Is LGBT travel safe in Thailand? The answer is an unequivocal yes! In fact, Thailand is arguably the safest place for LGBT travel in the world. From the local people all the way up to the government, the attitude towards LGBT travellers is one of tolerance and inclusion. One can get this feeling anywhere on the streets, in the bars, and in the tourist places. The examples are everywhere. Gay bars all over, Gay Beaches openly promoted, and lesbian parties that are all the rage on social media. And none of these places ever report any trouble, nor do people that come to Thailand and enjoy these places. It is even a policy priority of the parliament to enact laws that guarantee these freedoms for all. But the last hurdle remains, that of Gay marriage. The consensus among MP’s in open discussions is that it will be passed with the next parliamentary session.
What is Safe for LGBT travellers in Thailand, and What Isn’t
There is some way to go towards a completely open society for the LGBT community in Thailand. This is especially true for Lesbians and transgenders. But the question here is of safety for LGBT travellers. The answer comes down to the normal things travellers should be aware of anywhere regardless of orientation. Pickpocketing, petty theft, drunken arguments over perceived disrespect, can all happen to the unwary. The usual advice is to travel in groups of at least 2. Avoid drinking heavily in public, and walk away from petty disputes. Nobody is going to give you trouble over your sexual identity, but human nature sometimes goes awry in drinking and party situations.
There is one thing to know about Thailand in terms of safety that is specific to the gay community. Thailand has among one of the highest HIV rates of infection in the world. The rule here is the same as for the other problems mentioned: use the normal precautions. Practice safe sex and be aware of the issue, make sure as best you can of your partner’s status. Transgender travellers should be especially attentive to this as the perception of freedom and acceptance can more easily lead to unsafe practices.
Enjoy the Freedom
When in Thailand letting yourself relax is the most important thing to do. Breath deep and experience the peace of mind of total safety. Feel secure in your individual gender identity. The best way to do this is to be yourselves and respect the culture. While there is open tolerance to the LGBT community, social norms for all are different in Thailand. Open affection such as long kisses on the subway trains, or in the bars is not as accepted as it is in the west. Also, women in Asian cultures are supposed to be more modest than men. Lesbians have no problems holding hands, however making out in public will draw unwanted attention. There is no direct persecution or trouble, but no one wants to be seen as disrespectful. That can lead to trouble.
Lesbians in Thailand enjoy the freedom to be open as a couple or a group. Women and their female partners naturally blend in with everybody at the various wonderful attractions that are everywhere. Another cool thing that underlines Thailand being safe for LGBT travellers is checking in to a hotel. Nobody asks any questions if same-sex couples ask for one large bed, actually, that will be offered first. No eyebrows are raised at all and there is none of the chatter behind your back as in the west. The same goes for restaurants and bars. Same-sex couples are treated with the same dignity and respect as everyone else during a nice romantic evening out. Gay & lesbians with their partners will never want for attention from the servers. Even in the most exclusive locales no one is left out from customer specials or denied any of the best areas. This is true freedom and feels so good.
Try LGBT Exclusive Tours & Resorts
Thailand is most safe for LGBT travellers when couples or groups go on adventures catering just to them and their orientation. Try the challenging rock-climbing tours in Krabi province, elephant and nature treks in Chaing Mai & Chonburi. Check out escorted camping escapes to the many national parks or private preserves. Usually, just a few days’ notices is needed to ensure availability If you are already in Thailand and are deciding what to do. But booking in advance is advisable. The tour packages are open to all and have equal services and facilities. What makes these packages so safe is the fact that you are going with experienced licensed guides. The places they take you are protected from threats to tourists, yet undisturbed in their natural beauty.
Some of the Best hotels in Thailand are ones that are there specifically for Gay travellers. They are virtually all for men, but this is not from discriminatory intent. Thailand was a popular gay destination before openly lesbian couples travelled as much as now. The economics currently are still skewed towards Gay travel, but that is rapidly changing. At these places, the guests are in the lap of luxury and ultimately safe. Names like The Babylon in Bangkok, Alpha Gay Resort on Samui, Baan Souy in Pattaya, One-Seven in Chaing Mai, and the Palm Beach Hotel in Phuket all mean premier luxury level accommodations. Fabulous pools, incredible gourmet restaurants, spacious wonderfully appointed rooms and amenities separate this category from all others. One just melts away from daily life. The famous pampering Thai style service provides an escape from tension and pressure. Travellers emerge refreshed and rejuvenated after just a few days. You are completely reinvigorated if you stay a week or more in this therapeutic environment.
Thailand is Safe for LGBT Travelers
So, is Thailand safe for LGBT travellers? Absolutely. Why is it so safe? Because Inclusion and acceptance are the rules not the exception. There are so many different ways to enjoy freedom with peace of mind. Come, and discover yourself why Thailand is called the land of smiles- The biggest smile will be yours!