world’s sex capital Pattaya
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THE city of Pattaya in Thailand has an estimated 27,000 prostitutes and is known as the world’s neon-lit sex capital.

THE city of Pattaya in Thailand has an estimated 27,000 prostitutes and is known as the world’s neon-lit sex capital.

The Thailand resort located in the east of the country has been branded the modern day ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’ – the biblical kingdom infested with vice and sin.

Go-go girls play on their mobile phones as they wait for work

Bar girls entertain men at a nightspot along the Walking Street

A Thai prostitute shows off her “goods” to passersby

Bar girls hold signs to attract customers inside

Over one million tourists visit Pattaya every year and many of them are white western men who frequent the city’s hundreds of strip bars, go-go clubs and brothels.

Many sex workers come from the impoverished northeast and see selling their bodies as a way out of poverty.

Prostitutes can earn up to 5,000 baht (£114) a night, nearly 20 times the minimum wage of 300 baht (£7) per day.

A local police officer told him that the city is “like a cowboy town in the Wild West a hundred years ago.”

A popular T-shirt sold at stalls features the slogan: “Good guys go to heaven, bad guys go to Pattaya”.

At a bar called Kangaroo Korner, Luke chatted to a man from Melbourne, Australia, who said: “I prefer Thai women … I’ve been burned too many times by women back home.

“I know it’s just about the money for them, I am not looking for love.”

When questioned about his motivations, he replied: “Mate, you are overthinking things — just enjoy yourself, relax, and have another drink with me.”

Next the reporter quizzed another Aussie gent, aged 50, at a bar on Pattaya Beach’s ‘strip’.

The recently divorced man was engaged to a 23-year-old Thai woman he had met ten days ago.

He said: “Thai women they are subservient. Don’t get me wrong I don’t like them being as subservient as they are … but they cook and clean, they really look after you.

“I do like that… but now I’ve got this girl, we met ten days ago, I can already tell it’s going to work.

“But y’know my wife and children hate me, even my friends think I am an a***hole.

“The way I look at it, I only have 20 years left of living, I want to be able to enjoy my life.”

Prostitution is illegal in Thailand but for decades lawmakers and police have turned a blind eye enabling the sex industry to thrive - until now.

The country’s huge red light districts have come under fire after the Thailand’s first female tourism minister vowed to clean up the nation’s image.

Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul wants future holidaymakers to flock to Thailand for its beauty and beaches and not its seedy bars and world-famous ladyboys.

Yet those working in the industry say any clampdown would devastate the local economy and leave thousands out of work.

But Wattanavrangkul had tried to play down the role of the sex industry in drawing visitors.

She said: “Tourists don’t come to Thailand for such a thing.

“They come here for our beautiful culture.

“We want Thailand to be about quality tourism.

“We want the sex industry gone.”