Bangkok, the same as the whole Thailand though, is considered to be a paradise for LGBT tourists and has an unpublished status of Southeast Asia’s gay-capital. It can boast about one of the highest tolerance levels in the region. On the contrary to many other Asian countries, there is no criminal liability for homosexuality, and it is not considered to be a mental disorder in Thailand.
The distinctive feature of Bangkok’s LGBT life is a big number of representatives of the so-called third gender or, as they are called there, kathoeys or ladyboys. These are men who made a sex change operation. They mostly work in shops, bars, restaurants or take part in drag queen and transgender shows.
In general, homosexuals can feel themselves quite comfortable in Bangkok. LGBT tourists will hardly experience uncovered blame or aggressive homophobic manifestations there. Numerous bars, cafés, restaurants and clubs for representatives of the LGBT community can serve as an evidence of tolerant atmosphere in Bangkok.
The voltage in Bangkok electricity network is 220 volts with current frequency 50 hertz. As a rule, there are two types of sockets: for double pin plug (without ground) and for triple pin plug (with ground). They are suitable for both European (round pin) and American (flat pin) types of plugs. If necessary, you can take adapters at hotel reception, or buy them at local supermarket.
Bangkok, as well as Thailand in general boasts of its own rules and laws knowing and obeying which will contribute considerably towards avoiding of awkward situations, and sometimes big fines and even imprisonment.
Here are some of them:
- It is forbidden to smoke in indoor public sites and several open air public facilities like market places. The one who violates this law can be charged up to 2000 THB.
- It is illegal to consume and sell any narcotic drug. There is a threat of imprisonment for it in Bangkok.
- It is not advisable to speak loudly in public. It can be considered rude and taken negatively in Thailand. Especially refrain from doing so whilst in temples.
- One may not say offensive things about King and members of Royal family. Moreover, it concerns not only ruling monarch, but also everyone who ever was in charge of Thailand in the past. By criticizing the King, one can be seriously penalized.
- Women are prohibited from touching Buddhist monks. If you have a desire or necessity to give something to monk, you should do this via intermediary man or putting it on the fabric.
- It is not allowed to mount Buddha monument whether they are big, small, new, or ruined, for example to take a photo. The locals can take it as disrespect.
- It is advisable to avoid greet and say goodbye to Thai people by shaking hands. There is widely accepted gesture “Wai” – the palms pressed together in a prayer-like fashion at the chest level.
Thailand is considered to be one of the safest countries in Southeast Asia. The crime rate is relatively low. The grave crime such as robbery and murders take place seldom, and rarely have to do something with tourists.
The Bangkok guests often face pickpockets. As a rule, the newcomers – Burmese, Cambodian, etc. – prefer to make their living in such way, the Thai people, the majority of which are Buddhist followers, don’t commit burglary as the religion prohibits it. So, be very watchful while on a walk. Don’t take all your cash with you: count necessary amount for one day, and it is better to leave the rest of the precious things and documents in a safe of a hotel. Be very vigilant in crowded places as railway stations, markets, public transport and popular touristic sights.
Moreover, take into account that Thailand makes the list of countries with high risk of plastic card frauds. Pay with credit card seldom and only at reliable facilities that arouse trust. Don’t cash money in street ATM because swindlers might install special devices that read card secret codes. Use ATM located in bank offices.
While visiting bars and nightclubs, don’t accept alcoholic beverages from strangers. There were some cases when beverages contained different medications once tasted they would provoke amnesia and result in loss of money, documents and precious things. Also, be attentive with people who you’ve met at a touristic sight and who are actively even obtrusively offering you something – they might turn out to be swindlers.