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Gay Chiangmai after the Curfew

Chiang Mai’s gay bars head towards normality

Finally, at the end of last week, the Thai government lifted the midnight curfew that had been in place for more than three weeks since 22nd May, after the military takeover. This meant the city was again able to return to some sort of normality, including Chiang Mai’s gay night-life businesses which have suffered under the restrictions.

But, from our trips out on the town this weekend things were still quieter than usual in some places. Moreover, although the curfew has gone the Police were enforcing closing times more stringently (officially midnight for beer bars and 1 a.m. for certain entertainment venues). This means the old Chiang Mai gay style lifestlye of partying well into the early hours may not be making a comeback any-time soon.

Gay Clubbing Scene

Both of Chiang Mai’s big gay nightclubs See Man Pub and G-Star were told to close on time and were shutting between 1 and 2 a.m. though they were still busy with an eager Thai crowd.

K.Note from radchada Garden Cafe with some of the boys at G-Star this Saturday night
K.Note from Radchada Garden Café with some of the boys at a packed G-Star this Saturday night

Downtown Bars

The Police were quite active in shutting down the straight Spicy and Zoe in Yellow entertainment venues quite early on Saturday night too. Nearby, Secrets Bar and C.U. bar had the lights off at midnight and the shutters part down, although they stayed open for a bit longer. The usual regulars were in attendance but there seemed to be no tourists around.

There weren’t many of the usual host boys hanging around either, apparently many are afraid of Police ID checks (most of the free-lance boys at CU/Secrets are hill-tribe or Burmese). Indeed, the Police and military have become quite active in pursuing illegal immigrants as this story from CM108 of a clampdown on migrant encampments in the Kamtieng area today shows. Time will tell what effect this will have on both the construction and prostitution business in the city.

Soho Bar and Ram Bar

Quite upbeat over the weekend were Soho Bar and Ram Bar, both having good customer attendence and a livelier atmosphere with many people relieved that life was returning to normal. Neither of these bars are usually open too late so there were no preoccupations in that respect.

A good crowd in at Ram Bar for their Friday night live music and entertainment.
An alright crowd in at Ram Bar for their Friday night live music and entertainment.

Adam’s Apple Club

Chiang Mai’s best known bar Adam’s Apple Club seemed to be back to its old self, with plenty of customers to see the show which was as fun as ever with lots of extrovert performance from a good selection of exhibitionist boys 🙂 However, the Garden Bar at the Lotus hotel was quite quiet underlining the fact there don’t appear to be many tourists in town. Reports suggest a couple of the other go-go bars were quite quiet too, though Circle Pub was doing OK.

Political situation and travel to Thailand

We don’t want to discuss Thai politics, but despite the inconveniences, the actions of the military have restored a sense of calm and security in Chiang Mai. Those outside Thailand may have received a negative perspective of what has happened but the reality inside the country is that life continues normally, and there are no security problems. In fact, Chiang Mai is probably safer now than it’s been in a long time with several lawless elements having been reigned in. Most importantly the sense of unknowing and concern about the political situation has been replaced with some certainty.

Hopefully, now that the political situation seems to have stabilised life will return to normal. As the European holiday season approaches perhaps Chiang Mai will see a revival in tourist numbers as people take advantages of travel bargains and a weaker Baht to come and enjoy Northern Thai hospitality.

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