Gay couple in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai gone gay – the northern Thai city’s best queer experiences

We’ll say it like it is: Thailand has world-famous LGBT+ nightlife. From Pattaya’s legendary BoyzTown to the gay district in Phuket’s Patong and, of course, Bangkok, where the queer party never stops. But few visitors to the Kingdom know that the northern city of Chiang Mai also features a rainbow venue or two…

The scene here might not be as big, and it’s different, too – Chiang Mai has no beach and it’s far from being a bustling metropolis – however, that shouldn’t deter LGBT+ travellers from visiting. There are more gay-specific places to discover than one might think initially. Here are just a few!

Get sweaty at gay sauna House of Male

House of Male, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Hot house: no trip to Chiang Mai is complete without getting steamy at House of Male. Photography courtesy of House of Male via Facebook

Yes, you read that right: Chaing Mai actually has its very own gay sauna. The popular and appropriately-named House of Male sits just outside the world-famous old town and it’s easily accessible by tuk-tuk. Other than the actual sauna facilities, this place also features a herbal steam room, an outdoor pool and a gym area to pump those muscles.

If you’re looking for even more fun, the upstairs cabins offer ultimate privacy and a chance to unwind, relax and work up a different kind of sweat. Just make sure to grab a healthy meal from the bar first – it’s all about the sustenance!

Party at Adam’s Apple Club

Adam's Apple Club, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Get this party started: the performers at Adam’s Apple Club bring the heat in Chiang Mai. Photography courtesy of Adam’s Apple Club

Or watch others do the dancing, anyway. At Adam’s Apple Club, Chiang Mai’s leading gay bar and show venue, visitors are treated to a fun-filled spectacle by the city’s hottest talent. Let’s get the stats down, first: the recently renovated Adam’s Apple features a state-of-the-art sound system and light show, and it’s among the longest-running go-go clubs in all the Kingdom.

But more importantly, this place has a reputation for hiring the very most popular and talented dancers who set fire to the stage between 9pm and midnight, putting on a flashy and erotic extravaganza of glamorous costumes and fierce dance moves – Adam’s Apple is quite simply the queer place to be at night in Chiang Mai!

Unwind at the male-only Zala Spa

Zala Spa, Chiang Mai, Thailand
And now, breathe: a Chiang Mai gaycation should most certainly include a visit to Zala Spa. Photography courtesy of Zala Spa via Facebook

What better way to follow up a wild night at Adam’s Apple with a relaxing massage at Chiang Mai’s exclusive, men-only Zala Spa? This beautiful and authentically Thai parlour offers professional massages only, and they take this rather seriously: all therapists are certified by the local public health organisation.

If you’re not one for massages, you can also opt for a spa treatment from Zala’s extensive menu of sensual treats – or do yourself a favour and invest in your physical and mental health by opting for a complete package including a massage and a facial. Whatever you go for, this men-only and LGBT-welcoming spa should be at the very top of your list on a visit to Chiang Mai!

Explore the trendy Nimmanhaemin neighbourhood

A meal is served in the Nimmanhaemin neighbourhood of Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chopsticks at the ready: the hip eateries in Nimmanhaemin serve up some of Chiang Mai’s most mouthwatering meals..

There’s nothing quite like an afternoon (or an entire day, or two…) of retail therapy. While there are amazing finds to be made in both the old town as well as Chiang Mai’s Chinatown districts, the hip Nimmanhaemin area is undoubtedly the local LGBT+ community’s favourite shopping mile.

Nimmanhaemin is a youthful and colourful district featuring original boutiques, cool second-hand stores and the city’s most Instagram-worthy cafés and restaurants. Chiang Mai’s growing gay population has long made the neighbourhood their hangout spot of choice, and with it comes a noticeably easy-going, welcoming and wonderfully queer atmosphere. It’s impossible not to fall in love with it!

Chiang Mai gay

Chiang Mai gay