Thailand is a country with a rich history and culture. Thai people live by the principles handed down by Buddha. This explains Thai hospitality, tolerance and the respect of people from all walks of life including the LGBT community.
Are gay people accepted in Thailand?
This question can be 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.
It is not Thai custom to draw attention to oneself – especially in public. Therefore, we always suggest that any traveler to Thailand be aware of this and act accordingly. 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 private matter. Buddhism preaches monogamy. That is the extent of Buddha’s teaching on sexual relations.
Although same-sex marriage or civil unions are not yet recognized in Thailand, 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 considered to be the most forward, welcoming and gay-friendly country in Asia. Gay life in Thailand is well documented and gay hot spots are plentiful all throughout the country starting with Bangkok, “the city of smiles”, at Sukhumvit Road; Chiang Mai at Chang Pueak, Niammanhaemin and Santitham; Phuket at Paradise Complex; just to name a few. Gay 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 a gay vacation 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!
Whether you wish for a cultural/or religious experience interacting or living with Buddhist monks, enjoying the natural wonders, paradisiac islands and breathtaking beaches, learning about Thai cuisine and art, venturing into the wild jungle and coexisting with the elephants and the mahouts, enjoying the most romantic honeymoon with your loved one or maybe even dropping on your knee to propose to your partner, Thailand is your destination!
Don’t just take our word for it, read some testimonies below:
“My trip to Thailand will easily be one of the most memorable of my life. Thailand has found a way to preserve their amazing sense of culture, while leading Asia and arguably the rest of the world, with their profound acceptance of the gay lifestyle.”
– Bill Hansen, dot429
“Thailand is a fascinating and extremely welcoming place for gay travelers.”
– Matt Mills, Pink Triangle Press for Xtra and Guidemag.com
“It gives us great pride to see IGLTA members move LGBT tourism forward on a global scale. Thailand has long proven itself as a leader in gay travel to Asia, and we applaud their new web efforts for LGBT travelers.”
– John Tanzella, IGLTA President/CEO