If you want disco balls and flashing lights on your travels, then finding a big night out in Asia is not a difficult task.
The diverse and numerous destinations within the Asian region offer travellers stunning beaches for relaxing, and unique cities for exploring, and the gay party scene in many Asian countries has long been a force to be reckoned with.
Here’s our guide to some of the highlights:
If gay pride parades are any indication of progress, many Asian countries like Taiwan, China and Japan have turned the political movement into a welcome annual institution.
Taipei Pride draws tens of thousands of marchers to its annual parade, and also receives support from some of the world’s largest corporations – including Google, and Goldman Sachs.
In the same vein, Hong Kong Pride attracts over 5,000 marchers and also the endorsement of global conglomerates.
Even for the less-established pride celebrations, such as Tokyo Pride, companies like Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Google, IBM, Phillips, and UBS are taking steps to demonstrate their commitment to diversity within their company and customers.
Anti-gay legislation continues to pose an interesting challenge for LGBTI travellers and locals. Despite gay sex still being illegal in Singapore, the local gay community is quite vibrant, continues to attract LGBTI travellers from around the world, and is making progress fighting anti-gay laws.
While the lines between gay-friendly and anti-gay destinations become more and more blurred, opportunities for fun and community continue to shine.
Where to party
- DJ Station: One of the most popular gay nightclub in Bangkok, DJ Station is packed every night of the week. The ground floor of the club tends to be more popular with locals, while the second floor is for mixing with international visitors. While the club opens at 9PM, the party usually doesn’t get started until midnight.
- G Bangkok: As DJ Station winds down, G Bangkok is typically the next stop. Otherwise known as G.O.D. (for guys on display), the shirtless bodies start packing the place around 2am.
- Trinity Silom: Excellent value and in ideal location – right next to the BTS Station means one stop to the gay nightlife and three to some of the area’s most popular shops. The hotel focuses on a simple mission statement focusing on a good bed, shower, meal, internet and fitness facility.
- The Heritage: Close to all the gay bars and clubs in Silom.
- Siam Kempinski: A stunning luxury hotel next to all the shopping malls. The rooms come equipped with the latest technology you could need, and some you’ve never thought of: You can even post your own photos on digital picture frames on the wall.
Where to party
- JumP: With theme nights that change every Saturday, JumP is one of Taiwan’s best gay dance venues.
- G5: One of the biggest dance party venues in the region, G5 attracts world-class DJs and packed crowds every weekend.
- Inhouse Hotel: Close to the gay district of Ximen, the Inhouse is great value for a designer hotel. The Inhouse is located a 5-minute walk from Ximen MRT station, with surrounding night markets just outside the hotel door.
- SWIIO Hotel: A stylish and modern hotel. The hotel is only blocks away from gay bars in the Red House Quarter.
- Hotel Eclat: A boutique luxury option with a design aesthetic all its own. An excellent location for parties, close to the shops and Taipei 101, Taiwan’s tallest skyscraper.
- W Taipei: the W brand brings its eclectic visuals and supreme service to the streets of Taipei, conveniently located above a department store and blocks away from major sightseeing stops. The W also great for making it to parties and has an excellent pool to come home to.
Where to party
- Taboo: One of the most popular gay dance clubs in the city. The 2-story, 5000 square foot venue comes equipped with a loft area for chilling out. Big-name international DJs are regularly featured.
- Porcelain: A budget hotel in the heart of Singapore’s Chinatown. The rooms are well designed and compact, and close to the gay scene.
- Naumi Liora: Originally built in 1858, this mid-range boutique hotel was completely renovated in 2012. Also close to the gay scene, the Naumi Liora has a 24-hour fitness room and nibbles bar. Worth checking out are the Porch Rooms with a secret garden.
- Marina Bay Sands: An iconic hotel and casino with one of the most stunning pools in the world. The stunning Skypark pool is an infinity pond nestled amongst skyscrapers. The sun terrace and pool are accessible to hotel guests only.
Where to party
- Zoo: The chic and stylish bar has become a staple in Hong Kong’s gay scene. The weekend DJ draws crowds so large over the weekend that they spill out onto the street.
- BEAT: Across the street from Zoo bar, BEAT has a resident DJ and live shows throughout the week.
- Propaganda: A legend among clubs in Hong Kong. Propaganda is the biggest gay nightclub in the city, and since it’s one of the only venues open once the rest of the bars and clubs have shut, feel free to be fashionably late.
- BOO: A karaoke bar for bears and their admirers. Has a local bar feel with good drinks, cute waiters and a decent happy hour.
- The Mercer: Conveniently located next to ZOO and BEAT, this high-rise boutique hotel offers lush and stylish accommodations.
- Ovolo Hotel: Free minibar and breakfast come included with booking one of these stylish boutique rooms. Guests also have access to the 24-hour gym.
- W Hong Kong: The classically cool W Hotel incorporates local art and design influences. Near BOO bar, this hotel is in a league of its own with a glass-wall pool and sun terrance on the 72nd floor.
Where to party
- The Annex: Owned by the same people who organize Arty Farty, a gay party open to boys and girls, The Annex party bar & dance club boasts a lengthy bar and a late-night DJ.
- Shangri-La at ageHa: One of Tokyo’s largest gay parties, Shangri La is a monthly party that takes over four floors, four bars and a pool.
- Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku: For comfort and convenience, this hotel is a top choice. It’s close to Ni-chome gay area and popular shops.
- Park Hyatt Tokyo: One of the best views in town, the Park Hyatt is worth every penny. Of Lost in Translation film fame, the hotel takes up the top 14 floors in a 52-story building. For the best views, head to the gym and pool for floor-to-ceiling glass walls.