Gay Travel Asia
Gay Travel Asia Gay Travel Asia

กรุงเทพฯ • ประเทศไทย

Bangkok

Thailand

Intro Sleep Eat Drink Play Shop Map
Bangkok Gay Guide

Introduction

Thailand is a great holiday destination. Friendly people, great food and lots of things to see and do. And for the gay traveler, Bangkok offers some of Asia’s most open gay scene and fun nightlife. All of this at very reasonable prices. Shopping at the Jatujak weekend market, having a Thai massage (with or without happy end) and a night out in Silom are things every gay traveler in Bangkok must do. For the most adventurous sisters, there are fried grasshoppers, raunchy parties till sunrise and cruisy saunas to explore. From mild to wild, Bangkok offers everything you could possibly want. And most travelers don’t visit Bangkok only once. They keep coming back.

Getting there

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) is served by many major airlines, so no matter where you live, you can always find a convenient flight. Because Thailand is a holiday destination and not a business hub like Singapore or Hong Kong, tickets are usually quite cheap. Thai Airways serves many cities in Asia and has got some cute flight attendants. For something a little cheaper, try AirAsia but be aware that you will land at Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport (DMK). For domestic flights within Thailand, we recommend cute little Nok Air.

Suvarnabhumi Airport is about 28km South-East of the city center. Metered taxis to downtown Bangkok are readily available outside the terminal building on the first floor. If you travel from the airport, you have to pay a 50 Baht airport surcharge. You also have to pay the highway tolls. 25 Baht for the airport highway and then 40 Baht for the inner city highway. The taxi fare itself is around 250-350 Baht depending on where in Bangkok you are going. If you want to avoid the 50 baht airport surcharge, go up to the departures level and take a taxi that just dropped off passengers there.

From Suvarnabhumi Airport, you can also take the Airport Rail Link. The City Line stops at every station, takes about 24 minutes to Phaya Thai station and costs 15-45 Baht depending on where you are going. The faster Express Line just stops at Makkasan station and Phaya Thai station, takes about 18 minutes and costs 90 Baht. At Makkasan station you can connect to the subway (MRT) and at Phaya Thai station you can connect to the Sky Train (BTS). Taxis are also available at most stations.

Don Muang airport is about 27km North of the city center. If you arrive there, take a metered taxi for about 200-300 Baht to downtown Bangkok. There is a 50 Baht surcharge for hiring a taxi from the airport and you also have to pay the highway tolls, about 45-105 Baht depending on where in Bangkok you are going. If there is not too much traffic and you want to save some money, you can also ask the diver not to use the highway.

Getting around

Taxis are probably the most convenient way to get around Bangkok. They are all metered and all of them have air conditioning. They come in various colours (including pink) but apart from the colour, there is no difference between them in terms of service or cost. The meter starts at 35 Baht. Depending on where you are going, the driver may as you “Highway?” or “Tang Duan?”. Depending on the time of day, it’s usually a good idea to take the highway. If it’s raining or if you look very touristy, the driver may try to charge you a fixed fare, usually higher than what the metered fare would be. Just politely point at the meter or get out and out use the next one.

The Sky Train (BTS) consists of the Silom Line and the Skhumvit Line. You can connect between the two lines at Siam station. Single journey fares range from 15 to 45 Baht. There are one-day and three-day passes available as well. The last train is around midnight. Stations of interest for the gay traveler include Siam for shopping, Sala Daeng for nightlife and Ari for dining.

The subway or (MRT) has just one line. You can connect to the Sky Train at Silom, Sukhumvit and Chatuchak Park stations but note that the two networks have two separate tickets. Single journey fares on the MRT range from 15 to 45 Baht. There are one-day and three-day passes available as well. The last train is around midnight. Stations of interest for the gay traveler include Silom and Kamphaeng Phet for nightlife and Chatuchak Park for shopping.

When to go

There are just two seasons in Bangkok: “summer” and “very summer”. In other words, Bangkok is hot and humid year round. But maybe even more so during April to September. October to March usually sees less rain and slightly lower temperatures but still around 30 C during daytime. But for a weekend city trip, Bangkok is a fun destination all year around. If you some during the hot period, just make sure you book a hotel with a swimming pool, explore some of the air conditioned shopping centers and don’t forget to drink a lot of water.

The most famous festival in Thailand is Songkran, or Thai New Year. It’s held for three days in mid April and the main attraction is the splashing of water in the streets. In Bangkok, Silom and Khao Sarn Road is the place to be. But be prepared to get wet in all parts of the city. A more quiet festival takes place in November. During Loy Krathong, people all over Thailand prepare small floats made of flowers and candles and let them free in rivers all across the country. In Bangkok head to Chao Praya River or Lumphini Park.

What to see

Grand Palace

Thailand’s most stunning temple and palace complex

Wat Arun

The “Temple of Dawn” on the banks of Chao Phraya river

Jatujak

Lively weekend market with endless shops and restaurants

Siam Square

Student hang-out and shopping area in the heart of Bangkok

DJ Station

One of Asia’s most famous gay bars with a nightly show at 23:30

Stay connected

Most hotels, guest houses and serviced apartments have WiFi. Either free or paid. It’s also easy to get a SIM card from one of the local mobile phone network companies. The big three are AIS, DTAC and TRUE. All of them have sales booths at the arrival level at Suvarnabhumi airport. The coverage, speed and prices are very similar among all providers but we recommend DTAC because they are the most funky. Grindr and Jack’d are pretty popular in Bangkok so make sure you check who’s online around you.

Gay life

Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country and fairly open when it comes to gay issues. However, family life plays a central role in Thai society and most parents still prefer their sons to marry and have kids. So while most gays are out among their friends, they might not be to their families and the work place. There is a very open gay scene in Bangkok, however, mainly geared towards entertainment. While there is no lack to gay bars, clubs or saunas, there is not much going on in terms of gay activism to promote gay rights etc. The annual gay pride is a far cry from what the sisters in Taipei or Tokyo are able to put on.

 



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