When people think of gay bars in other countries around the world, they often imagine places where gay men can be found together in public, dancing to the beat, drinking, and socializing until the early hours of the morning.
That is certainly the case in Thailand, where gay nightlife is common and thriving. Bangkok and Chiang Mai are probably the best-known cities in Thailand for their reputation as a gay haven, but there are many other cities throughout the country that cater to a gay community that is just as active and fun-loving as any other community.
A gay bar is also a friendly drinking establishment that caters either exclusively to a gay clientele or predominantly to a predominantly gay, lesbian, and transgendered clientele; in recent years the term ‘lesbian’ has been used more liberally in reference to any gender who might identify as lesbian.
Many gay bars now exist in every major city in Thailand.
These venues have come under fire from religious groups who disapprove of gay bars, drag shows, and social Distancing areas (also known as stonewalls). The most prominent place to consume at a drag show is Patpong, a renowned central square in Bangkok with beautiful women in sexy outfits swaying around the corner.
However, there is no law against Drag shows or gay bars in Thailand; they are merely entertainment venues that some people choose to use. Some of the more famous male drag entertainers.
Targeting foreign gays
Those types of places cater to a younger audience, with many of the male drag artists attracting between their audiences and the girls. Overall, it can be said that most of the drag shows in Bangkok are aimed at foreigners, with little attention drawn to the Thai gay community.
On most of the main Bangkok districts, queers can be found freely celebrating their sexuality with music, drinks, and snacks. However, it should be noted that not all gay bars accept lgbt people and drag shows in their establishments. It can be considered a form of self-expression for some, but for others it may be a rejection of the Thai society as a whole. While acceptance of the gay community is widespread, attitudes towards them remain largely negative.
While it is certainly possible to be accepted within the larger Thai society, the rejection of the LGBT community remains an unsolved issue. This is especially true of the Thai gay scene where many Thai nationals consider drag shows and similar activities to be pornographic and to be disgraceful.
Bars features and atmosphere
The capital city of Bangkok also has some of the most prominent gay bars in the country. The former is located in central Bangkok and is owned by a prominent business figure. The venue boasts extensive VIP and private sections with spacious dance floors, soundproof windows, and an on-site restaurant; while the latter is located in the heart of the city near a number of tourist attractions. These establishments allow the full integration of members of the LGBTQ community.
Although the atmosphere inside most of the bars is generally cool and friendly, the owners have made an effort to create a more intimate atmosphere by adding small tables and chairs, creating a more intimate feel.
However, this does not mean that both gay bars are alike. Both contain separate areas for dancing and drinking. Some of the other common features found in gay bars include a dance floor and a private bar. Both places feature open doors to the public, but the secret lounge is generally only accessible by invitation.
Other common features found in all gay bars are comfortable seating, TV screens, private booths, bathrooms with or without showers, private showers, and plenty of parking.
The nightlife in Bangkok is highly competitive, especially for those looking for gay bars that allow open access to the public. This competition has led to several measures aimed at ensuring a quieter nightlife. A few of the measures being taken are the introduction of closing orders, which is the banning of large groups of people from the bars at night. Closing orders usually prevent groups of people from drinking together, as well as the mixing of drinks with each other and the consumption of free drinks. This measure is being progressively introduced all over the country, although the introduction of closing orders in Bangkok may be a step too far for some local bars.
There is also a trend for gay bars to host drag shows. Drag shows are sexual parlor shows where male drag queens perform stripping acts to music and sometimes jokes. Drag shows are very popular all over the world, and they are starting to become more common place in gay bars all over the world. One of the most interesting aspects of drag shows is that they are often sponsored by bars themselves, with alcoholic beverages and other goods being used as part of the show. This shows the depth of the financial ties between drag clubs and bars in Thailand.