LGBT Getaways: Thailand

LGBT Getaways: Thailand

Buddhists are nothing if not tolerant. The guiding principle of this gentle religion, as personified by the equally gentle Thai people, is their philosophy of ‘mai pen rai’, which translates loosely as ‘Don’t worry about it’. That is their approach to life, love and everything in between.

Homosexuality has never been illegal in ‘The Land of Smiles’ and the country’s capital, Bangkok, is arguably one of the world’s premier gay travel destinations. With its thumping nightlife and no shortage of gay-centric clubs, pubs, saunas and even hotels, it has become immensely popular with Westerners over the past couple of decades.

The Silom district and Sarasin Roadilta near Lumphini Park is where the bulk of the LGBT action is centered.

Giving Bangkok a nail-biting run for its money is Thailand’s other major tourist destination, Pattaya. This beach getaway is renowned the world over for its white sand shoreline, and fun and frolic equally distributed between the warm waters and the entertainment hotspots that line the boardwalk.

Pattaya is probably the best place in Thailand to catch a ladyboy cabaret. If you want to stick around near the beach, Boyz Town and Sunee Plaza are full of go-go clubs and massage establishments.

Another Thai name that gets the blood flowing is Phuket. As far as gay beach vacations in Thailand go, no place beats Phuket. In recent times, some upscale establishments have taken root here and the area now offers some of the best dining and entertainment options side-by-side.

Head for Patong Beach in Paradise Complex to dive right into the LGBT scene.

Thailand is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations for people from all over the globe and of all sexual inclinations. It has an immensely rich heritage that is evident from much of the architecture and is an excellent place to discover the beauty of religious monuments.

Food is almost unbelievably cheap and unwaveringly delicious. Night food markets pepper every city and town, and the variety of tastes available rival bigger regional tourist destinations like Singapore.

Although we embrace the ‘love yourself’ philosophy here, it is worth a mention that Thailand has become a major player in the international cosmetic surgery market. Its combination of world-class medical facilities and comparatively lower prices attract many who fly in for a couple of weeks of rest and relaxation… with a tummy tuck on the side.

This Southeast Asian nation has large tracts of untouched wilderness and wildlife tours and zoos and animal parks, big and small, are a perennial draw. Want to ride a gentle elephant under the shade of rainforest trees or cradle a giant python? Do both and more in Thailand.

It is helpful to remember that the southern part of Thailand which borders Malaysia has a large muslim population; the attitudes toward the LGBT community here contrast very distinctly with that of the rest of the nation. It is prudent for visitors to exercise caution, particularly with public behavior like holding hands in this region.

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