Our gay guide to Bangkok will help you plan a fabulous trip. It includes highlights of the exciting gay scene of Silom, the best gay hotels to stay in, the best things to see, and more…
Bangkok. Practically the definition of a hot mess. Crowds of thronging people and a confusing but delightful mix of traditions meeting modernism. Wonderful food that is quite literally heaven in our mouth. The weather is great too! Though let’s be real here, it doesn’t take much to beat the dreary British weather… With beautiful natural scenery at our doorstep, exotic adventures and amazing cuisine, it’s no wonder we love coming back here!
Thailand is famous for being one of the most gay friendly countries in Asia, with the capital city of Bangkok its beating heart. The gay scene here is thriving, with so many gay bars, clubs, hotels, massage parlours, restaurants and more – largely centred in Silom. We love the gay scene of Bangkok and definitely rank it as one of our favourite in the world.
We also love that no matter how many times we come to Bangkok, it's always a culture shock, from the mouthwatering Thai food to the hectic polluted traffic – to give you an idea, you MUST try going in a tuk-tuk – the little rickshaws that you see in movies. They are absolutely bonkers and a great way to really get out to see what the city has to offer!
This is our comprehensive gay guide to Bangkok based on our many trips here. We've highlighted the best gay friendly hotels, bars, clubs, restaurants, things to do, and more.
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. Their April departure even aligns with the country's famous Songkran water festival. As the old circuit ditty goes, LET'S GET SOAKING WET!
How safe is Bangkok for gay travelers?
Oh, it's very safe! Bangkok is frequently rated as one of the most gay friendly cities in Asia due to its inclusivity and safety.
We've been to Bangkok many times and have never had hassle from any of the locals for being gay. Thai people are seriously friendly. They have a genuine interest in what is going on in your life. We also found that due to their varied and vibrant culture, they tend not to be judgmental. Which is fantastic! We know it’s not just towards westerners that they are friendly, but they also treat each other with respect. We have quite a few friends in Bangkok who are adamant that their lives are parallel with gay lives in London.
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How to Stay Safe Whilst Traveling?
As gay travelers, safety is our #1 priority! This is why we've put together our Ultimate Travel Safety Checklist for LGBTQ travelers.
Naturally, if you're visiting any big city in the world there are still dangers like pickpocketing to watch out for. For Bangkok, we recommend the obvious common-sense awareness which you would apply to say London, Paris, Barcelona, Sydney or New York. Bangkok is one of those cities where if you act the way you normally do back home, you'll be just fine!
Silom – Gay Street of Bangkok
Silom is a street in 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 of Bangkok.
If you are looking for more of a drink and a chat with friends, the alley known as Silom Soi 4 is where you want to head as it's 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 is where the majority of the gay clubs of Bangkok can be found, in particular DJ Station and G Bangkok (aka GOD).
Discover Bangkok's gay nightlife on a tour
The gay scene of Bangkok can be quite overwhelming especially for first-timers. If you feel nervous going out by yourself, we strongly recommend this guided nighttime tour! That way you'll have a local guide and some new gay friends to experience all the best gay bars and clubs in the city.
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 travelling through Bangkok, 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 in Bangkok. We summarise our favorite gay hotels to stay in Bangkok below:
Why we love it
- Price range: $$$$
- Wonderfully weird luxury hotel
- Stunning and relaxing spa
- Multiple pools and jacuzzi
Ever wanted to rub elbows with fashionistas? Maybe you wanted to ogle at the male fitness models who are looking to sleep in hotels. Do you like the sound of being surrounded by the wonderfully weird and chic? Then the W Bangkok is where you need to be at.
Being so close to the gay street, Silom 4, on North Sathorn Road, we knew that we needed to try this place out. When we checked in, the first thing we saw was a tall man wearing this outrageous yellow peacock outfit so we knew we'd fit in!
One of the things that we love is the free drink offers for men on Wednesday nights between 7.30-9.30pm. The perfect excuse to treat yourself! We met the guy who helped get this off of the ground: he told us how thrilled he is with how successful this event has become, and how vital this has been to harbour a sense of community amongst LGBTQ guests.
But even if that's not really your style, this gay friendly hotel itself is like a beautiful piece of art! Think minimalist mixed with wild and extraordinary colours. 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 is an ultra-modern piece of art that was a riot of colour.
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 also really comfortable. In our experience, a lot of the very pretty places trade comfort for looks but the W Bangkok is not one of those places.
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) but then it also has a magnificent spa. Oh my god, this spa was something else altogether! There was a very real danger that most of our vacation was going to be spent in the spa. It was split between four different zones and each zone is artfully designed to give the best experience. Honestly, it’s nirvana!
Stay conneacted 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
- Price range: $$$
- Peaceful and zen hotel
- Incredible rooftop restaurant and bar
- Lovely swimming pool and spa
Head from North Sathorn Road to South Sathorn Road and you'll find the soothing, luxurious Banyan Tree Bangkok.
The Banyan Tree Bangkok oozes class and sophistication. With it being only 15 mins walk away from Silom 4 and 2, this is a great base of operations for you to really indulge in the gay nightlife that Bangkok has to offer. Just make sure you start your night off with a drink in the amazing rooftop bar!
The gay friendly hotel is very modern but there are still nods to its Asiatic roots here and there. In our room, there was a dividing door made of a dark wood that showed seriously cool pieces of Thai history in the panels. But this is all blended together into a wonderful soup. Everything fits together. Though it may be a little stereotypical, the first thing that we thought of when we arrived in our rooms was how zen everything was. It is a welcome break from the bustling streets of Bangkok.
There are a lot of activities on offer in the Banyan Tree Bangkok: the usual suspects like rooftop dinners and couples’ massages. Our favourite was the cooking classes where they showed us how to make some basic curries…though we may have bitten off more than we could chew because when we were liberal with the spices, it was hot!
Another activity that genuinely delighted us is the “Blessing Ceremony”. Though commonly used for wedding vows and anniversaries, Thai monks offer general blessings too. There is something so authentic about it. We were taken to a nearby temple for the occasion. It was something we'll never forget! You could feel the reverence from the moment you walk in – from the beautiful hymns to the calming smell of the different smokes used by the monks. This was not something that we were expecting when we arrived, so we were thrilled to have experienced this!
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.
Why we love it
- Price range: $$$
- Tastefully luxurious
- Romantic rooftop bar
- Best sunset view in Bangkok
The SO/ Bangkok Sofitel is honestly one of the most beautiful hotels we've ever been in.
Luxurious without being gauche, it provides the comforts of elegant modern life but it has not forgotten its Asiatic roots. Every room has a really cool theme – water, earth, wood and metal. Each theme reflects the spiritual needs of your travelling soul, promising you sanctuary from your busy life and journeys.
The gay friendly staff made us feel so welcome when we arrived. There was absolutely no issue of us holding hands and the receptionist treated us the same as though we were a straight couple – it's a real breath of fresh air whenever we get that experience (and one of many reasons why we keep returning to Thailand!). Naturally, we had a concierge take our luggage up to our room – when we saw the view, our jaws dropped…it was stunning! Spread below us was a pretty impressive view of the messy urban jungle that is Bangkok!
Another highlight of the SO/ Bangkok is coming to the Hi-So Bar. It's one of our favourite places in Bangkok for a romantic cocktail whilst taking in the views of Bangkok's skyline. Simply breath-taking! At just a mere 15-minute walk from the hotel to the pulsating heart of the gay scene, this is a great way to start off the evening.
Hotel Indigo Bangkok Wireless Road
Why we love it
- Price range: $$
- Stylish and comfortable hotel
- Amazing restaurant
- Stunning rooftop infinity pool
Though not an exclusively gay hotel, Hotel Indigo still offers a fantastic experience for those who want a stylish and comfortable stay without breaking the bank. The modern and eclectic art throughout the hotel was a real highlight for us.
Located on Wireless Road, it is less than a 30-minute walk from the heart of Silom 4 or just over 5 minutes walk to the Phloen Chit MRT.
Indigo is famous for its in-house restaurant called Char. The food is sublime, and the drinks a delicious delight. The service is honestly top-notch as well. It feels authentic and we never felt like we were a burden on the staff. The Metro Restaurant on the ground floor also does an amazing breakfast to get you ready for a busy day of exploring the city.
The rooftop infinity pool offers incredible views of the city while you relax or do some laps. There's also a rooftop bar where you can watch the sunset while having a romantic cocktail with your love. If you like your accommodation with lots of bright colours and quirky decor, you will love the Indigo Hotel. It was all we could do not to climb into the bright yellow rickshaw on display in the lobby and ride away!
HQ Hostel Silom
Why we love it
- Price range: $
- Great value for money
- Chilled atmosphere
- Fantastic location
Not really interested in the frills and extras? No problem! This hostel is located directly on Silom Road and is minutes away from all the gay action of Silom Soi 4. It's both cost-effective and very gay friendly.
As well as its location, what also makes the HQ Hostel Silom shine is how friendly and welcoming the staff are. (It also helps that a few of them are easy on the eye…so no complaints there!)
When we were checking in, we were immediately impressed with how chilled everything was. There were people laughing and talking in the gaming area, where they were playing with board-games. We even ended up playing Uno at one point later on. There are some TVs where people watch different things as well as a handy book exchange with lots of handy guide books.
HQ Hostel Silom offers a choice of dorms and private rooms. We stayed in an ensuite private with a private en-suite. Although quite small in size, we found it to be clean and modern. For the price and location, you can't beat this.
Though there isn’t a strong breakfast option at the hostel, for us that wasn't really a big deal. There are plenty of places to eat around the hostel that offer amazing experiences and a bang for your buck. One place that really wows is Home Bread. This is a little cute bakery about three or four doors down from the hostel where most things are about 25THB ($0.80) – check it out!
Gay Bars in Bangkok
The 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, it's EPIC! And among these jewels, there is a clear standout, the Stranger Bar…
This is our favorite gay bar in Bangkok and one of the most popular in the entire city. We always end up here at some stage during the evening! It is famous for having the best drag shows and the place where the most famous drag queens from all of Asia hang out. We met the charismatic owner Chakgai who we interviewed about what gay life is like in Bangkok and what he did to make Stranger the most popular gay bar in all of Bangkok! The Stranger Bar is one of those bars that really sticks in your mind, no matter how many shots you’ve downed. We always have a great evening here, making new friends each time we come. Located at 114/14 Silom Soi 4, the Stranger Bar is open daily until around 2am.
Circus (formerly Telephone Bar)
The super famous long-standing gay bar of Bangkok, Telephone, sadly fell victim to Covid and went bust. Thankfully, Pride restaurant next door bought it and it has reopened as Circus. It's been modernized and just like its predecessor remains full every night with the occasional cabaret show. The staff is lovely, and the food is top-notch. There's a good mixture of traditional Thai food and some western food for some of the pickier eaters. Of course, we can’t come to a pub without trying the drinks. They are seriously good and most importantly, affordable! Circus is located at 114/11-13 Silom Soi 4 and is open every day until around 2am.
Looking to take a breather from the excitement? You aren’t the first one to think that and that is why we are going to introduce the Balcony to you. Like a balcony on the boulevard, this gay pub is a great place for people watching. The staff are friendly, and you will be sat down promptly, no awkward standing around waiting for a seat here thank you very much! There is a cute little menu of food, but the real standout is the drinks. They had an impressive display for us to choose from and honestly, we were torn between some of them. The Balcony Pub is located on Silom Soi 4 gay street and is open every day until around 2am.
This is the best bear bar in Bangkok. The karaoke is a bonus! Do you feel like singing Dancing Queen by Abba? Then HUGs Bar may be for you. This is a cosy little gay delight that has a mix of both locals and foreigners. Karaoke is a must if we talk about HUGs bar. The fun here flows as easily as the drinks on tap. Do bear in mind that this is a popular haunt for bears. But again, if you don’t conform to this, you will not be shunned. You can find HUGs Bar at 82 Silom Soi 4. It's open Thursday to Tuesday from 7pm until 1 or 2am, and from 9pm on Sunday nights.
Gay Clubs in Bangkok
Just like Silom Soi 4 is the main place to go for gay bars, Silom Soi 2 is the place to go for gay clubs. They are also crazy close to each other so it’s so easy to go from one to the other. There is nothing quite like the excitement of going into a club for the first time and just letting yourself experience it. It is intoxicating. Though the drinks we had in Silom Soi 4 may have contributed to that!
When we first came to Silom Soi 2 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 organised. We had assumed it is as chaotic as Silom Soi 4, but the street was not as tumultuous as the rest of the city. 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 disorganised busy mess (and we LOVE it!)
This 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. It is by far our favourite gay club in Bangkok. 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 good and are reasonably priced. There are of course drag shows, which usually start in around 11pm. Overall a great experience to have a messy gay fun night! Located on Silom Soi 2, DJ Station is open daily from 10pm until 2am.
With a name like this, how could we not go in? Once inside, we immediately saw the shirtless dancers on stage. They were seriously impressive specimens and crazy cute! The drag show starts around 12am which was a more relaxed affair than DJ Station. This gay club starts to get super busy from around 2am when the crowds from the gay bars come here to dance the rest of the night away. Everyone's shirt quickly disappears later on in the evening 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. G Bangkok is located on Silom Soi 2/1 and opens every day from 11pm until 6am (although closing times do vary).
Gay Sex Shows in Bangkok
Think of everything we have been talking about up until this point, the blissful tropical weather, the liberated attitudes and the totes amazing drinks, does it really surprise you that there is a thriving naughty show scene in Bangkok? Here you can find tantalising guys willing to get it on in front of you for your viewing pleasure. There are loads of guys to see, but by far the most common is the Asian twinks. Prostitution is illegal in Thailand though, so do keep it in your pants though boys!
The gay shows used to be located in a street called Soi Pratuchai, which was affectionately called Soi Twilight, but in 2019 this street was closed down and the shows relocated to Patpong – just around the corner from Silom Soi 4. After all, you are here to have a good time, right? And who knows, you may meet someone who'll also be looking for a good time. Just make sure to be safe!
This place is great to get a big cock gay show, sometimes size does matter! Saturdays here can be really busy. The gay shows start fairly early, usually at 10.30 pm and finish up in the early hours of the morning. Giving you plenty of time to get your eye candy fix. And as a cheeky bonus, the performers walk around *on point* asking for tips. Sometimes in every sense of the word… All in all, this is a new gay bar that has established itself well into the gay show life of Bangkok, if you are looking for a more authentic experience, this may be for you! Entrance fee is 450 THB (approx. $14.00) which covers your entry and the first drink.
Located at 3 Soi Patpong 2, Dream Boys is open every day from 8pm until 2am.
Located in what used to be called Fresh Beach Boy bar, the Fresh Boy bar is a relatively new spot that combines drag shows with sexy Go-Go dancers. Most of the performers are young and ‘fresh' (!) and the bar has a real nightclub atmosphere. You can sit along the walls to watch the performances and many of the dancers will be happy to sit with you for a drink (you're paying, of course), or even come back to your accommodation for some fun…
Fresh Boy is located on the second floor at 37/9 Soi Patpong 2 and is open daily from 8pm until 2am.
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 of Bangkok we think you should check out:
Fun gay night out
For a fun gay night out, you must join this tour . The price includes your entry into multiple gay bars and a club, along with plenty of booze! Basically, it's a gay pub crawl, but can you think of any way more exciting to get to know the city's gay scene while making new friends with a gay Thai local? After meeting up at the White Rabbit Lounge Bar you'll be literally lead down the rabbit-hole to Bangkok's gay wonderland! Whether you like dancing, karaoke or just a few laughs over a cocktail, you'll find something to enjoy here.
Tailored Gay Tour
This gay tour is a more personal service offered than most. They actually have a chat with you to see what you like and propose a tour based around your interest. If you want to go drinking, clubbing or do something else, they can cater to that. This is perfect for groups of friends or solo gay travellers. Price is dependent on availability. Find out more here.
Gay Party Extravaganza
For a more extroverted experience, the Gay Party Extravaganza Tour is for you. Whether you're a solo traveller or with a group of friends, this is a great way to meet gay men from all around the world! We made lots of friends during our tour. It is the best way to really throw yourself into the mix and really get into the thick of it. You will be in expert hands as you're guided around the gay scene of Bangkok with a gay local.
Touring with a gay local
For something a little more authentic, check out this tour. It is run by a gay local who is offering very unique tours of the gay scene in Bangkok. For full disclosure, we have never been with this guide, but he came recommended by friends who have been with him. He offers a great night out and is a bit cheaper than the others! On one of his tours, you'll explore the less…classy parts of Bangkok that other tours will not show you, such as the Red Light District. Your gay guide will also bring you to the best drag queens shows and karaoke bars. It will be a night to remember!
Gay Saunas in Bangkok
Sometimes a little steamy action is just what the doctor ordered. And this is something that Bangkok can offer in abundance. With the tropical climate, sometimes just walking around can feel like you're in a sauna…
There are plenty of options for you to explore here. Variety is the spice of life! These are some of the best gay saunas that you can find in Bangkok. As always, make sure that you take the right precautions. Have intercourse both with condoms and also for your own actual safety. Side note – the most popular gay sauna in Bangkok (pre-Covid days!) was the infamous Babylon… Sadly it is now officially permanently closed.
Looking for something a little more discreet and intimate? The Phoenix sauna (formerly known as the Edok sauna) is a small little sauna located in Bukkhalo, around half an hour by train from Silom Soi 4. As it's quite off the gay beaten track, the crowd is almost all local Thai guys. Though considered small, it is spread out over three floors and even has a karaoke bar downstairs for those who are in the mood to croon! It can get busy and it has a strong weekend trade. Prices range but are reasonable from 100 THB to 180 TBH ($3-$5). There is a steam room, a sauna, a small gym and some showering facilities. One thing to note though is that this is very much a local gay sauna and not a lot of people speak English so be prepared to really get immersed in Thai culture here!
Phoenix Sauna is open from 5pm until morning on Friday and Saturday and the rest of the week from 5pm until midnight.
This place is also right in the heart of the gay scene of Bangkok down by Silom road. It’s spread out over 5 floors and includes a rooftop terrace, a small gym, bar, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and darkroom…a great place to take a breath and let go of your inhibitions!
Located at 35/2 Soi Phiphat 2, Sauna Mania is open daily from midday until midnight.
Formerly named R3 Sauna (and it still says that on their Facebook page), Ratchada Sauna is a fun gay sauna located a bit north of the main gay scene close to the Phra Ram 9 metro station. It's very popular with local Thai men in their 20s. Facilities include the sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, dark maze, large gym, fantasy spaces, soft drink bar, internet access, private cabins and a movie room. Each night has a different theme, usually clothing optional or underwear and there's an exciting O-Party each Saturday night which gets pretty wild! Think lots of handsome Asian guys and some very attractive paid performers. Once the party is officially over there's still plenty of opportunities for some naughty playtime, especially since its's open so late, or early, depending on how you look at it. Just remember to bring your own condoms and lube as they don't provide them – stay safe people!
Ratchada Sauna is located at 502/373 Ratchada Soi 3 and is open from midday until 6am every day.
You don't have to die to get into Gay Heaven, just take the elevator to the 4th floor of the B.I.S Building in Silom! Heaven Sauna is an intimate gay spot that's popular with bears and offers a relaxed atmosphere to unwind or socialise. The staff are friendly and helpful, plus you can do a spot of karaoke downstairs, perhaps when your skin starts to get too pruney from sitting in the steam? Heaven Sauna is quite small but it has an open-air Jacuzzi on the rooftop garden as well as a nice gym area if you want to get a workout in. The best thing about Heaven is how inclusive and welcoming it is, all body shapes are accepted without judgement. It's always spotlessly clean here too and smells like intoxicating essential oils instead of the sweat that can get worked up at times…
Heaven Sauna is located in the B.I.S Building at 119 Soi Mahesak and is open every day from 1pm until midnight.
This place is highly recommended, and we can see why. It’s not just a gay sauna, it’s an experience. It’s spread out over 5 floors with 2 of them dedicated to play time!. On the other floors, it’s more leisure orientated. There are spas, pools, massages and a sauna. The best time to come is around 7:30pm when the action really gets going. One thing that is highly noted about this sauna is how clean it is kept although recent Tripadvisor reviews may suggest otherwise…! Entry is 120 THB to 360 THB ($3-$12) depending on the time of day you go.
Located at 32 Soi Ari 4, Chakran Sauna is open from 3pm until midnight every day and opens at 2pm Friday-Sunday.
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 aeroplane 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! These are our favourite gay massage parlours and spas for a good rubdown…
In the heart of Silom Soi 4 is The Adam Massage, and don't worry about seeing any Eves here as it's purely for gay men to enjoy! There are five different massage styles available for you to choose from and the masseurs are all very easy on the eyes as well. Not only is the whole business spotlessly clean, but there's always delightful essential oil scents wafting through the air. The decor is also enchanting, with lots of plants, flowers, candles and cute water features. With a purple and gold colour theme, we certainly felt like royalty here, of course being pampered like queens certainly helps with that too!
The Adam Massage is located on Silom Soi 4 and is open every day from 11am until midnight.
Located right next to DJ Station on Silom Soi 2, Paradis Massage is a very convenient stop between the gay bars and gay clubs. The boys working here are really cute, give excellent professional massages and are also amenable to finishing it off with a little somethin' somethin' if you know what we mean… The place is very spacious as well, spread out over multiple floors with plenty of private massage rooms and lovely big showers to freshen up. They do really wonderful oil massages in particular, which are great for sore muscles. There's also none of that amateur rubbing for ten minutes and straight to a handjob (and expecting a big tip) that you sometimes encounter in other locations.
Paradis Massage and Spa is located next to DJ Station on Silom Soi 2. It's open every day from midday until 11.30pm.
Yes, we know the name is similar to the one above, but this is another gay massage spot a bit further down Silom Road in Silom Soi 6. You can still get there from the gay bars and clubs by walking, so it's definitely worth checking out. This is a massage and spa business, so along with relaxing massages, you can also enjoy treatments such as an aroma spa, manicures, pedicures or a body scrub. Everything here is very elegant, with marble floors, towels shaped like swans and a huge private Jacuzzi if you book the VIP deluxe room. While the place is very classy don't be worried if you're looking for some fun, as the cute masseurs are happy to offer a bit more for a tip!
The Paradise Massage & Spa is located on Silom Soi 6 and is open daily from 10am until 1am.
Just a little further down the same street as the Paradise is The Prime Massage, another one of our favourite gay massage places whenever we're in need of some R&R. The staff are always so friendly and polite, plus we've never had a bad massage here! It's so popular, in fact, that there can be lines to get in on weekends, with everybody wanting a heavenly traditional Thai massage or oil massage. We recommend visiting on a weeknight to get more personalised attention when it's less busy. The scent of lemongrass floats over you as soon as you step foot inside, getting your senses ready to be ultimately relaxed, which you soon will be!
Located at 128/23 Silom Soi 6, The Prime Massage is open daily from midday until midnight.
Another gay massage parlour we love is The Green Massage on Surawong Road. This is just around the corner from the Prime, so you could easily sample them both and then choose your own personal favourite gay massage. The Green Massage is a small and unassuming business, but the service of the friendly staff makes you feel like you're in a palace. There are private rooms for a full-body massage or you can enjoy the social atmosphere while having a foot/leg massage in one of the comfy couches. Along with aroma or oil massages they also offer invigorating body scrubs to keep your skin looking fresh. You can also combine treatments if you wish to be truly pampered.
The Green Massage is located at 119 Thanon Surawong and is open every day from 10am until 1am.
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 the gay dating apps over the past 10 years, the outdoor gay cruising scene of Bangkok 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.
Gay clinic in Bangkok
If you need to get an urgent test during your trip, PEP, or running low on PrEP, check out the excellent PULSE Clinic. They offer a full check-up, tests, treatment as well as emergency PEP, and more. They have two locations in Bangkok: Silom and Nana. For more, check out the PULSE Clinic website.
Gay gyms in Bangkok
It's no secret that we like to keep our bodies looking good, both when we're travelling and at home! But the last thing you 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 travelling to make sure they're going to be gay friendly. Luckily Bangkok has quite a few of these, including one that's exclusively just for us gay folk!
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. You can join classes, be guided by a personal trainer or just work out by yourself here. There are lots of amazing extras included in your entry or membership fee, like free towels and gym gear. There's also a lounge with complimentary drinks, WiFi and even iPads for you to use! This gym also provides some pretty stunning views out the windows of the Skytrains and the rest of the city.
Fitness First Platinum Siam Paragon is located on the fourth floor of Siam Paragon, on Thanon Rama I Road and is open from 5am until midnight on weekdays, and from 8am until 10pm on weekends.
As part of the Pathumwan Princess Hotel, the Olympic Club is a gorgeous, HUGE fitness centre 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. You can learn how to do Muay Thai boxing or perhaps just get your downward-facing-dog on in a yoga session. The Olympic Club is definitely our top pick in terms of variety!
The Olympic Club is located in the Pathumwan Princess Hotel at 444 MBK Center, Phayathai Road. It's open on weekdays from 6am until 11pm and on weekends from 7am until 10pm.
Bangkok Gay Pride and Events
Although Bangkok does not have an official Pride event, they instead have Songkran G Circuit as their main “big gay event”. Songkran G Circuit takes place in April, coinciding with the Buddhist new year celebrations. If you're visiting at other times of year make sure you check out what's on at the gay bars like Stranger Bar and HUGs because there are often fun themed parties throughout the year. Otherwise, if you want to experience any of the following fab events, here are all the deets:
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 12th-15th off work in order to travel and spend time with family. The Songkran G Circuit is an epic gay dance festival (the biggest in Asia actually) that takes place over four days of parties at multiple locations throughout the city. Many of these gay parties are of the pool variety, so you'll have ample opportunities to get wet (wink, wink!) as you're entertained by top DJs from around the world. There are different ticketing options available as well, so you can mix and match which events most interest you, or go to them all if you think you have the stamina!
Pride Cruise Bangkok – dates vary
There has never been an official Pride event in Bangkok due to the fact that street parades aren't allowed here, but since 2019 there has been a fabulous alternative: the Pride Cruise! So far these gay cruises have taken place in December, March and April, so you'll need to keep an eye on the Facebook page to check if the next one will be on when you're visiting the city. But if you time it right you'll be in for a real treat. Taking place on a four-storey 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.
White Party Bangkok – New Year
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 the 27th December until the wee hours of January 1st. This is also the largest gay New Year Festival in Asia, so it's definitely one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences! Picture thousands of hot shirtless men, dancing to the pumping beats in huge venues with world-class DJs and incredible drag performances, then you'll have a small idea of what the White Party Bangkok is like!
Gay friendly restaurants in Bangkok
If you want to stay close to Bangkok's gay neighbourhood then we definitely recommend having a meal at Balcony Pub or Tapas Cafe on Silom Soi 4. There are plenty of other lovely restaurants and cafes nearby, as well as slightly further afield. These are our personal favourite places to eat when we're Bangkok that we always make some time for:
Eat Me Restaurant
Eat Me Restaurant may have a suggestive name, but it's actually one of the most sophisticated restaurants in the Silom gay area of Bangkok. It's a very classy place with beautiful artwork on the walls, lots of greenery coming in through the open windows and an excellent fusion menu. It's owned by an Australian so expect specialities like grilled Dutch harbour King crab, Japanese wagyu beef or French duck confit. It's a little pricy by Bangkok standards, so we recommend saving it for a special occasion or maybe your last night in the city!
Cabbages & Condoms
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 favourites like Tom Yum Goong, pad Thai and Seby's favourite, mango sticky rice.
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 have renovated a gorgeous 1970s villa to create a homey space for dining on exquisite cuisine. Dishes are influenced by European flavors and techniques, with a strong focus on German fare from the childhood of the twins. 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!
Bangkok is one of those cities that's so multicultural you can have traditional German cuisine one night and Indian the next! 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. We dined on a decadent feast of chicken tikka, a malabar prawn curry, garlic naan and gulab jamun – everything was scrumptious! They also do some amazing set menus for brunch, lunch and an “epic thali” (pictured).
Lon Lon Local Diner
For some of the best Thai food in Bangkok, we love the Lon Lon Local Diner, which is also located in Silom. 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 the lychee martinis! They also serve divine mango mojitos and passionfruit margaritas, so we loved coming here for a drink with our meal before heading out to the gay bars. There's nothing better than a tasty bowl full of stir-fry to line your stomach before a night of partying!
The interior of the Unicorn Cafe really looks like a rainbow unicorn exploded… With unicorn dolls everywhere, colourful unicorn wallpaper, pink chandeliers and pastel-coloured couches, it's basically our dream gay home! The food and drinks are also colourfully 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. You won't feel out of place here either, there are usually far more adults giggling while enjoying rainbow waffles, unicorn cupcakes and cotton-candy smoothies than small children!
Known as a “lifestyle cafe”, Luka Bangkok is one of our favourite spots for brunch in Bangkok. It's just a short tuk-tuk ride away from the main gay area and definitely worth the journey if you're craving some western comfort food. They serve nostalgic dishes like grilled cheese sandwiches, nachos, chocolate sundaes and carrot cake. Our favourite part is the all-day breakfast menu, so no matter how late you've slept in you can still enjoy peanut butter and banana pancakes, french toast or a breakfast burrito at any time of the day. Luka is also very pet-friendly, so you may find cute pooches to pat!
Yes, it's another brunch spot, but we just had to include Rocket Coffeebar here as well! They serve really excellent coffee, as well as western dishes with a Scandinavian twist, like their poached eggs with house-cured salmon. We also really enjoyed trying the Rocket Fuel house coffee which is served with a slice of orange and tastes a bit unusual but still nice! It's not all about the brunch though, as you can also enjoy lunch or dinner with their signature meat grills or perhaps some Swedish meatballs with mash and gravy followed by warm apple crumble for dessert?
Best things to do in Bangkok
Bangkok is a city of contrasts, with lots of fun and interesting things to do no matter where your interests lie. Whether you're into art, history, shopping, partying or learning a new skill, you will find plenty of options. We've visited Bangkok multiple times and still have things on our to-do list, but these are our personal top recommendations for gay travellers!
Get the Tea at the Author’s Lounge
The Mandarin Oriental is one of the most impressive luxury gay friendly hotels in Bangkok. It’s located right by the river, opposite the impressive new Icon Siam mall. We came here for high tea at the Author’s Lounge and it was so amazing! You have a choice of either a Western-inspired tea set or Asian. Both are divine and a great way to spend an afternoon in the city. We felt so sophisticated sipping on our tea, eating delicate finger sandwiches and debating whether the cream or jam should go on our scones first. Tip: take the free ferry from here across the river to ICONSIAM, especially at sunset or evening when the entire city skyline is lit up.
Shop up a storm at the ICONSIAM mall
The awe-inspiring ICONSIAM building opened in 2018 and it is a truly incredible, massive structure with so much to do inside! There are actually two different shopping malls inside, with 500 shops selling all the clothes, gadgets and accessories you might desire, along with 100 different restaurants with food from around the world. There's even a floating market on the ground floor, complete with temples, long-tail boats, and Thai pavilions. There's a museum of Thai antiquities on the top floor and a nice big cinema if you need a rest after all the walking you're bound to do!
Party on Koh Samet
Named after the ‘Samet’ trees which grow all over the island, Koh Samet is the closest island to Bangkok and popular with the local gay guys looking for a relaxing break or some beach partying out of the city. It takes about four hours to get to the island from Bangkok, so it's perfect for a short trip to experience the stunning Thai beaches. The beaches on the northern end of the island host nightly fire-juggling shows and beach barbecues while the ones on the southern end are ideal for a secluded romantic getaway. It's also very easy to book your transport there via the 12go Asia website, which we love using whenever we're travelling through Thailand.
Feel like a princess at the Grand Palace
The Grand Palace was the official residence of the Kings of Siam (Siam is the former name for Thailand) from 1782 until 1925. It's a dazzling complex of buildings with colourful sculptures, gleaming golden spires and ornate decorations wherever you look. No trip to Bangkok is complete until you've experienced the glory of Thai history here. Don't miss the famous temple of the Emerald Buddha, which is the most sacred Buddhist temple in the whole of Thailand and part of the Grand Palace buildings. You can combine your palace visit with a trip to the Maeklong Railway Market and the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market on this fun tour.
See Buddha lying down at Wat Pho
If you're visiting the Grand Palace, make sure you also head to Wat Pho, the home of a 46-metre long reclining Buddha that's covered in gold leaf. It's only about a ten-minute walk away from the Grand Palace and is one of only six temples in Thailand classed as the highest grade of the first-class royal temples. Wat Pho is also well-known for being a centre for traditional massage and medicine so make sure you try one while you're there. If you're interested in seeing Wat Pho and learning more about its history then it's also one of the stops on this excellent walking tour of Bangkok's temples.
Marvel at stunning Wat Arun
Also known as the Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun is one of the most recognisable images of Thailand with its distinctive prang (spires) rising up from the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The best way to arrive is by water, either on a ferry from Wat Pho on the other side of the river or by joining a Longtail boat tour! The temple is especially gorgeous at sunset which is ironic given its name. The quietest time to visit is early in the morning when there are fewer people around. For stunning views across the river and city you can climb the tallest tower, but do be warned it's a steep trek!
Experience the craziness of Khao San Road
Khao San Road is peak Bangkok, a busy pedestrian-only street packed to the brim with shops, stalls, restaurants and bars which draws in crowds of mainly young straight backpackers. Street hawkers stand out and try to tempt in customers for the infamous bucket cocktails, just be careful though as those things are potent! There are stalls selling lots of cheap clothing and accessories, along with bootleg DVDs or CDs. You can buy snacks from the stalls here too like corn on the cob, or just head inside one of the restaurants for some pad Thai. For us, Khao San Road was fun to experience once, but let's just say it's not the sort of place we'd rush back to in a hurry…
Brave the MahaNakhon SkyWalk
If you want to experience amazing views of Bangkok without hiking up all the steps at Wat Arun then the SkyWalk at the King Power MahaNakhon skyscraper is an excellent alternative. Not only does the tower have a really unique appearance from the outside (it kind of looks like parts of it are disintegrating!) it's also home to Thailand’s highest observation deck. There's also a giant glass floor you can walk across while looking straight down – if you have the nerve! I may or may not have held onto Seby for dear life and then needed a stiff drink at SkyBar (the highest rooftop bar in Thailand)!
Go on a romantic dinner cruise
Also known as the River of Kings, the Chao Phraya River starts in the centre of the country, flows through the centre of Bangkok and then out into the Gulf of Thailand. With multiple canals branching off into the city, it's been an integral part of local life since the 15th-century. You can see the city from the river on many of the ferries as you visit different attractions, or you could enjoy the watery views during this very romantic dinner cruise on an antique rice barge. You'll get to dine on delicious regional Thai delicacies as you sail down the river and watch the sun setting behind the many temples.
Learn to cook Thai cuisine
We LOVE Thai food! Have we mentioned that already? We always like to learn how to cook the local food when we're travelling, so you can bet we joined a Thai cooking class while we were in Bangkok. This whole experience is awesome, as you visit the Si Lom Market first to get your fresh ingredients then travel back to the intimate cooking class via tuk-tuk. We loved learning about the ingredients and then making some healthy, delicious meals. We got to make four different dishes and there are plenty of breaks provided so you can taste the fruits of your labour. Even better, you won't have greedy Seby stealing it all!
Check out a Muay Thai match
Ok, we're not usually ones for violence or fighting, but Muay Thai is a fascinating martial art that's been practised in Thailand since the 13th century and is well worth checking out. It's known as “the art of 8 limbs” because contestants use their fists, knees, shins and elbows which make up 8 “points of contact” instead of just the two fists used in western-style boxing. You can see a live Muay Thai match at Asiatique the Riverfront. This is sort of an exhibition match explaining the history of Muay Thai but does include real fighting. The show also includes other exciting displays like sword-fighting and parkour.
Visit a floating market
Visiting a traditional floating market definitely ranks as a “must-do” activity for anyone visiting Bangkok in our humble opinion! Since Bangkok is built alongside the Chao Phraya River and features thousands of canals, the daily practise of shopping from boats was once a part of everyday life. Nowadays the floating markets of Bangkok are more of a tourist attraction but it's still fascinating to see hundreds of tiny boats with locals selling groceries or even cooking you some street food! While Damnoen Saduak is the biggest and most famous floating market in Bangkok, it's also a fair way out of the city. We joined a tour to a smaller, more authentic floating market and had a blast exploring the area with a local guide.
See the Calypso Cabaret
For a truly unique experience that you probably won't get anywhere else in the world, see the Calypso Cabaret! This is a Broadway-style performance where all the female artists you see on stage are transgender people, not that you can tell most of the time. The show itself is campy, colourful, hilarious and over-the-top, just like us! It takes place at Asiatique the Riverfront, but when you book your ticket to the cabaret you can also choose hotel transport and to have dinner while you're there. Not only does the Calypso Cabaret celebrate diversity but it provides an absolutely unmissable night of entertainment!
Before you go
We've put together some handy hints and tips to help you plan your own trip to Bangkok. Read on to find out everything the gay traveller should know before they go.
Travel insurance: Things can go wrong when you're travelling, no matter how carefully you plan. We recommend all travellers use travel insurance when travelling to Bangkok and our favourite providers which we've used for years is Heymondo travel insurance. They offer excellent comprehensive cover and an easy-to-use online system for when you need to make a claim.
How to get there: Most travellers to Bangkok will arrive by flying into the Suvarnabhumi Airport, although if you're travelling 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 centre 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, we don't have to navigate public transport with lots of luggage and a professional English-speaking driver will be waiting for us in the airport no matter how late our flight arrives.
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.
Power Plugs: The main plug used in Thailand is similar to the ones used in the USA. For travellers from elsewhere, we recommend buying a universal power adaptor.
Vaccinations: All travellers to Bangkok should make sure they're up to date with routine vaccinations like measles, mumps and chickenpox. Most travellers should also be vaccinated for hepatitis A and typhoid. Some travellers 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 Bangkok (and the rest of Thailand, of course) 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.
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, 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 travelling 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. 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 favourite 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
- Read our interview with Regina, one of Bangkok's ladyboys
- If you're more into the island life, here's our gay guide to Phuket
- As well as our gay guide to the stunning Koh Lipe
- Find out what it's like to travel through Asia as a gay couple
- Read about our favourite 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!