10s! 10s! 10s! across the board, as you sashay your way down Bangkok's Silom Soi 4 street, the beating heart and soul of the city's incredible gay scene.
We love it here. It's one of our favourite gay scenes in the world. Regardless which day of the week you come, there's always life and action. Whenever we visit Bangkok, the first thing we do is head straight to Balcony and have our obligatory “welcome to Bangkok” Pad Thai in their outdoor terrace.
Balcony is one of the many gay bars in Silom Soi 4 – an area with lots of gay hotels, massage parlours, clubs, saunas and restaurants. You can read our full gay guide to the city of Bangkok, but in this article, we take you on a magical journey through the gay area of Bangkok!
Experience Thailand on a gay tour
Discover how Thailand earned its moniker ‘The Land of Smiles' on a gay tour with Out Adventures. The boys over at OA run four annual departures through the country with stops in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Krabi and Phuket. Their April departure even aligns with the country's famous Songkran water festival. As the old circuit ditty goes, LET'S GET SOAKING WET!
Where is Bangkok's gay area?
The majority of Bangkok's gay bars and clubs are located in Silom, which is a sub-district of Bang Rak. There are two main gay streets in Silom, known as Silom Soi 4 and Silom Soi 2. Both of these smaller pedestrian-only streets lead off from the main Silom Road, which you can reach via the BTS Skytrain (get off at the Sala Daeng station) or the Silom MRT Station.
Silom Soi 4 is where the bulk of the gay bars of Bangkok can be found, in particular Balcony, Telephone and Stranger. There are many smaller ones, but these are the main three – Telephone and Balcony are the largest, with outdoor seating facing each other. Stranger Bar is where the best drag shows of the city take place every evening.
Silom Soi 2 is where the bulk of the gay clubbing scene is, in particular DJ Station. After drinking in Silom Soi 4, most then head to Silom Soi 2 around 11pm/midnight to catch the shows there and dance the night away.
Later on in the evening, just behind Silom Soi 2 is G Bangkok (sometimes called G.O.D) – which is where all the late-night party boys end up, usually shirtless…
Discover Bangkok's gay nightlife
Gay Bangkok can be quite overwhelming for first-timers. This is why we recommend joining a fun gay night-time tour with a local guide to introduce you to the scene. You'll not only get to make new friends but also learn about gay life in Thailand from a cute local!
Where to stay around Silom Soi 4?
The gay area of Bangkok around Silom Soi 2 and Silom Soi 4 is also home to lots of gay / gay friendly hotels, inns, hostels and guesthouses. These are some of our personal favourites based mainly on our first-hand experience (we've been to BKK many many times!) as well as recommendations from fellow LGBTQ travellers:
Le Meridien Bangkok
Why we love it
- Luxurious 5-star hotel with incredible views
- Stunning outdoor pool
- On-site restaurant, cafe and bars
- Excellent fitness centre and relaxing spa
Located just one street over from Silom Soi 4 gay street on Thanon Surawong, Le Meridien is a gorgeous 5-star hotel with 282 luxurious hotel rooms and suites with stunning views over the city.
The spacious rooms feature huge floor-to-ceiling windows so you can really enjoy gazing out at Bangkok. The beds are also very large and comfy, you can even get a room with the unique circular bed pictured above, which makes it feel like you're in a big bird's nest!
Not only will you be walking-distance from the gay street of Bangkok, but there are multiple places to have a drink or a meal within the hotel if you don't feel like going out. Latest Recipe restaurant serves amazing breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner buffets, including one with a seafood tower. You can also have a romantic cocktail or small meal at the Bamboo Chic Bar, plus drinks and light bites are served poolside by the Plunge Bar.
As well as the awesome swimming pool, there's a small but well-equipped gym for getting pumped up ready for a topless night in G.O.D…! If you feel the need for some pampering, Le Meridien's spa is one of the top five spas in the whole of Bangkok on TripAdvisor. It offers a range of services to make you feel fabulous ranging from a couples massage, ayurvedic treatments, facials, body wrap, foot bath and more. The majority of the staff are either gay themselves or if they're not, they are more than accustomed to welcoming gay travellers!
Stay connected while you're in Bangkok…
by renting a pocket WiFi device. We've found this is the easiest and most affordable way to ensure we can stay connected while travelling. Not only do these devices provide unlimited internet access during your trip, but you can also connect multiple devices at the same time. You'll also benefit from a secure and private connection, which isn't always the case when using public WiFi hotspots.
The Tarntawan Hotel Surawong Bangkok
Why we love it
- Lovely four-star hotel close to gay neighbourhood
- Complimentary breakfast available all day
- Cocktail party for guests on Tuesdays
- Cool lobby lounge bar and restaurant
Just around the corner from Le Meridien is the slightly less expensive but just as lovely and very gay Tarntawan Hotel Surawong Bangkok.
All the rooms are very spacious and decorated with warm golden tones, some with plush carpeting as well. We particularly like how some of the rooms have wooden panelling that reminds us of traditional Japanese interior design. As you might expect, the staff welcome LGBTQ travellers.
An excellent buffet breakfast is included in the rates, but for us, the highlight is the 24-hour breakfast – so you can have an all-nighter and wake at 2pm to have a late breakfast!. The food is also delicious, with a mix of both Thai and Western dishes to enjoy. The lounge/restaurant area is a popular spot for a drink, with wicker chairs and a pretty garden area just outside. We also loved the little touches like how they gave us fresh fruit in our room every single day.
Not only is the hotel close to the gay neighbourhood of Bangkok, but you're also only 200 metres away from the Patpong Night Market. For even more shopping options, the Tarntawan provides a free shuttle bus service to and from the exciting open-air mall Asiatique: the Riverfront. If you're staying at the hotel on a Tuesday, we recommend checking out their private cocktail party for guests – if you're travelling solo, it's the best way to make a few friends before heading over to Silom Soi 4.
STAY WITH A GAY LOCAL
Misterb&b is the Airbnb equivalent for the LGBTQ community. Unlike on Airbnb, you know your host is gay, avoiding any nasty surprises when you check in. It is also a great way to meet gay locals and discover the underground gay scene. Click below to get 10 € (or $10) off your first booking.
HQ Hostel Silom
Why we love it
- Fabulous location close to Silom Soi 4
- Surrounded by restaurants and cafes
- Clean and cosy budget accommodation
- Yummy breakfast each day
If you're travelling on a budget and want to stay close to the gay scene, we recommend the trendy gay friendly HQ Hostel Silom. With both dorms and private rooms, this is really a boutique budget style of accommodation rather than your typical backpacker's hostel.
Around the corner from Silom Soi 4, this is one of the loveliest hostels we've ever stayed at! With cute pillows and fresh flowers to make the rooms cosy, it's quite a pleasure to come back here after a night out partying.
There are beautiful, compact double rooms if you don't want to sleep in a bunk-bed dorm, but you can still socialise with other guests in the shared common area. There's a TV with DVD player and lots of movies to watch here, as well as a library corner if you'd prefer a spot of quiet reading. But let's be honest, with all of the city's gay nightlife literally on your doorstep, you're not going to be spending much time here watching DVDs are you?!
Unlike quite a lot of other hostels which don't provide sheets and towels, HQ Hostel does, which is a big plus! In addition, the staff are super friendly, smiley (oh we love the Thai for this!) and super welcoming to gay travellers. The little cherry on the top of the cake is that there is a swimming pool next door, which you can use for a small fee if you want to burn off some of those Margarita calories.
Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park
Why we love it
- Luxurious 5-star hotel in Silom
- Gorgeous swimming pool with whirlpool
- Well-equipped fitness centre and spa
- Multiple on-site restaurants and bars
Another fabulous five-star luxury experience in the heart of Silom Soi is the Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park Hotel. Yeah, it's a bit of a mouthful to say but staying here is anything but difficult!
It's located right next to the Silom Soi 4 metro station (called Sala Daeng), which is handy for exploring other parts of Bangkok, whilst still being walking distance to the gay scene. You might find it difficult to drag yourself outside though, as this place is incredible.
The Crowne Plaza has so many luxurious amenities to enjoy, from the stunning outdoor swimming pool (with whirlpool!) to the four different dining options. Both the Panorama and Xin Tian Di restaurants give you the opportunity to dine while enjoying views over the city. The highlight for us which we recommend is the delicious dim sum at Xin Tian Di.
There are also two different lounge bars. We loved having a romantic drink at The Finishing Post while looking out at the city lights before heading out. Along with the swimming pool, Crowne Plaza also has an excellent fitness centre as well as a relaxing spa where you can enjoy a traditional Thai massage. Oh and the massive highlight for us here – the big, comfy beds! Honestly, it's like sleeping in a cloud – it was one of THE best nights sleep Seby has ever had in a hotel (he's a very difficult sleeper…)!
The best bars and clubs in Silom
For a small area, the gay neighbourhood of Bangkok packs in a lot! There are many small bars, clubs, restaurants and even Go-Go bars all within walking distance of each other. These are some of our favourite bars and clubs in Silom. Note: you may prefer to simply join a night-time tour of the gay scene, especially if you're travelling solo and want to quickly make new friends.
Telephone is one of the oldest gay pubs in Bangkok. It is super famous and popular – the meeting spot in Bangkok's gay scene. It's spread out over three levels with a dining area inside and karaoke section on the third level. However, the main and most interesting bit is the seating area outside on the street facing Balcony which gets absolutely packed! We love coming here for people watching, seeing who's around and just hanging out with friends. They also serve delicious food here – a mix of Thai and Western-style dishes. Located at 114/11-13 Silom Soi 4, Telephone is open every day from 6pm until 2am.
Directly across the street from Telephone is the just-as-fabulous Balcony Pub. The outside bit is just as busy and famous as Telephone's. Which one you choose to hang out at really depends on where you can find a table available outside. Like Telephone, Balcony also has a dining area inside and karaoke bar upstairs. Whilst Stranger bar has the monopoly on drag shows in Silom Soi 4, Balcony has some excellent cabaret and GoGo dancer shows on most evenings from around 10.30pm. Balcony is located on Silom Soi 4 and is open daily from 5.30pm until 2am.
Also known as “the house of drag queens” the Stranger Bar was one of our favourite spots to hang out in Bangkok. The drag shows here are second to none, with fierce queens in amazing costumes strutting their stuff every night of the week. They really engage with the audience before prowling out outside along Silom Soi 4! Stranger made its name in the drag scene largely because its fabulous owner, (simply called M) also does drag and has close ties with Drag Race Thailand. The Stranger Bar is located at 114/14 Silom Soi 4 and is open every day from 5.30pm until 2am.
If you haven't had your fill of karaoke at Balcony or Telephone then you'll definitely enjoy HUGs Bar. This men-only karaoke bar is also the main bear bar of Bangkok, generally attracting sexy older men in their 30s, 40s and 50s. Unlike most of the gay bars on Silom Soi 4, HUGs is an interior-only bar, with a cosy and welcoming atmosphere. Everyone is super friendly and happy to dance along with whoever is on the mic belting out those classic diva numbers! Located at 82 Silom Soi 4, HUGs Bar is open Thursday – Tuesday from around 7pm until 1 or 2am.
After a few drinks at Balcony, most people head over to Silom Soi 2, where the bulk of Bangkok's gay clubs are located. You pay to enter the street, which has been turned into a clubbing complex spread over three floors. DJ Station is the main dancing bit, which has hilarious live drag and cabaret shows at 11pm each night. Opposite this are a few chill-out bar areas, joined to the dance floor by an outdoor smoking area. The only downside with the Silom Soi 2 DJ Station complex is that it can get packed and claustrophobic on busy nights like Saturdays. DJ Station is located at 11 Silom Soi 2/1 and is open daily from 10pm until 2am.
The other most popular gay club in the area is G Bangkok (previously called G.O.D). As it's open later than the other places, it's where all the late-night party boys head after DJ Station or the gay bars of Silom Soi 4. There's often a drag show or two after midnight, but it doesn't really get busy here until after 1am when the boys start rolling in, shirts are quickly lost and the party gets going till the early hours. We sure felt like we'd died and gone to heaven! G Bangkok is located on Silom Soi 2/1 and is open every day from 11pm until 6am (although closing times do vary).
Gay restaurants in Silom Soi 4
Silom Soi 4 is not just home to gay bars and clubs. There are also plenty of excellent gay friendly restaurants, cafes and pubs where you can enjoy a delicious meal before heading out to party. These are some of our favourite places to eat in the Silom gay area of Bangkok:
We loved having dinner at Tapas Cafe before heading to the bars and clubs. It's located next door to Balcony and opposite Stranger, which makes it super convenient. Whilst they serve up tasty Spanish tapas, they also do excellent local Thai dishes, which we recommend. The staff are hilarious – friendly, bursting with smiles and super cute. We recommend getting a table outside to watch passers-by and soak up the buzzy atmosphere of Silom Soi 4.
Balcony Pub Bar
We know we've already talked about the Balcony Pub in the bars section above, but it also deserves a spot here because of their food menu, which is pretty decent! As far as we're concerned, they do one of THE best Pad Thais in all of Bangkok (there, we officially declared it!) No trip to Bangkok officially begins for us until we've had our Pad Thai with chicken satay at Balcony! They also do many other traditional Thai curries, salads and soups, both spicy or not. If you head to Balcony on a Wednesday, look out for their pasta specials. And as already mentioned above, this is one of the best places to hang out and be seen along the Silom Soi 4 strip.
Eat Me Restaurant
If you head down the street opposite Silom Soi 4 and turn the corner into Phiphat 2 you'll find one of the most sophisticated gay eateries in the area. Eat Me Restaurant may have a suggestive name, but it's actually a very classy place with beautiful artwork on the walls and an excellent fusion menu. With an Australian owner and American head chef, you can find dishes from all over the world, like grilled Dutch harbour King crab, Japanese wagyu beef or duck confit. There's also a dedicated vegan menu and we had the most incredible homemade spicy chilli dark chocolate ice cream for dessert! The only downside, this is one of the more pricier restaurants in Bangkok.
Lon Lon Local Diner
For a little slice of hipster cool, don't miss out on the Lon Lon Local Diner. It's very popular with locals for lunch and dinner. We also love coming here for drinks and gap glaem (Thai drinking snacks) before heading out to the gay bars of Silom Soi 4. They are famous for their crispy salted pork belly and lychee martinis. Oh, and their dessert menu is simply decadent! Seby's choice is the salted coconut ice cream with caramel sauce (he loves his caramel!) whilst mine is the black sesame coconut and orange ice cream (don't knock it till you try it!).
When we first saw pictures online about the Unicorn Cafe we knew we had to check it out! The interior of this place really looks like a rainbow unicorn exploded, with unicorn dolls everywhere, colourful unicorn wallpaper, pink chandeliers and pastel-coloured couches. The food is all colourful and rainbow-themed, like the rainbow waffles that come with a little unicorn horn. For the ultimate experience, you can rent a unicorn onesie for that perfect Instagram photo! Whilst the Unicorn Cafe is a bit further out from the main gay strip of Silom compared to the other places listed in this guide, it's still only a 10-minute walk away…but trust us, it's definitely worth checking out!
One of our favourite spots for brunch in Bangkok is Luka, known as a “lifestyle cafe”. Technically it's located just outside the gay area of Silom Soi, but it's only a quick Tuk-Tuk ride away and definitely worth the short journey. They serve nostalgic comfort food like peanut butter and banana pancakes, grilled cheese sandwiches or carrot cake. Even though it's in the middle of such a crazy city, Luka feels like you've somehow slipped off into the jungle, with greenery both outside and in, along with lots of lovely rustic wooden furniture. Luka is also very pet-friendly, so it's perfect if you're hoping to meet cute pups to pat!
Rocket Coffeebar is one of the best places in Bangkok to go for coffee and cafe-style food. It's around 15 minutes walk from Silom Soi 4 to Luka (or a quick Tuk-Tuk ride). Rocket Coffeebar offers western dishes and coffee with a Scandinavian twist. You can chow down on fluffy pancakes, poached eggs with house-cured salmon or a hearty breakfast burrito. While the coffee here is amazing we also loved their indulgent hot cocoa, which is made by melting a chocolate popsicle into a cup of steamed milk.
Map of the gay area of Bangkok
Here's a map of Bangkok's gay neighbourhood which includes all the gay bars, clubs, hotels and places to eat we've mentioned in this post. We hope it helps you have your own fabulous gay holiday in Bangkok!
For more inspiration:
- Check out our gay guide to the country of Thailand
- Read why we rate Thailand as one of the most gay friendly countries in Asia
- If you like tropical islands you'll also want to check out our gay guide to the Thai island of Koh Lipe
- As well as the hidden gem of Koh Adang, another beautiful island in Thailand
- These are our favourite SCUBA diving spots throughout Asia
- Although if you prefer to be above the waves you should check out our guide to the best gay cruises in Asia
- Read more about our experience travelling through Asia as a gay couple
- Find out the top 25 most gay friendly countries in the world
- As well as the biggest and best gay pride events worldwide