Red Light Districts in South East Asia Countries

Categories: MalaysiaProstitution

The term ‘red light district’ refers to the regions or a region in urban areas where activities such as prostitution and sex oriented businesses such as sex shops are practiced. According to Barbara, the term "red light district" derived its origin from the scene where these activities were practiced He says that those scenes were lit by red light and again other places such as clubs and bars used red light to indicate the presence of prostitutes and other girls available for sex or other commercial purposes.

There are different reasons why people engage in such like activities. Some do it for leisure and others do it because they are driven by poverty and what they just need is something that can meet their basic needs. In our article, we are going to focus on red light district in south East Asia and we shall base on 'Where", 'When", 'Who", and 'Which" are the activities that are involved in these regions of south East Asia.

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The South East Asian Countries includes, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, among others. To begin with, Thailand has its main region of prostitution as Bangkok, most commonly Bangkok areas where prostitution is done includes entertainment district of Sukhumvit road , Ratchadaphisek Road, among others. In this district, most of commercial sex girls line up in dark hours, especially alongside roads awaiting for the customers. Apart from these girls lining up alongside the roads, other places where you can find such like such as brothels, hotels, restaurants, saunas, hostess bars, among many other places.

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I Cambodia, the same thing happens. There are those girls who line up in streets of Phnom Penh especially at night to solicit customers. Other places where prostitution is common includes Phnom Penh hotel and restaurant, River-Star hotel among other places.

Prostitution is an old profession Malaysia. According to Nguyen & Hung, prostitution was apparent in small areas like Georgetown, Ipoh, and Kuala Lumpur among many others. Like any other places, prostitution is mainly done at night but for the commercial sex workers who are normally employed in brothels and restaurants, their business is always open twenty four hours per day. For the girls working as prostitutes in hotels, before going into negotiation with customers, they always consider the period of stay for each customer. Customers who stay longer in hotels are mostly preferred to those who stay for a short time. This is because for customers who stay long they will have much money spend on them and therefore, huge profits.

As the saying goes, prostitution is the only profession where the fresher's are the ones on high demand than the seniors in the field. Other sexual activities involved in this business include gayism and lesbianism even though they are not much pronounced. The mostly preferred girls especially in hotel are the young and virgin girls who are at other times held hostages and channeled into brothels unwillingly, this business has been so much against human rights because of forced sexual intercourse that has been seen in so many places in Southeast Asia. According to the surveys that has been done privately concerning this issue, the people who are forced into this business are mostly the girls from poor families with no any other forms of employment and therefore they find in easier to extract money from men who are thirsty and rich. Other than this, the city tycoons find it so much profitable to run this business and therefore most of them prefers opening up as many such business as possible so as to increase their level of income with a desire of flying city economy.

The reason why there is prostitution in the cities especially the above discussed cities is due to poverty, poverty is the main driver of all this immorality, apart from poverty, there is also the desire of getting rich, that is for the brothel and hotel owners. In Bangkok Thailand and Myanmar, most of the girls are drug addicts such that they go to line up on city streets for the sake of getting the money to buy the drugs or even do an exchange of drug and flesh. That is sexual intercourse for drugs.

Effects of Red Light District

One and the most obvious effect of prostitution is the spread of dangerous infections such as HIV/AIDS, while these people are busy chasing after money, they always forget that they are either risking their health or even other people’s health. Secondly, it has elevated the rates of drug abuse in Bangkok which has in turn led to high rates of social crimes. How to reduce the rates of sexual immoralities in Southeast Asia Following the high rates of sexual immoralities in the cities, there is a need of the responsible governments to intervene so as to restore humanity and purity. One of the ways through which this can be done is through legislation against drug trafficking, this is possible through arrest of those people involved. Lastly, prostitution in the cities can also be banned and whoever the people behind running of the brothels should be arrested to serve as an example so as to scare the propellers of this kind of business.


As it has been seen, this kind of business is risky, all the people who runs it are always in worries of getting arrested by the police, therefore it should be stopped and whoever the people practicing it find another mean of getting income rather than participating in this kind of business, Young men and women should therefore be advised to find their ways back in rural areas rather staying in urban areas without jobs and ending up in this kind of living, this will probably reduce the high rates of, Red Light District in Southeast Asia.

Updated: Feb 02, 2024
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Red Light Districts in South East Asia Countries. (2024, Feb 02). Retrieved from

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