The ping pong shows in Bangkok, are listed as a “must do” by many travel bloggers and guidebooks. Here is the reason why you shouldn’t go.
Countless of men yelling: “Ping pong, ping pong”, making popping noises with their mouths. Approaching the tourists with their set-lists, to sell seats to this popular show. Sadly, one of the biggest tourist attraction in Bangkok.
As the trip to Bangkok was very spontaneous for me, I had no idea what the ping pong shows was. I asked one of the many men promoting to the show. “In the show you will see women blowing ping pong balls and other things out of their vagina”, he answered.
Usually being a very curious person, that would like to experience everything new when out travelling, I thanked kindly “No!” to attend this event. It gave me a bad feeling. Knowing well that many women are victims of human trafficking, I did not want to support the sex-industry in anyway. Just the thought about people sitting cheering and laughing at a woman performing these acts, like she is an object or a toy, made me sick.
Some months later, one friend of mine and I talked about the trip. “Did you attend the ping pong show?” she asked. “No” I answered. “You should be glad you didn’t. I did, and it was disturbing”, she continued.
Furthermore, telling me in detail about the show. It was not just ping pong balls, but the show involved razor blades, candles, Coca-Cola bottles, a very long string of flags and cigarettes. She told me that they could easily see that the women were not enjoying their job. There were several women at the stage, all with a depressed and sullen expression. My friend, left the show before it was over, due to that it was so uncomfortable to be there.
After hearing this, I was happy about my decision about not to attend the show. Moreover, I made more investigation about the women working at the shows, and my concern was confirmed. Performers in the ping pong shows are often trafficked from neighboring countries such as Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. Furthermore, they are often victims of modern slavery.
Like any other business, these shows are powered by supply and demand. I therefore believe that we as travelers have to take responsibility in not supporting exploitation of those that are less fortunate than ourselves. If potential buyers knew about the unspeakable lives of servitude and degradation these women suffer, I hope they would think twice before laying down their money. Moreover, I hope that in sharing this it will discourage others from seeing the shows.
Have you ever attended these kind of shows? Or do you know anyone that have? I would be interested to hear experiences and opinions regarding the topic.