Twinks and chubs, bears and pups, leatherboys and ladyboys. There’s nothing closeted about Bangkok’s status as the uncontested hub of Gay Asia. Whether you want to chill out and eye-surf the candy, get your dancebeats on or cruise for a new toy, here are Coconuts Bangkok’s top picks for the best sources of divine inspiration in this City of Angels:
Dirty Dancing: DJ Station
Photo: Hi I Am
This giant of Bangkok’s gay scene never seems to go out of fashion. Located on Silom Soi 2, this three-story club is busy every night and extremely packed on weekends, making it impossible to do much more than sway side to side to yet another GaGa “hit.” For THB300 (on weekends) you can pick up two drink tickets and indulge in the sweaty madness. All the dancing and body contact is happening on the first floor and the stage, while cruising and flirting takes place on the 2nd and 3rd floors. The crowd is mixed and mostly consists of tourists and expats, flight attendants, farang-loving locals and a fair amount of fag hags on the loose. If you want to catch the cabaret show, make sure you arrive before midnight.
Open daily 10pm to 2am on Silom Soi 2. BTS Sala Daeng/MRT Silom.
A la Carte: G.O.D.
If you still haven’t found your love for the night at DJ Station, walk to the nearby Silom Road venue G.O.D., a compelling acronym for “Guys on Display.” Entry is THB300 and includes two drinks, which you are more than welcome to chug down if you are still not drunk enough. G.O.D.’s resident DJ Spectrum does a great job heating up the crowd of intoxicated and/or high shirtless boys with his sexy house beats. Don’t be surprised if the tip-hungry staff attempt to give you shoulder massage while you are desperately aiming at the urinal. Oh, and don’t come early as G.O.D. doesn’t fill until late.
Open daily 10pm-6am, Silom Soi 2/1. BTS Sala Daeng/MRT Silom.
Photo: The Stranger Bar
In the same neighborhood along Silom Road is Silom Soi 4, a cozy soi which might be the unofficial capital of gay Bangkok. The Stranger is a new, trendy jewel in its crown. Run by an Irish guy and his Thai partner, Stranger boasts black and silver decor with glittery masked decor and unambiguously named drinks such as “Sperm Shot” and “Golden Shower.” They also have daily THB100 cocktail promotions and themed parties.
Silom Soi 4. BTS Sala Daeng/MRT Silom.
Photo: Bas Bar
Hidden at the very end of Silom’s Soi 4, Bas Bar serves the best cocktails in the area. This cozy bar is a perfect spot for pre-drinks or a quiet rendezvous with your Grindr date. No one will judge! The staff is extremely friendly, music not too loud and the vibe is loungy and laid-back.
Silom Soi 4. BTS Sala Daeng/MRT Silom.
Located in Or Tor Kor, the Thai capitals’ second biggest gay hood, Fake lives up to its name. Decorated with glittery walls and broad stairs, this club is most frequented by rice-loving young Thais, who cluster in groups around their tables and perform choreographic dance moves to K-pop. Everyone is dressed to kill, so don’t even think of wearing your sexy tank-top and a pair of flip-flops if you want to avoid withering contempt.
Open daily 9pm-2am. Kamphaeng Phet Road
Every bear needs a cave to call home, and BearBie is the best place for bears and bear hunters. Located opposite Stranger Bar on Soi 4, BearBie is a good environment to observe chubby bears sing karaoke, get drunk and dance in their natural habitat every evening. Due to its location on Soi 4, the bar isn’t exclusively for “Poohs,” so if you are seized with a craving for meat, feel free to drop by.
82 Silom Soi 4, 2nd Floor. BTS Sala Daeng/MRT Silom.
Founded in 1987, Telephone is one of the oldest gay bars in town. Originally, every table had a telephone, which customers could use to call their eye-candy across the bar. Sadly now the telephones are gone, but the flirtatious vibe is still strong in the air. Sit outside if you want to strike up a conversation or simply judge the passers-by while sipping your Singha. If you are in the mood for singing, check out the karaoke rooms on the second floor. The food is also pretty good with both Thai and international fare.
114/11-13 Silom Soi 4. BTS Sala Daeng/MRT Silom.
Another veteran of Bangkok’s gay scene, this go-go bar opened in 1987 and positioned itself as the place for muscle-men lovers ever since. It’s located just of Surawong Road, which runs parallel to Silom Road. Tawan’s provocative go-go shows leave little to the imagination.
Open from 8pm-1am. 2/2 Soi Thantawan, Surawong Road. BTS Sala Daeng/MRT Silom.
Can Buy Your Love: Soi Twilight
If you want to lighten your load in exchange for “free” love, Soi Twilight is the place to be. Located on Surawong Road and officially named Soi Pratuchai, this gay red-light district is packed with go-go bars offering a variety of entertainment, from drag performances and bizarre theater to underwater and acrobatic sex shows. Don’t be intimidated by the boys if they try to force you into their bar, they’re just doing their jobs.
Photo: Methi W.
Probably one of the most famous go-go bars in town, Dream Boys surely will fulfill every gay guy’s fantasy. With two large stages and lots of seating, this bar offers daily sex shows. Prepare to gulp in astonishment (or horror), while the boys on stage engage in coitus and bend at unnatural angles.
Open from 8pm-2am. 38/3-6 Soi Pratuchai, Surawong Road. BTS Sala Daeng/MRT Silom.
We’ll Always Have Babylon
One night in Babylon and the world’s your oyster. Hidden in the depths of Soi Nantha near Sathon Road is this legendary temple of sex for gay men. It’s actually one of the most famous saunas in the world. The complex features a sauna and steam room, gym, spa, barber shop, restaurant, swimming pool, bars and a dark labyrinth for those who aren’t concerned about looks. Babylon also offers accommodation from the bottom (barrack-style rooms with shared bathrooms) to the top (penthouse suites).
Open from noon-11:30pm Sunday through Thursday; noon-1am Friday and Saturday. Soi Nantha (off Sathon Soi 1)
The name says it all for our bonus entry. Trasher isn’t a specific bar or location but a group of party enthusiasts who throw regular events and make parodies of famous pop videos. If you want to get shitfaced, dress like you don’t care and dance to the terrible songs you’d never confess to liking, Trasher is your choice. The last few parties were held at Sonic Ekkamai, but the venue keeps changing.