Patpong


Patpong is a street in Bangkok full of stalls selling tourist tat, and bars that start off offering “Special Shows” near the main road, but, as you walk further from that area, degenerate (or become more honest) in their signage, and advertise “Sex Shows” instead.

We went there this evening after going to the very civilised restaurant at Jim Thompson’s silk shop / museum. (Jim Thompson was a (possibly) ex-CIA man who had a business exporting silk goods from Thailand, until he disappeared under suspicious circumstances. Or was mysteriously run over by a van in Malaysia. You decide on your favourite conspiracy theory.

Speaking of conspiracy theories, all of a sudden I’m reminded of the ok-but-not-particularly-good pizza restaurant near the harbour in Tromso, Norway, but then I am rather drunk so perhaps you should ignore that.

We went to Patpong. There is a gauntlet to run of men showing you laminated sheets advertising different special/sex shows. You should not look at the laminated sheets. If you’ve had a sheltered upbringing, you might think “Ping Pong” or “Balloon” or “Needle” or “Special Candle” sound amusing. They are not. They are soul destroying. Do not go to Patong. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

We went to Patong, but we went to a bar with no ladies (although Patpong seems to specialise in the ropiest, most angry and ugly ladies of negotiable virture) and a bar band that specialised in massacring 1980s middle of the road rock. I danced, This was probably ill-advised. Luckily there is no evidence of this. Apart from vast numbers of photos and video on social media.

I intended to go home after an hour. I went home at 3 a.m., when several of my colleagues were too drunk to stand, and I had to do my best to ladle them out of the taxi and into their rooms. Somebody has to be a good person. I’m still not sure why it would be me.


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