Patpong night market is the most popular night market of Bangkok among tourists. Plenty of souvenirs, shirts and things like that.
It’s located in Bangkok’s notorious red light district, so when you walk here don’t be surprised to see girls (and boys) advertising x-rated shows, gogo bars and special massages or x-rated DVDs.
Most vendors set up shop around 6pm in the evening and close between 10pm or midnight.
What can you buy at Patpong Night Market?
Mostly tourist souvenirs, T-shirts, fake brandname copies (fake Louis Vuitton handbags are very popular, as are fake Rolex watches or fake Lacoste shirts), illegal DVDs of the latest Hollywood blockbusters or DVD sets of your favorite sitcom, illegal music compilations, fashion accessories, some simple handmade items like carved soap and so on.
Expensive Prices At Patpong
Whatever you buy here – you have to bargain. Prices at Patpong night market are notoriously high, and manytimes vendors will quote you double or even triple the price of what you should actually say. One reason is that many people who’ve never really travelled around that much come to this market and don’t know about bargaining or the right prices. So for a vendor, it makes economic sense to try to sell something for $50, even if it’s only worth $10. Experienced travellers will bargain, and unexperienced ones might just buy with that inflated price.
Eating At Patpong
There are many international fast food franchise outlets here: McDonalds, KFC, Subway sandwhiches, Starbucks, Burger King and others.
You also find Italian restaurants, and of course plenty of Thai food.
But the most interesting place to explore for food is Soi Thaniya – there are plenty of Japanese restaurants, some of them offering very good food. Just make sure that you not accidentally walk into a Japanese “entertainment” venue.
The History of Patpong
What’s now as Patpong today really began in 1946 when a Chinese family bought a plot of land for less than $3000. The name of that family? Patpongpanich. Now you know where the name comes from.
But when they bought it, it was just an undeveloped plot of land, far away from the city center. There was only one Teakwood house and a small canal. That has very much changed of course – the teakwood house has been torn down, the canal has been filled up and there is not a single inch of undeveloped land left now.
At first the Patpongpaanich family built a small road (which is now called Patpong 1), and several small shophouses along those road, which they then rented out.
Later on, they did the same thing again: building another road, calling it Patpong 2.
Both of these streets are in fact private properties, not really public streets – which is one reason why it’s so popular with businesses that aren’t exactly 100% legal.
The person who was most in charge of developing this area was Udom Patpongpanich, who died in 1996 at age 79.
After Mr. Udom completed his education in England and the United states, he joined the Thai resistance movement against the Japanese during World War II. After the war was over, he started to promote the Patpong area as a good place for foreign businesses to set up their offices, and the area now is in fact largely occupied businesses offices.
It was in the 70s that Patpong started to add “entertainment” into it’s portfolio. During the Vietnam war American soldiers would visit Bangkok for Rest and Recreation (R&R). Selling alcohol and sex was an easy way to make a lot of money really fast during those days, and bars, nightclubs, massage parlors and entertainment complexes opened up shop en masse at Patpong.
Opening hours: 6pm – midnight, daily
Getting there: Take the BTS (skytrain) and get out at Sala Daeng. Or take the MRT (subway) and get out at Silom.