Cross-border sex trade

by Jason Lee on February 25, 2014

Vietnamese women wait for customers on Vietnam Street in Hekou Yao Autonomous County, Yunnan Province. Photo: IC

As the biggest trade partner of Vietnam, China has expanded business relations with the Southeastern Asian country by opening up its border towns.

Every morning in Hekou, Southwest China’s Yunnan Province bordering Vietnam, thousands of people stream in from the Vietnamese side, mostly vendors carrying fresh fruit and other farm products.

Along with trade came Vietnamese sex workers. Near the bilateral markets, women clad in sexy outfits gather in small groups. They will approach those who wander around them in curiosity and bargain for a deal. It costs around 60 yuan ($9.88) per deal.

Another form of business is through a middleman, who is in charge of hunting clients and calling on the women to line up on streets to be picked up.

At peak season, hotel room prices would rise from 50 yuan per night to more than 200 yuan per night.

Others, however, rent homes and wait in the corridors for clients.

It’s hard to tell the ages of these women, who are generally aged between 14 and 25, as they all wear heavy makeup. Mostly from poor families in neighboring Lao Cai in Vietnam, these women cross the border to earn a living after learning a basic level of Mandarin.

Global Times


Most of the Vietnamese women in the border town of Hekou deal in farm products. Photo: IC


 

The sex workers usually wear identical clothing. Photo: IC


Women wait in the room and on a balcony along Vietnam Street in Hekou. Photo: IC


 

Vietnamese women dance in a club in Hekou. Photo: IC

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