Bangkok the capital of progressive LGBTQ friendly Thailand.
As the capital of Thailand, the city of Bangkok is the most vibrant city in the country.
Bangkok has everything for your vacation as being a Buddhist country, there is no short of stunning ancient pagodas and serene monasteries for you to visit.
A chaotic megacity where monks in saffron robes are as easy to spot as ladyboys making Bangkok a city of contrasts.
Thai society has long been very open minded and tolerant to not only gays but also transsexuals as well. In Bangkok, there is no shame for being from LGBTQ community.
Long been considered the most open minded, country in Asia due to progressive gay rights, gay rights activism and events.
The cities flamboyant events such as drag queen parades and public acceptance of the LGBTQ community attracts LGBTQ visitors and expats to move to the country.
Same-sex relations were legalized back in 1956.Thailand passed the Gender Equality Act in 2015, banning discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. Same-sex marriage is not legal in Thailand; however, the progressive country is making progress toward its legalization.
The best way to get around Bangkok is by Skytrain or Metro, which is fast, cheap and easily navigable for visitors. The city also offers an extensive network of buses, but traffic jams can cause delays. Tuk tuks and taxis are fairly cheap but agree a fare before you start the journey.
Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK), also known as Bangkok New International Airport is is located about 25 km East of the main city centre. You can reach downtown Bangkok by Airport Rail Link (Train), Public Bus, or Taxi.
The fastest way is to reach the city centre is to use the Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link (ARL) train. The train station at Suvarnabhumi (BKK Airport) is in the basement level of the passenger terminal.
The rail link stop at six stations between the airport and downtown taking approximately 26 minutes with trains operating between 05.30 am – midnight daily.
Taking the airport bus to downtown Bangkok is the least convenient travel option from Suvarnabhumi Airport as the bus stops many times along the way with typical journey time of around 1 hour.
Taxis at Suvarnabhumi Airport do not offer flat rate fees for the journey into Bangkok city centre, instead, they calculate their price using a taximeter, However if there are 2 or more passengers then, taking a taxi for convenience will cost only a little more than the train. Check the approximate fare with driver beforehand.
Places to stay
Bangkok Old Town is a historic area, bordered by the Chao Phraya and canals which served as moats for the old city. Bangkok’s most historical attractions are located in this area with a plethora of Buddhist temples, palaces, monuments, and museums.
Khao San Road which is located in the Banglamphu neighbourhood is a 1 km stretch of shops, bars, restaurants, and street vendors and home to the backpacker scene.
Siam Square neighbourhood is a shopping mecca, full of luxury shopping centres and bargain department stores, designer labels, and trendy fashion boutiques.
Silom is Bangkok’s Wall Street (through the day) but after nightfall, the people and environment changes considerably.
The skyline is lined with skyscrapers boasting the names of local and international financial institutions, law firms, and corporations. Between Silom Road and Surawong Road becomes alive with people, street life, sidewalk stalls, and street food vendors. Tourist and locals flock to the neighbourhood. If you want to be close to the LGBTQ neighbourhoods’ then choose Silom.
Sukhumvit is the neighbourhood for you if looking for luxury hotels, top-notch restaurants, and lively nightlife. This is where many expats live.
Bangkok is a large city known for ornate shrines and vibrant street life.
Experience an authentic and local floating market at Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market. One of the most popular tourist attractions are the floating markets. Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market is just 17 km from the city centre as many of the others are must further from city centre. Take a taxi which will take about 25-35 minutes depending on traffic which cost around $10.
Explore the Grand Palace and Reclining Buddha which as the name implies, is nothing short of grand. Plan on spending a couple hours exploring, and try to arrive before the big tour groups arrive around 9 am. Beware there are tuk tuk drivers that will tell you the Palace is closed for a religious ceremony and offer to take you to other temples and show you around the city to earn from tourists.
Take a water taxi ride as is super cheap mode of transportation and enjoyable experience.
Ride in a tuk tuk is a ubiquitous experience while in Bangkok. Be prepared for a a fast ride with a few bumps, flashing lights and face full of fumes. Unlike taxis, there is no meter so agree price as bartering is acceptable and it’s a good idea to know about how much your ride should cost so you know if you’re getting ripped off.
Try street food in Chinatown with endless food stalls, serving up everything here from ice cream to bird nest soup to the incredibly popular Yaowarat Toasted Bread.
Browse the numerous food stalls and eat as the ones that are busy (that’s how you know it’s good!).
Eat & shop your way around Chatuchak Weekend Market as this is an experience wandering through the endless maze of vendors selling everything from pottery to clothing to furniture, and don’t forget to order lunch (and a few snacks too!) from one of the many food stalls.
The weekend market is open 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. Head to Mo Chit BTS Skytrain station or the Chatuchak Park Metro station and follow the crowds south and you’ll walk right into the market.
Bars, Clubs & Parties
The bars and clubs in the Bangkok gay districts are the most vibrant of any Southeast Asian destination!
Bangkok’s gay areas are a must-see for every tourist. At night, the bars and clubs get rowdy and play loud music. In addition to the specific gay bars and clubs, there are tons of gay-friendly places in the area.
Gay bars and nightclubs are popular so there is a lot of choice with daily shows and other themes to attract customers.
The are 2 gay neighbourhoods that are 2 blocks from each other, Silom Soi 2 and Silom Soi 4. Silom Soi 4 is the place to head for the gay clubs and Silom Soi 2 for most of the gay bars.
As there a lot of competition between the different bars and clubs some are regularly opening or closing. Just see where the crowd are going and join them for a fun time.
Just explore both of the 2 neighbourhoods of Silom Soi 2 and Silom Soi 4 as generally everybody is very gay or gay friendly so you will be able to enjoy the great atmosphere and vibe of Thai community and foreigners in town.
Gay Bangkok is numerous saunas so of which are gay and others offering traditional massages and sauna facilities. As Bangkok’s gay scene is diverse and spread out over 2 districts of the city this is the same for the most popular saunas.
Babylon Sauna which was Bangkok best known and longest-running gay sauna is closed and build demolished.
The remaining most popular gay saunas are Krubb, R3 Sauna, Sauna Mania and Chakran Sauna.
Krubb Bangkok Social Club & Sauna is a popular sauna highly rated for its sexy yet zen-like modern facilities.
They have a dry sauna, a large shower area, a relaxing pool, a gym, and plenty of lockers. Everything here is much more modern than the other saunas in the city.
Krubb Bangkok is just outside the city centre, but their facilities and friendliness make it well worth the trip.
Sauna Mania is one of the most convenient local gay saunas since it’s around the corner from Bangkok’s gay clubs in the Silom area. Showering before then heading out to the club is a convenient option!
Weekdays there are various themes including underwear, towel, and naked. Sauna Mania’s facilities include a lovely onsen, hot tub, steam room, dry sauna, and bar. They have a nice gym too
Chakran Sauna is part of the Blu Cabin Gay Poshtel, a gay hostel. A sauna you either love or hate. It’s popular for massages by younger Thai guys as well as the rooftop pool that has a fantastic view.
Bangkok is a shopper’s paradise due to the number of shops and markets. There are a few gigantic shopping centres where you can buy pretty much anything but do not assume if you are buying at one of the large shopping centres the goods are genuine.
MBK Centre is an eight-story shopping mall with more than 2,000 small shops. An hour or two before the official closing time many of the shops close so do not go late in the day.
Main LGBT Events
Bangkok Pride is now held in June to align with the traditional pride month of the rest of the world. It is a week of events including workshops, film festivals, art shows, and plenty of parties at various venues.
White Party Bangkok is one of the world’s largest gay dance festivals. Typically, a 4-day event with outdoor and indoor circuit party. Party-goers from across Asia and around the world arrive to experience entertainment from world-class DJs and performers.
The gCircuit is a 3-day event in April arranged as the same time as the Thai New Year. Thousands of men from around the world arrive to celebrate the biggest annual gay circuit party in Asia.
Currency – Thai Baht (THB)
Language – Thai
Visas – Not needed for travellers from the US, Canada and Europe
Best Time To Visit – March - November
Timezone – Indochina Time (GMT+7)
Homosexual Activity – Legal
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