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Chiang Mai Gay Scene – May update

May: quiet, but a little cooler

It’s almost a month since Songkran, and the long weekend Labour day and Coronation day holiday has passed. It is still very hot in Chiang Mai, but the May thunderstorms are beginning and temperatures are easing slightly, whist otherwise the weather is still dry and the pollution has now cleared.

May is traditionally a quiet month in Chiang Mai and this year seems no different, schools and universities are restarting and the holiday season is over. As in previous years, there are not so many tourists around, though many ex-pats are returning after escaping the summer heat. The gay scene has been quiet too, though we do have some news to report.

Grand Arena

grand arena logo

This weekend saw the opening of a new male entertainment venue in Chiang Mai. Grand Arena is located at Sipsong Huay Kaew (12 Huay Kaew Road) the complex opposite the Kad Suan Kaew shopping mall (formerly home to Discovery nightclub and a short walk from Soho Bar).

This new Thai style bar and club features live music and coyote boys. The club includes a water pool as part of the show which looks quite fun as can be seen from their publicity photos:

Sexy Coyote boy show at Grand Arena

Grand Arena Coyote Boys (2)

Coyote Boys at Grand Arena

Closures and bar changes

Low season often brings the demise of some venues and this year is no exception.

Cabaret at Ram Bar
Cabaret at the former Ram Bar

We already reported on the closure of Ram Bar However, they have promised to re-open in a new location and as soon as we have news of the new Ram bar we will let you know.

A high profile casualty has been the post Songkran closure of G-Star Vintage which had become one of Chiang Mai’s most popular venues, but has suffered from recent clampdowns on late night venues.

Other clampdowns in the city over the last few months have effected massage shops and some have been closed for a few days or weeks. Some have closed permanently, most notably Top to Toe, formerly One 2 Come which had been offering rub and tugs with a happy ending for over ten years. We have recently checked on the status of all the massage shops and updated our guide to massage for men by men in Chiang Mai. As of 6 May 2015 all the places listed have been verified as still being open. However, we recommend calling ahead before visiting any massage shops.

Having Fun

There are still some fun places to visit in the downtown area of Chiang Mai, number one being Secrets, located on the moat near Thapae Gate. At the Night Bazaar Area, Orion Bar and Ozeed Bar are also entertaining places where you can meet young Thai guys.

The new look and more spacious Secrets Bar
A lively evening at Secrets Bar

Socialising and Dining

Soho Bar, one of Chiang Mai’s longest running bars remains an ex-pat social hub and is a good place to meet up. They also have food available. It’s now a good place to pop in for a drink before checking out the new Grand Arena. Wednesday night is Cheese and wine night at Soho which is usually quite busy.

Other gay owned food options include Radchada Garden Cafe which is well known for the gayest Pizza in Chiang Mai and has a Pizza Promo night every Monday Radchada is also open during the day if you want a light lunch, or even just a coffee. For Thai Food there is Sabbai Dee Santitham, or Bird of Paradise, whilst Casa Diverso has great Italian and fusion food and is run by two lovely gay guys who will make you feel extremely welcome.

Khun Oh and Khun Lek - owners of Casa Diverso
Khun Oh and Khun Lek – owners of Casa Diverso

Show Bars

Monkey Boy Show
Monkey Boy Show

Chiang Mai’s best known Gay Bar, Adam’s Apple Club continues to set the standard in adult male entertainment with its fun raunchy show and handsome young dancers from Burma’s Shan state. Their show is regularly updated with new acts and performers. Two of the current favourites include the Monkey boys and Muay Thai boxing.

Adam’s Apple will be having a special Banana Show party on 22nd May – go check it out, should be fun.

Meanwhile, Free Guy Club have changed their format which now includes karaoke and they allegedly have some very cute boys working there. We will check it out and report back.

New My Way and Circle Pub continue to be more orientated towards Thai customers and specialise in more muscular guys. See Man Pub is another Thai Style Club that has both ladyboy cabaret shows and Coyote boys.

Nimmanhaeminda Area

The Nimmanhaeminda Area of Chiang Mai continues to boom as the trendy part of town with evermore coffee shops, boutiques, restaurants bars and clubs opening. There is also much more accommodation coming online, both a glut of new luxury apartments and several new hotels. The pivotal development has been the Tan Eastin Hotel offering four star luxury right on the Nimmanhaeminda Huay Kaew intersection. Think Park, located in front of the Eastin has several new restaurants and bars too. Across the road, the Maya Lifestyle Mall has become increasingly popular and now has a whole rooftop terrace called Nimman Hill which provides several bars and some great views.

Maya Mall, Think Park and the Eastin Hotel
Maya Mall, Think Park and the Eastin Hotel

For more information about the Nimmanhaeminda Area we recommend this months’s issue of Thai Puan Magazine which has an article “All About Nimman” giving comprehensive information about the Nimmanhaeminda Area

Thailand Situation

Nearly a year after the military coup, the portrayal of Thailand in the western press has continued to be negative and does not reflect the situation on the ground. In reality, there has been negligible change for visitors to Chiang Mai except law enforcement is maybe more diligent than before; not a bad thing. Visitors should have absolutely no additional concerns about coming to Chiang Mai, which is now one of Thailand’s safer cities. There have been more regular crackdowns on bars, clubs and massage shops checking for drugs, late opening and prostitution. These can dampen the party spirit but are rarely observed for long (TIT).

Alcohol Check Point
Regular Alcohol Check Points in Chiang Mai

There are however, the usual caveats attached to visiting Thailand that should be noted, first and foremost don’t have anything whatsoever to do with drugs or have sex with anyone under eighteen. Also remember that the legal age to drink in a bar is twenty.

Enforcement of drink driving laws is now quite effective with regular police stops and electronic breathalyzers, so be sure to use public transport or have a driver if you plan a night out drinking. Foreigners are now regularly being arrested and can be held in jail overnight if caught over the limit.

The good news is the Thai Baht has been falling against both the dollar and Euro since mid April. With cheaper low season air-fares, great hotels rates, stable political situation and cooler weather ahead of rainy season now is not a bad time to visit Chiang Mai.

Hunks from the Shan State at Adams' Apple Club - Chiang Mai's Best known Gay bar
Hunks from the Shan State waiting to meet you in Chiang Mai
  1. hakan says:

    food and accomodation was really overpriced, i can undertand the reason why not so busy.

  2. BonTong says:

    Also, the Garden Bar is now closed on Sundays during low season

  3. BonTong says:

    Quiz Night ceased a while back. Garden bar is not as busy as it used to be.

  4. hakan says:

    what happened to quiz nights at garden bar?

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