Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Adventurous Kate Goes to a Bangkok Ping Pong Show


Image: Harry Haze

Bangkok ping pong shows are as notorious as Bangkok’s Red Light District itself.  Walk down Khao San Road — a totally different neighborhood — and, regardless of your age or gender, men whisper, “Ping pong? Ping pong?” while smacking their lips together in a telltale pop.

I had to see it for myself.

Yes, maybe this wasn’t the best activity to do as a solo female traveler, but what was I going to do?


Everyone: “….”


I would go alone.  I would go alone with confidence and style.  And being a solo female traveler alone in the Red Light District would probably make a better story, wouldn’t it?

(I warn you, this is an extremely sexually explicit post.  If you’re faint of heart or not interested in this sort of thing, I encourage you to stop reading immediately.  I’ll be back to normal posts tomorrow.)

“Patpong,” I tell my cab driver on Khao San Road.  And for perhaps the first time in history, a Bangkok driver actually knows the place I’m talking about.

One 80-baht drive later, he drops me off in the heart of the Patpong Night Market, where tables of designer knock-offs are surrounded on three sides by strip clubs.

A man rushes up to me before I’m even out of the cab.  “Ping pong?  Ping pong?”

Um, yes.  Actually.”

If he’s surprised, he doesn’t show it.  Instead, I’m led past the market and up a steep staircase into a dark club.

Immediately I’m seated with a view of the round stage.  Dance music blares overhead, the speakers emitting strong static.  Women surround me in various states of undress, an older madame overseeing everything.

The man who brought me hands me a card.  300 baht ($10) covers entry and my first drink.

“Bucket?” I ask hopefully.

Ha.  Like they’d include a bucket.

The girls bring me a Singha and dissipate, resuming their gyrations on stage.

An older, pockmarked, overweight woman seated to my left looks me up and down.  “I can make you feel good,” she purrs.

Holy sh*t.

“It’s okay.  No, thank you.  Mai yao, ka,” I tell her.

She doesn’t relent.

“I’m not interested.”

She starts stroking my arm.

I like boys,” I say as I wrestle her off me.  “Only boys.  I don’t like girls.  I’m just…curious.

Curious.  Isn’t that what many a college girl has said upon diving headfirst into labia for a night?


You give me tip.”

I hand her 20 baht and the large woman returns to behind the counter.

I’m wondering where the attractive lesbians are.  Seriously, is she really the best they have to offer?  Is it the low demand, or do most girls tend to go for her type?  Why would girls go for that type, period?  There seems to be a significantly lower shame factor in Thailand than anywhere else I’ve ever been. Does this relate to why the majority of guys on Craigslist Casual Encounters are looking for women by whom they pretend to be disgusted real life?

My mind is wandering to my psychology courses in college and recent Savage Love columns…but then the show really begins.

Image: permanently scatterbrained

I’m trying to figure out how to articulate the word for a woman’s anatomy without driving a lot of lotion-and-kleenex-scented traffic to my site, but I think that will go out the window once I describe my current hostel situation as a Vagina Vault.  (Three levels of key-card security in a women’s-only wing?  Yep, that’s a Vagina Vault, all right.)

Let’s call it a hoo-ha, for comedic purposes.

Anyway, there is a bunch of balloons at one end of the stage.  My naive self assumes that they’re just for decoration.

Not a chance.

The one completely naked woman on stage is holding what appears to be a long straw.  Before long, she lies down on her side, one leg extended into the air, straw fully inserted into hoo-ha.  She puts a dart into the straw, holds on tight, and —


I’m gaping and wondering exactly which muscles she has to squeeze to make a motion like that.


Maybe it’s a stretch?  Something she eats?


Did she store up air before that?  How would one even begin to do that?


There are only two left.  Surely she won’t be able to —


The girl gets up, grabs the final balloon, and hands it to me.


I hold it as far away from me as I can stretch.  She gets down on the stage again and I’m doing everything I can not to look into the vortex.  In goes the straw, in goes the dart, and —


Thanking God that an errant dart didn’t hit any of my vital arteries, I tip her and sit.

Next: ping pong.

My only knowledge of ping pong shows comes from South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, which, admittedly, isn’t very much.

Well, it’s not too different from what you’d imagine.

I’m handed a paddle.

You can guess what happens next.


One by one, the woman inserts ping pong balls into her hoo-ha and shoots them across the room. All of them are aimed in my direction.

I’m screaming and dodging and batting them away.  But soon, my competitive instincts take over and I’m hitting them back with vigor, because the last thing I want is to get a soaked ping pong ball in my face!

I survive, hitting back every single ping pong ball.  BOOYEAH.

“Now you tip!” the girl commands.  Of course, I tip!  That’s the most tip-worthy act I’ve seen in a long time.  I give her a hundred.

The other girls immediately swarm me.

“Are you kidding?  None of you did anything!”

They won’t leave.  I acquiesce, giving each of them 20 baht.  At that point, I’m out of bills, so I go to the bar to see if they can change a hundred.

“No,” the madame refuses.


You know, I’m out of here,” I tell her, turning on my heel and leaving the club.

Nobody follows me out.  THANK GOD.

So that was my first ping pong show.  Is this something solo female travelers can go to on their own?  Well, sure.  But I wouldn’t recommend it. I also bet you’d spend a lot less money if you had two or more people.

That said, it was something that I will remember for the rest of my life.

While I realize that there’s so much that can be said about Thailand’s sex trade and the tragic lives of these women, I want the post to concentrate on the humor and overall ridiculousness of my night.  We can discuss the serious stuff at another time.

To be honest, I’m a bit worried about whether I can continue my adventures at this rate.  How the hell could I top this?! I’ve already been punched in the face!  Am I going to wake up with a tattoo of a tiger on my face like that girl on For the Love of Ray-J?

If you have any suggestions for what I should do next, I would gladly welcome them!  Any ideas?

Adventurous Kate contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help reduce the ever-increasing costs of keeping this site active. Thanks for reading!


123 Responses to “Adventurous Kate Goes to a Bangkok Ping Pong Show”
  1. Wow I’m impressed .. can’t believe you did that on your own! I’m heading solo to SE Asia next year not sure I’m brave enough to check out a ping pong show, but who you never know.

  2. Alouise says:

    I gotta say I can do a lot of solo things on my own when I travel, but I don’t know if I could do that. It kinda makes the sex show I saw in Amsterdam with my Contiki tour seem kind of tame. But I also thought the whole thing seemed a bit ridiculous and silly. I couldn’t imagine how anyone get get tend on my a show like that, but I guess it’s just difference strokes for different folks (pun intended).

  3. Ooooh, when we were in Amsterdam I sooo wanted to see a sex show, but Jack, a much bigger feminist that I am, refused.

    What an interesting experience. How does one blow air out of her hoo-ha… tsk, I wonder if it’s like twitching your ears. Some people just seem to know what muscles to flex.

  4. Sounds like the most expensive ping pong show ever too! You got guts Kate… And always funny, good writing afterward. Hey, there’s still a chance for that surprise tattoo when you come back to Ao Nang to see Mr. Long & me… 😉

  5. Greg says:

    Nice, I salute your bravery. When I was leading night tours of Bangkok, I had to take my clients to wherever they wanted, and I once had a group of 8 40-something women and one of their husbands who wanted to see a gay sex show. Not far from the bar you were at, we found a place and… well, if you want to take it up (down?) a notch or fifty, check those places out. I’m rarely speechless, hardly ever scared, and not easily impressed, but that was one time I was all three at the same time.
    Also, ten points for “Diving headfirst into labia”.

  6. Oh. My. Gawd.

    That is one of the more disturbing–but also entertaining–travel tales I’ve heard in a long time. I had no idea they were called ping pong shows–or why for that matter–until now! Thanks for the enlightening post =) When I lived in Holland, I couldn’t even bring myself to walk through the Red Light District!

  7. Audrey says:

    I have images from Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in my head when I think of ping pong shoes. Can’t imagine what it must be like to see it live. How did these shows come to be?? I’m assuming they began during Vietnam war…but why?? Good on you for going on your own and reporting back to us!

  8. Amanda says:

    Reading this, I was wondering how on earth you’ll top this, too! The shenanigans you get up to, Kate…

    But wow… I don’t even want to try and picture this… I’m scared. I think you’re much braver than me. The only way I think I’d venture into one of these sex shows would be with a large group of people to protect me from hoo-ha-juice-covered flying objects.

  9. HAHA! I love it! I’m heading for Thailand in January for a minimum of two months (hopefully more) and while I’m not really a strip club kind of guy, I might have to make a stop and see this.

    mom: Hows was your trip to Thailand?
    me: Ohh…it was..uhh..interesting…
    mom: What did you do?
    me: Played some ping pong!

    Looking forward to the next story!

  10. Laura says:

    Wow. I think you left me speechless. Except I can say that you are one brave soul.

  11. AM says:

    Wow, this is awesome!!! and the way you write made all the difference too.
    Like like very much!

  12. Jamie says:

    I laughed the whole way through. Glad you made it out ok. As a mid-twenties dude I dont know if I would have gone. So good stuff, keep sharing the craziness that is Kate’s adventures.

  13. Earl Squirrelson says:

    Well, I just coughed my breakfast all over the screen of my iPad, haha…but that’s all good!!!

    I have heard that there are some bars in Thailand that have midget throwing in them Kate. The midget wears a suit so when you throw them at the wall they stick go it, kinda like Velcro…weight be worth a look!!!


      • Vanessa says:

        This comment sealed the deal for me. You are everything that’s wrong with tourists today. You’re irresponsible, ignorant, and the reason many locals hate westerners.

        Why not try giving back to the countries you visit, instead of just taking (and for free and making money off the experiences!) by volunteering or really getting to know the people.

        You’ve lost one reader and I hope many others see through your exploitative posts.

        • Hinoron says:

          Oh I doubt they have anything at all against Kate. Why would they? She came to see the show, paid the cover, tipped generously (under duress or not) and caused no trouble while there. They like her kind of tourist just fine.

          No, the westerners they hate are the ones who sit half a world away, in their white suburban neighborhoods, thinking to themselves how much smarter and morally superior they are to those silly yellow and brown people in other countries, and how proud of themselves they are for throwing money at NGO “rescue” industry groups profiting from telling sad sad tales of how terrible and awful life is in poorer countries, that poor poor attractive women “have to” make obscene amounts of money doing things well-off midwestern housewives whose husbands make high incomes would never want to do (or have reason or need to do in their situations). Then these “rescue” groups take all that donation money and bribe the local governments to stage raids on brothels, clubs, and apartment housing known or just suspected to rent to a large number of prostitutes. The women being “rescued” are beaten, raped, occasionally murdered, robbed of all their money and valuables, have their children kidnapped and held hostage to force them to accept –at gunpoint– “rehabilitation” and training in a new “respectable” career. Going by past examples of these “rescue” operations, this is usually as a seemstress (oh, good work, “feminists”) in a sweat shop making about 1/10th the income they used to make as whores or sex show performers.

          Being forced through violence and threat of being shot, and/or never seeing your children again, to exchange freedom and money for slavery and poverty… is not much of a “rescue”. But you throw enough American money at 2nd or 3rd world governments that are already somewhat oppressive and they’re all to happy to “help”.

          But hey, at least morally superior ladies like Vanessa here can feel good about themselves having shown the world what Americans do with their money and political influence. You’ve utterly ruined a few thousand people’s women and children’s) lives in one fell swoop… but hey, at least they’re not rich independant whores offending your sensibilities from the other side of the planet no more, right? That’s the important thing, right? >.>

          Kudos to Kate for going to places like this on her own two feet, seeing with her own eyes, and forming her own opinions. Until Vanessa and those like her do that, they have no right to stand in judgement on her.
          Or for that matter, on *anyone* who works in the sex/erotic industry either.

          • Funlips says:

            Are you a complete jebend? These shows exist for the tourists who come to see them. These girls should not have their work decided for them by economic factors. Can we pretend that these women have real agency, if the choice is between a low paid job in which they don’t have to offer up the spectacle of their body, or a high paid one in which they do? Given the inverted commas in which you placed those mean hearted old ‘feminists’, I’ll imagine (perhaps wrongly I admit) that you rather imagine that feminists are doing the girls a disservice by advocating a world in which a woman could choose to have an economically viable job which doesn’t involve an element of sexual exploitation. This isn’t to say that sex work cannot or should not be dignified employment. But capital should not be the primary motivator. But then I guess you see that economic freedom is all anyone needs, and that that should organise their whole being.

            But when the sex work is, largely if not wholly, for westerners looking for something exotic, oriental and entirely unlike something they might find on their local high street, then it does become a problem. Having seen a ping pong show when I was 18, I am something of a hypocrite to moralise on this, but I was young, and had not entered into such critical analyses of such things, though that is still not an excuse. And if there is something worse than first-world moralising, it is a first-world citizen who is complicit in the failed impositions of our own institutions in the developing world, and rather than taking the opportunity to condemn them, uses them as an excuse as to how these structures have in fact liberated them. You sir, are a hack, and you’ve chosen not to engage with the difficult realities of sex work, and instead taken choice as an objective reality which should not be viewed through a conditional lens.

            Good day to you.

  14. ayngelina says:

    Hilarious. I also went in Thailand and one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had for sure.

  15. Natalie says:

    You are hilarious!

    This was a great post. 🙂 I love to check out ‘alternative’ entertainment! I usually find it difficult to coerce people into going with me. Really what are the odds of being scarred for life, and even if you are what a story it would be. Hahaha

    This is also a good time to mention that you can buy $1 portable ponchos to carry in your bag. 😉 Keeps the hoo-ha juice off.

  16. Bellow says:

    Ketamine. You can get vials and vials of the stuff for practically nothing in Thailand. Seek it out and I am sure adventures will follow.

  17. Anthony says:

    “Curious. Isn’t that what many a college girl has said upon diving headfirst into labia for a night?”

    Paaaaaaahahaha classic. I seen a similar act by a classy lady that goes by the name of “sticky Vicky” in Benidorme, Spain last year. She aherm…inserted razor blades on string. I SWEAR DOWN! The stuff that girl could do with her ‘hoo-hah’ pfffft haha. Have I missed your post explaining the Muy Thai incident??

    • Razor blades?! CHRIST ON A CRACKER.

      I haven’t yet posted about Muay Thai. The post is written, but I can’t get the video uploaded! It’s a GOOD one, though…

      • Anthony says:

        You got a video of it!? That’s immense. Aye, me and my mate were chosen to prove that they were legitimate razor blades. Luckily I got the “before” gig and he got the “after.” Ew. Google her haha. I would so be curious if I was in your situation in Thailand and would have went, great read.

  18. Andrea says:

    Yup – I reckon no country does crazy as well as Thailand. Were you in this, er, scary place by yourself?! No other patrons (not that you’d want that). Kudos for bravery on this one!

  19. Michael says:

    Hahaha awesome! The things we do for a good travel story. Well done Kate.. Well done…

  20. Andi says:

    I’ve done a lot of crazy shit in my life, but I didn’t have the guts to go to one of these shows. After reading about your experience I’m glad I didn’t LOL.

  21. Kirsty says:

    Great story, I think you kinda have to see one through curiosity but it sounds very strange and expensive with all the “tipping” involved!

  22. johnny says:

    GREAT post! love it 🙂 sums up the sleaziness perfectly, and it sums up the madness of your decision to go alone too – good work kate, keep it goin 🙂

  23. Good harmless fun … In Patpong & Nana these shows are set up for tourists and you will be fleeced for tips or whatever, man or woman … Mostly, from what I know directly from the girls (or boys and hooking in Thailand in general for the Farang market), they are mostly here for the quick bucks – as it pays much better than working 6 days a week in a shoe shop, etc. And often, more fun.

    Respect to you … for being adventurous

    Regards – MRP | the candy trail … a nomad across the planet, since 1988

  24. Gary Arndt says:

    This is the best blog post I’ve read in a while.

  25. Dan Thompson says:

    O… M… G…

    I’m apparently more naive then I thought… when I read ping pong show I was assuming you meant… you know… PING PONG. Even at your warning I thought, “what… do they play naked or something?” No words. LMAO

    You should write a book about all this stuff, this has to be the craziest trip ever.


  26. Colin Burns says:

    Funniest blog post ever!!!

    So how many ping pong balls did you actually hit??? Be truthful… They come at a pretty decent pace, Babe ruth. I wonder if they have the option of a curveball?

    BTW, Tracy is volunteering to go to the Ladyboy show in Phuket… I think that will be the night I stay at home looking after the kids!!!


  27. Poi says:

    Haha Awesome, I love the fact you put yourself in this situation – well played!

  28. Jeremy B says:

    Very entertaining post. However, this highlights the dark side of Bangkok and why I think there is a very dark side people don’t know about. It’s not so much the shows but what the lives of these women are like. My wife and a bunch of other women spent a week there in Pat Pong meeting and talking to these women. Their lives are HORRIBLE!!! I am not one to go all feminist/women’s rights here but I will never look at Bangkok the same way again because of what I learned. This is stuff people NEVER hear. For most, it’s just entertainment, sex shows, prostitution, and a strange fascination.

    I know you didn’t want to get serious about this in a humorous and entertaining post but those women lead horrible lives and many just don’t have a way out.

    • thomas says:

      Get over yourself, the dark side is in the thai frequented knocking shops that employ Burmese and Lao women as slaves where your “wife and a bunch of other women” will never set foot. those are evil.

      Patpong girls have a long history of telling well meaning Christian and womens groups exactly what they want to hear — just like they convince men that they are handsome. talk to one yourself one day.

      i would also like to point out that you personally learned nothing, you got it all second hand from “wife and a bunch of other women”.

      And Kate, it sounds like you got done, but if you are willing to chuck money around, you will find someone willing to take it. Amusing in it own right though.

      dark side indeed, isn’t a part of travel learning to put away your cultural preconceptions and see the world as others live it?

      the ping pong show is indeed distasteful, but so is moral indignation.

    • Holly says:

      I just have to get this out there. My daughter is 20 today and in Bangkok. She called this a.m. and described a placed nearly identical to Adventurous Kate. Her & her group left before the show was over. She was crying. She said she had never in her life seen women look so lifeless and out of it. I agree that their lives must be horrible. I know this is an old post but I had to google what this ping pong room would bring up on the internet. I’m sickened and worried, not only for my daughter but for these women.

  29. Jeremy B says:

    One other thing – I’ve written about the dark side of Bangkok a couple of times but since you don’t want to get into the serious side, I refrained from sharing. However, if anyone is interested, I can share the links.

  30. Katy says:

    That’s gross. And degrading.

  31. I was terrified to go to a ping pong show in Bangkok ( my wife wasn’t with me and I couldn’t fathom explaining it without sounding like a total divorce-worthy creep ) but my imagination ran wild as I group of drunk Brits invited me to tag along.

    You are very, very awesome. Thanks for relating back to us with gut busting humor!

  32. OMG this post is hilarious! I laughed out loud from start to finish. Can’t believe you went, and by yourself… Respect – you certainly live up to your name! Oh, and good to know about all tipping involved, you know, if we ever decide to go to a ping pong show. We might live this one vicariously through you, though, since you went ahead and did all that research!

  33. Verity says:

    Haha! That is freaking fantastic. I’m so impressed that you went on your own… I don’t think I would have had the guts. Your post made me snort my coffee as I read it :D. So funny.

    I went to a sex show in Amsterdam with a contiki group… man, it was super awkward. I don’t think I downed my free drink in about 2.5 seconds 🙂

    • Haha. So glad you enjoyed! And I keep hearing that Contiki isn’t up to par…

      • Verity says:

        Contiki is not that crash hot. I wouldn’t ever do it again but I do have some fond memories. I did it as part of my RTW to meet people I could travel with later so I wasn’t as disappointed when we spent almost every second day on the bus. I had also already been to a lot of the big cities on the itinerary so when everyone was rushing around Paris trying to see the Eiffel tower and the Arc d’triomphe and the Louvre I was having a leisurely coffee and enjoying a tour around the Opera Garnier which I hadn’t seen before and then a stroll through the Tuileries. So it wasn’t too bad for me. I will also look back on it as possibly the nastiest three weeks of drunken debauchery of my life but hey… some of that is good memories too 😀

        I honestly would never recommend Contiki to anyone. But then, I’m not the biggest fan of tours. I feel a bit trapped on them. I think a lot of the ppl who do Contiki consider that they have done Europe afterwards “great, now I have ticked that off” and go home and never go again. That being said, a significant percentage of us on the bus have become nomads, but many of them have gone back to the places we visited to actually see them properly.

  34. I saved this post for a time that I could laugh my ass off without a bunch of people looking at me funny. Great stuff Kate, to have been a fly on the wall at that event 🙂

  35. Kim says:

    Great story. Very funny!

    Are you at the Lub.d hostel? The layers of security sounds familiar!

  36. Teresa says:

    I love how you told this story!


    I think whenever I see this word, I will think of.. hoo-ha’s in Thailand. :X Great post!

  37. I give it up to you– you are AWESOME for going to that show solo! I was so wanted to see a ping pong shows but there was no way I was going to go by myself. Damn. Am going to Thailand again in January… maybe I’ll find someone wickedly funny like you at my hostel.

  38. travelpology says:

    PS Thank you for sharing this experience! It’s one of those things that everyone is curious about but almost no one goes and does it. And if they do it they don’t broadcast it on a blog for all of our enjoyment! 😉

  39. Rebecca says:

    Bahahaha! I’m imagining you hitting those ping pong balls back – hilarious! Love your adventurous spirit and that it leads you to do a whole lot of crazy, fun things! Keep it up!

  40. Haven’t been to Bangkok… yet… but I’ll be sure to look for “super pussy” lmao!

  41. Adam Savage says:

    Kate, I leave for Bangkok in 40 days and am excited to see the things you speak of. I will be on a mission to find the craziest stuff and document it all. This gives me a good place to start.

  42. Ahimsa says:

    Sounds you got out of there before the bird came out. Good call.

  43. Jennifer says:

    Holy hoo ha, what a hilarious post. I’m off to Bangkok next month, this is so going on my list

  44. Susan says:

    So you are glad that you are promoting the sex trafficking business?
    I am sure as a child that lady dreamt of one day being able to entertain Westerners by popping ping-pong balls out of her vagina! Do you wonder what her life must be like?!

    • Hinoron says:

      I am equally sure that the child grew up into an adult.
      And as an adult, just like the rest of us, she looked at what options were available to her and chose what she thought would be the best option. In this case, a career that would allow her to put all 3 of her kids through college in 3-5 short years, or retire comfortably at age 45, etc.

      I’d ask you what you think the term “sex trafficking” means this week, but as the mass media hysteria gets more and more absurd with their propaganda efforts, I frankly can’t muster any interest in your answer. The performer is not engaging in sex, and was presumably local. Popular buzzwords lose their impact once their definition gets so broad they cease to mean anything.

      • C says:

        So, many of these women have little or no formal education, are desperately poor, and have few or no alternatives. It is not like in the US where many of us receive an education and have plenty of job opportunities available. Also, unlike stripping in the US, which can be very lucrative, this type of work in SE Asia often comes with very little pay. Please do more research before making assumptions and attacking others.

  45. Melanie says:

    WOW! All I can say is GOOD FOR YOU! – Travel is all about new experiences and you certainly had one of those!

  46. Federico says:

    I also visited the show, and I also find it difficult to get horny wathcing it. However , as a female friend who also went to one while there, it is really surprising what females can do with their hoo-haa! An underused part of the body, maybe?


Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. […] these nights on my blog (because they could one day make me unemployable), but after reading about Adventurous Kate’s night at a Bangkok ping pong show, I couldn’t help it. Flickr: […]

  2. […] their vaginas.  Oh my gosh, I just said vagina.  Actually, Kate from Adventurous Kate went with hilarious results.  And by hilarious, I mean, contributing to an industry that is known for sex-trafficking rings, […]

  3. […] to keep up with her, but Kate’s posts on being a German movie extra, the Thai Mafia and Bangkok “Ping Pong” are awesome and just a few of my favorites.  You really just have to go to and […]

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

+ eight = sixteen