Thailand Intimacy & Healthy (Adult) Sexuality Research Report
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The Kingdom of Siam, "the land of the free," or Thailand, is unique among Southeast Asian nations in that it has never been colonized. In recent decades the Thai society has gone through a dramatic transformation, from an agrarian economy to one in which the manufacturing and tourism sectors are dominant. Until the East Asian financial crisis, which started in this country in July 1997, this economic transformation has earned Thailand the accolades of a miracle economy, a mini dragon, or a newly industrialized country (NIC).
Even before the current economic crisis, however, rapid economic development has brought with it many new challenges such as rapid urbanization, environmental degradation and the widening gap between the rich and the poor. The combination of rural poverty, a tolerant sexual attitude and a heavy reliance of international tourism have also resulted in a growing sex trade which can be looked upon as a great economic benefit or shame, depending on your viewpoint.
The Thai Political Economy
Carry Your Passport - Yes/No ? Discussion on asfo
This is long & much info is already known to many regulars/expats.
But it is posted in order to bring out any "problem" stories/adventures for all of to learn from !
Introduction: The Royal Thai Police sometimes more strictly enforce Immigration Law.
But regardless, visitors should be aware of what the law is, as well as some suggestions of how to handle a situation between you and one or more Police Officers. Hopefully these suggestions will have you mentally prepared to keep yourself out of possible serious problems - that could at least cost a lot of baht, or more seriously result in some time in jail & ultimately on a one way trip home - NEVER to return to paradise on earth !!
The "Law": As most regulars are aware, Thailand provides all of it's citizens with a national ID card. The new generation of photo ID cards will/do contain an encoded strip that provides considerable information about the bearer.
This is all being cross referenced in their "new" 3 - C & I Center. The government is compiling a huge database.
The 3 C & I Center is basically their national center for "Command, Control, Communications and Information." They are in the process of cross indexing criminal records, citizen ID cards, house registrations, utility records (Electric, telephone & water - all currently gvt. controlled.) and Immigration records.
Thai citizens are required to carry their ID card at all times & present it to any Officer upon demand. Thus it is easy to see that tourists, resident aliens and expats are covered similarly.
So you are REQUIRED to carry your valid passport, with a current Visa stamped therein. Well, that said - practically NO ONE CARRIES THEIR PASSPORT !
Why not ? #1 You fear it will be lost or misplaced. So if you lose that passport even with a nice clear photo copy elsewhere, complete with Visa copy, you will still end up with much inconvenience, cost and headache.
#2 You fear your passport will be stolen. There is a real basis for this. A very big market and industry exists dealing in stolen and counterfeit passports. The more difficult legitimate entry is to a country, the more "baht" the stolen passport is worth. After all, a legit passport needs only a little doctoring - new photo, a little creative editing. Many countries have hidden security "devices" within their passports - so making totally fake ones is more risky.
OK, Khun Bill, so what do you suggest ? You say the law requires us to carry one - but we don't !
Suggestion - Carry a photo copy. No it does NOT satisfy the legality aspect - but then most Police Officers understand you will not be carrying the actual passport.
But - they can see - on the street - that if they take you back to your hotel/apartment that you probably DO have the real thing and it's valid too. You are now a "minor" violator - no big extortion target.
Yes, they can still fine you a small amount anyway, but probably will either just forget it or settle for a small on the spot "fine". PAY IT. (See separate section on suggestions of how to handle police encounters.)
Another very good reason for carrying that passport copy is just in case you become injured, unconscious, drugged, beaten or incoherent. (Especially if you frequent ASFO meetings !) The Police/hospital/clinic will know who you are and which Embassy to contact. This reason stands alone as a very good reason to carry that copy. Even if you are not afraid of the big bad cops.
This first suggestion may be the only option available to first time tourists or those who can only stay a few weeks at a time. They don't get much chance to meet a lot of Thais outside the entertainment areas. But do read on - especially the Police encounters section near the end.
Smile at the nice Officer & politely show it to him. It may change his plans - you will only have to cough up 100 Baht instead of 500 and avoid that trip to the station !
Dealing with the Police:
Thai culture emphasizes: (a) Keeping one's cool (b) Not losing one's temper (c) No shouting/raising voice. (d) No losing face incidents (e) "Biggest" man wins.
Thai Police - like police everywhere - are people, too. But they ARE not like you and me. They are poorly paid and generally poorly equipped.
But Thai Society is basically fair. They will listen to BOTH sides of a dispute. So if you have not already made an ass of yourself and/or pissed off some locals, you will usually get a fair shake.
All regulars know that even the bar girls will stick up for you, if you have been provoked into a squabble by a drunk.
You will not automatically be guilty just because you are a farang (maybe except for vehicle accidents.) But you are on the defensive from the start. So a polite, smiling attitude is your 50 % of the battle.
When the police are called, and you think you are in the shit, try to settle up & get out before they arrive. If you just run, without trying to first make peace, you may be found later....and off to the slammer.
The Officer must make a decision based upon what he sees & hears. IF YOU ARE AN ASS - you have made the decision for him. You are going to pay - big baht or worse.
Either nothing will come of it or you will need to settle the matter by paying the person you offended some baht...and of course a "fine" to the officer as well.
So no matter how drunk you are, try to clam up that motor mouth, knock off the obscenities and put on a BIG smile. If you punched the guy out, pay up. You had your fun.
IMPORTANT: Politely do every thing you can to pay up rather than get taken to the station. Once there, smile & beg to settle up. You DO NOT want them to start processing paperwork.
If it has really gone to shit, just stick to trying to get them to contact your "friend" as you do not understand. They may try to get you to sign a statement - in Thai. Of course it is in Thai ! You are in Thailand. At that point you are resigned to trying to get a message to your embassy.
KB apologizes that much of the above is not startling and never before published information. But in total, he hopes it has been helpful and will inspire others to write of their particular experiences.
Usually those with some bad treatment will report - and we may then learn & be aware.
But overall, the above will result in more positive experiences than bad.
Thanks for reading,
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