Ping Pong show scam in Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok Thailand

Note: This article is about the red district area and the Ping Pong show – Unsuitable for minors.

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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 Patpog night market. The place is famous for fake brands on sale, especially bags, trainers and watches. It is busy and chaotic every night!

Thailand Dream

Except the shopping stands, there are also go-go bars with dancing girls, lady boys and young kids which you can see behind the curtains and on some of them its 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 and 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 sit down for the show. Entering a 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 on a table and order our drinks. On 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, eject or blow objects from their inner place. Except ping pong balls they use cigarettes, long strings, whistles and darts. On one side there were a few men looking with 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 start yelling, we start shouting that they try 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 kills and nobody will find us!” start thinking… 

We explain that we do not have such 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  “Lets 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 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 imitate 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 and have been informed that it is a common tourist scam around the night market which happens every day and some times 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. 


  1. I have never been to Thailand and I couldn’t imagine until I read your article that this kind of “shows” are happening somewhere in this world. It’s so outrageous, and the worst is that those women are probably doing it because they don’t have any other option to put food on their children’s tables.

  2. Glad you’re ok! I love Thailand, but like all countries, there are def scams and some pretty dangerous places you can end up. Sometimes paying a bit and walking out is the best possible scenario.

  3. I have heard about many that has experienced the same. I went once when I lived there back in 2004, as you, just to see what it was all about. We did luckily get out without anyone trying to trick us, but things has obviously changed a lot since then.

  4. I’ve always been waayyyyy too scared to go to one of these! Interesting to read about!!!

  5. That is horrible!!! Not only your situation that you could solve by paying more than you expected but still, seeing kids just there naked and ready to be God knows what is terrifying

  6. I went to Thailand last and thankfully nothing like this happened! Your experience sounds quite scary. I don’t what I would’ve done in your place 😮 Glad it ended well though

  7. Ah that sounds super dodge! Thank you for the heads up. Then again, I’d probably never hit up a Ping Pong show anyway, haha.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this! I had no interest in seeing one of these shows in the first place, but most DEFINITELY don’t now!

  9. Pingback: Stories on Being Robbed and Scammed, and how to Avoid it | ThriftyTrails

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