Business operators on Bangla Road in Patong are urging relevant officials to clean up food, drink vendors, and allegedly more than 100 transgender prostitutes.
The Patong Entertainment Business Association (PEBA) President Mr. Weerawit Kreuasombat told the Phuket Express. “While Patong officials are now increasing safety management measures on Bangla Road, transgender prostitutes should be cleaned up too. We consistently get complaints that they are being annoying and aggressive to tourists. We have had multiple reports of pickpocketing and theft from them. Most of these transgender prostitutes are from Pattaya and Bangkok. The Bangla Road should not have transgender prostitutes and they should be banned from the area.”
TPN notes that the comments did not seem to extend to non-transgender sex workers and some comments online immediately criticized the comments, stating they were bigoted and discriminatory to trans individuals. Patong police, meanwhile, as the “official response” have continually denied any prostitution was present in Bangla Road or Phuket as it’s illegal, however, based on comments on social media, this is one of the worst kept “secrets” in Thailand.
“Additionally, food vendors should not be allowed on Bangla Road. However, Patong officials can provide specific places for them nearby. Selling alcohol in foam boxes by vendors or pop-up style alcohol booths must be banned as this is illegal. The Bangla Road is a public road and one cannot sell alcohol on the road.” Weerawit concluded.