As a gay male tourist in Thailand you will be surprised to meet so many men smiling and flirting with you. You will be surprised to se ladyboys work almost everywhere. Life is easygoing and there is a lot of Sanuk (fun). The biggest concentration of gay venues south of Bangkok is here in Phuket, Patong and the Paradise Complex area.
Paradise Complex in Patong offers a very exciting and interesting gay scene. We hope that you will take your time and read this small piece of advice before entering the gay scene. We do think that this information is helpful understanding what's going on here. Without some information on hand the gay scene might appear confusing and very odd. Everything you are used to (and think is normal) is better forgotten while you are here. What's normal in a western country might be very wrong here. Remember that the Thai culture is much older than in most western societies and has its own way of dealing with things.
PHUKET is an international destination attracting visitors from Asia, Australia, Europe and the United States. With 35 sandy beaches, access to the amazing Pha Na Bay with its dramatic rock formations, and numerous smaller islands, PHUKET has vaulted to become one of Conde Nast’s Magazines top ten tropical resort destinations in the world.
And no wonder. From fantastic food, to world class water sports (a top world snorkeling and scuba diving destination), from fabulous shopping to a vibrant night life, PHUKET has something to offer every traveler. And your money goes a lot farther here than in other places. (You can live the high life in PHUKET for weeks for the same amount of money as one week in Hawaii or the Caribbean would cost you.) There are countless smaller boutique hotels and guest houses – both stylish and inexpensive – as well as the usual array of the world’s top hotel chains.
The weather is tropical with plenty of sunshine. Don’t bother bringing a lot of clothes with you – life on the Island is casual. The busiest period is late November to early April and it can be quite crowded. The rest of the year is still pleasant, 25-35 degrees and more available space on the beach. The attitude is laid-back tropical fun. Whether you are an adventurer, sports enthusiast, sightseer or world class shopper or night time person - you will never be bored here. There is simply too much to see and do, or you can do absolutely nothing at all.
While many travelers to PHUKET come here and simple never leave, Phukets International Airport (HKT) allows visitors to explore not only the rest of Thailand – from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, you can also easily connect to Laos, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Malaysia or Myanmar. There are active Gay scenes in Bangkok, Pattaya and Chiang Mai in the north.
Like Amsterdam, Sitges, Fire Island and San Francisco, PHUKET is one of the world’s most exciting Gay playgrounds. Parasail, snorkel, play golf, ride an elephant, canoe in hidden caves, sightsee, take a Thai cooking school course, have a tailor make you a custom suit, dance the night away or just spend lazy days on the beach. PHUKET has it all – adventure, sun, nightlife, shopping, great food and friendly people. They don’t call Thailand The Land of Smiles for nothing. This may just be one of the friendliest places on earth. If you haven’t been to PHUKET you simply haven’t seen what Gay life can be like. Here everyone likes to have fun, "Sanuk" in Thai.
There is always something going on in the Gay hub near the Paradise Hotel, and any excuse for a party fits the Thai lifestyle. From the Gay Festival in April to the Vegetarian Festival in October – there are unique holidays and celebrations all year long. PHUKET has long been the antidote to loneliness and boredom.
And don’t forget to bring your camera – PHUKET is surrounded by natural beauty and spectacular ocean vistas, sunrises and sunsets.
Paradise Complex - The gay area of Phuket.
Patong Beach on Phuket Island in Thailand is the most famous and developed beach.
If you haven't been here before you will find a blossoming gay community only 5 minutes walk from the beach. Should you choose to stay at one of the gay accommodations in and around paradise complex, you will find everything you need is just around the corner. In addition to several gay guesthouses there are now over 20 gay bars and clubs, two disco with 2 shows nightly, restaurants, coffee shops, hair salons, laundry services, phone/fax and Internet services, tourist information and travel agents. The gay community in Patong is strong and continues to grow, with more variety than ever.
If you are planning to visit Patong Beach during the high season (November - April) it is strongly advised that you make room reservations in advance as most popular hotels are often fully booked 3-4 months in advance.
Some words about the gay scene in Paradise Complex.
We wish and intend to make your visit to our gay community as happy as possible. Many guests are familiar with gay life in Patong, but for those new explorers, we have some thoughts we would like to share. [These thoughts are also valid if you are straight and are looking for a friend of the opposite sex.]
Start to think with an open mind about the fact that your references and experiences are most likely very different from those of most of the Thai men you will meet in the gay community here. Also most of the Thai men you will meet are not like you here for vacation, they have their daily life here including good times, bad times, joy, love, happiness, sorrow as well as to make their living. Even if your background is very different your feelings may not be that different. Treat anyone with the same kind of respect you yourself would appreciate.
Please remember that most of the Thai-men you will meet in the bars of Paradise Complex are working men and your satisfaction and happiness is their income. If you talk with a man for a while in the bar, buy him a drink, leave him a tip, or both. Because of the lack of a institutionalised pension system in Thailand young working generations usually have the burden to provide support for their old parents and sometimes extended families.
You will as everywhere find many kinds of (Thai-) men: masculine men, feminine men, and lady-boys. And do not be surprised that some of the Thai men who go with a gay tourist are straight.
Patong has bars with cabaret shows, go-go boys, bars and restaurants, and almost all have Thai men who would go with a guest. If a Thai- man appeals to you, find out he speaks English. If difficult ask through the captain or owner. It is always best to be straightforward with the Thai-man and the owner of the bar. Find out what the Thai-man likes and does not like. Also find out if he will spend the night, or just spend a shorter time together with you. If you do not find out about this in advance you may be confused and disappointed later. There is almost always a fee to the bar that is not negotiable if you want to take away a man working in that bar. There may be some flexibility with your payment to the man. It may involve only sex, staying the night, or perhaps you will have company for your entire holiday. Please remember, he has friends or family, and will need some time for his daily life too. Payment can be at the end of your adventure, but it is more thoughtful to consider payment as you both go along.
You can of course meet all kinds of men under the same conditions and circumstances as in every other country.
Not everybody is commercial and might be very upset if you suppose they are.
Different men you will meet here have as well as all other men different intentions with seeking contact with you. Making contact to find: love, the pleasure of sex, money for their living or a combination of all.
Western gay men are normally very used to seek sexual contacts just for the pleasure of sex or as a part of seeking love but are not very prepared that that may involve money. Here that is a reality. And regardless if you want to be a part of that or not, it probably make your stay here in the gay community easier if you are mentally aware already when you enter.
This does not mean that you can not really enjoy and have a fantastic time meeting new friends in the gay-community without taking out a man and pay for that. But since you will get suggestions it would probably save yourself and your surroundings from a lot of confusion if you are straightforward with your intentions. Pay a drink for the Thai-man, give him a tip and explain with a friendly smile that you are not looking for someone to go with if that is the case.
Remember that even if you get into a really confusing situation here, you are always better of with a smile than any kind of confrontation.
We hope you will have a really nice time here and that our thoughts will help you to make it even better.
Other areas of Patong
Bangla road is the main entertainment zone of Phuket for straight people. There are many bars, clubs, discos that also attracts a really mixed crowd.
Phuket town and other areas
Many Thai gay men from other parts of the Island do not want to go to Patong and Paradise Complex because of the commercial scene there. If you meet a gay man on Internet you should not be surprised if this person has never been to or even want to visit Paradise Complex. Respect this matter of integrity and meet elsewhere.
For the explorer in the gay sauna culture a good place to meet is the Tara Sauna in Phuket town which is one of few gay place outside Patong. Tara is not as commercial as Paradise Complex in Patong. A majority of the guys going to Tara have a normal job a car or motorbike but they are not very "out". They come here after it is dark, not to be seen walking in. The place is very discreet and you will probably have problems find it the first time. This place is not for every tourist. The cruising area is VERY dark and the floor is not in level with many half steps. Be careful if cruising the labyrinths. This is a social club for the local gay community and all do not speak English. Some come here only to meet their friends and sing karaoke. If you are not a cruising or sauna person or if you have problems to interact with people non verbal or non english you might better try the on-line world or you will be disappointed. Others will usually have great pleasure.
Times have changed quickly also here in Thailand. Just yesterday the hook-up world was very different.
For a forty+ year old, the physical world is the real world.
The digital world is mostly an annoyance that vibrates in your pocket.
For a twenty year old it is just the opposite, the digital world is the real world.
Gay's just don't hook up in the "old" real world anymore - They hook up in the apps and then meet in the physical world.
If youʼre looking to maximize your interactions with locals and other tourists start now.
The most popular ways to meet is by these apps. You can even line up your persons of interest before you start travel.
Beaches and swimming.
The best beaches on Phuket Island are on the west coast. The most developed beach is Patong followed by Karon and Kata.
There are a total of 35 beaches on Phuket. Try to explore a few of them
Please observe that public nudity is not socially accepted and illegal in Thailand. You will not find any nude beaches or designated gay beaches here.
LGBT life and rights
Thailand is one of the most tolerant countries in Asia in regard to homosexuality. A majority are buddhist and the religion does not have anything particular against LGBT persons. The legal system and the religion tolerates LGBT persons but doesn't fully accept them. Some have the perception that bad karma from a previous life have made them gay. Gay marriages are seen here and there but without any legal recognition. For many years trans persons have been present in cultural plays and movies. Visibility of gay men has become common just in the last few years with plenty of TV and nowadays web series.
Popular web series include: Make it right, Gray Rainbow, love sick, club friday, Love's coming.
For a Thai gay movie listing visit wikipedia
For updated information about legal rights visit wikipedia
Just don't do it in Thailand.
The Kingdom of Thailand strictly enforces a draconian set of drug laws. The police enjoy broad discretion when enforcing these laws. The courts may impose comparatively harsh penalties on minor offenders. Major offenders may be sentenced to death.
Police can search premises without a warrant or order a on the spot drug test. Being in the same room, car or on the motorbike with the wrong person at the wrong time can seriously implicate you as well.
Don't be stupid in Thailand: Don't buy, use or transport drugs in any manner during your stay in Thailand.
Repeat: Don't buy/use/take/import/export drugs in Thailand.
Patong hospital has the only MSM clinic on Phuket. If you have a problem you can go to any other clinic but you will probably pay a lot more for a HIV test or PEP treatment if anything goes wrong. The clinic is called Sabadee clinic and you find it at the end of the Patong Hospital parking area. Just look for the rainbow colored sign. Its open Tuesday to Thursday 16:30-20:30 except holidays.
Testphuket.org (thai website)
Sabadee clinic on Facebook (English)