Thailand in general, and Bangkok in particular, are, taken overall, friendly to the gay community. Bangkok has a fantastic array of venues for some of the best ‘night life’ you have ever imagined, and plenty of excellent restaurants, clubs and bars to excite even the most jaded of world travellers. Provided that general Thai customs and culture are followed and respected, then gay visitors are readily accepted.
Many bars, restaurants, hotels and guest houses, if not actually operated by gay couples, are especially welcoming to the gay community, with regular visitors coming from every corner of the globe. Many gay couples have settled in Bangkok and are totally comfortable living there.
People in Thailand put any prejudices on ‘hold’ when they may jeopardise possible financial benefits. Here, money rules all. And the size of your wallet is far more important than anything else. This includes looks, ethnicity or sexual preferences.
The full spectrum of gay fun is available to you in Bangkok, whether you are looking for the mildly naughty or the downright lewd, Bangkok really does have it all. And if your preference is for discretion, then that too is on offer here. At a price.
Bangkok has a burgeoning gay and lesbian scene, attracting gay people from every part of the planet. Gay bars are concentrated along Silom/Soi 2 and Soi 4, with the former being thought of as more gay than the latter. If your preference is for slightly more down market than this, then you should try Surawong Road, Soi Anuman Rachathon and Soi Tawan.
Other bars are dotted along Sukhumvit Road, being the main arterial road, running through the heart of Bangkok. Check out Soi 23, and when in the Banglumpoo area take a look at the venues in the Tanao Road. All of these bars cater mainly to males.
While the male homosexual scene is very overt, and easy to see just about everywhere, the lesbian scene is far more discreet, and less over-the-top. Rather than there being bars dedicated to lesbians, there tend to be groups of female friends, who decide where to hang out together.
Thai lesbians usually divide into two groups, those who designate themselves ‘Tom’ (from the English word tomboy), and those who prefer to be known as ‘Dee’ (a derivative of the English word lady). There is one organisation in Bangkok which is the main source of information and guidance for lesbians, and that is ‘Anjaree’, who do not have a website, but whom you may contact at [email protected] or telephone on +66 2 477-1776
Anjaree is Thailand’s only lesbian social group/community support organisation, and they have been publishing their newsletter regularly for almost 20 years. Bangkok is also home to the Bangkok Annual Pride Week, which takes place in mid-November and culminates with the Gay Parade.