LGBT Travelers

Krabi is mostly LGBT friendly.


Unlike many of the other tourist areas of Thailand, Krabi does not have a gay scene. There are no gay streets or areas, but most establishments are gay friendly with a significant number of the service staff openly gay. Cross-dressers, transgenders, and transsexuals work in many Krabi organizations and socialize openly.


Thailand has a long history of acceptance of the full range of orientations, so they greet foreign visitors with this same acceptance. (There are aspects of Thai society and laws that discriminate against LGBT people, but this does not have a direct impact on travelers.)


Almost all hotels, restaurants, and other service establishments will serve same-sex partners with the same acceptance as straight couples.


Buddhism has no prohibitions targeted against specific sexual orientations. Buddhist teachings are gender neutral (even if modern-day culturally-modified practices contain many sexist elements.)


The main Buddhist Precept on sexual matters states that “I undertake the training to intend not to abuse the other’s beloved ones.”


There is a small group of ultra-nationalistic, Thai politicians who rail against the “evils of homosexuality” (like most countries), but they are generally not influential.


The Muslim population is usually socially conservative and frowns on outward displays of affection (for any and all sexual orientations). Given that many of the beach areas are predominantly Muslim, a certain amount of decorum and respect for the local culture is prudent and the responsible way to be a visitor in another culture. As the Muslim religion has specific prohibitions against same-sex relations, the Muslims in Krabi are much further in the closet than the Buddhists (even if in practice, gay sex is not uncommon.)


Sexual orientation and identity in Thailand is complex. The roles of homosexual and heterosexual people are more fluid.


Until a person is married, there is a significant section of the population that engages in same-sex sexual activity. The self-identified, straight person will play around as long as he remains is the dominant role (or in the case of women, in the passive role).


There is an old-fashioned perception that being gay always implies a 'feminization' of the man, and the Thai language does not have a term for equal-partner or dominant gays—they’ve adopted the English terms ‘gay’ and ‘king.’ Thai terms mostly refer to the perceived passive role: katoey (Cross-Dresser or Transsexual); toot (Cross-Dresser or passive gay: from the movie Tootsie).


For women, the terms are ‘Tom’ and ‘Dee,’ with Tom referring to the dominant ‘male’ role.


Physical contact between people of the same sex is more acceptable than touching a person of the opposite sex, but behave with caution. Overt sexual advances (of any type) can lead to trouble. There is a huge gap between what is accepted with a person involved in ‘sex-for-sale’ activities and those who are not. Do not confuse the two.

One of the Many Resources for the Gay Traveler