If you live outside of Asia and have always wanted to experience the gay scene in a whole different culture, then this article is for you. Below are our top ten more gay-friendly cities in Asia, and although there are definitely way more cities than we could fit on the list, we have narrowed down what we think are the best destinations. We based our list on a variety of criteria including gay events, locals laws, and overall openness in each city.
Now, in no particular order, let’s get started!
10 Most Gay Friendly Cities In Asia
Known most famously as the heaven for all tourists, Bangkok makes the list for being one of the most open and tolerant out of any city in Asia towards LGBT people. Walking the streets it is not uncommon to see couples holding hands and the city is no way in short supply of gay nightlife. The government is also more progressive than most and Thailand’s tolerant culture of “Ladyboys” has helped to remove much of the taboo of gender and sexuality. If you are looking for a place to live, or to stop by on a well-deserved vacation then Bangkok is worth a visit.
Hong Kong is a city located in the South of China, which is ironically one of the lesser gay-friendly countries. But what makes Hong Kong so special it’s uniquely open, international and forward thinking attitude. Formally a British colony, Hong Kong is a mix of the best from the west and the east all mixed into one. This means that the nightlife in Hong Kong is up there with all the biggest cities, featuring numerous gay bars and clubs as well as other LGBT friendly spots. If you want to see the more erotic side of Hong Kong, then it is worth a visit to the cities many famous Gay saunas for some clothes off fun.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
For anyone looking for a great place to take a vacation, Phnom Penh just might be the place for you and your partner. Not only does this city have one of the strongest LGBT communities in Asia, it is also rated as one of the most recommended places to visit for couples making it a popular Honeymoon destination. Mixed with year-round tropical weather and friendly locals Phnom Penh is renowned for its local culture. Drop by their theater and watch a play, socialize with the locals at a gay-friendly Cafe, and explore the art and architecture that the city has to offer. Don’t forget your Camera.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A perfect combination of technology and nature, the next on our list is Kuala Lumpur, AKA “KL”. As the capital of Malaysia as well as the country’s largest city, the people in KL are warm, welcoming and diverse. As one of the biggest cities in Asia, the city is fast-paced and quickly changing. This makes it welcoming to all travelers including LGBT members. There is plenty to do and see with a healthy mix of gay bars, clubs and gay-friendly spots around the city. If you’re ready for some sun, fun and cute guys then set KL as your next destination.
Yes, we are back again in Thailand, but for good reason! Phuket, located on the Southern Coast of Thailand brings the same kind of fun and friendliness that Thailand is known for, but with a more laid back, beachside feel. Although the city itself is nowhere near as big as Bangkok, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations for gays in Asia. Walking the beach or the street, you will see no shortage of handsome guys from all over the world, all ready to have fun. To top it off Phuket even has its very own gay beach, with plenty of nearby clubs for after the sun goes down.
If we were to make a list of the Gayest places on Earth, Tokyo Japan would be there. Tokyo’s gay culture can be traced back to ancient history and as the capital of Japan, Tokyo is definitely one of the most gay-friendly cities for that reason. Japan has no laws to go against homosexuality, and most recently the districts of Shibuya and Setagaya became the first in the country to offer same-sex partnerships. The city even has its own gay neighborhood in Nichyome with the street lined with multiple bars and clubs. Let’s just say you will be in for a crazy night. Above all, the Tokyo’s annual pride parade is one of the biggest in Asia, and if you can make it is absolutely worth checking out. (Read More from Being Gay in Japan)
Seoul, South Korea
I hope you like spicy food because the next on the list will have you sweating. Although the country doesn’t formally recognize same-sex couples, Seoul is quickly becoming an oasis of gay fun, with LGBT awareness growing every year Seoul is quickly becoming an LGBT utopia. As the plastic surgery capital of the world, sexual reassignment surgery is commonly available with locals able to chose to undergo surgery at the age 20. And if partying is your thing then Seoul also has you covered. Featuring two separate gay districts and a culture that loves to drink and stay out late, if you are looking for some of the best nightlife in Asia, then Seoul is for you. Best of all, Seoul has one of the friendliest gay scenes in Asia, and people are generally very accepting towards to gay tourists. (Read more from Being Gay in South Korea)
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Considered as one of the more progressive cities in Southeast Asia, Ho Chi Minh, also known as ”Saigon” has a population of international residents that is growing and with more and more young blood coming into the city. This has made it one of the most gay-friendly cities in Asia. There are no laws against homosexuality, in fact, political and local support for LGBT rights have gradually risen over the last 10 year. Is you are looking to vacation on a budget, enjoy the city’s the natural scenery and see a whole new side of the world, then Ho Chi Minh city is 100 hundred percent for you!
Just imagine – sunny beaches with warm sand between your toes, guys with tan skin surfing while the breeze gently touches your skin. Doesn’t it sound heavenly to you? That’s right, Bali is the heaven for all travelers, whether you are gay or not, this is a place you can unwind your soul and body. Though Indonesia is a Muslim nation, Bali draws tons of tourists from all over the world, especially from LGBT community. This means a street full of gay bars with talented go-go boys and drag shows, and if you want to relax there’s sensual massage that helps you to loosen up, Bali is for anyone out there who desires the best holiday!
Last but not least, Taipei is our pick for the most gay-friendly city in Asia. There are several reasons, but the most important being its recent battle for marriage equality that has a strong chance of passing later this year This would make it the first in Asia to fully recognize same-sex marriages. To add to this, this year’s Taipei Pride 2016, saw over 80,000 people making it the largest in Asia to date. Even on normal days, it is not uncommon to see gay couples openly walking the street and local businesses hanging gay flags in support. If you find yourself in Taipei don’t forget to visit the busy night markets for some of the most delicious food. Not to mention Taipei is new, convenient and affordable with public transportation that can take you to anywhere in the blink of an eye. And with some of the best clubs and bars in Asia, you are sure to have a great time! So why wait?
Do you have a favorite gay city that we forgot to mention? We’d like to hear your thoughts, so comment down below and tell us which cities make your list.