In Thailand, we believe love is love. And it is this progressive attitude that helps make Thailand such a diverse and inclusive destination. The Tourism Authority of Thailand actively supports LGBT+ travel and in 2019 launched the Go Thai Be Free campaign to showcase how welcoming the country is.
Most Thai people will accept you as a person regardless of race, religion or sexuality. The majority Buddhist country enjoys a reputation for being tolerant of differences and this has helped establish Thailand as a gay-friendly destination. While Thailand has a generally relaxed attitude towards sexual diversity and gender, same-sex marriage is yet to be recognised. However, there is increasing pressure for the Thai government to change the law. In 2020, the Thai government approved the Civil Partnership Bill which recognises same-sex unions. Although the legislation doesn’t yet go as far as endorsing same-sex marriage, it is a significant step forward.
Advice for LGBT+ travellers in Thailand
As one of the world’s most popular gay travel destinations, LGBT+ visitors to Thailand can expect a warm welcome. In the main cities and resort areas, same-sex couples or transgender travellers should have no issues. In more rural areas of Thailand attitudes can be more conservative, but you are still unlikely to encounter any prejudice.
In general, the same advice applies to all visitors to Thailand regardless of sexuality or gender. Thailand is a romantic country to explore, but do keep in mind that public displays of affection, whether it be gay couples or straight couples, aren’t common in Thailand.
Respect Thai culture and the local way of life and you will be made welcome. You can read about some important Thailand do’s and don’ts here. And check out this article if you are a first-time traveller to Thailand.
Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Phuket host various Pride Month events in June. And throughout the rest of the year you shouldn’t have any trouble finding gay-friendly events in the cosmopolitan cities and resort areas around Thailand. Phuket also hosts Phuket Pride which has been a semi-regular event since it’s early days in the late 1990s. The dates vary each year, but it is usually held in April at Patong Beach. April is also the month which sees Ko Samui celebrate the Samui Songkran Parade to coincide with the Thai New Year Water Festival.
Bangkok is regarded as one of the best cities in Asia for LGBT+ travellers and the Thai capital is at the forefront of the entertainment scene. Don’t miss the fabulous Maggie Choo’s at the Novotel Silom with the Sunday Gay Night one of the best club experiences to be found anywhere in the region.
The Bangkok Screening Room (also known as BKKSR) launched its first LGBT+ Film Festival in 2018 and followed up with another successful festival in July 2019. The venue is aiming to establish this as a regular annual event.
Usually held on the first Saturday of the month in the trendy Thong Lo area of Bangkok, Lesla describes itself as Asia’s biggest lesbian party. Check out their Facebook page for event details.
Go Grrrls are a collaboration of DJs and artists who are putting on some of the best party nights for Bangkok’s LGBT+ community. Everybody is welcome with an upbeat music mix covering disco, R&B, house, hip-hop and techno.
More information for LGBT+ travellers
If you would like to use the expert services of a travel agent for your dream trip to Thailand, look no further than Out Of Office, the tailor-made luxury LGBT+ travel specialist. With a well-travelled team and a deep understanding of the gay and lesbian travel market, contact Out Of Office to help plan your visit to Thailand.
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