Earlier this year the Tourism Authority of Thailand invited me to come visit the country and create our first ever Asian guide for GayCities. The phenomenal travel connoisseur Carlos Melia took me, YouTuber Davey Wavey and colleagues from Pink Triangle Press, Passport magazine and dot429 around Bangkok, Chiang Mai and the Golden Triangle region showing us the shiniest gems Thailand has to offer. The following travelogue retraces highlights from my first day there.

For the Bangkok portion of our press trip, we stayed at the Hotel Muse. The new boutique hotel in Lumpini district offers low-lit refined accommodations inspired by the American and European art noveau era.

My room was very spacious, and I loved all the cherry wood furniture, floors and accent walls. The restroom had a connecting glass wall, so you could catch a glimpse at the view while taking a bath.

The metal mirrors and flowered wallpaper gave the room a sophisticated, art noveau vibe.

I arrived a day early than the rest of the crew, so I took the opportunity to indulge in some rest and relaxation and shoot some video (below) around the hotel. I sipped on some cocktails, took a quick swim and hit the exercise room.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/46547301 w=600&h=337]

Both the gym and infinity pool were tiny but empty every time I went out there. In fact, I rarely bumped into another guest at Hotel Muse except maybe during breakfast. This made my stay feel very tranquil and intimate, as if I had the whole hotel to myself.

S Medical Spa

With the whole day free to explore Bangkok on my own, I decided that the best way to recover from an 18-hour flight was to pamper myself to a world-renown Thai massage. When researching places to get… manhandled, if you will, the S Medical Spa sparked my interest when I learned about their “Cool Guy Massage” — a combination detox and deep tissue massage exclusively for dudes. The state-of-the-art spa was within walking distance to the Muse in the Bhaki bFouilding.

At S Medical I was treated like a legit patient in need of more bodily wellness, no wonder the spa has garner accolades and awards left and right. An intense steam room session clears out all the toxins, then during the manhandling I felt the anxiety being drained out of my body. Not a bad way to start an adventurous 10-day vacation.

Issaya Siamese Club

For dinner Carlos took us to Issaya, the new restaurant from Bangkok’s celebrity chef Ian Kittichai. Housed in a 1920’s mansion, we got to experience an elegant meal in the midsts of the garden where some of the vegetables used in the menu are grown. Issaya’s refreshing twist on the traditional mojito was a highlight of the evening. Served in a chilled steel goblet, the cocktail is made with kaffir limes and lemongrass.

The restaurant is on the first floor of the mansion while the upstairs have been decorated to become the comfortable, home-y Issaya Siamese Club, available for private dining and more intimate gatherings.