Thailand is a highly tolerant country, where sexual preference is regarded as a personal choice. Gays, lesbians, and transsexuals are accepted as part of the community. Thai people – gay and straight – are also known for their sweet, friendly and polite temperament. As a result, Thailand is a prime gay tourist destination, with Bangkok often dubbed as the gay capital of Southeast Asia.

Bangkok Pride Festival

To celebrate this diversity and freedom, gay-friendly events often take place in Thailand’s major tourist destinations, including Bangkok, Pattaya, and Phuket. Bangkok celebrated its first Pride Festival in Silom and Surawong in 1999. The inaugural event was the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, with participants dressed in extravagant, over-the-top and flamboyant costumes, cheered on by thousands of spectators.

Where to go for gay nightlife in Bangkok

Bangkok's gay nightlife scene is fun, exciting and wild, with LGBT-friendly venues that range from hotels, inns, and guesthouses to nightclubs, ladyboy cabarets, and go-go bars.

Many consider Silom as the main gay nightlife hub of Bangkok. Soi 2 caters exclusively to those who like to party in dance clubs, while Soi 4 offers a more relaxed atmosphere with pubs, bars and restaurants. Most foreigners tend to flock around this area more than others. Both Soi 2 and Soi 4 are close to the Sala Daeng BTS Skytrain and Silom MRT Station.

If you want to experience something a little more adventurous, the Suriwong and Patpong areas reveal the naughtier side of the city.

Notable areas for LGBT nightlife in Bangkok include the Soi Ramkhamhaeng 89/2, where you can find dance clubs that are popular among Thai university students. The area behind Chatuchak Weekend Market is a small clutter of gay-dedicated venues. Bars and saunas along the Saphan Kwai and Sukhumvit areas tend to cater for a largely local clientele.