I am interviewed by veteran correspondent Richard Ehrlich in his thorough exhumation of all things Patpong and the the opening of the Patpong Museum, which recounts the history of what is perhaps the world’ most notorious red light district in downtown Bangkok and its historical connection to the Vietnam War, in this thorough exhumation of all things seedy, for CNN Travel.
Bangkok-based journalist Tom Vater is among those expressing mixed feelings about the space.”The US killed some four million people during its wars in Southeast Asia when Patpong was in full bloom,” says Vater, co-writer of the documentary film, “The Most Secret Place on Earth: America’s Covert War in Laos.
“I went [to Patpong] several times during the film’s research, particularly to the Crown Royal Bar and the Madrid Bar to talk to ex-CIA, USAID and Air America staff,” he says.
“Most of the former soldiers, pilots, secret service staff and mercenaries I met were polite, helpful and very open about their wartime experiences. The men who frequented the bars in Patpong were, as often as not, murderers engaged in crimes against humanity. That should give pause for thought about what kind of museum might be established here.”