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Despite bombings and gunfire, illicit trade draws tourists to Thailand's restive south
2758  Light Myanmar 

CNA’s Pichayada Promchertchoo travelled to one of Thailand's most infamous nighttime hotspots on the southern border with Malaysia, where illegal sex trade thrives freely amid the threat of violent conflict.

Sixteen floors below her, the lights of Betong glisten among dark, undulating hills. Somewhere down there, her colleagues are entertaining customers - male tourists who came to play in the vibrant nightlife of the small border town.

“Work here is quite exclusive and very sexy,” Laila said. Her long bronze hair brushes lightly against the angel wings tattooed across her back. “We sell our beauty. The more beautiful you are, the more money you get.” Laila is a nighttime entertainer. She works at a popular club on a narrow lane in Betong - the beating heart of a regional sex trade that operates in one of the most dangerous territories in Southeast Asia.

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