is easily Bangkok's best-known, most notorious nightlife area.
The four-acre plot of privately owned land has over 100 back-to-back
neon-lit bars catering almost exclusively to men. The short
lanes stretching between Silom and Surawong Roads constitute
one of the best nightlife areas in the world and, love it
or hate it, few will forget their first trip to Patpong.
area now covered in gaudy go-go bars was once
a banana plantation owned by the bank of Indochina.
land was sold to the Hainanese-Thai Patpongpanich
family just before the second world war for just
60,000 baht, about US$2400. The Patpongpanich
family now collects over 10 million baht monthly
from rent alone.
earned its notoriety during the Vietnam War when GIs made
it their base for R&R (rest and recreation), also known
as I&I (intoxication and intercourse). These days Patpong
is tamer and pretty much run for the tourists.
nightlife strip runs along two short lanes, Patpong 1 and
2, with a couple of short interconnecting sois. Bars share
street-space with restaurants, massage parlors, a couple of
hotels, and, incongruously, a Foodland supermarket, while
a night market selling clothes, fake watches and souvenirs
runs down the center of Patpong 1 and out along Silom Road.
touts and overzealous salesmen will pester the tourist for
their dollars, Patpong is one of the safest and least expensive
nightlife areas in the world and should remain on the itineraries
of every visitor to Bangkok. Get there easily from the Sala
Daeng BTS Station or just get a taxi or tuk tuk - everyone