BANGKOK — City Hall on Sunday promised to increase surveillance of all public parks after netizens called attention to the fact people use them to have sex.
The announcement came only days after Bangkok Gov. Aswin Kwanmuang refuted a recent tweet that went viral from someone who said they saw a group of men having sex in Lumpini Park. Officials now acknowledged the issue and said more preventive measures were coming, including the deployment of more security guards in all parks.
“There are a lot of green spaces in Bangkok,” said Arom Wongmaha of the public park office. “Some parks don’t have fences, gates and permanent security staff. … I admit that we don’t have enough personnel to look after them thoroughly.”
The thread of tweets from @Jiji_winkieboy said he went for a run at about 8pm on Tuesday and cut through the middle of the park, which looked dark and empty, only to see men having sex. He also claimed that one person followed him and invited him to have sex with them.
ประสบการณ์เหี้ยมาก วันนี้ใช่มะไปวิ่งสวนลุมปกติก็วิ่งตามเส้นที่คนวิ่งกัน แต่ฝนเสือกปรอยเลยจะกลับ เลยเดินลัดไปทางที่ไม่เคยไป แล้วกูเจออะไรรู้ไหมม คนยืนกันเป็นกลุ่มๆ มืดๆ ทีแรกนึกว่ามากับโปเกม่อน เพราะเจอบ่อยพวกพนักงานออฟฟิตมาจับโปเกม่อนกัน พอดูดีๆ อีเหี้ยยยยยยยย!!!! (ต่อ)
— ยัยจี้🐽น้ำแรกแห่งชาติ💦 Ver.ยุนจินต้องได้เด (@jiji_winkieboy) August 7, 2018
The story had been retweeted more than 18,000 times by Monday morning. On Friday, after it appeared on the news, Aswin said it was impossible as Lumpini Park is crowded throughout the day and insisted that there were no “blind spots” inside the park, adding that there were no such incidents in other parks under the care of City Hall.
Like many parks in major urban centers, prostitutes are found in numbers around it at night and people use its grounds for casual sexual encounters.
Aswin, professing ignorance to this, dared the user to come search the park with him, saying he’d be rewarded 100,000 baht if he found people having sex there.
Later, several clips and social media posts about people having sex in Lumpini Park were shared online and in the news. A day after Aswin made the statement, Arom said security guards reported a foreign couple having sex in the park.
Police also came out saying that the Phutthamonthon 2 Park in the western district of Thawi Watthana was frequented by people having public sex and prostitutes. They said they recently found more than 1,000 used condoms inside.
Deputy Gov. Chakkapan Piewngam said signs in Thai, English, Chinese and Burmese would be put up in all parks to discourage such actions.
Arom said officials are adding public obscenity to new park regulations to be enforced soon. She did not say what the punishment would be, but according to criminal law, offenders could be fined up to 5,000 baht.
“City Hall had never known about something like this,” she said. “I can confirm that the guards have regularly been keeping up surveillance for order and safety in the parks.”