What’s hot in Silom – Bangkok’s gay hub
For travelers to Bangkok, the main hub of gay activity can be found at Silom Road. With a revolving set of bars, clubs and restaurants opening and closing, it’s time for a Summer 2017 update on what’s hot in Silom.
Silom Soi 4 (soi is the Thai name for a small street or alley) has always been the place to go for a meal and/or early evening drinks. With the arrival of new restaurants and clubs in the past year, this small soi just gets better and better.
Walking into Soi 4 you’re presented with some great food options – tasty Mexican at Sunrise Taco’s, German treats and beer at G’s and my personal favorite, Spanish on 4, which serves up some great tapas. At the far end of the soi, Fork & Cork (formerly Sphinx) offers up a mix of modern Thai and international, with excellent service and great vibes.
Once your belly is full, it’s time to check out the bars of Soi 4. In the center of the soi, the famous Telephone Bar, which has just celebrated its 30th birthday, faces the almost as popular Balcony Bar. Both have outdoor tables lining the street and after 9pm this is the place to see and be seen. You’ll be surrounded by locals, friendly LGBT tourists from all over the world and straight couples attracted by the buzz. As well as great eye candy, one of my favorite sites is observing the moment straight couples realize that everyone surrounding them is gay. Both bars offer acceptable Thai and international food.
If Telephone Bar is crowded, Connections and The Stranger are smaller bars next door which offer the same street view. I prefer The Stranger as most nights they host an amusing drag show.
If I’m on a date, to avoid the constant distraction of hot men passing by, I’ll normally head for a drink at Bas Bar at the end of the soi, opposite Fork n Cork. Bas Bar definitely makes the best cocktails of Soi 4 (try the Mohito or Margarita) and plays funky tunes.
While many people leave Soi 4 around 11:30pm (for the clubs of Soi2), a couple of recent additions to the soi offer another choice. The newly opened Banana Bar occupies the space formerly held by a popular dance music club. Whilst the idea of staying in Soi 4 for a boogie (thus avoiding the crowds of Soi 2) appeals to me, the idea is yet to catch on. Time will tell.
The most unusual recent addition to Soi 4 is Jupiter Club. Formerly located on Suriwong Road, Jupiter offers erotic and exotic shows of scantily clad handsome, muscular Thai men. Known for having the best looking guys in town, this is the place where Thai girls come to find a male stripper (or more) for a hen’s night. You’ll need to buy a drink (USD10) to gain entry to the show.
After 11:30pm Silom Soi 2 is the gay clubbing place to be. The grand dame of Soi 2 is DJ Station. With fabulous drag shows every evening at 11:30pm, the club quickly fills with young party boys from across the world, bouncing to bubble gum pop. It’s hot, sweaty and crowded (keep an eye on your phone!) but I have to admit I’ve had too many fun nights to count and met many incredible people at DJ Station.
If DJ Station is too crowded for you (every weekend it’s full to bursting), there are several other smaller bars in Soi 2 – Disco Disco, The Patio, The Expresso and Club Café. They’re also likely to be quite crowded but you may get lucky and find space to shake your booty. The clubs generally close around 2:30am (GOD Club, which used to run til 5am, is now closed).
Bangkok doesn’t get any gayer than Silom Soi 4 and 2. With a great variety of options for dinner and drinks located in a compact area, you’re sure to have a great night. You’ll also be surrounded by LGBT from all over the world, most in holiday mode, very friendly and eager to meet new people. It’s a lovely, welcoming community atmosphere. Although there are great hotel options in and around Silom, it is also easily accessible by public transport – MRT Silom station or BTS Saladaeng station.
Slightly further afield, Soi Twilight in Surawong Road (10 minute walk from Silom) has many bars offering risqué shows featuring go-go boys, dancers and drag queens. My personal favorite is Bangkok’s Best Boys. However be prepared – there’s a few shocking surprise acts you’ll never be able to unsee! On Sunday nights at the other end of Silom, Maggie Choo’s has a great gay night.