A bit about gay saunas in Asia
Gay saunas have existed across Asia for decades, even in countries where gay sex is still illegal, such as Malaysia and Singapore. A visit to a gay sauna can be the highlight of any Asia adventure offering excellent value for money, great choice of facilities and plenty of fun.
The overwhelming majority of gay Asian saunas offer a warm welcome to all regardless of race, age or body type.
Membership is not normally required (the exception being in the Philippines and Singapore where you will need to become a member on arrival).
Some saunas, whilst not deterring anyone from entry, tend to attract Asians who are attracted to other Asians or Asians who are attracted to non-Asians or saunas that tend to attract “bears”. Check recent traveller reviews on Travel Gay Asia for insights.
Regrettably, there remain a couple of saunas where racist management exclude or deter non-Asians from entering.
What happens on arrival?
On arrival, you will be given a locker number and key. The sauna entry fee usually includes locker rental for your clothes and a towel (to wear). Drinks or snacks will be charged to your locker number and you settle your bill when you leave.
Locker theft is a widespread problem, so leave valuables at home or at your hotel. It’s a good idea to take flip flops if you don’t fancy walking around in bare feet.
What facilities does a gay sauna offer?
Facilities normally include a dry sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, showers and lounge area, along with a dark room and private cabins. Massage services are also usually available. It’s fair to say that quality standards vary significantly. Management at some saunas keep things tidy and clean – others don’t.
Some larger scale saunas are geared up as places that gay friends can meet up for nothing more than a drink and a chat. The most famous example of this is Babylon
in Bangkok where facilities include a large swimming pool, sun terrace, multiple bars and a good quality restaurant.
The recently opened ANIKI WOW
in Taipei has set new standards with world class facilities and services.
Free condoms and lube are provided at most venues, but not all (particularly in countries that still criminalise gay sex). Product quality may not be the best so go prepared and bring your own.
Many saunas offer regular themed nights and the occasional special party. The most popular tend to be “towel free” events. Check the saunas web site for details.
What you will not find
Picking up a guy is pretty much down to mutual attraction. A few saunas in some tourist areas may be frequented by hustlers, but this is the exception rather than the rule across Asia.
Recent studies have shown the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted disease in the gay community continues to be a major problem across Asia.
Criminalisation of gay sex in some countries and a lack of investment in education and awareness in others means that many guys are not as aware of the risks of unsafe sex as they should be.
Have fun, but don’t take any chances
• Always use a condom
• Make sure the condom fits correctly.
• Use a water- or silicone-based lube, never an oil-based lube.
• Say no if someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do.
Be aware that condoms and lube may not be readily available in some countries, or may not be of a good quality. We recommend taking your own supplies.