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Sea, sun and sand, not sex, stinks and sleaze: Rihanna's new day

Rihanna Exposes Shocking Secrets

Sunday, September 22, 2013
Brave Enough to Change Phuket

PHUKET: Rihanna, like the boy who pointed out that the emperor has no clothes, spoke the truth. Or this being the 21st century, tweeted it, which seems to get the word around even faster than a fairytale.

Yes, there are seedy Patpong-style ping pong shows on Phuket, the family holiday island. And yes, the locals will even abuse Thailand's wildlife if there's money to be made.

At least the singer hit the right note about Patong and Soi Bangla, the tawdry walking street that so many Phuket tourists find irresistible, for some reason.

Over the years, we've watched the Patong thoroughfare become more than just a place where you can have your souvenir holiday snap taken with a big-breasted ladyboy in a sparkly costume.

Slowly but surely, the sea, sun and sand that Phuket has sought to promote has become sex, stinks and sleaze in Soi Bangla.

There's an unmissable sewer smell from time to time. That's a tribute to the local council and its ability to find excuses for doing nothing to solve Patong's problems.

Tuk-tuks, taking over all the parking spots? Sorry, no answer there. Roads with potholes big enough to swallow a motorcycle? Goodness, wish we could fix that.

Soi Bangla says so much more about Patong, and Rihanna expressed it well. She tweeted with great emperor-has-no-clothes honesty:

Either I was phuck wasted lastnight, or I saw a Thai woman pull a live bird,2 turtles,razors,shoot darts and ping pong, all out of her pu$$y

The touts for the sex shows are probably the worst thing about Soi Bangla. They are everywhere, sticking photos of body parts in the faces of tourists.

Nobody who takes a walk down the tourist walking street can avoid them. The touts shouldn't be there. The sex shows also shouldn't be there.

And the poor, sad, cute slow lorises . . . Rihanna said it all about them, too, in an Instagram photograph where she held one and the poor animal looked like a ball of fur on a stick.

In reaction to what threatened to be a deluge of bad international publicity surrounding Rihanna's revelations, Phuket authorities arrested two loris touts last night. They were later released on bail.

Was the real issue solved? Of course not.

The shocking state of affairs raised in Rihanna's tweet was not addressed. There were no pu$$y show touts arrested. None of the tawdry Soi Bangla exhibitions closed.

The wildlife abuses and the pu$$y shows will go on, and on, and on. There's too much corrupt money involved for them to be stopped.

How shameful it is that it takes a visiting celebrity to highlight that the authorities in Patong remain blind to the sleaze and the wildlife abuse around them.

If Phuket seriously wants to attract quality tourists, then Soi Bangla is the perfect place to start a cleanup campaign.

Put Soi Bangla back on track, and some other celebrities just might visit Phuket . . . and tweet about the sun, sand and sea.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


I agree that animal explotation, not just the lorises should be banned and more importantly enforced with harse penalties. However most cities have a sex district but people don't have to go if they don't want to. I have not been to Patong for about a year. What about the lovely beaches in the South of the island. If you did shut down Soi Bangla there would be far fewer tourists so less money and money is everything in most people's minds here in Paradise (cough) Phuket.

Posted by Fiesty Farang on September 22, 2013 16:22

Editor Comment:

The sex has probably always been there but the touts and the lorises have not. There is no need to flaunt Phuket's shame.


In short you mean the governor, mayor, police chief etc. are not doing their jobs? So neither are the visiting DSI. It all adds up to ''same again tomorrow''.

Posted by Pete on September 22, 2013 16:27

Editor Comment:

The article says what we mean, Pete.


Yes, I personally appreciate Rihanna to exposure the trues.
I wish all celebrities, Thai and Foreign alike, would do the same, ... every day to put pressure on our authorities who obviously must suffer from ostrich symposiums.

Posted by Mr. K on September 22, 2013 16:42


one wonders why she went to the show in the first place.

Posted by Anonymous on September 22, 2013 17:40


hahaha... spoke the truth... what she did: she showed off a photo of herself with an mutilated animal in effect advertised for Thailand, the guys with the lories and the $ shows. Like the foto of her in front of Phangnga hills.. The rest is a fairy tale. As if ... hahaha... sorry, so crazy wishful thinking.

Posted by Lena on September 22, 2013 17:53


Nice view

Posted by Anonymous on September 22, 2013 18:51


Wow, a very strongly, well worded story, I've had my run ins with Ed, but on this story I'd gladly shakes his hand. This is the type of reporting Phuket/Bangkok needs. Ed, it matters not if this is posted or not, it's still great reporting.

Posted by DSI Watch on September 22, 2013 19:06


Ed, congratulations, for the first time I totally agree with the tone and sentiment of your article.
@Fiesty Farang, another change of heart, no one could ever accuse you of being consistent could they!

Posted by terry on September 22, 2013 20:20


Sorry but this all wrong. This is not the number one problem with Phuket, The DSI thinks its all those naughty expats!!

Posted by Dave on September 22, 2013 21:23


Very straight to the point article, thank you. Maybe if enough big names could highlight the ills here, maybe something would get done to solve some of the big issues. Famous and super rich people, please visit here to highlight our problems, then return to see if any progress has been made to solve them? Well done Riri.

Posted by Robin on September 22, 2013 21:58


hey, at least the pesky over stayers get kicked out!

Posted by ronnie on September 22, 2013 22:44


i work at london zoo,i totally agree with animal exploitation in patong,rihanna is slagging off the loris touts,but shes quick enough to have a photo taken with a loris,did she pay for this photo if so she is encouraging it,her fans will think oh its ok to have a photo taken....Also clean up bangla and you lose alot of tourists,i travel to patong twice a year and you see plenty of families with children in bangla they know what its like but they still walk around,oh and rihanna has been slated in most english papers today for actually having her photo taken with a loris..

Posted by darren walker on September 22, 2013 23:12


but fixing it would threaten jobs. that's always the final excuse made about the jet-ski guys and every other parasite attached to the place. wait till Rihanna tries to come in next time. they'll find some shabby excuse to deny her entry, and make her pay reparations to the touts, and to Thailand.

Posted by JingJing on September 23, 2013 01:23


You forgot to add that she also said she didn't want to leave...

There are plenty of beautiful places with interesting cultures around the world, what sets some of them apart from the rest for remotely adventurous travellers or holiday makers is a bit of the strange, the different, the quirky, the sleazy, things that you may not get in other places...

I think you'll find with the likes of the ping pong experience she had, far from being a negative it will have been something she was dying to witness and something she will dine out on for some time. Thats part of what travelling is about, new experiences, something different, not same same everywhere you go..

Posted by Steve on September 23, 2013 01:36


@Alan Morison,
max respect for you! you are the hearth of the Phuketwan!
continue like this! don't give up!!

Posted by Anonymous on September 23, 2013 01:59


@darren walker:
You work at London Zoo and you totally agree with animal exploitation? What are your views on the exploitation of refugees, children, sex workers etc.?
Shame on you. You should be behind bars yourself.

Posted by Pete on September 23, 2013 06:39


It is interesting that we hear repeatedly from police that the best they can do with the oris people is a 2000B fine. Yet to international media the Kathu district head said the fine was 40,000B and 4 years in jail. So which is it?

Posted by NomadJoe on September 23, 2013 07:26


The Thai blogosphere has been on fire with this debate. Many people were angry with her for tweeting what she did but the debate of 'don't blame her, this stuff is really happening' and the shame it brings to everyone. Maybe there is a new tide coming, hope it's not filled with sewage and trash.

Posted by Jon on September 23, 2013 07:30


I've seen comments of thais about rihanna's instagram pics with lorises. They blame her for the 2 Thais in jail (that's what they say).

Posted by paul on September 23, 2013 12:46


@Anonymous: "Nice view"

Yes, but there's a fat a*** blocking a lot of it.

Posted by Buster on September 23, 2013 14:56


The fact is that the quality of people who come to Patong enjoy these shows and don't see them as being exploitative. This is proven by the fact that the shows and the touts would not exist if enough people weren't enjoying them. Economics 101. The reason why Patong is so popular is that it's an anything goes place where tourists can have experiences they can't have almost anywhere else in the world. If these shows didn't exist, the number of tourists going to Patong would halve.

Posted by Hornblower on September 23, 2013 15:27

Editor Comment:

I don't think that's true. I've never met a tourist who comes to Phuket or Thailand for that matter to see a ping-pong sex show. It's something they go to see while they're here, but it really wouldn't make a scrap of difference to whether they came to Patong or not. And i doubt many people go back a second time. It's a lewd act, against the law, and demeaning to all women, not just Thai women.


Pingpong and dart shows are part of the fabric and attraction of this place. They should not be stopped. The touts and the lorises are another matter. There are now as many touts on the street as visitors, it is extremely annoying to have 50 of them approach you as you walk one end of the street to the other. And the poor lorises makes me really sad. A dude called Awat provided a number to report to a few months ago. It is saved in my phone, I have texted him many times reporting the street is full of lorises, but I guess it is out of his hands .....

Posted by geoff on September 23, 2013 22:02


Next time Rihanna visits Phuket, I hope she rents a jet ski, gets ripped off at gunpoint over some phoney "damage" (or takes a tuk-tuk from her hotel to someplace 4 blocks away for 1000 baht) and tweets to her millions of fans to skip Phuket and all its infinite scams....

Posted by Nathan on September 24, 2013 03:42


The excuse of "Fiesty Farang" is the same as criminals and the immature minded who try and excuse their own crimes & irresponsibility - "everyone's doing it", "it's everywhere". Nothing improves unless people take responsibility. It takes only a moment of thought to look at history and how exploitation (against women) has been reduced in many countries. As for attracting tourists, just look at Hawaii or many places that do not allow the developement of a giant exploitation industry. Clean beaches, ornate beautiful resorts, high levels of safety standard, few legal problems - and high levels of income to the region. Thailand's income and quality of life for all would Improve Immensely by removing the filth. The quality of tourists would go way up, and the locals would be influenced positively. Win Win, no excuses.

Posted by Destiny Pirate on September 24, 2013 14:43


REALLY!!! Does it have to be person with some kind celebrity status before this government do any actions. I could point loads of others, like stop worrying about foreigners who overstay their visa. How about make Phuket Visa for thai people, just to make sure that they are not here selling drugs, driving black taxi, robbing tourists ... Just a thought!!

Posted by Mr. Massaman on September 24, 2013 16:26


So it's ok for Rihanna to jirate her vagina all over the stage when she sings crap, but it is not ok for Thailand women to flash what the have in their own country. Rihanna is a narcissist who needs to mind her own business. Who the hell does she think she is? A crappy singer who thinks she is the police of the world, typical egotistical and hypocritical American ****.

Posted by Roman Philter on September 24, 2013 20:22

Editor Comment:

If you can't tell the difference between a sex show and a singer's public performance, Roman Philter, you have a problem. I guess we both know: you have a problem.


Ed, the pic tells us more about what she has exposed....

Posted by paul on September 24, 2013 22:17

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