After all of the scrimping and saving throughout 2012, I am now finally on my trip, and gagging at the fish sauce smell that lingers on every street in this glorious city: Bangkok. As a massive fan of city life, Bangkok is actually one of the destinations that I was most excited about visiting. The busy streets, the food on every corner, the gay bars, even the gross fish sauce smell – I want it all. So on my very first night in Bangkok, I dove headfirst into Silom’s gay scene, Silom being the main gay neighbourhood of Bangkok.
If you are heading out into Silom for a gay night out, there are two streets that you really need to know about: Silom Soi 4 and Silom Soi 2. The night begins at Silom Soi 4 and as things heat up, people tend to make their way to Silom Soi 2 and the most popular gay club in the district, DJ Station.
So, about 8pm, and I head into Silom Soi 4. Here it is in all of its shabby-glory.
And then on to picking a bar. There are a decent number of places to choose from on this strip, and the clientele didn’t seem to differ greatly from place to place, so I simply went with the most popular. Walking down Silom Soi 4, it’s very apparent that the two major players are The Telephone pub and The Balcony bar. While there is ample room inside of both places, it seemed that everyone was after a table outside, and so spotting one free table at The Balcony, I was kindly ushered to my seat by one of the friendly members of Thai staff that the bar employs.
The Telephone pub.
I ordered my Chang beer, at a very reasonable price of 69 baht, and looked out on to Silom Soi 4 with all the excitement of this new trip inside me, but I confess that I found the set-up of the bars here a little strange. All the tables outside are facing outwards to the street in front, so you are effectively set up as a voyeur of the people walking on the street, and of the people sitting outside the bar opposite. And of course, you are also made very visible to the people across the street from you. It’s not very conducive to starting conversations, so I drank up my 3 Chang beers and then headed across the street to a smaller bar called The Stranger, a recent addition to Silom Soi 4,which is handily set up in a way that means you can actually talk to people. Imagine that.
The Balcony bar.
So what about the people? It was mostly tourists here, me being one of them. A significant proportion had Thai guys alongside them. I would hate to suggest that they bought them, but y’know. And it actually made me feel very uncomfortable to look at them, sat together in silence. What a miserable existence for both parties. There were very few Thai locals hanging out here, so I’m going to make it my mission to find where they drink!
After my beer in The Stranger it was 11.30. Time to head to Silom Soi 2 and check out the main attraction: DJ Station. This is more like it. There was a queue to get in and I was surprised by just how rammed it was for a Wednesday night. And not just rammed full of balding old tourists, but with actual hot Thai locals – hoorah! The entrance fee was 150 baht, and that included one free drink – another hoorah! The music is Western pop (I requested Cheryl Cole’s ‘Call My Name’ to no avail). And there are nightly drag shows. Cheap drinks, hot boys, good music AND drag – I loved it! What’s more, I managed to chat up a super hot Malaysian guy – go me!
If you’re after something a little seedier, you need to head to Soi Pratuchai. The image below says it all. But all that business is not for me *adjusts halo*