We arrived into Bangkok around 3pm and immediately went in search of a way into the city. Thankfully for us the airport was pretty easy to navigate and we managed to find the direct train to the city centre fairly quickly. We decided that, having no real place in line to stay, that we would head to the old city and find a place near Khoa San Road. Unsure what way to start walking, we hailed a cab to take us there.
We got out of the cab at one end of Khao San and started walking down the street. Because we were wearing our backpacks and had that weary, overwhelmed, “oh-my-god-why-is-it-so-hot” look on our faces we were easy targets for everyone offering guesthouses. Eventually we decided to find a place just off the main street, at the top of a little restaurant. The owner was adorable, incredibly gracious. We managed to get 2 rooms for 400B a night.
After dumping our stuff off, showering and relaxing for a bit we decided we should do a bit of exploring, find some dinner and maybe check out the night life. We walked down to Khao San Road and strolled along until we found a place to eat. A little spot offering free wifi and some traditional Thai dishes. After dinner we checked out the street and got it in our heads that we should find the infamous red light district of Thailand. We dug out our guidebooks, figured out what neighbourhood we should head to and found a tuk tuk to take us for 150B.
We got to the Patpong district we looked around not sure where to head. We discussed the idea of checking one of the infamous ping-pong shows and when we were approached by a man offering us cheap 100B beers we decided we might as well check it out.
Up the stairs we went into a dimly lit bar with a middle stage and seating all around. We were seated and immediately were descended upon by minimally dressed Thai women. At first glance they looked young, but upon closer (and really we didn't want to get too close) inspection it was obvious they weren't. One even had a questionable amount of teeth.
Ren grabbed my hand, leaned over and whispered in my ear “tonight you're my girlfriend”, while the toothless made herself comfortable to his left. Eric, left alone (I can't be everyone's girlfriend, I guess), was a target for the other women. We ordered our drinks and heard them mention drinks for the Thai girls. Ren immediately piped up that we weren't going to pay for those drinks, that we were just buying our own.
We sat, watching the "show", but really trying to keep an eye on Eric, our wallets, and the situation in general. Without going into detail, I can only say that the women on stage had the most, um... talented... lady parts I've ever seen. We decided to get out of the bar before things became more uncomfortable, and asked for the bill. When it arrived it was well over 2700B. We were shocked. We had said that we were not going to pay for the drinks for the girls, but apparently that was not the case. The boys talked the woman down to a slightly more reasonable number (although still about 4x the original agreed upon price of 100B each) and we hightailed it out of there.
Safely back on the street we wandered through the rest of the red light district, and down the streets looking at various market goods. Ready to return to our comfortable backpacker area, we made our way back to the hostel. Tomorrow was another day - we had plans to meet an internet friend for lunch as well as do some more exploring of the city.