Overheard: Hypocrisy in Thailand


Overheard is our series of snippets/conversations that we have with other travelers and/or locals along the way.

So this one's cheating a bit, since it was just a conversation that Rob and I had. Thailand, as you likely know, is a highly Buddhist country. Buddhism, as you likely know, is a fairly conservative culture.

Nowhere was this more apparent than at the two waterfalls we visited. At Soi Yok, locals bathed fully clothed, tee shirts and all. At Erawan, there was a huge sign at the front asking visitors to respect Thai culture. Images of a woman wearing a bikini and a man wearing swim trunks were X'd out, while images of a fully clothed man and woman were topped by checkmarks.

I have absolutely no problem following local customs and covering up, but this rubbed me the wrong way. After all, the town we were staying in was overrun by prostitutes who made no attempt to hide their profession. They beckoned at Rob and I while we walked down the street, hung on old men at the local bars, and ate (and slept) at the same places we did.

Whether it was out of spite or heat fatigue, I don't know, but I swam in my bikini that day at the Erawan falls. Once Thailand starts respecting its own rules, so will I. Until then, I'll work on my tan.

More Kanchanaburi

Check out our Kanchanaburi photo tour and plan a budget trip to Kanchanaburi with our backpacking tips.

More Prostitutes

Read our post on how much prostitutes make in Cambodia. It's a sad one.

What Do You Think?

Let us know in the comments.