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In 2009, we ran our very first adventure through big gay Thailand. Today, the Land of Smiles has become one of our most popular destination with 3 annual departures including our Temples & Beaches tour in November, our New Year Celebration in December/January, and our Songkran Water Festival trip in April.

If Asia’s most LGBTQ+ welcoming nation isn’t on your bucket list, scroll down for 7 reasons to visit (or revisit) Gay Thailand!

7 ~ Welcoming People

Nicknamed ‘The Land of Smiles’, Thailand has become synonymous with its friendly, welcoming nature. The national motto is mai pen rai. Translation: “don’t worry” or “it’s okay”. Even the national welcome of Wai — a slight bow, hands in prayer — somehow feels exponentially warmer than the cool “Hey” most western destinations offer.

An Asian elephant walks behind three Buddhist monks beside a pool of water in Thailand.

6 ~ Thriving Gay Nightlife

Thailand is the east’s Gay Eden. Nowhere is this more apparent than Bangkok’s Silom district. Kathoey (drag queens) perform elaborate cabarets for gay and straight visitors alike. Meanwhile, Soi 2 and Soi 4 (alleys off the main strip) host a plethora of gay bars and gay clubs that rival Boys Town, the Castro and other international gaybourhoods.

Kathoey Cabaret
Local Kathoey performing an elaborate cabaret in Silom, Bangkok.

5 ~ Delicious Food

From the rich curries of the north to the fresh grilled seafood of the south, the country’s culinary landscape is as diverse as its residents. Be sure to join a street food tour in Bangkok. Haggle in any number of night markets. Or learn to wield a wok at a cooking class in Chiang Mai.

Thailand01
Khao Soi, a northern Thai curry noodle dish. Photo courtesy of Wiki Commons.

4 ~ Unique Cultural Events

From the infamous Full Moon parties to the splashy Songkran New Year festival, the country has a celebration for everyone. The country is steeped in Buddhist tradition and if possible, aligning your vacation with one of its national holidays is a great way to better understand Thailand’s robust culture.

You can’t stay dry if you’re celebrating Songkran.

3 ~ Fantastic Fauna & Flora

You don’t have to schlep through a Thai jungle to get close to nature. In Chiang Mai you can observe and photograph rescued Asian elephants. In Phuket, you can paddle through caves and snorkel among coral, snapping underwater photos of colourful schools, sea turtles and rays.

A group of travellers volunteer at the Chiang Mai Elephant Jungle Sanctuary.
Getting soaked at the Chiang Mai Elephant Sanctuary.

2 ~ Luxurious Hotels and Resorts

Khao San Road may be famous for its backpackers and hostels, but it’s Thailand’s luxurious accommodations we’re lauding. At the So Bangkok, Egyptian cotton reigns supreme and the rooftop infinity pool is its crown jewel. Overlooking the Andaman and featuring lush tropical surrounds is Andara Phuket. Book a Garden Terrace Suite and indulge in the resort’s catalogue of extravagant amenities. In fact, why not peruse our Stays that Slay: Thailand for a thorough introduction to the country’s 5-star accommodations?

Gay travel writer, Lino DiNallo, poses by the rooftop pool of the So Sofitel in Bangkok, Thailand.
Luxuriate at Andara Phuket where pools, massages, spas and endless cocktails await.

1 ~ Temples, Palaces & Historic Sites

The Grand Palace in Bangkok is on everyone’s to-do list. But the thousands of temples and wats throughout the country are lovely additions. White Temple in Chiang Rai is an exceptional example of Thai design and worthy of your Instagram feed. Meanwhile, sites such as Jim Thompson House are of great interest to history buffs. Finally, statues such as the Emerald Buddha and Reclining Buddha draw crowds in every season.

Gay Travel; Out Adventures; Thailand; Bangkok; Chiang Mai; Chiang Rai; Phuket; LGBT; Queer; The Land of Smiles
See the White Temple first hand. A relatively new piece of Thai architecture built in 1996.

Want to see more of Gay Thailand? Here are a few candid snaps from our past tours.

Gay Travel; Out Adventures; Thailand; Bangkok; Chiang Mai; Chiang Rai; Phuket; LGBT; Queer; The Land of Smiles
Sea kayaking in Phuket.
Gay Travel; Out Adventures; Thailand; Bangkok; Chiang Mai; Chiang Rai; Phuket; LGBT; Queer; The Land of Smiles
Launching flower boats into the Andaman off Phuket.
Gay Travel; Out Adventures; Thailand; Bangkok; Chiang Mai; Chiang Rai; Phuket; LGBT; Queer; The Land of Smiles
Photo opportunity at White Temple.
Gay Travel; Out Adventures; Thailand; Bangkok; Chiang Mai; Chiang Rai; Phuket; LGBT; Queer; The Land of Smiles
Service with a smile… on a river boat.
Gay Travel; Out Adventures; Thailand; Bangkok; Chiang Mai; Chiang Rai; Phuket; LGBT; Queer; The Land of Smiles
Mastering the wok in Chiang Mai.

Out Adventures hosts 3 annual gay tours of Thailand. Visit our Thailand Country Page for more info!

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