Walking through the museum, the visitor is guided on the area’s evolution from a rice paddy, to the CIA’s secret operations in during Vietnam’s war, to the hottest red-light zone in Bangkok.
The story begins in 1881, when 13 year old Tun Phu is sent by his family in Hainan, China to start a new life in Thailand. Tun Phu quickly found his feet, turning a career carrying rice for traders into a rice export business. Conscientiously working and saving, he traded directly with farmers and in the process identified opportunities cement production. In 1900, Tun Phu changes his name to Poon Pat and marries a Thai girl. Impressed by his success, in 1930 King Rama VII bestows an honorary title to Poon Pat, who becomes Luang Patpongpanich.
In 1946 the Patponpanich family buys a banana plantation with a teak villa on the edge of Bangkok for $3,000 US Dollars. Linking Silom and Surawong Roads, the plot is now known around the world as Patpong. You’ll learn how Poon Pat’s sons developed a business district, attracting blue-chip companies from across the region and around the world to lease office space.
The curators imaginatively present the transition from banana plantation to what Patpong is today. Patpong Museum is both educational and entertaining. There’s is even a Patpong bar recreated in the museum so you can stop off a drink along the way. Well worth a visit.