First time in Hong Kong? Then our essential travel guide for gay visitors is for you.
Hong Kong consists of four main areas. These are:
Hong Kong Island – Home to an amazing number of tall buildings along Victoria Harbour waterfront.
Kowloon – The peninsula opposite Hong Kong Island on the other side of Victoria Harbour. One of the most densely populated places on the planet!
The New Territories – To the north of Kowloon and often ignored by tourists who unfortunately miss this diverse, partly mountainous landscape.
The Outlying Islands – All the other bits of Hong Kong to the south including Lantau Island (home to Disneyland) and Hong Kong International Airport Island.
The gay scene is mostly focused in:
Central District entertainment zone (commonly referred to as Soho) on Hong Kong Island
Causeway Bay district on Hong Kong Island
Tsim Sha Tsui districts in Kowloon
The most popular beach for gay sun seekers is Middle Bay Beach.
Hong Kong decriminalised homosexuality in 1991 and the age of consent between two males is 16. Same-sex marriages are not permitted, nor are overseas same-sex marriages officially recognised. Whilst coming out to one’s own family or work colleagues as being gay is still a difficult thing for many Asian gay men, Hong Kong’s wider population generally accept the gay community.
The gay community continues to raise its profile through annual events such as the Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
Hong Kong has a winter, summer, spring and autumn. Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to December) are generally considered the best times to visit – from a weather point of view – with temperatures averaging around 25˚c.
Winter (December to February) can be quite cool, with a sweater needed during the day and coat in the evening. Summer (June to September) can be hot and very wet, with occasional typhoons bring the city to a standstill for a day or so.
British style 3-pin plugs running at 220V / 50 hertz. Adapters are widely available and loaned in most hotels.
Shopping malls and most other shops are open from 10am to 8pm seven days a week.
Most banks are open from 9am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 12:30pm on Saturday.
Most Western and Asian visitors can obtain a visa on arrival. A separate visa, applied for in advance, is required if you want to visit mainland China. Technically, tourists should carry their passport with them at all times in Hong Kong, but in practice, it’s better to keep it locked in your hotel room safe and carry a photocopy of the details in your wallet.
Hong Kong has an excellent public transport system, consisting of the MRT (an underground and overground railway system), trams (northern coast of Hong Kong Island), buses, and ferries. There is no shortage of taxis which are generally clean, efficient and cheap.
Most Hong Kong people speak Cantonese as their first language. However, English is also widely understood and spoken in the gay community. Learning a few words of Cantonese for ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ will go a long way.
Tipping is not expected by taxi drivers, but passengers will usually round the fare up the nearest dollar. In hotels a tip of $10 – $20 for a porter carrying your bags or waiter delivering a room service tray is the norm. Upmarket restaurants are likely to add a compulsory 10% service charge and this should be regarded as the tip.
Hong Kong has excellent, world-class medical facilities. But they are expensive and you will be expected to pay. Suitable travel insurance is strongly recommended.
Getting to see a doctor is easy. Doctors that practice western medicine are almost certainly going to speak English. Most Doctors will be able to sell you medicine, and will accept credit cards (check when making an appointment).
Tap water is drinkable unless you are staying in an old building. However, in practice most tourists will purchase bottled water.
Day Wear - shorts and tee shirts during the day
Eating Out – jeans and tee shirts / polo shirts
Club Wear – jeans and tee shirts / tank tops
Sauna Wear – bring your own flip flops
Beach Wear – speedos or surfer shorts
Hong Kong has a number of GSM and 3G networks with excellent geographical coverage – even underground. If you are staying for more than a few days and expect to make a lot of calls, then consider purchasing a prepaid SIM to use in your phone. These are available at most convenience stores. Mobile calls are very cheap, but you pay for both making and receiving calls.
Many hotels now offer free wired internet access or WiFi, although some still persist with charges. PCCW and Y5ZONE offer flat rate daily, weekly or monthly packages that provide access in many coffee shops, restaurants and other public places.
Which are best for gay travellers? Check out our exclusive guide. 同性恋香港 – 酒店
Where to go for a great night out in Hong Kong. 香港同性恋酒吧
Our master map of gay Hong Kong! Zoom and click on your favourite venue.
Want to explore Hong Kong? Here is our list of some of the more popular attractions.