07 August 2007

Saranrom update


Sure I am not in Thailand now (70 days and counting ...) and who I am to write about a place where I have not set a foot since so long .... Nevertheless there has been recently a lot of chatting on the boards about the Saranrom area in Bangkok, and I thought it could be of interest to some, at least for bringing a former entry on this blog up to date.

It seems this area has been for a while the place of choice for gay thais who look after some young male company. The Thai Rat daily published a long report in his July 26th edition ; the title was : "the yellow signboard boy" and it was the story of a 27 y/o rent-boy named Yao who provides services for gay people. So you can say that everyone in Thailand knows what is going on in the area - with all the overstatements that you may expect from a Thai Rat newshound ...
So the article was strongly questioned on many points by some regulars of the place. For example the journalist wrote that the going rate of the boy was 1500 THB, and he would not cut his price ... One poster assured that not a lot of rent-boys ask for more than 500 THB, but some customers use to give more. Especially as some customers are policemen or politicians who prefer to meet boys here than in the gay places : they feel that their privacy is more guaranteed with the street boys than in a gay bar.

Is the Saranrom area as interesting as before ? It seems that since the political demonstrations in Sanam Luang, there are less boys than before because police and army have set many barriers all over the area for checking motocycles and taxis. In fact these control posts are not a problem for the boys, who only fear the patrols who have been arresting them since a long time. But the new police checks are an ennoyance for the customers, who as a result (and also because of the bad economic situation) come in smaller numbers. Less customers, less boys ...

Nothing is lost ... another poster went in the area last Sunday, and he found less boys than before but there are still enough to please anyone. The problem is that he did not dare to chat with some boys because the police presence was a little bit intimidating ; now some boys are waiting in other places in the neighbourhood such as around the Wat Pho compound or south of the park.

Everyone strongly advises againts walking alone and wearing anything that could make the boy think you are a rich person. Chartering a taxi and visiting the whole area seems to be the best and safest way to find new friends ...

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