Gay Guide to Hong Kong

Published Date Author: , April 18th, 2013

Hong Kong skyline

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Hong Kong has long been famed as one of the more tolerant areas of Asia, especially compared to its authoritarian cousin over on the mainland. While gay residents still donit enjoy the full spectrum of rights, thereis very little practical possibility of being savagely beaten up, harassed or threatened – at least no more so than in any Western country. All of which is jolly good news, because Hong Kong is one of the most exciting cities on Earth. Vast, futuristic, contradictory; it’s well worth a visit whether you’re on the LGBTQI scale, or a celibate monk who has never touched a bottom in his life (except, y’know, his own). What we’re trying to say is Hong Kong is worth a visit, for some or all of the following:

Nightlife

Nightclub

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Whether you want to strut your stuff on the scene, or simply dig some beats in a world class venue, Hong Kong is the El Dorado of clubbing. If you want to do it old school, you should swing by Propaganda or Volume – two gay scene stalwarts that hark back to the acid house rave days of the early nineties; by which we mean they’re bright, ram-packed and very loud.

If you fancy something a little less hectic, The Works is a reasonable step toward sanity, still very much a club (it’s owned by the same guys as Propaganda), but located in a smaller, more manageable venue. Anyone who abhors pounding beats and shirtless dancers would do well to swing by New Wally Mat Lounge, where the atmosphere is decidedly more friendly local boozeri than international club. Off the scene, Club 71 or XXX are always good choices.

Saunas

Hong Kong Sauna

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Hong Kong is awash with gay saunas – all of them privately owned and so discreet you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d made a mistake. Anyone used to the anarchy of London’s sauna scene should be sure to arrive with dim expectations, but for the rest of us, they’re a great way to while away an afternoon.

Karaoke, movie nights and low-key socialising are the order of the day. A by-no-means-comprehensive list can be found here.

Parties

Hong Kong pride parade

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The LGBTQI scene has been throwing up some stunning parties of late – including a recent push towards lesbian parties (a group notoriously under-catered to, compared to their male counterparts). HX Production have been involved in a number of these, including running the annual Labour Pride Party to huge acclaim.

A step down in terms of spectacle, a number of blogs have reported a vast increase in the appearance of “gay boats” in the harbour; often old Chinese junks that have been converted (with varying degrees of success) into a floating party. From all accounts, most of these parties are delightfully irresponsible – which of course is how it should be. Check online for details before you go and keep an ear to the ground for any news.

Sights

Hong Kong Disneyland

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Of course, there’s plenty to do in Hong Kong that’s completely removed from any sort of scene. A trip to Asia’s premier city wouldn’t be complete without stopping in at the Po Lin Monastery to see their gigantic Buddha statue, or taking a turn around the Chi Lin Nunnery and accompanying Nan Lian Gardens – from where the bustle of the city just seems to melt away.

Be sure to also take a turn around the Ladies Market and a nighttime stroll along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade: from where the glittering buildings resemble distant galaxies, swirling through the fog. For those who have yet to really grow up (and who among us isn’t simply a big kid at heart?) there’s always Hong Kong Disneyland, which does exactly what you’d expect, to perfection.

Finally, if you’re travelling with a partner, be sure to take a ferry ride across the harbour – toward sunset there’s possibly no spot more romantic on the whole of the Earth.

Hong Kong Po Lin Monastery statue

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This guide was contributed by Tom on behalf of HotelClub. Whether you enjoy wild nights clubbing or peaceful romantic seclusion, visit HotelClub.com’s Hong Kong hub to compare the region’s best hotels.

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