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Buddha gives, Buddha takes - Forgotten in Pattaya
Buddha gives, Buddha takes-Cover
Sam is a sex worker. Day in, day out, she sits on the beach in Pattaya and waits. On a good day, she earns about $60. Some days she earns less, and on other days, nothing. Sam is waiting for her dream man who will rescue her from her life in Pattaya. But is this a hopeless dream?

In "K 11 - Confessions of a Sex Tourist," Puja Khoschsorur provides the perspective of sex tourism through the eyes of a sex tourist. This time, in "Buddha gives, Buddha takes - Forgotten in Pattaya", a young sex worker from Thailand talks about her life in Pattaya, including her experiences with Thai men and foreign customers, as well as her constant fear of contracting HIV.

Buddha gives, Buddha takes - Forgotten in Pattaya: Austria, 2011, 24 min, English with English Subtitles





Buddha gives, Buddha takes - Forgotten in Pattaya - Trailer

This film was also totally selffinanced, that means without any (financial) support. At this point thanks to Reinhard Klingenberg and Christian Mausser for their help. And of course Sam (that's not her real name), for her brutal frankness. Thank you too

Background information: THAILAND

Thailand, also called "the Land of Smiles" - is a country where hundreds of thousands of women and girls have to earn their living by selling their bodies. In a country where prostitution is illegal, you don't talk about it. Officially Thailand's sex industry is called the "Entertainment Industry" and accounts for approximately 14% of the country's Gross domestic product (GDP). Everyone who has been in the "pleasure quarters" of Bangkok, Pattaya or Phuket will have noticed that the Prevention and Suppression of Prostitution Act of 1966 is not really enforced. As mentioned above, Thailand has made efforts in recent years to protect sexual exploitation of children. However, in the so-called "closed brothels in Bangkok and other cities there are still thousands of teenage girls, hold like slaves. The girls mainly come from Burma, Cambodia and Laos. These locations are called closed brothels because the girls are held like prisoners there. In general, these places are visited only by locals and are not for the "normal" sex tourists accessible.

It should be noted that we do not judge on women, girls and men who pursue their work. We are not a moral authority that considers this or that as good or bad. Rather, we try to reflect fates, experiences and stories from life and show them to a wider audience. Wherever national or international laws are broken, we claim the right to forward these violations to the respective authorities in order to set appropriate measures in response. In any case, the welfare of the affected women and men is our top priority.

Background information: PATTAYA
Pattaya city is located on the eastern coast of Thailand. Once declared an American "Rest and Recreation Area" by U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War, Pattaya has since developed into the biggest tourist resort in Thailand. Due to the good highway access and the short distance to Bangkok and the international airport, Pattaya now attracts more than 5 million tourists every year, of which about two thirds come from abroad.

Pattaya has three main beaches. NUKLUA, which is of little touristic importance, is in the north. JOMTIEN is further south and is a popular destination for families and people who prefer a quieter vacation. PATTAYA beach is in between the two and where the nightlife takes place.

Although Pattaya has made efforts to curb sex tourism in recent years, the business is flourishing as ever.

Prostitution is illegal in Thailand. According to The Prevention and Suppression of Prostitution Act of 1996, not only are sex workers liable to prosecution, but also managers and owners of bars, and any person who encourages prostitution in any form. The law penalises customers only if the sex worker is under the age of 18. In Thailand, you do not talk about the sex industry, but rather, about the "entertainment industry."

Prostitution is a very lucrative industry in Thailand. The red-light business generates around 30 billion dollars (which is equivalent to approximately 14% of the GDP - the gross domestic product - of the nation) per year.

With a registered population of about 120,000 inhabitants and an estimated 10,000 sex workers, it is not difficult for any man in Pattaya to find a satisfactory companion for a few hours or even longer. Here, the men and women yearning for love have a choice of Thai, Russian and sometimes even African sex workers. In recent years the tourists from East Asia, North America and Western Europe have been joined by visitors from India, Iran and especially from Russia. Currently, Russians represent the largest portion of foreign tourists.

Sex workers who do not work in a bar or for anybody else are called freelancers. They settle down on the three-kilometer-long Beach Road to entice men. Not only are women found among the freelancers, but also men and so-called Ladyboys of all different ages. Due to the heat, most of the tourists come late in the afternoon. The number of older men gathering around the freelancers all day long is appalling. They hang around for hours on the lookout for what I have to call their "prey." On the other side of the Beach Road are restaurants, huge shopping malls, souvenir shops, hotels and beer bars, all huddled side by side.

The Beach Road and other main roads nearby are linked together by perpendicular Sois. In Thailand the term "Soi" is used to describe such side roads. On the Sois you can find numerous beer bars, go-go bars, "short-time" bars, massage parlors, restaurants and hotels. Many areas are full of outdoor bars. Most bars are very similar, so the girls have to lure passing men into the bar using all their tricks. To take such a girl with them, men have to pay a certain fee to the bar, which is around 300-500 Baht (€7-€12). The exact sum depends on the bar and on the girl. The girls will receive some of this fee, while the rest goes to the bar. Everything else will then be negotiated between the customer and the girl. The terms "short-time" and "long-time" refer to the duration of the escort. "Short-time" is usually one hour, while "long-time" is usually one day.

Some Sois mainly cater to homosexual customers. Thai boys, working in gay bars and massage parlors, will fulfill all the desires and needs of their mostly foreign clients. There are likely more than one hundred gay bars in Pattaya.

The most famous mile of Pattaya, perhaps even of Thailand, is called the Walking Street. Decades ago, this area was a small fishing port, but currently the one-kilometer-long Walking Street has become home to hundreds of bars, pubs, go-go bars, sports bars, seafood restaurants, cabaret shows, discotheques, women and ladyboys, jugglers and spinners from all over the world. Beginning at 6 p.m., only pedestrians are allowed on the street. Walking Street is also known for the large amount of glowing, colored neon signs that illuminate the street at night. The clientele is mixed, including men, women, and couples, as well as families, including children or tour groups.