By Peter-Christian Paulin
Arguably the Queen of Southeast Asia, Bangkok, Thailand, is a steamy neon-saturated metropolis that will assault your senses like nowhere else you’ve visited. Although you can still ride on a Tuk Tuk or boat your way through traditional canal side houses, this city is a world-class destination. Boasting an incredibly varied and friendly gay scene, hospitable locals, exquisite shopping, and a futuristic Skytrain to zip you around the city, Bangkok makes the perfect starting point to nearby beaches and islands.
Coolest hotel: GLITZ Hotel caters primarily to a gay clientele. Located conveniently next to the city’s gay nightlife district and night markets, the staff makes you feel like royalty and the rooms blend traditional Thai décor with contemporary chic. Extremely good value.
Hottest Club: International jetsetters come to let loose and mingle with handsome Thai locals on the dance floor at world famous DJ Station. Packing in four levels of dancing and several bars, this is definitely the best gay nightclub in Bangkok.
Best evening experience: Perched atop one of the city’s tallest buildings is a fabulous restaurant and multi-hued outdoor cocktail bar featuring a spectacular 360 degree of the city. Be sure to dress up and be fabulous at Sirocco Sky Bar, as this is one of the most famous establishments in Bangkok.
Most authentic neighborhood: Although it might seem a little odd to visit a Chinatown in Thailand, both countries have had significant cultural ties. Bangkok’s version is one of the oldest and most colorful areas of the city. Part of the fun is getting lost in its extremely narrow, twisting alleyways, where you can stumble upon ancient Buddhist temples or capture a glimpse into locals’ daily life by eating at its numerous street kitchens.
Shop eternally: The massive Chatuchak Weekend Market is legendary both among travelers and locals alike. One of the largest of its kind in the world, this is the place to buy high quality designer knock-offs or local fashion brands (which are often better than anything you’ll get at home). Or traditional handcrafts. Or black market iPhones. Or Christmas lights. Basically, anything your heart desires—is here.