Note: This article is about the red district area and the Ping Pong show – Unsuitable for minors.
The story starts with the Thailand dream! The idea is to explore Bangkok and afterwards Phuket island. On the first days, we spend our time in Bangkok…One night we decide to visit the Patpong night market. The place is famous for fake brands on sale, especially bags, trainers and watches. It is busy and chaotic every night!
Except for the shopping stands, there are also go-go bars with dancing girls, ladyboys and young kids which you can see behind the curtains and on some of them. It’s just an open area with them completely naked. Moreover, the place is full of Ping Pong show bars. I remember joking back at home with other friends, that a must do in Thailand is to visit one of those bars, it’s the “tradition”!
During our walk around the hundreds of shops, a guy approaches us and informs us that with 100Baht (2.5euro) each person, including a drink, we can watch the Ping pong show. We refused the offer and we walk away. The guy keeps following us and keeps insisting. After a while, we start joking that we “should” follow the tourist tradition. We decide to go just for laugh. So now seemed as good a time as any to follow the guy and inform him that we will check it prior to sitting down for the show. Entering an underground bar we see a lot of foreigners men and women and decide to stay just for a joke and curiosity. As Greeks say “The curiosity kills the cat!”
Ping Pong Show
Upon arrival the bar, we were in another world: Very dark lights, a big stage with 4 mild age women wearing only their minor underwear and tables around. We made our seat at a table and order our drinks. In the beginning, it was just only a dance and the women trying to attack the attention of the customers. including us. In a short time, they start using their lower part of their body to either hold, ejector blow objects from their inner place. Except for ping pong balls they use cigarettes, long strings, whistles and darts. On one side there were a few men looking with the amazed look (really gross!) and on the other side, us and the other tourists watch with the eyes wide open and our jaws on the floor in an unbelievable disgust. The moment they try to distribute us the rackets to “play” a game we felt completely abhorrence about it and decide to leave.
We reach the cashier where a lady pass us the bill, which instead of 200 Baht (2.5 euro) it was 3000 Baht (80 euro)! We tried to complain and they explained to us that there is an extra charge of each look, each chat (if the laugh and the refusal of dancing on the stage, considered as a chat) and each part of the show we saw. The exact reply is “YOU LOOK, YOU PAY”!! What?????!!!!
We try to make a scene and refuse to pay the money. There are no words for what the woman was screaming for. She starts yelling, we start shouting that they try to cheat on us…until we try to leave. A huge manly man is on the exit door and I also noticed that on the back of the cashier there are a few dark rooms..and there were our big concerns starts… “Oh my God! they will kill and nobody will find us!” start thinking…
We explain that we do not have much money… Just to note here that 70 euros in Thailand is such a huge amount of money. At the end they agree to pay less, I really don’t remember the amount we gave. We ran out of the bar, to be honest completely scared… My friend says “Let’s go and find this guy that he brought us to the bar!” I don’t agree, I see the man in a corner and I lie that he is on the other side! Who wants more trouble with the Bangkok mafia???? Not me!! Later on, I informed them that the guy was wearing different clothes, most probably it’s a tactic to avoid troubles from the angry customers.
Trembling and openly relieved from the shock, we smooth our concerns to the hundreds of shops around.
Back to our hotel safe and in good mood, we start joking about it. In the next few days, we will be remembering the incident, start imitating the incident and the woman and overall joke about it.
But actually, it’s not funny… On our hotel in Bangkok, we discussed it with the staff. They informed us that it is a common tourist scam around the night market which happens every day and sometimes can be really dangerous…Officially all these bars are illegal but are protected by the corrupted police system. Back at home, I read various stories of the same ping pong show scams and robberies around that market.
Well, I just wish we have carried out our research earlier and avoid that sleazy bar. Be aware…All these places are all over Thailand.