What city do more tourists visit than any other in the world? It is not London with its Westminister Abby. It is not Paris with its Eiffel Tower. It is not New York with its Broadway plays. It is not Los Angeles with its Hollywood stars. It is not Orlando with its Disney World. It is not Las Vegas with its slot machines. It is not Jerusalem with its Wailing Wall. It is not even Toronto with its CN Tower or Niagara with its famous Falls. No, the most visited city in the world is Bangkok in Thailand.
Now at a glance, Bangkok seems a highly improbable candidate for the world’s most touristed city. It has no coastline but rather plenty of fetid canals. Its inhabitants don’t speak much English, the planet’s default lingua franca. The streets are choked with gridlock, stray dogs own the back alleys, and, for much of the year, the place is deluged with monsoon rains. And yet Bangkok, with a projected 16 million international visitors in 2013, has taken the top spot for tourism according to the annual index done by MasterCard. (The city snatched the lead from mainstay London with Paris ranking third, Singapore fourth, and New York a distant fifth. No city in Canada made the top twenty-five).
So what is it that has so many people packing their bags, getting on a plane, and flying off to distant Bangkok? One word, sex. Of the 10,000,000 people who live in the city, some estimate 2,000,000 are prostitutes.
Plus, because there are no laws protecting minors when it comes to such things, the capital city of Thailand is also the number one destination for pedophiles.
The bottom line? Most people who go to Thailand do so for one reason, and it is not to see the sites.
A pastor writes,
My five-year-old niece, Olivia, and her best friend, Claire, were in a nativity play at our church school. Olivia was an angel and Claire was playing Mary. Before the show, a young boy was going around the dressing room repeating, “I’m a sheep, what are you? I’m a sheep, what are you?” Each child responded politely, including Olivia, who proudly declared she was an angel. The boy then turned to Claire, still struggling into her costume with her mother’s help, and repeated the question to her: “I’m a sheep, what are you?” Claire simply replied, “I’m Mary.” Realizing he was face to face with a lead character, he felt he needed to justify his own role. “It’s hard being a sheep, you know,” he said with all the seriousness of a child actor with a big part. Claire’s equally serious comeback was humorously profound. “Yes,” she said, innocently, “but it’s also hard being a virgin, you know.”
Today, it’s not easy being a virgin wherever you live: Belmore, Belgrave, Bluevale, Brussels, or Bangkok. But at the marriage altar to be as pure as your gown is white, now that’s the ultimate wedding gift! It’s something priceless you can give to – your self, your fiancé, your parents, your church, and most of all, God.