Patpong Night Market
Opening Hours: 18:00 - around 01:00 (every day)
How to get there: Coming from BTS Siam station, depart at Sala Daeng station and exit down one of the right-hand stairs. Follow the increasing trail of vendors along the sidewalk, and after five minutes, you'll know you're there.
Patpong (Thai: พัฒน์พงศ์, rtgs: Phat Phong) is an entertainment district in Bangkok, Thailand, catering mainly, though not exclusively, to foreign tourists and expatriates. While Patpong is internationally known as a red light district at the heart of Bangkok's sex industry, it is in fact only one of numerous red-light districts with some catering primarily to Thai men while others, like Patpong, cater primarily to foreigners.
A busy night market aimed at tourists is also located in Patpong.
Patpong consists of two parallel side streets running between Silom Road and Surawong Road and one side street running from the opposite side of Surawong. Patpong is within walking distance from the BTS Skytrain Silom Line's Sala Daeng Station, and MRT Blue Line's Si Lom Station.
Patpong 1 is the main street with many bars of various kinds. Patpong 2 also has many similar bars. Next to these lies Soi Jaruwan, sometimes referred to as Patpong 3 but best known as Silom Soi 4. It has long catered to gay men, whilst nearby Soi Thaniya has expensive bars with Thai hostesses that cater almost exclusively to Japanese men.
A dancer at Badabing go-go bar along Patpong
Patpong has many shows featuring women doing stunts in the nude. Go-go bars feature women dancing on a stage. The dancers (and even occasionally the serving staff) are generally available to customers willing to pay a bar fine to take them out of the bar.
Several upstairs bars still feature (technically illegal) sex shows, with women performing various creative acts. An example is the Ping pong show, which features women performing exotic feats involving their genitalia and projectile table tennis balls. Some of these second-floor bars are run by scam artists who lure tourists with offers of low prices and later present a wildly inflated bill along with a threat of physical harm should the bill go unpaid. The Tourist Police, usually stationed at Patpong 1 and Silom Road, can help in these situations.
Some establishments in Patpong employ kathoeys (or "ladyboys") either exclusively or as part of a mixed gender staff. Unlike the kathoey bars in Nana Plaza, many of the staff at these Patpong bars are post-operative transsexuals.
With one or two exceptions, the gay bars in the Patpong area are not go-go bars, but simply traditional gay pubs, such as Telephone and The Balcony, which cater to both Thais and tourists. The commercial gay oriented go-go bars are mainly on Surawong Road or in small street Soi Pratuchai leading off Surawong.