Many of my friends,while I was just about to travel to Thailand had dared me to sample the legendary Bangkok nightlife that we had so often heard about. With famed tales of lady boys and sex changes,I considered this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness something unique of Thailand.
True enough,I occasionally enjoy my drink,thus once I got my bearing around the city,I was sure on my way to the nearest watering hole,as an initiation step to the nightlife, that would also offer an opportunity of my enjoying a football or rugby match..and what do you know,the Summer Olympics as well! Yep, I am an all rounded sports fan, with a soft spot for football(soccer),basketball,tennis and boxing.
So with many on and off track field events of the 2012 Olympics hosted in London happening to fall during the late hours Bangkok time,there was surely no way I was going to miss watching,Usain Bolt,David Rudisha,Gabby Douglas,Micheal Phelps and Mo Farah (re)establish their credentials in possibly the world’s greatest celebrated sporting event.
The sporting events were indeed the perfect way of tracking my way to exploring the nightlife,considering I was so on a solo mission,being miles on end away from friends and family.
Living along the Sukhumvit area,the closest exciting hotspot that would grant me the opportunity of enjoying the nightlife pleasures was place called Nana. With the convenient,sky train network,it would be easy to get to Nana,for 45 Baht rather than hailing a cab that would cost me three times as much.
The first thing that hits you about nightlife in Nana is the presence of traders and trading,referred to as night bazaars. From street to soi (description of alley in Thai),there is a near,never-ending presence of merchandise and wares,that range from,T-shirts,to Porsche emblazoned polo shirts,from miniature speakers to watches,travel bags and sex toys.
The go-go bars have their equal share as well..on one side,dimly lit,loud playing entertainment spots,while on the other, there is the open,wide entrance,well-lit bars,with well positioned cable T.V. screens.
To attract the many tourists,mostly Westerners,commonly referred to as farang,are scantily dressed twilight girls,bearing heavy make up,smiling and inviting the curious onlooker to the numerous nightclubs.
On one occasion I had a chance to chat one of the girls,who summoned the courage to come sit next to me.This is after my strutting in one of the pubs,with a Denzel Washington aura,ordering a cold Singha and a pack of Marlboro (rarely smoke). In addition I drew out my Samsung Tablet (free wi-fi available majority of the pubs),portraying an impression of an exotic,serious,go getter and possibly rich business man.
In summary the conversation ranged from how long I was staying in Thailand,where I come from,what am doing in Thailand….and do I have a Thai girlfriend! My failure to buy her a drink but to offer a few cigarette sticks instead,obviously did not make me good/profitable company.
I digress. My take of Nana in the end >>> great for the free-spirited,no holds, kind of fun-loving guy. Drink,street-side food,lots a women and rooms all around. How great can commerce get!!
To me Patpong appears to be the full stretch of Nana. Located close to the Sala Daeng BTS station on the Silom line, Patpong is basically two streets that present a similar structure to Nana,night shopping bazaar and go-go bars.
Unlike Nana,Patpong presents a rather straight to your face, approach to commercial sex. Tuk Tuk drivers and smiling but aggressive looking,well stationed Thai brokers are quick to show you photos of semi nude or even nude ladies,with the suggestion of ‘do you want a massage..’ or ‘can i show you a good place to have fun..‘. Top this up with pub names that just speak volumes of how your night is expected to end.
I think the best way of describing Patpong and Nana,would be through a visual tour of the areas. Check out this video that I came across that aptly represents my sightings http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TENj5JCuLtA
Sad that I did not come along with my friends and family to experience this incredible part of Bangkok. Advise… tag along with your friends and family if you can,lots of fun while in a group….family I hear you say? Yeah…I picked up a line that the night bazaars are ‘great places to bring mummy and the kids for shopping,while daddy can have some extra fun too!’
So while in Bangkok,ensure to sample Nana and Patpong…..responsibly!!!!