Patpong essentially consists of two streets situated between Suranwong Road and Silom Road, also known as Silom 1 and Silom 2. They are rather cramped making your journey up and down a bit of a hindrance, to say the least. The centre of the road is packed with stalls selling all sorts of over-priced merchandise.
Though this market attracts thousands of visitors nightly, there are much better markets in the city. One thing you can be absolutely sure of and that is, prices for goods here are way over the top.
It matters not how much you test your bargaining skills because you’ll still end up paying two, three or even four times the price you’d find at other markets in Bangkok. And for that matter anywhere else. The prices in this market are specifically geared up to rip tourists off. I’d tread with caution if I was you.
Fake designer clothing, watches, handbags and just about anything in between are common place here as are the assortment of pirated CD’s and DVD’s which could get you into a little trouble back home. I personally would avoid buying any of the items at Patpong. It’s best to simply stroll around and take in the ambience, the sights, the sounds and the smells.
Though it is fairly safe on the streets Bangkok, you will need to keep your wits about you when visiting Patpong. Bad behaviour in the area is extremely rare, however, pickpockets like to practice their skills and are sometimes difficult to spot. It’s important to keep a tight grip on your wallet and handbag at all times.
One of the very reasons you may want to visit Patpong Night Market is to be able to go home and say to your friends… Well, I’ve been there, done that and bought the T-Shirt to prove it. It’s certainly not at all doom and gloom either. There is this intensely active atmosphere here if not somewhat amusing too.
Walking through the Patpong market checking out all the shops and stalls, it’s more than willing staff as well as the general public, can be immensely entertaining. However, you need to pluck up the courage to simply walk away when persistent touts try their luck in luring you to view some of the seedier sides of this region.
You can spend time here relaxing at one or another restaurant or bar while observing all the comings and goings. It’s, without a doubt, a collective kaleidoscope of colour and chaotic charm. More than that it can easily get a tad hectic at times. Unintentional rubbing of shoulders is all part and parcel as hundreds of tourists jostle up and down for whatever space there may be.
Patpong Night Market – How to avoid the Touts
For those of you who are unfamiliar with what a tout is… They are unscrupulous beings whose sole aim it is to prey on the ignorant and the innocent. They are in your face, they are unavoidable and they are everywhere. Dodging them is not easy.
A tout will ultimately approach you with a list of what appears to be some form of adult entertainment. While this might seem fun to some, you’d be better off ignoring the offer altogether. What it really amounts to is a likeness to a rather dodgy ping pong show complete with all the bells and whistles. No need for further detail here. They are crude in manner and are a total waste of money.
What touts offer and what you get are two entirely different entities. You’ll not miss a thing by giving this one fat thumbs down. By going you’ll miss a heck of a lot more than just your cash. In most cases, you’ll be taken out of the immediate area, up dark and dingy stairs and into a bar with no name. I’d be afraid – Because you could be ripped off Thai style. Friendly but effective.
Inside you’ll get little of what was initially shown to you. What you do get is a crappy show for which you are expected to applaud and donate generously. These shows are cheap and nasty. The only thing you’ll get is a bruised ego and a hole in your pocket.
It’s not my intention to put you off going to Patpong night market, but quite honestly, it’s a little overrated but go, if you must. After all, when in Bangkok, you should try everything at least once. It can be an enlightening experience.
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