Thailand is gradually opening more of its regions to tourists and travelers. In anticipation of Bangkok being on our gay travel maps once more, here is Nomadic Boys' guide to their favorite watering holes in the vibrant Thai city.
The gay scene in Bangkok is a lot of fun! It is open to all and you can guarantee a great night out every single evening. We loved making Bangkok our “home” base during our long trip in Asia and ended up spending many, many nights hanging out in the gay bars of Silom with both straight and gay friends.
The gay bars are mainly based around a small street called Silom Soi 4. Just around the corner on Silom Soi 2 are the main gay clubs, including DJ Station. Here’s a summary of our 5 favourites:
1. Balcony Pub and Telephone Pub
This is the beating heart of the gay scene in Bangkok. Balcony and Telephone are like the staple of the gay scene in Bangkok. They’ve been around for years and everyone knows them.
They are in fact 2 different large bars, but they’ve become so interconnected that you associate the Silom gay scene with these two.
They are set up with tables and chairs facing the road for people watching. The waiters are charismatic and very cute and they have great cocktails offered every night of the week (gigantic mojito pitcher for a tenner anyone?).
They also serve great food! Any visit in Bangkok does not officially begin for us until we’ve had our fix of Pad Thai here and downed a few margarita pitchers.
2. Stranger Bar
Stranger Bar has become another staple on the Bangkok gay scene. It’s a smaller bar than Telephone and Balcony but has a large indoor space, which gets busy after midnight. It’s also located in Silom Soi 4, right next door to Telephone and Balcony.
It’s owned by charismatic couple Sean and Chakgai who will soon become your good friends in the city as well. They’re really personable and make you feel like you’re coming to meet a family each time you visit. That’s why we like a night out at Stranger. Chakgai gave us his perspective of what it’s like growing up as gay in Thailand on our blog.
Stranger Bar also hosts themed parties and drag shows with Chakgai showing off some FIERCE outfits.
3. DJ Station
DJ is the staple on the gay scene for drag shows and dancing. It’s located on Silom Soi 4, another small street round the corner from the bars on Silom Soi 2.
After a few drinks in Balcony or Stranger, the crowd starts to head over to DJ at around 11pm for the really funny drag shows. WARNING: if you don’t want to join in and become part of the show, best stay away from the front of the stage.
After the drag shows finish, it becomes a large dancing venue with bars upstairs to chill and even a smoking room.
After many, many drinks, you’ll end up dancing here at around 3 or 4 AM; most likely topless!
GOD is a three-storey venue with large dancing area downstairs, bar upstairs and dark room on the third floor. It’s around the corner from DJ on 60/18-21 Silom Soi 2/1 (just follow the crowd).
It’s fun and messy. And we love it…come to think of it, we can’t quite remember much of it…
5. HUGs Bar
HUGs is one of the best bear bars in Bangkok that puts on weekly karaoke parties. It’s located towards the back end of Silom Soi 4, attracting some of the city’s friendliest guys. It reminded us more of your local, friendly, neighbourhood dive bar, where everyone knows everyone, and you instantly feel at home. Even more so because it’s cash only, which is so typical of the many dive bars we’ve visited in our travels.
Weekends here are raucous – packed, with a boisterous fun bear crowd.