History of Bangkok’s ‘soi of sex’ at Patpong Museum now open in Bangkok’s famous red-light district

Mark Ryan Raj
Although Patpong is famously known as an entertainment hub in Bangkok, the Patpong Museum is more than just a red-light district museum as it also depicts the entire history of the area. — Picture via Facebook/Patpong Museum

PETALING JAYA, Oct 29 — The epicentre of Thailand’s go-go bar culture and Bangkok’s most famous red-light district in Patpong now has a museum which documents its colourful history.

The entertainment district, with its two parallel side-streets between Silom and Surawongse Roads now boasts a home housing featuring an array of paraphernalia and historical objects from Patpong’s past.

The Patpong district is a shopping destination with its night market has attracted a new breed of visitors. — Picture via Facebook/Patpong Museum

The Patpong district was first purchased some seven decades ago by Chinese immigrants named Patpongpanich, and later transformed into an entertainment hub in 1968 when nightclubs began popping up in the area.

Patpong began to flourish in the 1970s and 1980s as American troops serving in the Vietnam War would often visit the area to “rest and recuperate”.

The district was featured in various Hollywood movies like The Deer Hunter, which starred Robert DeNiro and Christopher Walken, and even in a James Bond chase sequence.

Patpong’s golden years have since passed, and the district has been in a downward spiral ever since, as tourists now prefer visiting the neighbouring Soi Cowboy district for their nightlife entertainment.

What remains its biggest attraction is the shopping haven that is the Patpong Night Market.

In a bid to revive the area and educate the public on the district’s rich 70-year history, the Patpong Museum was built to expand its appeal in a rapidly developing Bangkok.

The Patpong Museum, which was opened yesterday, aims to reinvigorate the district. — Picture via Twitter/BangkokSeven

Opened yesterday, the museum is filled with artefacts and information which explains the origins and history of Patpong, as well as a variety of interactive exhibits that take you back in time.

There are even large scale models of what the area allowing visitors a glimpse of the area in the past and digital and 3D exhibits of famous people who have visited the area.

The Patpong Museum, located below the Black Pagoda on Patpong Soi 2, is open from 10am to 10pm every day and prices for tickets are set at THB 295 (RM 41) from Monday to Friday, while tickets are priced at THB 350 (RM 49) plus one drink on the weekends.