The "Land of Smiles" is one place travelers frequently visit because it's such a different country. It has gorgeous islands, adventurous wildernesses, stunning temples, and delicious foods, so no one can't get enough of it 🧑🎓
Furthermore, you can be yourself as a lesbian or a gay couple in Thailand. You have unlimited freedom because there is no problem walking hand in hand, cuddling, or kissing on the roads. This complete LGBT guide when in Thailand forms out the best LGBT scenes across the country, the best LGBT events to look out for with lots of enthusiasm for the best activities to do here, and other practical information for LGBT travelers.
Here today, I will tell you all about LGBTQ+ in Thailand, as it is a destination that offers so much to LGBTQ+ travelers. So, here we go!
A group of people who view themselves differently, or what we respectfully call LGBTQ+ are those with gender identity or sexual orientation that is different from most people in society.
LGBT, as defined in Dictionary.com, stands for:
L - Lesbian, a woman who is sexually attracted to other women
G - Gay, a man who is sexually attracted to other men
B - Bisexual, a person who is sexually or romantically attracted to people of two or more genders
T - Transgender, a person who does not conform to societal gender norms or roles
You might have seen that transgender or LGBTQ+ people were believed to have a mental illness in the past 🧑🎓 Official documents note that being 'gay' is a durable mental disorder or mental illness. These indications are all affected by culture or social standards until intolerance affects this group of people not to get the rights they earn as they should.
Society has started to impact intentions as Western social norms come in. Therefore, you can see a group of people who are LGBTQ+ in public. This can be identified in several media such as books, movies, or some special terms to the entertainment media related to men and women.
Medically, LGBTQ+ people do not have an illness or mental disorder. It is almost because of various internal and external reasons such as hormones, brain chemicals, upbringing, culture, and social organizations that shape a person. It is definitely not an 'abnormality' because we can solve gender identity problems medically. People with gender identity differences may have physical situations or gender that do not match their sires.
Meeting people will not be an issue with such an open and prospering LGBT scene in the cities and resorts. Gay hookup apps are also generally used, with Grindr, Hornet, and Planet Romeo being most popular. Use these to meet locals and find even more secret spots on the LGBT scene.
Thailand is a perceived global leader when welcoming travelers of all backgrounds, individualities, and gender attitudes. As the most welcoming country in Asia for LGBTQ+ people, Thailand is proud that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, no matter how they identify and whom they love, will feel free when traveling in Thailand 🧑🎓
While many destinations claim to accept diversity in all its forms, many countries still ignore same-sex couples or do not openly concede to the LGBTQ+ community publicly. Yet, Thailand’s relaxed and calm existence embraces LGBTQ+ travelers and encourages them to discover this magical place, travel freely, and be comfortable.
An incredibly tolerant society where gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual lifestyles are essentially ratified as a realistic way of life, Thailand is the core of LGBT culture in Asia. Expanding to the interest of a trip to Thailand is the incredible food, the passion of the Thai people, ancient temples, simmering nightlife, hip shopping destinations, and yes, everything at a very accessible cost and high quality.
Even today, many countries contemplate homosexuality to be a criminal act. Thailand's attitude is very different. It is one of the most advanced Asian countries, with the Thai government decriminalizing homosexuality over 75 years ago. Considering global social criteria, this was a considerable measure and substantiated the country's receptiveness.
LGBT life is everywhere in Thailand. Gay and lesbian characters play many roles in society, just like TV shows. Well-known bloggers and YouTubers of the LGBT population have tens of thousands of viewers. Thailand moreover had its first transgender nominee for Prime Minister 🧑🎓
Despite the social recognition, only heterosexual couples can marry in Thailand. Until today, there is no legal partnership status to support LGBTQ+ couples. However, this might improve soon. The cabinet approved a bill that would allow same-sex couples to register as "partners."
The intended statute could be a breakthrough. Even though the so-called Civil Partnership Bill would not authorize real marriages, it gives Thailand a pioneering role for LGBT rights in Southeast Asia. If the bill upholds the parliament, Thailand would be the first country enabling same-sex partnerships in Southeast Asia and the second one in Asia.
In terms of public patience and approval of homosexuality, Thailand is one of the most welcoming countries across Asia. As with many countries, acceptance of LGBT people is more extensive in urban areas, such as Bangkok and the major tourist cities 🧑🎓 Male and female same-sex activity is legal in Thailand; however, as mentioned earlier, same-sex marriage is not legal yet.
While private and consensual sex between same-sex couples was decriminalized in 1956, it was only in 2002 that the Ministry of Health decided it would no longer be regarded as a mental disorder.
The 2015 Gender Equality Act was the first Thai law to illustrate the LGBT community when it banned racism according to sexual orientation or gender identity. Before this, there had been no anti-discrimination laws, and none of the Thai legislation mentioned sexual orientation.
While Thai same-sex couples are usually accepted in public, particularly in cities, the law does not officially recognize same-sex marriages, partnerships, or civil unions. Although there have been trying to legalize gay marriage, they have always been postponed.
Throughout 2018, proceedings to recognize same-sex civil partnerships began moving again in response to a request signed by 60,000 people. The bill would enable same-sex couples to be ‘life partners’ and afford them the same rights as heterosexual couples. If this is passed, same-sex life partners will adopt, which is currently limited to married couples.
Thailand is becoming more generous for gay and lesbian people. The Thai Government has approved a same-sex civil partnership bill to increase the legal rights of gay and lesbian couples, and Bangkok’s top private hospital, Bumrungrad, opened a clinic specifically for LGBT patients.
This clarifies why Thailand has become a hugely popular tourist destination for gay and lesbian travelers in the last 20 years. With acceptance, the country has become a lively LGBT social scene with every major Thai city and beach resort, home to many gay and lesbian venues. Bangkok’s Silom district, which teems with gay bars and nightclubs, is widely deemed the largest gay entertainment area in Asia.
Very few countries are as welcoming to transgenders as Thailand.
Thailand is a hugely popular tourist destination and has one of the world’s largest transgender communities The country is also the biggest destination for gender reassignment surgeries on the planet. They have been very open to transgenders that many transmen and transwomen from Southeast Asia 🧑🎓 leave their home countries, where their sexuality is not accepted, and take up residence in Thailand instead.
In many countries, transgenders are marginalized, pushed to the fringes of society but in Thailand; they are very much part of the mainstream. In a big Thai city, such as Bangkok, tourists will likely see many transgenders working in offices, hotels, restaurants, and shops on any given day. Thousands of people attend Thailand’s annual Miss International Queen, the world’s largest transgender beauty competition.
For transgender tourists, however, Thailand is justifiably a prime destination. In the big cities, and outstanding tourist resort towns, transgender travelers are commonplace and it is very rare for transgender tourists to face any harassment or abuse.
When travelers think about LGBT rights in Thailand, the first thing that comes to mind is the famous ‘ladyboys’. Transgender beauty rituals abound, and it would at first look appear that Thailand has high levels of attention for transgenders.
While sex reassignment operations have taken place in Thailand, and it’s a destination for people worldwide to have these, transgenders still do not have the right to change their gender legally. They cannot legally change their names even after any surgery.
On the other hand, LGBT travelers can go and have a fantastic time without worrying about the difficult situation for LGBT rights in Thailand. The country is actively nominated as somewhere people can “be free” and visitors can enjoy wild parties, passionate events, and freedom of manners if they are staying in more touristy or urban areas 🧑🎓
In more rural areas, views will be far more careful, so LGBT travelers should be more discreet to avert undesirable awareness; this will be very rare but contentious, but it could still make travelers uncomfortable. Public displays of affection are generally scowled upon whether they’re between heterosexual or homosexual couples.
In general, all public displays of affection are much rarer in Thailand than in most Western countries. While Thai couples of all sexual orientations will commonly hug or hold hands in public, anything more intimate than that is unusual. Thais are naturally quite private and reserved and manage to keep their strongest emotions from affection to anger for the privacy of their homes. Visitors are advised to follow suit and leave the canoodling for the hotel room 🧑🎓
Thailand is a much-visited country, but besides outstanding destinations like Bangkok and Phuket, there are still many unknown gems to seek in this beautiful country. The LGBT Hub of Asia, Bangkok, can’t be skipped during your Thailand trip, though I will also tell you about the lesser-visited yet stunning places 🧑🎓
Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (previously Bangkok) is the capital city of Thailand. You may love this wonderful city. Do you want to know where to go once you're in this big city? Well, besides the prominent touring spots Wat Arun, Wat Pho, Lumpini Park, and the many markets, there is a big LGBT scene.
The gay area of Bangkok is located in Silom. Silom Soi 4 is a pedestrian parkway full of gay bars.
Sadly, all lesbian bars and clubs shut their doors in Bangkok. But luckily, women are welcome at most gay bars. In Silom Soi 2, there are the best Bangkok gay clubs! Silom Soi 2 is quite a supporter of many gay clubs.
Go Grrrls and Leila Party are lesbian parties founded in Bangkok annually. Make sure to check their Facebook pages to see what’s going on! In addition, you may love staying at Lamphu House when you’re in Bangkok! It’s in the touristy city center, but you can skillfully take a riverboat or Grab to other places. And the food on Soi Rambuttri is remarkable!
Bangkok (Krung Thep Maha Nakhon) is Thailand’s megacity, with a population of about 8 million. Bangkok has the most famous gay scene in the country with a good intention of gay bars, a couple of gay dance clubs, many gay saunas, and massage spas.
Large-scale gay dance parties are held around New Year and Songkran, captivating thousands from Asia and beyond. Away from the main gay scene is a relatively small “commercial” red light district.
Outside Bangkok, there are established gay scenes in Chiang Mai, Phuket and Pattaya, Koh Samui, and Hua Hin.
Koh Samui is perfect for a passionate breakout and family getaways 🧑🎓 It is Thailand’s second-largest island, with very calm vibes. There are many elegant resorts on the island, perfect for the absolute holiday.
Some of the favorite lesbian-friendly hotels and resorts are W Koh Samui, Fair House, Silavadee, and the Four Seasons. Koh Samui is easy to access. There’s an international airport on the island, with regular flights to and from Bangkok. I highly propose a day trip to Ang Thong Marine Park and Koh Wao to explore the underwater world and the beauty of the enfold islands!
Besides beautiful beaches and nature, there’s also enormous gay nightlife on Koh Samui. You may appreciate one of the best cabarets shows ever at Starz Cabaret. And Pride Bar is a cool LGBT bar to check out.
Located in the north, in the mountains, you will discover the beautiful and laid-back city of Chiang Mai. It is Thailand’s second-biggest city, though it is perceived more like a big town. This city has a lot to devote; there’s something for everybody. Enjoy a Thai massage, take a cooking class, go shopping, visit elephants in a majestic elephant sanctuary, and visit one of many temples.
An extra outstanding moment to visit Chiang Mai is during November's Chiang Mai Lantern Festival. It’s one of the great magical and romantic times you may ever experience.
Nature lovers can’t miss Khao Sok National Park. This national park is fantastic, and you can’t stop speaking about it after your visit. Everybody who visits Thailand should visit Khao Sok National Park. It is found in Southern Thailand and is an excellent place to enjoy nature and relax.
Hiking and kayaking are also prominent activities in the national park and wildlife spotting. If you are fortunate, you might spot a wild elephant! Khao Sok National Park has many limestone mountains, caves, and a big lake. Napping on the lake is one of the best things to do in Thailand. Put this National Park on your LGBT Thailand itinerary, and you will not repent of it 🧑🎓
Koh Phangan is an island located close to Koh Samui. While Koh Samui is a romantic family island, Koh Phangan is known for its crazy full moon parties. Attend the lesbian-owned bar and restaurant L'Alcove for the island's most comfortable and lesbian vibes. L'Alcove has enormous drinks and a perfect view of the beach. Another lesbian-owned place on the island is the hotel and spa Chantaramas.
Thailand’s answer to Disneyland in Hong Kong, Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai, or Orlando. Experience a collection of exciting rides, from the family-friendly Speedy Mouse to the adrenaline-pumped Haunted Mansion and Tornado! There is a lot to love here, comprising the Colours of the World Parade, the world of snow and ice at Snow Town, many food outlets, and three different roller coasters. Perfect for anyone who loves theme parks!
This lake is a hidden gem! Not many Western tourists visit the Red Lotus Lake, perhaps because it’s out of the way. But if you visit Thailand, plan a tour to the Red Lotus Lake in Northeast Thailand. It’s as magical as the Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai. The whole lake turns pink in the winter months because of the flowers! How romantic is it to visit a pink lake on Valentine’s day? It will be an unforgettable day in your life.
Thailand’s largest island is Phuket. It is enormous and has a lot to offer. All are apparent, from relaxing to partying to adventurous activities and sleeping in treehouses. There are similarly quite some gay bars and clubs in Patong. Phuket is the only place in Thailand that organizes a Pride every year.
Krabi is the perfect place to get on if you don’t want to visit an island but look for beautiful beaches. Krabi is a suitable location to relax and enjoy nature. Waterfalls, jungle, caves, and white-sand beaches, you can discover it all in the Krabi area.
Ao Nang and Railay beach are the most beautiful and outstanding beaches to visit. Don’t miss out on Wat Tham Sua, aka the Tiger Temple 🧑🎓 It’s a bit of a hike, but the views from the temple are magnificent.
The most prominent gay destination in Thailand is Pattaya. It’s not the best place for lesbians, though; it just offers a lot for men. Pattaya is well-known for nightlife and festivals, so that might be a reason you want to visit.
Following an unstable history and conflicts with homophobic protestors, Chiang Mai Pride has made an incredible recovery in the past couple of years 🧑🎓 The festivities encompass a wonderful ceremony and local parties, which are also widely benefited by locals and travelers. If you can tie in your visit to Chiang Mai with this event, you’re in for absolute pleasure.
A notable festival in the Thai calendar is the stunning Songkran Festival. Held across three days every April, the event signifies Thai New Year. The routine of the ceremony pertains to water gun fights and throwing buckets of water over people. It’s not specifically an LGBT event, but everybody is welcome. And you’ll discover many gay events during this period in Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, and Koh Samui.
Running since 1999, Phuket Pride is the longest-standing and most flourishing Pride event in all of Thailand. Every year, thousands of locals and tourists unite for colorful celebrations, including a parade, competitions, art shows, charity auctions, street parties, open-air concerts, cabaret shows, and firework displays. It is a real crowd-pleaser regardless of whether you’re LGBT or not.
Again, not an LGBT event, but it merits a spot on everybody's bucket list. Known as the 'festival of lights,' Yi Peng Lantern Festival assumes vast implications in Thai culture. Each year in the cultural city of Chiang Mai, thousands of tourists and locals alike gather to release Chinese paper lanterns into the sky. This magical event illustrates the difficulties from the prior year.
Ultimately, you can enjoy the unmissable Bangkok Pride Cruises, Sporadic LGBT boat parties held throughout the year in Thailand's rushing capital. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for up and coming party dates 🧑🎓
Thailand has set up a beautiful Go Thai Be Free campaign for LGBT tourists. Since 2018, Thailand has organized a unique annual LGBT conference for experts in LGBT tourism.
As is often the case, the option of discovering LGBT-friendly accommodation is dependent on where travelers are visiting. Generally speaking, in Thailand, there should be no difficulties with finding welcoming and safe LGBT-friendly accommodations.
The more valuable and abundant hotels will never raise an eyebrow at anything their guests want, so for a relaxed holiday, it could be worth investing in a stay at a luxury hotel; the prices are still somewhat low compared to Europe and North America.
There are generally good LGBT hotels and hostels in Bangkok, mostly near where the LGBT nightlife scene is. No matter an LGBT traveler’s budget, they’ll find the good options there. This is the case in places like Phuket and other islands as well. As well-established gay playgrounds, there will be many resorts, hotels, and hostels catering to LGBT travelers.
In more rural or prudent areas, it’s worth exercising a bit of caution, especially if keeping up in a family-run guesthouse or very cheap accommodation.
Yes, Thailand is a safe country for anyone to visit. Thai people are peaceful and are always delighted to support you. Thailand is also a safe country to visit for LGBT travelers. You may often realize comfortable traveling everywhere in Thailand, similarly as lesbian travelers.
Thailand is one of Asia’s most LGBT-friendly nations. It’s close to approving same-sex civil cooperations, has a thriving transgender community, boasts hospital services tailored to LGBT patients, and big Thai companies even offer medical leave for gender reassignment surgery. So, no worries about your safety.
Is Thailand safe for gay travelers? The shortest answer is YES, but there are some precautions you should constantly put up with traveling. Make sure you attend these safety tips, and you are unlikely to experience any difficulties while traveling in Thailand.
LGBT travelers to Thailand should take the same precautions they would in any other country 🧑🎓 Hate crimes or discrimination against LGBT visitors are infrequent; however, as in many other countries, social viewpoints are less liberal outside of the main cities, and people in rural Thailand are less used to seeing same-sex couples.
From a safety perspective, LGBT visitors in Thailand should consider the same issues as all other travelers. Scams, drink spiking, petty theft, and road accidents are the four most significant threats to all tourists in Thailand. Where possible, it is best to book day tours, watersport activities, or long taxi trips through your hotel's concierge to minimize the risk of being caught up in one of the many scams that may target tourists in Thailand.
Although homosexuality is legal in Thailand, I advise being careful of public display of appreciation outside of LGBT-friendly areas. Thai society is reasonably prudent 🧑🎓
Known for its stunning beaches, spectacular temples, and fun-loving atmosphere, Thailand is a dream location for many. Whether LGBT travelers are looking for a chilled holiday or an indulgent trip, this friendly country will offer it.
Thailand is not a place to think, go and have fun! On an important note, LGBT travelers expect to determine why they are traveling and plan accordingly.
To have fun LGBT nights and days, choose the exact destination and sit back and enjoy the ride. But suppose LGBT travelers also want to examine more hidden gems and quieter spots, in that case, they want to bear in mind the conservative nature of the countryside in Thailand and be discreet to resist undesirable awareness. So be safe and enjoy!
Homosexual activity has been legal in Thailand since 1956. To put this in viewpoint, homosexuality only became legal in the USA in 2003 after the Supreme Court.
Sexual orientation and gender identity are precisely insured in the Thai constitution. While no stand-alone laws protect the LGBT community, both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” are specifically mentioned and protected from discrimination in the Thai Constitution.
Thailand has the most prominent and audible gay villages in Asia. Gay travelers in Bangkok must visit Silom to experience the country’s liveliest gay village. Outside of the capital, wild gay districts are found in Phuket, Pattaya, and Chiang Mai. Even smaller cities are peppered with cabarets and gay hangouts.
Thai LGBT people can attend openly in the military. Again, unlike America, where Trans people were recently banned from serving, Thailand welcomes anyone into its military ranks.
While there are many roads to pave when it comes to transgender rights in Thailand, the community as a whole is widely approved and in some ways celebrated 🧑🎓 The popular belief of trans people is exceptionally optimistic, and trans individuals are well represented in pop culture and Thai television.
When it comes to LGBT-friendly destinations in Asia, Thailand tends to top the list every time. Thailand is one of the few places on earth where the LGBT nightlife scene is as crazy as wild as the others! Even if it’s not generally your thing, you have to try at least to visit one of the countless cabarets, clubs, bars, karaoke, or bars, if only to see how accepting Thai culture, in general, is of the LGBT community.
In short, Thailand is an ideal destination for LGBT tourists. I’d say it’s the best destination for them in all of Asia. So undoubtedly, on this subject, Thai society teaches tolerance to the rest of the world.
: Denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.
: The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, sex, or disability.
: The quality or characteristic of being sexually attracted solely to people of one's own sex.
: Showing willingness to allow the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.
Sex Reassignment Surgery
: It is a surgical procedure (or procedures) by which a transgender person's physical appearance and function of their existing sexual characteristics are altered to resemble those socially associated with their identified gender.