Police launched a hunt for the women after a video went viral on social media showing the young holidaymakers dancing and flashing their breasts from a car window
Two Western female tourists who exposed more than they should have during protracted New Year celebrations on the Thai holiday island of Phuket have been fined and given a lecture about local culture.
Police launched a hunt for the women after a video went viral on social media showing the young holidaymakers dancing and flashing their breasts from the window of a slow-moving sports utility vehicle.
The investigation took place as Thailand pursues a crackdown on scantily-clad tourists as part of a “morality drive” launched by the ruling junta.
The car was driving down through the island’s main entertainment zone of Patong at 9pm when the female passengers were filmed dancing and exposing their breasts.
The women – named by police and local media as Adrianna Martin, 20, from America, Camille Prymann, 25, from Austria – were tracked down to a local guesthouse where the vehicle was registered.
The pair were brought to the Patong Police Station and charged with indecent public exposure. They were fined 500 Baht (£9.35) and given a lesson in Thai culture and morality by a female police officer.
“We explained to them why such behaviour was inappropriate and charged them for public nudity,” said Lt Col Sutthichai Thianpho.
The generals who took power in a 2014 coup have said that they want to improve standards of morality in a country that has long attracted sex tourists as well as holidaymakers drawn by its natural beauty, Buddhist culture and excellent cuisine.
Prostitution continues to flourish in major tourists spots such as Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya where young Asian women in skimpy outfits entertain customers behind the barely closed doors of go-go bars and massage parlours.
But in public places, Thailand is determined to crack down on the display of too much skin by Western visitors – a sight that often offends the sensibilities of locals.
In November, Phuket city police forced three bikini-clad sunbathers soaking up the sun in a popular park to put on more clothes. An official told the Phuketwan website that they took the action to “ensure the safety of women who might be sexually harassed” and advised sun-bathers to stick to beaches.
The encounter came as honorary consuls for Western countries in Phuket were invited to a meeting with the governor to discuss dress codes for holidaymakers that took local traditions into the account.