The Best places in Phuket to celebrate pride month 2023
Rainbow flags, bare skin, loud and visual reminders of love – gay pride is just around the corner. A celebration to promote queer joy and fight for equal rights, the pride month spans the month of June each year. It commemorates the ‘Stonewall Riots’ of New York in 1969 when gay people refusing to live in the shadows stood up to hate. Originally a pride day, gay pride marches across the US evolved into week-long and later month-long events to raise awareness for marginalised humans.
Today, the LGBTQ community dusts off their rainbow flags in June. Phuketians do that in both April for the Phuket Gay Pride Festival and in June for the Pride Phuket festivities. If the flashy parade, cultural shows, and beach events in April weren’t enough party action, you can paint the town red in June for an entire month – the pride month 2023.
Here are the best places to join in Phuket’s fun celebrations.
The most prominent gay-friendly club in Phuket’s Patong Beach area is Tangmo Club. It sits in the Royal Paradise complex just off Rat-U Thit Road, a five-minute walk from Bangla Road, the nightlife mecca of Phuket.
Expect lip-syncing comedians, dancers wiggling their hips, and singers performing adorably. The fun doesn’t end here; ladyboys sporting sequins and rainbow-coloured feather boas also appear. Not just for the pride month festival, Tangmo Club is open daily from 8pm to 2 am.
Another popular place in the Paradise Complex, Patong’s gay quarter, Boat Bar is a fun bar with lively cabaret shows twice a night. The friendly vibe appeals to a mixed crowd of Thais and foreigners, both gay and straight people. You can dance the night away to funky beats and good lighting on the indoor dance floor. Do you like it a little more relaxed? Sit on the outside bar terrace, sip tasty cocktails, and watch folks swagger in wacky costumes, ready for another pride month parade.
Metadee Concept Hotel
One of the best hotels in Kata, a beach area south of Patong, Metadee isn’t particularly known for queer-friendly events. Yet, on Sunday, 4 June, the family-friendly hotel will host a pride party with an energetic atmosphere. From 7 pm, Metadee will come alive with pride month colours and banners as the laser show’s beams create lighting effects and reflections. Performers like DJ Soshine and Jay Sira will spin tunes as sensual dancers in flamboyant costumes wave rainbow flags. The cherry on top? Partying without pay! Entry is free.
Considered by many as Patong’s best-known go-go nightclub for homosexual characters, My Way scores with live music and ladyboy cabaret performances. Male dancers in extravagant outfits and semi-clad men swing their gaydar in this bright and cheerful bar, open daily from 8 pm till late.
Other venues for birds of the same feather flocking together include ZAG Club and Kiss Club in Patong’s Paradise Complex. Outside Soi Paradise, tucked away in a small side street at the southern end of Patong, you’ll find E-san La-prao and Maeng Cup, local-style karaoke bars for gay people that are open till late. Whichever venue you prefer, pride month quotes like ‘Pride is loud’ indicate what the pride month 2023 is: a peaceful ‘riot’ to rejoice in one’s identity, happily so at that.