The wild west on Thailand’s border: The latest diagnosis of the virus, announced on Friday, is a nightclub DJ who worked at the discotheque attached to the 1G1 Hotel and who returned into Thailand illegally near Mae Sai last Monday night. He is currently being treated at a Chiang Mai Hospital. Meanwhile, thousands of Thai nationals who crossed over illegally, are seeking official permission from the government to return from Myanmar as virus infection levels there have risen by over 75% in the last month. Many Thais working in Tachileik, situated within the autonomous Shan State within the Golden Triangle, were employed as freelance prostitutes.
A Chinese owned luxury hotel in the Myanmar town of Tachileik has been identified by top Thai health officials as the main point of origin of the current outbreak of Covid 19 in Thailand which, by Friday, saw at least 13 people infected. The party hotel which boasts a large discotheque, casino and 100 luxury bedrooms was also the centre of an extensive prostitution racket providing employment to thousands of Thai women.
By Friday, the number of local infections stemming from the cross border crossings of young Thai people from Myanmar was raised to thirteen after a Chiang Mai based DJ was diagnosed with the disease.
The outbreak has thrown a spotlight on a thriving nightlife traced to the Myanmar town of Tachileik where one luxury hotel, 1G1, has been identified as the centre of the story.
This follows police investigations into the activities of nearly a dozen women who all returned illegally last week across the border and appeared to have funds on hand for shopping, travel and entertainment which has challenged officials as they seek to track their movements and limit the extent of the outbreak.
Thousands of Thai women flocked to work in the nightlife trade in Tachileik, many at the 1G1 Hotel
For an extended period this year, up to recent weeks when they began to return home, it is reported that thousands of Thai women and party-goers had been flocking to Tachileik in Myanmar and the 1G1 Hotel, in particular, just 1.5 km from the border crossing into Thailand.
The hotel, which hosts a large discotheque, casino and 100 bedrooms is frequented by businessmen and high spending revellers from Myanmar, Thailand and China.
It is understood that the sudden rise in Covid 19 infections in Myanmar and Shan State where Tachlleik is based, coincided with an outbreak among regulars at the hotel.
This prompted the return to Thailand of the women which we saw at the beginning of last week when nearly a dozen were arrested crossing the natural border, guided by people smugglers, near Mae Sai.
Advertisements seeking pretty Thai women promised a monthly income of up to ฿250,000 per month working in the border town’s freelance sex trade
Many were returning home having made money in Myanmar where, only this week, an advertisement place in a local media outlet looking for good looking Thai women promised an income of up to ฿250,000 per month depending on the attractiveness of the women applying.
Those seeking the big payday were expected to have sex with up to 12 men per day, as part of the employment arrangement with middlemen, while working in Tachileik.
It is prostitution and the 1G1 hotel in Myanmar was one of the main venues where customers were offered a full range of sex services as well as exotically themed nightlife parties in its discotheque, gambling in the casino and company in the hotel’s well-appointed bedrooms.
Women offered inducements to attract high rollers
The 1G1 Hotel is still open for business. It has a room rate ranging from ฿1,200 to ฿10,000 per night. It also had 20 karaoke rooms with rates of ฿500 to ฿2000 per hour.
Thai women working at the hotel’s casino have told of being charged a reduced rate to gamble at the tables in order to draw in bigger gamblers and were offered inducements to encourage high rollers to spend freely.
Luxury hotel’s largest investor is Chinese
Reports suggest that there are some Thai businesspeople among the list of shareholders as well as local figures in Myanmar but the largest shareholder in the venture is Chinese.
The hotel is a favourite haunt for influential military figures in Myanmar and local crime lords.
The latest infection, a Thai DJ at the hotel, is a 33-year old man who crossed over illegally last Monday night from Myanmar also near Mae Sai as the Thai women did the week before.
Details of the case were given on Friday by Chiang Mai’s medical chief Chatuchai Maneerat and his deputy Kittiphan Chalong.
Party videos online show energetic scenes of themed discotheque parties including a highly impressive one from Halloween night with makeup and costumes
Videos of the 1G1 Hotel have emerged online showing Thai beauties sipping wine in the swimming pools and the energetic fast tempo nightclub party which took place this Halloween night.
The Halloween night extravaganza featured movie standard costumes, props and free makeup distributed to those who attended the event.
Not one of the hundreds of people seen packed into the venue was wearing anything like a face mask as they danced the night away.
The venue also hosted live acts with well-known bands taking part.
The online videos, including the one from Halloween night and others, shows the venue jam-packed as partygoers dance, imbibe alcohol as well as, undoubtedly, other substances, given the notoriety of the location.
One of the DJs at the party was the Thai man who was diagnosed on Friday. He is being treated at Nakornping Hospital.
Hotel publicly named by top Thai official
The hotel has now been openly identified by Thai officials who have made no secret of their exasperation and indeed fury at what has happened and the peril that the kingdom, which sacrificed so much for the safety of the public, has now been placed in.
The Royal Thai Police has confirmed that it is actively investigating all those who crossed over illegally and criminal charges, wherever possible, will be brought to bear.
Sopon Iamsirithaworn, the Director-General of the Disease Control Department of the Ministry of Public Health identified the hotel as the infection source to the media in the last 48 hours.
Reports on Thursday and Friday identified two flights to Bangkok on both Nok Air and Lion Air on November 29th as significant carrying two more infected Thai women who returned illegally into Thailand.
Thais seeking to return home legally from Myanmar now being catered for with legal entry scheme
Thai officials have now put in place a scheme to cater for the huge demand from reportedly thousands of Thai nationals currently stranded in Tachileik and other areas surrounding it as they seek to flee Myanmar where the virus has skyrocketed out of control.
Authorities feel this is now the best course of action to manage the situation effectively.
The death toll in Thailand’s western neighbour has now over 2,000 people and infections are approaching 100,000 having risen by over 75% in the last month.