Bangkok Gay Festival

All I can say is, “Wow”. What a party it was! Just returned from an incredible weekend in Bangkok where they held their first ever Bangkok Gay Festival. The organisation was a bit shoddy, but all of Asia (and then some) turned out in full force, and was it a sight to behold! Despite having difficulty securing the necessary permits to close Silom for the parade, everything still proceeded, VERY in your face. Good on the organisers!

I travelled with my foster-family, the self-titled CNNi of KL, staying at the wondeful Palm Courtt service apartments (just a short walk away from Silom where all the bars and clubs are). I guess Bangkok really offers something for everyone. Our main priority was, of course, the clubbing, so sex took a back seat (not literallly), and not one of us visited Babylon, nor any of the other massage places (we heard there was a line of more than 300 people at Babylon though!). Instead, our days were spent sleeping and shopping, and getting ready for each evening’s decadence.

Of note are the very very JADI (Malay word for “happening”) Hong Kong, Thai, Malaysian and Singpaporean party boys who really proved that circuit boyz have evolved beyond your typical North American and Sydney circuit. Beautiful bods, boys, and moves. The stages and podiums were positively heaving with hundreds of guys who simply refused to step out of the spotlight. Quite a sight! It’s too bad the Bangkok clubs aren’t open late. We had to hitch a long ride out to Sake where we continued dancing till 7 in the morning.

Of special note is the club called Factory. A very credible alternative for those of us who are sick and tired of DJ Station (which is one big fire hazard if you ask me). Factory not only has the space, and a much better choice of muscle circuit boyz, but it also regularly features foam parties. Imagine peaking and suddenly finding foam flying through the air! Some were obviously prepared in swimming trunks. I wasn’t, and found my rubber soled shoes destroyed the next morning (the foam is corrosive to rubber, evidently). Still, to mosh and slide around all the hot guys was an experience I would not forget in a long time. The music at Factory is also MUCH better than at DJ. Still, those who go for the mad crush at DJ won’t be disappointed.

I’m really glad that each party I go to keeps getting better. I half expected that I would be disappointed. Happy that I’m not jaded (yet). It all has to do with wonderful friends, and keeping your mind open. Besides the recovery (which could well take a week), I think everyone left with many wonderful memories, and a great time connecting with like-minded friends from around Asia.

Again, a hearty congratulations to the hardworking organisers on a party to remember. Hello to everyone who was there (drop me a line if you were at the party), and till next we party again!

p.s. Guess who I ran into? Oscar. Didn’t expect to see him at all (in fact, I WAS expecting him at the International Conference of AIDS in Asia and the Pacific last weekend in KL, but he wasn’t there)…so it was quite a surprise when I got this tap on the shoulder, and it turned out to be him. Hadn’t seen him since my rather hasty departure from London in October 1998. He’s now back in Cambodia, with the WHO this time. David, his new Scottish boyfriend was in tow. I am VERY happy to say that I realised I had fully gotten over the break up. Phew! My friends were all worried that I was going to have my holiday ruined. But no. I think I’m quite happy with where I am in my life. Gave Oscar a good hug and kiss, and I wish him all the best.

(OK I’m a little wee bit embarrassed by the photo. But I’m committed to journalistic integrity, and if I’ve done it, then what the hell – everyone’s had their fashion faux pas’…Back then we put EFFORT into our party costumes and don’t you forget it! – 5 Jan 2007)