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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.
The fact is, it is a big money earner for Thailand.
Sex tourism attracts a large number of visitors from all over the world and a huge amount of foreign currency.
They soon discovered the charms of the local girls and a new industry was born in Thailand.
Prostitution in Phuket does is not particularly linked to human trafficking.
If you want to reward them for their time, then buy them a drink or give a tip. However, the Thai government was never keen to criminalise a profession that has flourished in the country for centuries and they only did so under political pressure from the UN and US at the time.
The 1960 legislation was replaced in 1996 by a new piece of legislation called "The Prevention and Suppression of Prostitution Act".
The unofficial attitude taken by the authorities is that as long as nobody is hurt and it is a transaction between two consulting adults, then there is no problem. However, in one of those strange Thai contradictions, although prostitution is vaguely illegal, the 1996 act still defines the age of consent for prostitutes as 18.
It is the largest and poorest region of Thailand where the monthly wage can be as little as 3000-baht (approx US).
It is also the region where traditions are strongest.
They may also use Thailand as a transit point for girls from neighbouring nations such as Laos and Cambodia.
The girls working in Phuket are mostly Thai and mostly working by choice - although certainly through force of circumstance.