LGBTQ+ Travel In Thailand – The Ultimate Gay Travel Guide

Famous for its tropical beaches, ancient architecture, and historic temples, Thailand has a lot to offer tourists.

As a same-sex couple, we have visited Thailand multiple times and never personally experienced any form of discrimination.

That’s not to say that discrimination towards members of the LGBTQ+ community doesn’t take place in Thailand, however, thankfully reports are becoming increasingly rare.

Is Being Gay & Lesbian Legal In Thailand?

Thailand is one of the most accepting countries of the LGBTQ+ community in Asia with homosexuality being legal in the country since 1956.

It’s also illegal for members of the LGBTQ+ to be discriminated against within Thailand, with those who do will be prosecuted.

However, Thailand still has a long way to go when it comes to accepting the LGBTQ+ community, and progress towards equal rights has stalled significantly in the country over the past few decades.

Most notably, same-sex couples can not get married in Thailand, giving blood as a gay man is illegal and single-sex parental adoption is also not possible.

Is Being Trans Legal In Thailand?

Thailand has come a long way in supporting transgender individuals in recent years with a number of laws being passed to ensure that trans people are not discriminated against.

That being said, the government’s support towards transgender individuals is not as thorough as that for homosexuals. 

Gender reassignment is possible in Thailand, and in fact, the country is often seen as the leader in the gender reassignment surgery space.

However, Thailand residents are unable to legally change their gender which means that transgender individuals are unable to change documents such as passports and driving licences.

Instead, those forms of identification will continue to display the gender from birth.

Public Displays Of Affection & LGBTQ Social Acceptance

The people of Thailand are generally very conservative and minimise public displays of affection.

Therefore, while the country is typically accepting of the LGBTQ+ community, it may be frowned upon to publicly display your affection towards another person (of the same sex or otherwise).

Personally, Helen and I are relatively reserved and therefore honouring the culture of the people of Thailand didn’t affect us.

It’s also worth noting that we’ve always booked double rooms when travelling around Thailand and never experienced any awkward moments or received twin rooms instead of double rooms when checking in.

LGBTQ+ Friendly Places To Visit In Thailand

Thailand has a thriving LGBTQ+ scene, which can most predominantly be found in the major cities and most popular tourist destinations.

Bangkok

Bangkok is Thailand’s capital city and benefits from an incredible amount of history with a wide range of Buddhist temples and other ancient shrines that will allow you to learn more about Thai culture.

However, as the sun sets Bangkok’s nightlife scene comes alive. The LGBTQ+ nightlife in Bangkok can most predominantly be found in the Silom district.

Here you’ll find yourself surrounded by like-minded people, plenty of drinks, and fantastic music.

Pattaya

Just a couple of hour’s drive from the city of Bangkok is the beautiful Pattaya.

Up until the 1960s, this city was a quiet fishing village. However, today Pattaya is filled with resort hotels, high-rise condos, shopping malls, cabaret bars and 24-hour nightclubs.

Sadly, the Thai culture in Pattaya is limited when compared to other cities and regions of the country.

However, if you’re looking to spend your days relaxing on a white sandy beach and your nights dancing to incredible music in some of the world’s best clubs then Pattaya is the right choice for you.

It’s also worth noting that Pattaya is home to Thailand’s only gay beach.

This beach is situated in the south of the city and is very easy to get to by either taxi or public transport.

Phuket

Phuket is perhaps best known as the nightlife capital of Thailand with beaches and clubs that attract backpackers from around the world.

This also makes it one of Thailand’s most liberal cities and incredibly welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community.

The city hosts Phuket Pride annually in April, which sees thousands of LGBTQ+ people come together to celebrate and advocate for change within the community. 

The Best Gay Prides In Thailand

The major cities and tourist destinations in Thailand often hold a pride event annually. Some of our favourites include;

Chang Mai Pride

Growing in popularity each year, Chang Mai Pride is a fun way to walk the city and spread the message and support within the LGBTQ+ community.

Pattaya International Pride

The yearly Pattaya International Pride march takes place every February. Wave your flags, shout your support and march alongside others in the LGBTQ+ community.

Bangkok Pride

Walk through the historic streets of the Thai capital and show your support for the LGBTQ+ community.

As Thailand’s biggest pride event, you’ll experience a month-long celebration with plenty of stand-alone events and the main pride march through the city. 

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