Phuket Governor vows to clean up Patong
Phuket is a beautiful island, but it is not without its faults. While there are stunning beaches and scenic spots all around, there are also a few unsavory patches that could certainly warp a person’s opinion of the island.
The biggest turnoff for many people visiting Phuket is Patong. Over the years the beach resort has garnered a reputation for being the island’s center of trade in sex and pirated goods. So it’s with some apprehension that news comes of the Phuket governor’s public drive to clean up Phuket.
The story appeared in local English-weekly the Phuket Gazette. It was reported that on a recent tour of Patong by night, the governor had the revelation that there is widespread trade in pirated goods and sexual services. It’s perhaps most surprising that the governor was so shocked to see what Patong is like.
It is, of course, a public relations campaign. Everyone knows what goes on in Patong and everyone knows that it’s too far out of hand to really do anything about it. What is of note is that the governor was quoted as saying, “I don’t want [tourists] to get the impression and spread the word around the world that Phuket is a sex tour destination like Pattaya.”
What the governor has said he wants is for there to be a crackdown on prostitution and trade of pirated goods in Patong. Whether or not this will happen remains to be seen. In all fairness we have heard these words spoken before and nothing was done except for a few high-profile “busts” for the media.
After a couple of headlines the drives to clean up Patong usually die down. This could be different, though, if the governor really means it. Only time will tell, but the face of Patong could change dramatically if the governor were to come good on his promises.