Brendan Gara Photography

Ping Pong

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Patpong, a minutes walk from the Sala Daeng Skytrain station, and an eye watering way to spend a couple of hours in the evening.  Patpong is the oldest red light area in Bangkok and more of a tourist “experience” than it’s close neighbours in Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza.  It’s pretty difficult to walk around, between the night market selling the “hello kitty” paraphernalia, next to vibrators, dildos and porno DVDs, and then the go go bars and their touts advertising cheap drinks with no cover charge.

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We “inadvertently” ended up being persuaded to have a drink and were led up some stairs to the side of where we had been talking on the street a few seconds earlier.  We were expecting a go go bar with dancers and a few laughs, but not stunts.

All pretty grim so we turned around quick sharp and clattered down the stairs with the shouts of the owners ringing In our ears. We got speaking to a guy a few days later who had stayed, drank and then been presented with the bill including cover charge.  It got pretty nasty by all accounts, but he seemed to have been saved by wit of him having a tourist police card in his wallet- he knew his “rights” apparently.

We settled for a drink in a road side bar where we could watch the touts at work and the world in general go past.

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