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There have been interesting developments to the travel rules into Thailand!

 

For just my own purpose, I'll focus on Bangkok and say that it would be a done deal for me, except for the 14 day quarantine at ASQ approved hotel.

Currently the cheapest ASQ hotels (14D,16N) starts at 1000, and you will also need to show your bookings after that. This is a pretty restrictive thing for me, as it limits a lot of hotel options. Flights from Singapore to Bangkok will also need to  be SQ only in order to qualify for the visa(s). Some friends of other nationalities also share that they have had trouble getting their international insurance approved by the Thai side, so this is something for them to work on as well.

Hope they quickly rehash the rules to make it more feasible to kickstart a travel bubble.. Currently, they are considering lowering it to 10 days, as recent tests are able to detect the virus strains earlier. 

https://www.traveldailymedia.com/thailand-tourist-visa-requirements/


 

 

 

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https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-thailand/thailand-reports-biggest-coronavirus-surge-over-500-cases-idINKBN28T0NI

Been following Samut Sakon cluster closely since it broke - as I consider Thailand my spiritual home!

Given the density of Bangkok life, it is pretty obvious that majority of people there already have it but are largely asymptomatic. A Thai friend who is a doctor says this is the most likely assessment, and one of the clearest way to explain a sudden cluster of 500 new cases, in a country where there was no community spread for months, and no plausible imported cases. 

This ongoing cluster affects recent adjustments to allow tourists back in to kickstart the ailing tourism industry. Now, however, it is not just financial/economic implications, because when Thailand does reopen, it will probably see new clusters and blooms, if the asymptomatic assessment is true. 

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For most of this year the Bangkok nightlife scene has been kept alive mostly by local expats and Thais. Sometimes Soi 4 is quite packed at the weekends. Some of the gogo bars are sometimes busy, sometimes very empty. Most of these moved from Soi Twilight (now a construction site) across Suriwong to the Patpong 2 area. Babylon has been given a reprieve and is still open. Many massage spas including Senso have been closed for ages.

 

Anyone know if DJ Station disco is still open? Its website has disappeared and its Facebook page has not been updated since June. 

 

The situation in Pattaya is much worse. Boystown is now on its last legs. The long established Boyz Boyz Boyz has finally closed and the furniture is now being ripped out. For the last 2 years it had existed mostly with Chinese lady visitors. Another two gogo bars in Boystown - Cupidol and Castro - will close very soon. Sunee Plaza has been on life support for a few years. But Winner Bar continues for those who like twinks. Niceboys  also keeps going for those who like men boys. There has been talk of another bar reopening, but nothing yet.

 

The recent outbreak has resulted in more security measures with the reintroduction of the mobile phone app to register entrance and exit from buildings, restaurants etc. Just as tourism was slowly beginning to open up, the Thai government completely shot itself in the foot by not having looked at Singapore's experience and failing to test on a regular basis the massive number of immigrant workers at the large fish market and in the fishing industry. Any hope of a revival will now have to wait for the vaccine which will not be available here till around April/May. I fear it is doubtful if many of the gay venues can hang on that long.

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4 hours ago, InBangkok said:

For most of this year the Bangkok nightlife scene has been kept alive mostly by local expats and Thais. Sometimes Soi 4 is quite packed at the weekends. Some of the gogo bars are sometimes busy, sometimes very empty. Most of these moved from Soi Twilight (now a construction site) across Suriwong to the Patpong 2 area. Babylon has been given a reprieve and is still open. Many massage spas including Senso have been closed for ages.

 

Just as tourism was slowly beginning to open up, the Thai government completely shot itself in the foot by not having looked at Singapore's experience and failing to test on a regular basis the massive number of immigrant workers at the large fish market and in the fishing industry. Any hope of a revival will now have to wait for the vaccine which will not be available here till around April/May. I fear it is doubtful if many of the gay venues can hang on that long.

Thanks for the update, InBangkok. Merry Xmas and a happy new year to you - as merry and as happy as it can be, given the circumstances.

 

Am hoping that once things go again, new places will open up.  That needs to happen as it is one place in Asia where someone gay can go hangout and do "gay stuff".

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Thank you Guest Gast. Wish you a Happy 2020 and that travel will soon restart for many of us.

 

I think there are several problems in Thailand that may prove insurmountable for a resumption go gay nightlife. First, the gogo bar model has not changed for decades. The owners have always targeted western tourists. But that market has been on the decline for at least 15 years. It has also become a lot older. I can remember the mid-1980s when gogo bars were fun for both customers and the boys. Most came from small country villages where the choice was working in the rice fields, in a family shop or move to Bangkok and take a chance of much bigger money in the sex business. For many it was no choice. They chose the cash, and they persuaded their friends to come join them. Customers tended to be younger foreigners (30s and 40s) with a lot of Thais also in the audience. Thais have largely deserted the gogo scene. Some have been replaced by South East Asian guys as well as some Japanese and Koreans. But the fun has largely disappeared from these bars. The shows are nothing like they used to be and too many of the boys on stage look bored. To counter dwindling income, owners never consider novelty. They just put up prices.

 

Second, Thailand's economy has developed considerably in the last few decades. Many of those who would earlier have tried the gogo scene now get quite well paid work locally. There is no need for them to move to the capital where the cost of living is a lot higher and bar offs and tips are not what they used to be. So owners have replaced many of the Thais with boys mostly from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, although some Myanmar boy work in massage spas now. Many are here illegally or on overstay visas. Also they do not have work permits. So when there is a police raid, they quickly vanish for a couple of days.

 

Third, whereas most of the boys who used to work in bars were gay, now a large percentage are straight. That's fine for those who prefer to be with a hunk top, but less so for those seeking a more submissive twink type.

 

Fourth, gay saunas and massage spas have been moving out to the suburbs for some years now. Rents are too expensive in the traditional gay areas. In the Sukhumvit 11/13 area, popular spas like Albury and Hero died some time ago. Aqua off Sathorn Soi 9 disappeared at about the same time. Korea Town near the Sheraton Grand Hotel used to have two. They disappeared over a decade ago. There are still some attracting a mostly Thai crowd. Hopefully they will continue.

 

Fifth, from what I have been told it seems many of the new Asian customers are more interested in the sauna scene and massages. Maybe later in the evening they will gravitate to a gogo bar for a drink and the show. As for gay discos like DJ Station, the trend is much more towards mixed discos that might have a gayish section. But these also tend to be further out from the centre and are more expensive.

 

Of course another tolling of the bell for the traditional gay scene are the apps. They are much more busy now. In Bangkok there are more guys who are not money boys. A lot of college boys and other young guys just want to meet up for a good time. Often they will only request travel money - Bangkok after all is a very spread out city and most guys do not live in the centre.

 

As mentioned in my earlier post, Pattaya is in a much worse state than Bangkok. It depended on a larger number of boys of other nationalities. Once the lockdown happened in April, they had to leave and not many have been able to sneak back. Jomtien Complex is the most in place, but these are purely beer bars. You can still take the boys off, but this area is more for much older foreigners than younger Asians. On the other hand, the apps are even more busy than in Bangkok and the quoted prices are cheaper.

 

Chiang Mai used to have a thriving gay scene. Something like 50 gay establishments have closed in the last 5-7 years. Phuket never had anything like that number but it, too, is suffering very badly. 

 

Had tourism really opened up in early 2021, I think there was a chance that some of the existing venues would still be open. But even the official Tourist Authority reckons there will be no uptick until towards the end of the year. We have also been told the vaccine will not be available here until April. The real question therefore is how many gay tourists will wish to rush back to Thailand when the cost of flights and hotels may well be higher than before. My guess is that the number of long distance gay foreigners will continue to decline.

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This thread makes the situation in Thailand seem worse than it actually is.

 

From what I heard from Thai friends, only sex tourist dependent businesses like massage parlours, gogo bars and saunas in Bangkok are struggling.

 

All the other 'proper' LGBT businesses in Bangkok are doing well. My friends say DJ Station and GOD are packed every weekend and even the newly opened gay bars House Of Heels and Lost & Found are thriving.

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18 hours ago, Gayleo said:

This thread makes the situation in Thailand seem worse than it actually is.

 

From what I heard from Thai friends, only sex tourist dependent businesses like massage parlours, gogo bars and saunas in Bangkok are struggling.

 

All the other 'proper' LGBT businesses in Bangkok are doing well. My friends say DJ Station and GOD are packed every weekend and even the newly opened gay bars House Of Heels and Lost & Found are thriving.

Nothing in Bangkok is thriving! Perhaps at weekends there are more people prepared to venture out to discos and gay bars. But go to DJ Station or any of the bars mid-week and there are few customers. Now the new outbreak has resulted in all nightlife entertainment having to close at least until January 4 unless they serve both food and drink. 

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1 minute ago, InBangkok said:

Nothing in Bangkok is thriving! Perhaps at weekends there are more people prepared to venture out to discos and gay bars. But go to DJ Station or any of the bars mid-week and there are few customers. Now the new outbreak has resulted in all nightlife entertainment having to close at least until January 4 unless they serve both food and drink. 

Agreed. And outside of Bangkok, there is also only so much businesses can get from domestic tourism.

It was okay as an coping measure, but never as permanent or long term. If Thailand was able to sustain her own tourism industry in the first place, this thread and other traveller forums on thailand will not even exist, haha! Even countries with strong domestic tourism like Japan still require a foreign demographic to sustain it, so it is a bit ridiculous to say that every business in Bangkok is doing well as if nothing happened.


Same in Malaysia too. All along hate Singaporeans, and bad mouth us openly for being richer and shopping there. Now since lockdown, so many of them want the borders reopened, because they need us to sustain their businesses, especially those in JB. Only their ministers will openly say that the closure does not affect them, and everyone is doing well. 

So do consider the source, do a bit of research, not just listen and repeat blindly like a parrot. 

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On 12/30/2020 at 12:25 AM, Coolbriz said:

It’s sad to know that one of my favourite go-to massage places, Ruen Nuad Studio, has ended its business. 😕

 

Oh..sukhumvit one or sathon? or both?! sad to hear also, it is a hard time for thai businesses, especially those reliant on tourists. 

 

hopefully, when things are better, they will open again. if you can, try to keep in touch with the owners. when they reopen, they will be very happy to invite you back. 😄

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4 hours ago, tomcat said:

 

Oh..sukhumvit one or sathon? or both?! sad to hear also, it is a hard time for thai businesses, especially those reliant on tourists. 

 

hopefully, when things are better, they will open again. if you can, try to keep in touch with the owners. when they reopen, they will be very happy to invite you back. 😄

Both branches according to their Facebook comments. Yup, I’m sure many establishments suffered the same fate.. I only managed to visit their new branch once end of last year.

Be cool, like a breeze...

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I miss going to thailand. Wonder when travel will be permitted. If you wanna travel now it’s 14 day quarantine, must stay for 3 months and have a bank balance of USD$20k? Is that correct?

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13 hours ago, subbtm said:

I miss going to thailand. Wonder when travel will be permitted. If you wanna travel now it’s 14 day quarantine, must stay for 3 months and have a bank balance of USD$20k? Is that correct?

 

This article gives you a high level summary of the entry requirements into Thailand:
https://mainlymiles.com/2021/01/03/silkair-returns-to-phuket-from-february/

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On 1/2/2021 at 9:57 PM, gpfun said:

The bars are really quite badly impacted during this period of time. Really hope that Y2021 will be better.


Especially since the closure of boy street, the relocation already introduced some challenges. and with covid, it seems wipe it out entirely. but i am optimistic lah. horny tourists will always come back.

 

interesting development but recently learnt that even straight boys are entering the gay space out of desperation. with things like adult livestreaming and onlyfans, it is possible for them to do a side gig, collaborate with other boys, and have more autonomy over what they are comfortable doing. technology will always catch up to demand.

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On 1/4/2021 at 12:47 AM, gpfun said:

 

This article gives you a high level summary of the entry requirements into Thailand:
https://mainlymiles.com/2021/01/03/silkair-returns-to-phuket-from-february/

 

On 1/3/2021 at 11:10 AM, subbtm said:

I miss going to thailand. Wonder when travel will be permitted. If you wanna travel now it’s 14 day quarantine, must stay for 3 months and have a bank balance of USD$20k? Is that correct?


do continue to monitor, they revise this every few weeks. and now with the second wave currently ongoing, they might tighten it again.

remember also that once you are back, you will need to book hotel for your quarantine, unless you have a place of residence all to yourself. so to make all the hassle "worth it", you should stay in thailand for 2 weeks minimum.

 

🌑🌒🌓🌔🌕🌖🌗🌘🌑

 

 

 

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On 1/6/2021 at 1:26 PM, tomcat said:

 


do continue to monitor, they revise this every few weeks. and now with the second wave currently ongoing, they might tighten it again.

remember also that once you are back, you will need to book hotel for your quarantine, unless you have a place of residence all to yourself. so to make all the hassle "worth it", you should stay in thailand for 2 weeks minimum.

 

Thank you. Yeah i heard they entered another lockdown. There goes my bkk holiday dreams. Haiz..

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