Here’s How Thai Sex Workers Are Honouring Their Dead King

By : Jennifer BrowneTwitterLogo

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Just ten days after the death of Thailand’s king, the country’s red light district is back in business – with sex workers wearing black maid’s outfits while in mourning.

Bhumibol Adulyadej, Thailand’s 88-year-old monarch, died on October 13 – bringing the booming tourist industry to a halt.

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Entertainment, like the infamous full moon party, was banned for 30 days with tourists urged to wear black.

But just over a week after the king’s death, hundreds of prostitutes have lined the streets again wearing black mini dresses, maid costumes, black boots, black lingerie in a mark of bizarre respect.

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Pictures taken on Soi Cowboy in Bangkok show sex workers usually dressed in brightly coloured bikinis wearing black instead, the Daily Mail reports. And just a mile away on Soi 4, home to dozens of strip clubs, hundreds of girls and ladyboys dress in ‘respectful’ thigh-high black boots and black dresses to ‘make up for lost money’.

Sex worker Lek, 26, said:

It is still very quiet. Everybody is sad because the king died.

But we have to keep working to make money. There is nothing else we can do. We have to go out and find the customer for money.

We are wearing black dresses and boots to be respectful. We don’t normally wear big boots like this, Thailand is too hot.

Maybe in two weeks we can get back to normal. We have to make money again for lost time.

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Many of the clubs in Bangkok have now opened again but their neon lights are dimmed, music is played quietly, and dancing can only be done behind closed doors.

Venues are also closing early at 12am instead of the usual 2am or 3am before the king died.

Transsexual Noi, 24, said:

We love the king. We love our country. The army understand this and they are letting us work again.

The bars are open and the ladyboys are back. We’re open for business and we want the man to come and see us.

Most of us wear black now. Black underwear and black dresses. We still have to remember the king.

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Bhumibol – formally the world’s longest-reigning and richest monarch – was seen as a father figure and symbol of unity in Thailand.

And it seems like everyone – no matter their occupation – is making sure to respect his long reign.