Gay Guide to TAIPEI
Vibrant, tolerant and tropical, Taipei exudes sex appeal. Add in some sleek skyscrapers,ancient temples and musclebound natives and you have the perfect mix for a city island escape!
Taipei is a city of contrasts. Surprisingly good ones at that! From the typical tourist attractions of night markets, temples and hot springs to the sophisticated hotel, restaurant and cafe scene, the city is emerging as one of the most gay friendly and welcoming destinations in Asia.
Home to more than 3 million people, Taipei City is also known as the San Francisco of the East. Tolerant, open and progressive, the city attracts guys and girls from all over Asia and beyond who want to be themselves without being judged or labelled.
Same sex sexual activity is legal. Workplace discrimination based on Sexual orientation is banned and the annual gay pride attracts more than 50,000 people each year.
The gay scene is wild and vibrant. Combine tropical weather with gourmet food, stunning shopping experiences and a rich history of culture and art, Taipei is a city oasis that never ceases to surprise. Add in a cruising gay beach, gay hot springs, circuit parties and the hot and muscled native Taiwanese guys and you are set for a holiday to remember.
Taipei has become famous for its large scale circuit parties, usually taking place on public bank holidays. These events attract large number of visitors from other Asian countries including Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Thailand. These parties sell-out fast and hotels can be fully booked for weeks in advance so plan and book early.
Taipei’s main gay scene is centered around the Red House entertainment complex and Ximan, a veritable gay village full of bars with large outdoor terraces.
The main gay scene is centered around the Red House entertainment complex and Ximan, however there are many other gay venues dotted around the city, most notably in the Jhongshan area just north of Ximen, Zhongshan Dunhua and Taipei City Hall to the east.
The Red House district is home to more than 25 different gay bars, shops and restaurants. There is a bar for everyone, Karaoke to Leather and S&M to Bears and their admirers. Most of the bars have large outdoor terraces perfect for watching the hot guys walk by.
Getting around Taipei is quick and convenient. The MRT or subway makes getting around the city a breeze. Taxis are available 24 hours a day. Unless you speak Mandarin, make sure you keep a card of your hotel with its address so you can easily find your way back home after a night of partying as few drivers will speak English.
The clubbing scene in Taipei is one of the hottest in Asia, most notably thanks to the efforts of the G5 party organisers. The party moves around different venues depending on the event with the most recent events taking place in the ATT4Fun complex. The queues can be long so go for a VIP ticket if you can.
Jump is a popular gay club hosting theme parties every Saturday such as Follow Me and Woof. The club plays a mix of house, electro, club and tribal. The space is divided into three main areas offering a different ambiance in each one. Tickets should be purchased in advance.
Circuit parties during public holidays, prides and long weekends, attract thousands to the island, so be warned and book tickets and hotel early.
Funky, one of the oldest gay clubs in Taipei offers a fabulous 70’s style disco complete with underfloor lighting, mirror balls and lots of kitsch!
Finally Luxy, Taipei’s luxurious night club and the largest in the city offers regular theme parties featuring top DJs, artists and performers. The bars and clubs section of the guide has full details of the best gay bars and clubs to see and be seen.
Taipei has some of the best gay saunas in Asia. Aniki is one of the most famous in the region. The facilities and service are renowned and comes complete with an large dark room and 28 luxury suites which can be rented out per hour or overnight. The sauna attracts a mix of fit Asian guys and foreign tourists. Weekends are busiest with several themed parties and foam nights. The sauna is open 24 hours per day but is busy from 6pm onward. For more check out the detailed Sauna listings.
Taipei is a true feast for the senses, perfectly combining the old with the new. This trendsetting tropical city is full of wonder. Most of the major attractions are based in and around Taiwan. All of them are busy year round, especially with the influx of mainland tourists from China, so expect some queues, however this is all part of the experience. From the bustle of the night markets to the peace and tranquility of the memorial hall, Taipei’s cultural and historical attractions are some of the most famous in the world.
The Taipei Hotel Scene is extremely diverse, from chic designer budget hotels to international palaces. Over the past 10 years the major hotels have been vying for the title of Taipei’s most trendy…
Hotel rooms in the lower grade hotels can sometimes be smaller than their Western equivalents and some may not even have a view or a window, so it is often worth the upgrade. That said, prices for 4 and 5 star hotels here are lower compared to other international cities and service is efficient and attentive.
Taipei is a city that likes to set trends. Shopping here is almost a religion and while many designer labels are more expensive than in their European homes, you can still find some great bargains especially during the sales.
Taipei is a city that likes to set trends. Shopping here is almost a religion and while many designer labels are more expensive than in their European homes, you can still find some great bagrin especially during the sales.
One particular shopping phenomenon is the Eslite Bookstore, which is open 24-hours and has become a very gay friendly destination.
Ximending is also know as Taiwan’s Fifth Avenue. The towering billboards and neon lights resemble something more akin to Tokyo or Time Square. If you can’t find what you are looking for here, then head over to Taipei 101, formerly the world’s tallest building, attracting more than 20,000 visitors per day and offering exclusive fashion brands not available elsewhere in Taipei.
For a glimpse of the city’s past, head to Dihua Street Market. This old town market offers dozens of shops selling traditional items such as Chinese herbal remedies, spices and wooden crafts. Huaxi (Huasi) Street Night Market is located nearby Longshan Temple. The night market, together with night markets on Guangzhou Street, Wuzhou Street and Xichang Street, has formed a large unique market. Various items are sold here and it is one of the favored sites of tourists.
You will find all sorts of strange and wonderful foodstuffs here… But for those of you looking for something more tradition, try some of the shaved ice here, its some of the best we have tasted in Taipei.