It is a complicated issue so we only try to describe it to give you an understanding of what is going on.
(See our nightlife page for information about Phuket's non-naughty nightlife). For others it is all part of the colour and vibrancy of the nightlife scene, while for some it is the main reason for coming to Phuket.
If you are not offended then it is a great place to drink and people-watch. If you go as a couple or make it clear that you do not want the attention of the girls then they will leave you alone (eventually).
However if you want to talk to the girls in the beer bars they will be happy to have a chat or play bar games such as connect-four or dice games.
The emergence of sex tourism in Thailand started with the arrival of American servicemen from the Vietnam War in the 1960s.
In this section we will not attempt to judge the sex industry or the people involved.If you want to reward them for their time, then buy them a drink or give a tip. However, the Thai government was never keen to criminalise a profession that has flourished in the country for centuries and they only did so under political pressure from the UN and US at the time.The 1960 legislation was replaced in 1996 by a new piece of legislation called "The Prevention and Suppression of Prostitution Act".It is the largest and poorest region of Thailand where the monthly wage can be as little as 3000-baht (approx US).It is also the region where traditions are strongest.