Gay Bangkok is epic, crazy, and busy every night, all year round. Bangkok has developed a reputation as the capital of gay Asia.
Everything about the destination makes it a paradise for gay party people. The Thai people’s culture of LGBT acceptance, Bangkok’s infamous party and red light scene to hosting Asia’s largest gay circuit parties. Bangkok maintains its crown as the capital of gay Asia.
The weather is hot and sticky all year round, the traffic is crazy, yet the people still come. Bangkok now holds the title of the world’s most-visited city. International visitors flock to Bangkok for the food, culture, temples, shopping, and its affordability. Bangkok is one of the best cities in the world for bargain-priced luxury hotels.
Gay Bangkok has a huge number of bars and clubs to enjoy. In fact, Bangkok is often rated as one of the best gay cities in the world. Silom is the gay capital of Bangkok and home to most of the gay bars, clubs, and saunas, but there is much more to gay Bangkok than just Silom. Sukhumvit Road, Aor Tor Gor, and Khao San Road are important areas for anybody trying to explore all of Bangkok.
Without a doubt, most of gay Bangkok’s action occurs around Silom Soi 2 and Silom Soi 4. Busy every night of the week, Silom Soi 4, Bangkok’s gay bar street with the iconic Telephone and Balcony Bars. Offering cheap drinks with a street view, Silom Soi 4 is the ideal spot for pre-party drinks. Only a couple hundred meters away is Silom Soi 2 is gay Bangkok’s clubbing central and home to the famous DJ Station, Bangkok’s biggest gay club.
Gay Bangkok is home to many saunas. Bangkok’s gay sauna scene is diverse and spread out over the city. The most popular saunas in Bangkok include Babylon Sauna, R3 Sauna, and Chakran Sauna. Babylon Sauna is often rated as one of the best gay saunas in Asia.
Most gay travelers choose to stay in Silom and Sathorn as its central and home to Bangkok’s main gay nightlife. In Silom or across Bangkok, you will find hotels to match every budget and taste from bargain hostels to rooftop pools and luxurious suites.
In terms of public tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality, Thailand is one of the most welcoming countries across Asia. As with many countries, acceptance of LGBT individuals is more widespread in urban areas, such as Bangkok.
As a whole, Thai people value discretion and non-confrontation, so no one should give you any hassle for being seen together. That said, public displays of affection – both straight and gay – are frowned upon.
Male and female same-sex activity is legal in Thailand however gay marriage is not legal yet. Bangkok Post reports that “…while Thailand is viewed as a tourist haven for same-sex couples, the reality for locals is that the law, and often public sentiment, is not so liberal.” LGBT residents of Thailand and Bangkok are not offered equal legal protections offered to non-LGBT (straight) people.
It’s simple and easy to get tested in Bangkok. Local Health Initiative TestBKK offers great up-to-date information on where, when, and how much it will cost to get tested.
The Thai Red Cross Clinic in Silom is the easiest place for tourists and non-Thai individuals to get tested. Testing here is affordable (not more than $10 USD), and quick HIV results are returned in under 1 hour. English is spoken through the clinic, and results are kept confidential.
HIV infection rate among gay men living in Bangkok is as high as 24%. This means nearly 1 in 4 gay men in Bangkok are living with HIV. Condom and lube are widely available across Thailand and Bangkok, with all 7 Elevens and supermarkets stocking them.
For more information, check out TestBKK.org.
A short guide to the main areas of interest for LGBT tourists when visiting Bangkok. Silom, Sathorn, Khao San Road.
Silom – Bangkok’s gay neighborhood and the city’s financial center. Home to the biggest gay club, DJ Station, and the best gay bars on Silom Soi 4. If you are looking to party, then Silom is probably the best place to book a hotel. The area has a great range with everything from 5-star design hotels, independent boutiques to backpacking hostels.
Sathorn – The Central Business District (CBD) of Bangkok. Sathorn is adjacent to Silom, meaning you can walk to Silom’s gay bars or one stop on the BTS Skytrain. Located in Sathorn are the international accountants, banks, and consultants, plus all the Starbucks needed to keep them going.
Sukhumvit – Easy access to the BTS Skytrain. The area is great for shopping with Central Embassy and Terminal 21 malls. If you want to take your straight friends to the red-light districts, there are two Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy at Asoke.
Khao San Road – Backpacking Mecca. If you want to try Thai buckets and party with the backpackers this is the street for you. This neighborhood is full of hostels and guesthouses. It is also close to many of Bangkok’s tourist attractions including the Grand Palace and Wat Pho Temples.
Ratchada – Home to R3 Sauna and a very local gay scene with bars. Get ready for Thai and k-pop music here. Outside of these attractions, there is not much for tourists in Ratchada.
Getting around Bangkok can be difficult. Often it’s too hot for walking long distances, traffic jams are common, especially during the city’s long rush hours (7 am – 9 am) and (5 pm – 8 pm).
Taxi – are always available and are cheap. In Thailand, taxis display a red light in the front windscreen when they are available for hire. Local tip – flag down moving taxis, and if the destination is rejected, don’t try a fixed rate, move onto the next taxi. Grab (South East Asia’s Uber) operates in Bangkok.
Airport – There is a train link to the city however its city terminal is not in a convenient location. For a hassle-free relaxing journey, travel by taxi or airport limo. Use the official taxi rank to avoid problems. Passengers pay airport pick-up fee and highway tolls. Airport Limos are only 1,000 THB ($28 USD) and can be booked in advance.
BTS Skytrain – Fast and convenient, this is a great way to explore the city. Local tip – If you plan on spending a couple or more days in Bangkok get a Rabbit Card to save time and money.
MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) – Bangkok’s underground. Note, BTS and MRT use different tickets, Rabbit cards don’t work on the MRT.
Tuk-Tuk – Iconic Bangkok fun. Agree on the price before the journey. Surprisingly metered taxis usually work out cheaper and are a lot safer.
Motorcycle – Great for short, exciting journeys. Like Tuk-Tuk’s, agree on the price before you set off and ask the driver for a helmet.
Bus – while there is a large bus network, the whole network is not tourist-friendly as there are no translated bus maps and most drivers lack English.
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