Thailand capital, Bangkok, has had a reputation in the past for easy sex and other vices - with large numbers of so-called massage parlours and dimly-lit bars frequented by prostitutes.
Thailand capital, Bangkok, has had a reputation in the past for easy sex and other vices - with large numbers of so-called massage parlours and dimly-lit bars frequented by prostitutes. Drugs and pornography have also been freely available. But the country's new military rules have pledged themselves to rid the city of vice.
The military took over the country in a coup on the sixth of October following rioting at the Thammaset University. Left-wing students had been protesting over the return to Thailand of Thanom Kittikachorn, a former Prime Minister.
SYNOPSIS: Thanom Kittikachorn returned to Thailand as a buddhist monk. Earlier this month, the country's King Bhumipol made his annual visit to several pagodas for the traditional distribution of "saffron robes". This year, the Kin visited Bowon Pagoda where the former Prime Minister is staying. Mr. Thanom was the leader of a former military government which was brought down in a 1973 rising. But there was right-wing criticisms in recent months over the country's attempts at democracy, and the Thammaset riots proved to be the final spark for a military coup.
The new government has started its clean-up campaign with the imposition of strict licensing laws on street stalls often used to sell pornography. Directives have also been laid down as to where the stalls can operate.
The new Prime Minister designate, Mr. Thanin Kraivichien, also promised urgent action against beggars and drug traffickers. He said the number of rehabilitation centres for the country's addicts would be increased.
People are now subject to spot checks in the street as police search for left-wing students who escaped the Thammaset fighting. The new rulers imposed a curfew on the 14th of this month, fearing trouble on the anniversary of the 1973 rising.
The curfew is still in force, and worst hit has been Bangkok's nightlife. Tourists still make for places like the "Bottoms Up" bar in the famous Patpong Road nightclub area, but things aren't what they used to be. Come curfew time, and the dancing girls start putting their clothes back on. Under the original curfew, everywhere had to close down by ten p.m. Now they can stay open until midnight but bars have said their trade has been seriously hit. Hotels in the city are reporting an all time low in the number of their "night clients".
Things were eased slightly by the shortening of the curfew time. But while the political situation remains tense in Thailand, the curfew is likely to stay.