Our gay guide to Bangkok 2023 has all the information you need including the best gay hotels to stay, gay bars, where to play and practical safety tips.
“OMG Stefan, we almost hit that car…I can't…I'm going to keep my eyes firmly closed! Just let me know when we've arrived safely at Stranger Bar while I pray to the gay gods for safe passage…”
Nothing beats the rush of adrenaline as we whizzed through the CRAZY traffic jams of Bangkok hanging on for dear life inside a cutesy tuk-tuk with its driver smiling at these two hysterical giggling foreigners in the back…
We both love it – the feeling of the humid, almost putrid air hitting your face as you swerve from one end of the street to the other, car horns manically beeping at each other.
We'll be frank, Bangkok is by no means a pretty city. Our initial reaction on our first visit was: what a hot mess! It's polluted, it's dirty, rats compete for space on the busy pavements, the traffic is mad, and concrete blocks line the streets as far as your eyes can see.
Yet, we love everything about Bangkok!
We've been traveling to Thailand every year since we started Nomadic Boys and its capital is a place we often talk about moving to permanently. It is exciting, unpredictable and in our opinion has one of the best gay scenes in the world. For example, on any given day, the gay streets of Silom are on fire, packed with gays from all over (Bangkok is a major transport hub) with drag queens on hand to entertain.
We hope our gay guide to Bangkok will inspire you to visit in 2023 and help you to fall in love with this city as much as we have.
Heads up: We just wanted to let you know that this post contains affiliate links. That means if you book something through one of those links, we'll get a small commission, at no extra cost to you. It helps us keep our blog going – so thank you in advance for your support! ♥
Gay tour of Thailand
Discover how Thailand earned its moniker ‘The Land of Smiles' on this awesome 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. It's a fantastic way for first-timers to Thailand to get a thorough flavor of this incredible country with a fabulous bunch of squirrel friends to hand.
Travel restrictions to Thailand
As of January 9, 2023, all COVID-19 entry restrictions have been dropped. However, keep an eye on the rules as they are likely to be reintroduced if the global situation deteriorates. Make sure you have good travel insurance coverage for your trip should anything be changed or canceled last minute.
In terms of tourist visas, most nationals can get one for free on arrival at the airport. You do not need to do anything in advance, other than ensure you have a passport with at least 6 months of validity. Most foreigners will be allowed a period of 30-60 days. If you intend to stay longer than this, you can apply to extend your visa. In our case, we just hopped over the border to Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia and then got 30 more days on our return.
How safe is Bangkok for gay travelers?
Oh, it is very safe!
The Thais are the most tolerant and chilled people we've ever encountered. This has helped a very international LGBTQ community thrive all across the Thai capital. Just switch on your Grindr when you arrive and you'll see what we mean…
We've been to Bangkok many times and have never had any hassle from anyone for being gay. We found the Thai people to be respectful, humble, and above all else, so welcoming. They shy away from confrontation, opting for peace and tranquility. Not once did we ever feel put out anywhere. This is one of the main reasons why we rate Thailand as one of the most gay friendly places in Asia.
This is also why we feel so safe when walking the streets in Bangkok. Not once did we feel dodgy as we would in a city like Delhi or Cape Town where valuables must be out of sight or locked away!
Obviously, all travelers, straight and gay, should exercise the same level of commonsense caution as you would back home… “Stefan, pay attention when you're walking – get off your phone!” – a phrase Seby harks at me whether walking down the streets of Silom or sashaying down the boulevards of the Gaixample in Barcelona…
Where is the gay area of Bangkok?
Silom is the OFFICIAL gay area of Bangkok with a less-than-glamorous beginning, starting off as part of a dyke and irrigation system in the 1850s. Fast forward to the present where it is now the pulsing heart of the bustling gay district.
Silom Soi 4 is the main gay street in Bangkok. It is packed with gay bars with large outdoor terraces like Balcony, Circus, and Stranger Bar. We love it here. There's always something happening, every day of the week!
A few blocks down from Silom Soi 4 is Silom Soi 2. This is another gay street full of small gay clubs, dominated by DJ Station. Round the back from Silom Soi 2 is another famous gay club called G Bangkok (aka GOD).
Finally, if gay massage is your thing, you'll wanna head over to Silom Soi 6 which is where the bulk of the gay massage parlors can be found.
Discover Bangkok's gay nightlife on a personalized tour
The gay scene in Bangkok can be quite overwhelming, especially for first-timers. If you feel nervous going out by yourself, we strongly recommend this guided personalized nighttime tour!
A gay local will guide you through the best gay bars and clubs in the city, at the same time making a whole heap of awesome new friends!
Gay hotels in Bangkok
Though we are obviously comfortable in our relationship as a gay couple, we’d be lying if we said that we are not at least a little bit nervous when entering a new hotel for the first time – would this place make a scene? Would we really be welcome, or would there be judgment?
Thankfully in all cases when traveling through the capital city, these were all just the nagging worries of divas. We couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome! We never had any problems booking a double bed in any of the hotels we stayed at. We summarise our favorite gay hotels to stay in Bangkok in 2023 below:
Why we love it
- Super chic hotel where the cool gays stay!
- Stunning spa and well-stocked gym
- Short 15 mins walk to Silom Soi 4 gay bars
All those hot model-like topless profiles you'll see on your Grindr who are in town for the White Party will be staying here.
The W is as synonymous with gayness as it is with luxury. Inside, the W is glorious – like a beautiful piece of art!
Think minimalist mixed with wild and extraordinary colors. It reminded us a little of a catholic jock with a mischievous side…the best kind of guy! Mostly cool white, black, and grey, then suddenly there's an ultra-modern piece of art that was a riot of color.
Honestly, it crossed our minds when we saw our rooms that it was almost too pretty to sleep in. Emphasis on almost! Aside from their astounding beauty, the rooms are really comfortable.
The facilities are also amazing. It has all the usual things that can be expected in a modern hotel…though the limousine service is a nice added bonus! It also has a fantastic well-stocked gym and a magnificent spa. Oh, my lawd, this spa was something else altogether…Honestly, the W is a gay nirvana!
Stay connected while you're in Bangkok…
by renting a pocket WiFi device. This is the easiest way to ensure you'll have unlimited internet access during your travels plus you'll even be able to connect multiple devices like your phone and tablet. A pocket WiFi device also provides a secure and private connection which isn't always the case when using public WiFi hotspots.
Banyan Tree Bangkok
Why we love it
- Peaceful and zen gay hotel
- Romantic rooftop restaurant and bar
- Short walk to the gay bars of Bangkok through the Patpong Night Market
The Banyan Tree is a fabulous little gem just a short walk from Silom Soi 4 through Patpong Market.
It's not luxury and it's not budget – somewhere in between. This is our pick for gay travelers looking for a mid-range gay hotel that is close to the gay scene and one that also has a fantastic rooftop!
The first thing we felt when entering was how zen it is – and also how gay it is: the LGBTQ community makes up the bulk of their clientele! This was the favorite thing about the Banyan. We quickly developed a sisterhood with the other guys staying here, heading out to Circus, Stranger, and DJ Station together almost every night.
The rooftop Moon Bar is the other thing we love about the Banyan Tree. It's glorious! There is a bar and restaurant – romantic sunset cocktail drinks became our daily pastime before meeting up with our new-found squirrel friends to head 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, voiding 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 our first booking.
Silom Space Hostel
Why we love it
- Great value for money
- Chilled atmosphere
- Located in the heart of the Bangkok gay scene in Silom Soi 2
We used to stay at this gay friendly hostel all the time in our younger gay years when we wanted to save some coin whilst being right inside the gay scene of Bangkok.
That's 'cause Silom Space Hostel is located in Silom Soi 2 gay street next door to the iconic DJ Station gay club.
Inside, the rooms are simple but chic. They offer a pick of various-sized dorm rooms as well as rooms with double beds with private bathrooms – a must when traveling with a fussy Seby. Cozy but comfortable is how we felt here. Remember you're paying for simple hostel-style digs so don't come expecting Ritz-style-private-butler service for example!
The location is the main reason we recommend Space. Not only are you on the city's gayest street with the MRT on your doorstep but you also have Lumpini Park nearby, which I love going to for a sunset run and using its large outdoor gym.
Gay tours of Bangkok
Over all the years we've been coming to Bangkok, we've made loads of friends who have shown us the best of the city's gay scene. Obviously, we'll never have the real nitty-gritty history that a local will have, which is why we always seek out tours led by locals when we want a deeper insight into the big city.
We also love gay tours because they are a great way to quickly make new friends whilst discovering the gay scene together. Below we've set out some of the best gay tours that we think you should check out:
A tailored private tour of the gay scene of Bangkok
We particularly recommend this personalized gay night-out tour to solo gay travelers visiting for their first time.
The Thai capital is overwhelming to first-timers – we experienced that feeling firsthand! Having a gay local who's got your back makes the world of a difference. This tour not only includes a 1 on 1 guide but also a drink at two different show venues.
The other thing we love about this gay tour is that it's a great way to quickly make new friends at the different bars.
Gay club night in Bangkok
This is a more cost-effective tour of the gay scene of Bangkok with a fabulous local run by TravelMe.
They offer a great night out and are a bit cheaper than the other gay tours because you get to explore the less…classy parts of the Thai capital that other tours will shy away from!
Your gay guide will also bring you to the best drag queen shows and karaoke bars. It will be a night to remember!
Gay tour of Thailand with Out Adventures
For a more in-depth gay tour of Thailand, we recommend this fantastic gay tour with Out Adventures taking place in February 2024. It begins in Bangkok taking in the Grand Palace, trying an array of street food, and a night out in the gay scene of Silom. The tour then heads to Chiang Mai, Krabi, and Phuket. The bonus: quote “NomadicOA” when booking and they'll include a $150 discount!
Gay bars in Bangkok
Silom Soi 4 is where we come to strut our stuff. Walking down the alley under all the dazzling lights and you can practically taste the good times! Each of the gay bars has a terrace that sprawls out into the street, making sure that there will be a messy street party later.
In short, Silom Soi 4 is EPIC! The only exception to the Silom Soi 4 gay bar bubble is Pangina Heal‘s own resident bar, House of Heals, which we've also included in this section. For gay bars beyond Silom Soi 4, check out our bumper guide to the best gay bars in Bangkok.
Circus (formerly Telephone Bar)
Our trip to Bangkok doesn't start until we've found our front-row seat at Circus with a freshly made Pad Thai and a couple of Margaritas as we sit back and watch the show unfold in front of us.
As well as the bar's drag queens performing on the street right before our eyes, everyone who is everyone on the Thai capital's gay scene will pass along here at some stage in the evening…those cuties you were chatting to on Grindr earlier? You'll spot them all here, trust us!
- Address: Circus is located in Silom Soi 4 gay street next to Stranger Bar. To get there, take the MRT to Sala Daeng, Silom Soi 4 is right next to the station.
- Opening hours: Circus is open everyday until around 2 am.
- Our favorite: Their Pad Thai, Chicken Satay and Margaritas
The Stranger Bar
This is our favorite gay bar in Silom and one of the most popular in the entire city. We always end up here at some stage during the evening. It's like a family – and it is, largely thanks to the charismatic mother of Stranger Bar called M who hosts a series of hilarious drag shows with her super-talented daughters like Cherilyn Stranger, and Gisele Rafael. Word up – fans of Drag Race Thailand will love Stranger Bar as stars from the show often hang out here!
- Address: Stranger Bar is located at 114/14 Silom Soi 4, just a few minutes walk from Sala Daeng, the closest MRT station.
- Opening hours: Stranger Pub is open everyday until around 2 am.
- Our favorite: Hilarious Drag Shows (daily from 11pm) and the charismatic owner M.
Similar in style to Circus Bar located just opposite, Balcony is another institution on the Bangkok gay scene. It has a large terrace seating area outside that faces both the outside crowd and the ad hoc drag performers.
Shout out to the staff – they're super friendly and will make every effort to find you the best table. We love their cocktails with an impressive selection to choose from – Margaritas for me, Mai Thais for Seby!
- Address: Balcony Pub is located on the Silom Soi 4 gay street opposite Circus. The closest MRT station is Sala Daeng.
- Opening hours: Balcony Pub is open everyday until around 2 am.
- Our favorite: The view across the terrace 😉
HUGs is THE best bear gay bar in Bangkok. The karaoke is a bonus! Do you feel like singing Dancing Queen by Abba as much as Seby does? Then HUGs Bar may be for you. It's cozy, cutesy with a mix of both locals and foreigners.
The fun here flows as easily as the drinks on tap, especially on weekends. We also love heading here for a few intimate drinks: HUGs is located at the back of Silom Soi 4 so doesn't get as busy as Balcony or Circus.
- Address: HUGs Bar is located at 82 Silom Soi 4, the gay street. The closest MRT station is Sala Daeng.
- Opening hours: HUGs Bar is open Wednesday to Sunday until around 2 am.
- Our favorite: Quiet, intimate, and amazing cocktails
House of Heals
You were also rooting for her on Drag Race UK versus the World right? Dubbed “Asia's most famous drag queen”, Miss Pangina has set up her own drag bar in her hometown, aptly called, “House of Heals“. Here, her daughters entertain the crowds every night of the week (except Tuesdays).
We love the Charisma, the Uniqueness, the Nerve, the Talent of these luscious queens…trust us – just head here for one of your gay nights out in Bangkok!
- Address: House of Heals is located at 518/8 Phloen Chit Rd, Pathum Wan. It is a 5 minutes walk from Ratchamdamri station on the Silom line.
- Opening hours: House of Heals is open daily (except Tuesdays) until around 2 am.
Gay clubs in Bangkok
Silom Soi 2 is the place to head for the gay clubs. Located just 2 blocks from Silom Soi 4, we'd head here from around 11 pm onwards. We start at DJ Station first for the drag shows and then dance through each of the other small bars clustered together in this tight small street.
For gay boys who want to dance topless and get sweaty, we recommend heading over to G Bangkok just behind Silom Soi 2.
When we first came to Silom Soi 2 many moons ago we weren’t sure what to expect exactly. We just knew that we were in the mood to dance the night away and get a little sweaty(!). When we arrived, it looked surprisingly organized albeit heaving!
We could hear the music starting to pound through the clubs we were passing, and our heartbeats started to quicken in excitement. Having said that, come on a Saturday night and it's one huge disorganized busy mess (and we LOVE it!)
This gay club is sometimes considered a pilgrimage for gays in Asia! This is our usual haunt when we want to dance away the fever of the night. DJ is by far our favorite gay club in the city. There are 3 floors of different music with all types of people and it is busy throughout the week.
This means there isn’t ever really a bad time to go to DJ Station. It can get mad busy on Saturdays though! The drinks are reasonably priced. There are of course drag shows, and an entire room devoted to K-Pop, both of which get going from around 11 pm onwards. Overall a great experience to have a messy gay fun night!
- Address: DJ station is located at Silom Soi 1/2 in Silom. It is a 3 minutes walk from the closest MRT station Sala Daeng on the Silom line.
- Opening hours: 8pm – 2am every day.
- Entry fee (updated 2023): DJ Station entry fee is 300 bahts ($9) Monday to Thursday and 400 bahts Friday to Sunday. It includes 2 free drinks.
G Bangkok (G.O.D)
With a name like this, how could we not go in? Once inside, we immediately saw the shirtless dancers on stage. They were imposing specimens and crazy cute! This gay club starts to get super busy from midnight.
Everyone's shirt quickly disappears as they enter and the entire venue transforms into one massive gay sweatbox! Overall this place is a good call, the guys are cute, the drinks are decent, and the music is what you need to get gyrating.
- Address: G.O.D Bangkok is located at Silom Soi 2/1 in Silom, a short walk away from the closest MRT station Sala Daeng on the Silom line.
- Opening hours: 10pm – 3am every day.
- Entry fee (updated 2023): G.O.D entry fee is 400 bahts ($12) and includes 2 free drinks.
Fake Club Bangkok
Located near the famous Chatuchak (JJ) Weekend Market, Fake Club Bangkok used to be called Fake Club The Next Gen but they have since rebranded and moved into a larger space. They play all the most popular divas, from Britney to Lady Gaga.
It's super popular with the young, fashionable crowd, particularly on weekends when it gets packed. There's also the Fake Cafe next door if you want a quieter bar and restaurant experience.
- Address: Fake Club is located at 60/1 Soi, 4 Ratchadaphisek Rd, 5 min walk Phra Ram 9 station on MRT blue line.
- Opening hours: 9.30pm – 2am every day.
- Entry fee (updated 2023): Fake Club cost of entry is 300 bahts ($9) and includes 2 free drinks. You can also purchase a VIP ticket for 14,000 bahts ($415) which includes a bottle of Thai whiskey and mixers.
Bangkok gay pride and events
Surprisingly for what we deem to be the gay capital of Asia, the city doesn't really have a very active gay Pride event. Bangkok Pride took place in June 2022 for the first time in 16 years and the plan is for it to continue annually, but watch this space!
The other main gay event to look out for is the Songkran G Circuit, which takes place during the Thai Buddhist New Year celebrations in April. We've included a few other gay events and parties – the Pride Cruise boat party is another one you should look out for:
Pride Cruise Bangkok – dates vary
The Pride Cruises take place at various times throughout the year, usually in December, March, and April. They take place on a four-story party boat with two different stages and room for 320 people, you'll get to live out all your sailor fantasies! You won't have to worry about seasickness either, as the boat cruises up and down the river from sunset till late.
- Next Pride Cruise Bangkok party: takes place at various times throughout 2023. Check the Pride Cruise Bangkok Facebook page for the latest info and also reach out to locals on Grindr who will no doubt have the latest insider knowledge about it.
- Location: usually takes place on Bangkok island on Sathorn Pier
- Price: tickets start from around 500 bahts ($15).
Songkran G Circuit and Songkran Festival – April
Songkran is the festival for celebrating the Thai New Year, which takes place in April. While the official date is the 13th of April, the Thai government gives everyone the entire working week off in order to travel and spend time with family. The Songkran G Circuit takes place during that week and is one of the biggest (and best!) gay festivals in all of Asia.
Outside of the G Circuit parties, every gay venue will have something happening during Songkran, mainly involving water. The tradition is to throw water at someone you find cute in the streets, so expect to get soaking wet! Thankfully, April is the hottest month in Bangkok.
- Next Songkran G Circuit festival: April 12-15, 2024
- Location: various parties at different locations – check the Songkran G Circuit website for the latest info
- Price: tickets start from 2,200 bahts ($65) and go up depending on which party you book and how early you book them. We recommend booking them online as soon as you can for the best offers.
Bangkok Gay Pride – June
A welcome addition to the gay scene of Bangkok! For years – almost 2 decades(!), Bangkok has been without a gay Pride event, which is bizarre given that it is THE gay hub of Asia. Despite this, in 2022 and in 2023 Bangkok Pride went ahead, and was a hit.
Although details of the next Bangkok Pride are not yet set in stone, it should take place on the first Sunday of June.
Bangkok Pride is a month-long celebration during Pride month and includes a drag brunch, film festival, cruise party, and a parade. Check the Bangkok Pride website for the latest details of the next event.
- Next Bangkok Gay Pride: first Sunday of June, but 2024 not yet confirmed.
- Location: various – to be confirmed very soon!
- Prices: some events are tickets, and others are free and open to all. We will update you as soon as we find out more info about it.
White Party Bangkok – December/January
If you live in Bangkok then you kind of get to celebrate New Year twice each year! Along with the famous Songkran G Circuit for Thai New Year, the ‘regular' New Year sees Bangkok's White Party giving the gays a night to remember.
While it's officially called a party, there are in fact multiple parties that take place in the lead-up to the new year, from December 28 until the wee hours of January 1st. Picture thousands of hot shirtless men, dancing to the pumping beats in huge venues with world-class DJs and incredible drag performances!
- Next White Party Bangkok: the next white party in 2023 will take place daily from December 28th to January 1st.
- Location: the parties take place at various locations. Check the White Party website for the latest info.
- Price: tickets start from around 4,000 bahts ($120) depending on which party and type of “package” you buy. Check the White Party website for the latest info and aim to buy the tickets asap to get the best offers.
Gay saunas in Bangkok
Sometimes a little steamy action is just what the doctor ordered. There are plenty of options for you to explore here. Variety is the spice of life!
The most popular gay sauna (pre-Covid days!) was the infamous Babylon… Sadly it is now officially permanently closed. However, there are still plenty more worth checking out so we've highlighted our favorite gay saunas to check out in 2023.
KRUBB Bangkok Social Club & Sauna
Since Babylon closed down, Krubb is lauded as the best gay sauna in the city. It's a bit far out – around 25 mins taxi ride west of Silom Soi 4 but this is part of its charm – it's a very local crowd. The best time to come is in the early evening when guys are at their thirstiest!
- Address: Krubb Bangkok is located at 112 112 Sukhumvit Plus 2 Alley, Phra Khanong, a 10 min walk Phra Khanong station on the Sukhumvit line.
- Opening hours: Krubb is open from 2 pm – 12 am every day.
- Entry fee (updated 2023): Krubb cost of entry is 220 Bahts before 5 pm and after 10 pm. Otherwise, it is 390 Bahts.
This is the best gay sauna for Bangkok if you want something within walking distance to Silom Soi 4. It's pretty large with 5 floors, with a gym on the ground floor and a rooftop terrace chillout area.
- Address: Sauna Mania is located at 35/2 Soi Phiphat 2 in Silom, close to Sala Daeng MRT station.
- Opening hours: Sauna Mania is open from 3 pm – 2 am every day.
- Entry fee (updated 2023): Sauna Mania cost of entry is 300 Bahts.
One for the bears and older men. Also located close to Silom Soi 4, Heaven is popular if you want to stay “local” and not travel far. It has a gym and a glorious open-air Jacuzzi on the rooftop garden.
- Address: Heaven Sauna is located on the 4th floor of the B.I.S Building at 119 Soi Mahesak in Silom, a 10 min walk from Saphan Taksin BTS station on the Silom line.
- Opening hours: Heaven Sauna is open from 1 pm – 10 pm every day (closed on Mondays).
- Entry fee (updated 2023): The cost of entry is 180 Bahts Tuesday – Thursday and 200 Bahts Friday – Sunday.
Chakran, spread over 5 floors, is very popular with locals and foreigners. It's around 20 minute's cab ride north of Silom Soi 4. The best time to come is around 7:30 pm when the after-work crowd reaches its peak.
- Address: Chakran Sauna is located at 32 Chakran Building, Soi Ari 4 Soi Paholyothin 7 Phayathai Phaya Thai, a 7 min walk from Ari BTS station on the Sukhumvit line.
- Opening hours: Chakran Sauna is open from 3 pm – 12 am Monday to Thursday and 2 pm – 12 am Friday to Sunday.
- Entry fee (updated 2023): The cost of entry is 390 Bahts including one free drink.
Phoenix Sauna (formerly EDOK)
Phoenix is another popular gay sauna if you're looking for a more local experience thanks to it being off the gay-beaten track. Located in the Bukkhalo neighborhood, a taxi from Silom Soi 4 will take around 30 minutes. Of special note here is their karaoke bar downstairs!
- Address: Phoenix Sauna is located at 72/5 Somdet Phra Chao Taksin Road in Thonburiopen, a 20 minutes wall from Thalat Phlut MRT station on the Silom line.
- Opening hours: Phoenix Sauna is open from 3 pm – 6 am daily.
- Entry fee (updated 2023): The cost of entry is 100 Bahts if you join their chat groups, see more info on their Facebook page.
Ratchada Sauna is very popular with young Thai men in their 20s. Each night has a different theme, usually clothing optional or underwear. There's an exciting O-Party each Saturday night which gets pretty wild! A cab ride to Ratchada Sauna will take around 25-30 minutes from Silom Soi 4.
- Address: Ratchada Sauna is located at 502/373 Ratchada Soi 3, which is a suburb in north Bangkok. It is a 7 minutes walk from Phra Ram 9 station on the MRT Blue line.
- Opening hours: Ratchada Sauna is open from 3 pm – 2 am every day.
- Entry fee (updated 2023): The cost of entry at Ratchada Sauna is 200 Bahts.
Gay spa and massage in Bangkok
While gay saunas are a wonderful way to relax in a steam room and meet some hot fellas, sometimes what you really need is a vigorous massage to soothe your sore muscles. Whether you've been stuck in an airplane for 18 hours or just have tired legs from all the shopping you've been doing, Bangkok is one of the best places to go for a massage. And yes, you can get ones with a “happy ending” if that's what you're in the mood for, but don't feel pressured if it's not really your cup of tea!
The bulk of the gay massage parlors in Bangkok is in Silom Soi 6 with a few spread out in other places. Also remember, the minimum tip expected is 100 bahts, regardless of how much your massage cost.
The Prime Massage
No Happy Endings here. The Prime Massage is very professional with excellent, clean facilities, and most importantly, brilliant massage. If you're not into the whole “Happy Ending” thing, then Prime Massage is your friend. You get to pick whether you want a male or female masseur/masseuse before starting and are then given a massage pajama-like outfit to wear: no skin-to-skin contact here! In terms of tips, budget for at least 200 bahts.
- Address: The Prime massage is located at 128, 23 Si Lom 6, Suriya Wong, Bang Rak. It is in the heart of the gay scene, a 5 minutes walk from Sala Daeng station on the Silom line.
- Opening hours: The Prime massage is open from 11 am until midnight every day.
- Minimum tip: 100 Bahts.
Relax Thai Massage
In complete contrast to Prime Massage in Silom Soi 6 is Relax Thai. This is one of the smaller unassuming gay massage outlets on this street of which there are several clustered together. Each one has a group of cute masseurs standing outside enticing you in with their sweet smiles. Massages here are without clothing and naturally, they are likely to end in a very happy way but this comes down to what you want and what you agree on with your masseur.
We found that gay massage parlors like Relax are similar to all the others around – similar menu and price. Which one you pick comes down to which of the masseurs you click with so we suggest having a walk around and speaking with each of them. Tips vary from 200 bahts to whatever your masseur will “quote” you verbally during your massage for whatever style of happy ending you agree on!
- Address: Relax Thai Massage is located at 9 Si Lom 6, Suriya Wong, Bang Rak, a 3 minutes walk from Sala Daeng station on the Silom MRT line.
- Opening hours: Relax Thai Massage is open every day from 11 am to midnight.
The Adam Massage
Come here if you expect a Happy Ending! If you're partying the night away at Balcony or Stranger and fancy a massage, then Adam Massage has got your back. Located in the heart of Silom Soi 4, the Adam boys offer a range of treatments with delightful essential oil scents to choose from. If a Happy Ending is what you seek, then The Adam Massage will deliver (although budget for a hefty tip of around 1,000 to 2,000 bahts – your masseur will specify mid-way through the massage).
- Address: The Adam Massage is located at 114 16 Si Lom, Suriya Wong, Bang Rak, a few minutes walk from Sala Daeng station on the Silom MRT line.
- Opening hours: The Adam Massage is open from 11 am to 11 pm every day.
- Minimum tip: 500 Bahts.
Gay cruising in Bangkok
Historically, Bangkok was one of the most popular gay cruising hotspots in Asia, particularly around Saranrom Park and Lumphini Park.
However, with the rise in popularity of gay dating apps over the past 10 years, the outdoor gay cruising scene has been pretty much quiet. Today you'd struggle to find any outdoor cruising spaces in Bangkok, so Grindr is your friend if this is what you're looking for.
However, local friends have told of pretty raunchy tales of going jogging in places like Lumpini Park, locking eyes with a stranger, then heading to the public toilets there for playtime. The same for the toilets in some of the Malls like Siam Paragon.
Gay gyms in Bangkok
It's no secret that we like to keep our bodies looking good, both when we're traveling and at home! But the last thing we want is to get harassed by hairy hetero-apes while you're just trying to use that rowing machine. We like to read reviews of gyms when we're traveling to make sure they're going to be gay friendly. Luckily Bangkok has quite a few of these!
Fitness First Platinum Siam Paragon
Inside the massive Siam Paragon shopping mall, you'll find a gym that's popular with local gays: the flagship location of Fitness First. Fitness First Platinum Siam Paragon is huge, with two different floors housing multiple areas for free weights, cardio, cycling studios, and even a boxing ring.
They have a range of classes, super hot PTs, and of course, a spacious gym area. There are lots of amazing extras included in your entry or membership fee, like free towels and gym gear. This gym also provides some pretty stunning views out the windows of the Skytrains and the rest of the city.
Hot tip: if you don't want to join a gym, consider booking an Airbnb in one of the many condos that have a gym (and sometimes a pool). Otherwise, head to Lumpini Park which has an excellent outdoor gym and calisthenics park…we like to come here just to gawk at the eye candy, to be honest!
- Address: Fitness First Platinum Siam Paragon is located on the fourth floor of Siam Paragon, on Thanon Rama I Road.
- Opening hours: Fitness First Platinum Siam Paragon is open from 5 am until midnight on weekdays, and from 8 am until 10 pm on weekends.
- Entry fee (updated 2023): The cost of entry at Fitness First Platinum is 800 Bahts for a Day Pass.
The Olympic Club
As part of the Pathumwan Princess Hotel, the Olympic Club is a gorgeous, HUGE fitness center that boasts sports courts, a swimming pool, and a running track as well as the main gym area. There are a large number of gay members who enjoy this club, but even if you're only visiting Bangkok for a short time you can get a daily membership to enjoy the facilities.
If you enjoy playing basketball, squash, or tennis you can do so here, and there are plenty of different classes to join as well. The Olympic Club is definitely our top pick in terms of variety!
- Address: The Olympic Club is located in the Pathumwan Princess Hotel at 444 MBK Center, Phayathai Road. The closest MRT station is National Stadium on the Silom line.
- Opening hours: The Olympic Club is open from 6 am until 11 pm on weekdays, and from 7 am until 10 pm on weekends.
- Entry fee (updated 2023): The cost of entry is 325 Bahts for a day.
Gay friendly restaurants in Bangkok
Eating out in Bangkok is a treat. It is inexpensive and Thai food is one of the best in the world. We've never had a bad meal every time we've come here. Our advice is to head to one of the many street food markets for a truly authentic experience. We've also a handful of places we love to dine at which we've set out right here for you:
Cabbages & Condoms
“Our food is guaranteed not to cause pregnancy,”…they say! Cabbages & Condoms is one of the most unique restaurants we've ever been to. The whole concept was created around the idea of promoting education on contraception and family planning. Condoms have been used in the decor, with lampshades made from them and mannequins throughout the restaurant in all sorts of crazy costumes entirely made up of condoms!
There's even a gift shop where you can buy quirky gifts and souvenirs. The food is excellent here too, with Thai favorites like Tom Yum Goong, pad Thai, and Seby's favorite, mango sticky rice.
- Address: Cabbages & Condoms is located at 6 10 Sukhumvit 12 Alley, Khwaeng Khlong Toei, close to Asok MRT station.
- Opening hours: Cabbages & Condoms is open daily from 11am to 10pm.
Lon Lon Local Diner
For some of the best Thai food in Bangkok, we love the Lon Lon Local Diner. With a casually cool atmosphere, Lon Lon is very popular with locals for lunch, dinner, or gap glaem – the Thai name for snacks you have while drinking. They're famous for their crispy salted pork belly which pairs amazingly with lychee martinis. Seby also LOVED their mango mojitos and passionfruit margaritas. “Fetch me another!” he cried at the pillar behind his seat as he confused it for the waitress in his drunken state…
- Address: Lon Lon Local Diner is located at the Trinity Silom Hotel at 150 Silom Soi 3. Chong Nonsi is the closest MRT station.
- Opening hours: Lon Lon Local Diner is open for lunch Monday to Friday from 11:30 am-2:30 pm, and for dinner Monday to Saturday from 5:30-10 pm. It is closed on Sundays.
The interior of the Unicorn Cafe really looks like a rainbow unicorn exploded… With unicorn dolls everywhere, colorful unicorn wallpaper, pink chandeliers, and pastel-colored couches, it's basically our dream gay home! The food and drinks are also colorfully rainbow-unicorn-themed, often with little ice-cream cones in them to make horns. You can even rent unicorn onesies to have your own ultimate unicorn photoshoot.
- Address: Unicorn Cafe is located at 44/1 Soi Sathon 8, Silom, next to Chong Nonsi MRT station.
- Opening hours: Unicorn Cafe is open every day (except Mondays) from 12-8 pm.
You can't miss out on visiting Restaurant Sühring while you're in Bangkok. It's often lauded as one of the best restaurants in the world. The restaurant is the brain-child of German twin chefs Mathias and Thomas Sühring, who renovated a gorgeous 1970s villa to create this homey space for dining on exquisite cuisine. For a two-star Michelin restaurant, it's also quite playful – we were delighted to see a currywurst street food tribute served in a box complete with a wooden fork just like the ones we've had in Berlin.
- Address: Restaurant Sühring is located at 10 Soi Yen Akat 3, Chong Nonsi. The best way to get there is to grab a taxi.
- Opening hours: Sühring is only open for lunch on Thursday to Sunday from 12-1:30 pm, and for dinner on Wednesday to Sunday from 5:30-9:30 pm.
We had some of the best Indian food we've tasted outside of India at the stunning Indus restaurant. Not only is the restaurant decorated with authentic Indian antique furniture, beautiful artwork, and frescoes, but they serve the most perfectly executed Indian dishes. Decadent chicken tikka for me and malabar prawn curry with garlic naan for my Seby…everything was scrumptious! They also do some amazing set menus for brunch, lunch, and an “epic thali”.
- Address: Indus is located at 71 Soi Sukhumvit 26, Khlong Toei, close to Phrom Phong MRT station.
- Opening hours: Indus is open daily from 11 am until 10:30 pm (note on Monday-Thursday it closes between 2:30-5pm).
Best things to do in Bangkok
What-oh? Wat Pho of course! Oh, the fun I had with this wordplay to anyone who'd listen. Seby just gave me his usual deadpan facial expression as we walked through Bangkok's Grand Palace…
We've listed out the main sites we think all first-timers should hit up – at least these are the ones we loved on our first visit here many moons ago…
Feel like a princess at the Grand Palace
Welcome to the OFFICIAL residence of the Nomadic Boys! Princess Seby will only be too happy to show you around… That's right, we moved in back in 1925 when the former Kings of Siam (that's the nickname of Thailand) moved out. Yup – we're that old…(!)
Those former Kings were inhabiting this old place since 1782 and boy did they splash out. Prepare to be dazzled – colorful sculptures, gleaming golden spires, and ornate decorations everywhere you look.
- Estimated time to spend: allow 1-2 hours
- Entry fee: 500 bahts pp (around $15)
- Opening hours: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm.
- Best guided tour: we loved this half-day guided tour which also the Damnoen Floating Market and Maeklong Railway Market.
Giant 150 ft reclining golden Wat Pho Buddha
You know that feeling the morning after a heavy night out when you've gorged on one too many greasy kebabs and you're just laying there on your couch at home unable to move?
This is the vibe the 150-foot-long reclining Buddha gave me.
Don't get me wrong, it's super impressive. It's covered in gold leaf ffs!
- Estimated time to spend: allow 1 hour for your visit to the Wat Pho temple complex
- Entry fee: 200 bahts pp (around $6)
- Opening hours: 8 am – 6:30 pm
- Best guided tour: we recommend this excellent walking tour of Bangkok's temples, which also includes the Grand Palace, local markets, Wat Arun, and the Emerald Buddha Temple.
Marvel at stunning Wat Arun
I tell all the kids in Bangkok, if you wanna impress your date, bring them here at sunset.
Whenever I see a sour-faced (hangry) Seby, I bring him here and everything suddenly seems right in the world again.
Wat Arun is so pretty that it's THE most iconic and most recognizable image of Thailand. I challenge you to get a snap of its distinctive prang (spires) rising up from the west bank of the Chao Phraya River from your plane window as your plane takes off.
- Estimated time to spend: allow 1-2 hours
- Entry fee: 100 bahts pp (around $3)
- Opening hours: 8 am – 6 pm
- Best guided tour: for the best views of Wat Arun I recommend a Longtail speed boat tour along the narrow canals of old Bangkok.
Dabble in the craziness of Khao San Road
I'll be completely honest with you. Seby and I have not yet been to Khao San Road. We've been to Bangkok over 20 times if not more, and each time we make a conscious effort to avoid it.
Why? It sounds like hetty hell…where all the young straight backpackers come to get wasted for as little as possible and then giggle when they see a “ladyboy” trying to entice them into a dubious Ping Pong show…
We feel the need to mention it because it's become so famous among the backpacker community. You may even find it entertaining. But for us, just throw us into Silom Soi 4, and we'll be just fine.
Shop up a storm at a Bangkok mall
We LOVE shopping in Bangkok!
There are several excellent malls – ICONSIAM is the most Instagrammable, Siam Paragon is the largest, and Terminal 21 is the best for value because it contains local Thai clothing brands.
Whichever you head to, make a day of it. Each one has an entire floor devoted to Food Courts, and if the latest Marvel movie is out, there will likely be a 3D cinema nearby; we tend to visit Bangkok just before the Oscar season starts so we try to catch a movie or three.
Watch the all-transgender Calypso Cabaret
We love this! A cast where all the female cast is transgender people.
It's truly unique – guaranteed you won't ever see anything like it anywhere else in the world. It's campy, colorful, hilarious, and completely over-the-top, rather like my Seby after his fifth Margarita.
We want everyone to come watch this cabaret show and celebrate our transgender fam. They are all ridiculously talented and you will LOVE them!
- Duration of Calypso Show: around 1 hour and 20 minutes
- Entry fee: 900 bahts pp (around $30)
- Show times: every evening throughout the year at 7:30 pm
- Where: the Calypso Cabaret takes place at Asiatique The Riverfront.
- Advance tickets: we recommend booking your tickets in advance which will include free drink coupons.
Party on Koh Samet: overnight stay or weekend getaway
Another honest disclaimer from me. Koh Samet is not the best island in Thailand. At least not my favorite – Koh Lipe takes that crown.
But, Koh Samet is one of the gayest. It's the closest island to the Thai capital so the local gay guys head here for a getaway on weekends.
It's around 3-4 hours from Bangkok so more of an overnighter. If your Grindr date goes well and you have a few days to spare it may be worth sharing a van to Koh Samet for a gay beach getaway. On one trip to Bangkok, we did this with a group of Thai friends and it was awesome!
Before you go
We've put together some handy hints and gay travel tips to help you plan your own trip to Bangkok. Read on to find out everything the gay traveler should know before they go.
Travel insurance: Things can go wrong when you're traveling, no matter how carefully you plan. We recommend all travelers use travel insurance when traveling to Bangkok and our favorite provider which we've used for years is Heymondo travel insurance. They offer comprehensive coverage and an easy-to-use online system for when you need to make a claim.
How to get there: Most travelers to Bangkok will arrive by flying into the Suvarnabhumi Airport, although if you're traveling from other parts of the country (or continent) you can also reach the city via rail or bus.
You can get from the airport to the city center via taxis, airport buses, normal buses, or the train, although we personally prefer to pre-book a private airport transfer. That way we know there's no possibility of getting ripped off and we don't have to navigate public transport with lots of luggage.
We also know that a professional English-speaking driver will be waiting for us in the airport no matter how late our flight arrives. Otherwise, download the Grab and Bolt apps – Uber no longer works in Thailand after being taken over by Grab.
Visa requirements: Thailand offers visa-free travel to a lot of countries for stays of up to 30 days. Check your personal visa requirements here before you book your travel to Bangkok to see if your nationality is exempt and how to get a visa if not.
Getting around: The city of Bangkok has one of the largest numbers of transport systems in the world. Getting around this chaotic city can seem confusing, with taxis, tuk-tuks, trains, the Skytrain, buses, a metro, a ferry system, and more to choose from. We personally find the Skytrain (BTS), metro (MRT), and tuk-tuks the easiest to get around the city, but you can find out more in this handy guide.
Vaccinations: All travelers to Bangkok should make sure they're up to date with routine vaccinations like measles, mumps, and chickenpox. Most travelers should also be vaccinated for hepatitis A and typhoid.
Some travelers may also need vaccinations for hepatitis B, cholera, Japanese encephalitis, malaria, yellow fever, and rabies, depending on what you'll be doing. Check the CDC website for the most up-to-date info before you head to Thailand and talk to your doctor.
Currency: The currency used in Thailand is called the Thai Baht. The currency code is THB and the symbol is written as ฿. Currently, $1 USD is worth about ฿31.87, €1 converts to around ฿34.66, and £1 is worth about ฿41.18. You'll get the best exchange rates at SuperRich branches in Bangkok.
Tipping culture: Thailand is not a country with a strong tipping culture so you won't ever be expected to tip in Bangkok or other parts of the country. If you feel like you received really good service you can always round up to the nearest note as a tip. Check out this guide for more detailed information on when you should or shouldn't tip in Thailand.
Internet access: You can access free WiFi at many hotels, hostels, and cafes. and restaurants in Bangkok. If you want to make sure you have reliable internet access then you could also rent a portable WiFi device while you're in the country.
Online privacy: While you won't encounter any problems accessing gay dating apps like Grindr or Scruff while you're in Bangkok, you may just prefer to keep your internet activities private and secure. We like to use Express VPN whenever we're traveling as their service is an affordable and reliable way to browse the internet with complete privacy.
Accommodation: We love to use Booking.com when deciding on where to stay in Bangkok as they offer the best prices and many listings offer free cancellation. Their online booking system is very easy to use, plus they have excellent customer support available 24/7.
Sightseeing and adventure: There are lots more exciting things to see and do in Bangkok beyond what we've mentioned here. We always use GetYourGuide when planning our activities as they have so many great choices, an easy-to-use online booking system, and customer support available to help you 24/7.
When to visit: You can visit Bangkok pretty much year-round although do be aware that it gets a lot busier during the high season between November and March. The low season in July and August is usually much cheaper – while there are some bursts of rain it's not too bad. April-June is the hottest time of year, so don't travel then without booking an air-conditioned room!
Gay map of Bangkok
Here is a detailed map of Gay Bangkok which includes our favorite gay friendly hotels, gay bars, and clubs as well as all the best things to do in Bangkok. Use it to help plan your own fabulous gay trip to this exciting city!
For more inspiration:
- You can also read more from the cute Broke Backpacker, Will Hatton in his guide about traveling in Thailand
- Find out what it's like to travel through Asia as a gay couple
- Read about our favorite places to scuba dive in Asia
- These are the best gay cruises in Asia if you prefer to be above the waves
- And for real beach bums, check out the best gay nude beaches around the world!