Tucked away in the northern reaches of the country, far away from the neon lights of its more infamous counterparts like Bangkok and Pattaya, the city of Chiang Mai may not be the first place that springs to mind for wild nights out. However, beneath its tame exterior, Chiang Mai conceals a thriving LGBT nightlife scene that beckons those seeking more authentic nocturnal adventures. At the centre of it all, one name in particular has been synonymous with entertainment, extravagance, and pure unadulterated fun for 32 years: the one and only Adam’s Apple Club.
It’s one of the oldest gay go-go bars in Thailand, and the undisputed Show Bar sensation in the entire northern region: A quintessential queer haven with nightly spectacles of drag queens, exotic dancers, and cabaret shows. And here to give us a peak behind the glittering curtain is the club’s Managing Director, Jens Kronberg:
Firstly, congratulations on the 32nd anniversary of Adam’s Apple Club! Three decades in the industry is an impressive feat! What do you think has been the key to Adam’s Apple Club’s long-lasting success and popularity in Chiang Mai?
Thank you! Many venues have come and gone over the years, but none have stayed long. I think what sets us apart is our commitment to consistently delivering unforgettable shows, which are constantly being revamped and replaced by newer ones.
At Adam’s Apple Club, visitors feel like they’re part of a close-knit family, unlike the more commercial places around.
For someone who has never been to Adam’s Apple Club before, what can they expect from the moment they walk through the doors?
The venue opens at 9 pm and from the moment visitors arrive they are warmly welcomed with a wai from every member of staff. Before the show starts at 10 pm guests will have time to enjoy a drink, admire the cute guys and get to know them – and again during a short break at 11 pm.
We like to make you feel welcome and ensure you’re not left on your own, which is especially important for those who might feel a bit shy when entering such a bar for the first time. Nobody is pressured; everyone can relax and enjoy the evening at their own pace.
Can you share your thoughts on why Chiang Mai is becoming such a popular destination for LGBT travellers, and what sets it apart from other destinations in Thailand?
It is more authentic and less commercial, also the chance of really getting to know someone is higher here than in Bangkok. There is no stress here, less traffic, and many things can be easily reached on foot. This makes Chiang Mai the perfect destination for LGBT travellers who are looking for a more intimate, laid-back experience in Thailand.
What advice do you have for LGBTQ+ travellers who may be visiting Chiang Mai? Do you have any recommendations for things to do or places to visit?
Travellers should know that everything here is a little slower and quieter – but ultimately offers everything you would find in Bangkok: discos, bars, and clubs that are open until the early hours of the morning. We have a very active LGBTQ+ community here.
Chiang Mai places you within easy reach of nature, mountain villages, wildlife, yoga retreats, and cooking classes, all just minutes away. I highly recommend travellers check out the Doi Suthep Temple in the mountains, Huay Tung Tao Lake, and the Night Bazaar. Also, Northern Thai cuisine is truly something special and there are numerous markets around that are suitable for visitors with a smaller budget.
In light of the club’s 32nd anniversary, are there any upcoming special events, performances, or surprises at Adam’s Apple Club that visitors can look forward to?
We have some exciting upcoming performances, and in collaboration with “Club One Seven” we host a range of events, parties, giveaways, and pageant contests organised in partnership with the MPlus Foundation. One of our most renowned events is the incredible “We Are Family” party, scheduled for November 14th.
On December 1st, we will begin our Adam’s Apple Club Advent calendar with daily surprises leading up to Christmas Eve. During the four Sundays of Advent, we will also serve mulled wine and baked apples to help our visitors get into the Christmas spirit.
We really pride ourselves on fostering a warm, welcoming, and energetic atmosphere akin to a big family, and we invite you all to experience it for yourself!