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The Role of the Thai Prostitution and the Thai King in Economic Development

with 42 comments

By Mr. Tony
Originally posted at:

What a tourist first see and asked after he sets his foot on Thailand, it must be the thousand portraits of the Thai King (Bhumibol Adulyadej). The King’s portrait (and the Queen’s) can be seen in stores, people’s homes, hospitals,

Portrait of Bhumibol Aduljadej

schools, outside on city streets, billboards, bridge crossings…everywhere decorated artfully throughout Thailand and when he gets in a taxi then the first question he is asked is if he needs a girl.

This is what we call Thailand, the typical country in the world. The land that the king is demanded to be loved by all. Constitutionally, he is above all, protected by the lése majesté which none is allowed to criticize him for his bad deed. He is credited as the symbol of the political intervention and unity of thecountry for his role in Thai political intervention and facilitating Thailand´s transition to democracy and even the symbol of economic development for his various development projects which these are reasonably or unreasonably believed and recognized by the Thais. With all these, he is respected like the semi-divine god king.

Comparatively, the prostitution also comes next to the image of the Thai King when one thinks of Thailand because Thailand is known as the Disneyland of sex tourism in the world which brings about the economic development to its zenith promoted by the government in order to attract more foreign tourists and investors to the country.

Actually, tourists will not come to Thailand if they just come to see the white sand beach, ancient temples and other natural beauty, since such things can be seen almost anywhere in the world and it is even ridiculous to say that tourists come toThailand because they want to eat Thai food, since most of tourists still prefer the western , Japanese, Korean, and Chinese food during their visits which is available everywhere throughout Thailand.

Historically, Thailand’s prostitution has existed since the Ayuddhya period (1350-1767) and it becomes flourished especially during the Vietnam War in the 20th century and afterward to the present day.

The prostitution has now become the part of Thai society in both culture and economic development and politic which Thailand cannot survive without it. However, sadly the prostitution is not legalized and the prostitutes who most of them are from the poor family are being viewed as an object and have been looking down bythe Thai elites as dog, the sub-human and the ignorant and with this it makes their dignity becomes less valuable and respected in Thai society.

In this point of view that the prostitutes or the poor, as the citizen of Thailand, must fight for their role and dignity respected just like other people in the country, the middle class, the elites and the king of Thailand for they have the same role in social development and political stability. Or at least I can say that the prostitutes have even more important role than that ofthe king of Thailand in the Thai society in both economic development and political stability.

This daring statement proved to be right because if we reasonably look closely into their contributions to the Thai economic development and political stability by the prostitution, we can understand that it is critically more important.

In Thailand the king is admired for his social development project and his role in political intervention. But the thing is not that true as its nature because most ofthe king´s projects are implemented under the financial and political support of the government.

For instance, in the military governments of Sarith Dhanarajata and his successors (1958–1980), Bhumibol was re-portrayed as the “Development King” and the source of the economic and political goals of the regime. Royally-initiated projects were implemented under the financial and political support ofthe government, including projects in rural areas and communities under the influence of the Communist Party of Thailand.

During the civilian governments of General Pem Tinsulanond (1981–1987), Prem, later to become President of Bhumibol’s Privy Council, officially allocated government budgets and manpower to support royal projects. Most activities in this period involved the development of large scale irrigation projects in rural areas.

During the modern period (post-1988), the structured development of the Royal Projects reached its apex. Bhumibol’s Chaipattana Foundation was established, promoting his ”sufficiency economy” theory, which is an alternative adopted by the period’s elected governments. Following the 2006 coup, establishment of a “sufficiency economy” was enshrined in the constitution as being a primary goal ofthe government.

So we can see that all the projects of Bhumibol, the king of Thailand, are initiated maybe mostly by his surrounding and the government. It seems that Bhumibol is able to do nothing if his surrounding and the Thai government have not been extending their initiation, support, and implementation, because the king seems to be just a symbol only rather than the real key actor of development. In fact the government can carry out such projects by itself and even reduce bureaucracy, expense and improve effectiveness.

Only in the the military regime of Plaek Pibul Songrgram (1951–1957) that Bhumibol managed to initiate a few projects using his own personal funds. These projects included the Royal Film and Radio Broadcasting Projects. But we can ask where did he get the money from? Isn´t it from the government? And where does the government get the money from? Isn´t it from the tax collection in the country?

However, Thailand, the most peaceful country in the region for centuries, even with these many so-called developing projects, is still a developing country and millions of its citizens still live under the poverty lines. According to a United Nations report issued in 2000, Thailand has 9.8 million poor people, 5.8 million ultra poor people and 3.4 million almost poor people. The total figure is 19 million, or 29.9% of the population, and is concentrated in provinces along the borders in the West, North, and Northeast regions. However, the poverty reduction was remarkably reduced between 2000 and 2004 under Thaksin Sinawatra´s leadership inThailand which fell to 11.3 per cent, according to the World Bank and continued to be reduced until he was toppled by the military coup d´eta in 2006. The reduction of poverty is seen slower after that and in 2008 the people who live under the poverty line is 5.4 millions or 8.4 % according to UNESCAP.

However, Bhumibol´s wealth has incredibly increased according to Forbe

Thai King with his full bag of money

magazine published in 2008 said that the 80-year-old king had a $35 billion fortune, with his estimated net worth increasing sevenfold during the past year. The wealth is included a stake in a major bank and huge holdings in the Siam Cement company and most importantly it said that the Crown Property Bureau (CPB), which manages most of his family’s wealth, “granted unprecedented access this year, revealing vast landholdings, including 3,493 acres in Bangkok which the Journal of Contemporary Asia estimated that the Crown Property Bureau’s assets worth at US$27.4 billion. Forbes said that figure is higher now thatThailand ’s currency, the baht, has appreciated. But it is ridiculous that even Bhumibol becomes the richest king in the world, he still shamelessly receives the financial support for his family fromthe Thai taxpayers contributed to him for 2 billion baht (US$59 million) each year.

People in the world just think that if Bhumibol can sacrifice only $5 billion of his total wealth to help his people, the poverty of those 5.4 million of Thais will be effectively alleviated and they would stop selling their flesh for income to support themselves and the family. But there is no such a hope of help from this king.

It is even sad to know that the CPB has increased its assets in the prime locations in Thailand by means of land grabbing. This act of illegal land grabbing of the CPB is always successful for no one dares to criticize since the CPB always threatens the poor or land owners with the king power or that it simply touts the king’s theory of a sufficiency economy, which preaches moderation, reasonableness and immunity. Then the golden robe of king Bhumibol surrounded the land and the lés majésty law will bans everyone in Thailand to criticize and scrutinize this illegal land grabbing as forever. Below is one of the case happened to the poor in Thailand related to the CPB.

A man is called Somchai, lives in a prime location in central Bangkok. Now in his sixties, Somchai designed and built his house himself nearly 30 years ago. He doesn’t own the land, but he only pays about 400 baht ($11) in rent to his landlord.

So why does he now wish he lived somewhere else?

“If I could do it all over, I wouldn’t build on this land,” he told Asia Sentinel. “There is no security. I can get kicked off at any time.”

But he won’t go voluntarily. Somchai’s land, you see, is owned by the King. In fact, most of Bangkok’s best real estate is owned by Thailand’s royal family through the Crown Property Bureau (CBP), which manages the monarchy’s land holdings. Somchai was able to build the house by bribing bureau officials a few decades ago. Now if he sells it, 75 percent of the money will go to the CPB, giving Somchai—who is retired with little savings—no incentive to leave.

“The people around here all worry that they might be forced out, but we are too scared to talk about it,” he said.

Besides this act of illegal land grabbing and the leech-like person, this king is known as the coup maker or the coup supporter. We can say this because all the coup leaders always seek for his endorsement, support and blessings after they took the power in order to become legitimate leaders. This is the reason why he is always able to intervene the political crisis in the country. It even clearly understands that this king is the coup maker for his role behind the coup d´eta in 2006. This coup d´eta was believed to be engineered by the king and his surrounding elites in order to abolish Thaksin being afraid of his increasing popularity among the majority of Thais which they think that such a popularity could clearly conquer the present position of the Thai king today and harm the royal institution in the future.

Furthermore, this king has wasted so much Thai economy not only on the expense to his family´luxurious life in the golden palace, but also the expense of million dollars on millions of his decorated portraits hanging up throughout the country which cannot be seen anywhere in the world.

Comparatively, the prostitutes have more value to say about them due to their sacrifice for the well-being of their families and the economic development in the country compared to Bhumibol, the king of Thailand, because their sacrifice makes tourism in Thailand contributes to about 6% of

Thai prostitutes

the national economy.

In the past their business was legalized and taxed. However, it is considered as illegal under the prostitution law 1908, but it has even contributed more to the Thai economy. Especially, during the Vietnam war it injected some $16 million into the Thai economy annually through this sex tourism and it is remarkably increased to, as one estimate published in 2003 placed the trade at, US$ 4.4 billion per year or about three percent of the Thai economy. It is estimated that the number of prostitutes in Thailand has increaed from 400,000 in 1964 to to 2 million today. Among which 20% of Thailand prostitutes are 18 or younger. According to research by Chulalongkorn University on the Thai illegal economy, prostitution in Thailand in the period between 1993 and 1995, made up around 2.7% of the GDP. It is believed that at least 10% of tourist dollars are spent on the sex trade.

Without such an invaluable sacrificial role of the prostitution or the poor, Thailand would never have come the tiger economic country in the third world countries. The investors and tourists would never flux into Thailand. With this, it keeps attracting and improving the Thai economic development and at the same time helps stabilize country´s politic.

On the other hand, without such an invaluable sacrifice to support themselves and family the poor would still be poor and would never see their living standards become improved through the elites´government policy, if Thaksin didn´t come to power whose leadership tried to clean up the country’s image as the red-light district of the world and provide the Thai women with a decent jobs which was succeed somewhat, for Bhumibol and his elites politically and economically want to and will always keep the majority poor of Thailand become poor as long as possible so that they can easily control and exploit them in order to maintain their power, political status and enrich themselves on the expense of these majority poor Thais.

With these reasons, I think that it is time now for the poor of Thailand and even the middle class, to wake up and fight for what they deserve to be in the society. They should not live under the disguised semi-divined god king Please all majority of Thais realize that his development projects are initiated by his elite cronies, financed, supported and implemented by the government, and other involved institutions. In fact, this king has sacrificed nothing but enriching himself to the top of the world by sucking majority of Thais´ blood daily and embezzling the public property through his CPB and social development projects so that he can uses this wealth to maintain his power grip in the future.

However, we can believe that he is the loved king by all and the kindness king to all Thais only he can prove to the Thais that if he could sacrifice some of his wealth to alleviate the poverty in the country, stop receiving the annual $59 million from the tax payer to support his family, abolish the lés majésty law and allow the independent institute to investigate his wealth. Otherwise, he must be considered as the feudal, corrupt, dictatorial, and authoritative person that the Thai people must get rid of him and bring about the respect for human rights, human dignity , and freedom of expression, and social and economic justice to the Thai society. Or the majority of Thais will live a life like an object and their future will continue to be exploited without ending under this king and his surrounding elites.

About the Author: Mr. Tony, a British, is a regular tourist to Thailand since 1995. His destination is Asean countries which Thailand is his top favorite due to its sex industry and corrupt police officers. He also started his business in Thailand in 1999 and had a residence there which he just gave it up last year.


42 Responses

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  1. This was excellent. I am Singapore now and not sure if this was blocked in Thailand. I appreciate the insight.

    Is this proven that he does not pay for his projects and the royal household budget of 59Mil?

    Heard Swedish royales donated more for the tsunami.


    May 20, 2010 at 4:21 pm

  2. Faye,

    Yes, it is blocked in Thailand. I asked a friend there in Thailand, he said it is not accessible, completely blocked!

    yes, it is right he didnt pay for his projects, i think you can google it.

    It is sad that Thai people can not read this article and have the voice over the issues surrounding their king.


    May 20, 2010 at 6:39 pm

  3. Ignorance is bliss. I seem to be able to get it now that I am back in Thailand. I tried clearing my cache and it is still coming up. Circulating it now. 🙂

    Thank you again. I just like the truth.

    What is Prime Ministers salary?


    May 22, 2010 at 11:26 am

  4. I dont know for now, but during Thaksin the PM recieved annual salary of $32188 wile Ministers annually recieved $30000. You can access it here:


    May 22, 2010 at 12:18 pm

  5. […] also reminds me of Mr. Tony who recently wrote a very challenging article on The Role of Thai Prostitution and the Thai King in Economic Development, which implies that without prostitution Thailand would never have gain its status as […]

  6. […] also reminds me of Mr. Tony who recently wrote a very challenging article on The Role of Thai Prostitution and the Thai King in Economic Development, which implies that without prostitution Thailand would never have gain its status as today. […]

  7. “LET´S MAKE CAMBODIA GREAT AGAIN!” That is a good thing for you to do for your country. And congratulation with the gold your country had found. However, please do not had your opinions on Thailand and our beloved King. Have you ever visited His project! I had. And you wrong about our governments, too sad for me to admit that they are very corrupted. Good luck, your PM being friendly to Thaksin our Ex-PM is just too sad, be where of Argentina & Iraq, and hope your country’ gold will not be presold to friends of UN. Do some research under ” War and Natural Resources” or watch the movie “Blood Diamonds”. It may open your eyes, and you may save your country.


    June 13, 2010 at 5:00 pm

  8. Do not lie about our beloved King, is very บาป (sinful). Many people who try to harm Our King did not die well, mostly Cancer of all kinds visited them sooner then they expect. Do some research! It is ture!!! Pray for forgiveness. And just spend more time saving your country. By the way regarding the border line between our countries, it is a trick, the French used many time in when they take over other countries, to make us fight, so that we remain weak for them to easily rule!!! Research some more re many countries they rule in Africa. Let us be smart, and free! But i say you on your VDO, you look French or partly. It is part of your plan to return to rule Cambodia!!!!

    Real Kon Thai

    June 13, 2010 at 6:02 pm

  9. Dnt blame french but blame your ignorance and greed is better. About your king, I dont share a silly respect with some Thai people who blindly love that king. He is just a man and stingky like any others, esp I hate less mjesty.

  10. This article, whatever its content, was NOT written by an Englishman called Mr.Tony. Any native English speaker will easily see that there are too many grammatical mistakes for it to have been written by a ‘ Mr Tony ‘. I am typing this from Thailand and it has not been blocked here or if it ever was it isn’t now.
    Some of the points raised in this article may be valid but since the rest is based on a lie, i.e, that it was written by an Englishman, it must be discredited.


    June 23, 2010 at 4:29 pm

  11. To Peter,

    I think the writer is a Thai who just disguise to be a foriegner to avoid less majesty charge brought against him. Its not surpised me either!

    Kun Thai cheang mai

    June 23, 2010 at 7:12 pm

  12. Wow, a kleptocracy run by an entrenched and corrupt elite, where prostitution is rampant?

    It could be a description of Cambodia except for where it says that when a tourist “gets in a taxi then the first question he is asked is if he needs a girl”. In Cambodia it’s different: you get asked a thousand times *before* you actually get in anyone’s vehicle.

    I’m sure that all of this simple-minded cut-and-paste Thai-bashing is fun, and no doubt saves you the burden of actually thinking for yourself about anything, but remember the old saying about people in glass houses….


    July 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm

  13. Cute,

    Pls dont be idoit like other Thais. I am not a writer of this article. Well, Cambodia may be poorer than Thailand but to say that Cambodia live a life like Thailand is not possible which has already become the red light paradize of the world. You can ask anyone in the world about this.Thailand must have deserve such a name, but never Cambodia.

  14. After the revolution in 1932, most of the monarchy’s properties were taken back to the government and they formed a unit to manage the property. However, the interest and incomes earn from those go to the ministry of finance, not to the king.


    September 22, 2010 at 1:47 pm

  15. LOL…

    The writer’s emphasis on prostitution as being crucial to the Thai economy is seriously misguided, along with his or her (one never knows with such dubious internet blogs) understandings of the socio-political, historical and economic situations of the Kingdom.

    Furthermore, apart from the shocking use (or should I say, misuse) of the English language, the writer should be highly embarrassed by his/her sheer ignorance on the matters presented.


    September 27, 2010 at 9:51 am

  16. It doesn’t matter about his grammar. At least he took the time to show you what’s wrong with Thailand, but most Thais are blinded by the king & the devils such as James don’t really give a damn because they go to Thailand for prostitution.


    September 30, 2010 at 3:01 am

  17. Hi is it possible to remove my name on my post? It is a pseudonym but I use it for many other things and am a bit worried now..
    Faye would be fine. Thank you.
    I you can email me that would be great


    October 9, 2010 at 6:03 am

  18. First of all Mr. Tony is a fake name and he is not British at all. Met him on youtube a couple of times screaming obscenities about our King. Let’s ask the important questions. Is there prostitution in your country? So what if the king didn’t pay for the projects, he did complete it and created jobs for the people so whats your argument?


    November 11, 2010 at 2:58 am

  19. Please note we don’t blindly love our King or being forced to. I love the King for the duties he has done for all Thai people. If you want to criticize Thailand for prostitution you should criticize the whole world. Cambodia is a nice country but i remembered a mother trying to sell her 11 year old daughter to me. Why doesnt this make the papers or the internet? I know why….. theres nothing there other than drugs, gambling and sex.


    November 11, 2010 at 3:05 am

  20. GET FREE CHILDREN SEX IN SVAY PAK. Cambo MOTHER & gov’t authorized…………….

    Thai queen

    December 10, 2010 at 5:17 pm

  21. GET FREE CHILDREN SEX IN SVAY PAK. Cambo MOTHER & gov’t authorized…………….



    December 10, 2010 at 5:19 pm

  22. WESTERNERS GET FREE CHILDREN SEX IN SVAY PAK. Cambo MOTHER & gov’t authorized…………….

    $5.00 SUCKY SUCKY


    Aduljadej Siam King

    December 10, 2010 at 5:22 pm

  23. Any Asians GET FREE CHILDREN SEX IN SVAY PAK. Cambo MOTHER & gov’t authorized…………….

    $5.00 SUCKY SUCKY


    Aduljadej Siam King

    December 10, 2010 at 5:23 pm

  24. Any Oreientals GET FREE CHILDREN SEX IN SVAY PAK. Cambo MOTHER & gov’t authorized…………….

    $5.00 SUCKY SUCKY


    Aduljadet say the blind king says

    December 10, 2010 at 5:23 pm

  25. Any NIGGERS GET FREE CHILDREN SEX IN SVAY PAK. Cambo MOTHER & gov’t authorized…………….

    $5.00 SUCKY SUCKY


    Thai Blind King says

    December 10, 2010 at 5:24 pm

  26. Any WHITEYS GET FREE CHILDREN SEX IN SVAY PAK. Cambo MOTHER & gov’t authorized…………….

    $5.00 SUCKY SUCKY


    Thai slave says

    December 10, 2010 at 5:24 pm


    Slave thai says

    December 10, 2010 at 5:25 pm

  28. I know you are Tai called Siam and called today as Thai and seem to show that you prople are still barbarian.And you dont need to say this because if you come to Europe people know only Thailand that all kinds of sex are available and your country is known as the red light of the world-sex haven. You can even see Thai prostitutions in Sweden, Norway, Germany, Denmark, France…Come and see, but not my people.

    Kolbot Khmer

    December 11, 2010 at 6:07 pm

  29. Maybe its because Khmer hookers can’t afford a plane ticket LOL!!!! But im sure your kids can, with all the child sex trade going on in Cambodia someone is making alot of money.


    December 13, 2010 at 2:36 am

  30. Sammy,
    U think you are still proud for that. If those thai prostitutes have money they won´t sell their flesh and dignity for living like that. Ask your sisters/daughters if they will do that. Or is Thai culture?

    The Son of the Khmer Empire

    December 13, 2010 at 8:25 am

  31. So you avoid the short comings of Cambodia by posing a question of another short coming from another country HAHAHAHAHA pitiful.

    Shouldn’t you be selling your daughter or son or something? Stop wasting time this dead blog aimed towards jealousy and hate of Thailand.


    December 13, 2010 at 8:35 am

  32. Cambodia


    December 13, 2010 at 11:57 am

  33. Sammy,
    Have I said anything bad about your people before if your people haven’t looked down on my people? It seems your people are stupid and shameless like Thai writer Sawai Booma says about A guide to the Perfect Thai idoit…always turn around shamelessly blame others and it here

    U must know that I did not write this article, but i just posted it for you to know. And why many of your dumb people come here and attack and talk bad about my country and my people?…and when i reacted you accused me that my blog aimed at jealousy and hatred of Thailand…Use your brain…Dont be so ignornat!

    Kolbot Khmer

    December 13, 2010 at 8:39 pm

  34. Mr. Tony knows about as much as Mr. Pile of shit

    Long Live King Bhumibol

    Henry Wang

    January 16, 2011 at 3:51 pm

  35. Why don’t you write whatever you know best such as quality of life of people in your country, Cambodia? Instead of writing about the other country that keep helping your country for a long long time, you should write down about your country and publish that in your country (if you can), let your educated leader know (probably he will donate part of his huge money to help poor people) then your country will be better. Don’t waste your time to speak out something bad about country that try to help you.

    God bless you.

    of course i am thai

    September 10, 2011 at 5:42 pm

  36. Why don’t you talk shit about the Queen’s of England too…? There will be more shit to talk about it think…south east asia got Fnck over by the european too…Just like the rest of the World…break them up, take them over, make them fight, tax them all, and let them die, try to force their way of life, and where they lead the word to…? THE END of destruction ?


    October 14, 2011 at 8:24 am

  37. When you said tourists only go to Thailand for prostitution you gave yourself away as just a hater of Thailand. You CANNOT get the beauty of Thailand, the wonder of its culture, the superior and genuine hospitality of its people, the fascinating ruins of Ayudaya and Sukothai, all over the world. It is like saying you can get Angkor Wat anywhere in the world. And, as an American, I can tell you, compared to most world leaders, the King is a great man. No person serving in such a position can do so without working with the government, and to suggest he could single handedly get rid of the institution of prostitution is absurd. I have no idea why you hate Thailand so much. The only explanation is just jealousy on your part.


    May 6, 2012 at 5:06 am

  38. It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.
    I’ve read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things or advice. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read even more things about it!

    eSky Telephone

    July 22, 2012 at 9:51 am

  39. This is such a bullshit article. The thai people love their king with their heart, dude just because your country is sooo poooooor and also have alot of prostitude and you r jealous of us u dont have to make an article defaming our king….go fix your toilet and sewage system


    April 16, 2013 at 9:49 am

  40. Don’t be that nasty writer

    Criticize with proper reason I like to read foreigner’s opinion but sometime you need to know more about us before criticizing. Your point of view is just ruining us and don’t be sorry for us to have our king. We love our king by his social duties. If we hadn’t king from our history, the country would not have formed like this. Maybe being colonial territory by western country

    A man of the world

    January 2, 2014 at 10:39 am

  41. Why is Asian people fighting among their own neighbors? Haven’t we argue and killed enough of our own kind? We need to look for Love & Friendship, instead of War. While you guys are throwing rocks and bullets at each other, while the other guy across the river watches you Nuke it out. Thai and Cambodia use to be like brothers, until the white man came and F***ed every thing up. Now I’m here in America, learning and speaking English. When I’m supposed to be learning and speaking Khmer. It’s sad to see people running out from their own country, because of their great “Leaders” & “Kings”. If our Leaders or Kings was doing some thing right, we wouldn’t have this spitting discussions at one another. I guess we all are still ignorant. We have more Divide then Unity. Watch our self become smaller then what we are now.

    Brotherly Love

    February 11, 2014 at 3:55 am

  42. Many of us vacation, have kids at home, and generally have hectic schedules outside of the computer. The term simply references being easy to talk to or approach.


    February 14, 2014 at 12:05 am

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