Bangkok offers an amazing gay nightlife that has made it one of the most popular destinations for gay travel. There are a large number of gay bars, clubs, saunas, spas and more to be found in this city. While a budget hotel costs less than $15 per night, you can even stay in a luxurious 5-star hotel for less than $200. Street food in Bangkok is delicious, fresh and costs under $3 for a full meal including a local beer. This exciting city has lots to do and see in a welcoming environment for the LGBT traveler.
Table of Contents
1. General Tips
2. Transportation & Airport Transfer
3. Gay Hotels in Bangkok
4. Sightseeing & Activities in Bangkok
5. Gay Tours in Bangkok
6. Restaurants and Cafes in Bangkok
7. Bangkok Gay Bars
8. Bangkok Gay Clubs and Parties
9. Bangkok Gay Saunas & Cruising Bars
10. Gay Events in Bangkok
11. Day Trips from Bangkok
To avoid the humidity, the best time of year to visit Bangkok is from November to February. However, this is also peak season for that very reason with a lot of tourism taking place. Monsoon season is May to September. Though Bangkok is a busy and hot destination year-round, to avoid crowds and high temperatures, your best chance is during the should seasons – April to June and September to October.
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Transportation & Airport Transfer
It’s just 20 miles (30km) to get from Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) to the city with several options including train, taxi, and two types of buses. By far the easiest and quickest option is the Airport Rail Link.
The Airport Rail Link is the quickest option taking 30-40 minutes and costs only 40 THB ($1.30). Depending on where your hotel is located, you may need to transfer to the BTS (Skytrain) or MRT (subway) to get to your final destination.
If you’re staying near Khao San Road in central Bangkok, the airport bus is a cheap and convenient option. It costs about 60 THB ($2) and takes you to the backpacker district in an hour or so depending on traffic. Transferring by public bus is a little cheaper but much slower taking one and a half hours or longer depending on traffic, yet it operates 24 hours.
Although taxi is the most convenient and comfortable, it’s also the most costly option starting at 420 TBH ($14) and can take 40 min or longer. Be sure to request taking the expressway during peak hours to save you up to an hour of travel time.
Once you’re in the city, there are numerous transportation options including BTS (Skytrain), MRT (subway), buses, taxis, motorbike taxis, tuk-tuks, songthaews, express boats, and khlong boats. To get around Bangkok, we recommend taking the Skytrain or subway as other modes of transport are prone to gridlock traffic. For a more scenic route, hop on a Chao Phraya River boat and enjoy the cruise.
Gay Hotels in Bangkok
SO Sofitel Bangkok – rest in luxury at this chic and trendy 5-star hotel. You’ll enjoy spectacular views of Lumphini Park and the city from every room and each has a mini bar, refrigerator, and private bathroom with bathrobes. After a day of sight-seeing, relax in the Turkish steam bath and jacuzzi.
Urbana Sathorn – 5-star property located in Silom offers modern apartments featuring city-views of Bangkok. Rejuvenate and relax in the jacuzzi, sauna, and rooftop pool and break a sweat on the squash courts, gym, and basketball court.
Trinity Silom – a convenient 10-minute walk from Patpong, Si Lom and MahaNakhon, this modern and stylish hotel offers complimentary Wi-Fi, an on-site restaurant, outdoor pool, tennis courts, and a sauna.
Bandara Suites Silom – 4-star hotel featuring comfortable accommodations with a mini bar and flatscreen TV in each room. Go for a swim in the stunning outdoor pool and enjoy the jacuzzi, and sauna as well as free shuttle service.
Haven’t Met Silom – located by the Chong Nonsi BTS Skytrain Station, this hotel features stylish rooms with over-sized beds and a rain shower. Have a bite to eat at the on-site cafe and enjoy a drink and views at the fabulous rooftop bar.
Furama Silom – just a few steps from Si Lom, this hotel has spacious rooms with a mini bar and city views making it a stylish space to unwind. On-site you’ll find a bar and restaurant and an outdoor swimming pool with skyline views that’s not to be missed.
S1 Hostel – situated near Lumphini MRT subway and Lumphini park, this hostel has clean and comfortable private rooms and dorms suitable for a short stay. Amenities include air conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi, and a community space making this a good value.
Bed by City Hotel – a nice budget option situated on a quiet street just a stone´s throw from the action in the gay district of Silom. Comfortable with all the necessary amenities like Wi-Fi and a private bathroom. There´s a 24-hour reception – useful for late night excursions into Silom.
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Sightseeing & Activities in Bangkok
Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) – a must-see for first-time visitors, it’s a 10-minute walk from the grand palace and located just behind the temple of the emerald in one of the largest temple complexes in the city. The impressive gold Buddha sits at 15 meters (50 feet) tall and 46 meters (150 feet) long. Book tour →
Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun) – one of the most stunning sights in Bangkok featuring a 70-meter (230 foot) spire, the temple is situated on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River and boasts a design unique from other Thai temples. Visit at sunset and stay to see it lit up in golden light at night. However, it’s quietest in the mornings before the crowds. Book tour →
Chatuchak Market – explore Bangkok’s street market culture at this huge indoor and outdoor market which is a must-visit for tourists. You could spend hours browsing the over 10,000 shops and stalls selling products such as Thai handicrafts, handmade products, clothing, accessories, pets and so much more. Book tour →
Grand Palace – the most famous landmark in Bangkok and the spiritual center, the palace was built in 1782 and for 150 years was home to the Thai King, the Royal Court, and the administrative seat of the government. Take in the detailed architecture illustrating the creativity and craftsmanship of the Thai people. In this same complex see the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew). Be sure to dress appropriately to enter this sacred space. Book tour →
Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit) – located in Chinatown Bangkok, this ornate temple houses a 5.5 ton gold statue of seated Buddha that dates back to the 13th century. Take some time to visit the museum and exhibits on the second and third floor. Book tour →
Chao Phraya River – named “The River of Kings,” this is Bangkok’s major waterway. Each day 50,000 people avoid the gridlock streets and take the ferries to get around the bustling city. Enjoy a riverboat cruise or be like a local and use this great waterway as public transit. Book tour →
Gay Tours in Bangkok
Gay Club Night in Bangkok – tour the gay nightlife starting at small bars and restaurants while enjoying drinks and drag shows. Stops include trendy night clubs, karaoke bars, the Red Light District, and a night market. You might even meet some of the Drag Race Thailand queens! Book tour →
Gay Private Explorer: An Insight Tour to Gay Nightlife – explore Bangkok’s gay scene with a private tour for you and your party. The guide will take you to bars, clubs, and shows personalizing the tour to your taste. Includes one drink at two different spots along the way. Book tour →
Bangkok Calypso Cabaret – has been around for 30 years. Sit back and enjoy glamorous and talented transgender performers. It’s a unique family-friendly performance for international audiences. If that's not your style, eat dinner at the Calypso Thai Restaurant and see a traditional Thai dance performance instead. Book tour →
Restaurants and Cafes in Bangkok
Eat Me Restaurant – with an Australian owner and American head chef, this outstanding upscale restaurant serves up a fusion of international flavors. Dishes are created with sustainability in mind and this is a great spot for special occasions.
Ruen Urai – tucked away in its own quiet corner of the city, this restaurant offers excellent authentic Thai cuisine in a restored century-old traditional Thai house. It’s a romantic dining experience including Thai culinary art and elegant ambience as you’re surrounded by gardens and a pool.
FORK & CORK – a gay-owned restaurant and bar (formerly Sphinx) located near the gay bars at the end of Silom Soi 4 alley. It has a cool and quirky atmosphere with Jazz and live music and offers a mix of Thai and Western plates and cocktails all at a good value.
Pride Bar and Restaurant – a cute bar and restaurant found within the Silom Soi 4 serving an Italian Thai menu. It doubles as a Pride community centre and they are also serving hot waiters, live singers, drag performances and an open mic night if you fancy showing off your own vocal talents.
Bangkok Gay Bars
Silom Soi 4 – (the main gay nightlife hub) – the center of gay nightlife in Bangkok is this side street off Silom Road. This is the place to be from 9 PM to 12 AM where party goers are grabbing a pre-drink before heading over to Silom Soi 2 to dance the night away.
Tawan Bar – arrive early to get a good spot for the nightly show featuring muscular Asian men and beefy go-go boys. The show leaves little to the imagination with the hope you will purchase additional private time with the performer of your choice. Price of admission includes a drink.
The Stranger Bar – next to Telephone Pub, this is a smaller venue, but lots of fun with no cover. Arrive early as it tends to get crowded. Enjoy daily happy hour and catch the drag show of talented queens like Pangina Heals.
White Rabbit – In the heart of the gay scene, this gay lounge and bar is the perfect chill spot with a relaxed vibe and free Wi-Fi. Serving Thai and Western food, order a meal, sip a cocktail, and watch one of the entertaining shows.
The Balcony – a popular gay bar on Silom Soi 4 with indoor and outdoor seating and reasonably priced food and drinks. Although it gets busy, stop in for happy hour and special events, live DJ, drag shows, and karaoke upstairs.
Maggie Choo’s – located on the lower level of the Novotel hotel, this speak-easy style cabaret bar offers live music and cocktails and hosts a Sunday Gay Night where you’ll find shirtless staff, drag shows, games, and drink specials. Check their Facebook page for the latest updates.
Connections – a fun and friendly bar in the centre of the beautiful chaos which is Si Lom Soi 4. Intimate, relaxed and a great place to enjoy a cocktail whilst people watching before diving into the action yourself. The staff are famous for being extremely friendly and conversational.
Bangkok Gay Clubs and Parties
DJ Station – located on Silom Soi 2, this gay institution is the most popular and biggest gay night club in Bangkok. Catch the drag show and pick from 3 floors to dance all night to the live DJ. It’s busy every night of the week with peak times on the weekends.
G Bangkok (G.O.D.) – After DJ Station closes, make your way to this late-night spot to dance with shirtless guys until the sun comes up. The venue has a small stage, dance floor, DJ and bar on each of its three floors. If you make it in earlier, there’s a drag show at midnight.
Fake Club The Next Gen – An alternative to DJ Station, this club has a large stage and dance floor with a young, trendy, and mostly Asian crowd. It’s busiest on the weekends. Stop by Fake Cafe next door for a more relaxed bar and restaurant vibe.
Disco Disco – gay disco bar and night club near DJ station on Silom Soi 2. This is the place to get down to disco anthems as well as international pop music. Its peak times are Friday and Saturday nights.
Trasher Bangkok – this party is put on by a group of party enthusiasts who host different themed events around Bangkok. They’re famous for creating parody videos of famous pop songs and have gone viral. To experience the trendy gay party scene, this is the place to be.
G-Spot Theme Party – (monthly) – taking place on the first Saturday of the month at Vertigo TOO at the Banyan Tree, this is the hottest gay Saturday night in Bangkok complete with drag shows, games, costume contest and prizes.
Bangkok Gay Saunas & Cruising Bars
Chankra Sauna – Located in Phaya Tai close to the BTS Ari Skytrain Station, this is an upscale gay sauna sporting an impressive sun terrace with skyscraper view. It also offers small saunas, various steam rooms, jacuzzi, swimming pool, a sun terrace, private cabins, a gym, and a restaurant and bar on site. Peak times are weeknight evenings or weekends from 3pm.
Heaven Sauna – this sauna is a bit of a hidden gem tucked away up on the fourth floor of Bis building behind a furniture shop. It´s worth the effort to find though if you´re looking for a laidback vibe that is popular with bears and admirers. They offer wet and dry saunas, a maze, private cabins, sun terrace with jacuzzi as well as a gym, bar and even have a restaurant.
R3 Sauna – Described as a luxury gay sauna for all the gay community, this sauna can be found in Ratchada Soi3 – a busy business district which is popular with expats. Especially busy at the weekends and holds special on-site events aimed at both foreign visitors and locals alike.R3 also owns a few different saunas around Bangkok such as Sauna Mania, which has a slightly grittier feel and can be found right up in Silom.
Gay Events in Bangkok
Bangkok Pride – usually celebrated in October/November, Bangkok-based LGBT advocate group OUT BKK is one of the main organizers. It’s a week of events including workshops, film festivals, art shows, and plenty of parties at various venues. Many businesses decorate and have special pride offerings as well.
White Party Bangkok – one of the world’s largest gay dance festivals, this gay new year circuit party boasts five indoor and outdoor parties over four days. Join party-goers from across Asia and around the world to experience entertainment from world-class DJs and performers.
gCircuit – Taking place over three days in April for Thai New Year, join thousands of men from around the globe who know how to party at the biggest annual gay circuit party in Asia.
Day Trips from Bangkok
Pattaya – just 91 miles (147km) southeast of Bangkok, you can reach this seaside resort by bus, minivan, car, or plane. Bus is the most economical and popular option, taking about two hours. Pattaya is located on Thailand’s Easter Gulf coast and is known for its beaches. Over the last 50 years, it transformed from a small fishing village into a resort town with golf courses, night clubs, and the Wat Phra Yai Temple featuring a 60 foot (18 meter) tall golden Buddha. Book tour →
Khao Yai National Park – about a three-hour drive from Bangkok (180km/112mi), you can travel by taxi, minivan, or bus. This UNESCO World Heritage Site covers 2,000 square km (1,200 sq mi) of lush Central Thailand forest and grasslands with mountainous waterfalls and valleys with hiking and biking trails. You’ll also find diverse wildlife, wild-west theme parks, and vineyards as well as many waterfalls including Haew Narok (150m/500ft tall) and Haew Suwat (20m/65ft tall). Book tour →
Kanchanaburi – a town in west Thailand that is a WWII historic site and riverside area. Popular tourist spots include Death Railway, Kwai River Bridge, Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, and the JEATH War Museum that honors POWs who died building the bridge. There’s also the Thailand-Burma Railway Center that focuses more on the railroad post-construction. The best time to visit is from November to February as it’s very hot in the peak of summer (April). Book tour →
Phra Nahon Si Ayutthaya – 80 km (50mi) north of Bangkok, this hidden archaeological gem was the capital of the Kingdom of Siam. Ayutthaya Historical Park has the ruins of the old city that was destroyed by the Burmese in 1767. You’ll come across remains of the palace, Buddhist temples, monasteries, and statues at this UNESCO World Heritage site. Most famous is the Wat Chaiwatthanaram, a Buddhist temple on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. For a change of pace take a boat cruise from Ayutthaya to Bangkok along the Chao Phraya river. Book tour →
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – this famous floating market is located 100km (60 mi) southwest of Bangkok. It’s a popular tourist attraction for domestic and foreign tourists who watch as the river becomes crowded with wooden boats overflowing with fruits, vegetables, and goods that are sold to buyers onshore. Book tour →
Image credits: Tourism Authority of Thailand
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