There is no denying that the go-go bars, girly bars and sex shows are a very visible aspect of the nightlife scene in Patong and to a lesser extent Karon and Kata.
In this section we will not attempt to judge the sex industry or the people involved.
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If you are not offended then it is a great place to drink and people-watch. If you go as a couple or make it clear that you do not want the attention of the girls then they will leave you alone (eventually).
However if you want to talk to the girls in the beer bars they will be happy to have a chat or play bar games such as connect-four or dice games.
Family ties are important throughout Thailand but in Isaan parents drill it into their children from an early age that it is their duty above all else to take care of the family, and especially to provide for the parents in their old age.
The women generally come from poor farming communities. When poor families in Isaan do not have enough money to keep all their children in school, they give priority to educating their boys while sending the girls out to work.These things do unfortunately happen in Thailand but it is not a significant part of the Phuket sex tourism scene.The human traffickers are generally sending Thai girls to work in brothels abroad.The emergence of sex tourism in Thailand started with the arrival of American servicemen from the Vietnam War in the 1960s.Pattaya became a favourite destination for the GIs.The majority of women working in the tourist sex industry come from the area of Thailand known as Isaan.