I went to Patpong thinking it was one thing and getting a shock when I realised it was full of gay bars and strip clubs. The market isn't really worth going to, especially as every few steps you take you get asked if you want to see a pingpong show!
I have written a travelogue about this if you want to hear about my brief experience in Patpong.
This place is definitely not for kids, walk into one of the clubs if your heart fancy. And see what the "amazing ladies" can do for you. They may temp you to go in with very nomimal entrance fee, but once inside, they are going to ask for every Baht you can afford to give. Everything they do in there comes with a Baht sign, everything your Baht can buy....
Patpong use to be "the" nightlife sex entertainment there is in Bangkok, however over the years, there have been other entertainment spot that comes out.
The quality and service of patpong has drop tremendously, hence many have complaint of theft and rip off from patpong, One thing that you need to beware being a first timer is people coming up to you saying free show and its cheap, if you followed them, they will bring you to the 1st floor of the club, there is indeed a show but then its not cheap, 100bath for a bottle beer (standard price) but when the bill comes, Its 1600bath, why 1000bath for show (which never mention) 100bath for the beer, 300bath for ladies drink (which I am not sure which lady, cause there is none) and another 200bath for tips) now. The best part is the show is done by a fat lady. To me this is a real rip off.
Even the website didn't mention much about Patpong, as I know there isn't much to say about them, guess they know it's not worth mentioning, sad to see that it has become in such state.
Now I know why people is swaying away from Patpong and find other entertainment, However you do spot some nice and relaxing bars in the area, one of it is Cosmo Bar, located in Patpong 1.
Dress Code: No specific dress code
Patpong is the most famous red light district in Bangkok. Tourists come here to the daily night market in Patpong 1 and Patpong 2 to haggle with stallholders for souvenirs, pirated DVDs and imitation clothes and watches. However, there is a more sleazy side to Patpong - the go-go girlie bars where scantily clad girls gyrate on poles on the stage. The equivalent of go-go boy bars are located at Duangthawee Plaza off Surawong Road. What is irritating though, are the numerous pesky touts who shove a card in front of you with the words `Sex, VCDs, DVDs'. Just ignore them and walk on. Do not patronise them. Touts are not working for charity - they earn a cut from the establishments they promote.
Dress Code: Casual
Pat Pong is probably the most infamous spot in Bangkok. Along and around the alleyways of this street you will find an assortmant of strip clubs, brothels, message parlors, and sex shows. There are even extremely shady alleyways dedicated to every fetish known to man. In the middle of all of this you will find a strange oddity, countless vendors hawking knock off watches, wallets, purses, belts, and jeans. So while partaking in the infinite debauchary, why not look good while doing it?
Dress Code: What ever the hell you want!
Patpong is the place to go at night. It has a night market that sells pretty much the same souvenirs/ products as Chatuchak market. Only the price is higher, of course. Don't forget to haggle!
There are bars with strip shows. There is a seperate street with gay bars. However, I found that the overall atmosphere is not as fun as in Khao San Road if you are not into those sexy shows. And I hate the 'sales men' from the bars that follow you and ask you to go to their bars for shows. They won't take no for an answer. Very irritating!
There is a Soi (street) special cater for Japanese tourist, all the information featured here are all in Japanese language. This is one of the top notch places for people who willing to spend more.
Dress Code: Causal, I guess....
Plenty of Ago-go pub, bars and night clubs situated in Patpong. There are Patpong I and Patpong II , actually not much different. Don't fool by the physical appearance of the ladies dancers here, some of them are actually Ladyboys.
Once you enter the ago-go bar, there is a pool of sexy dancers on the stage. Customer can invite the lady who caught their eyes for a lady drink, cost about 100 Baht. Further activities require negotiation.
Dress Code: Casual.
Good spot for singles or adventurous couples, but dont accidently walk the kids here following the night markets ! The menus for the bar shows are shoved in your face at every turn. You name they do it here! The menus include all the different things the girls do inside the bars.
Must go through a lot of eggplants here!!!
Most of the shop stalls here are overpriced anyhow.....
Dress Code: forget it.....
Free entrance show/go-go bars with cheap drink offers are just that,until you buy a drink that is. I thought i was clued up and believed the doorman when he said it was free show ,only to find that my bill for one beer was 400 baht! 100 for beer and 300 for show.He denied this of coarse,so beware.
Actually it was more or less what I expected. Crowded, grubby, but reasonably safe if you're sensible. Ok people try to rip you off, and its easy to go through money here, but there is not the threatening, heavy atmosphere that you get in say, London or Manchester. Downstairs the bars are much of a muchness. Some tame pole dancing, and absolutely gorgeous looking girls, not the worn out old hookers I was expecting. A lot of the very pretty ones I spoke to were half Thai half Chinese. Really nice girls with reasonable English most of them. Upstairs the situation is different. The sex acts are really sordid and degrading. And I've got a pretty open mind. The hawking can get pretty tiresome here and you will get ripped off if not careful. Actually a good place to spend the late evening. Be aware that evening means 10.30 pm start and 3.00 am finish.
i read about the special 'ping pong' show from other VT member before going there... but guess what... most of the pubs and bars were closed due to the Buddha days during our visit (10 July'06). We were very very very unlucky coz 2 days in a year, there will be Buddha days, and most of the entertainments will be closed down as a respect to the sacred days. So you can see the Thais have a very strong religious belief... Really sad that we cant experience the so-called the specialty of Bangkok nightlife. The only things we saw at the place were the street stalls selling all kind of pirated stuffs, such as Nike T-Shirt, Rolex watch, Adidas Shoe, LV Bag, sunglasses, etc...
So, please check the date you're going to Bangkok to avoid any sacred day so you will not end up like me... :(
You can have a good time there if you stay on the ground floor. However, the places on the second floor are where the rip offs are. If your persuaded to go in one by one of the tuters, especialy watch out. The scenario almost always plays out the same. They claim no cover charge. Then when its time to go they tack a hefty one on to your bill and a big bouncer or two or more blocks the door and won't let you out until you pay up. I'm not saying every place up stairs is a rip off but too many are. If this should happen to you the general advice is: don't argue, pay up but try to get a receipt, next dial 1155 from any phone. That's the tourist police. They'll come and help you normaly. But why not avoid all that and stay on the ground floor where you can come and go freely.
You should visit Patpong both for shopping and Bars. Make hard bargain before buy anything, in thailand you will always think that you could buy with a better price. Do not hesitate enter one of the A Go Go Bar and enjoy the night.
Dress Code: How you feel comfortable.
I can only recommend to be very careful and suspicious for some offers man/women or both are offering you.The tragedy in this red light district are the many young people who sell their body for sex tourists.
This area was called after a rich Chinese
who owned this place and builded many bars - and temples of "delight"
"One night in Bangkok" by Murray Head, is the song that comes up in my mind visiting this place in BK, or the other song: "Let's talk about sex baby, let's talk about you and me"
"One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain't free
You'll find a god in every golden cloister
And if you're lucky then the god's a she
I can feel an angel sliding up to me"
Besides sex shops, Patpong is also a place of night markets where you can buy nearly everything - cheap.
Asia in general is a continent where life starts at sundown and ends ....???
Dress Code: I think rather leisure - because even during the nights - it is "hot" in Bangkok