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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.
We have visited Phuket multiple times as a lesbian couple and never experienced any form of discrimination. Of course, that’s not to say that discrimination doesn’t happen, however, reports are increasingly rare.
Is Phuket LGBTQ+ Friendly?
While Bangkok is often seen to be the heart of the LGBTQ+ community in Thailand, Phuket should not be dismissed. The island offers a fantastic nightlife scene, some beautiful beaches and an extensive range of attractions perfect for history buffs and nature lovers alike, making Phuket worth visiting on a trip to Thailand.
While the LGBTQ+ legislation in Thailand still has some way to go, the people of Phuket are overall very friendly and welcoming to members of the community and during our multiple visits we’ve never experienced any form of homophobia or discrimination.
Annual LGBTQ+ Events In Phuket
Phuket Pride began in 1999 and hosts thousands of LGBTQ+ people each year to both celebrate and advocate for change within the community.
The festival takes place over several days in the month of April and is incredibly popular with members of the LGBTQ+ coming from around the world to celebrate.
It’s therefore advisable that if you’re thinking of visiting the city during the event you book your accommodation in advance to avoid disappointment.
The majority of the festival takes place in and around Patong Beach and provides the opportunity to experience the famous Phuket nightlife as you’ve never seen it before.
LGBTQ+ Friendly Neighbourhoods
The neighbourhood of Patong is the most popular and famous area for travellers including members of the LGBTQ+ community.
This area has everything you need for a memorable time in the city including a large sandy beach that offers a range of watersports as well as a range of bars, clubs and restaurants.
Given the area’s popularity, it can get incredibly busy (especially after 10pm) and has been known to attract scammers and touts looking to take advantage of drunk tourists.
It’s therefore highly important you research any new scams in advance of your visit and be conscious of your belongings at all times.
LGBTQ+ Friendly Hotels In Phuket
There are no dedicated LGBTQ+ accommodation options in Phuket. However, most hotels and hostels are incredibly accepting of the LGBTQ+ community. Some of our favourites include;
La Flora Resort
This luxury hotel is one of the most popular in Phuket and is just a short walk from Patong’s beach and gay scene.
The amenities at this hotel include a high-spec gym, an award-winning spa and a large outdoor pool making it the perfect place to kick back and relax.
Just a short drive from Phuket town is the FOTO Hotel. This hotel combines style, luxury and affordability seamlessly.
Within walking distance of the popular Kata Beach, this hotel is a great choice for those who don’t want the often intense hustle and bustle of Patong but still want to experience an active tourist scene.
Kalima Resort & Spa
This 5-star luxury hotel offers spacious modern rooms with large balconies which provide spectacular sea views of Patong Bay.
The hotel boasts a private beach and an award-winning spa which make it the perfect choice for those looking to relax in high-end luxury.
Map: Best Hotels In Phuket
Not found what you’re looking for? There are several other fantastic hotels in Phuket for you to choose from.
LGBTQ+ Nightlife In Phuket
The nightlife in Phuket is known worldwide for being one of the best, and the LGBTQ+ nightlife here is no different. Some of the most popular LGBTQ+ nightlife spots in the region include;
The Paradise Complex – Patong
This is where the majority of the action in Patong takes place with several restaurants, bars, and clubs to choose from. Some of our favourites include;
- Boat Bar is a friendly and safe bar that welcomes everyone in the LGBTQ+ community.
- Zag Club – One of the biggest gay clubs in Phuket.
- Orchid Lounge – Escape the craziness with a lovely cocktail and a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.
The LadyBoy shows in Phuket have been going since backpackers began flocking to the region in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The oldest and most popular is the Simon Cabaret Ladyboy Show which is hosted in a luxurious and intimate theatre that seats 600 guests.
With fabulous stage designs, incredible costumes and high-tech sound this is always our number-one choice when visiting Phuket.
However, there are many other LadyBoy shows to choose from. Just be sure to research your options in advance as the quality and pricing can vary dramatically.