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 third day there.
Hotel Sofitel So Bangkok
We made it back to Bangkok just in time to grab some drinks at the new Hotel Sofitel. The bar off the main lobby was very yuppie chic, with a lounge DJ and a spectacular view of Bangkok over Lumpini Park.
The hotel accommodations were designed around five different themes, inspired by the Thai nature elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Each element was tackled by a different local Thai designer.
The metal bedroom.
Carlos takes in the wood room.
The wood restroom.
The earth-themed room took a more colorful, somewhat left of field inspiration from jungle imagery.
The earth restroom. The fire element was represented through the onsite restaurant while the water–themed room was still under construction when he did the site inspection.
The Sofitel pool looked perfect for a midnight swim. And in Bangkok, it doesn’t even have to be heated for it to be enjoyable.
Ruen Urai Restaurant
For dinner we went to the gay-owned Ruen Urai, housed in a converted Thai mansion and next to the Rose Hotel. The restaurant was located in Patpong, Bangkok’s gritty kinky nightlife district, which was perfect because that night we had planned to go out on the town and hit up some gay bars in Silom Soi.
The Silom Soi block is a clusterfuck of gay bars, clubs and eye candy. Located right across the street from each other, popular patio bars Telephone (above) and The Balcony cater to you Thai and western men indulging in some cheap drinks and scene-watching.
After pre-gaming, we walked to the gay nightlife complex located on Silom Soi 2. After walking past some janky metal detectors, we went right into DJ Station. With the pop music blaring and the cute boys galore, DJ Station is the Bangkok equivalent of Badlands (SF), Roscoe’s (Chicago) or the Ritz (New York).
Before headed into DJ Station, we were warned about respecting people’s privacy and not take photos using flash. However, every group of guys I approached to take pictures of where more than willing to pose for me, reveling in the fact that they were being photographed. I think there is a generational shift happening in the gay community in Bangkok, where the older crowd is still very protective of their lifestyle, while the young gays are out and about, wanting to flaunt their lives to the max. These photos eventually ended up on Queerty.
After DJ Station, we went to G.O.D. or Guys on Display or Guys on Drugs, depending whom you’re with. But there my camera was strictly forbidden.