10 May 2023

Published on 10 May 2023 at 19:45

Tonight, I chose another venue called Nana Plaza. As the name implies this is not a street but an actual plaza. As I arrived at the location, I first notice a stark difference from Soi Cowboy, in that, the Plaza was not on a main road and had areas for crowds to gather across from the entrance. Another difference I was truly shocked to see was a true security presence. Your age is verified before you enter Nana Plaza and women must consent to having their purses checked. Once inside the area itself seemed cleaner than Soi Cowboy. It was open and bright, unlike the neon-lit alleyway of Soi Cowboy.

The Plaza is a three-story horseshoe-shaped enclosure with a cover overhead for poor weather operations.  As you can see in my photos (which I got in a little trouble for taking because cameras are not allowed in Nana Plaza) located in the “Bangkok Pictures” section the interior is easy to navigate. Security is also easy to locate because they wear bright-colored vests with “Nana Security” printed front and back. At no time did I witness any children or minors inside the Plaza, outside is a different matter. I realized that the interior of Nana Plaza is well monitored. So, I restationed myself in a business across the street from the entrance to watch. This is where I began to observe children around the area, not as many as Soi Cowboy, but still children. These children never entered Nana Plaza nor did their parents even go to that side of the street. Understand the time is after 10 pm, much later than most Western cultures would have their children out of their beds, much less in an area such as this. There are a few hotels in the immediate area, and I could assume late arrivals from the airport or even “all-day” tourist excursions. That said, I watched a toddler in diapers run through the parking lot where, I am guessing his mother sold food and I watched a lady freelancer (undocumented prostitute) dance with a Japanese tourist’s little boy. All in all, it was an eventful and enlightening evening much different than Soi Cowboy. Now I am starting to truly understand the difficulties of separating Western ideologies from observational research of other cultures.

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