Celebrating 20 YEARS
of Service to Asia's
Gay & Lesbian Community!

Utopia Asia


Utopia Gaydar User Search


Travel & Resources: KOREA

Please help us keep these listings up-to-date. Special thanks to mansaoz, kimyong, PJack, MTguy, aznpoo, ernst, ernst, gaysoulpinas, brizner, reoboy500, johnuis, alwaystravln, ABC, byungdohsuh, Jason, marcr, BrianT, JiHoon, barry_bonk, David, Jack G., Sean, Marc R., Han-Su, Jimmy K., Chad, Mark, C.H. Lee, Tom D., Richard S., Bob Dog, Bruno, Mark D., Asiaboy, T. Kim, KwangjuGay, Rus H., Rob T., Dae Hyun, Drew, James Doell, Ken, Roger, John S., Phillip, P. Kim, David B., Stan T., Todd K., Bob W., J. K. Park, Lacoste, and Neil!

Advisory: Homosexuals in Korea have no established tradition of overtly discriminatory laws to struggle against. There are no sodomy laws proscribing oral or anal intercourse, largely because these acts have traditionally been considered utterly unmentionable in any public forum or document. Homosexuality has never been brought before Korean courts. No one has mentioned homosexuality in any divorce proceedings, custody or adoption battles. Never-the-less, Korean society is extremely conservative. A popular children's TV show host was dismissed from his job when he became the first celebrity to proclaim his homosexuality to the public. The number of homosexuals coming out of the closet is growing every day. Korea witnessed its first lesbian commitment ceremony on November 27, 1995. Recent comments from the judiciary have been supportive of same-sex partnerships. Anti-discrimination laws have been enacted protecting homosexuals and education about homosexuality is now taking place in lower schools. Seoul has both an annual GLBT film festival and a Queer Culture festival.

On November 1, 2001, the Ministry of Information and Communications formally enacted an internet content rating system classifying gay and lesbian websites as "harmful media" and mandating their blockage--all under the guise of protecting youth. The Ministry acted after an April 2001 decision by the Korean Information and Communications Ethics Committee (ICEC)--an officially independent body with wide censorship powers--which classified homosexuality under the category of "obscenity and perversion" in its "Criteria for Indecent Internet Sites." Activists in Korea trace the roots of this definition to a 1997 law that classifies descriptions of "homosexual love" as "harmful to youth." The MIC accepted this classification in July. Enforcement of these measures was swift. The owner of Exzone.com, the first and largest gay website in Korea, received a notice stating that if it did not immediately mark itself as a 'harmful site' and install filtering software to prevent youth access, he would be penalized with a fine of approximately US$10,000 or two years imprisonment.

The Korean LGBT community fought against the anti-gay law for two years. On January 10, 2002, Exzone.com in affiliation with Lesbian and Gay Alliance Against Discrimination (LGAAD) and the Lawyers for a Democratic Society filed the first lawsuit against Korean government for unconstitutionally blocking access. A court decision was made on August 14, 2002 that freedom of speech and expression were not applicable regarding homosexuality, and allowed for outrageous penalties, including two year imprisonment, to be enforced. This decision invigorated local and international human rights efforts to have the law changed.

On April 2, 2003 the Korean National Human Rights Protection Committee officially advised Korea's Youth Protection Committee to remove anti-gay language from the 1997 Youth Protection Act that that underpinned the 2001 Ministry of Information and Communications decision. Korean queer activist, Huso Yi, calls the reversal of the Youth Protection Act wording "one of the most important turning points in the Korean LGBTQ rights movement."

click here for THE PARK

click here for EXIT KOREA

click here for REDBOY

click here for MANFUL Massage

click here for GROOMING WITH CHRIS massage

Korea Listings by City:

PUSAN/BUSAN | SEOUL | TAEGU/DAEGU

Other cities and provinces are listed below...


General Information

    There is no tipping in Korea and you will receive good service without tipping.

    Many Korean-style bars, and especially the karaoke bars, will often demand that you buy small snacks at hugely inflated prices. If the bar is advertised as "western" then you will not be hassled with this custom. At karaoke bars you may sit at the bar itself where you can refuse snacks. If you take a table you will automatically be presented with expensive snacks, and the nearer you are to the singing stage the higher the cost. Unless you are a Karaoke addict the best advice is to steer clear of karaoke-type places.

  • Don't miss reading this fascinating look at Gay and Lesbian Life in Korea.
  • Korea Gay & Lesbian News
  • Korea Gay Scene Updates message board
  • Lesbian listings
  • Men in Korea message board
  • Travel in Korea message board
  • Additional Links and Resources

Moveandstay - Serviced Apartments in Asia


Articles and Publications

  • Happy & Safe Guide Book
      This gay guide and AIDS/HIV educational booklet has gay scene maps in Korean for five major cities. Inquire at the bars. We found our copy at Always Homme in Seoul.


Organizations

  • Chingusai (Between Friends)
      3/F Myodong Bld, 183 Myodong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, +82-2-745-7942, FAX +82-2-744-7916, email. The oldest and only gay men's rights organization in Korea, Chingusai is a successor of Chodong-hoe, the first homosexual activist group in the country, organized in 1993. Chingusai has served as a shelter for Korean gay men, who have no official or public voice of their own, and as an arena for struggle against all prejudice and oppression directed at homosexuals. Check their website for events and activities.
  • Korea AIDS/HIV organizations and information
  • Korean Sexual Minority Culture and Rights Center (KSCRC)
      5/F Samheung Bld, 256-2 Hangangno, 2-Ga Yongsan-gu, 140-871, Seoul Korea, (82-2) 797-5034, email. The first center for sexual minorities (e.g. lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, iban, tongsungyaeja, and "?"), people living with HIV/AIDS, and those who support the rights of sexual minorities in Korea. KSCRC aims to provide safe/creative place for culturing their own sexualities and genders as well as empowerment via cultural events, research, education, policy advocacy, counseling, and publication. KSCRC serves as a national center to protect and promote the well being of Korean sexual minorities as well as to celebrate our diversity.
  • Korea Queer Culture Festival
      0505-336-2003, 0505-339-2003, email. Organizers of the annual pride festival in Seoul.

  • Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights of Korea
      5/F Tojong Wang-Sundae Bld #11, Dongja-Dong, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul, (822) 778-9982, FAX (822) 775-9983, email. This group seeks to abolish discrimination against sexual minorities; foster cooperation among minority groups; establish an alliance against oppression of workers; establish shields against illegal investigation of gay bars and biased news reporting about sexual minorities; and to strengthen HIV/AIDS education aimed at youth.



Andong (Gyeongsangbuk-do Province)


Popular Spots

Saunas and Jjimjilbang for Men

      Some of the businesses listed here are noted to be traditional Korean jjimjilbang, or overnight sleeping facilities. Jjimjilbang may not have a sauna, or even hot water facilities, although they may function as de facto cruising spaces for Korean gays. Facilities at Jjimjilbang tend to be modest compared to more sophisticated urban saunas and bathhouses.

    • Spa Land (mixed)
        Next to the train station, across from the roundabout and flower shop. You will see Toupe (men's wig shop) on the right side of the street. It has some Chinese writing in red and blue. Very friendly and elaborate. On 4/F there is a small sleeping room you can go into with some action.



Bucheon / Pucheon (Gyeonggi)


Popular Spots

Saunas and Fitness for Men

      Some of the businesses listed here are noted to be traditional Korean jjimjilbang, or overnight sleeping facilities. Jjimjilbang may not have a sauna, or even hot water facilities, although they may function as de facto cruising spaces for Korean gays. Facilities at Jjimjilbang tend to be modest compared to more sophisticated urban saunas and bathhouses.

    • Bucheon MT Zzim Bang
        Kung-ki-do( near Incheon), 032-613-7878 (Korean only), email. Located on the left side of 2nd crossroad near Bucheon Subway Station (Line 1), about 450m and 5 minutes on foot. With your back to Bucheon Suway Station, walk left through the 1st crossroad (buk bu yuk sa geri) to the 2nd crossroad (dae hak gil sa geri). You will see Oz Telecom at the left street corner and Kolon sports store the the opposite side. Turn left and cross the street and walk on the left side. And then there is Pulip Mun Hwa center (culture center) and Bucheon MT Zzim Bang is on 3/F (1/F is a sushi restaurant). By taxi, tell the driver, "dae hak saguri, Kolon Sports ro ga ju se yo." Walk left to find the sushi restaurant. A gay jjimjilbang (sleeping/cruising facility) and has one large room, seven private rooms, one middle-sized room, DVD room, showers, small lounge, rest room.



Bupyeong (Incheon)


Popular Spots

Karaoke

    • The One
        Coming out from Exit 2 of Bupyeong Station, walk towards the two lane streets in front of you that are on the left of Lotte Mart shopping center. You will pass by a fenced-up golf driving range. The One is facing this driving range. Look for the English sign. A KTV pub owned by a couple and friendly towards foreigners. Around 80sqm, seating around 30. Songs selections are mainly Korean, but they have a few pages of English songs as well.



Gwangju / Kwangju -- area code (82-62)

General Information

    The population of Gwangju is 1.4 million (that's over 55,000 Utopians).

Popular Spots

Bars and Clubs

      Most of the gay bars (there are around 10) are located on the opposite side of the street from Gwangju Bank Tower. To take a taxi to the bank tower, tell the cab driver, "Geum nam sa gori Gwangju oo nae ka joo sayo." When you get out at the tower, go directly across the street. In the area, one block behind the main street, there are many motels and gay bars. Get a map from one of the bar owners and better directions. Everyone is very friendly, though English is not commonly spoken. You will be made to feel very welcome in all of the bars.

    • Bear
        228-5895.
    • Enjoy
        234-3810.
    • Chungsachorong
        227-8780.
    • Dae-in Sojubang
        232-9684.
    • DVD (Babylon DVD)
        225-2052
    • Fantasia
        B/F COAX Bld, 222-8007. Owner speaks English. Popular with 30-50s crowd.
    • J&B
        236-1337. Located where the motels are, next to Lotte department store, on the same street as Apple PC Bang.
    • M
        234-2675.
    • Man Club
        224-0888.
    • Pyung Hwa (Little Peace)
        228-2189. Between Kum Nam No (Gold South St) and the river (near the bridge with stone tiger heads) across from a major movie theatre. This hole-in-the-wall is damp and run down (underground), but the staff can give a lot of information English and draw maps to other places.
    • S
        226-9420. Friendly pub with karaoke.
    • Sac
        011-9783-1453.


Meeting Places

    • Kum Nam No shopping center facilities, late night


Saunas and Fitness for Men

      Some of the businesses listed here are noted to be traditional Korean jjimjilbang, or overnight sleeping facilities. Jjimjilbang may not have a sauna, or even hot water facilities, although they may function as de facto cruising spaces for Korean gays. Facilities at Jjimjilbang tend to be modest compared to more sophisticated urban saunas and bathhouses.

    • A good spa (quite gay, discreet) is located between and parallel to Kum Nam No and Art St (Art St is mentioned in may tourist pamphlets). Across from the YMCA is the Foreign Exchange Bank. Cut down this road and the spa is well down the first left. The spa is indicated by a typical sauna symbol and a rotating barber pole. The sleeping room is small, but can be quite active. Gym. Friendly for foreigners.
    • GumGang Sauna (mixed)
        8/F Yudong Sa 4 Gori. Easy to locate because its in the only tall building, that says 'Jazz Bar' near the top (it's a glass, wedge-shaped building), behind an elementary school called Su Chang cho Deung HakGyo. On 8/F, you pay and receive an electronic key for your locker. Well-lit lounge. The other room is a dark sleeping room and this is where most of the action is. All ages but the majority are 35+, most are gay but not all are, so be discreet. The middle-aged manager is gay (he also speaks Japanese). The two younger male workers are not and they will bark at you if they see you being frisky in the shower or sauna; keep your play confined to the sleeping room downstairs (and pretend to not be having fun if they come in to change the blankets. Very busy during the nights, especially on weekends.
    • Kkaji
        Across the street from the KB Bld in the gay area, near the bars. Go to the street opposite the KB Bld, facing the bars. It is the small street between KB and the convenience store mini-stop. About 25 feet on your left as you walk this street toward the bars is a staircase in a building illuminated by a blue light. You'll see the 40cm X 30 cm green Kkaji sign (written in Hangeul) on the wall as you go up the stairs. It's on 3/F and costs W$10,000/night. Put your shoes in a locker at the door and give your money and key to the attendant, who will give you a clothes locker key. Kkaji is small: there are about 16 stations in four rooms (none private or with doors) and three computers with Net under a TV playing gay videos. All ages and types go there and it is busiest on weekends. It's old, but clean, and foreigners are welcome by the friendly older workers who love inspecting your package; be careful in the showers because the water can scald you.



Jinju (South Gyeongsang Province) -- area code (82-55)

General Information

    The population is over 350,000 (that's more than 14,000 Utopians).


Popular Spots

Bars and Clubs

    • ID
        Located next to the Express Bus Terminal and a big hospital. If you are across the street from the Express Bus Terminal, you will see a side street on the right side of terminal. Walk down to the end of the street and ID bar will be on your right side. A nice, small place, that also has singing. The owner doesn't speak English so if you don't speak Korean, try to go with a Korean friend.



PUSAN / BUSAN -- area code (82-51)



SEOUL -- area code (82-2)



Suwon (Gyeonggi-do Province)

General Information

    Suwon is a large city just 30k south of Seoul. The population is over a million (that's more than 40,000 Utopians).


Popular Spots

Massage for Men

    • Double Zzimbang
        See listing under Saunas and Jjimjilbang. Call ahead for the massage service before midnight since there's a chance there'll be no available masseur after that time. There's a separate space near the counter for massage.
    • Spark Menz is a massage service.


Saunas and Fitness for Men

      Some of the businesses listed here are noted to be traditional Korean jjimjilbang, or overnight sleeping facilities. Jjimjilbang may not have a sauna, or even hot water facilities, although they may function as de facto cruising spaces for Korean gays. Facilities at Jjimjilbang tend to be modest compared to more sophisticated urban saunas and bathhouses.

    • Double Zzimbang UTOPIAN VERIFIED APR 2011
        031-254-6374. This place is located in Maesan Market street near Suwon Subway Station. Start from Gate 12 of Maesan Market and walk down the alley towards the Maesan Market bus stop. In between those two spots is a green neon sign with a "yes" in yellow. Go to 2/F and and open the door with the word "Double" on it. A sleeping room with massage, two large rooms, four smaller rooms, a lounge with two computers with a large TV and other amenities you find in a typical jjimjilbang. Most of the patrons are shy with a wide age range. The receptionist can speak some English.



TAEGU / DAEGU -- area code (82-53)



TAEJON / DAEJON -- area code (82-42)

General Information

Popular Spots

Bars and Clubs and  Cabarets

    • Bean Pole
        Diagonally across from LA and hidden in a creepy alleyway. Friendly anju bar with many hosts. This place can get quite lively on Sat. You will need a guide from LA to find it (tip him). The whole area around the train station is rough and a center of prostitution, so don't get drunk and stay out of conflicts.
    • The Blue Wolf (mixed)
        Located next to the Kyobo Insurance Building in downtown Shinhae. It is supposedly straight but is frequented by gay teachers trying to protect their image with colleagues. The owner speaks English and behaves more camp and gay than some of the customers. As the other gay bars in Daejon are pretty dismal the Blue Wolf should be given support.
    • LA
        Anju bar across from the train station and north, 3 or 4 blocks, just past a gas station. The LA sign is right at street level. You will be pressured to buy expensive snacks.

      Comments from Utopians:

      "There is a good one shot bar called Secret Place. The atmosphere is awesome and lots of foreigners come to the bar. The owner and staff are also really friendly to expats. It's located at 2/F 92-1 Daeheung-dong, Joong-gu, 042-252-2040, 010-6394-5111." -- MWK, May 16, 2013


Karaoke

    • SF
        Near Sungmo Ogori. Karaoke style bar. It can get pretty busy on the weekends.


Saunas and Fitness for Men

      Some of the businesses listed here are noted to be traditional Korean jjimjilbang, or overnight sleeping facilities. Jjimjilbang may not have a sauna, or even hot water facilities, although they may function as de facto cruising spaces for Korean gays. Facilities at Jjimjilbang tend to be modest compared to more sophisticated urban saunas and bathhouses.

    • SamYangTel UTOPIAN VERIFIED SEP 2011
        Daejeon Station area. From Daejeon Station, cross the road and turn right. Or, from Daejeon Subway Station get out at Exit 2 and keep walking north (the road is on your right and buildings are on your left), following the main road, until you find SK gasoline station on your left. Keep going about 50m more and you will find a telephone booth. In front of the telephone booth there is a 4-story building. There is a yellow SamYangTel sign on 3/F in Korean (삼양텔). Go up to 3/F and enter the door. Take off your shoes and you will get locker key. You can put your shoes and clothes in the locker. The place is small, but clean. There are two large rooms, one with a large TV playing gay movies. There about five small private cubicles. There is a computer corner and free condom available.



Ulsan

General Information

    The population of Ulsan is over 1.1 million (that's over 45,000 Utopians).


Saunas and Fitness for Men

      Some of the businesses listed here are noted to be traditional Korean jjimjilbang, or overnight sleeping facilities. Jjimjilbang may not have a sauna, or even hot water facilities, although they may function as de facto cruising spaces for Korean gays. Facilities at Jjimjilbang tend to be modest compared to more sophisticated urban saunas and bathhouses.

      Comments from Utopians:

      "I just want to introduce a newly opened jjimjilbang to visitors called Aron, 4/F of the 4 story building on the right side alley of the Fire Station, Seong-Nam Dong in Ulsan city. You can see a signboard. Favorable to foreigners. So very clean." -- Gq, Aug 27, 2013



[HOME PAGE]

UTOPIA PLACE:
PHIL'S PLACE Boutique Gay Guest House and PHIL'S VILLAS 3-bedroom private pool villas in Seminyak, Bali
PHIL's PLACE Boutique Gay Guest House, a stylish oasis exclusively for gay men and PHIL'S VILLAS 3-bedroom private pool villas in Seminyak, Bali...
get the full story
UTOPIA PLACE:
Shanghai Pride 2013

Joining the fun at the Shanghai Pride 2013 Pride Run.
UTOPIA PLACE:
Discover India with Pink Vibgyor
Live your dreams of India with Pink Vibgyor tours for GLBT travelers...
get the full story


AIDS/HIV
+ ASIAN NEWS ARCHIVE + SAFER SEX + TRAVEL TIPS + WOMEN'S SPACE + HOTLIST + MESSAGE CENTER
A-SHOP + GALLERY + MEMBERSHIP + ACCOMMODATION + POSTCARDS
ADVERTISE
+ ABOUT US + EMAIL US

Australia + Cambodia + China/Hong Kong + East Timor + India + Indonesia + Japan + Korea + Laos + Malaysia + Mongolia
Myanmar/Burma + Nepal + Philippines + Singapore + Sri Lanka + Taiwan + Thailand + Vietnam

All original content (c) 1994-2014 by Utopia Asia