|A panorama of four images, from across the soi|
You don't have to be a gay person to have an enjoyable evening of people watching on what I believe to be Silom's most popular side street, Soi 4, but you do need to have more of an accepting nature than some folks can muster. To my way of thinking a straight person who is able to say "no, thank you" should do just fine. If you're a deeply closeted gay person who doesn't want to be seen in an area accepted as mixed you may have slightly more of a problem than others, but don't let that keep you away.
A Muslim Thai friend had never been to any gay area in Thailand and asked if I'd take him when I was there a couple of months ago. He is the one who is living within the constraints of an arranged marriage, and you can read that story here, if you wish. While he was quite nervous about someone he worked with or knew seeing him there he sat there bug-eyed as folks passed by along the street in front of our table at Telephone Pub. We'd only been there on the terrace for 15 minutes or so when he decided he'd be more comfortable (and perhaps less visible) inside.
|Plenty of seating both inside and out|
If you are gay you've undoubtedly have your own stories of dealing with it while at the hands of ignorance, prejudice or persecution on one level or another. Some of us have only had to deal with taunts and name-calling, some of us have suffered far worse. My own story isn't relevant here today, but suffice it so say I tend to avoid situations where I'm liable to be put into an uncomfortable situation when it's at all possible.
The atmosphere on Soi 4 has always been a comfortable one for me. There are enough bemused straight couples and assorted curious folks who are just exploring the area - or in to eat at Sphinx, a fine spot towards the back end of the soi - that I'd venture to say most anyone could sit out at a table and be bothered by nothing more than the drifting cigarette smoke from someone nearby.
|You can't miss the sign from Silom Road|
Telephone Pub itself is one of the longer lived places on the soi, having been there about a quarter of a century. As I understand the story the owner(s) used to be partners with the owner(s) of the Balcony, directly across the soi. Telephone was opened when those folks parted ways. Balcony is also still quite a going concern, and both have their ardent supporters.
These photos were taken in March, and while they probably belonged in the "Night Photos" series I wanted to mention a little more about the place itself to encourage you to try an evening there or at another of the places along Soi 4. It's not quite as colorful as Soi Twilight, but it's a good starting point for newbies who aren't as interested in the go-go clubs.
There's more on the Telephone Pub website.
|The green dot shows the location|