Thailand is a country with a rich history and culture; and for the most part, Thai people live by or at very least, respect the principles handed down by Buddhism, the country’s official religion. This explains Thai culture and behaviour; not to mention hospitality, tolerance and the respect of people from all walks of life including the LGBT+ community. This website and the “Go Thai. Be Free.” project works to provide enriching content as a source of LGBT+ travel inspiration for those traveling to Thailand.
Are LGBT+ people accepted in Thailand?
This question is often answered by a simple but profound statement, which is very common among Thai people – “Mai Pen Rai” which simply translated means “no problem.” This is the philosophy with which Thai people go through daily life.
In general though, it is not Thai custom to draw attention to oneself; or display affection – especially in public, although on the streets of big cities you’ll often find members of the LGBT+ community holding hands or being close, without anyone batting an eyelid. In any case, as with travel to any country, we suggest that any travelers to Thailand are aware of local customs and act modestly. We continuously reinforce a strong level of respect for Thai culture and way of life.
Thailand has never had any laws against homosexuality. In 2002, the Thai Ministry of Health publicly declared that homosexuality was no longer to be regarded as a mental illness or disorder. In 2005, the Thai armed forces lifted its ban on LGBT+ persons serving in the military. For Thai people, sex is a very private matter. In 2018, a bill was passed through parliament to allow same-gender civil unions. When it comes to the LGBT+ community, Thailand’s government policies are one of the most advanced in Asia.
In the past, many Asian and Western gay couples from around the world fly to Thailand with friends and family to exchange vows. These ceremonies are often blessed by Buddhist monks. For many decades, Thailand has been socially considered to be the most forward, welcoming and gay-friendly country in Asia. LGBT+ life in Thailand is well documented and gay hot spots are plentiful all throughout the country starting with Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya and beyond. LGBT+ people will find any social area in the above mentioned destinations to be warm and accepting.
Go Thai. Be Free. – is the slogan that we feel sums up an LGBT+ vacation or holiday in Thailand. It says it all. There are options for every need, choice and taste. Thailand is much more than go-go bars, discos and parties. Free yourself and be who you are and explore culturally rich experiences across the country.