Thailand, the former Land of Smiles, is no longer foreigner friendly. Over the past couple of years, attitudes towards foreigners have gone downhill and lately, the ruling junta seems determined to make life miserable for any foreigner in the country.
One would think that PM Prayut, seen above receiving the US Army Legion of Merit for absolutely no other reason than he was at that time the Commanding General of the Royal Thai Army, would love to have foreigners and their money in Thailand.
After all, it was recently reported that Thai Tourism accounts for 17% of GDP. Of course these numbers are pure fiction or wild ass guesses as no one knows how much tourists spend in Thailand.
But, these claims of 32 million tourists in 2016 and the forecast of 34-35 million for 2017 are pure bullshit. The Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Minister of Tourism and Sports have take to calling “tourists” – “arrivals” – meaning that since they are arrivals, the number will be higher and no one will know how many actually holidayed in Thailand or hopped on an outbound plane to Laos, Cambodia, or Vietnam.
A true indicator of how many tourists are actually visiting Thailand, especially during high season, has been reported quite a bit of late. Pattaya, known for its naughty nightlife sex tourism, has seen a rash of bad news – mostly showing its anti-foreign attitude.
It has gotten so bad that the Royal Thai Police are planning a Happy Zone in Pattaya first, and then throughout the country. Absolutely ridiculous. The Thai Government created similar “Safety Zones” back in 2013 that accomplished nothing and were soon forgotten.
So, where is the proof? Have a look at recently reported crimes from sin city from Google News search of – pattaya crime tourists:
Bangkok Post–Jan 29, 2017A Korean tourist known only as Chang Hyun shows a pendant after his necklace was snatched in the early hours of Saturday in Pattaya. (Photo …Pattaya Mail–Feb 16, 2017Jithi said plans are being made to make Pattaya’s beachfront a “safety zone”, an area that receives extra patrols to give tourists peace of mind.Daily Mail–Feb 14, 2017A British tourist was left-red faced after police raided a strip bar where he … Crime-ridden Pattaya is home to thousands of brothels, massage …The Sun–Feb 16, 2017A PAIR of Brit tourists battered each other in the street outside a bar … in notorious Pattaya, Thailand, in the early hours of this morning. … the crime hot spot to clean up the crime-ridden ”sin city” so tourists feel more at ease.Bangkok Post–Feb 2, 2017Finnish tourist Eilo Mario shows a photo of the two necklaces … despite the closed-circuit television cameras installed in the area to deter crime, …Bangkok Post–Feb 16, 2017A security camera in a convenience story captures the attack by an 18-year-old Kuwaiti tourist on his compatriot, also 18, with a friend trying to …Pattaya Daily News (press release)–Feb 3, 2017PATTAYA – February 3,2017 [PattayaDailyNews]; at 00.30am Pol Col … The police officers rushed to inspect the crime scene after they had …Bangkok Post–Feb 3, 2017CHON BURI – A South Korean tourist became another victim of a street thief … and this drove him to commit the crime, he allegedly told police.
Bangkok Post–Jan 30, 2017PATTAYA – Police officers have been ordered to go after snatchers after several tourists visiting the resort city were their target last week.
And, there are many, many more reported and an even greater number not reported.
Over the past couple days there have been raids in selected areas of Pattaya mostly in response to this article on the 27,000 prostitutes in sin city. No mention of the other thousands of hookers throughout the country.
One of the raids caused a bit of embarrassment for a British tourist. The Pattaya prostitutes articles even got Prayut riled up. The raids also selectively shut down a couple of go-go bars. Why these bars were chosen is anyone’s guess.
There was also a “raid” on Khaosan Road in Bangkok supposedly targeting fake ID forgers. But, if you read the article, it looks like only motorcycle taxi touts were “busted”.
But, the most ridiculous signs that the xenophobic Thais are only too happy to rid the country of foreigners are the following stories:
Now, I spend a good amount of time on Thai beaches metal detecting. I have another 3-week vacation scheduled for April. If you saw the amount of trash I pick up, you would be amazed – but no one gets fined for littering on beaches. I know that everyone tosses trash on the beaches – but – beaches I go to that are predominantly visited by Thais are way, way trashier than beaches mostly frequented by foreigners.
The amount of crime being reported daily, especially out of Pattaya, shows that tourism is down, way down – especially now during “high season”. And, now, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports vowed to improve the image of Pattaya much to the chagrin of the hookers making what is estimated $4.3 billion per year for the Thai economy.
She is clueless:
“Tourists don’t come to Thailand for such a thing. They come here for our beautiful culture,” Kobkarn told Reuters.
Kobkarn has never really understood Thai Tourism – especially foreigners. It has gotten so bad of late, that the Ministry of Tourism and Sports blames foreign tourists for all the pirated goods sold in Thailand. Yes, really.
The “Tourism and the War on Piracy” campaign is destined to be another failure.
Anyhow, it looks like things are getting worse and worse day by day over here in what used to be the Land of Smiles.
Watch your back and DON’T FEED THE FISH!
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