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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Bangkok's Nataree Soapy Massage Got Raided

Last night Nataree Massage, one of my favorite soapy in Bangkok got paid a visit by the good ol' boys in brown. But don't worry, they weren't after customers. If the cops were they wouldn't go in on a Tuesday. They would do it on a weekend when Nataree is at it's busiest.

You see, Nataree always had this reputation for employing under-aged girls. Last nights police raid netted 10 girls under the age of 18. According to some reports foreigners employed by Nataree were arrested too. I am not aware of any foreigners working inside Nataree.

But I wouldn't be surprised if most of the under-aged girls were all not from Thailand.

At least 100 soapy and sideline girls were detained as well, take a look at http://news.sanook.com/2008094/ and you'll see a photo of Nataree's lobby filled with corner to corner prostitutes. According to the report the police did a 3 month undercover operation. That must have been a lot of fun. I can just imagine the amount of investigators clamoring to be involved in the case.

From the reports I've seen, no customers were arrested. This was strictly an operation to stop under-aged prostitutes.

I called one of the papasans I am friendly with in Nataree and he didn't want to say too much. But he says they should be back to business as normal in a few days.

Nataree Massage is located in Huay Kwang along Ratchadapisek Road. If you're not familiar with that area there are about 5 other soapies in the immediate vicinity. Nataree just had a bad night and got caught with under-aged sex workers.

For all the other soapy massage parlors in the area it's business as usual.

19 comments:

  1. Thanks for the update.
    This looks pretty serious, especially the part about employing masseuses under the age of 18. Why would the management be doing something so reckless?

    About the foreign workers: well, some sideliners at Nataree did claim to be from abroad, especially Laos, but in one case Cambodia and even Vietnam.

    Is Nataree already back in business as the optimistic papasan foretold you, or is it bound to stay closed for a long time?
    Is there any truth in the hearsay that the place will reopen under a new name? Will it mantain the same location or move somewhere else? Hey, it could be the right chance to renovate the dingy rooms...

    Thanks and please keep us up-to-date. After all, the place has been consistently at the top of your soapy ranking tables, it would a great loss if it disappeared.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      It is reckless, yes, but there's a demand for under-aged girls which Nataree was trying to fill.

      I passed by Nataree yesterday on a taxi and they are still closed. As of now I don't know when it will re-open but I'm assuming it will and most likely under a new name.

      Copa Cabana got raided a few days right after Nataree, with the police searching for under-aged and foreign workers as well. But I heard there were no arrests.

      Also just want to add it's the army and the police conducting these raid/inspections. But it's mostly the army pulling the strings as the current government is run by the military.

      As far as I can tell, the government is not trying to close red light districts down. If they wanted all would be shut down. They're just trying to clean it up or perhaps make an example of a few so every other soapy falls in line.

      Cheers,
      Jim

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    2. Hi Jim,

      CopaCabana was raided and La Defense as well, even though there were no arrests according to the press.

      And there are arrest warrants against the manager and owner of Nataree, with serious criminal charges.

      It looks like a very heavy-handed approach to me.
      I hope this is not the beginning of the end for the Huay Kwang soapy scene, but it does not bode well that this is by far the worst thing to happen to Nataree in about 30 years of activity.

      Also, if raids like this become the rule, it is not going to be pleasant as a patron to be caught there by the police while you are relaxing and having fun, and end up getting unwanted exposure (pretty sure the police will keep a record all of the customer they catch during a raid, especially foreigners, really not something I would want).

      It would be a shame if Huay Kwang went the way of China. Up to 2013 places like Dongguan had a huge sauna scene all in the open, and then after the harsh (politically-motivated) raids of 2014 the place is a desert.
      Or maybe, there is still an underground scene, but the conditions are far from ideal for everybody involved, there is the constant fear of getting caught by the authorities, and it is almost unaccessible for foreigners.
      It would suck big time to see Bangkok end up like that.

      Delete
    3. I don't think it's the end. I just think they want to clean up the industry and by that I mean barring under-aged sex workers. I think if the police/army really wanted to eradicate the industry they'd be arresting customers too that were caught inside.

      I heard about Dongguan from some business friends and they said its an awesome spot. Man I would love to explore parts of China as I've been told it's quite unique.

      Delete
  2. I have to add that the "barely legal" girls command a higher price. In my personal experience at Natatree, the young girls were going for 5000-6000 baht.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Jim,

    http://www.khaosodenglish.com/news/crimecourtscalamity/crime-crime/2016/06/09/found-brothel-bribery-list-say-know-nothing/

    “Every police station must be strict,” interim metro police chief Sanit Mahatavorn said at a Wednesday news conference. “They shouldn’t think they don’t have to be strict on places that have licenses. They must see whether there’s any prostitution at those places, especially if there’s any people under 18. If there’s wrongdoing, they must take action.”


    Whats your view on statement? I have a plan to visit Bangkok on mid of July. How safe nightlife activities in bangkok now ?

    Can I postpone my journey to another 6 months ?

    Is it right to visit Bangkok ?

    Thanks
    SN

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi SN,

      Personally, I think it's still safe to visit the Bangkok's red light districts. I would skip visiting the soapies for now because they are big and I suppose more high profile.

      I recommend hitting up the oily massage shops. I suppose oil massage shops are smaller and fly under the radar. Because there's just so much more to do than soapies.

      As of now I've been going mostly to oil massage shops too and even Thermae Bar for drinks.

      Cheers,
      Jim

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  4. This is really bad news, as I have a trip planned to Bangkok next month and Nataree was one of my favourite soapies.

    On the other hand, I find it hard to believe that the scores of Thai freelancers that used to populate Nataree simply went back home to the countryside after the raid.

    I'd rather think they now ply their trade in some other soapy around Ratchada, or as freelancers in some other location.
    Does anybody knows where to find them, or has noticed an unusually large crowd of beautiful girls at some other establishment in the area?

    Vince

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Vince,

      Nataree was my favorite too. And you're right they didn't just go home. You'll find most of them at Alaina Massage:
      https://guestfriendlyhotelsinthailand.blogspot.com/2012/08/bangkok-alaina-enterainment-massage.html

      Alaina is also owned by Nataree but Alaina never had under-aged girls employed inside.

      A few years ago while having a smoke outside Nataree I saw scores of sideline girls walking out and ushered into a mini-bus. I asked the I was having a smoke with and he said they were being sent to Alaina Massage.

      Management does that when Nataree's lobby is too full of sideline girls.

      So for now, Alaina is a good substitute if not a total replacement for what Nataree once was.

      Cheers,
      Jim

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    2. Many thanks for the fast reply and the great advice!
      Glad to hear that most of the girls can be found within walking distance from the previous venue.

      Never been at Alaina before but I won't miss it for sure this time.

      Cheers,
      Vince

      Delete
  5. Hi

    I have some basic query.

    As per law prostitution is illegal in Thailand but how come same country named for sex industry ? How come massage parlours operating in Thailand ? Hotels allowed bar ladies / freelancers ?

    Just confused with law and reality ... Could u throw some lights how its possible.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The red light districts in Bangkok and Pattaya are just the tip of the iceberg. The sex industry was created long ago not for just for foreign men. Such establishments are owned/run by those with the right connections. That is why prostitution is tolerated in a nutshell.

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  6. Hi James,

    After Nataree got raided i heard the same happened to Poisedon, Emmanuelle, Alaina etc.

    Where can i go for a soapie with good choice of sideliners (like Nataree previously) in the next few weeks?

    Cheers
    Mike

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try Thermae Bar and Coffee. Many of the sidelines you see in Nataree also can be found there.

      Cheers,
      Jim

      Delete
  7. Darn, Alaina was raided too!
    Will this madness ever stop?
    Do you know whether they actually closed Alaina down or is it still operating?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's because Alaina is also run by Nataree. But just recently their neon sign was back on. But I didn't go in. Maybe I'll check it out next time.

      Delete
  8. Hello mate, any chance on an update on the soapys?
    Im in BKK in a few weeks and wondering after the shake up what ones are worth my time.

    cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,

      I would check out Amsterdam and Emmanuelle. Seems like both are picking up the slack after Nataree and Alaina shutdown.

      Have a great time!

      Cheers,
      Jim

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  9. So where to go now for best choice of sideliners?

    ReplyDelete