Let’s talk Bangkok!
I walked four blocks to Thermae Bar on Sukhumvit Soi 13. Frequently, I would find a client during my short walk to Thermae. I normally received between Bt 700 and 1,000 ($28-$40) for a short-time. A beautiful 14-year-old, walking near the red-light district toward the most infamous bar in Southeast Asia, had no problem meeting the kind of men who visited Thailand just looking for girls like her. I was seeking them out just as they were seeking me. It took little effort on my part to leave them spellbound. After all, Iwas pretty, petite, and precocious. They generously emptied their pockets while I provided them with fun and fulfilled their every sexual fantasy with an exotic Lolita.
excerpt: Only 13, The True Story of Lon
As many of you reading know me, you know my passion in life is to help the less fortunate, more specifically, sex trafficking victims. Many warned me of what I’d see in Thailand and if I was prepared for it. I had mentally framed in my mind on my flight over, that my three short weeks in Thailand were not to serve that passion but to experience a different way of life with my eyes and heart open, to take home with me the next found exposure, and to cultivate a difference from there. But as a common theme in my life, the universe decided it wanted to smack me in the face with the realities of Thailand and sex tourism, nothing like experiencing that way of life, than to experience it happening in your dorm room at your hostel.
But let’s rewind.
I arrived in Bangkok, with my hostel booked in advance. After a 23 hour flight, I decided having a place to arrive to was a smart decision. I didn’t book many accommodations in advance, and I advise you don’t as well.
I stayed at: Bed Station Hostel and it was really beautiful. Laid out well, very roomy, very comfortable. Provided free breakfast, and wi-fi.
Cons: it was very far from the center of Bangkok, and where with a short time in Bangkok, you’d probably want to visit.
I took a water taxi to the side of town I wanted to be in, and it wasn’t difficult or expensive, and wasn’t full of tourist. It was definitely a taxi for the locals, that I stumbled upon. I highly recommend.
However, I was very tired, and really just wanted to explore without having to figure out where I was going with a serious case of jet lag, in a very overcrowded city. I recommend you stay on Khao San Road if you are staying for a short period and want to experience Bangkok. Be prepared for smells that will make your head spin and your stomach turn, filthy streets like you have never seen, and lots of beeping. To me, it was an overcrowded and filthy New York.
Coming back from the little exploring I did, having arrived at the hostel at 2pm it didn’t allow me a lot of time in the city with the sun up, I got very lost trying to find my hostel. By very lost I mean, an hour walking in circles. I will say though, at no point did I feel unsafe being lost and clearly a tourist in the dark.
I arrived finally at my hostel, crawled into bed to sleep the night away. I was awakened at 6am, by a foreigner bringing back a Thai prostitute to our dorm room. (side note in case you don’t know how hostels work: they are a dorm style room, with anywhere from 4-15+ people sharing a bunk bed style room, usually co-ed) I was awake at this point, and had the fortunate of witnessing the bustle. I left the room in disgust, and proceeded to go get breakfast on the first floor. The staff kicked them both out shortly after, and I was able to witness the girl leave. She was incoherent stumbling down the stairs and out the door with him, whether it had been from alcohol or drugs.
For me, the smells, the overcrowded population, and Thai prostitution walking across my path was too much for me, especially for my first day in a country I had no familiarity with. I was discouraged, and overwhelmed and all I knew was I needed out of Bangkok, immediately. I booked a flight for 2 hours later and headed to the airport to Chiang Mai. That decision couldn’t have been a better one for me.