They say that one night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble. To be honest, it just makes me hard. If you have a mere 24 hours in the city of angels, it could possibly be the greatest 24 hours of your life. Here’s my suggestion for a whirlwind gay tour of one of the world’s greatest cities.
For any newcomer to the city, get an early start and spend your first morning experiencing the rich and diverse Thai culture. Head down to the Chao Praya River and enjoy the fascinating hustle and bustle of river life riding the ferry to Wat Po and The Grand Palace, where you’ll be wowed by stunning art, architecture and Buddhist monuments.
If you arrive on a weekend, a great alternative to the palace is a bike ride around Bang Krachao, Bangkok’s green lung, where you’ll find amazing food markets and ancient wats. For a less strenuous experience, head out to the floating market at Klong Lat Mayon and graze your way through local delicacies before taking a boat tour of a temple and orchid farm. If it’s a week day, try Koh Kret island for a similar experience.
For those who wither in the heat, a cooler alternative is to visit the Jim Thompson museum followed by the Bangkok Art and Culture Center. Allow yourself a quick peak into the amazing shopping centers next door – Siam Center, Siam Discovery and Siam Paragon and follow this up with a blessing at Wat Pathum Wanaram, next to Siam Paragon.
It’s possible to complete all of these trips in a few hours. Keep an eye on the time as you’ll find the hours quickly slip by – you don’t want to miss out on the fabulous experiences to come!
Time for a little pampering. Work your way back to the Silom road area. If you haven’t already eaten, grab some amazing Thai food from the markets behind Silom Complex or the lovely Ruen Arai restaurant in the Rose Hotel on Surawong Road.
Head over to Cutey Beauty salon at Thaniya Plaza for the best facial of your life (as confirmed by girlfriends, boyfriends & mother). If you’re feeling indulgent, book in for the full jetlag package including manicured nails and a snazzy new hair cut (advanced bookings required). You’ll come out looking and feeling years younger (if not, there are several clinics offering botox right outside on Silom Road).
How are we doing for time? It should be between 2 and 4 by now. If it’s closer to 2pm and a weekday, you might like to wander over to the Bangkok Snake Farm in the Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute and check out the 2:30pm snake handling display. Watching giant deadly snakes being man-handled is guaranteed to excite and terrify (audience participation is encouraged!).
Next destination – Babylon! This world famous male sauna features beautifully manicured gardens, excellent massage, delicious food and gorgeous men from all over the world. To get there, take a stroll through the beautiful Lumpini Park (don’t forget to check out the open air muscle gym) or a short taxi ride.
Babylon is going to test your time management skills. It’s a maze in there (literally) so don’t get lost. Have a good time but remember people, we’re on a schedule here! You may need to exercise some self-discipline and set yourself a 3 hour limit.
It’s cocktail hour! Next stop on our fabulous whirlwind Bangkok adventure is a sky bar. If you aren’t still lost in Babylon, a sunset cocktail in the clouds will blow your mind. Several great and close options include Park Society at the Sofitel So, Vertigo at Banyan Tree (my personal favorite), Sirocco at State Tower (of Hangover 2 fame) and Cloud 47 on Silom (if you’re on a budget or dressed casually).
Head over to one of Bangkok’s most famous gay streets, Silom Soi 4. Grab a table at the infamous Telephone Bar and enjoy people watching, cheap drinks and great Thai food. Throughout the night you’ll see a human zoo of confused tourists, hot studs, drag queens, prancing ponies & vendors. After 9pm things really begin to get busy. But don’t get too settled, there’s more surprises in store.
It’s show time! Around 1015pm, move over to Surawong Road where you’ll find a group of bars which showcase…how can I say…Thai masculinity. Jupiter is reputed to have the most handsome, muscular guys (the most popular place for girls to find male strippers for their hens’ nights). Soi Twilight offers various shows ranging from cultural with a twist (the twist being semi-naked men) to non-cultural with a twist (don’t ask). My personal favorite is Bangkok’s Best Boys. The show starts at 10:30pm.
Next stop – where else but Bangkok’s most famous nightclub, DJ Station. If you make it there by 11:45pm you’ll catch the hilarious drag show. After the show there’s non-stop bubble-gum pop and a super-friendly international crowd who are always in party mode. You’re bound to make new friends at DJ and you’ll probably end up with your shirt off on stage (or is that just me?).
Once DJ closes, head back along Silom to GOD club and you’ll be able to party til the wee hours with heavy house music and hot muscular guys (who should never put their shirts back on). Yummy!
Ready for bed? But your 24 hours aren’t up! Maybe you’ll find someone special to make the most of the remaining hours.
How was your one night in Bangkok? Did it make you humble? Tumble? Maybe crumble? I’m sure you loved it.
I guarantee that no other city in the world could have done to you what Bangkok just did. Especially as a gay man. Bangkok loves the LGBTQ community. Enjoy and Go Thai, Be Free.
7:00: Wakey wakey rise and shine. Time to have the best day of your life!
7:30-8:30 – Breakfast
8:30-9:00 – Travel to cultural destination of your choice
9:00-12:00 – Enjoy some Thai culture – Wat Po and Grand Palace OR Koh Kret OR Bang Krachao bike trip OR Klong Lat Mayom (weekend only) OR Jim Thompson Museum
12:00-12:30 – Travel to Silom
12:30-1:30 – Lunch (Suggestions – Ruen Arai, Nahm)
1:30-4:00 – Cutey Beauty for facial (or more) &/or Snake show &/or Walk in Lumpini Park
4:00-6:30 – Babylon…
6:30-8:00 – Rooftop cocktails
8:00-10:25 – Silom Soi 4 for drinks, dinner and people watching
10:30-11:45 – Surawong for a show
11:45-2:00am – DJ Station
2:00am – 3:00am – God Club
3:00am – …. Use your imagination
BEST DAY EVER!