A first time visitors guide to Thailand including specific travel tips on when to go, what to do & city tips for Bangkok, Chiang Mai & the islands
Thailand LGBTQ Travel Guide
The ultimate guide to the coolest things to do and see when traveling in Thailand – only from Travels of Adam
It’s the starting point to many backpackers’ Southeast Asia adventures and the mega Thai airport in Bangkok is usually the first point of entry. Start here with my basic Thailand travel tips, or jump down below to read my latest Thailand travel blogs.
Top Thailand Travel Guides
More coming soon!
Popular Thailand Travel Blogs
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- Highlights From Two Weeks Traveling in Thailand
- PHOTOS: Sea Kayaking in Phang Nga Bay, Phuket
- A Summertime Packing List for Beaches & City Trips
- FACT: Mangosteens are the most delicious thing in the world. EVER.
- Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai
When to Visit Thailand
October to April is the tourist high-season. Over the summer months you’ll experience the rainy season and hot, hot, hot weather. But then again — you can also get bargain deals on tours and hotels.
If you plan your trip around some of the more interesting festivals and holidays (Loi Krathong, or the Lantern Festival, in October/November and Songkran in April), then you’re sure to have an amazing cultural experience. Songkran is extremely popular in Chiang Mai, though it’s also worth experiencing in Bangkok.
Thailand Tours & Trips
Thailand is a great destination because of its incredible diversity and options for every type of traveler. In the north, the jungles, forests and mountains make for great trekking and hiking adventures.
But the beaches and islands in the south offer plenty of warm-weather activities from SCUBA diving and snorkeling to beach parties and full moon festivals.
And then in the center of the country is Bangkok—a city sometimes skipped by travelers despite the incredible shopping, food and nightlife scenes (including a hopping gay/LGBT scene in the city). Here are some favorite places in Thailand for tourism:
Bangkok — The capital, it’s an incredible city with an extensive history as well as a busy and bustling city life. Visit Bangkok for shopping; big malls like the MBK Center, Siam Paragon, Terminal 21 and EmQuartier offer countless international and regional brands at great prices (especially during the sales). Bangkok is also a hub of gay nightlife in Asia.
Ayutthaya — The UNESCO World Heritage City is just a few short hours north of Bangkok and an easy day-trip from the capital. Once the capital of Siam, the old town now includes a historical park of hundreds of temples and archaeological sites.
Phuket — This island in the south may have a reputation as a tourist hub, but it doesn’t make it any less worth visiting. It’s the largest Thai island and has something for everyone, from the absurd nightlife at Patong Beach, to the historical old town of Phuket and then an ever-growing number of luxury hotels on private beaches and coves. It’s a good place to start a Thailand island adventure as most of the other islands are accessible by ferry from Phuket.
Koh Chang — An island in the north of the Gulf of Thailand (just off the coast from Trat and near to the border with Cambodia), Koh Chang is more off the beaten path than many other Thai beach destinations.
The island is home to amazing wildlife including mangrove forests and many coral reefs. It’s also a bit more quieter and secluded than other Thai islands. Lonely Beach is a backpacker hub with a regular nightlife and party scene, but you’ll also find resorts with private beaches and more romantic hotspots across Koh Chang.
LGBTQ – Gay Thailand Travel Guide
Bangkok regularly makes it to the top of the world’s and Asia’s best gay-friendly cities. The city is home to gay bars, clubs and tourist-friendly gay saunas that operate every day and night of the week.
Gay-friendly hotels and plenty of nightlife activities and regular, monthly parties make it a fun and friendly destination. Each April during the Songkran water festival, Bangkok hosts one of Asia’s largest gay circuit parties, the GCircuit.
5 Gay Travel Thailand Tips
Traveling as a LGBTQ+ individual in Thailand can be an enjoyable and inclusive experience. Here are five tips to help you make the most of your trip:
1. Research LGBTQ+ Friendly Areas: While Thailand is generally LGBTQ+ friendly, some areas are more welcoming than others. Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Pattaya are known for their LGBTQ+ scenes, with numerous gay bars, clubs, and accommodations. Research these areas to find the most inclusive places to stay and visit.
2. Respect Local Customs: Thailand is a conservative country in some regards, so it’s important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. While LGBTQ+ travelers are generally accepted, public displays of affection should be kept to a minimum. Be mindful of cultural norms, especially in rural areas.
3. Stay in LGBTQ+ Friendly Accommodations: Many hotels, resorts, and guesthouses in popular tourist destinations like Bangkok and Phuket are LGBTQ+ friendly. Look for LGBTQ+ welcoming accommodations or even specifically gay-owned and operated options. These places are more likely to provide a comfortable and inclusive environment.
4. Connect with Local LGBTQ+ Communities: Thailand has a vibrant LGBTQ+ community, and you can find information on LGBTQ+ events, gatherings, and organizations through social media and online forums. Connecting with local LGBTQ+ communities can provide you with valuable insights and recommendations for LGBTQ+ friendly places to visit.
5. Stay Informed about Local Laws: While Thailand is relatively progressive regarding LGBTQ+ rights, it’s still essential to stay informed about local laws and regulations. Homosexuality is legal, but some discriminatory practices may exist in certain areas. Knowing your rights and being aware of any potential issues can help ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
5 Best LGBTQ-Friendly Places to Visit in Thailand
Thailand has several gay-friendly cities and beaches that offer vibrant LGBTQ+ scenes and welcoming atmospheres. Here are five popular places to visit:
1. Bangkok: Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok, is a major LGBTQ+ hub with a wide range of gay bars, clubs, and LGBTQ+ events. Silom Soi 2 and Soi 4 are known for their gay nightlife, and you’ll find numerous LGBTQ+ friendly accommodations throughout the city. Don’t miss the annual Bangkok Gay Pride Parade, which is a colorful and festive celebration of diversity.
2. Phuket: Phuket is one of Thailand’s most famous LGBTQ+ friendly beach destinations. Patong Beach, in particular, is known for its gay-friendly atmosphere and vibrant nightlife. You can find gay bars, cabaret shows, and LGBTQ+ events here. Phuket Pride is an annual event that draws visitors from all over the world.
3. Chiang Mai: Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand, is a charming city with a growing LGBTQ+ scene. Nimmanhaemin Road and the Night Bazaar area have LGBTQ+ friendly bars and cafes. Chiang Mai Pride is a local LGBTQ+ event that takes place in February and features parades and parties.
4. Pattaya: Pattaya, located on the Gulf of Thailand, is known for its vibrant LGBTQ+ scene. Jomtien Complex in Chonburi is a hub for gay bars and clubs, and Pattaya Pride is a significant LGBTQ+ event. The city also offers beautiful beaches, shopping, and entertainment options.
5. Koh Samui: Koh Samui, an island in the Gulf of Thailand, has a relaxed and LGBTQ+ friendly atmosphere. Chaweng Beach is the main hub for nightlife and LGBTQ+ friendly venues. While not as large as some of the other LGBTQ+ scenes in Thailand, Koh Samui offers a more tranquil and romantic setting.
Remember to enjoy your trip and embrace the beautiful culture and landscapes that Thailand has to offer. While it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings, Thailand is generally a welcoming and inclusive destination for LGBTQ+ travelers.
Thailand Hotel Deals
Here’s the thing about Thailand: the country has an incredible reputation as one of smiles and friendliness and that kind of kindness permeates the hospitality industry—especially the Thailand hotels and resorts. You can regularly find great deals on one-of-a-kind properties and resorts, especially when booking your holidays on the shoulder seasons (just after Songkran can be especially good for cost-saving).
In Bangkok, plan to stay in a luxury hotel if you’ve got the budget for it. They’re world-class and in the skyscrapers, they offer amazing panoramic views over the Bangkok skyline. Even if you don’t stay in a luxury Bangkok hotel, make sure you visit some of the rooftop hotel bars—there’s nothing like them!
Follow @travelsofadam on Instagram for more Thailand travel tips!
Thailand Travel Blogs
One of the world’s most vibrant cities, Bangkok might seem overwhelming at first, but there are easy and simple ways to make the most out of a Bangkok trip. Use my guide on the best things to do in Bangkok for a fun, safe and unforgettable Bangkok trip. Golden Buddhist temples, glitzy bars, world-class cuisine, …
Sofitel So Hotel in the Silom area of Bangkok impressed me from the moment I entered the building.
A round-up of some of Europe’s (and the world’s) best gay destinations for holidays and other adventures
Looking for travel inspiration? Check out these great destinations to visit later in the year when it’s safe to do so!
The entrance was totally unassuming at first. Arrived in a taxi to the hotel, I meandered my way through the massive lobby, up an escalator, around a corner. At first, there were few signs that nearly 20,000 gay men were here in the hotel, but as I got closer to the party entrance, that’s when …
Photos from my day trip to Phang Nga Bay with John Gray Sea Canoes and OUT Adventures. A day of sea-kayaking & great Thai food in Phuket!
Hotel review and photos from the Anantara Resort Hotel in Chiang Mai – simple, stylish, elegant and comfortable rooms
Photos from the scenic viewpoint at Doi Suthep outside Chiang Mai – an impressive tourist attraction worth visiting in northern Thailand
During my two week tour to Thailand with OUT Adventures, there were countless highlights from the food to the nightlife.