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Bangkok Gay Travel

Trusted Bangkok gay travel recommendations for top hotels, hostels, gay bars & visiting the gay district.

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The Gay Travel Experience: Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok gay travel has always been fun, fantastic and comfortable. The Thai culture is very accepting of LGBT people. It’s easy to tell how the gay people in Bangkok feel safe just by meandering the hectic streets. 

Bangkok’s buzzing gay district is both an electrifying and culturing experience, as the area showcases their wonderful transgender community.

Bangkok grand palace visitors
river tour of Bangkok
Bangkok grand palace visitors

Why do gay men love Bangkok? Firstly, Bangkok is a destination in SE Asia where you can always count on finding other gay travelers. Furthermore, there is a multitude of gay bars, clubs, and a friendly atmosphere.

river tour of Bangkok
Most gay travelers only spend a day or two on Bangkok, but I think that is not nearly enough time. You might be eager to get to the islands, but leave at least two to three days for Bangkok. There is so much ground to cover, so don’t rush it!
gay Bangkok experience

Many  foreigners believe that being gay or trans in Thailand is easy. However, the country still remains a place where the gay community is not granted many specific rights. 

LGBT foreigners have no issues traveling Thailand, as overall the society is more open than most others in Asia. Plus, Thailand’s tourism industry benefits from LGBT travelers and plans to continue to do so.

gay Bangkok experience

Bangkok is an incredibly gay-friendly city for a few reasons. The interpretation of Buddhist religious fundamentals has developed in a way that allows for more tolerance of homosexuality, as opposed to that of other religions. 

outdoor Thai flower market

Gay Bangkok: Hotels, Hostels & Where to Stay

Bangkok is a Goliath of a city, so be sure to keep transit time to attractions in mind while considering different places to stay. Also, travelers who prefer hostels will likely find themselves in a different area of Bangkok than those who prefer standard hotels.

I’ll let you know which areas are best for hostels versus hotels below.

Bangkok hostel
Bangkok hostel

Hostels in Bangkok

The cheapest Bangkok hostels start a s low as $5 USD per night. For only a little bit more at around $12 USD per night, you can book a “pod hostel.” I love pod hostels because you get your own private space with drawstring curtain.

If hostels are your vibe, then you should definitely check out Bangkok Hostels on Khao San Road, the famed “backpacker street.” This area has loads of cheap places to stay.

best area of bangkok

Khao San Road is a vibrant and older area of the city, it’s close to the scenic Chao Phraya River and a lot of other popular attractions. It’s a fantastic area to stay.

best area of bangkok

You can find hostels in other Bangkok neighborhoods, though. I stayed at LAF Hotel Aree, an impeccably clean and modern LGBT-friendly pod hostel. I loved their connected coffee bar on the street level.

LAF hotel Aree is in the Phaya Thai neighborhood, where I stayed for a portion of my most recent trip to Bangkok. The area is lively and has easy transit access to the rest of Bangkok.

Songkran etiquette tips

Bangkok Hotels

International hotel chains in Bangkok concentrate in a different neighborhood than most hostels. Typically with infinity pools and rooftop bars, you’d find most luxury Bangkok hotels in Klong Toei and Bang Rak.

Bangkok gay friendly hotel
Songkran etiquette tips
Bangkok gay friendly hotel

Reasonably priced luxury hotels cost about $100 USD per night. By western standards, this is quite cheap!

I stayed at the Novotel Sukhumvit 20. The service was impeccable. Novotel had such friendly staff who know how to make a visit memorable. I highly recommend.

hotel rooftop view

Gay travelers in Bangkok love the plethora of infinity pools available at different hotels. Why not show off your Speedo in a glorious pool with city views?

tuk tuk location hotel Bangkok
Bangkok tuk tuk prices
temples to visit in Bangkok

Luxury hotels in Bangkok may be cheap for the room, but beware that they come with western food & drink prices. Cocktails at a Bangkok hotel rooftop bar can cost you $10-15 USD and they can be hard to resist!

Bangkok Gay Travel Experiences

My local boat tour through the canals branching off the Chao Phraya River was one of my best Bangkok travel experiences. Grab a boat near any waterfront market and you’ll be on your way.

river tour of Bangkok

Steady canal waters make for a relaxing ride. The rear porches of local’s homes hover over the water’s edge. Friendly locals wave as you take in all the raw beauty that comes with traversing the quiet waterways of a metropolis.

outdoor Thai flower market
Bangkok gay travel
When is Thai new year

Get a personal tour guide, especially if you don’t have much time to spend in Bangkok. They know the fastest way into and out of the temples, the ins and outs of the markets etc. 

They won’t rush you and many times they will just hang around nearby until you show interest in moving to the next stop. The fair price is well worth it (and don’t forget to tip)!

Bangkok rooftop bar

Moon Bar at Vertigo is one of a few luxury rooftop bars in Bangkok. I fell in love with the skyline views here. Being up so high and feeling the humid breeze felt like a movie scene.

Bangkok rooftop bar
Songkran in Bangkok where are parties
Vertigo is quite expensive and you need to conform to their dress code (just pants and no open toed shoes). Apparently, many guests miss this rule, so they hilariously yet practically have black trousers they will give you to put over your shorts! I felt so silly…but it was dark so thankfully it wasn’t noticeable!

Sky on 20 is another amazing city-view rooftop bar option. They’re located on the roof of the Novotel Sukhumvit 20 Hotel. They have a huge amount of space and great views.

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Shopping Malls & Markets in Bangkok

Bangkok is king of knock-off designer apparel, shoes and accessories. There are a few gigantic shopping centers where you can buy pretty much anything, including these knock-offs.

Chatuchak market

Bangkok’s MBK Center is an eight-story shopping mall with more than 2,000 small shops. You can easily spend several hours here. MBK looks more like a traditional shopping mall in structure. Be sure to go earlier in the day. An hour or two before the official closing time, many shops close up.

Chatuchak market
MBK mall in Bangkok
MBK mall in Bangkok

Chatuchak Market is another awesome place to shop in Bangkok. Chatuchak is a covered outdoor market with hundreds of small stands. Navigate the narrow walkways and you will find clothing, bath products, jewelry shops, food and more. Plan to spend about 2 hours here.

The Grand Palace and Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)

Two attractions on nearly every traveler’s list are the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, which houses the giant Reclining Buddha. These attractions can be extremely busy during the middle of the day. Many people will tell you to avoid the crowds by going first thing in the morning, but I disagree!

Thailand temple
temple in Bangkok
Bangkok boat tours
To avoid these crowds, it is actually best to visit just before sunset! I have been a few times, and my visit to Wat Pho was absolutely magical at dusk because I was pretty much the only one there!

The secret here is that the Reclining Buddha closes at 8:00 PM, so if you arrive at 6:00 or 6:30 PM, the temple will be basically yours! Additionally, the colors reflecting off the temple from the sunset are magnificent.

reclining buddha
reclining buddha

The Grand Palace is quite large and you can spend a few hours there. Visiting in the middle of the day can be very hot. Make sure to wear pants and a shirt that covers your shoulders or you will not be allowed in.

Bangkok boat tours
If you forget, there are shops that will rent some cheesy cover-ups to you for a few hours across the street. Entrance fee is a steep 500 Baht (roughly $16.50 USD)! For reference, Thailand prices are usually lower!

Visit Bangkok During Songkran

I highly suggest overlapping your trip with the Songkran Thai New Year Festival if you are thinking about visiting Bangkok in the springtime. Experiencing Songkran festivities in Bangkok is truly a bucket list-worthy experience.

Songkran gay
Songkran gay
street vendor Bangkok

Songkran, the Thai New Year, is a celebration during the month of April. One weekend, the city becomes a giant water-throwing party. Everyone runs around with water guns, hoses or just buckets of water to throw on complete strangers!

street vendor Bangkok

Bangkok Gay Bars & Clubs

The Bangkok gay district is the most vibrant of Southeast Asia! The gay parties in Bangkok are rowdy, friendly and easily navigable.

White Rabbit was the first stop for me and my friends, a relaxed lounge open to the street with free wi-fi. Earlier on, the vibe is subdued. If you go closer to midnight, I have seen it packed. Afterwards, we wandered the gay district for a little while, before heading to the clubs!

Telephone Pub

Telephone Pub is another staple gay bar in Bangkok. It has both indoor and outdoor seating, with all tables facing the street. Telephone Pub is toward the end of the famous Bangkok gay street, Silom Alley.

telephone gay bar Bangkok
DJ station gay club
telephone gay bar Bangkok

Although in recent years prices of drinks have increased at Telephone Pub, you can still have a cheap time if you stick to the Thai whiskey!

Soi Silom 4: The Gay District

The famous Bangkok gay area is called Soi Silom 4. It is located in the Silom District. Silom Road is the main road through this neighborhood. Numbered alleyways branch off Silom Road, one of which is toward Soi Silom 4.

DJ station gay club

Soi Silom 4 is a must-see for every tourist, if nothing else but to experience the chaos! Seeing this area, even if you don’t want to go out partying, is a must!

As mentioned before, Silom Alley is the famous gay street in Bangkok.It is the most rowdy, and colorful little corner of the gay neighborhood.

DJ Station & G.O.D.

If there’s anything the gay traveler should try out in Bangkok, its a party at DJ station! DJ Station is certainly the most popular gay club in Bangkok. It’s known by gay travelers all over the world. In my opinion, its one of the best places to party in Bangkok.

SKY 20 rooftop bar
SKY 20 rooftop bar
vertigo bar Bangkok

DJ Station is short walk from Soi Silom 4. It’s part of a cluster of bars in a single alleyway that all share an entrance. You’ll find a queue out front at the alley entrance so don’t be confused when you don’t see a door on the street.

After 2:00am, there is another Bangkok gay party called G.O.D. It is right next to DJ station in the nearest alleyway. There is a cover charge to enter.

Bangkok Gay Travel Tips

Be sure to factor in taxi/tuk-tuk fares for wherever you’re staying. Given Bangkok is such a large city, you will need to take cabs quite frequently. If you stay too far away, your hotel savings may not be worth it.
Bangkok gay tips
bus in Bangkok
Bangkok rooftop

Yes, you will find tons of those “Red-Bull” type energy drinks. There is nothing crazy/illegal in them by western standards (you may have heard the rumors). I tried several of them and they seem the same as Red Bull.

Is Bangkok Cheap?

Many world travelers will rave about how cheap Bangkok is. It is true some things, like accommodations, are quite cheap. However Bangkok is not as inexpensive as it once was.
Prices have been driven up as travelers from all corners of the world visit the increasingly international city. With higher demand for everything, restaurants and bars have most easily been able to hike up prices.
Bangkok gay district
hotel rooftop view
Bangkok gay district

Alcohol in Bangkok bars is not that cheap anymore. I noticed a definite increase in the price of a basic mixed drink between my visits to Bangkok in 2016 and 2019.

Usually only the locally produced liquor will be cheap. Be careful not to drink too much of this stuff, though, You might end up with a nasty hangover.

Hotels are still affordable in Bangkok. So is street food. The biggest thing to note is that anywhere tourists are located, prices will be high.

Taxi Fares in Bangkok

Tuk-Tuk fares can be cheap if you make sure to bargain! Don’t be afraid to “pretend walk away” if the driver won’t accept your haggling. Over-charging is very common since Bangkok has so many tourists.

tuk tuk
Bangkok gay travel

How do you know what is a fair price? Start by downloading the Grab Taxi application. This app will give you the current fair price for your journey. Any significant traffic will increase the price, as the app includes surge pricing.

Show this quoted price to your tuk-tuk driver and make sure they beat it. Otherwise, walk away.

Bangkok gay travel
I’ve done this many times. I also let them know that the Grab price is for an actual taxi, not just a tuk-tuk. So, it has to be cheaper!

Gay Life in Thailand

Thailand attracts many LGBT travelers given a reputation as a very tolerant nation. Same-sex relations were legalized back in 1956.

In 2015, Thailand passed the Gender Equality Act, banning discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation, a huge leap for Thailand! This was the first law mentioning homosexual persons for the nation.

thailand mall
tuk tuk
thailand mall
Lastly, marriage of same sex couples is not legal in Thailand; however, the progressive country is making great strides toward legalization of gay marriage. As exemplified in Bangkok, there are vibrant gay communities throughout the country.
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Are you heading to the Thai islands? If so, check out the amazing Koh Lipe or majestic Koh Samui.

Or, explore wolfyy’s full list of gay travel destinations.

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