Greetings from Thailand: Hidden misconceptions
There are misconceptions and misplaced ideas about Thailand that may need to be clarified. These mostly revolve around the supercharged sexual stories of travelers past. The people are actually modest and innocent. They are polite and have a culture that focuses heavily on respect. Respect your elders and don’t put your feet up on the table. Regardless, there are still areas in tourist cities that have a ridiculous sex culture.
This last weekend, I went to Kor Larn to visit a beach. Nearby, lies one of the fabled nightlife areas of Thailand called Walking Street, in Pattaya. To clarify, Kor Larn is an island off the coast of Pattaya. Pattaya is one of the more popular tourist areas. It is a beautiful place, but some of the areas are exactly what give Thailand a dirty name. It is full of shocking experiences and prostitutes.
The word is these “working girls” are taught to be that way. The foreigners travel to Thailand with aggressive personalities and strange expectations. Over time, a subculture emerges that caters to the upfront and direct wants if western foreigners. Most people hate that this happens.
There was a particular street that spanned about four blocks. It was lined, shoulder to shoulder, with girls that wanted your money. They would yell all kinds of sexual statements and describe blatantly sexual situations and describe that it was cheap. I chose to continue walking, all the while trying figure out what was happening around me.
This outlandish behavior is obviously different from all other areas of the country. It doesn’t take long to see it. Most western people will have expectations to find the naughty section of Thailand, but that’s because the environment is perpetuated by people like me, writing about the experience and spreading the word. Articles get written, blog posts get posted, and people will return from Thailand and tell all their friends.
I would like people to know Thailand as the respectful, beautiful place that it is. You don’t have to go far from Pattaya to find a respectful environment. As previously mentioned, across the water is the island of Kor Larn. It is vastly different. The island provides the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. The water is clear way past your feet and the sand is white as the moon. On top of this, the restaurants on the beaches serve delicious seafood for only a couple dollars a plate. The sky is clear and the wind refreshing.
If you bust your foot on a rock outside the swim borders, there are first aid stands with cleaning alcohol and band-aids. You can pay a dollar to designate a chair and umbrella to yourself for the entire day. The ambience provides for the perfect nap. The beach has all you need to have a fun day.
It is a shame that such a wonderful, family friendly place is within such short range of one of the most ridiculous night lives found in the world.