The History Of US And Thailand Relations Is A Long One

phuket-1432876_640The history of United States and Thailand relations is actually quite a long one. This might come as a slight shock to some people, as Thailand is often known for sex tourism and political oppression, things not commonly found in nations with longstanding good relations with America.

However, given Thailand’s geographic location between the world’s largest democracy of India and near the military buildup and naval expansion of China, in addition to its growing popularity as a tourist destination, having strong diplomatic relations with Thailand is in the best interest of the United States.

Surprisingly, bilateral relations between the republic of the United States of America and the kingdom of Thailand trace all the way back to the year 1818, when the United States was still a relatively new nation finding its place on the global stage. For nearly two full centuries, the two countries have enjoyed many years of diplomatic partnership and at some times actual alliance.

At the time, Thailand was known as Siam. The country received a visit from a captain of an American ship. He had on his person a letter directly from James Monroe, who was president of the United States at the time.

It was from this encounter that Thailand not only wound up having a formal and full diplomatic relationship with the United States, but was actually the first Asian nation to do so!

Relations were maintained throughout that century, with noted gifts given by American officials, such as Andrew Johnson during his Presidency. Relations have been closer since World War II, with a number of treaties reaffirming economic ties and the ability of businesses in both countries to participate in the markets of the other. Following nearby Japan and China, America is Thailand’s largest trading partner in the world.

Thailand’s History Of Prostitution

jasica-j-1232511_640Prostitution is not actually legal in Thailand, but the sex industry is one of the biggest economic drivers in the country. There are red light districts in several large metropolitan areas including Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai. The industry brings in millions in foreign investment and taking a walk through any of the red light districts is an eye-opening experience. There are hundreds of Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese women who are engaged in selling their bodies. Their clients are typically foreign males who are older and searching for a fun time.

Prostitution in Thailand starts in the early 1900s. During this time, Thailand abolished slavery and suddenly many women were homeless and without any means of support. These women were forced to sell their bodies to survive. Soon thereafter, wars broke out and there was an increased demand for prostitutes, resulting in an explosion in brothels and women who worked in the sex industry.

Soldiers were frequent customers and their continued presence in Thailand sustained the sex market and helped it grow. The country has a long legacy of prostitution which is deeply rooted in history. The Thai sex industry has expanded as foreign investments and tourism grow in the region.

While many of the women engaged in the sex industry in Thailand are there voluntarily, there is an increasing number who are victims of sex trafficking. These women are often recruited from other countries and then sent to Thailand to make money for their bosses or owners. Many are tribal women, immigrants, or children and have no legal status. This makes them especially vulnerable to exploitation. They are really a type of slave who must sell their bodies to pay off their debts.

Beaches For Days

I have been to 5 out of 10 of these beaches. My favorite is Patong Beach. Based on where you are staying will determine what beach that you will go to.