Hong Kong is definitely considered an ‘East Meets West’ destination given the mix of cultures in the region. Formally a British Colony until 1995, Hong Kong has a lot of contrasts to mainland China with more western and European values. Compared to other parts of Asia, Hong Kong has a more open LGBT community with a variety of gay bars and events. Still, it’s worth pointing out that Hong Kong is more conservative than other major cities in North America and Europe.
First things first: food. Nothing hits the spot more like eating locally. There are plenty of street food options in Hong Kong and some outdoor restaurants with shared table seating. Find one with a menu you can read or pictures you can point to and join in wherever there’s a seat.
The best time to visit Hong Kong is from September to November. It’s generally dry, sunny and warm. June to August is typically hot, humid and rainy so it might be worth avoiding if you have flexibility in your trip. Hong Kong is broken up into three distinct regions: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories.
Transportation & Airport Transfer
The best way to get to the city from the airport is The Airport Express. The train ride takes just under 25 minutes and departs every 12 minutes, starting early in the morning (5:50am) until late at night (12:48am). Roundtrip costs about HK180 (around US$23).
Public buses offer a more affordable option with plenty of choices servicing a variety of locations. They’ll take no more than 45 minutes between the airport and Central and costs about US$5 if not less.
Taxis are the most expensive option and you have to choose the right color (either red, blue, or green) depending on your location or destination. Most likely you’ll want the red one which serves all of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon and will cost roughly US$35-$40.
You can easily get around the city using the MTR (public transit system), which is convenient and inexpensive. Pick up an Octopus Card, which is a prepaid transit card that makes traveling on the system stress-free.
Hong Kong Gay Hotels
There aren’t currently any gay hotels in Hong Kong, but there are many gay-friendly options, particularly The Eaton who regularly hosts LGBT events.
Mandarin Oriental – this luxury hotel has provided award-winning service and impressive facilities for more than 55 years. Found in the heart of the city, the spacious rooms and suites offer incredible views of Victoria Harbour and the city skyline. They have ten fantastic restaurants and bars, three with Michelin stars. Also enjoy a Shanghainese-inspired holistic spa, indoor pool, and 24-hour fitness center.
Mira Moon – a boutique hotel located with 91 themed rooms and suites in the center of Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island. Its surrounded by shopping malls, eating establishments, and plenty of local transport.
Hotel Icon – stay in the shopping and nightlife district of Tsim Sha Tsui with a beautiful panoramic harbor view. The rooms are stylish and spacious, and the hotel has a rooftop pool, a health club, and an in-house spa. Also take advantage of one of their three vibrant dining spaces.
Butterfly on Wellington Boutique Hotel Central – very well located near the Hong Kong finance center, The LANDMARK shopping mall, the artistic SoHo District, and Lan Kwai Fong. They offer boutique accommodations just a 5-minute walk from Central MTR Station.
Eaton Hong Kong – found in the heart of Kowloon just a few minutes walk from Jordan MTR Station. Guests can enjoy a rooftop swimming pool, yoga studio, gym, co-working club, and various restaurants and bars including a Cantonese restaurant with a Michelin star. The Eaton is probably the most LGBT-friendly hotel in Hong Kong and they host LGBT events throughout the year.
Hotel LBP – a boutique hotel with affordable prices suitable for all budgets near Sheung Wan and Sai Ying Pun MTR stations. There are also several great restaurants and bars in the area with views of Victoria Harbor. They conveniently sell tickets to many attractions and activities like Ocean Park, Disneyland, the Big Bus, and local tours. Also enjoy drinks at the 4/F Lounge or a workout in the fitness center.
Minimal Hotel Bazaar – a simple hotel located in Mong Kok, a commercial and shopping district with many famous shopping areas like as Langham Place, Ladies Street, and Sneakers Street. Other nearby popular spots include The Lounge & Bar at The Ritz-Carlton, Kowloon Park, and Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade.
Ashoka Hostel – this guest house has three and four-bed dorms at affordable rates and is located in a popular commercial place in Kowloon, near shopping malls, bars, and various restaurants.
Yesinn – recently renovated and situated in a 25-story building in Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon. It has the Temple Street Night Market just a few steps away. Explore local restaurants all around, relax in the common room, or lounge on the rooftop garden.
There are many sites for apartment rentals in Hong Kong, with AirBnB probably being one of the most popular. Prices are generally comparable to budget hotels, especially if you’re willing to get a room in a shared apartment.
There are even a few LGBT-oriented booking sites like misterb&b with listings from gay hosts for gay guests where you can either rent a whole apartment or a private room in a shared apartment. Understanding Hong Kong’s gay scene is much more easily done with the help of a local and apartment sharing is one of the best ways to meet someone living in the city who knows how things work, where and when are the best nights to go out, and what places to eat at and which to avoid.
Special Offer!Sign up with AirBnB or misterb&b and you will receive a free $25 credit to use on your first booking!
Sightseeing & Activities
Man Mo Temple – near the Central-Mid-Level Escalators, it was built between 1847 and 1862 and declared a monument in 2010. One of the interesting things to observe here is all the coils of incense hanging from the ceiling.
Central-Mid-Levels Escalators – the longest outdoor escalators in the world. It’s a random thing to do in a city, but a great way to get a look at the scene of shops, restaurants, and bars that line the escalators. The best part is that you can cover a lot of ground while barely lifting a foot.
Tian Tan Buddha and Po Lin Monastery – situated in Ngong Ping on Lantau Island, the Buddhist monastery dates back to 1906 and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. On the peak of Muyu Mountain is the Tian Tan Big Buddha, the biggest bronze Buddha in the world. Book tour →
Junk Boat Ride in Victoria Harbour – Board an authentic Chinese boat, or junk, and sail the scenic harbor to see incredible views of the city’s skyline. These vessels, originally used for trade, used to crisscross the Hong Kong waterways and sail long distances. Book tour →
Hong Kong Museum of History – covering 400 million years of history from prehistoric to modern times, this museum has a lot to say. Admire the permanent exhibit of Hong Kong's history as well as various temporary ones about local food culture, fashion, and public transportation.
Restaurants and Cafes
Cafe Queen – a stylish cafe ideal for grabbing a coffee and using your laptop or unwinding with a cocktail. There’s a full menu and daily happy hour from 5 to 8pm. Find it on Queens Road in the office and restaurant center.
Chôm Chôm – offers tapas-style Vietnamese street food. In addition to the good grub, enjoy cocktails and Vietnamese beers during their daily happy hour between 5 and 7pm.
Fukuro – a late-night izakayas in SoHo with great sake and delightful food. Try one of their signature dishes like seasonal sashimi, grilled octopus on potato confit with ginger soy, or the delicious yaki udon with snow crab and crab miso butter.
Jalan – Head to Peel Street in SoHo for this Malaysian street food. The menu features dishes like beef rendang samosas, laksa fried chicken, and homemade roti. They have several curries but be sure to try the coconut-roasted prawn curry.
Kinship – this eating establishment in SoHo has a farm-to-table concept offering family-style food with an Asian spin. Order the beef tartare with chopped lime pickles or sticky barbecued pork belly with shiitake mushrooms.
Hong Kong Gay Bars and Clubs
FLM – head to this bar on Jervois Street for a good time on the dance floor Monday to Saturday. Go early for their happy hour from 7 to 9pm serving 2-for-1 drinks every night. Stay late for the boys and the DJs.
Zoo – a popular, stylish bar with a range of sophisticated and tropical cocktails. Expect a fun-loving gay crowd to fill the place on weekends. Check out the daily happy hour from 6:30 to 9pm.
Wink – here you’ll find guys in their 20s and 30s as well as some girls. Enjoy a variety of exclusive cocktails in a sleek setting. It can get quite crowded on weekends. Open until 2am.
Linq – a gay-friendly, bohemian bar in Lan Kwai Fong that’s popular with the party crowd. Here you can meet cute guys, locals, expats and international travelers. Enjoy the DJ’s music inside or the terrace outside.
Boo Bar – bears and their friends go to this popular gay karaoke bar in Kowloon. Check out their talented customers and their daily happy hour. There’s a dance party night with a DJ on the last Saturday of every month.
Gay Events in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Carnival – The area of Lan Kwai Fong is already known for having a great bar and restaurant scene and the Carnival event allows you to get a preview of many of the establishments which create special menus for the occasion to serve their food and drinks in a street-vendor style. Add extensive decorations, Brazilian dancers, performers, games, and a parade and you’ve got a “can’t-miss” event in November.
Hong Kong Pride – The Hong Kong Pride Parade has been occurring annually since October 2004. Now held in November, the parade route goes from Victoria Park to Edinburgh Place where there are live performances, booths and entertainment. It has an annual theme with a dress code, the most recent being “Pride Rainbow.”
Pink Dot Hong Kong – this annual event began in 2009 in Singapore to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community. In Hong Kong, the attendees gather in West Kowloon Art Park wearing pink to form a “pink dot” in a show of support for inclusiveness and diversity. The event also features a series of performances.
Gay Games 11 – for the first time in its nearly 30-year history, the Gay Games will be held in Asia. Hong Kong was selected to host the 9-day event described as an “international world-class diversity festival with multi-sports, arts & culture events and opening & closing ceremonies”. It takes place in November 2022.
Behind – a lively dance party held monthly on the last Saturday. Its venue changes regularly around Central. There’s no cover charge but you must RSVP on their Facebook page before going.
Gay Beaches in Hong Kong
There’s not an official gay beach in Hong Kong but there are a few where you can expect a gay-friendly atmosphere.
Middle Bay Beach – This is the most popular beach for gay sunbathers. The small bay brings in locals and visitors wanting to relax. To get there, you’ll have to take a taxi or walk from Repulse Bay.
South Bay Beach – another small beach area, but less crowded than Middle Bay. Find the gay section on the left side of the beach.
Cheung Sha Beach – a longer and more beautiful beach on the south side of Lantau Island. The gay beachgoers congregate near the rocky terrain that divides the beach into two areas.
Day Trips from Hong Kong
Macau – a former Portuguese territory known for its casinos. Apart from gambling, visit the Ruins of St. Paul’s Church, A-Ma Temple, Guia Hill, Taipa Food Street, and the village of Coloane on the southern tip of the peninsula. Or simply enjoy the unique cuisine like Macau’s Portuguese egg tarts. Book tour →
Sai Kung – a town known for hiking, fishermen’s villages, seafood, gorgeous beaches, and a floating seafood market. To get there, take a 30 to 45-minute minibus ride from Hang Hau or Choi Hung station or a one-hour minibus ride from Mong Kok. Book tour →
Tai O – Many locations around the world have been dubbed “The Venice of…” and this fishing village is just that, the “Venice of Hong Kong”. It’s on the northern tip of Lantau Island and known for its seafood in addition to its picturesque beauty. Take a motorboat to see the famous stilt houses. Book tour →