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Gay Scene Reflections

Gay in May – It’s that time of year in Chiang Mai

As the end of May approaches, it’s always an interesting time four all LGBT people to reflect on life in Chiang Mai and the state of the gay scene. May is one of those annoying months, Songkran has been and gone, as has the choking smoke from burning season, yet the city always feels somewhat subdued. Still summer, it is as hot as hell, yet the mango rains, which have been particularly noticeable this year, provide occasional refreshing reminders that the rainy season is on the way.

Wat phra doi suteph stupa

One event that always feels like a turning point between the seasons is Visakha Bucha, which this year falls next Tuesday, 29th May. It is a national holiday and the biggest event of the year on the Buddhist calendar as it marks the birth, enlightenment, and death of Lord Buddha. In Chiang Mai it is almost a two day holiday as the evening and night before many thousands of devotees walk reverently up the mountain to Doi Suteph temple.

Passing into June, the rainy season slowly gathers pace, skies are cloudier, temperatures drop and Chiang Mai starts to become more attractive as the rains return parched vegetation to its full green splendour. As the western world gets more into the holiday mood tourist numbers increase; this is a good time to visit before the worst of the rains in August and September.

Khun Jeep at Ozeed Gay Bar Chiang Mai
Khun Jeep at Ozeed Bar

At this time it’s poignant to reflect on this year’s changes in the LGBT scene too. Many gay venues in Chiang Mai have been short-lived and we often count the casualties during low season. Those for whom business has not been so good decide to sell up or move on.

Recent years have seen an obvious contraction in the gay scene with many fewer bars and massage shops than before. Whilst reflecting worldwide trends with the decline of the gay bar, in Chiang Mai this is perhaps not such a bad thing. Fewer businesses have meant better fortunes for the rest and so far this year has passed with no significant closures, whilst those places that still remain seem to be quite popular. The only casualty we are aware of is Ozeed bar which has disappeared. Wonder what happened to Khun Jeep? The Night Bazaar will certainly be quieter without him :).

Club One Seven

Gay saunas have always been popular in Chiang Mai and no where more so than Club One Seven Chiang Mai. Located in a beautiful old teak-wood mansion on the banks of the Ping River, just south of the city centre, Club One Seven is the perfect place to relax, chill out and meet sexy guys from Northern Thailand. With a river terrace, bar, fully equipped gym, steam room, sauna, pool and relax areas Club One Seven has everything you could need.

relax on the river at club one seven chiang mai gay sauna
Handsome guys relax by the river at Club One Seven Chiang Mai
Gay pool fun with sexy guys at club one seven chiang mai
Gay Chiang Mai – Come on in, the water’s fine and there is fun to be had!

Club One seven has regular Parties on the 1st, 7th, 17th and 27th of each month with a naxed theme. See our gay events calendar for more details.

Club One seven is also a guesthouse and a fantastic place to stay with Lanna style decor and ambiance taking you back to the beautiful northern Thailand of years gone by.

traditional lanna style bedroom at club one seven guesthouse
Traditional Lanna style with four poster bed at CLub One Seven Guesthouse

Gay Scene news

For us here at Gay in Chiang Mai, little change means we haven’t so much to talk about, but there are always a few little happenings to provide for some bar stool tittle-tattle. Here is our round-up of the current status.

Chiang Mai 19

Nu Bar, located on Thapae soi 1, right at the rear of the old Night Bazaar building, had been increasing its profile as a gay bar. Then a little shenanigan of the type all too depressingly familiar in Chiang Mai brought the empire crashing down. Fortunately, at least for some, this story has a happy ending as new gay management took over to keep the rainbow flag flying. the bar has now been renamed Chiang Mai 19 and is run by the likeable Khun Dit. A grand opening was recently held on 19th May – well when else. If the number 19 seems familiar it has a connection back to a former host bar of the same name which opened in the grounds of the much loved old Coffee Boy back in 2012.

Chiang Mai 19 Gay Bar
Chiang Mai 19 Gay Bar
Chaing Mai 19 friendly gay bar in Chiang Mai
Friendly atmosphere at Chiang Mai 19 Gay Bar

RAM Bar – Drag Queens and Terraces

Ram Bar, with its nightly free cabaret show, remains the busiest bar in town and is often packed full. The show is all boys, sequins and drag done very professionally and starts at 10 p.m.

cabaret show at ram bar chaing mai - gay boys and sequins
Cabaret Show at Ram Bar – Gay Boys and Sequins

Drag Superstars Party

Khun Earthh - Ram BAr Chiang Mai
The Gorgeous Mr Ert from Ram Bar

On 5th June Ram Bar will be having a special event celbrating the brithdays of Khun Ken and the Unforgetable Khun Ert with the Drag Superstars Party. This will be the Chiang Mai drag night of the year with an amazing show featuring drag stars Kandy, JaJa & Meanie Minaj who will fly in specially from Bangkok.

Get your high heels on, slap on your finest make-up and squeeze into your best frock to show the world the real you! For a night to remember, Ram bar is open from 7pm so come early and take the weight off your stilettos before the show begins at 9.30p.m.!

Superstar Drag party Ram Bar Chiang Mai

There are free seating tickets available for pre-booking. Once these seats are fully booked you are still very welcome to come and join everyone in the free-standing areas.

Ram Bar Terrace

Following on from its success RAm bar is expanding with a new venue just across the road from the main bar. The new venue will be known as Ram Bar Terrace and is located on Chareon Prathet Rd close to 69 Bar and the Diamond Riverside Hotel. It should be open in early June

Ram Bar holidays

As mentioned above, next week is Visakha Bucha and the guys at Ram Bar are taking advantage for a few days holiday. Ram Bar will be closed from 27 May to 29 May and will re-open with a full show on 30 May.

All bars will in any case be closed on 29 May and many will be very quiet on 28 May as the boys head off for the great walk up the mountain.

Gay Soi 6

As well as Ram Bar the rest of Gay Soi 6, Chiang Mai’s Main Gay Area, continues to enjoy plenty of patronage. Secrets Bar, now Chiang Mai’s oldest running gay bar is still a stalwart of the scene and Orion Bar is as fun as ever. Our map below shows the locations of the current bars on Gay Soi 6 and nearby at the Night Bazaar.

Chiang Mai Gay Soi 6 Map
Gay Soi 6 and Night Bazaar Gay Bars – May 2016
Moutain boys play pool at Secrets Gay bar in Chiang Mai
Some of the cute boys who play pool at Secrets bar

Chang Puek and Santitham

Apart from The Garden Bar closing up for the low season, nothing much has changed in the Chang Puek side of town. Here is our map of gay venues in Chang Puek, which is home to all the gay go-go bars, gay karaokes and one of the most popular massage shops, Common Massage.

Gay Chiang Mai Map - Chang Puek Gay Venues - May 2018
Chang Puek Gay Venues – May 2018

Common Massage

We consistently get good reports about Common Massage which now seems to be one of the most popular gay massage shops in Chiang Mai. Here are a few of their cute and sexy massage boys; now we understand why it is popular.

BOGOF at the Black Door

Chiang Mai margarita mojito drinks promotion
At the Black Door

If you like your attitude with a sour twist the Black Door is doing drinks promotions on Tuesday and Thursdays with extra lime. This self proclaimed dive bar is located in the heart of Santitham and is run by the unmistakeably gay Khun Boy and his team. Popular with the younger digital nomad crowd this remains the place to go for lovers of facial hair.

Bird Of Paradise

Bird of paradise had a relaunch after a re-vamp on 19 May. This already popular gay owned restaurant has now extended its opening hours from 08:30 a.m for breakfast, right through to 11 p.m. (kitchen closes at 10).

bird of paradise restaurant chiang mai
The New Bird Of Paradise

Adam’s Apple

Adam’s Apple Club continues to be Chiang Mai’s best known and ever popular gay go-go and host bar. Home of the Shan Boy, this is where you will find pleanty of the best in handsome masculinity from Burma’s Shan State. What better way to conclude this article and prove the point than a few of our favourite Shan boys:

Adam’s Apple has a very sexy and fun show starting everynight at 10 p.m.

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