Gay Group Travel: 15 Days in Thailand & Cambodia
An awe-inspiring place, Thailand has something for everyone. If you’re an adventure junkie, you’ll probably find yourself SCUBA diving with sharks, or taking Muay-Thai kickboxing classes. If the wilder side of life isn’t your cup of tea, don’t despair – between intricate temples, Thai cooking classes, and the world’s most exotic beaches we’re confident you’ll find more than enough to keep you happy. As one of the most gay-friendly destinations in the world, Thailand is an opportunity to feel completely comfortable being yourself while experiencing a whole new side to life.
Thailand has that exotic, mysterious, exciting appeal to it. Just hearing the name “Bangkok” can send shivers down people’s spines, and the allure of the country’s jungles and mysterious culture is mesmerizing. Thailand is the Mecca of adventure, carefree living, and open-mindedness. There are fewer inhibiting rules or Western nonsense here, and the Buddhist zen-like culture makes the country one of the happiest places on earth.
This 15-day trip doesn't just spend the whole time in Thailand though - you'll be experiencing the famous lost city of Angkor Wat in Cambodia too! There's a reason the Temples of Angkor are one of the 7 wonders of the world. At 402 acres in size, this is the largest religious site in the world, lost in dense Cambodian jungle for hundreds of years and now an unforgettable place for us to explore together. Between the gorgeous beaches of southern Thailand, the buzzing city of Bangkok, and the jaw-dropping Angkor Wat, you're sure to head home full of memories of a fantastic adventure.
Our 15-day trips have been designed to maximize your experience. Instead of rushing around in a panic trying to visit as many places as possible, we’ve specially chosen only the our favorite spots in the region... spots we know you’ll fall in love with. How are we so sure? Well, we’ve spent years in this country tirelessly testing out beaches, bars, and bungalows just to make sure we can bring you the cream of the crop.
Most travelers will arrive in Bangkok on day one and head to our meeting spot for our 4pm start of our adventure on this day. This time in Bangkok is a great introduction to the incredible country of Thailand. During these couple days, we'll really get to know the city by checking out Bangkok's highlights using local tuk-tuks, boats, and trains. On our second day, we'll take a guided day-trip around the city visiting Wat Pho, Wat Arun, and more. At night we'll head down the street to check out Silom's famous night market and very lively gay scene. Bangkok is world famous for many reasons and never disappoints her visitors.
Day 3 brings us to southern Thailand with a quick 1 hour flight and short 15 minute boat ride to the jaw-dropping cliffs and white sand beaches of Railay. An idyllic paradise surrounded by the perfectly blue waters that have made the Gulf of Thailand famous. Railay offers hidden lagoons and caves for hikers, beaches for sun-worshippers, and plenty of opportunity to eat great food and meet people from all around the world. Stay on land, or jump in the water for some snorkeling, or SCUBA diving fun.
On day 6 we travel just 3 hours overland to the well-known resort and nightlife city of Phuket. It’s here you’ll find opportunities to feed wild monkeys, island hop, or get some sun on the local gay beach by day while socializing with people from all over the planet by night. Phuket is popular day and night and has tonnes of options for both early-risers and late-nighters. Get your shopping done, check out a cabaret show, relax on the beach, take a cooking class, spend the day at the spa... it's beautiful place to unwind... or windup.
Back to Bangkok! We fly one hour from Phuket to Bangkok for your chance to stock up on some new outfits or some souvenirs for your boyfriend/mother/bff. With a city as large as Bangkok we've got lots to explore here before our next couple days of day trips!
We start this day trip by taking a 90 minute ride from Bangkok to the formal capital city of Thailand, Ayutthaya. Here we are hosted by a local Thai guide who will show us the incredible 14th century ruins of this once royal city. Beautifully preserved, these ruins are an amazing showcase of Siam's turbulent history. After our full day of exploring the Ayutthaya area, we head back to into Bangkok for the night.
This is our animal day! We support the ethical treatment and interaction with animals and fully support the works of the Wildlife Friends of Thailand project. We spend a full day at their remote wildlife refuge property, 2.5 hours south of Bangkok feeding, walking and washing elephants, meeting several different species of unique monkeys, bears, and all kinds of exotic creatures! This day will not just allow us the opportunity to get face to face with flying squirrels, jackals, langurs, gibbons, and more, but will also allow us to learn through their stories. We return to Bangkok this evening to prepare for our journey onwards to Cambodia tomorrow!
It's time to say goodbye-for-now to the 12-day travelers before we jet off on a 1-hour flight to one of the 7 wonders of the world - the famous temples of Angkor! We'll touch down in the Cambodian city of Siem Reap, home to the spectacular ancient temple complex and a unique city full of new sights and smells. We'll spend our time here with a local guide who will join us in exploring the beautiful lost city of Angkor. It's an awe-inspiring experience sure to make everyone at home jealous.
Our trip together comes to an end here in Siem Reap on the 15th day and you're welcome to depart any time on this day, but don't worry, Thailand & Cambodia will be waiting for ya to come back! We encourage all travelers use Siem Reap's international airport (REP) to head home or onwards to more adventures.
We don't like staying in smelly shacks on our vacations and we're pretty sure you don't either! You work hard to go on vacation and we believe you deserve an enjoyable, comfortable place to wind down at the end of each day. We put a LOT of time into finding the perfect accommodation for your trip. After rigorous wifi signal testing, fluffing pillows, and taking a shower or two, we've narrowed down our favorite properties. Check out our approved accommodation to see where we've stayed in the past and where we'll likely be staying on your trip.
BANGKOK: Amara Hotel
The Amara Hotel will quickly feel like a home away from home, right in the middle of Bangkok. Centrally located in the Silom neighbourhood and minutes from the famous Patpong Night Market and Bangkok's gay area, the Amara is a favorite hotel amongst our guests. Featuring a modern design, a gorgeous rooftop infinity pool, exercise facilities and friendly staff.
RAILAY: Bhu Nga Thani
This oceanfront property is set against Railay's limestone cliffs and swaying palms. The gorgeous swimming facility features a pool bar with delicious margaritas, friendly staff and the occasional monkey lounging on your room's patio. Bhu Nga Thani provides the tropical paradise you've been waiting for.
PHUKET: X2 Vibe Patong
Located only a few steps from the beach, X2 Vibe Patong (i.e. formerly known as "The Nap") provides a contemporary facility in the heart of Patong in Phuket. Situated minutes away from the gay area (the Paradise Complex) and Bangla road, you'll find the location of this hotel couldn't be better. Property amenities include a sunny outdoor pool and an exercise facility.
SIEM REAP: Sarai Resort & Spa
The Sarai Resort is an oasis nestled in the city centre of Siem Reap. With plenty of restaurants and markets only a few minutes away, our choice hotel features a jaw-dropping outdoor pool that'll make you feel like royalty. The fantastic breakfasts are made to order and are the cherry on top of this rare 5-star TripAdvisor rated hotel.
*Please note that due to availability, these exact hotels may not all be available during all DETOURS trips. However, we will always replace these with similar hotels, and will never downgrade.
Don’t worry about getting chilly, Thailand and Cambodia are tropical countries and the areas that we travel in are warm day and night. High temperatures of 35C/97F, and lows of 23C/77F can be expected through most of the year. Even if it rains it’s usually in the afternoon, and these unlikely showers are a refreshing cool-down and make a great excuse to try out your favorite rain dance.
95% of Thailand's and Cambodia's population are Buddhist, which makes for a laid-back, friendly country full of good-karma seekers. Great people that love their food, their king, and of course their international visitors, you’ll be hard-pressed not to make dozens of local friends during your stay. While you’re there, consider learning a few words their language, “Thai”. (Not “Taiwanese”, by the way – that’s from Taiwan) We recommend starting off with “Sawat-dee-khap” (hello), “Khap koon khap” (thank you), and of course “Hat yoo tee-nai khap” (where’s the beach?)
South-east Asia is home to some of the most amazing food on the planet, and it's cheap too! Detours doesn't believe in limiting your choices by including meals at pre-decided restaurants as part of the trip package. Instead, we encourage you to explore all of the different restaurant options available to you. This way you can eat when you want, where you want, with whomever you want, and spend what you want! Your trip leader definitely has their favorite spots and will be excited to show you all of their favorites in each location, just check with them.
Our advice is simple. Pack your bag, then take half of those things out and leave them back home. It’s common to hear people wishing they’d packed less stuff, but we’ve never heard anyone complain that they didn’t bring enough. Thailand is a very inexpensive country, meaning even if you realize you forget to pack some crucial item you can just pick it up on the trip for half of what it would have cost back home. We'll include some trip-specific packing advice based on expected weather as part of our update email to you, sent 60 days prior to your trip.
ATM withdrawal fees can really add up, and credit cards aren't always accepted at shops and restaurants here, that's why we suggest grabbing some Thai Baht before you arrive to Thailand (around 10,000 THB is a good amount to start with). Bring your regular ATM card and credit card for additional needs too though. 1000 Thai Baht is worth around $30 USD, so don’t go nuts if your dinner bill costs 200 baht. Relax –that’s about 6 bucks. Your 300 baht, hour-long full body oil massage on the beach? Yeah, that cost less than $10.
Tipping isn’t a native Thai custom, however, it’s become a part of what is expected from travelers. We suggest tipping for services in a similar way as you would in North America; that is, if your dinner bill is 200 baht then we encourage you toss 40 baht in on top of that. That extra bit is extremely appreciated by the local service staff.
We have pretty high standards when it comes to choosing our accommodations, and trust us, we’ve done plenty of room-sniffing, pillow-patting, and bathroom inspections to make sure we stay at quality spots. To be approved as a Detours accommodations provider, a guesthouse must: be locally owned (to support the local community), be in an amazing location (close to the beach and other hot spots), have air conditioning (you can thank us later), AND be gay-owned or gay-friendly. We won't be staying in 5-star Ritz-Carltons but we also won't subject you to anything we wouldn't want to stay in ourselves. Clean, comfortable, well-located spots that'll put a smile on your face, you can count on that!
All of our trip leaders are gay, and all certified leaders must undergo a rigorous training routine that includes deep-fried cricket eating, and impromptu dancing tests. Apart from these vital skills, we require our leaders to know their stuff really, really well. Underneath their fun and quirky facades, our guides are experts about all aspects of Thailand and especially the places we visit. Don’t hesitate to ask them to teach you some Thai or question them about a random statue you might see along the way. Their job is to help ensure that this is your trip of a lifetime by taking the hassle out of your trip and making sure you experience everything you came to Thailand for.
We do absolutely everything possible to avoid needing such a mundane awakening. A world without alarm clocks is one we want to be part of, and your “rise and shine” while in Thailand will come from the sound of crashing waves, an elephant trumpeting, or perhaps even the odd monkey jumping onto the roof of your bungalow.
For many people, their 15 days in Thailand & Cambodia just isn’t enough time. If you’re lucky enough to be able to stay longer, or if you decide to quit your job and become a beach bum in Thailand for the rest of your life, we’d be happy to extend (or cancel!) your return flight. We’ve been all over South-East Asia, so don’t think twice about asking where to go or what to do after your Detours trip is complete.
Our Detours groups are run with a maximum of 15 travelers. Ages of group members vary but around 90% of our travelers are in their 30's, 40's, and 50's. Whatever the age of the guys on our trips everyone's already got something in common, an exciting new experience in a new country! Each group is led by a Detours trip leader who is there to ensure everything goes off without a hitch, allowing you to focus on having the time of your life!
As we’ve already mentioned, you’ll have a tough time finding a more open-minded and accepting region, and most people don’t have any issue at all with homosexuality. That said, they are a modest people, and public displays of affection (whether gay or straight) are generally frowned upon. In respect for their local culture we usually suggest keeping your excitement and affection for your partner to more private locations.
No problem! Don’t worry, our trip will provide plenty of chances to meet great people both inside and outside of our group, including other solos. As far as your accommodations go, you’ve got two choices. We can either pair you up with another group solo member in a two-bed room, or you can have your own room for a reasonable surcharge.
Thailand & Cambodia use a "type A" and "type B" plug, the same as North America and several other places in the world. The voltage is 220V with 50 Hz frequency. These days, the majority of items that are plugged into an outlet are built to handle varying voltage and frequency levels, but just to be sure, we suggest checking your item for its acceptable range.
What's included? • All taxes • All land and sea transfers • 3 domestic flights within Thailand & Cambodia • Accommodations for your 15-day Detours experience • All full breakfasts • Group travel within Thailand & Cambodia • Full day Bangkok and temples day tour • Full day visit to local Elephant sanctuary • Full day trip to ancient ruins of Ayutthaya • 2 days at Angkor Wat temples including entrance and local guide • Welcome dinner and drinks • Knowledgeable and fun Detours leader •
What isn't included? • Meals and drinks outside of those listed above • Activities outside of the ones listed above • International Airfare • Optional Gratuities •
Additional spending budget? Your big-ticket items are included through the trip, but you'll want to budget for additional spending such as additional meals, drinks, shopping, activities, etc. These costs can vary dramatically with differing personal habits but we suggest expecting to spend an additional $700 USD at the lower end for the more budget-conscious and $1200 USD at the higher end for the splurgers. We suggest arriving to Thailand with approximately 10,000 local Thai Baht, and $100 US Dollars (for Cambodia).
Our travelers love us, and you will too.
Justin S. - USA
August 2, 2019
I have completed two Detours adventures and I give them my highest recommendation. The hotels, activities, and trip leaders are all top notch. The trips provide both structure and flexibility. With Detours, I boated to exotic islands in Thailand, zip-lined in the jungle, saw an authentic flamenco show up close in Spain, and completed many other unique and stimulating experiences. The trip leaders act as traveling concierges - answering all questions and arranging for private or small-group activities upon request.
Andy H. - USA
July 16, 2018
Detours has been my go to choice for unique travel experiences for the last 5 years. My 6th foray into the World of Detours was a trip I had waited 5 years to take, because of time restrictions at work. And it was definitely worth the wait! The diverse chaos and sensory overload of Bangkok to the quiet nights under the stars in Khao Yai,
the contrasts and diversity of this stunning country offers something for everyone. This trip gave a sense of discovery to not only a new country, but to one's self. Learning one's own limits, and then pushing them was possible here with no judgement. The people are so helpful and polite in every situation. They have an eagerness to please in any capacity. Each hotel selected by Detours was first rate! Luxurious pools and spas, exquisite restaurants and night life were always just a few steps away. The beaches of Railay and Phuket are in a league unto themselves. All the impossible stories of this country are true, and then some. My travel companions were as diverse as this trip. Close and lasting friendships were forged with ease. That, I have found, is a pleasant byproduct of the Detours experience. Our trip Leader Shane has a wealth of knowledge of this country that he eagerly shared. His guidance and openness to try new activities made for a very enjoyable time together. If you haven't experienced Detours yet, just do it. Do it now!
Brett S. - USA
April 5, 2018
When I signed up with Detours, I knew that I would have quite the experience in Thailand: hotels, transportation, and a knowledgeable guide to ensure that I got a "taste" of Thailand. I had no idea that I would also meet an incredible group of 15 other male travelers! Together we laughed, toured, experienced, discussed, and drank our way through temples, beaches, boats, and cities. Our trip leader could not have cared more for each one of us, as individuals. Shane, you truly brought the heart to this adventure. Thanks, Detours!
Greg M. - USA
April 4, 2018
I had a great time traveling to Thailand with Detours. I went to places and did things that definitely were not on my radar but that I absolutely loved. Shane, our group leader, was a joy. He really made the trip very special thanks to both his expertise in the country and his positive attitude!
Chris L. - USA
January 17, 2018
Just wrapped up my 3rd trip with Detours - Thailand January 2018 - and I'm ready to sign up for my 4th trip later this year. The trips continue to surprise me because of the life experiences as well as some of the lifelong bonds you create with some of your fellow travelers. I'm a true believer that no one would regret booking a trip with Detours.
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