Naked Wanderings in Rush Hour, Hong Kong

A look back at one of the more strange events in 2017

He is first noticed chatting to a large African tourist in Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui district close to the waterfront in Kowloon. The tourist asks what he is doing. “I don’t know you, so I . . . just leave.”

After the traffic lights change, he calmly and confidently takes the pedestrian crossing and enters a street-side moneychanger. He then walks about 200 meters to the Nathan Road entrance to the Mass Transit Railway where he queues for a cross-harbour train. He even chats casually to MTR staff! At Admiralty station on Hong Kong Island, he crosses the platform and again queues for an eastbound train. At North Point station he exits and walks down to another platform for a second train across the harbour to Hang Hau where he lived with his family. Finally police and MTR staff arrest him before he can board a train.

The first extraordinary thing about this 15-minute episode is that the 20-year Hong Kong citizen named Wong was naked. That’s right – buck naked, apart from a pair of crocs, earphones and his phone!

The second is that apart from the African tourist, absolutely not one of the many hundreds of people he must have encountered on this 15- minute adventure seemed to think it odd that a naked man should be wandering Hong Kong’s busy streets among rush hour commuters.

Police suggested he was suffering from a mental disorder. His friends and neighbours disagreed, describing him to reporters variously as “nice”, “normal” and “smart”. According to the popular newspaper Oriental Daily News, “I never noticed him acting strangely,” one person said. It then added – Wong’s former classmates online said that the 20-year-old was “smart”, “funny”, “loyal”, and “popular”, especially with women… “Maybe [his public nudity] was some kind of performance art.” According to an MTR official involved in the incident, Wong claimed he was living in a game world.

Popular with women? Well, although we have had to photoshop his nudity, we can reveal that what he displayed would probably have been of little interest to anyone. It is difficult to see anything lurking amongst his pubic hair!

We understand Wong was admitted to hospital early that evening, but later checked himself out. We can find no news as to whether he was charged with any offence or not.

All photos from tumblr.com

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Its Been a Long Time

Happy Memories of Asia

Reading predictions elsewhere about the doubtful future for Bangkok’s go-go bars took me back to my first visit to that amazing city. I doubt if any gay visitor to Thailand in the mid-1980s was anything but gobsmacked by the amazing variety on offer in the go-go bars. Here were some of the loveliest boys on the planet having fun, many throwing killer smiles at you in the hope you’d be so smitten you would immediately off them.

Recent Bangkok Gay Club - GoThaiBeFree

Recent Bangkok Gay Club – GoThaiBeFree

Well, to be honest, not all the boys smiled. Twilight was a sleaze-type joint run by a pair of severe-looking mamasans with a short retainer running around adding in extra chairs as more and more punters came in. There never seemed to be more than a couple of dozen on weekdays but it would be packed to the rafters on Fridays and Saturdays. The boys here danced in underwear until around 9:30 pm when, with a bark from one of the mamasans, the next group of four due on the tiny stage would take off their pants, quickly try to encourage some life out of their manhoods before it was their turn for a five-minute stint. Thereafter they would be replaced by another group while the earlier group, still totally naked, would wander through the audience and stand around one of the pillars gazing into nothingness.

I'm Here for you Honey – tumblr.com

I’m Here for you Honey – tumblr.com

I loved Twilight and visited almost every night. But I sometimes felt sorry for the boys. It was clear they did not enjoy being in the buff and would do their best to cover their nakedness with their hands. Across the road in the Barbiery go-go bar it was completely different. The dozens of young boys dancing and presenting exciting and sexy shows for our pleasure all seemed to be having a load of fun. This was hugely infectious. It was no surprise as boys were offed so quickly that not many remained as the evenings came to a close.

Bangkok Boys are Waiting – tumblr.com

Bangkok Boys are Waiting – tumblr.com

Boykakke

Enjoying Bangkok’s delights to the full, I almost fell in love half a dozen times. These young guys with their smooth brown bodies were so beautiful, so willing to do whatever I wished, were happy to stay overnight with more to come in the morning before they would quietly leave with their tips, usually just before I managed to make it to breakfast as the service was closing. What joy!

I had decided on this first trip to add in a second city. Flying from Europe, Cathay Pacific had a great fare linking both Bangkok and Hong Kong. So Hong Kong it was. I was excited about visiting this last colonial outpost set on the edge of a China finally opening up to the outside world. I was aware that Hong Kong had little of what Bangkok had to offer a gay man, apart from a couple of bars which I had been told were closely watched by the police. But that was OK by me since Hong Kong was for sightseeing.

The HSBC HQ dwarfing the Colonial Era Supreme Court

The HSBC HQ dwarfing the Colonial Era Supreme Court

I wanted to cram as much as I could into my four days – the harbour, the old funicular tramway up to the Peak, the ladder streets near Central district, the ancient trams running across the top of the island and the ferries which plied across the harbour for a pittance, some Chinese temples, the old colonial architecture set against Hong Kong’s new skyscrapers, and of course a sunset champagne cruise around the island aboard one of the icons of old Hong Kong, a junk.

Today Only an Official Tourist Junk plies the Harbour

Today Only an Official Tourist Junk plies the Harbour

Throughout my visit the weather was hot and fiercely humid, even more so than Bangkok had seemed to be. I was used to the beaches of Spain and Greece in the height of summer, but none had anything like Hong Kong’s 95%-plus humidity. I thanked the Lord for the many shopping malls whose air conditioning provided me with oases of relief!

A Musical Theme in one of Hong Kong's Swanky Shopping Malls

A Musical Theme in one of Hong Kong’s Swanky Shopping Malls

With nightlife restricted, I noticed there was a concert on Saturday evening, one with a programme I rather fancied. So I found where to buy a ticket and that evening made my way to City Hall, not far from the cross-harbour ferry terminal. The smallish concert hall was quite full and the orchestra played quite well. But not well enough for my liking. So instead of waiting for the second half, I got myself a drink from the bar. Then I wandered outside to gaze over to Kowloon, leaning on the railing by the waterfront, watching a myriad of different ships, junks and little boats criss-crossing the busy waterway, aware of planes up to my left as they made their progress over Kowloon before the notoriously steep right-hand turn and – boom! – they would be on the runway.

A 1998 Photo of one of the Last Cathay Pacific Flights into Hong Kong’s old Kai Tak Airport after completing that Scary 90-Degree Turn - Frederic J Brown / Getty Images

A 1998 Photo of one of the Last Cathay Pacific Flights into Hong Kong’s old Kai Tak Airport after completing that Scary 90-Degree Turn – Frederic J Brown / Getty Images

It was a clear, balmy summer’s evening. I loved the view, even if it had none of the drama of that from the Kowloon side, truly one of the most spectacular harbour views in the world.

Night View of Hong Kong Island from Kowloon

Night View of Hong Kong Island from Kowloon

And then I saw him. Out of the corner of my eye, to my right I noticed a tallish, slim guy, I assumed Chinese, also leaning on the railing watching the night view. It was not long before he looked at me, a look that was a little overlong for a mere casual glance. Hmm! I thought. He looks cute. My gaydar was working overtime. But this being Hong Kong, I had heard all about possible entrapment and I was concerned about casual hook-ups.

Hong Kong Gay Hook-Ups often had to take place here – tumblr.com

Hong Kong Gay Hook-Ups often had to take place here – tumblr.com

Then I threw caution to the gentle breeze. I slowly inched towards him. He did the same. Eventually, I was beside him. He looked quite lovely.

“Excuse me, do you speak English?”
He turned towards me and I saw that lovely face
“Yes. I was at school in England for a few years.”

Still concerned about entrapment, I decided the best ploy would be to invite him first for dinner or a drink. He had already dined and so we headed for the nearby Hilton Hotel bar where, it just so happened, I was staying! I learned he was a musician, a singer and guitar player and performed with a small band. Nothing special he told me, but we have a small following in the pubs and clubs. No concert on a Saturday night? Usually yes, but this one had been cancelled as it had been due in the nearby Dateline gay bar which had had a police visit only the previous evening. So he was free, he told me, with what I assumed to be a hint of a suggestion.

Can you imagine 3 Cuter Young Hong Kong Guys? Actors Danny Chan, Leslie Cheung and Paul Chung in the 1981 Hong Kong Movie “On Trial”. Danny and Leslie were Closet Gays at the time. All Died Tragically Young. Danny of a Drug Overdose aged 35. Paul and Leslie committed Suicide aged 30 and 47 respectively - pinterest.com

Can you imagine 3 Cuter Young Hong Kong Guys? Actors Danny Chan, Leslie Cheung and Paul Chung in the 1981 Hong Kong Movie “On Trial”. Danny and Leslie were Closet Gays at the time. All Died Tragically Young. Danny of a Drug Overdose aged 35. Paul and Leslie committed Suicide aged 30 and 47 respectively – pinterest.com

I’ll cut the rest of the story short. He came to my room and for the first time in my life I enjoyed an evening of lovemaking with a passionate young Chinese. Make that two evenings for we also spent the next night together. How I loved it! And how I started to love him! This was more genuine, more loving than my encounters in Bangkok. But then those had been with boys making a living. This was with a lonely young gay man, still afraid to be known as gay in homophobic Hong Kong and especially the effect on his young career if ever he was outed.

Hong Kong’s Hugely Popular mid-1980s Canto-Pop Kings: Leslie Cheung, Andy Lau, Aaron Kwok and Jackie Cheung. Apart from Jackie Cheung, all were assumed to be Gay. Leslie eventually Came Out but the other two Married much later in their Careers – Click to see full sized image

Hong Kong’s Hugely Popular mid-1980s Canto-Pop Kings: Leslie Cheung, Andy Lau, Aaron Kwok and Jackie Cheung. Apart from Jackie Cheung, all were assumed to be Gay. Leslie eventually Came Out but the other two Married much later in their Careers – Click to see full sized image

On Monday we parted, he to rehearsal, me to complete my sightseeing and get ready for the long flight back to Britain. As I killed time that day, part of me wished I had come to Hong Kong first and spent more of my time here. Silly thought! How could I possibly have known I would find such a cute young man so eager to meet up with a foreigner and happy beyond measure to spend time with him.

With the glittering lights of Hong Kong Island disappearing fast from my plane window, I smiled. My two weeks had all been a wonderful adventure, filled with so much excitement and interest for a gay tourist. I resolved I would return one day.

Anthony Wong and Denise Lau. Two Hong Kong stars who found Coming Out in the New Millennium far easier - Time Our

Anthony Wong and Denise Lau. Two Hong Kong stars who found Coming Out in the New Millennium far easier – Time Our

It took the better part of 18 years before I fulfilled that resolution. Friends told me the Bangkok scene would be less exciting thanks to a much greater degree of government control over nightlife. But Hong Kong, having repealed the hated British colonial anti-sodomy law in 1991, had become much more open. This time I hit Hong Kong first, enjoying the delights of the labyrinthine bar and dance club Works, filled with mostly wonderfully handsome young Chinese and their western admirers and where you could hardly move on a Saturday night. Saunas had begun to mushroom with the tiny CE off Lyndhurst Terrace attracting older westerners and young Chinese, and another much larger establishment on Lockhart Road whose name now escapes me. This was very different from the Hong Kong I had known all those years ago. But it was a great deal of fun!

Old Hong Kong Street outside CE Sauna

And then I saw him! No, not another ‘him’! The same ‘him’! My companion of 18 years earlier. On this visit I was staying in the cheaper and strangely named Bishop Lei House in Mid-Levels. I had decided to walk down the hill to get some easy exercise. Near the bottom of Wyndham Street close to its junction with Queens Road Central, we just happened to pass each other. Both of us stopped, looked around, smiled and said almost in unison, “It’s been a long time!”

After a short chat on the street, he suggested moving to a small nearby café. Although we had both aged somewhat, I still saw in his face the young man who had so entranced me all those years ago. We filled each other in on what we had been doing since we had last met. He, it turned out, had become a big star in the Hong Kong pop world. He was also considering ‘coming out’, although he would not make it public yet. He was happy he now had a long-time partner.

“We must keep in touch,” he generously suggested. He had no name card and so wrote his address and email on a paper napkin. “I’ll be in touch,” I said, adding “Hopefully we can meet up for dinner whenever I can next afford to come this far.”

Hope you had fun in Hong Kong – tumblr.com

Hope you had fun in Hong Kong – tumblr.com

I knew it was not to be. I had no idea if I could ever afford to return to this bustling, fascinating, increasingly polluted and by now expensive city. Besides, once you have seen the sights of Hong Kong and sampled some of its utterly delicious food, there is not much left for the visitor, unless as a stepping-stone into the equally fascinating world of China.

On the flight to Bangkok, I took out that napkin. I looked again at his handwriting. I smiled at the memories. After a few moments of reflection, I folded it and put it neatly on the lunch tray. Soon a flight attendant had whisked it away.

Demon Guardians at Wat Phra Kaew

After my week in Bangkok. I never did get back to Hong Kong. All I know from the internet is that my brief friend remains a pop singer of some repute giving concerts all over Asia. I am happy that we met when he was a struggling club artist. There was a hunger and a longing in him then that had been replaced by quiet, almost knowing confidence in that Wyndham Street coffee shop. He doesn’t need it, but I will always wish him the best of good fortune.

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Hong Kong will Host the 2022 Gay Games

Hong Kong will host the 2022 Gay Games, becoming the first Asian city to stage the sports and cultural event. The Federation of Gay Games (FGG) chose Hong Kong over Guadalajara in Mexico and Washington DC. A record 17 cities had expressed interest in hosting the 2022 Gay Games.

Gay Games XI - outin.hk

Gay Games XI – outin.hk

The win comes amid growing momentum for the gay rights movement in Asia, with Taiwan’s constitutional court this year declaring that gay couples have the right to marry.

The games are expected to attract more than 15,000 participants and provide a 103 million USD boost to the economy. Bid supporters called the decision a victory for the status of the city’s gay community. The impact that the Gay Games has in host cities is incredible in terms of culture, sport, economic impact, history and equality.

The Hong Kong bid team was supported by numerous corporations, including Cathay Pacific, Credit Suisse and Linklaters.

Gay Games Opening Ceremony - outin.hk

Gay Games Opening Ceremony – outin.hk

The 2018 Gay Games will take place in Paris from August 4 to 12, featuring 36 sports, 14 cultural events, an academic conference, with up to 15,000 participants from 70 countries. The Gay Games was conceived by Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlete and was first held in San Francisco in 1982.

Hong Kong has a high degree of autonomy and freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland. But there is no law against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gay marriage is not recognised in Hong Kong. Homosexuality is not illegal in mainland China and many large cities have thriving gay scenes but many gay individuals still face family and social pressure to marry and have children.

Hong Kong Gay Pride - twitter.com/andrewchristian

Hong Kong Gay Pride – twitter.com/andrewchristian

Official reaction from government leaders has been very muted. One wonders what China will think!

More info about the Gay Games can be found on the FGG website.

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Hong Kong Leadership Candidate Dares to Mention Gay Marriage

In the contrived world of Hong Kong politics, one candidate in the election for Chief Executive due on March 27 has thrown a spanner in Beijing‘s carefully choreographed electoral dance. Carrie Lam, a former Chief Secretary, recently told a radio programme she would “not rule out consultation” on gay marriage.

Really? Can we soon get married in Hong Kong? - tumblr.com

Really? Can we soon get married in Hong Kong? – tumblr.com

What? Gay marriage in Hong Kong? The religious and anti-LGBT groups immediately jumped on her. Pressed to clarify her position, she also jumped, this time up onto the fence by adding, “but if the time is not ripe for legislation and we still push for it, then this may trigger a backlash against gay people who will face hostility and discrimination.”

This later comment is so typical of the government’s views in the 1980s when it was being pressed to get rid of the old 1861 Victorian law and decriminalize homosexuality. “Chinese culture will not accept it,” was always the mantra. In government, when you come across division, retreat to well-worn if out-dated positions. Yet after it was forced by the Law Reform Commission to go down the decriminalisation road in 1991, the local Chinese community has had absolutely zero problem openly accepting the LGBT community.

Carrie Lam electioneering - South China Morning Post

Carrie Lam electioneering – South China Morning Post

At least Ms. Lam had the courage to even mention a gay issue in her campaign. If successful, hopefully she will be found to have no skeletons in her cupboard, for several nasty ones have recently been rattling the upper echelons of power.

Too many Skeletons Dancing in Hong Kong - blinddogbooks.wordpress.com

Too many Skeletons Dancing in Hong Kong – blinddogbooks.wordpress.com

Hong Kong, once regarded as one of the cleanest territories in Asia, has seen its reputation take a huge knock. It was believed the Independent Commission Against Corruption introduced in the mid-1970s had massively helped the territory all but get rid of high level corruption and achieve its enviable “clean” reputation.

That reputation is now in tatters. Last week Hong Kong’s former Chief Executive from 2005 – 2012, Donald Tsang, was sentenced to 20 months in jail for corruption whilst in office.

Donald Tsang leaving court - South China Morning Post

Donald Tsang leaving court – South China Morning Post

“Never in my judicial career have I seen a man fallen from such a height,” said High Court Judge Andrew Chan. Tsang is the highest-ranking current or former official sent to prison for misdeeds. The judge announced he had planned to sentence Tsang to 30 months in jail but took10 months off because of his good character and contribution to Hong Kong over many years.

Prior to becoming Chief Executive, Tsang had been the first Chinese in Hong Kong’s history to hold the position of Financial Secretary. He had won plaudits for the way he steered Hong Kong through the Asian Financial crisis and repulsing a sustained attack on its currency by hedge fund speculators.

Tsang’s jailing follows that of his Deputy Rafael Hui who is serving seven and a half years after being found guilty of accepting almost US$2.5 million in bribes from the city’s largest developer SHK Properties.

SHK Properties 118-storey International Commerce Centre - wikipedia.org

SHK Properties 118-storey International Commerce Centre – wikipedia.org

And retiring Chief Executive, the hugely unpopular C. Y. Leung, is facing his own legal probe into allegations of secret payments of over US$6.5 million from the Australian firm UGL prior to becoming the city’s leader, an illegal act under Australia’s foreign bribery laws.

Clearly finding a “clean” candidate for the next Chief Executive may not be easy in no longer so squeaky-clean Hong Kong. Hopefully, if Ms. Lam does come out on top, she will ensure the issue of gay marriage does not remain permanently up there on the fence.

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Gay Lions Caused an Up-Roar!

They are as iconic as its harbour, Victoria Peak, I. M. Pei’s Bank of China Building and the Norman Foster-designed Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Building, now renamed simply the HSBC Building. They are of course HSBC’s famous pair of bronze lions which adorn the forecourt of its Hong Kong headquarters.

Hong Kong's HSBC Headquarters behind the old Supreme Court building

Hong Kong’s HSBC Headquarters behind the old Supreme Court building

Now distinctive landmarks in their own right and a magnet for locals and tourists who visit the bank to stroke them in the hope that good fortune will follow, the lions have guarded the bank since it moved from Shanghai to Hong Kong in 1935. After the original building was redeveloped in the early 1980s, feng shui experts were called in to determine the exact location for the placement of the lions. The statues even have names – Stephen and Stitt.

Stephen Lion

Stephen Lion

Recently the lions attracted even more visitors, but for a change some negative comment. HSBC has been at the forefront of major corporations supporting gay equality in Hong Kong. To help promote a month-long “Celebrate Pride, Celebrate Unity” campaign in November, it placed a pair of replica lions in the forecourt – both painted in rainbow colours.

Rainbow Coloured Lion - SCMP

Rainbow Coloured Lion – SCMP

Unveiling the lions, HSBC Group General Manager and CEO Diana Cesar called for support of the local LGBT community and “equality for everyone.” Not everyone was happy, though. Activists from various family-related bodies launched on-line signature campaigns expressing disapproval of the “disgusting” display which they claimed was offensive. Good on HSBC! The bank stood its ground and the lions remained in position for a full month with the vast majority of visitors enjoying the experience.

Hong Kong prepares for Chinese New Year

Hong Kong prepares for Chinese New Year

The lions have had an eventful history. The original pair was commissioned when the HSBC building opened on the Bund in Shanghai in 1923. With the move of the headquarters to Hong Kong, a second pair was erected. Late in the Second World War, these were confiscated by the Japanese and sent to Japan to be melted down. Before this could happen, the war ended and an American sailor happened to see them in an Osaka dockyard. They were restored to their original position in 1946.

Stitt Lion

Stitt Lion

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Hong Kong Gay Pride Parade 2016

Often regarded as one of the least successful Pride Parades in Asia, at least in terms of numbers, Hong Kong held its 2016 Parade on Saturday 26 November. This year, cold weather and heavy rain nothwithstanding, 6,800 turned up for a March along the harbour front, a major increase over last year’s attendance. The theme of the Parade was “green light” – symbolising the fight for equality for all.

Hong Kong’s Gay Pride Parade - Getty Images

Hong Kong’s Gay Pride Parade – Getty Images

Several top diplomats and some legislators attended, including the Chairman of the Equal Opportunities Commission, Alfred Chan Cheung-ming. Mr Chan urged the Hong Kong government to move forward with anti-discrimination legislation to cover gender orientation and gender identity. The organisers of the parade pointed out that 90% of Hong Kong’s young people support the enactment of such laws.

More Articles about Hong Kong

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Gay Hong Kong in 2016 – Update

As a regular visitor to Hong Kong for more years than I care to remember, I am often asked to sum it up, by no means an easy task for what is definitely one of the world’s most amazing places. Indeed, “amazing” is a pretty accurate description. “World financial centre” is another, as evidenced by the number of swanky cars you see at almost every turn.

Gay Hong Kong - A Porsche parked in one of Hong Kong’s side streets

Gay Hong Kong – A Porsche parked in one of Hong Kong’s side streets

“Over-populated” must come a near third. It is after all one of the most densely packed areas on the planet. Try walking around Central district as the lunch hour is about to start and you will know what I mean. Repeated waves of humanity all seeming to descend on you as though you were their meal!

Gay Hong Kong - I. M. Pei’s Stunning Design for the Bank of China Building

Gay Hong Kong – I. M. Pei’s Stunning Design for the Bank of China Building

Surprisingly to most visitors, about 40% of Hong Kong’s land area of 1,100 sq. kms is made up of country parks where you can spend many hours without being hemmed in by high-rise concrete. There are also more the 200 islands, a few of which can be accessed by ferry and make for a very pleasant day away from the hustle and noise of the city.

Gay Hong Kong - A Good Reason to visit one of the Country Parks? - Nishizaki Studio

Gay Hong Kong – A Good Reason to visit one of the Country Parks? – Nishizaki Studio

Boykakke

Hong Kong is also an easy city for getting around. The MTR underground system is extensive, there are plenty of taxis and air conditioned buses, and for those who like a more leisurely pace of travel, there are always the trams which run along the north of the island. They may lack air-conditioning but generate a pleasant breeze unless it is pouring with rain.

Gay Hong Kong - Hong Kong’s Much Loved and Hot Old Trams

Gay Hong Kong – Hong Kong’s Much Loved and Hot Old Trams

Hong Kong’s attraction for the gay visitor and some of its gay history were explored in two earlier articles – here (Gay Honkers, “Asia’s World City”) and here (Asian Gay Culture and Western Influences Part 5). After Britain’s colonial sodomy law was repealed 25 years ago, gay bars and saunas soon opened – and then mostly closed as the wreckers’ balls moved in to make way for new developments. Propaganda and later Works were large spaces with bars, dance floors and cruising spaces. At weekends both were so packed with heaving bodies that moving around involved quite a bit of groping!

Gay Hong Kong - Hong Konger on Lantau Island Looking Towards the Tin Kau Bridge – KewlPics

Gay Hong Kong – Hong Konger on Lantau Island Looking Towards the Tin Kau Bridge – KewlPics

Both are sadly no more. Now gay bars have mostly downsized. For some years there has been the tiny but cosy T:ME bar located in a quiet alley behind Hollywood Road, a perfect venue for after work drinks.

Gay Hong Kong - T:IME bar behind Hollywood Road – T:ME Bar

Gay Hong Kong – T:IME bar behind Hollywood Road – T:ME Bar

A little west and north of Hollywood Road at the junction of Queen’s Road West and Bonham Strand East lies the start of the Sheung Wan District with several gay venues. Zoo Bar at the corner of Jervois and Mercer Streets is packed at weekends, less so during the week. Hong Kong guys work hard and so going out on weekdays is not often on the agenda.

Gay Hong Kong - Frontage of Zoo Gay Bar in Sheung Wan – Zoo Bar

Gay Hong Kong – Frontage of Zoo Gay Bar in Sheung Wan – Zoo Bar

About half a mile west of Central and close to one of the Sheung Wan MTR station exits, this area has become popular with a gay crowd and boasts at least two other venues – the dance bar FLM just across from Zoo, and Wink Bar nearby.

Gay Hong Kong - FLM Dance Club across the road from Zoo Bar

Gay Hong Kong – FLM Dance Club across the road from Zoo Bar

The latest addition to the gay nightlife scene is Circo, further east in Causeway Bay. Located on the 22nd floor of a high-rise in Sharp Street East close to Times Square, this lounge bar and dance club has great views over Hong Kong and Kowloon. Already the trendy set are gravitating here. Although prices are not the cheapest in town with cocktails hovering between $110* and $150, a visit is well worth the experience both for the view and for people watching. And who knows, that handsome guy on his own might even have his eyes on you!

Gay Hong Kong - Causeway Bay's new Circo Gay Club - Circo Club

Gay Hong Kong – Causeway Bay’s new Circo Gay Club – Circo Club

Elsewhere it has become fashionable for otherwise straight bars to have LGBT nights rather than being exclusively gay. The Lan Kwai Fong and SoHo areas near Central remain the places to go with Oosh and The Backroom offering gay Saturday nights. Next to Oosh is the gay friendly LINQ Bar with a guy’s night on Wednesdays. If you happen to hit an ‘off’ night, don’t worry. There is no gay discrimination in any bars in these areas. All are welcome. Although the photo below was taken at the non-gay Staunton’s bar right by the Escalator, most of the drinkers seemed gay!

Gay Hong Kong - Sunday afternoon drinkers in SoHo

Gay Hong Kong – Sunday afternoon drinkers in SoHo

Saunas

There are several saunas on the island, particularly the oldest of them all. Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, CE is close to the Central Escalator, hence the title. It attracts a mix of clients, mostly older westerners and younger Chinese. Located on the 2nd floor of a building next to a 7/11 on a small side street off Lyndhurst Terrace, this sauna occupies a tiny space and tends to be most active on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Gay Hong Kong - The rather Dingy Entrance to CE Sauna

Gay Hong Kong – The rather Dingy Entrance to CE Sauna

Another older island sauna is the recently renovated Gateway in Thomson Road. This mostly attracts a local Chinese crowd aged over 30.

There are other saunas on the island bur Kowloon boasts more with ABC, Action, Jungle Spa, Alexander and the new but tiny Birds Men’s Cruising Club in Tsim Sha Tsui amongst others. For chubs and chub lovers, there is also Rainbow Bear Sauna, but recent reports indicate it has gone downhill.

By common consent on a par with Babylon in Bangkok and Aniki in Taipei, HuTong is by far the finest and busiest, regularly attracting a wide range of clientele from local Chinese to Singaporean tourists, a lot of visiting in-shape mainland Chinese, but oddly only a few westerners. It’s quite hard to find and the entrance is at the side of the building, not the main road. Open 24 hours, not surprisingly it is more active after 7:00 pm on weekdays and totally crowded on Saturday evenings when the cruising maze is packed with lean, young, fit Chinese guys. Entrance is $160. Note, though, that if you are out of shape and above roughly 50ish you may not be able to get in at peak times.

Gay Hong Kong - Participant braving the rain in Hong Kong’s November 2015 Pride Parade – GayStar News

Gay Hong Kong – Participant braving the rain in Hong Kong’s November 2015 Pride Parade – GayStar News

A final word. Hong Kong has more bars and saunas than listed here, so do please check gay directories such as Travel Gay Asia before your visit.

Traveller Tip

Prices above are in Hong Kong dollars. The exchange rate is fixed at HK$7.8 = US$1. Be careful of the many money-changing kiosks where you get around 5% less when changing the main foreign currencies. If you are changing a reasonable amount, get to one of the larger banks instead. Even though you might have to queue for a few minutes, you will get a far better rate.

Been to Hong Kong? Please post your comments below

Contributed by Alex Cummings who has been a regular visitor to Hong Kong for many years.

(c) AsiaGuys.NET

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Gay Honkers “Asia’s World City”

Hong Kong is a towering city filled with skyscrapers, shopping malls, street side markets, restaurants and winding side streets all built on the side of lush green jungle covered mountains which is spread over a collection of small islands and the adjacent mainland. Hong Kong is home to 7 million people making it one of the most densely populated areas in the world and remains a world apart from the rest of China.

Lee Tung Avenue

Lee Tung Avenue

Hong Kong’s service oriented economy is characterized by its low taxation, almost free port trade and well established international financial market. The local currency is the Hong Kong dollar which is the ninth most traded currency in the world. Hong Kong is a paradise for shoppers and offers perhaps the widest and most exclusive range of products anywhere in the world, from luxury international goods to local souvenirs. Most goods and products (except for wine and cigarettes) are tax free and the prices are relatively low.

Cantonese is the official language spoken by most people. Its unintelligible with other spoken Chinese varieties but somewhat similar when written. English, another official language is understood by about 40 percent of people in Hong Kong and is used mostly as a second language. Signs in both Chinese and English are very commonplace.

Hong Kong Victoria Harbour

Hong Kong Victoria Harbour

In many ways Hong Kong is already one of the most gay friendly cities in Asia. In 1991 the the Legislative Council decriminalized private, adult, non commercial, consensual homosexual relations.  The history of same sex relations in China, before negative Western Christian viewpoints took hold, has been documented since ancient times and was celebrated in the art and literature of many dynasties. While social conservatives, Christians and Catholics still view homosexuality as immoral, the majority of people aren’t bothered by it. Gay Hong Kong is a tolerant modern city and this is reflected in it’s accepting attitude towards gay guys. Most gay visitors to Hong Kong experience no problems checking into hotels, visiting tourist attractions, socializing or partying.

Hong Kong Guy with the Latest Hair Style

Hong Kong Guy with the Latest Hair Style

Hong Kong is one of the most important centers of financial activity in the world. Living standards and education standards are high. As such most guys here are employed in the finance or associated sectors and have high disposable incomes. Most are gorgeous and look after their bodies and dress very smart, wearing the latest designer brands and have the latest electronic gadgets. Hong Kong guys grow up being mommas boys. Due to super high property and rent prices, sons live at home till their 30s. So sometimes they may appear to lack social skills and be a little demanding, rude or moody. But for all its financial and commercial progress, guys in Hong Kong continue to hold certain traditional beliefs close to their hearts and will often be committed to a gay relationship.

There are stacks of gay guys in Hong Kong. Many are more open and out than in other Asian countries and there are plenty looking for gay foreigners as having a local boyfriend and especially a girlfriend can be complicated and demanding for them. Its easier for them to come home after a long day at work and have gay sex without any hassles.

Hong Kong Beach Guy

Hong Kong Beach Guy

Gay Hong Kong nightlife is centered on Hong Kong island around the areas of Soho and Lan Kwai Fong. Weeknights can be a little quiet but weekends certainly make up for this. With a vast array of gay clubs, bars, saunas, restaurants and hotels there is plenty for gay travelers to do. List of Gay Bars and Clubs

Hong Kong has lots of gay saunas where gay guys go to unwind and for relaxation, as opposed to the clubs where guys go to socialize. Most have all the amenities that you would expect such as dry saunas, steam rooms, jacuzzis, cabins, video lounges and dark room cruising. Some also have pools, spas, massage, bars, karaoke and cafes. Some are favored by bears, others by younger crowds and some East / West mixing. List of Gay Saunas

Hong Kong does not have an exclusively gay beach, although some beaches attract more of a gay crowd. These beaches tend to get busiest at weekends. The main three beaches that attract gay visitors are Middle Bay Beach, South Bay Beach and Cheung Sha Beach.

Victoria Peak Tramway

Victoria Peak Tramway

You can find hotels and accommodation almost anywhere in the city. Prices vary from cheap and basic to world class luxury suites with fantastic city views and first class service.

On your to visit list you should include Chi Lin Nunnery a peaceful retreat, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum and the Tian Tan Buddha a 202 ton statue on Lantau Island. Also be sure to check out the spectacular skyline view from Victoria Peak via the Peak Tramway

Be sure to grab a copy of Dim Sum its Hong Kong’s only printed gay lifestyle magazine. Published on a monthly basis and available free of charge at most gay venues in the city. Dim Sum covers all aspects of gay life in Hong Kong including the arts, entertainment and LGBT rights.

Been to Hong Kong? Please post your comments below  

With Contribution by Jay Jay เจย เจย

(c) AsiaGuys.NET

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