The Patpong Museum has established itself quickly on the museum map of the city of Bangkok. Last week we have already welcomed our 1000th visitor at the Patpong Museum and the feedback from our visitors and the press is overwhelming and positive. Many of our guests see patpong with different eyes after having learned about the history and the development of Bangkok over 100 years. After visiting the museum our visitors want to apply their new learned knowledge and start right at exploring the night market, see some show or strive out to experience the atmosphere in a real go-go bar paired with an ice cold refreshment. The wish of our guests marks a great opportunity for us at the Patpong museum to take a closer look at what our visitors can expect to experience in the general area of Patpong with its popular bars, go-go bars, the infamous show bars, massage parlours and the patpong night market. We further are including the greater area around silom and surawong roads and what attractions these roads have ready for you, fellow friends and guests. We are also going to take a look at popular things to do in the daytime as well as at night, reviewing products sold at the patpong night market, walking around the many go-go bars and comparing them and last but not least we will try to a find a safe place to see an adult show, something that Patpong is an infamous place for.
First things first, how do you and other interested visitors actually get to Patpong? That’s rather easy since Patpong is conveniently located in the central business district of Bangkok and stretches over 2 roads, Patpong 1 and Patpong 2, accessible through silom and surawong road. As good way of orientation and in communication with locals is to mention the Montien hotel on surawong roads, which is one of the most popular and well known hotels in the area and a convenient meeting place with its lobby being right opposite the Patpong night market. Both, silom and surawong roads can be accessed by taxi, whereas visitors who want to take the public transport to this area, something recommended during rush hours, can take trains such as the subway with exit station silom or the sky train with exit station sala daeng and then walk about 3 minutes until reaching Patpong from silom road. To explore Patpong at night we recommend to come by taxi, as its safe, cheap and convenient, especially if you plan to leave after midnight when public transport may not be available anymore.
Let’s start with the museum, we recommend to all those that wish to experience Pat Pong for the first time and also to all those that would like to get a different view onto this street, even when you already know it, or think you know it for many years, to start your tour at the Patpong Museum. We open everyday at 11:00 mornings and close at 11:00 at night, reserve one good hour of your time for the entire experience at the museum and be prepared for a ride that takes you from the early 20th century and chinese immigrants over to the industrialization of Siam, three great Kings to the beginning of the cold war, the CIA and the Vietnam war. During your trip through the eighties you will see David Bowie and other superstars enjoying the Patpong night life in a real go-go bar rebuilt in the museum. Towards the end of the exhibition you get to peek into a ping pong show. Once you have been through the museum you are well equipped to explore the area by day and night and to go and walk through the night market, the restaurants and bars, to discover them in real life, after you have seen the exhibition and learned what an amazing history has been unfolding on this street and how it became one of the most famous red light districts not only in Thailand but the whole world.
The Patpong night market is the largest night market in the Bangkok central business district. It is set up every day on Soi 1 in the afternoon and starts selling its goods from the early evening until about mid night. It is famous for a broad selection of typical Bangkok souvenirs, such as t-shirts, mugs, tuk tuk replicas as well as copies and look alikes of famous brand products from watches to bags and shoes. The vendors will name a high price first as they expect you negotiate with them. The night market itself is a safe place for your shopping, but be aware of the touts which may invite you to see an adult or sex show. These shows are usually priced much higher than advertised, you may ending up with a bill higher than 1000 baht per person, even if you stayed just for a few minutes. But more about that later on. We have seen that in some shops on the outer lanes of the market and some actually in the ground floor of the buildings on Patpong Soi 1 tucked between the bars that better quality products being offered. Keep in mind that when returning from your travels, that some countries customs agents are looking in an increasing rate for counterfeit products and that the rights reserved and may be confiscated, especially if you bring more than one item with you. Otherwise enjoy the shopping in the iconic and popular Patpong night market.
So besides the museum and the night market, what else does the area have ready to be discovered and enjoyed by you? During the daytime and if you are hungry we recommend best home cooked comfort food of the highest quality, the famous french restaurant Le Bouchon, one of the best french restaurants in Bangkok, hidden behind an alley of beer bars on Patpong Soi 2, about 50 meters on the left side from Surawong road. You may even get to see the owner prepare his famous tartar steak right in front of you. If you are looking for a more risque type of entertainment you may find what you seek for on the second floor alley right on top of Bouchon restaurant, easily to access through the one staircases directly from Patpong Soi 2. These bars are famous to offer adult entertainment experiences during the day time, however be advised to negotiate any prices before consuming the goods 😉 For the more culture interested visitor we recommend two institutions nearby Patpong, the Neilson Hays Library on Surawong road, about 15 minutes walk from Patpong towards the Chao Phraya river. A library founded by a group of women as the “Bangkok Ladies Library” and later on moved into the beautiful neo classical 19th century building it still is in today. Nearby the library is another museum, the Bangkok Folk Museum which gives you an insight into the daily life of Bangkokians in the early 20th century. It stretches over 3 wooden villas and houses a collection of daily life items and interior.
Back in Pat pong and in the later hours of the day it’s time to discover the naughtier side of life and this is not limited anymore to single males, but Patpong has become a fun and diverse playground for couples and members of the LGBT community alike. You will observe that on the surawong side of Soi 2 several gay and ladyboy bars, offering shows or just a drink, so far we have not heard any complaints about overcharging, but again, always make sure that you know the price of what you order before you actually place the order. Further down the road, spanning across the road is the only Go-Go bar Thailand’s which is located in a bridge, the Black Pagoda. This place has a good reputation and even as you access it through a staircase and that is is “upstairs” there have been no complaints for overcharging or cheating. Dozens of ladies dance to the tunes of local and on special occasions international guest DJ’s. Towards the end of the street is the BarBar fetish club, another recommendation if you want to see a show a bit more upscale than the infamous ping pong shows. This place is a show bar that has got it right as it offers simple, clear and transparent pricing and you know what you will pay before you order. Entrance including one free drink and all shows as long as you like to stay and watch is priced at 950 baht, every other drink is only 300 baht. The atmosphere is inspired by fifty shades of grey and this places welcomes couples and singles alike.
There are dozen more places worth to visit which will expand this article beyond a readable format, so we will revisit these on another occasion. For today what can be said, there are numerous popular places in and around Patpong worth to find, something for almost everyone to do, ranging from the Patpong night market to restaurant, bars and shows. Make sure to start with the Museum to get the most recent news and updates alike.
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