Don’t confuse PATPONG with PATONG.
- Patpong is a Red Light District in Bangkok.
- Patong is an area in Phuket, Thailand. (Also where the Phuket Red Light District Bangla Road is located.)
This article is about Patpong, a small Red Light District in Bangkok. (Which I am not a big fan of.)
Given it’s remote location, I don’t see why any single man would go to Patpong instead of Soi Cowboy or Nana Plaza.
There’s no reason to – the selection of bars is limited and you always need to be on guard to avoid Ping Pong scams and similar rip-offs.
Well, wait …
There are two reasons I can think of
- You’re staying in the area/close-by (not sure why you would)
- You want nightlife that is less touristy, which definitively applies to the Patpong Red Light District
Simply put, Patpong is somewhat of a tourist trap.
Mainstream tourist guides will make you feel bad about visiting Red Light Districts in Bangkok (you’re a sex tourist – that’s despicable!) – then they will go on and recommend you better ‘don’t miss out on visiting Patpong Night Market!’
That’s just one of many reasons why you should ALWAYS stay clear of mainstream tourist guides (for any country).
Patpong is walking distance from both Sala Daeng (BTS) and Silom (MRT).
Is Patpong Dangerous?
Particularly at night, you will have street hustlers asking you to come see the ping pong shows; some will offer drugs as well.
Here’s what that looks like …
Add to that dozens of stories about the ‘Ping Pong scam in Patpong’ and it’s easy to conclude that overall the area is unsafe.
After all, people have been extorted and beaten up!
The truth is, if you avoid the Ping Pong shows and stay clear of drugs, you have nothing to fear.
At Patpong, your only worry should be if you get a fair price when buying a fake watch or fake bag 😉
Bangkok Ping Pong Scam (in Patpong)
So what exactly is this scam all about?
Usually, the scam starts in a very innocent way. You’re walking around checking out the Patpong nightmarket …
You get approached by a tout and are presented with a menu like this:
Somewhere on the menu, it says ‘NO COVER CHARGE’.
You’re thinking that’s great. No entrance fee – might as well have a look!
Inside, you order a drink, let’s say a beer which is listed at 100 Thai Baht ($3 USD). When it’s time to pay, all sorts of charges are being added to your bill.
Wanna leave or protest? Good luck dealing with security.
Here’s the experience of a Thailand visitor:
As a seasoned traveler, I saw no harm of this tout that approached me as I was walking back to my Airbnb.
He said he’d show and take me to bars (speak easy types) that are open. I saw no harm.
Once there I was confronted with aggressive tactics by the owner. I was cool with buying the tout a beer …
… but the bar owner wanted me to by him one too. I said no.
Then he called his stable of girls and paraded them in front of me. I learned in my research it’s a no-no to confront Thai’s … especially if I notice three other guys lurking around.
I pulled the owner aside and told him frankly, I just wanted a beer and will not be enticed into anything more than that. I told him I’d buy him a beer, and take a couple to go.
End Result: $60 USD for six beers
If you still don’t believe me, go see for yourself 😉 (Please, don’t!)
Patpong Beer & Agogo Bars
Patpong has over a dozen beer/gogo bars; I will only list the ones that are worth checking out. For more in-depth info, use the Interactive Maps included in my Thailand Guide.
- Bada Bing Patpong
- Glamour Gogo Bar Patpong
- Black Pagoda
PLEASE NOTE: There are ladyboy/mixed gogo bars at Patpong. King’s Castle & King’s Castle 2 have ladyboys!
Prices at Patpong
Keep in mind, prices vary from bar to bar. If you’re paying close to the following prices, you’re not getting ripped-off.
- Ladydrink: 180 Thai Baht (~$6 USD)
- Barfine: 800 Thai Baht (~$26 USD)
- Short Time (ST): 1,600 – 3,500 Thai Baht ($50)
- Long Time (LT): ($127-190 USD)
As you can see, that’s a lot of money for drinks and the barfine … add to that taxi costs, etc.
Paying that much is fine every once in a while (just for the sake of having a gogo bar experience), but on a daily basis, I recommend you use my Thai girls contacts.
Why? Here’s why …
Let’s do a conservative calculation.
You decide to visit a gogo bar at Patpong. There you see her – that one girl you want to have in your bed TONIGHT.
She comes over. To take her home, the following charges will apply:
- Ladydrink (most likely 2): 360 Thai Baht ($12)
- Your Drinks (3 beers): 250 Thai Baht ($8)
- Barfine: 800 Thai Baht (~$26 USD)
- Short Time (ST): 1,600 Thai Baht ($50 USD)
Again, that’s a very conservative calculation.
Sure, you get to interact and have fun with the girl inside the gogo bar, but overall, you’re paying $96 USD for short time with the girl (= 1 shot/1 hour).
Like I said, that’s fine. All part of the experience and your Thailand trip.
However, do you really want to spend that much every night?
Probably not. You can have girls come directly to your place for a fraction of that price – for as little as 1,000 Thai Baht ($32 USD) – and I am talking about nice girls!
That’s the reason why I’ve put together my Thai girls contacts, which now include over 50+ girls who I have ‘tested’. You know what ‘tested’ means in this context 😀
Here’s a small preview of what that list looks like for Bangkok – the actual list contains more than 50 girls! (The full list contains contacts for Bangkok, Pattaya & Phuket)
Should you visit Patpong? If you’ve got nothing better to do, I say go there once just for the experience.
Once you have done that, spend the remainder of your Thailand holiday in Bangkok at lower Sukhumvit (Soi Cowboy & Nana Plaza area).