from troubled backgrounds are likely to meet?
Whitney: Personally, I really like farangs a lot.
Whitney: Since I was 14 I have loved foreign guys for their skin, their big nose and I always wanted a foreign sweetheart. I like foreign guys with blue or green eyes. I want to kiss them. I want them. I mean, I really like being with white guys. I see them and I get hot.
Faline: I like farangs A LOT. I can remember when I was young, maybe 10 years old, I talked with my brother and told him that I liked Farang men. I said that when I get a Farang man I would treat my brother well with more food, better food etc. I have always had Farang men in my dreams. The profile of my dream man is very clear – a smartly-dressed Farang. I've always thought that.
Whitney: I find most foreigners are just more polite. Irrespective of whether you're with them in private or in public, they are more polite.
Carla: When I saw ladies with foreign men I was intrigued but I was not always attracted to those men. Sometimes I saw these really tall guys and thought they could hurt me because I am small. I was also kind of scared when it comes to sex because Farangs were said to be sex crazy and could be aggressive in the bedroom and that scared me. But best of all, they can accept everything about us including our background. Thai men can be quite picky and tend to nitpick whereas Farang guys don't.
Nelly: I used to wonder if Farang men were critical. I used to wonder whether they would criticise things because that is the impression I always got – that they were not shy to speak out when things did not go their way or were not what they expected. I like it that many are quite independent in their thinking and they don't follow what others think – so if we get a good guy then he will have his own way of thinking and try to do things in the way he considers is right. Thai men mostly think all the same.
Faline, at 24, is old in this group, but confident and almost refined.
OK, so what about your privacy? Thais are image conscious and in the Internet age reputation is more important than ever. Can you keep your work a secret? I mean your photos are all over escort sites, escort review sites etc.
Faline: If it is possible to keep it as a secret then that is what we will do. Sure, everyone who does this wants to keep it quiet.
Carla: My parents are really anti this sort of work. If they heard I had merely smoked a cigarette they would be furious! They're very old-fashioned in their thinking. That would be enough to set them off crying and make them feel bad about themselves and they would wonder what they did wrong for me to end up like this. So I tell them I work in a company with a salary a bit over 10,000 baht per month. Even if I said I was working at night – not as an escort, but after dark – they would be disappointed. With all of that said, if I had a Farang husband in the future then my mother would be happy as she would see that as a way to a brighter future. My mother's main concern is that I could contract HIV but for me, more than anything, I don't want her to feel bad about the way she raised me.
Faline: Sometimes when we do this work we get stressed so we need some people to confide in. I can be open with my family to the extent that my mother knows what I do but she is the only one.
Whitney: My parents would be worried that I would contract a disease. Some customers are nice and we can talk about our lifestyle with them and they are understanding and can actually make us feel better about ourselves.
You're all young. Do you think that is important to your customers? I ask this because I am in my 40s and I would not be interested in a lady aged under 30, preferably not under 35. I know that, in Thailand at least, I am in a bit of a minority and I find it rather distasteful actually, when I see large age gaps, even when it's a sex worker and everyone is willing. On that note, what do you make of young guys vs. old guys?
Whitney: I really like old guys. They know how to look after a woman best. They have a better sense of what to do and when to do it. They are much better than younger guys in every way.
Nelly: Older guys stay in 5-star hotels and they look after us in 5-star style. I am happiest with older guys.
Faline: Older guys show genuine interest in us and they seem to just understand people and human nature better. In some ways they are almost like a father figure for us. They are warmer and I like being with them. For young guys, they just want to go straight to bed.
Whitney: Some young guys look good!
Faline: I prefer sex with young guys. With older guys, they are less concerned about sex and actually, some of them cannot perform. They can't “stand up”.
Whitney: Some old guys want company and they seem to like just being with us.
Faline: Sometimes I feel that we are like a toy for the younger guys but the older guys seem to show genuine interest in us and who we are. Older guys treat us like a person.
What about if a guy was, say, 35+ years older than you and wanted to marry you – could you?
Whitney: I could so long as they could accept my past doing this work and they could take care of my family. If they could do that and the feeling with them was good then yes, I could marry him. He'd be almost 60, but I could be with a guy that age ok.
Faline: If he had the capability to look after me, then yes, I would be ok with that. I don't want to do this work forever and sooner or later I want to meet someone. OK, I am ready to stop now if the right guy comes along so I would ok with it.
Whitney: My family is very important. He needs to accept that.
Faline: He needs to understand Thai culture and the importance of looking after our family.
Whitney: For me, he needs to accept I have a baby.
Nelly: I'm 18. 35 years older means he would be 53. I could accept a 53-year old guy. I would hope that he would be able to support my family in case of any problems. In return I could love any kids he may have too. I would simply want to be together with a good guy and be happy.
Carla: I would be happy to meet the right guy, irrespective of age. So long as he is a good guy who can fulfill the core responsibilities of a good husband then I would be happy. Age is just a number. I would hope that we could understand each other, trust each other and then everything else should be ok. Sex is just a small part of it and that is perhaps the downside with older guys. The sex is not as good as with a young guy but the overall experience and the warmth from an older man is better, at least in my experience. I just want to find a guy who I can truly love and who will truly love me. If you find true love I think everything in life will be great!
Nelly, just 18 years old, is as young as an escort can be in Thailand.
Why should guys pay you money when it's so easy to meet Thai women online these days and get it for free, even if you are not the most desirable sort of guy?
Faline: In my way of thinking, we are a little different and, well, we are not available on these sites so if you want to meet us then the escort site is the only place to find us. Sex is for money, not for free.
Whitney: I am confident that I will be better in bed than those girls. Really, I am great in bed and I will make you feel special like you wouldn't believe. You don't need to worry about anything. You will be a king in bed.
Faline: You can check on the website and see what we can do so you can fulfill your fantasies. I don't know about the girls on those dating websites but you cannot be sure what you're getting. With us, you know what you're getting. A lot of guys like oral sex and we guarantee we do it – and we do it very, very well.
Do you manage to save money?
Faline: When I have everything – a house, a car and some money then I can stop. We do everything for family, but when I have helped them only then will I help myself. In my dreams I would like to travel all around the world – that would make me happy.
Carla: I want to clear debts.
What is the hardest part about this work?
Faline: I worry that people will look at us in a bad way, especially other Thai women. They don't respect us at all and many look at us like we are dirty. Maybe they think we have diseases and they can be very impolite in what they say to us. I don't like the way some people look down on us. That, for me, is the most difficult part.
Whitney: Meeting a customer who wants to do things that are not safe like he might try to have sex without putting on a condom. Some guys resist and try to pull it off and we have to tell them not to do that. Some customers like aggressive sex. That's the scary part. I really hate guys who smell bad and unfortunately that is a problem. And if they cannot come and they smell bad and I have to keep going then that isn't nice. Some guys can get drunk and they can lose their temper quickly and that can be really scary. That can be a stressful part of the job. Some try to force us to use drugs and I won't ever do that.
Faline: Hotel staff look down on us. Reception staff are the worst and they make us feel bad. They can look at us badly or say bad words about us. I have had arguments with hotel staff who have asked for our ID card and speak badly to us and sometimes I won't accept it and will say something. I really don't like that part of the job. It's hard to accept that.
Carla: We get looked down on. Thai people know what we do and look badly at us.
Whitney: I don't like it when I go to dinner with a guy who is short. We wear high heels to look good but if he is really short it looks silly!
Faline: Sometimes I have a booking and I think a lot beforehand about how the guy will be and I can make myself worry a lot.
Whitney: Sometimes reception can ask what nationality the guy we're going to see is but we don't know so how can we answer that? Why do they ask? They know what we're doing but they make us feel bad…I don't like that!
Faline: Some hotel staff are really picky and if we cannot pronounce the customer's name correctly at reception they will deny that person is even there, even when we have a booking from him!
Carla, at 26 years of age, is the oldest of the ladies interviewed.
Carla: Sometimes the guy does not want to pay at the start. That is a problem. I wonder if they have the money to pay. What can we do? This is sometimes a problem!
Faline: I don't like guys who are super confident in themselves. They think they are God and they look at us like we're no good. I really don't like that. Why do they do that? It kills the mood and their experience won't be so good because of their own bad attitude.
Whitney: We try to be nice to everyone but some guys aren't nice to us and while we try to be professional, it affects everything. We're trying to build feelings but if you don't smile then how can we have a good feeling? Be nice to us and it makes it easier for us to be nice to you!
Faline: If a customer cancels when he sees us, that would be bad. It has never happened to me but I know it has happened to some.
Whitney: It's never easy when a guy doesn't want to shower beforehand.
Faline: It's hard to kiss a guy who has not brushed his teeth and has bad teeth. That is really hard. Oh, and I hate it when a guy says he showered before I got there but I can smell him and he hasn't showered. That really annoys me!
Any good experiences?
Whitney: Some guys are very generous and want to buy us nice food. I have said I like strawberries or something like that and they have prepared it or they ordered it in. That's really nice when a guy does things like that and when they serve us it really makes us feel special.
Faline: One time I had a fight with reception and they didn't let me go up to the customer's room. They said that I should not go up because I might steal something from the customer. The customer had to come down and he complained really strong with the reception manager. He explained that I was his girlfriend and reception had no right to dress me down like that – and he did it right there in front of everyone. I felt so good! I really don't like it when hotel staff treat us so badly. I am patient, but there are limits!
Nelly: Some 5-star hotel staff look at us like we don't belong there!
Whitney: Some really nice guys walk us through the lobby hand in hand and maybe even carry some of our stuff and can make it look like we are a long-term couple. That makes things easier.
Faline: I like it when the customer says, "This is my girlfriend." I have been overseas with some guys and it's really nice when they look at us like we are their girlfriend and not just a girl they have ordered in. That makes it better for both of us! It makes us want to make them super happy too because that is what they have done to us.
Ok, we have probably talked for too long already. Before we end this, do you have any message for my readers?
Faline: If you want to have a nice experience, show an interest in us – and you will get it back and more.
Nelly: We are happy to hear about your life and learn about it. We offer more than just a bedroom experience.
Faline: You can be open with us and we can be open with you.
Whitney: Any guy who wants to meet me, I will make you feel special on the bed, in my company and at the dinner table. If you're lonely, come and see me, and I promise you I will make you happy and take your stress away. I will make you smile. If you like Thai food I'll cook for you. I'll make you feel like you're a teenager again. I want to make you happy!
Faline: I'll be the natural Viagra for you!
Carla: I can be your friend, your lover, your guide; whatever you're looking for I can do it. Just tell me what you're looking for! I can be your nurse…anything!
Nelly: If you want us to wear a special dress, tell us. Whatever you're looking for, we will try to accommodate it.
Whitney: If you're looking for kinky or special sex, I will do my best to make you happy. I'll make you so tired you won't be able to leave the bed!
Where was this photo taken?
Last week's photo was taken of the bridge at the western end of the Saen Saeb Canal boat route. Think you know Bangkok well? Where is this branch of Starbucks? I am pretty sure it only opened in the last 6 months…
FROM STICK'S INBOX (These are emails from readers and what is written here was not written by Stick.) Preference may be given to emails which refer to the previous week's column.
What you can't find in the Nana area.
On the corner of Sukhumvit Road and soi 4 there's a gas station, McDonald's and beyond that there used to be an Internet shop. Many years ago I met a lady who would write "I love you always, send money" romance emails for the bargirls who didn't know English script. She claimed she was a virgin. I'm having a beer with a rather corpulent American buddy at the Nana Hotel outside bar and I mention, "Hey, I met a girl about 26 years old who claimed she was a virgin". My friend bellows at the top of his lungs, "There's isn't a virgin within 30 miles in any direction of this place!"
I would like to draw your attention about getting scammed at relatively unsuspecting places this week. During the middle of the week, I went to an Arabic restaurant at Sukhumvit Soi 4 with a friend. Initially we ordered one plate of prawns with rice and one plate of grilled chicken. The waitress insisted it wasn't enough for two persons. So we order another plate of grilled chicken. But when the food was served we found the portions too large for two people, and had to ask them make half of the food "to go" in a Styrofoam box. But the real surprise was the bill. It was a whopping 2,500 baht! The next morning I went to the pharmacy at Onut. I asked for ten packs of a medicine. They told me that they had nine packs in their stock. So I paid for nine. But back home I noticed that they've given me only seven packs! Some lessons learned for me.
Angeles.It's not only Thailand that has the odd problem with security. At SM Clark Mall there are metal detectors set up at every entrance where bags are, briefly, searched. However, there are a number of restaurants within the mall which also have entrances on to the street. Yes, you've guessed it, there is nothing to stop anyone walking in to the restaurant from the street through the restaurant and into the mall!
Cheapest is not always best.
I was a bit surprised at readers talking about cheapest flight options. The biggest risk of long haul travel is DVT, which is a direct result of being in the same position for hours and hours. I would have thought having 4 hours to stretch your legs and walk around would be a smaller risk than getting off one plane and straight on to another!
Thumbs up for Chef Luis.
Chef Luis may just be the best interview on your site in recent memory. A reader can learn more about the cultures of 4 countries in this guy's observations than they could reading guidebooks or essays by academic types. He's spot on about the American experience because of vastly different perceptions about food, politics and immigration depending upon what part of the US you find yourself. The distinctions he makes between China and Thailand go a long way in answering a ton of other questions about the realities of social and business interactions.
Give me the West.I have always been amazed at you and others who spend years in Bangkok or anywhere in Thailand. Since the first time I went there – I went to Phuket first – I thought it was a shithole, a novelty. I don't know how you held out there as long as you did. I was always happy to return home. When you live in a clean country again, you see how hard it is to return to the filth of Bangkok. But of course you had a good biz and friends there. I have been away for several months now and do not want to return, but I still have one condo left to sell so will return for two months this winter to get it sold.
The sign for the new branch of The Den has gone up in Patpong but there's still no sign of it actually opening. I don't wish to piss on anyone's parade, but I'm dubious about a freelancer venue operating by day in Patpong and don't see it becoming a hit. I hear that The Den in soi 12 has a following amongst some bar bosses who go there on the hunt.
The owner of Bangkok Bunnies acquired the lease for two bars on the top floor of Nana – Billboard and Bubbles – but won't be developing that space himself. Instead an American couple is behind it with the new bar called Big Boobie Bar. The concept will no doubt have widespread appeal.
The Nanapong dance contest held in Dollhouse in Soi Cowboy last night was said to be a great success. The girls on stage got up to the usual dance contest antics and the eventual winner didn't even realise she had won!
There are reports from different parts of the country – smaller centres with a nightlife area but not what you'd call nightlife strongholds or major sex tourism destinations – where bars are being forced to close the doors at midnight. There have been reports from Chiang Mai that nightspots must close by midnight and it has been like that in Udon Thani. Apparently it's no different in Khon Kaen where the nightlife areas may look vibrant with lots of bars, but are said to be at an all time low – from the bar owners' perspective. Quite simply, there are many bars but few expats drinking in town. Add to this that some of the small single-shophouse bars have higher salaries to pay and rents in excess of 40,000 baht per month, and things aren't good for those who have to pay the bills come month's end.
From across the seas, I hear that many bars in Angeles City are looking for girls. I have never been to the Philippines, but those who have been often tell me that one of the big differences between gogo bars in Thailand and gogo bars in Angeles is that in the Philippines they are full of girls with some boasting a lineup of 300 dancers. If these venues have signs up outside looking for staff does this mean that more are required? Or perhaps that there is an influx of customers and not enough girls to accommodate them? Or maybe these signs are simply a permanent fixture on the outside of the bars? Without knowing what the norm is in Angeles it's hard to know what's going on – but it does make me wonder if it's not just the bars in Thailand that are having problems recruiting.
There is some confusion over the minimum age to work in a bar and the minimum age for a lady to work as a prostitute in Thailand. The law states that employees in bars and nightspots must be aged at least 20. When it comes to prostitution or laws which relate to sex, the law states that it's illegal to have sex with anyone aged under 15. In the case of anyone aged 15, 16, or 17, permission must be sought from the parents of that person….hence you shouldn't find working girls under the age of 18.
Is a coyote who is available really a coyote? When coyotes first hit the farang bars some 10 odd years ago (a few years after they had made a big splash in some of the better Thai bars), they generally were not available. While they danced sexy on stage, they dressed differently to the gogo girls, they really could dance and they could not be barfined (although many would be available to meet up with a guy at the end of the night). These days the line between gogo dancers and coyote dancers has become blurred to the point that coyotes are nothing like the coyotes of old – not coyotes in the pure definition – and perhaps more like a premium gogo dancer. Rather than term them coyotes – which tends to confuse things totally – should the "coyotes" dancing in farang gogo bars perhaps be termed something else? There is so much negativity with coyotes that if I was running a bar I would not want that word associated with the bar, even if they were coyotes in the true sense of the word. Calling them premium gogo girls or something like that might be better, perhaps?
It has been my observation that bargirls tend to latch on to a guy not necessarily who can provide for them, but who they feel they can manipulate. Don't expect them to latch on to the wealthiest guy. Often a better target might be a guy with money who is weak i.e. who can be manipulated. The super wealthy guy may have more about himself – and these girls may see that and go for a softer target.
Regular travellers know that there are various items you cannot take in to the cabin of a flight, including sharp objects and bottles of liquids exceeding a certain size. A Thai female friend of a friend was shocked when airport security told her that the expensive perfume she wished to take on board the flight was not allowed, and worse still, that it would be confiscated. It was discarded in to a large tub in which she could see many bottles of perfume, pairs of scissors, nail files and other prohibited objects. That was bad enough, but what really got her back up was when she heard a rumour that these items are not actually destroyed but distributed amongst security staff (which I personally happen to think is a good thing as it seems to be a dreadful waste to needlessly throw away perfectly decent items). This really set her off and that Thai penchant for revenge came to the fore. She was livid that someone was going to get her expensive bottle of perfume so she devised a plan. When her perfume ran out, she kept the bottles, and the next time she flew through the airport, she took 2 bottles of perfume with her. Except they did not contain perfume, rather she had filled the bottles with fish sauce. Just as she expected – and hoped – would happen, the bottles were confiscated. She hopes that the bottles were distributed amongst the staff and that someone got the fright of their life when they went to spray the elegant fragrance on to themselves and ended up reeking of fish sauce!
There's something about the term "bucket list" which irritates me. I can't put my finger on what it is, but whenever I hear the term it just, well, annoys me. And often when you hear the term bucket list, you also hear Bangkok. Maybe it is a down under thing, or an international i.e. outside Thailand thing, but so many people who talk about their bucket list mention Bangkok – and specifically Bangkok as opposed to just Thailand. While some say that peak Thailand has passed and that the military government / anti-foreigner sentiment / increased prices / fewer smiles will all contribute to a downturn in tourism numbers, I say no way. Thailand's tourism industry is going to march on, and I would not be surprised to see it experience double percentage point growth year on year for many years to come.
Quote of the week comes from a reader, "Don't make Vietnamese ladies pissed – Saigon ladies have acid while Hanoi ladies have scissors!"
Reader story of the week comes from Hua Hin Harry, "Online Dating – Can It ‘Work’…? – Part 8".
Andrew Drummond takes a glimpse at the life of a colourful Norwegian who was living like royalty in Pattaya.
The issue of foreigners being charged many times the price Thais are charged makes the mainstream news again.
The constabulary catches up with a Russian who stabbed and killed an old lady's dog.
A video clip of Thai nightspot bouncers kicking and hitting a foreign tourist in Phuket has gone viral.
And there are conflicting accounts of the incident where the Thai security guards bash Aussie visitors to Phuket.
The case of an American wrongly accused of molesting young boys and arrested in Pattaya shows how scary Thailand can be.
Ask Sunbelt Asia Legal
Sunbelt Asia's legal department is here to answer your questions relating to legal issues and the law in Thailand. Send any legal questions you may have to me and I will pass them on to Sunbelt Legal and their response will run in a future column. You can contact Sunbelt's legal department directly for all of your legal needs.
Question 1: We have a farm just outside Mae Sai in Northern Thailand. We were having trouble with rats as well as feral cats eating our baby chickens so I purchased an air gun rifle. I had no trouble buying it from the store over one year ago and it worked well. I have been back in Australia working for a few months and just had a panicked call from my partner to say police had been to the farm. She was not there at the time nor do we know why at this point the reason they came. She is very worried about what would happen if the police found the air rifle, so my question is this: Is it legal to have an air rifle?
Sunbelt Legal responds: Air rifles are considered firearms under Thai law and are required to be registered. Any type of pistol that shoots bullets, either by air pressure or gun powder, is covered by this requirement. The user will also need to be licensed. The penalty for not having the proper licenses is either a fine up to 10,000 baht or imprisonment of 5 years or both. Those in possession of unregistered firearms receive harsher penalties.
BB guns do not require registration and so are a better alternative for farm use, such as shooting rodents or feral cats.
Question 2: Last week someone asked a question again about divorce issues in the US versus Thailand. The answer starts out that the divorce can be done in US or Thailand and that property is divided 50 : 50. Then the added Thai property issue in that land in Thai solely belongs to the wife. Under Thailand law, if you had property also acquired in the US during the marriage, could not the person argue that the wife keeps full value of the home in Thailand while you keep the full value of the house in the US? I know in the US you could claim the value during your divorce regardless of what the Thai government makes you sign. Under Thai law, would the Thai be entitled to half the US house while keeping the Thai home? Can a person when they sign the papers for the Thai house, also ask the wife to sign a paper giving them full rights to the US house? What's good for one on paper should be good for the other!
Sunbelt Legal responds: If during marriage the Thai spouse acquires real estate property (excluding condominiums), then Thai law requires that the foreign spouse sign a form relinquishing any ownership rights in the property and that the property is not a marital asset.
However, Thai law does not apply to US properties so you should contact a lawyer in the US state where your property is located to determine divorce laws there. If you own property in the United States you may wish to execute a prenuptial agreement there but it is best to talk it over with a lawyer there first.
Boobs on bikes, captured in downtown Auckland this week.
Thailand is shedding its reputation for sex tourism as the country experiences record visitor numbers with sex tourists making up but a very small percentage of visitors these days. You'd never think of New Zealand as a sex tourist destination and it isn't, but at the same time commercial sex is much more open in New Zealand than in Thailand with the country's leading newspaper featuring dozens of advertisements for freelancing prostitutes and brothels. And perhaps what is more amazing is that as far as pricing goes, the developed country is significantly cheaper. It's something that needs a closer look in an upcoming column.
Your Bangkok commentator,