Patpong | Nightlife in the most visited capital of the world
From the center of one of the largest metropolises in the world to the famous islands of the Andaman Sea, night markets are part of the culture and beauty of Thailand. Whether you want to discover street food, bargain for small handmade treasures or just to observe the lifestyle of the locals, these are the perfect places to get lost among the bustling crowded streets of south-east Asia.
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Thailand’s nightlife is iconic, and adult bars are part of its colorful vibe. Patpong is one of the most famous night markets in Bangkok, frequented by both locals and tourists looking for new experiences. It’s worth a visit especially if you are for the first time in the city but beware of everything that involves the negative side of tourism in Asia.
With a controversial history that began with the opening of its first club in 1972, Patpong is the oldest of Bangkok’s three red districts. On either side of the souvenir shops are standing up behind windows dozens of briefly dressed girls in order to capture the attention of the most curious visitors.
What to expect
Bangkok’s nightlife is known for its eccentricity and nonconformism. Patpong is a place that attracts a lot of tourists, so the prices tend to be very high. If something such as a tempting souvenir, an interesting t-shirt, or jewelry to give as a gift to your loved ones at home get your attention, negotiate whatever you would like to buy. If you do not receive a considerable discount, it is better to try elsewhere.
Although it seems like most of the stalls are selling the same thing, among hundreds of counterfeit bags, glasses, and jewelry, you will find small surprises where you least expect them. Handmade home decor accessories made from coconuts, such as bowls or lamps of different sizes and patterns are the perfect reminder of the good times spent in Thailand.
Tips & Tricks
Although there is a police station nearby, it may be best to watch your pockets when walking through the market.
Ping Pong Show | avoid, avoid, avoid…
As you pass through the stalls you will be invited to all kinds of extravagant shows, which arouse the imagination of any tourist in Thailand. Keep in mind, though, that these are just aggressive pitfalls. If you cross their threshold even to serve just one drink, in the end, probably you will be faced with the fact of leaving behind a considerable tip, maybe even around 1000 baht ( almost 10 times more than the price of a single cocktail). To avoid unpleasant experiences, stay away from these places no matter how insistently you are invited inside or how big of the discounts they offer.
Give it a try!
If nightclubs are not your thing, then Patpong is not the place to hang out for more than an hour or two. Nearby, however, you will find many interesting restaurants and pubs where you can spend the rest of the evening listening to live music or karaoke.
And if you haven’t tried Thai street food, now is the time. Around the market, you will find dozens of vendors who offer fresh fruit kept on ice or prepare all kinds of local delicacies on the spot. Chicken and pork sticks are by far our favorites, but if you are a little braver you can try other exotic specialities. Small snacks from locust or dried crickets will definitely catch your eye, probably as much as exotic herbal teas or delicious coconut sweets.
Tips & Tricks
Siam Paragon, Asia’s largest shopping center, is an 8-minute Skytrain ride away. Before reaching Patpong Night Market visit one of the world’s largest aquariums at Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World or the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.