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Chiang Mai Gay Travel

Chiang Mai is a must for all first-time Thailand travelers. With these Chiang Mai gay travel suggestions, you’ll surely find the best gay bars, elephant parks and cozy hostels.

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The Gay Travel Experience: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Elephant lovers unite! Chiang Mai is known for local elephant safaris and nature parks. The locals love their elephant buddies! Chiang Mai warmly welcomes the gay community as open-minded backpackers seek harmony with nature and local Thai people.
LGBT thailand
In the north of Thailand, away from the bustle of Bangkok, Chiang Mai has the feel of a very big village. A sense of peace and serenity blankets the streets. I felt so at home here even though I was on the other side of the world. Locals greet you with the largest smiles; they are authentically happy to meet travelers from so many regions of the world.
Chiang Mai things to do
restaurants in Koh Phangan
Chiang Mai things to do
Many gay travelers stop in Chiang Mai on their routes through Thailand because the town is popular for elephant safaris and serenity. It is common to find other gay travelers along your journey in Chiang Mai!
Sharing beer each evening with our hostel host and my group of friends was one of my fondest memories of Chiang Mai. Mixed in with some other travelers, we certainly had one of those true “backpacker” experiences. Everything felt communal and everyone felt relaxed. It was one of the most tranquil feelings I’ve ever had in my life.

Gay Chiang Mai: Where to Stay

Crashing in a hostel is most common when visiting Chiang Mai. It’s all about serenity, so a hotel that is too high on the luxury scale may impede your ability to connect with nature. There are various options Chiang Mai hostels. Many offer private rooms and even private bathrooms. You can definitely stay in a hostel without a shared bedroom situation.
Chiang Mai Hostels
Chiang Mai Hostels
best areas of Chiang Mai
I stayed at the Counting Sheeps Hostel in Chiang Mai and it was wonderful. I didn’t look for luxury accommodations because I was more interested in meeting with some other travelers in a communal setting. There was still plenty of privacy though. Go check out Counting Sheeps Hostel if you are not looking for a traditional hotel and you can handle some shared spaces.
best areas of Chiang Mai
The best part of Counting Sheeps Hostel was the staff. The were so welcoming and fun! Our host sat outside with us each night on the front porch to share some beer and snacks. The hostel has this adorable and impressive tree trunk porch swing! The seat is carved out of an enormous trunk, entirely in one piece.
feed elephants chiang mai
The staff at any decently rated hostel in Chiang Mai will help you book specific tours you want (everyone speaks good English), will offer free breakfast and have Wi-Fi. These essentials should be all you need. Stay here if you are so inclined!

Gay Chiang Mai Experiences for the Gay Traveler

Chiang Mai is famous for elephant safaris. However, keep in mind that there are various types of safaris and each of them treats the elephants differently. Many establishments do not provide optimal conditions for the elephants, so there is a moral component to your choice.
gay experiences Chiang Mai
feed elephants chiang mai
ride elephants Chiang Mai
Many gay travelers in Chiang Mai tend to seek out places where they can get in their bathing suits and get dirty with the elephants, but please…dont to this at the expense of the elephant. If you did not know, riding on an elephants back is uncomfortable for the elephant and can hurt them.
ride elephants Chiang Mai
I personally would not support a park that chains elephants by the leg all day long. These creatures are beautiful and extremely intelligent, and so we should only support those who treat them fairly. Seeing them run free and interact with each other in the open fields of Thailand will be much better than climbing on top of an elephant for ten minutes, anyway.

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai

My friends and I took a 30-minute bus ride to the Chiang Mai Elephant Nature Park. At this establishment, the admission fee goes toward rescuing endangered elephants. Feed, hug and hang with the big guys as well as watch the locals give them baths in the river.

gay travel elephant safari
Watching the elephant herd run from their hangout by the mud piles into the river for a bath was captivating. Seeing such wildlife in a natural habitat, that to me seems exotic, was so beautiful. It was something I had only seen on television.
gay travel elephant safari
gay Chiang Mai LGBT
gay Chiang Mai LGBT

Tour guides walk you from elephant to elephant and tell each one’s story. A few elephants had casts on one of their legs due to stepping on remnant land mines in places they were originally roaming. The workers help to feed the elephants and to extend their lives by taking care of them in many ways.

There just aren’t words to describe the beauty of these earthly creatures and the relationships they have with the Thai people who work with them. It’s a humbling experience and something I will never forget.

Things to Do in Chiang Mai at Night

After dark, hit the streets to experience the glowing Chiang Mai night markets. Vendor stands that sell food and gifts continue down the streets for what seems like forever! It is best to wander the night markets after dinner since they are in full swing after dark.
Chiang Mai night markets
Chiang Mai night markets
LGBT safety Chiang Mai
I found some adorable souvenirs to bring back home to my family and friends at the night market. I bought the cutest miniature pink stuffed elephant and my mom is obsessed with it! It reminds her of a stuffed elephant she had when she was a girl.

Chiang Mai Gay Bars

Looking for a Chiang Mai gay bar? For gay travelers, the best place to party in Chiang Mai is now Ram Bar. This spot opened after my visit, so I didn’t get a chance to check it out. Head to the Ram Bar Website to see if it’s right for you! They brand themselves as a “straight-friendly” gay bar in Chiang Mai!

restaurants Chiang Mai
restaurants Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai gay bars

Chiang Mai has dozens of other small bars in the city. Many of these places line the four streets that bound the old city. I passed by many of them while exploring the area at night. I found that many of the bars in Chiang Mai were of low quality and many were empty. This may just have been the time of day I visited. Your experience may be completely different.

Chiang Mai gay bars
If you’re traveling to Chiang Mai with a bunch of gay friends, feel free to turn any bar into a gay bar! People in Thailand are gay-friendly and will surely welcome all types of people into their bar.

Chiang Mai Gay Travel Tips

Chiang Mai can be extremely hot and humid depending on when you visit. It can easily reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius), so prepare accordingly. I visited in mid-March and it was sunny, humid and very hot.
LGBT safety Chiang Mai
Plan accordingly because hikes and walking in the hot sun can take a toll on those not used to it. For the gays who hike, you will love Chiang Mai! Don’t forget breathable clothing, sun protection and refillable water bottles so you stay comfortable. Remember to take breaks when you need them.
LGBT thailand
gay holiday

Don’t forget your bug spray, because you will need a lot of this stuff. Note also that bug spray is sold everywhere in Thailand. There are a lot of mosquitos out there.

To make things more bearable, try out some natural ginger oil bug repellent if you dislike the smell of traditional bug repellent. Many Thai convenience stores sell citronella bug spray, which I personally love the smell of. Being outdoors without bug spray will be unbearable and you’ll certainly regret it the next day!

Bangkok outdoor markets

Are you on a long journey through Southeast Asia? Here are some tips on how to organize your life and refresh yourself for continued long-term travel.

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Gay Rights in Thailand

Thailand attracts many LGBT travelers given its 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, this was a huge leap for Thailand! It was the first law mentioning homosexual persons for the nation
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Bangkok outdoor markets
best thailand photos
Same-sex marriage 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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Headed to the Thai Islands? If so, check out the wolfyy gay travel guides to Koh LipeKoh Phangan or Phuket.

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