Away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and Pattaya, up in the northern mountains of Thailand, lies the incredibly laid back and feature rich city of Chiang Mai. You will not find gay life thrust in your face as will in the aforementioned cities, but there is certainly much to be found. The guys of Northern Thailand are known for their hospitality and great looks, so gays of all cultures have found this destination to be the highlight of their Asian trip. There are host bars, a few go go bars, and quite a few special activity venues to get you going in the right direction. For your downtime during the day time hours, there are even a variety of cool tours to take part in with that special guy that you met the night before!

Gay Entertainment Options Sure to Delight

The bars and host venues in Chiang Mai are much more laid back and reserved than in Bangkok, but fun is certainly on tap. Look at the following updates about some of the more popular and well known that should make every gay traveler’s agenda when visiting Northern Thailand.
  • Adam’s Apple – Tanon Viengbua - Chiang Mai’s legendary Bar has been completely re-modeled last year. It’s now modern and fun. They have a selection of boys dancing before and after their legendary special show. It is on the first floor above the “Metro Bar” Gone are the hard bench seats and small tables which were proving less than popular with customers. The catwalk has been re-worked and the seating replaced with more enticing sofas located to offer greater privacy, making for a more laid back evening. Adam’s Apple has a varied selection of boys and is open until late. Show starts around 10:30. Drinks from 200Bt with special promotions on bottles of whisky with mixers.
Downstairs from Adam’s Apple is Metro Bar by the same owner, Todd, an American from Los Angeles who moved to Thailand to re-open Adam’s Apple a couple of years ago. Todd is a veteran Gay Bar owner having had venues in both Mexico and The Philippines before settling on Chiang Mai. Metro is a sophisticated lounge bar and a great place to enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine in relaxing, modern surroundings.
Circle Pub – Soi Erawan - Entertainment bar with show. The cast is muscly and the whole place tends to be more popular with Thais than Westerners. It is located in a small soi off the Chang Phuak Road, opposite the bus station and the white elephant monument.
Free Guy Club – Chang Puak - Free Guy is located in the soi to the left of the Mercure Hotel. It is an entertainment bar with a raunchy show that boasts it has no ladyboys! They also do karaoke later in the evening. Now in it’s sixth year it has to rank as Chiang Mai’s most hospitable Host or Go-Go bar. Absent here is the chintzy decor, or banal sterility of the latest remodel the other host bars all seem to have undergone. Free Guy holds true to that hackneyed Thai phrase “same same” whilst still managing to be different. No Coco the clown wannabe mamasan, no lady boys, (though if Ray, the ever grinning owner doesn’t get a hair cut soon…..:) ), no gimmicks with guys’ wearing ties trying to look sophisticated, and pretend the club is anything other than a whore house! No, you won’t find any of that at Free Guy, just plenty of smiling people happy to greet you; the club has one simple message, “this is me, this is what I’ve got to offer, you want to take me home”? If you’ve never been to Free Guy here’s the run down: twenty-thirty well endowed boy next door type Tai Yai guys, show starts from around 10:45 to midnight and consists of a variety of different scenes, such as showers, wild animals, dancing with umbrellas (Sigh, yes they still have that show….) plus a few others, with the participants in different revealing costumes. All seem to end with a scantily or un-clothed guy or two strutting their stuff on stage for everyone to admire :). In between the acts they have two or three guys doing go-go on podiums around the bar. No cover charge but single drinks are 200Bt, but they have some good deals on whiskey sets if you are with friends.
New My Way Entertainment Bar – Hatsadisawee Road Soi 3 - The New My Way go-go/host bar should now be called the New, New My Way bar after the second re-vamp in the last year or so. In a one day shut down they executed a complete re-model of the venue and very successful it is too. Effectively they’ve turned the whole layout through 180 degrees with the stage now at the front of the building. Entry is by the same door with a short passage leading around the side of the stage. The bar is in the rear right corner (Straight ahead as you enter) and the seating, consisting of comfortable sofas, is on two levels with higher seating on the old stage at the rear. The performers descend to the stage via stairs from the upper level that is also used for some of the acts. This is an excellent improvement all round. The show hasn’t changed much, still the same blend of scenes with guys getting naked complimented by, in our opinion, a few too many “chicks with dicks in dirty frocks” doing their sequined lip sync shows.
See Man Pub – Canal Road - An interesting new venue opened in Chiang Mai recently. See man pub is a new seemingly gay friendly, or maybe completely gay venue close to the Nimannaheminda Road area of town. This particular venue has a good show with Indian music and many handsome dancing boys .

Other Things to See and Do

No matter if you traveled to Chiang Mai with your partner, or if you have just met a special guy the night before in one of the venues just mentioned, there are many options during the day to keep you occupied. Since you are in the city, however, consider the following tour as a way to spend some quality time with a hot guy of your choice. Many travellers to Chiang Mai might wonder what there is to at night that does not involve only eating or drinking. The answer is, in a word, plenty! For this posting, let us consider the infamous night market in Chiang Mai. There is literally something for everyone down this one street, and visitors will not be disappointed. You do not need to sign up for a tour or anything of the sort to get there. Any tuk tuk will be able to drive you and your traveling companions there within a matter of minutes from nearly anywhere in Chiang Mai proper. Simply wear comfortable walking shoes and you will be ready for an evening of shopping, bartering, eating, drinking, or whatever your heart desires.

The night market itself begins early in the evening, just about every night of the year, rain or shine. Perhaps the only exception would be during the April days of Son Kran, or Thai New Year. It is several blacks long and is ripe with restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, and of course, loads of shopping opportunities. You will even find occasions that there is a Muay Thai fight to watch, or Thai traditional dancing depending on the night and the weather. Like I said, there is a little something for everyone if you look hard enough.

The Chiang Mai night market is really a shopper’s paradise, where prices are not set in stone and those with incredible bartering skills will need a wheelbarrow to haul away their findings from the night. Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but you will probably need to be careful if you are running out of suitcase room because of the handicrafts and other items available for purchase along the path of the night market. As you are going along, you will find quality paintings, hand made souvenirs, watches and other goods of varying qualities and replications (if that is your thing), cheap music and DVDs, and quality Asian silver jewelry. Of course, this is just a sampling of the items that you will find on display. You do not even have to be a shopper to enjoy walking through the various stalls, as it is similar to walking through an art and craft fair anywhere in the world. Simply looking at the quality goods is enough to make for an enjoyable evening for most.

All of that shopping is likely to make you hungry and thirst, so you will not be disappointed to discover a plethora of dining and drinking options all around the area. If you are tired of Thai food (I cannot imagine you would be, but I suppose everyone has their individuals tastes!), there are plenty of international restaurants that abound throughout the path of the night market. There are places to stop and wet your whistle, and talk with other travelers from around the world, and even a Starbucks if you need a late night caffeine fix. It is truly an enjoyable evening that you will not soon forget.
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