THE crystal-clear waters of Phuket’s Bang Tao Beach acted as a dazzling backdrop for the unforgettable premiere of the TropOut gay beach festival — this year hosted at the brand-new Cassia Phuket resort.

Around 200 people from over 20 countries descended on the upmarket beach for the modern and stylish week-long getaway, which offered partygoers a chance to chill, party and explore the tropical paradise with likeminded travellers.

 Guests balanced relaxation and uncovering the culture and sights of Thailand with partying at the two luxurious open-air beach clubs.

The week kicked off with an opening party at the breathtaking Xana Beach Club, headlined by international chart topping DJ Robin Schulz. Cocktails were free-flowing as guests danced the night away on the sand to his hit songs like Sugar and Prayer in C.

TropOut founder Aaron Zoanetti said Schulz’s performance set the scene for the week and for future events.

“His music suited our brand and the beaches of Thailand perfectly,” he said.

“Our guests loved his performance — it was quite special to have such a big name travel to Thailand for the first time to play for gay travelers on the beach.”

The next morning there was an educational visit to a Thai cooking school, where guests learnt how to whip up delicious green curries and pad Thais, before being transferred by rustic local transportation to the plush Dream Beach Club.

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Relaxing by the pool in private cabanas and plush day beds, it wasn’t long before bottles of fine champagne and vodka were ordered. Guests enjoyed the swim-up bar while mingling with their fellow travelers.

TropOut travelers then entered the sea and floated together as they watched the magnificent sunset.

The week ended with a large group trip by private speed boats to Phi Phi Island and some secluded bays.

The next TropOut events are planned for New Caledonia in May 2017, and a return to Thailand in late-November 2017.

“Thailand will always be our flagship event and we plan to grow it in terms of number of attendees, but we are equally excited for our guests to experience New Caledonia – another idyllic tropical destination,” Mr Zoanetti said.

TropOut is for couples, groups of friends or solo travelers, looking for a stylish fun-filled gay travel experience.

TropOut will return in 2017. Keep up to date by visiting tropout.com.

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