Bangkok III: Chinatown. Sukhumvit Road
Sukhumvit Road, infamous for so many reasons. Cowboy Road (“Soi Cowboy”) is full of middle aged white men with their Thai girls, (s)exploiting the 3% Thai economy devoted entirely to its prostitution industry.
There are numerous “how to” books found in the bookstores here, all of them a tad entertaining:
Being an anti-prohibitionist, I don’t find anything particularly appaling about this particular part of Bangkok. Prostitution is isolated to three key areas in Bangkok: PatPong, Cowboy Road and Nana Plaza, also in Sukhumvit. That’s the way to do it, I say, give the police one thing left to worry about, and keep the debauchery in controllable areas. We Americans are naive enough to think that we can just illegalize the oldest profession in history, and that will stop it. The Thai seem to know what they’re doing.
Still, walking along Sukhumvit Road, it’s hard to look at Thai women the same way. When you’re jumped by dozens at a time, all feigning interest “where are you from you so handsome blah blah” for some quick cash, it’s hard to leave that area and see all the other Thai women as sincere. Suddenly you become suspicious of every word they say. If only it were as easy to isolate our perceptions…
Thailand has the sorry reputation of being a sexpat haven, which I must say it is, but Bangkok is so much more than that, it’s disappointing that when white men sometimes meet Thai women, the first thing they ask them is questions about prostitution.
On the other hand, you know that saying: “ïf they looked up the word ‘Stupid’ in the dictionary, there would be a picture of you!”
Well, if you looked up “Prostitution” in wikipedia, there would be a picture of Cowboy Road in Bangkok. SERIOUSLY. I dare you to try.
Hey, the world’s most infamous prostitution street had tons of elephants! Baby elephants, momma and poppa elephants! It was awesome! Sadly I did not wear a Cowboy hat once while on Cowboy Road…
Oh yes, and for anyone who thinks it odd to walk down areas like this in the middle of the night, remember Jesus’ best female friends, including Mary Magedeline, were all whores. Dirty, stinky, Biblical whores.
The most carefree, cheap and fascinating area I’ve been to in Bangkok is Chinatown. It was better than when I went to China! I’ve ended up in Chinatown three times, each on a long journey back to my $7 hotel in Khao San. Every time was unforgettable, packed with people and incredibly small markets, Chinese food that they sometimes just give you, respectable bands of people living in dark, wallowing apartments.
Did I mention all the buildings in Bangkok are delapidated as hell? Chinatown though makes the rest of Bangkok look like a 4 star hotel. The buildings here aren’t just delapidated, they’re half-torn down as if from sub-atomic blast, and are on fire! Seriously, I saw at least two of these buildings burning down as I passed, with shrugging Chinese watching and eating eggrolls, while the fire trucks went to business as usual.
I just applied for my Visa to Laos! I’m so freaking excited!
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