The Patpong District, located in Bangkok, is generally referred to as Bangkok's red-light district. The area is similar to Soi Cowboy, but on a larger scale. Many tourists go to the Patpong Market that sets up shop every weekend, and they accidently get sucked into a few of the clubs. Complete wild sex shows are commonplace, and most of the locals don't bat an eye to sexual intercourse happening right in the doorways.

An example of a show concerned two buxom Thai girls who took a shower on the stage, a very sensuous experience. They each took turns soaping each other up in every conceivable part of the human body. They then slowly rinsed each other off. At that point, they began to make love to each other. It was obvious that these two actually cared for each other, as it was a tender, caring performance. The gentlemen I had arrived with were regulars, and they told me that the two women were off-stage lovers as well.

Women are constantly grabbing your crotch and trying to unzip your trousers. Breasts are thrust into your hands, and some specialist women just perform fellatio for 300 baht (about $8US). If you're bold enough, you can just bend a girl over your table and screw her brains out. One of the gents I was with liked Patpong because it's the only place he found where he can have anal sex whenever he pleases, and it costs him $40US per woman. When he goes there, he brings a box of condoms and enough cash for three or four women.

Personally, I find these places rather sad. If you're just looking for copious amounts of sex, this is your heaven. If you look into their eyes, you'll see a sadness that transcends time. The women who are working as sex partners and strippers do it only to support their family and parents. I enjoy sex as much as the next person, but to me this is just a form of rape. They don't want to do it, they never figured that their lives would end up that way, and there is no future for them. There's always a younger body to replace them at the drop of a hat. There are tons of folks who disagree with my view, and they are in the clubs regularly.

Outside, the marketplace is filled with walls of humans. Narrow spaces are filled with carts and tents showing wares. I purchased several fake watches, most of which turned out to be fine watches. I bought several Breitling Emergency watches, made out of heavy stainless steel. All of them keep perfect time and appear to be the real brand. I also purchased a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day/Date for $15US, and it too keeps perfect time. You can figure that it's a Timex in a Rolex package.

Pirated video and music CDs are also for sale, running about $2US each. There are examples of fine artwork and metalwork, and almost every stall sells clothing with famous maker tags. It was tough to find clothes for me (I'm six-foot two and I weigh 260lbs), but I was able to buy complete outfits for $6US. You are expected to haggle the price down, and half the fun of buying things is to get the best price. One of the Breitling watches started at 13,900 baht, and I ended up with it for 740 baht, about $20US. I also gave the vender a one-dollar US bill as a tip.

There are pickpockets and beggars all over. One of my first purchases was a Harley-Davidson wallet on a heavy stainless steel chain. I also picked up several pirated Gerber and Leatherman tools that you wear on your belt. Since I'm a father, I must admit I have a soft spot for children beggars, and I always give them money. It's very disconcerting to have a two-year-old girl begging for change, and I still think that she could be one of my daughters if I hadn't been born elsewhere.

I've never felt like I was in danger while I was in the area. There are a lot of folks around, and I've never even seen a fight (outside of the National Stadium... Thai Kickboxers are tough) in all the time I've spent in Bangkok.

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