Bangkok, Thailand is famous for its markets. Street markets, south east Asia’s largest outdoor market, weekend markets and night markets, they’re all in Bangkok.
With several night markets in Bangkok alone, Patpong Night Market is still one of the most famous night markets in Bangkok. But, as markets go, it is actually a poor one. In fact, if you are looking for a good night market, Patpong Night Market isn’t it and here’s why.
Location of Patpong Night Market – Patpong is one of the area’s of Bangkok famous for the girly bars and the sex industry. At Patpong you’ll see ping pong shows, strip shows, girls dancing around poles, and hundreds of bars and night clubs with thousands of Thai women out on the streets trying to attract men.
In the midst of all this is Patpong Night Market. Quite a small market, it’s crammed in a couple of the small side streets of the Patpong area and is usually chock full of tourists who don’t know whether to keep their eyes fixed on the stalls crammed with products, or on the prostitutes who are out in force on the streets.
Either way, it’s crowded, sordid and more than a bit depressing.
Products at Patpong Night Market – Many of the products at Patpong Night Market are fake products – fake designer bags, fake designer t shirts, watches, copied DVDs and CDs – you name it, they’ve got the fake version of the real thing. But prices are expensive and, if you’re looking for fake products, Patpong is not the place to buy them.
Patpong Night Market also has stalls full of beautiful Thai crafts, Thai silk, handcarved vases and wooden boxes, Thai silk purses and handbags, leather goods, cushion covers, lamps and lots more. A lot of the products are repeated on various stalls though, and most of them are only made for tourists.
If you want the real authentic Thai products, your best bet is to go to Chatuchak Weekend Market or one of the small street markets scattered all over Bangkok as, here, they cater to Thais and not only to western tourists with more money than sense.
Price of Products at Patpong Night Market – Prices for things at Patpong Night Market are high. On my last visit, I discovered stall keepers offering some of the same products at Chatuchak Weekend Market but at prices more than three times the cost.
Even with bargaining hard, prices at Patpong Night Market are still expensive so, if you want the best price, avoid Patpong and bargain at Chatuchak or at one of the thousands of stalls upstairs at Mahboonkrong (MBK) Mall instead.
You will get a much fairer price and often a better quality item.
Touts at Patpong Night Market – One thing I find incredibly annoying at Patpong Night Market are the touts. Either trying to sell you porn DVDs or trying to get you to go into the go-go bars to watch the bar girls, when all you want to do is some shop, having an irritating Thai guy pushing girlie flyers at you and refusing to go away makes the experience much less enjoyable.
Patpong Night Market, in my book, is a place to avoid unless you want to experience one of Bangkok’s red-light districts. Even then though, be careful what you buy as you will likely end up paying more than double what you would pay for a similar item elsewhere.
Also be aware the area is packed with pickpockets, so if you don’t lose your money from the rip-off sellers, you may lose it from a light-fingered passer-by instead.
Plus, because the stall keepers are used to dealing with farangs (foreigners) and expats, they are often a lot less polite and less delightful than stall keepers at other Bangkok markets.