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Thailand's water babes

On the streets of Ibiza, people wouldn't look twice. In the bars and watering holes lining the vistas of San Tropez and Faliraki, it wouldn't be an unexpected vision in any way. But in Bangkok, a country with a reputation as being quite conservative, the sight of three young girls dancing bare-chested was more than the authorities could stand on Monday.

The occasion was the Songkran New Year's festival that took place last Friday, which traditionally evolved from the ritual of spraying water politely on elders in exchange for their blessing. According to the Huffington Post, the event has more recently become an excuse to strip off layers in the sweltering heat and get drenched in water as a way of cooling down.

''Dancing topless during the Songkran celebrations is very inappropriate and unacceptable,' Culture Minister Nipit Intarasombut said Monday. 'I assume they worked in some kind of nightclubs and got carried away by the vibe.' He said he feared foreign tourists might get the wrong idea about Thai society.'

'Police spokesman Maj. Gen. Prawut Thavornsiri told The Associated Press the three girls arranged to meet them at a discreet location, paid fines of 500 baht ($16) each for public obscenity and were released.'

If there were fines to be paid for public obscenities and acts of lewd behaviour, we think the club 18:30 tourist holiday hot-spots might become more of an underground party movement.

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