3 Asian Travel Tips for the LGBTQ+ Traveler

Asian Travel

Asia is a popular travel destination. Every year, it sees millions of travelers from all walks of life – including those who identify with the LGBTQ+ community.

If that’s you, you may be wondering, after hearing the so-easy-to-find horror stories about the adventures of LGBTQ+ people in Asia, if it’s safe for you to go there.

Here are 5 travel tips to keep you safe on your journey.

Adapt to local culture.

Going to a new country as an LGBTQ+ person can make you stand out – especially if the community is small in the country you’re visiting.

To help you stick out less, be sure to adapt to the local culture – try their food, adhere to their customs, and pay attention to social standards.

Scout out the local gay scene.

Most LGBTQ+ travelers will advise you to scout out the gay scene in the area that you’re going to.

Why? Well, not only are gay bars the most fun, but they’re also a safe space for LGBTQ+ travelers to hang out, be themselves, and have fun.

Most countries in Asia have some sort of gay scene, with the big cities the most likely to be open about it. In these cities, you may find exclusive gay-friendly hotels and hostels, saunas, nightvlubs, and all sorts of night time entertainment (including dragshows!).

One of the most popular gay-friendly cities is Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, but Bangkok is another great option.

Reach out to other LGBTQ+ locals and travelers.

Since socializing with members of the community who understand and won’t judge you is a great way to enjoy a vacation, it can be daunting to walk up to someone in a club and start a conversation.

Luckily, there is social media. Using Facebook and other popular websites, you can scout out the gay scene from behind the scenes and reach out to active individuals.

Make use of trending LGBTQ+ hashtags, groups, and online city-specific forums. Even conducting a simple internet search can yield great results.

Don’t limit yourself to who you can talk to – reach out to both locals and other travelers.

Research your chosen country’s laws regarding sexuality.

As you probably know, Asia and other countries in that half of the world have a reputation for being intolerant of diverse sexuality.

So, as a rule of thumb, it’s always a good idea to research the laws regarding sexual preference in the country you’re planning on going to. This being said, obsessing over them won’t help, so don’t go too crazy.

Often, the laws regarding sexuality only apply to locals and not to travelers who are just passing through or taking a two week vacation. Some laws only condemn relationships between certain genders, or public displays of affection between a same-sex couple.

If you aren’t sure about the laws and cannot find adequate information, air on the side of caution and try to avoid PDA if you’re traveling with a same sex partner.