Koh Samui is the Thailand from those travel brochures, famed for white sandy beaches lined with palm trees, set between jungle-covered mountains and the crisp blue ocean.
It is a relatively quiet island, and is not a party destination like Phuket, Pattaya or Koh Phi Phi. Gay Koh Samui is more laid back and relaxed, with only a couple of low-key gay bars and some mixed clubs. Koh Samui is a great island to enjoy tropical paradise, amazing beaches, and luxury hotels.
Life on the island is spread around the coastline, with the busiest area surrounding Chaweng beach. This is the largest town on Koh Samui, which spreads up around one of the island’s most beautiful beaches. Chaweng has the largest choice of hotels, nightlife, restaurants, and shops suiting all budgets and tastes. All of the limited Gay Koh Samui attractions are located around Chaweng beach.
In terms of public tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality, Thailand is one of the most welcoming countries across Asia. Koh Samui is essentially an island-wide tourist resort, so gay couples should not encounter any issues.
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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