Gay Bangkok: Asia's Tolerant Mecca

Thailand's capital is just what you'd expect from a booming metropolis: five star hotels, world class shopping, fine dining, markets expanding over whole avenues, pesky traffic and clubs that keep the crowds dancing until dawn.

In Thailand, sexuality is not something to ever be considered reprehensible so the general atmosphere is welcoming and friendly. When it comes to gay life, most men have a strong connection to the Western world: pop music, designer clothing, drag queens and Grindr. This is most evident at one of the city's many gay hotspots where go-go boys dance to pop remixes and mingle with Americans, Europeans and Australians. It's truly an international crowd.

In April for Song Kran, the city's huge outdoor water festival, the gays have their own waterworks going on -- with every major club throwing late-night circuit parties.

Even transgender and transsexual folk are commonplace because in Thailand it's easier to change your genitals than your first name. Ladyboys have their own bars, cabaret shows and have other jobs like hotel florists and waitresses.

Transgender beauty pageants are a national past time with the winners proudly gracing the front page of almost all the major newspapers.

Thailand society is also open to letting gay men practice to become monks, as long as you follow the stern rule of celibacy, of course.

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