As he spoke, lines of women stood behind him in revealing outfits enticing punters into bars with names like Taboo and G-Spot as well as Fahrenheit -- a nightspot boasting "The Hottest Girls in Pattaya".
"The lady boys and women working there, they are not involved in the sex trade," said Pattaya's police chief Colonel Apichai Kroppeth, echoing the kind of Thai police rhetoric commonly divorced from reality.
Most Internet censorship in Thailand prior to the September 2006 military coup d'état was focused on blocking pornographic websites.
The following years have seen a constant stream of sometimes violent protests, regional unrest, Internet filtering in Thailand was classified as selective in the social, political, and Internet tools areas, and no evidence of filtering was found in the conflict/security area by the Open Net Initiative in November 2011.
You should make sure you’re well informed before you start out, not just about the types of women you’re likely to come across, but also the size of membership, cost and service of each site. I’ve met many western guys who met their partner on Thai dating sites, and highly recommend this avenue over nightclubs, bars and introductions, which often turn into a nightmare.
"I make good money here, for me and my family," May told AFP as she touted for clients near ' Walking Street' -- a mile-long drag festooned with bars and clubs pouring out ear-crushing EDM music.
But concerns about the impact on Thailand's reputation have spurred authorities to act, while frequent reports of underage sex workers, drug abuse and mafia operations further muddy Pattaya's name.
It’s common sense, but worth reminding yourself all the same, before you get carried away with the thousands of potential partners you’re about to be viewing. Engage with the person you're interested in over a good month or two before arranging a meet.
This gives you time to be confident that they are who they say they are. Never send money to someone you have never met, no matter the excuse they give.