Tainted Tourism: The gluttonous old man groping a young Thai girl

There is a grotesque paradigm I am beginning to see all over Thailand; amongst the Buddhist temples, cafés, tuk tuks, street food stalls, western food joints, and drunk tourists that are everyday imagery — throngs of old farts with a gluttonous hunger for young Thai girls are bubbling up everywhere from some putrid cesspool.

It was in a back alley of Chiang Mai that I observed a stark example of this.

I had just gotten my first hair cut in a year at a Thai salon; a small place tucked under a Jenga-like stack of apartments that threatened to topple at any moment. But there were Thai people in this crevice cuttery, and one thing I’ve learner is to trust where the Thais go (for the most part).

The trim up to my ever growing mop top was accompanied by a thirty minute head scrub and massage, something I would have totally paid the 150 baht cost for alone. With a “Kap Kun Krap!” I was back out into the world feeling freshersized.

But soon I’d feel dirty.

I spotted a heard of seals now flapping about in a nearby café. On my way to get the haircut I had passed by this café; it was quiet with a nice glass table on the porch, wooden chairs with floral tooshie pillows, and “Nous parlons français” under the “Welcome” sign. Empty and inviting.

Now, this café was a rock that flubbery animals of people had staked there claim.

Rotund older white male (70?), grey hair, hotdog fingers, greasy red cheeks, stained shirt struggling to contain his belly button’s peekaboo, flopped back in chair like lazy seal — Young Thai girl (18-22?), floral dress (non revealing) sits perched on his knee and smiles as the other fat seals, “ARF” back and forth, about things that would make a pervert blush, their gullets jiggling all the way.

The shop owners and employees stand in the background politely with a smile and nod and laugh when the seals laugh. The greasy seal with the young Thai girl on his knee caresses her leg and looks at her like she is a baby back rib buffet. Finger lickin’ good.

Are you comfy on daddy’s lap?” He managed to grumble out of his pie-hole at the Thai girl, sounding winded by the energy it took to spout the sentence that piece of shit probably waited 40 perverted years to say.

An eruption of gullet-jiggling laughter by all of the seals followed.

By then I had passed by, given one look back in disbelief, and walked back to my hostel to rinse the filth off with a cold shower.

All because our currency is superior than theirs” a Scotsman from the hostel I was staying at stated in dismay.

We had just passed by a lamppost in the Chiang Mai night market with a sticker that read, “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” which reminded me of that mornings events.

Real men don’t buy girls. Filthy animals do. And buying may not even involve money; status, power, and country of origin are seen used by these aging disgraces for human beings to pull in young Thais.

Except this is nothing new. A few people on my Facebook post that summarized this observation stated, “Nothing new. I remember it in the 80′s – the girl is probably younger than you think.

Maybe my observation was me being naive and hopeful that she was not younger than that. But it isn’t anything new — this pedophiliac tourism where men come to southeast Asian countries and poach underage girls from family run establishments like bars or cafés; the families don’t do anything to disrupt business so they allow this groping to happen.

Why? Because they can get away with it. Because some people deep down are despicable human beings that, when given the opportunity to do something vile they never would at home, take it.

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  1. I don’t know what to add, Ryan, you’ve summed it up well. I’ve not seen this going on in CM but then I’m not out and about in town at night very often.

    I was complaining about it in general terms to somebody one time and they said ‘oh, you’ll get used to it’. Well, guess what? I don’t want to get used to it. Who knows if the girl you saw was trafficked from a neighbouring country and was a slave, or a Thai girl working out of desperation and poverty or what. Whatever it is, it’s horrible.

    • I feel the same exact way Noor…I don’t want to get used to it. It seems to be something that has been going on for hundreds of years, and I wish there was a way to change things somehow.

  2. Yeah, welcome to Asia. It’s the same way in Vietnam. And the Philippines. And others. There are some cities where the ladies and even teens will literally maul anyone under 40, just because they are white and young.

    Sure, there are many different excuses and explanations for this, both on behalf of the lady and the foreigner. But the trend has been around for decades and unfortunately doesn’t appear to be going anywhere…

    Although you may scoff at the sight of it (I most certainly did at first five years ago) eventually you will not so much get used to it but rather grow numb to it, if that makes sense…

    • Yeah Derek, I’ve heard a ton about it happening in other countries as well. I fear for myself growing numb to this sort of thing. I know her and her family might have to do this to survive, but there has to be a way to go about providing some option other than child prostitution. Or just in general older tourists having the mindset that Thailand is a playground of perversion.

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  4. I saw this so much throughout Thailand that sadly it tainted my memories of it a little.

    I remember one night going to a bar and I had a great night meeting new people but the next time I went it seemed like it was full of Western a*holes and Thai women and I left so quickly because it felt so dirty and wrong.

    Sadly I’m not sure what the solution to this is but I really wish there was one! :s

    • I feel you Toni…definitely opened my eyes to a seedier part of tourism, and ever since I’ve been trying to figure out just how one could go about escaping that and still being able to survive. There is one big street in Chiang Mai leading to the night market where its all Thai girls and ladyboys caked in makeup stroking the shoulders of old pervs.

  5. So sad. I haven’t been but have heard a lot about this. My husband went and he really hated this aspect – he found it so disturbing.
    We are in Dominica at the moment (in the Caribbean) and unfortunately there’s a lot of local underage sex. And what I mean by that is older men praying on young girls and then buying them KFC / phone credit to keep them happy.
    It’s awful.

    • Wow Carmen. I guess this kind of thing happens all over the world. What a damn shame. It isn’t the families or the girls that I write negatively about, it is the older men who travel to other countries and rape their culture and people. It’s something I just can’t turn a blind eye to, and had to write about it.