Bangkok is the current abode of all things gay-friendly. From entire streets dedicated to both visiting and local gays to venues sporting and supporting the large transgender population in the capital, this city is one of the gay-friendliest (and fun) in the world. Lesbihonest, though, the City of Angels is seemingly lacking for female gays; however, everyone is welcome at all of these venues. Here are the best LGBT-friendly establishments in Bangkok.
Cocktail Bar, Nightclub, Thai, Pub Grub, $$$
DJ Station, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon | Courtesy of DJ Station
Located within walking distance of Soi 4—the seemingly gayest street in town—is DJ Station. It is one of the most legendary gay clubs in both Thailand and Asia. As the name suggests, this club has plenty of DJs on-hand to keep the party going all night long (a.k.a. 2 a.m. when it closes). There is an admission fee, but this price includes a free drink. DJ Station does not get packed until later in the evening, and it is best to have a few drinks at any of the affordable bars lining Soi 4, and then head to the club. Get there before 11:30 p.m. to catch the extravagant cabaret show. To get to DJ Station, visitors can either take the BTS Skytrain to Sala Daeng or the MRT Subway to Si Lom. Both stations are a short walk from this gay-friendly nightclub.
Maggie Choo’s is seemingly hetero during the week, but come the weekend, and all the LGBT community comes out to play. Every Sunday, Maggie Choo’s hosts a huge, elaborate gay party. From lip-synching shows, fancy costumes, and tons of dancing, there is no better place to be on a Sunday night. Kick the night off with a drink, including beer, spirits, juices, mocktails, wines, champagne, and more. Those who do not want to dance can instead opt to sit on the vintage leather sofas or simply lounge while surrounded by the 1930s Shanghai-themed décor. Maggie Choo’s is open until 2 a.m. on Sundays.
Sing Sing Theater, Bangkok | Courtesy of Sing Sing Theater
Another epically designed club thanks to renowned designer Ashley Sutton is Sing Sing Theater. This nightclub on Sukhumvit is certainly a fusion of a nightclub and theater. Dancers and performers take to the stage and intermingle with the crowd for some pretty epic performances. The club resembles a high-end Chinese brothel, with enough unique décor to impress even the most avid of designers. The club opened in 2015, and since then, it has been hosting a number of rendezvous featuring Go Grrrls DJs and the like to celebrate all things gay.
The transgender shows at Playhouse Theater Cabaret are not soon to be forgotten by anyone who visits. They are bold and incredibly entertaining, and the shows really put a spotlight on the transgender community that thrives in the capital. There are two, 70-minute-long shows each evening. Bollywood, Broadway, and ballet are just a few types of performances that Playhouse Theater Cabaret is showcasing. Tickets are ฿1,200 (approximately US$35), and shows start at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Similarly to Playhouse Theater Cabaret, Calypso Cabaret Bangkok is putting on a number of unapologetic transgender shows with epic performances by Beyoncé, Elvis, and Lady Gaga lookalikes. Calypso’s first show took place some 28 years ago, and since then, this venue has become a must-see attraction on many travel itineraries. With some 70 performers filling the stage with singing, dancing, and lively performances, this is one show visitors should definitely see. Calypso Cabaret is located at Asiatique The Riverfront, one of the most popular night bazaars in the city. Performances are held daily at 8:15 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.
Fake Club is real, regardless of its seemingly strange name. Unlike many nightclubs in Bangkok, party-goers are met with an onslaught of men and affordable drinks. Fake Club has recently received a makeover and now features a huge dance floor and a large stage welcoming bands, DJs, and more. This club has a number of high tables where visitors gather around and purchase a bottle of Thai whiskey, or something of the like, in addition to some chasers; it almost resembles an Isaan-style Thai club in this way. The low prices when split amongst a group of people is one reason this remains a popular club (mostly amongst locals). Whether visitors are on a budget or looking for an incredibly unique nightclub experience, they will find both at Fake Club.
Balcony Pub Bar, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon | Courtesy of Balcony Pub
Balcony Pub, or the Fun Pub, is one of many gay bars and restaurants lining Soi 4. Balcony Pub opens at 5:30 p.m., which is also when happy hour starts. Until 8 p.m., visitors can enjoy beers and spirits for only ฿65 (approximately US$1.90) and entire cocktail jugs for ฿295 (approximately US$8.50). If booze does not get visitors excited, the Balcony Pub also has an extensive food menu, offering both Thai and international dishes. Balcony Pub also has a karaoke bar, complete with some incredibly nostalgic hits.