The Hornet Guide to Gay Hong Kong
Hong Kong, with a visually stunning skyline, is one of the most visited cities in the world. A former British colony, different cultures and various nationalities have lived in peace in Hong Kong for years. Even after China took back the territory in 1997, Hong Kong retains a lot of its British influences and is truly an international city.
Hong Kong is Cantonese for “Fragrant Harbor.” This small island is famous as world’s fifth-busiest port with ready access by cargo ships. Hong Kong is also the world’s most densely populated city. Surrounded by peaks and mountains and overlooking Victoria Harbor, the city is a fantastic place for a weekend hike and other outdoor fun.
People are mostly gay-friendly here. With this welcoming attitude, Hong Kong has been a popular gay spot for years. Annual events including Gay Pride, the Pink Dot and the Pink Season, a massive LGBTQ event series, are making the queer community more visible here every year.
Famous Hong Kong Sites
Hong Kong is a small city (about 1,000 square miles), but it has many must-visit sites. During the day, you need to check out the Peak and get a panoramic view of the city. The Peak, the highest peak on Hong Kong island, is also the city’s most exclusive neighborhood and has been since colonial times. Ride the Peak Tram from the bottom and take in the view of the skyscrapers on your way up. Once you reach the Peak Tower, enjoy the shops and amazing restaurants on the high deck.
Walking around picturesque streets is the best way to tour a city. We recommend starting from the Clock Tower, so you get to see the historic Hong Kong monument. Then stroll around the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade and explore the Hong Kong Culture Centre and Space Museum along the way.
Do you love hunting for bargains? At Ladies’ Market there are hundreds of vendors selling clothing, accessories and souvenirs. There are also different trinkets, CDs and watches for grabs. At night, the Temple Street Night Market is another must-visit local attraction for shopping, people-watching and more. Like Ladies’ Market, there are plenty of vendors to haggle with. If you are done shopping for gifts, the night market also has different food vendors cooking up tasty authentic local cuisine like clay-pot rice and noodle dishes.
Hong Kong Amusement Parks
It’s a small world after all! Even in Hong Kong, there’s a Disneyland. Opened in 2005 and located on Lantau Island, Hong Kong Disneyland entertains thousands of visitors every day. This Disneyland has Tomorrowland, Adventureland and even Main Street USA for a day of fun adventures. If you’re looking for some live entertainment, Hong Kong Disneyland has the Flights of Fantasy Parade and Disney in the Stars, celebrating the spirit of the park. There is also a Disney resort nearby so you can spend days here.
Ocean Park Hong Kong, another favorite local attraction, is Hong Kong’s largest amusement and animal theme park. This park covers over 8,000 square miles and has more attractions than Hong Kong Disneyland. This park also has a zoo featuring rare animals like giant pandas and red pandas as the main attraction. They also recently built a world-class marine park in 2011.
Gay Hong Kong Nightlife
The gay scene is centered around three locations. The Central or Sheung Wan district caters to a westernized crowd. Causeway Bay caters to younger guys. Saunas and massage places are also scattered around in this neighborhood. Finally there’s Kowloon, which has some of the oldest bars where Asians meet Asians. There are several massage places and saunas in Kowloon, too.
In Central, an evening often starts with some drinks on the little yard at T:me bar. This bar is hard to find (you have to go through one of the narrow alleys off Hollywood Road into the center of the block), but it’s entertaining to chat with locals and make friends once you are there — even on weekdays, albeit somewhat quieter.
On Wednesdays, the crowd moves to Linq, which has a famed free vodka night between 10 p.m. and midnight. It always draws a big crowd inside and outside the bar, including straight guys who can’t resist the temptation. Linq usually gets busy during the weekend with local DJs spinning your favorite pop music all night long.
From Linq, guys usually cruise down to Jervois street to either check out the Zoo or stop by Wink bar. Zoo is a chic cocktail bar and a great place to socialize with friends or meet new ones. It has a broad range of sophisticated and tropical cocktails. Add in the regular drag shows featuring local performers and you’ve got a great night out!
At Wink you can find a young and fun group. Wink also features local DJs spinning different genres of music for various theme nights. If you’re a fan of Asian pop music, Wink plays the greatest hits every Friday night.
Bing Bing Bar, at CircoHK, around Causeway Bay, is another fun space to hang. This bar has live music during weeknights and turns to a happening club on the weekends. Boo Bar, in Kowloon, is another must-visit place with a huge bear crowd. If you love karaoke, Boo Bar also has a ‘variety show night’ for guys to sing their hearts out.
Places to Relax in Gay Hong Kong
Men in Hong Kong regularly visit spas to relax and get pampered. These local spas frequently change owners and locations — so make sure you call ahead before going. Two of the top massage places are the Dragonese Spa and Eden Spa. Dragonese Spa, a sleek spa just five minutes walk from Causeway Bay station, offers its clients a peaceful environment. This spa has a team of professional therapists and offers aromatherapy, body scrubs and massage.
Eden Spa is another great spa to check out. This gay-friendly spa offers quality and professional massage services. Frequently visited by foreign businessmen and travelers, this spa is also a popular place for the locals. Eden Spa has a team of certified masseurs on staff. This spa also has signature services like the Eden Spa Jet-Lag Reviver to the Caffeine Pleasure to relax you.
If you want to relax and play at the same time, try Hu Tong for a fun time. In Kowloon, Hu Tong is open 24/7 and boasts the biggest sauna system in Hong Kong. This clean facility also offers jacuzzis and tanning services. Hu Tong hosts weekly events like the Hanky and Doorless party to spice up your stay. It also sponsors special parties like Foam and Blackout parties where anything goes.
Gay Hong Kong Events
Hong Kong hosts a couple high-profile LGBTQ events every year. Hong Kong Gay Pride typically happens in November. The parade goes along a massive route from Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to Edington Place at the Central. Thousands of participants come out every year (and have since 2008!) and march with pride on this special occasion. Different local organizations also organize special events like huge circuit parties throughout the week.
Pink Dot is another huge LGBTQ outdoor event happening around late September or early October. This event is about the celebration of love for all, young and old. Pink Dot is a free, fun, non-political outdoor concert and carnival for allies, families, friends, and colleagues of the LGBTQ community. Pink Dot advocates for diversity and love equality.
Featured image by Dragonimages via iStockphoto