Explore Gay Chiang Mai.

Gay Chiang Mai.

What's it really like?

Known as the cultural capital of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai offers many historic cultural attractions and an exciting local gay scene. Chiang Mai is the largest city in northern Thailand, with nearly one million people in the greater area. The city has a large student population, which helps to keep the vibrant nightlife growing alongside Chiang Mai’s rise as a popular tourist destination.

The city was the former capital of the Lanna Kingdom, which translates as “the land of a million rice fields”. Chiang Mai’s city center is still within the historical walls and moat. The city became an important trading hub due to its riverside position along the Mae Ping River, a major tributary to the Chao Phraya River.

This trading city developed a mix of cultural identities which can be seen in the local Buddhist temples showcasing a mix of Burmese, Sri Lankan, and Lanna Thai style Buddhism and architecture.

Gay Chiang Mai offers a more relaxed alternative to some of Thailand’s other main destinations like Bangkok, Phuket, and Koh Phangan, leaving behind booze buckets and sleazy nightclubs in favor of a refreshing blend of Thai tradition and cool youth culture.

Chiang Mai, like most of Thailand, is very gay-friendly with a laid-back gay scene. The city is home to a few gay bars, gay saunas, and massage parlors. Most of the gay scene in Chiang Mai is targeted towards the local population, especially students.

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Chiang Mai's Gay Nightlife

Chiang Mai has a number of gay bars centered around the Night Bazaar. Two epic bars compete for the title of best cabaret shows – 6ixcret Bar and Ram Bar. Each with shows 7 nights a week. Both bars are located in the Night Bazaar area and offer a fun but early night out. There are also a number of smaller bars that offer causal spots for beer and chats. There are no late-night gay dance clubs in Chiang Mai, most of the action closes down shortly after midnight. After midnight the options are: SangDee – hip gallery/nightclub, the most LGBT popular option. Spicy and Las Vegas – which are packed with backpackers. Warm Up Café – popular with the locals and students.

Gay Saunas, Cruising & Massage

Gay Saunas in Chiang Mai are enjoyed by both a large local population and many visiting tourists and resident expats. Gay Chiang Mai has two main saunas; House of Male and Club One Seven Sauna. Both offer a good range of facilities, generally busy and are good value for money.

Chiang Mai's Gay-Friendly Hotels

Having established itself as Thailand’s trendiest city, Chiang Mai now has more than its share of stylish luxury hotels. Here, you’ll find everything from cool and hip urban pads to lavish villas steeped in the Thai tradition. We have focused on hotels in the fashionable Nimman area and Night Bazaar riverside location. Two central spots where you will where you’ll find a lot of the gay Chiang Mai nightlife and general attractions.

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In terms of public tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality, Thailand is one of the most welcoming countries across Asia. Chiang Mai is a cosmopolitan city with an established gay population, so you should have no trouble with things like checking into hotels and hanging out with other gay men.

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 the equal legal protections offered to non-LGBT (straight) people.

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