It’s a tropical oasis, a bustling metropolis, a historical kingdom, a backpackers haven and, most impressively, it’s an LGBT party hot-spot. Don’t believe us? Read on…
With the news that Thailand is looking set to legalise same-sex marriage by the end of 2018 (yay!) there doesn’t seem to be a better reason for LGBT travellers to travel to the Southeast Asian melting-pot and celebrate the good news…
Without further ado, we’ve comprised a list of the best LGBT party destinations from every corner of this vibrant nation, and ideal for every type of partier…
THE ISLAND PARADISE : PHUKET
Phuk-et, let’s go to Phuket!
The resort island of Phuket is perhaps one of the most well-recognised and frequently-visited of the Thai islands. This is due to the fact the island truly does offer something different for every type of traveller (couples, families, solo travellers…you NAME it) With this air of inclusivity, it’s no real mystery that the island attracts millions of LGBT visitors every year.
Patong Beach is considered one of the most famous of gay beaches in Thailand. With it’s tropical sandy beaches, affordable drinks and cuisine, and a truly intoxicating atmosphere, this famed spot has long-reigned as the ultimate clubbing location for the LGBT community on the island. Running through the centre of this coastal town is the Paradise Complex, which features an assortment of wickedly fun gay bars and clubs. The temptation of a good night is never far away, and nor is the enticement of a refreshing fish bowl or two…
THE PARTY CAPITAL : BANGKOK
As the capital city of Thailand, Bangkok is the central hub and gateway for travellers coming from all over the globe. Whether you’re stopping over for 48 hours or are keen to make the most of this historical city with a longer stay, one certainty is that Bangkok will deliver a truly unforgettable night.
Plus, after the recent LGBT Travel Symposium held in the city, it’s slowly establishing itself as an all-inclusive hub for gay travellers.
Of course, there’s Khao San Road, one of the most easily recognised streets in the world. And, in and amongst the madness, there’s a dedicated community of fun-loving LGBT travellers and locals alike, enjoying all the nighttime jaunts that this sprawling metropolis has to offer. With an impressive network of bars and clubs, Bangkok promises fun at every corner. Gay Bangkok hasn’t truly been discovered until a trip to Silom Soi 4, with its chic restaurants and karaoke bars, and the famous Telephone pub or Balcony Bar.
THE JEWEL OF THE NORTH : CHIANG MAI
Okay, okay. Maybe Chiang Mai isn’t the first place that springs to mind when you think ‘partying till dawn’. With it’s gilded temples, bustling markets and stunning local wildlife, it can be easy to assume the Northern city isn’t great for a night on the town.
But, you’d be wrong. Chiang Mai is actually home to an, admittedly low-key, gay community with a passion for celebrating all that LGBT life in Thailand has to offer. With a handful of friendly bars in an intimate setting, this low-key vibe is perfect for any travellers seeking a relaxed celebration with their global LGBT family, away from the madness of the inner city or beaches. Why not head to Ram Bar, Chiang Mai’s self-proclaimed ‘friendliest gay bar’, for a night of cabaret and dancing.
THE GLOBAL STAR : KOH PHANGNAN
Koh Phangnan is notorious worldwide for being home to one of the biggest beach parties this side of the Bahamas: The Full Moon party, which falls once a month on the shores of the crescent cove of Haad Rin Beach.
This is a party of excess; it continues straight into the early hours of the morning, with thousands of like-minded travellers flocking to enjoy the wild atmosphere and insane spectacles promised by tales of parties from the months that preceded. It’s a sight not to be missed by any LGBT reveller.
The gay scene on the island is a touch less extravagant than it’s famed beach party. There’s a fast-growing, albeit small, community there, with a number of exciting gay bars and a small gay beach located just South of Secret Beach, on the West coast of the island.
THE ONE-TO-BEAT : PATTAYA
Home to the most famous gay beach in Thailand, Pattaya is the formidable front-runner in the LGBT party stakes.
Dongtan beach at Jomtien, located next to South Pattaya, is famed for its inclusive and fun-loving atmosphere. Be warned though, this stretch of beach can get busy, with a vibrant and diverse range of LGBT locals, travellers and expats alike frequenting these sandy shores from morning until night.
The majority of the community tend to relax in front of Rabbit Resort. The looks out is of the azure waters of the bay, and is only a stones throw from the bustling bars, restaurants and clubs of the Jomtien Complex nearby. As the sun sets, the ravers and revellers head to Sunee Plaza or the inventively-named ‘Boyztown’ for a dance into the early hours.
For more information on all things LGBT in Thailand, check out Amazing Thailand’s awesome travel blog, Go Thai Be Free.