Will @Rihanna Tweeting with the Hashtag #Thailand be a Two Edged Sword for the Country?

Will @Rihanna Tweeting with the Hashtag #Thailand be a Two Edged Sword for the Country?


Rihanna, the Queen of Pop, is in Thailand shooting a music video and also seeing the sights around Phuket. She has been tweeting and posting pictures on Instagram over the last week which has obviously been great for the Thai tourism industry. You just can’t buy publicity like this. I even saw several Thais tweet that they were proud that Rihanna was often tweeting with the hashtag #Thailand. They obviously thought more people would come to hear of the beauty of the Kingdom. But I think this will be more of a two edged sword. Just take a look at this one headline now going around the world: “Rihanna Visits Bizarre Thailand Sex Show”.


Unfortunately for Thailand, Rihanna went to see a “ping pong show” while she was in Phuket. For those who don’t know, this is a sex show which is common to see in places like Pattaya and Bangkok as well as the holiday island of Phuket. This is of course against the law but it still takes place every night. Local police seemingly have little power in enforcing the law.




Rihanna also watched an elephant show and a lady boy show – probably at Phuket Fantasea.



However, what will anger people more, or at least the animal welfare people, is this picture of Rihanna with an endangered loris. These creatures are protected by law and it is illegal for touts to charge people to have their photos taken with a loris. They have done crackdowns in the past but it looks like they are back.

I think on Monday there will be quite a few red faced officials who will have to explain why this international pop star was able to visit an illegal sex show and have her picture taken with an endangered animal. Do you think this will lead to another series of crackdowns or will it be business as usual next week?

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13 thoughts on “Will @Rihanna Tweeting with the Hashtag #Thailand be a Two Edged Sword for the Country?

  1. Rihanna is primarily a star of Pop Music. Why this international crusade against Rihanna ? She is not at Phuket to offend the Thai people!
    It should read the history of music away from the prudishness…

    1. A lot of Thai people and expats are simply fed up with tourists coming to thailand, leaving their brains at the airport, and then exploiting animal wildlife, or worse. Rihanna has a rolemodel function and should be more aware of all the stupid shit she does. Especially Rihanna. Half her fans are too brainless to realize what’s happening behind the veil of smiles in thailand, she would actually be one of the people who could make them aware of problems like this.

      1. I agree with your comment. But it would take a serious journalist of the press media to ask the right questions to Rihanna! For me, this current star of Pop Music is not in Thailand to do the evil spell.

  2. She should have a little respect for the underlying economy and do things that can help the locals instead of spreading $hit about the twitterverse.

      1. I’m aware of that. But when the abusive nature of the pop culture of america collides with the “just trying to get by in life” nature of the people in thailand – exploiting things that are considered taboo to make a U.S. buck – That’s shit. Have some respect and don’t rustle the bushes. But americans won’t ever grasp that concept, and will continue to go about bungling up the world.

  3. Sex shows, endangered species being used to entertain tourists andmake money, sleazy ladyboys…in Patong….on Soi Bangla…on the island of Phuket in the serene, tranquil and gentle Buddhist nation of Thailad…?! I am shocked…..

  4. Dieter and Fer have summed it up well it seems.

    And I don’t see where Big Bad America is being brought into the debate. Any excuse for a bit of nation attacking, I suppose.

    Rihanna is on a promotion tour to plug her music not to sell the praises of Thailand or to criticise the country.

    As Richard says, Thailand benefits from the publicity it gets by her being here, particularly as she uses the Thailand tag; but suffers when she is associated to a side of Thailand that is not meant to be talked about. even though everyone knows it goes on and does actually have economic benefits to the tourist industry. It always appears to me that Thailand wants it both ways and, indeed, succeeds in getting it both ways.

    The money generated through prostitution and sex shows is welcomed and encouraged. But on the other hand Thailand does not want to be tarnished by that image.

    I see the animal welfare issue and that being photographed with an endangered species is apparently against the law. But what illegal offences other than that were committed. As I understand it, prostitution is not illegal but soliciting is against the law only if it occurs openly and shamelessly or causes a nuisance to th public.

    Leaving aside the non enforcement of laws and the vested interests in the skin trade, can someone clarify exactly what the law is on prostitution and sex shows. What is acceptable and what is illegal?

  5. Re: David

    Prostitution is 100% illegal in Thailand which for your information, is also the world’s most devout Buddhist country, with 100% Rule of Law, an incorruptible police force, a dedicated civil service with one of the highest integrity ratings in the world, and a law-abiding, contented, peaceful and serene population.

    1. Yea, but why is suddenly this a discussion about prostitution? The article is not about that. I’ll lay it out in terms the way I see it.

      Freak show = Taboo.
      Mainstream US, UK and other roman catholic nations: puritan christian society.
      Christians: Rules about where and when you can put your pecker. Laws about the same.
      Other places in the world: Do what makes you happy.
      Christians: Alcoholism, acting out, abusive, repressed.
      Aethiests (me) and Buddhists: Limited or no abuse to self, in control of self, able to do what they need to do to get by.
      Christians: Not Happy
      Aethiests and Buddhists: Happy.

      Rhianna: Burstin’ my bubble. I like a good freak show. We call it halloween in the US.
      Justin Bieber: TAMMAI?????

  6. Also the thing that really worries me about US pop culture specifically having an influence in Thailand is that while the Thai are loving the movies and pop stars presence on their billboards, on TV, wide screens and airwaves, they are blissfully unaware of the abusive culture that lies just underneath the surface. You look at the thai youth and compare then to american youth and extrapolate ten years, that gangsta culture *is going to have an impact on the thai youth. It’s only a matter of time before a large percentage of kids are walking around bangkok with their pants half down their butt, talking in bad thaiglish, and slacking with some chronic, or drunk off their ass.

    With my limited experience, I feel like this country is largely unspoiled, and like any endangered species (any country not yet conquered by christians) should be protected at any cost.

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