Thai brothel switches to food deliveries during Covid-19 closure
Thailand’s biggest brothel has swapped sex toys for kitchen utensils and is doing food deliveries to survive during the pandemic.
The 11-storey high ‘Poseidon’ massage outlet – complete with an in-house nightclub and hundreds of jacuzzis – once housed dozens of girls entertaining locals and tourists every night in the capital Bangkok.
However, the venue was forced to close last year after Covid-19 cases spread from China to neighbouring countries and eventually across the world.
Owners have applied to change the seedy building into a hotel but to cover the costs in the mean time, they have started a food delivery service.
Dishes including sushi and pizza along with Thai staples pad Thai and papaya salad are cooked in the brothel’s restaurant and car park before being sent to hungry homes across the capital, where dining-in is still banned.
Poseidon spokeswoman Nong Angoon said: ‘The food is really delicious. We only cooked for customers before, so now everybody has the chance to taste our dishes.
‘Delivering meals does not bring in as much revenue but it helps us to survive. We still have to earn a living and it will be a long time before tourists return.’
Brothels – classified legally in Thailand as entertainment venues – along with massage parlours and strip clubs were among the first to close when the country went into its first lockdown last year.
Some briefly re-opened during a lull in cases but the adult industry has been on its knees ever since due to Covid-19 restrictions preventing tourists from travelling into the country.
Ministers hope that a mass vaccine roll-out will still most of the population receive jabs by the end of October with plans to then allow holidaymakers back.
Bangkok and other regions with high numbers of daily infections are currently in a partial lockdown with non-essential businesses closed, a nightly curfew from 9pm to 4am and travel between provinces restricted.
Thailand has recorded 1,083,951 cases and 9,788 deaths as of August 23. Ministers believe the wave of Delta variant infections which started up May – reaching 23,000 a day earlier this month – has peaked but some doctors still predict up to 400,000 more cases while the daily rate slows.