Thailand's sex trade has left a mark on people's impression of the Land of Smiles.
It's a pity because Thailand is such a beautiful country with such a rich culture.
Thailand has long enjoyed an unsavory reputation for "sex tourism" that begun during the Vietnam war.
Later on it grew with world wide affordable world travel.
Sensationalist Western Media "Reporters" love to concentrate on Bangkok and Pattaya on the well-known "tourist Sex" industry.
But this is only a very small part of the wide spread local Thailand sex industry.
Prostitution is a very old, even ancient phenomenon, and is not something that begun with tourists in Thailand and South East Asia.
However, a more than unpleasant by-product of the new "sex tourism" is AIDS which has been brought to Asia.
Reduce the risk of getting AIDS or other STDs by using condoms (properly).
The use of condoms and common sense prevent most STDs anyways.
Whether exaggerated by sensationalism and "news reporting" or not: prostitution is illegal in Thailand since 1960.
Granted - the law may be rarely enforced and is also widely tolerated amongst Thais.
The exact extent of
• child prostitution
• sex trafficking
• and sex slavery
in the country is not known today. Thai law specifies that the age of consent for sex work is 18. Unfortunately there are still many underage Thais working this scene.
Like most numbers and statistics in Thailand the numbers of prostitutes here vary greatly depending on who is doing the research.
The numbers of prostitutes catering to foreign clientele certainly appear to be high by observation in areas like
• Koh Samui
It seems that given the nature of the service provided that the use of proper protection would be common sense.
In any case your health in Thailand and knowing how to keep it good is a main priority. Condoms are available just about anywhere. Pornography is illegal in Thailand and possession of child pornography is a crime. Southeast Asian countries unfortunately have also become popular for foreign child sex predators.
The Thai Government is enforcing laws on this issue and is prosecuting offenders.
Many Western countries prosecute their nationals for sex crimes committed abroad.