Gay Phuket and Cabaret Shows
Paradise Complex in Patong Beach
Phuket’s long been a popular destination for those seeking sun, sand, sea and… companionship but not all men coming here seek female company. Many male visitors look for male companionship, sometimes for the duration of their holidays, sometimes for much longer.
At the Royal Paradise Complex in Patong an estimated half of the businesses there are run by, or are catering to gay people. Many are small bars with a selection of young men who sit, talk and share drinks with their guests. There is no obligation to spend more than the price of a drink.
The atmosphere in the Complex during the day is sleepy as most of the 1,000 young men working in the almost 40 entertainment venues are fast asleep but at night the atmosphere is, to say the least, friendly with the occasional invitation to join a cabaret show, a massage or some private company.
Beginning as a small guesthouse in 2003, Aquarius has come a long way. It features renovated guestrooms, the only gay sauna in Patong and a bar and restaurant. The restaurant section is called ATM after the managers' names: Apple, Tommy and Michael and serves Thai food. The bar is open all day and the sauna is free for the guesthouse’s clients but non-guests are welcome for a minimal fee. If you prefer a quiet time in the sauna try to avoid the peak hours which are from 17:00 – 20:00. The guesthouse is popular for its no joiner fee policy. Other facilities include a gym and pool which is open for 24 hours and massage service.
- Opening Hours: Bar stays open all day. The popular gay sauna opens from 15:30 until about 22:00. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Location: Behind Sundowner Bar
Blue Dolphin Men's Massage
Blue Dolphin is a combination of a guesthouse and a massage venue that has undergone a complete renovation and has a multilingual French manager. The massage service is open daily from 12:00 – 21:00.
- Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 - 24:00
- Location: On the way out of Paradise Complex
At the end of this same small road sits the epicentre of late night entertainment, the Boat Bar. The bar attracts younger, sophisticated international visitors, drawn by its fun atmosphere and European-style cabaret shows that take place after midnight. Dancing to the latest beats lasts late into the night. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Nightly from 21:00 – late
- Location: Opposite Royal Paradise Hotel
Connect Guesthouse is the place to go if you need to know about Phuket as it is run and owned by a Swedish long-term resident. It is also famous for its regular Saturday Gay Day tour to Kai Island. The bar and restaurant serve inexpensive Thai food along with a good selection of western dishes. Check out their weekly Thai buffet night (a combination of 10 different Thai dishes, soup, BBQ and fresh fruits.) Connect also waives joiner fees.
- Opening Hours: Restaurant and Bar open daily from 08:00 – 24:00
- Location: Opposite Tangmo Club
Corner Guesthouse and Bakery Shop
This establishment is owned and run by the Royal Paradise Hotel. Corner is a gay-friendly guesthouse featuring 11 rooms and a bakery shop on the ground floor. Funnily enough, there are not many places in Patong where you can go for a quiet cup of tea or coffee but here you can. They have a PC unit available free for guests’ use too. Corner is definitely the best option for a getaway when you need a break from the crazy party scene in Paradise Complex.
- Opening Hours: Daily, 24 hours
- Location: Opposite Boat Bar
If you want to check out a Patong boy’s A Go-Go show, this is the place to go.
- Opening Hours: Nightly
- Location: Near Newspaper Restaurant & Guesthouse
James Dean & Friend
This is a newer venue with an old bar’s name. It is not related to the original and famous James Dean Bar (which is owned by Phaithoon Phuidaeng and his expat partner – now moved to a new location behind Patong Hospital). James Dean & Friend has many good looking and friendly boys sitting outside trying to lure customers in.
- Opening Hours: Nightly from 20:00 - 02:00
- Location: Opposite Newspaper Restaurant & Guesthouse
Kar –Door Host Club
Kar –Door means ‘penis’ in Thai (in case you were wondering…) and this is basically a karaoke joint which is very popular among Asian, Thai and some western guests.
- Opening Hours: Nightly from 21:00 – 02:00
- Location: Opposite Dempsey’s A Go-Go club
Kiss opened its door as a gay dance club in early 2007 and usually gets busy around 23:00. It is popular for its no entrance fee policy and offers fun music ranging from disco, house, electro and trance as well as live DJ’s. Kiss features cabaret shows twice a night.
- Opening Hours: Nightly from 18:00 – 03:00 | Show time: 23:45 and 01:45
- Location: Opposite Time Bar
A small venue and typical combination business in Soi Paradise Complex as they also have rooms for short and long-term stay. You can relax and view the main street from the bar's comfortable lounge and enjoy many of their cocktails, wine or beer served by nice Thai boys. The rooms come with air conditioning, a hot shower, safety box and cable TV.
- Opening Hours: Daily
- Location: Near Dempsey’s
Previously known as Uncle Charlie's, the modern-looking Mama San is located opposite the well known Boat Bar. It features boy A Go-Go and cabaret show twice nightly.
- Opening Hours: Nightly from 20:00 – 02:00 | Showtime: 23:00 and 24:30
- Location: Opposite The Royal Paradise Hotel
My Way Cabaret
My Way Cabaret was one of the first to open in the Royal Paradise Complex and in so doing it introduced Bangkok performance cabaret to the island and thus galvanized the gay community on the island. My Way’s owner Kittipong ‘Ball’ Wongkittigul explained that while many of the early gay bars were simply a meeting place, My Way, with its gay cabaret entertainment offered a lot more, with attractive young men trained in A Go-Go dancing mixed with transvestite cabaret.
It’s a formula that worked as My Way Cabaret has expanded over the years with a larger venue, more entertainers and a larger audience of international and Thai visitors who enjoy and shows and the companionship of the male hosts. While the majority of their guests are gay, they do get single Asian women who come looking for a holiday boyfriend and there are numerous couples who just enjoy watching something different.
- Opening Hours: Nightly from 20:00 - late
- Location: Next to Boat Bar, in Paradise Complex
Newspaper Restaurant and Boutique Inn
The opening of Newspaper Inn some years back definitely brought a new standard to Patong’s gay businesses. Owned and run by the famous Khun Tangmo, Newspaper is a good-looking guesthouse and tasteful Thai restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating.
- Opening Hours: Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner Guesthouse is open 24 hours
- Location: By the 7-Eleven near the entrance gate of Soi Paradise Complex
- Tel: +66 (0) 76-346276
Karaoke is a big thing in Asia. If you want to get firsthand experience of what it’s like to be a Superstar (even only for a few minutes) step into the OK Club. You might discover a new talent that you didn’t even know existed.
- Opening Hours: Nightly from 19:00 – 02:00
- Location: Near Tangmo Club
Orchid is dedicated to cocktails. They have the most interesting and varied drinks list of all the venues in Paradise Complex. Upstairs is a guesthouse while the ground floor is used as a dining and bar area. The menu covers Thai and European food. Prices are affordable, with free WiFi.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 10:00 – 02:00
- Location: Near My Way Bar
Siam Ink - Jimmy Tattoo - Holiday Tattoo
As everyone knows, people on holiday do things that back home they’d never even consider. One example is getting a tattoo. If you’ve thought about it fully and are still in the mood to have one, visit one of the two tattoo shops at the Royal Paradise Complex. Siam Ink is located on the way out of the complex and Jimmy Tattoo is right next door to the Royal Paradise Hotel. Both shops open daily and usually close quite late.
- Opening Hours: opens daily and usually close quite late
- Location: on the way out of Paradise complex
- Tel: +66 (0) 89 4710963
Spartacus Gay Bar
Owned and run by the same team as the My Way bar, Spartacus is a smaller venue where you can sit and enjoy drinks without any hassle.
- Opening Hours: Nightly from 19:00 – 02:00
- Location: Near Tangmo Club
Sundowners is owned by the same people as Orchid Lounge. The bar features a pool table and free WiFi.
- Opening Hours: Nightly
- Location: Opposite ATM Restaurant and Aquarius Guesthouse. Best to enter from the walkway next to Sundowners’ Bar
One of the biggest venues in the complex is Tangmo Club. Thaphat ‘Tangmo’ Kaewseenuan is probably the single most important business operator in this gay community. She operates at least 10 businesses in the Complex including the upscale Newspaper Restaurant and Boutique Inn. She has around 450 staff catering to the growing clientele of gay visitors to Phuket who want to meet and enjoy the entertainment available here at Royal Paradise Complex. The cabaret dancers at Tangmo Club are trained by a professional team to European standards and aim to provide entertainment value that is among the best in Thailand.
- Opening Hours: Nightly from 20:00 – 02:00 | Show time: 22:30, 23:30 and 01:00 (each show lasts about 40 minutes)
- Location: On the way into Paradise Complex
The Flying Handbag
Claims to be the funniest Gay Pub on Phuket. A mix of British humour with its roots in Faulty towers, Monty Python, and Ab Fab. Dress code!! Bring your handbag!
The Patong gay scene didn’t happen overnight. Over the years, more venues for men wanting to meet men opened in Patong and were centered around Rat-U-Thit 200 Pee Road (by the seafood food court.) There were groups of open-air bars where visitors could enjoy a beer and conversation in the cool evening trade winds off the Andaman Sea. Time passed, and the venues relocated to Paradise Complex just across the road from the old site. In between My Way and Sundowners lies the much-loved Time Bar (or Time B & B in full which stands for Bed and Bar). It’s run by Dan and Jessica, a Thai couple who are very popular with the Western gay tourists as they offer traditional Thai hospitality in a relaxing, informal setting.
- Opening Hours: Daily from afternoon until 02:00
- Location: Between My Way Cabaret and Sundowners Bar & Guesthouse
Good to Know
While much of the gay entertainment and accommodation is expanding around Phuket, the Royal Paradise Complex is ‘where the action’ is.
However it’s best to remember that the majority of hosts within the Royal Paradise Complex are employed as sex workers so while physical involvement is not hard to come by, emotional attachments may be out of the question.
Gay Friendly Massage
A visit to Thailand wouldn’t be the same without having a traditional Thai massage and/or an herbal sauna. Phuket is an ideal place to experience such treatments as the number of related businesses is growing fast. A good massage is believed to be healthy in many ways such as to relieve poor sleep patterns and jet lag, ease stiff muscles and to boost the immune system. There are many gay-friendly massage shops at the Paradise Complex including Thai Thai Massage, OP Thai Massage, Mein Schatz Massage and Happy Life Spa & Massage. When comparing prices most are in the same range such as Thai massage at 200 baht per hour, oil massage up to 400 baht and foot massages 300 baht.
- Opening Hours: Most shops open as early as 10:00 until about 21:00
- Location: Inside Royal Paradise Complex
No Joiners’ Fee Gay-Friendly Guesthouses
Many gay travelers enjoy staying at the various guesthouses inside Paradise Complex, many of whom have gay owners and staff. Thankfully, it is common that they charge no joiners’ fees but they will ask to see your friend’s ID card to be sure that the person you are with is over 18 as well as for other safety reasons. Such guesthouses include Niky Guesthouse, Family Guesthouse, Baan Paradise Guesthouse, King Kong Guesthouse, Re Guesthouse and Relax Guesthouse.
- Opening Hours: Daily
- Location: Most located on the way out of Paradise Complex