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Travel & Resources: BANGKOK
"The leading gateway to organizing a visit is Utopia,
which excels at events, insights, contacts, listings and links..." -- Time Out Bangkok Guide
Please help us keep these listings up-to-date.
Special thanks to bilatin, teddyhong, grazzy, Travello22, zack77, Squarsh, anan, fsnyc, AndrewWong, Fip, Jenny, Tye, anan, Greg B.!
BANGKOK -- area code (66-2)
Krung Thep is what the Thai call their capitol, a much-shortened nickname for what is the longest city name in the world (ask a Thai to recite the whole thing for you). In typical Thai fashion, Bangkok’s epic poetic title has been simplified for everyday use to its practical essence: City of Angels.
Most tourists experience Bangkok in similarly-boiled-down little sweet or sour bits: disarming charm, dazzling smiles, exotic temples, bustling markets, choking traffic, 5-alarm peppers, pestering touts. But poke under the polished tourist veneer and Bangkok rewards the explorer with magic moments amidst its free-for-all collision of old and new, rich and poor, the sacred and the profane.
“Paradise” is a word that is often applied to describe the abundance of what Bangkok has to offer. It’s a genuine paradise for shoppers, from the bargains at Chatuchak, the world’s largest outdoor market, to the refined silks and jewels of this royal kingdom. It is also a paradise for foodies, from the singular specialties of its sidewalk hawkers, to the finest cuisine from around the world served up here at stupefying low prices. It is certainly a paradise of 5-star accommodation, service, and even world-class health care (get your nose, eyes or dental work done here and your holiday will pay for itself).
Many have also described Bangkok as a paradise for gay life. It certainly may seem that way to visitors for its sheer abundance, high visibility, and “anything goes” reputation. In fact, GLBT life here is just as complex and contradictory as anywhere else in the world. And while Bangkok’s queer scene seems amazingly diverse, it’s just the tiny tip of an iceberg: most of the Thai gay world is invisible and inaccessible to tourists.
The key to enjoying your time in Bangkok is to relax, take it easy, and keep your sense of humor. When you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by culture shock, go sit in a quiet temple courtyard. When you’re wound up by the entire sensory overload, pamper yourself with an afternoon in a spa or sauna. When your emotional dam threatens to burst, go light some incense at a phallic shrine. Take a deep breath. What’s that smell?
Don't go with touts who want to take you anywhere or taxi drivers that don’t turn on their meters, and use your common sense. Do look both ways when crossing the streets. No one will assault you here; just don’t tempt anybody to enjoy their “good luck” by leaving your valuables unattended. Relax and remain receptive for one of those unforgettable magic moments that Bangkok inevitably supplies when you least expect it.
The population of Bangkok is nearing 10 million people. That's getting close to half a million Utopians.
Comments from Utopians:
"Bangkok seemed very different this time around, we wondered if this may have been due to the recent coup but I'm not so sure it was just that. After many visits this is the first time we don't feel that we want to go back any time soon. DJ Station just didn't have the same vibe and people were not getting there on time for the start of the show (there used to be two shows a night, now only one). Bar staff at Telephone Bar were offering sex for money after their shift - that's a first, too. It all felt kinda sleazy in areas where it usually isn't. It's worth noting that prices have risen sharply, too." -- Ray & Mark (Melbourne), Jul 5, 2014
Navigating the local gay scene is easy with our interactive Utopia Map of Gay & Lesbian Bangkok:
Bangkok Counselling Service
Unit 707, Kasemkij Bld,
120 Silom Rd, Utopia Map, 02-632-7299, email. Providing Counseling and psychotherapy to individuals and couples in Bangkok. Working with gay men and specialising in the areas of sexual health, relationships, sexuality, identity, sexual problems, and working with those affected in any way by HIV. Utopia Member Discount
115/1 Siamheritage, Suriwongse Rd, 081-234-5923, 02-234-2399, email. Gay-friendly custom made clothier with over 30 years of business experience. Worldwide mail order. They keep your measurements for 10 years. Utopia Member Discount
Serviced Apartments in Bangkok|
Enjoy more space and privacy with a serviced apartment in Bangkok. You will find a large choice in prime locations with special rates for daily and weekly stays from Moveandstay. Click here!
- Anjaree lesbian group
- Bangkok Pride Coalition
Email. Gay businesses and community supporters who organize the annual Bangkok pride week and parade.
Click Here for pictures and a report from
The 8th Annual Bangkok Pride Parade.
- Bangkok Rainbow
Email. A support group that tries to bring comfort to gays, their parents and friends. They seek to produce educational materials with positive stories of gay lives and unbiased information. They welcome members who would like to volunteer their time.
- Long Yang Club
Email. The purpose of this Thai chapter of the international group is to provide a social group offering friendship and support to men from East and West. It has monthly activities including Club Nights (Silom Road, Bangkok) and "Dinner with Friends" at different restaurants. There are other events such as beach trips, movie nights, karaoke contests, parties, and dinner
- Pride Festival Organization
159 The Beach Residence Bld, Ratchadapisek Rd, Dindaeng, Bangkok 10310, Thailand, 02-691-5769, 02-691-5770, ext. 2901-2, Email. Non-profit organizer of Bangkok's annual Bangkok Pride festival, a volunteer-based organization that produces entertainment, education and informational events to promote a positive image of the gay, lesbian and transgender community in Thailand, and raises money for needy Thai charities.
- Rainbow Sky Association
5/F Panjaphat Bld, 1 Patpong Rd, Suriyawong, Bangrak, Bangkok, 02-632-6957, 02-632-6958, English language assistance: 081-341-4591, FAX 02-632-6956, email. Thailand's first officially registered gay association, a private non-profit organization working for a better quality of life for, and the sexual health issues of, Thailand's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities.
- Sexualities, Genders, and Rights in Asia: an International Conference of Asian Queer Studies
2005 Queer Studies Conference organized in Bangkok by The Office of Human Rights Studies and Social Development, Mahidol University, Bangkok and The AsiaPacifiQueer Network.
All In Travel
3/F 849 Vorawat Bld Unit 305, Silom Rd, Utopia Map, 02-635-3604, 02-635-3608, email. Gay-friendly travel agent offering air tickets, hotels, tours, and visa information.
Bangkok Tour Guide for Gays
086-229-6629. Gay-friendly Bangkok tour guide. Bangkok sightseeing tours, nightlife for gays tours, shopping and tailored tours, translation and assistance in English and Thai. Utopia Member Discount
Gay Guide in Thailand
085-936-9409, email. Personal gay-friendly tour guides offering introductions to quality Thai culture, traditions, tourist sights and non-tourist places; all with a professional attitude and great service.
Gay Tour Guide UTOPIA VERIFIED APR 2013
Email. Gay, professional tour guide, licensed to guide all over Thailand. This includes some short excursions, treks, sightseeing, parties, dinners, or sports activities that make for a memorable trip. Bachelor Degree in Mass Communications and MBA. He speaks Thai, English and some German.
406/20 Jomtien Plaza Condotel, Nongprue, Banglamung, Chonburi, 038-756-658, FAX 038-251-521, email. Image Golf offers inclusive packages with transfers, hotel and golf on Thailand's East Coast at 20+ beautiful courses. Utopia Member Discount
406/20 Jomtien Plaza Condotel, Nongprue, Banglamung, Chonburi, 038-756-658, FAX 038-251-521, email. Image Limousine offers transfers to/from Bangkok Airport to hotels in Bangkok, Pattaya and Hua Hin in luxury limos with CD player and English-speaking drivers. Utopia Member Discount
Phil Travel Guide UTOPIAN VERIFIED JAN 2013
083-701-6569, email. See the sights with your own personal Thai licensed gay guide. An alternative to being herded around unfamiliar places with a crowd of strangers, experiencing exotic sights through the windows of a bus. Phil offers a range of specially designed tours for discerning gay travelers who wish a more personalised service. Utopia Member Discount
Purple Dragon UTOPIA VERIFIED OCT 2013
942/58 Charn Issara Tower 1, 2nd Floor Atrium
Rama 4 Rd, Suriyawong, Utopia Map, 02-236-1776, email. Asia's oldest and largest gay tour company offers hundreds of options using local English-speaking guides throughout Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), India, China, Singapore and Bhutan. Specializes in programs focusing on culture, cuisine, adventure and aesthetic improvement programs.
|Situated in a quiet courtyard off Surawong Road in the heart of Bangkok's business and entertainment district, Tarntawan Place is the discerning travelers' choice for accommodation, whether visiting Bangkok on business or for pleasure. Click here to view our website and to enquire about staying with us on your next trip.
Pathumwan Princess Hotel gym
At Maboonkrong Shopping Center, Utopia Map, 02-216-3700. Serious gym popular with Asian gay visitors, especially Singaporeans. Not gay, be discreet.
Utopia Map. Especially from dusk until closing and also the first two hours before sunrise when the park opens for early exercise. Lots of business men out for a jog and then a stroll through the darker areas of the park perimeter.
- Shopping Centers:
Siam Square Sky Train Station, Utopia Map. Upper floors.
Soi Thaniya, Silom (Saladaeng Sky Train Station), Utopia Map.
Onnut branch, Utopia Map. 1/F facilities, near Swensen's.
CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT -- Silom, Suriwong, Sathorn, Lumphini, Chinatown
Bonjour French Restaurant (fine dining) UTOPIA VERIFIED FEB 2011
1217/2 Sukhumvit Rd (between Soi 59 and Soi 61), Utopia Map, 02-714-2112, email. Open daily for dinner. The owner has patiently restored his beautiful house and created a French garden complete with fountain. Cozy and chic. Private room available. Parking. Gay and lesbian-friendly. Utopia Member Discount
Coffee Society (coffee and snacks)
55 Wave Place Bld, unit 107, 1/F, Wireless Rd, Pathumwan, Utopia Map, 02-655-0875, email. Traditional Thai and western dishes in an intimate and warm setting. Easily accessible via Sky Train - just get off at Ploenchit Station and enter the Wave Place Bld. Gay-owned. Utopia Member Discount
Khingklao (Northern Thai cuisine)
61/1 Sukhumvit 22, Utopia Map, 02-259-5623. This Lanna style restaurant is a cool oasis in the bustling city -- filled with charming Thai crafts, handsome staff, and an award-winning menu with such hard-to-find specialties as tom yum huablee (banana flower soup), nor oo-a (stuffed bamboo shoot), and khao soy (soft and crispy noodles in a coconut cream broth).
Sukhumvit 39, Utopia Map, 02-258-8273, 02-662-6471. A new place owned by a group of dees and toms. It's a kind of casual, trendy pub and restaurant. There are usually several tables of lesbians in groups. At night they have live bands and late at night people just get up and dance. Upstairs they have a karaoke room, also.
Kalong Home Kitchen (seafood and Thai food)
Take Sri Ayuttaya Rd all the way to the river, Utopia Map. Inexpensive and homey, with attentive service by matronly ladyboys. Popular with gays. Don't miss some of the best examples of Thai specialties served here including yam huablee (banana flower salad), kai pahd medmamuang (fried chicken with dried peppers and cashew nuts), yam tuaploo (crunchy wing bean salad), yam pladookfoo (crispy catfish with sour green mango), and fresh shrimps and fish prepared in a variety of tasty ways. Metro Magazine High Fives Award for their seafood.
Sala Rim Naam (Royal Thai cuisine)
Oriental Hotel, Utopia Map, reservations: 02-437-6211, 02-437-3080. Take the hotel shuttle boat from their private pier inside the Oriemtal (you must be well-dressed to enter the hotel). Superb river-side experience at the world's top hotel. The lunch buffet is cheaper than the evening dinner show and you'll be able to sit by the windows for a gorgeous view of the river.
Teatro Italian Restaurant, Wine Bar & Beer Garden UTOPIA VERIFIED NOV 2011
Srinakarin Soi 24 or On Nut Soi 39, Utopia Map, 089-214-0183, email. Gay and lesbian-friendly. Pizzas, soups, salads, pastas, imported grilled meat, wine, local and imported beer.
Sit inside in the aircon room surrounded by antique Italian furniture or outside in their cozy beer garden. Open daily from 11:30am-late. Utopia Member Discount
CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT -- Silom, Suriwong, Sathorn, Lumphini, Chinatown
Art at Play
114/5 Silom Soi 4 (Across from Sphinx), Utopia Map, 02-632-8767, email. Featuring original abstract art from contemporary Thai artists. The gallery anticipates holding ongoing exhibitions featuring a variety of cutting-edge art forms and media from both local and international artists. Within easy walking distance of Saladaeng BTS Sky Train Station. Opening nightly until midnight.
Silom Soi 4. Hot designs for hot bods.
Cutey and Beauty UTOPIA VERIFIED JAN 2013
3/F Thaniya Plaza, Silom, Utopia Map, 02-231-2315, email. Bangkok's premier gay salon, conveniently located on the 3rd floor of Thaniya Plaza, on Soi Thaniya, just a minute walk from the Saladaeng Sky Train Station. Charming, well-trained staff specialize in treatments ranging from cut and color to foot and facial masseurs who are ready to help you recuperate from jet lag, or get you looking your best for your night on the town. They even have henna tattooing! Utopia Member Discount
69/3 Saladaeng Rd, 02-636-0232, email. Thailand's first and specialized shop for Diabetics. All kinds of helpful products for Diabetics and much more. Gay-owned. Utopia Member Discount
3/F Thaniya Plaza, Soi Thaniya, Silom, Utopia Map, 02-231-2015. Erotic crafts of Thailand including carvings, paintings and ceramics. Quite a lot of same-sex depictions sprinkled amidst the imaginative and often humorous couplings of humans and creatures.
Gai Pied Club
3/F Siam Center, Utopia Map, 02-656-1315. Sexy swim wear and gay apparel.
3/F Amarin Plaza, Utopia Map and 3/F Thaniya Plaza, Soi Thaniya, Silom area, Utopia Map. Superior Thai crafts.
Savile Row UTOPIA VERIFIED JUN 2014
Sukhumvit Soi 22, shophouse 62, 02-663-8817, email. Gay-friendly tailor shop. They have been catering for the international gay community for over 22 years. Reasonable prices on a wide range of quality fabric to choose from. Have your custom tailoring done in 24 hours. Their specialty is fitting large to extra large men. To copy your favorite size or style, just bring it with you. Ask for Aron, the director. Utopia Member Discount
Happy hatters at Pink Dot Singapore 2014.