A video story on Bangkok Post’s online newspaper about Miss Teen Thailand 2011 caught my eye this week and reminded me of another article I’d been reading on forum site udonmap and their Udon Thani News section which focused on teenage prostitution amongst Thai student girls in Udon Thani.
Miss Teen Thailand 2011
Miss Teen Thailand 2011 winner Mookda Narinrak, from Ranong Province in southern Thailand was crowned on February 15, 2012, at Bangkok Convention Centre. Mookda’s crowning glory came a little late due to last year’s flooding in Bangkok causing postponement of earlier rounds but the gorgeous girl was a worthy winner in the end.
The competition is open to Thai girls between the ages of 15-18 and in the previous four years the winners have come from Bangkok, Chonburi, Suphanburi and Chiang Mai. Those four far-flung places and Mookda’s home province prove that if you have beautiful looks and an appealing charm then Miss Teen Thailand is an open race for anyone to win. Even someone from Thailand’s poorer areas like Udon Thani.
Miss Teen Thailand 2000 winner Yaowalak Traisurat from Nakhon Si Thammarat, went on to win Miss Thailand Universe 2003 which proves the class of Thai girls who enter this beauty contest and the fierce competition within it. The picture right, is from the above video in which Mookda talks about her hopes of one day working in the entertainment industry, but to do that, she says she must first concentrate on her studies and avoid the complications and rivalries that chasing boys can bring on. Good luck and sweet dreams to Miss Teen Thailand 2011.
Student Sex Workers in Udon Thani
Udon Thani News highlights another side of Thailand’s entertainment business with news that research points to as many as 6,000 of Udon Thani’s university, college and high school girl students being involved in prostitution to help pay for mobile phones, motorbikes and clothing. That’s a disturbing fact and obviously ‘boom boom‘ and ‘vroom vroom‘ are words learned very early in Udon Thani classrooms.
Nisit Sakayaphan, a welfare worker for the Network for Children, Women and Families in Udon Thani briefed a conference in Khon Kaen about research on 14-18 year old Udon Thani girls who frequented Udon Thani nightlife entertainment venues. The findings of the studies revealed over 70% of girl students who visited nightlife hotspots were involved in the sex trade, and the number of teenage sex workers was estimated at being 6,000. Some of them as young as 14.
Udon Thani city has a population of over 100,000 and the province close to 1,500,000 people but I think it’s safe to assume the research on girl students focuses for the majority on the city itself. If so, 6,000 student sex workers is an unbelievably high figure. The research pointed at sexual abuse on teenage girls from men close to the them (read it as you want) as being a major reason for girl students entering the flesh trade. For many, with their virginity involuntarily gone, sex for money is seen as fine dressing the skeleton in their wardrobe.
Each day of the week student girls parade at Udon Thani’s Centrepoint and UD Town night markets dressed in tight white blouses and short black skirts (picture right is illustration only). The girls look sexy, act coy, and they know the sex appeal they radiate. However, it’s still hard to believe some of these girls sell sex, or will do so at some time in the near future.
My interpretation of Udon Thani nightlife entertainment venues and sex student workers may be different to your thinking, because I believe very few western men hire these girls. The venues would be Thai bars, clubs and karaoke haunts, and the lion’s share of punters wealthy married Thai men. And much of the students underskirt business is conveyed via mobile phones on a ‘have vroom vroom can boom boom your room‘ basis. But I believe the figure of 6,000 is way too high. What about you?
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