For many gay travellers in Thailand, Bangkok is but a quick blip before heading to cities like Chiang Mai or one of the many islands including Phuket. But Bangkok is as complex and intriguing as any city of its size (approximately 8.3 million residents live in and around Bangkok). It can seem overwhelming at first, so here’s the quick and dirty for doing gay Bangkok in 48 hours:
If you’re looking to have a super gay time, the infamous Babylon Bangkok hotel is your best bet. This gay resort is most popular with gay tourists and a great way to meet (and fuck) other travellers, although you will find some locals there too. Their pool gets busy and is particularly social throughout the day so it’s worth checking out, even for an hour or two.
The hotel also doubles up as a kind of bathhouse, with two dry saunas, two steam rooms and a communal hot tub — saying it gets frisky would be an understatement. Expect full-on orgies.
Even if you’re not staying at the hotel you can use their pool and facilities for the day.
If you’re craving more of a local stay via Airbnb yet still want to be near the action, the bulk of the gay scene is in Silom closer to Sala Daeng BTS station around Soi 2 and 4. It may be more difficult to find an apartment right in the heart of it, but anywhere in Silom is a quick walk or cab ride to these gay streets.
If you’re not wanting to veer too far from gay Silom on your first night, there are many options for food in the heart Soi 4, which is a bustling gay strip. In terms of food quality, it’s far less interesting considering that you’re in Bangkok, but you can get anything from Spanish tapas to Mexican food. You will find some Thai cuisine, but you may need to venture further away from Soi 4.
Stay on Soi 4 for some pre-drinks as you watch the gay world go by. It’s busy most days of the week during peak seasons, but on Friday and Saturday nights it becomes quite the spectacle, with homos parading up and down while merchants try to sell the most ridiculous knickknacks. Telephone or Balcony Pub offer the best vantage points for cruising and people-watching with seating facing the main drag.
As the night goes on, people move from Soi 4 to Soi 2 for more drinking, dancing and serious lady-boy shows. It’s vibrant and wild with a wide variety of gay bars. DJ Station is the crown jewel of this Soi and definitely worth the visit for a drink or two. It gets a mix of tourists and locals alike.
Tip: When you’re trying to get home late at night, it can seem like everyone is trying to scam you. Tuk-tuks can be particularly challenging so try to negotiate the price beforehand. If you can, hail a taxi instead and insist that they turn the meter on.
After taking in some sites like The Grand Palace or getting lost in the many bazaars, you may want to relax at one of the gay saunas in the city. You could try places like Farose Sauna, which boasts being the largest in Southeast Asia, or Heaven Sauna, which tends to attract bears and mature men. There are quite a few saunas in the city so check out Squirt.org’s “Cruising” listing, which is a great resource to find the one that is best for you (Squirt.org is is owned by Pink Triangle Press, which also publishes Xtra).
Eating (Far) Out
When eating out tonight, you may as well get a little more experimental since it’s your last night in the city. Bangkok is famous for its street food and it would be a shame not to eat locally at least once during your visit.
Charoen Krung Road from Saphan Taksin BTS station all the way up to Silom Road is a great option to taste a more authentic side of the city. You’ll find delicious noodle soups, sausages and tasty street treats that you may never have seen before (and may never see again). Bonus: it’s a fraction of the cost of food you’d find in Silom.
Chinatown is another famous spot for food along the side streets that spin off Yaowarat Road. It gets jammed with revellers after dark.
If you’re not in the mood to repeat Soi 4, you can head further out to Fake Club The Next Gen for a night of shows and dancing. It’s northeast of Silom and offers a different flavour of Bangkok’s gay scene as it tends to be far more local.
If you’re reluctant to let your night get away, head back to GOD (Guys On Display) in Silom for some late night circuit dancing. It tends to be more on the tribal side — think Fly 2.0 in Toronto — but in Bangkok.