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Travel & Resources: MALAYSIA

Please help us keep these listings up-to-date. Special thanks to Monroe, hornbill, Edyza, petelek, chubcharm, zul76, MYHotStud, younggun80, midtowne, ijay82, princemelaka, Fip, just4qt, riverrobles, alexbam, u, Topmalaysian, girl_gungho, aisite, Geeo, ecyc02JasonSimon, CrackerJill, FC, Andres, Ian T., Charlie, Ron, Billby, Vik, Ed S., asianbackpacker, Tony C., DickyDock, Wong, Stuart J., Andy, Imran, Rahim, Joel Lim, Steven Wong, Raymond P., Marcus Chong, DeoN, Philip C., Gilbert, Philip J., Ali, R. Lew, Alfred, Gary, Kevin, John, P.K., M. Sharif, Ray, Brad, David N., Chris, Yau, Linus, Rico, Michael, Eddry, Alex, Tony, Bill, Baleno, Sylvia Tan, and Uno for contributing.

Advisory: Gay life in Malaysia, as in other Asian countries, is blossoming despite conservative religion-based discrimination and outdated colonial-era laws. Former Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, was famously removed from office by a trumped-up sodomy conviction that was reversed by Malaysia's high court in 2004. Muslims, both local and visitors, are also subject to religious law which may (though rarely does) punish gay or lesbian sexual activity with flogging and male transvestism with imprisonment. Even though religious law does not apply to non-Muslims, Islam is the state religion under Malaysia's constitution and thus homosexual citizens face official discrimination. Police may arrest any person (Muslim or not) for sex in a public place (i.e. cruise spots), so visitors are well-advised to respect Malaysian law and customs while they are guests in the country. Having said that, police generally have not detained foreigners during raids on local gay businesses, focusing instead on ethnic Malay customers, almost 100% of whom are considered Muslim at birth by law.

Malaysia Listings by City:

JOHOR BAHRU | KOTA KINABALU
KUALA LUMPUR | KUCHING
LANGKAWI | PENANG

Other cities and provinces are listed below...



General Information

    Malaysia will no doubt surprise you. This multi-cultural nation, largely populated by moderate Muslims and fiercely intolerant of being bullied by western powers, is filled with charm, nature, culture, and warm hospitality. Remarkably, it also has a thriving gay scene (perhaps Southeast Asia’s most exciting) which, while still mostly underground, is basically tolerated by the live-and-let-live attitude of its people.

    Yes, the country was once lead by a cranky homophobe, Mahathir Mohamad, who infamously ousted his one-time protégé, Anwar Ibrahim, on trumped-up sodomy charges, despicably wielding antique colonial buggery laws to do so.

    Times change. Homohaters and dictators are relegated to the dust bin these days. Anwar’s groundless conviction was overturned by Malaysia’s high court in 2004. Mahatir’s daughter, Marina, works tirelessly behind the scenes to support AIDS/HIV education, including championing efforts by Malaysian GLBT health worker heroes.

    Malaysia is thriving under the fresh air of tolerance and democracy. Straight-owned venues openly cultivate custom from the gay community, while homosexual entrepreneurs launch trendy businesses and mini-utopias of their own.

    Conversations with locals are delightfully candid. Educated and pragmatic, the younger generation takes a practical point of view towards the special challenges of their rainbow society. As one highly-placed official told us: as a gay Muslim he just takes the hurdles of life one day at a time

    The country remains wonderfully undiscovered by a majority of travelers. That should really change. Beyond Kuala Lumpur, there is much to delight shoppers, history buffs, foodies and adventurers, especially in smaller cities like Melaka, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, and Penang.

    Malaysia is divided into two parts geograpically, the Penisular (West Malaysia) and Borneo (East Malaysia). There are 11 states in West Malaysia (Perlis, Kedah, Pulau Pinang (Penang), Perak, Sekangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka (Malacca), Johor, Phang, Kelantan and Trengganu. East Malaysia is comprised of Sabah and Sarawak.

  • Being Gay in Malaysia a special audio report by BBC World Service
  • Additional Links and Resources


Organizations

  • Malaysia AIDS/HIV organizations and information

  • LPG (Leadership Programme Graduates)
      Email

      A non-profit social group based in Kuala Lumpur and comprised of graduates of a leadership program that is committed to improving the quality of life for Malaysian PLUs. Regular social events are open to all walks of life regardless of race, language, occupation background or sexual orientation. Monthly social activities are healthy and fun, positive and meaningful: local and overseas trips, jungle trekking, karaoke competitions, day trip outings, movie outings, sports activities, and community service.
      Add your review, comment, or correction

    P T Foundation
      7C-2, Jln Ipoh Kechil (off Jln Raja Laut)
      (60-3) 404-44611 FAX 404-44622, email

      Confidential telephone counseling and information on HIV/AIDS and sexuality: (60-3) 4044-5455, 4044-5466 (19:30-21:30 Mon-Fri). A volunteer, non-profit, NGO involved in community-based work on sexuality and AIDS. Formed in 1987 by a group of concerned gay men in Kuala Lumpur, it provides counseling and support to individuals dealing with issues around homosexuality. Its also runs AIDS prevention and support programs for gay men and women, mak nyah (transgender), sex workers, drug users and People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Pink Triangle Foundation was the winner of a 2001 Utopia Award.
      Add your review, comment, or correction


Travel Services

    Holiday Houseboys UTOPIA VERIFIED SEP 2015
      Email

      Select a personal city tour guide to show you around the cities of Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, Penang. Speaking the local language, your guide will look after your safety and welfare, as well as ensure that you get the best deals and local flavor. He does the bargaining for you, carries your shopping, and makes sure you won't get ripped off. He will schedule each day based on your personal interests. Holiday Houseboys is all about getting the most out of your holiday with a friendly local guy.
      Utopia Member Benefit: 20% DISCOUNT.
      Add your review, comment, or correction

  • Pink Borneo / ASEH Tours UTOPIA VERIFIED FEB 2016
      Email

      Gay-owned travel service offering customized holidays for GLBT travelers looking for an authentic Sabahan experience in Malaysian Borneo. They promote responsible tourism while providing opportunities to re-discover nature at its best along with the rich, native tradition and culture through their village-stay and home-stay programs. They are able to design a wide range of itineraries focusing on Sabah's fascinating landscapes, diverse wildlife and nature, plus fascinating indigenous communities to suite all interests and budgets.
      Utopia Member Benefit: FREE AIRPORT RETURN for stays in Kota Kinabalu city area when you book a 3-star hotel or higher with Pink Borneo.
      Add your review, comment, or correction

  • Pink Holiday
      +60-1-7668-8436, email

      Gay-owned personal tours, especially in KL, Melaka, Penang, Port Dickson and Kuantan. One-to-one travel guides or groups of not more than 10. Visit places that will bring you lasting memories. Welcome to Malaysia...Truly GayAsia.
      Utopia Member Benefit: 10% DISCOUNT for individual member or 15% DISCOUNT for Member's group.
      Add your review, comment, or correction



ALOR STAR (Kedah)

General Information

    Alor Star is the capital of Kedah and one of the oldest towns in the region, founded in 1735. The population is over 200,000 (that's about 8,000 Utopians).


Popular Spots

Meeting Places



BINTULU (Sarawak)

General Information

    The population of Bintulu is over 110,000 (that's about 5,000 Utopians).


Popular Spots

Discos

Meeting Places



Genting Highlands

Popular Spots

Accommodations

      Click here for Genting Highlands hotels and accommodations.



IPOH (Perak) -- area code +60-5

General Information

    Ipoh is the capital city of Perak, under two hours drive from Kuala Lumpur and almost halfway between KL and Penang. It is famous for its delicious traditional foods, fruit farms, limestone caves and good-looking people (with clear complexions they credit to the spring waters from the limestone hills). Uptown and Old Town are treasure troves of colonial era civic buildings, traditional Chinese shophouses, art deco buildings and mid-century influences. Surrounded by towering limestone karsts, similar to those in Pangnga Bay, Thailand and Halong Bay, Vietnam, Ipoh is a lush haven for nature lovers and bird-watchers.

    With its small town ambience, local gays connect by Internet (Gay Romeo, etc.) rather than risk being outed in public, so while Ipoh is lacking an open gay scene, it is long on charm and simple pleasures.

    Ipoh is the second largest city in Malaysia, with a population nearing 750,000 (that's about 30,000 Utopians). It is the second largest ethnic Chinese urban center of the nation.


Popular Spots


Massage and Spas

    • DMAN Male Massage
        1/F 94-A Jln Raja Ekram
        012-517-7677, 016-203-5123, email

        Located in a discreet shophouse in the town center, in the first row of shops in front of RegaLodge Hotel. The one and only gay-owned and managed business in Ipoh. Quiet ambience with 9 individual massage rooms and a selection of Malay and Chinese masseurs on hand from Ipoh and neighboring villages. Quality, full-body massage. Clean and well-kept. Very reasonable prices! Outcall also available.
        Utopia Member Benefit: 10% DISCOUNT.
        Add your review, comment, or correction


Meeting Places


Restaurants and Cafes

      Ipoh abounds in traditional edible specialties - chicken baked in chests of hot salt, fat bean sprouts plumped by cool mineral water from the hills, smooth-as-silk hor hee noodles, dark and chewy "white coffee" on ice, savory claypot rice - and everyone you ask will have there own favorite places to find them.

      Ipoh curry noodles

      Paramount among the many foodgasms are coconut broth "curry noodles" and a sublime secret dipping sauce served in two locations (just ask anyone for directions), one by a brother and the other by his sister. If you are not seated at a table in the brother's shop by 8:30am, expect a long wait to be served or - worse - that they'll be out of one or the other of the fresh made dishes. Just ask anyone for directions.

      Another local specialty are heong peng (fragrant pastries) - crispy layers of coconut-scented dough filled with a sweet and gooey malted filling. Although they are sold everywhere around town, try to visit one of the few remaining homes where these puffs are hand made in large ceramic kilns heated by burning coconut husks.

    • Friends Café


Saunas

    • El Fondo UTOPIA VERIFIED FEB 2016
        33-1 Persiaran Pearl (top floor), Taman Pearl
        +60 18-400-7796, email

        Opposite The Fair Park Hotel. Gay-friendly healthcare and relaxation for men. They provide far infrared sauna, steam room, open showers, TV Lounge and smoking area. Interior design is a mixture of art and industrial. It's a nice place to unwind and meet like-minded Ipoh locals. No membership fee required. New to Ipoh city and need some local information? Just ask the staff in charge.
        Utopia Member Benefit: 10% DISCOUNT.
        Add your review, comment, or correction



JOHOR BAHRU -- area code +60-7



KOTA KINABALU (Sabah) -- +60-88



KUALA LUMPUR -- area code +60-3



KUANTAN (Pahang)

General Information

    Kuantan, capital of Malaysia's largest state, has a population approaching 400,000 (that means there are about 16,000 Utopians here).


Popular Spots

Accommodations

    Click here for Kuantan hotels and accommodations.


Massage and Spas


Meeting Places


Shops and Salons

    • Sunday morning market at Taman Kerang UTOPIA VERIFIED MAR 2013



KUCHING (Sarawak)



LANGKAWI / PULAU LANGKAWI (Kedah) -- area code +60-4



MELAKA / MALACCA -- area code +60-6

General Information

    Melaka is one of Malaysia's national treasures, though it hardly looks as though the government cares much to preserve this historic and colorful heritage gem. Just two hours drive from Kuala Lumpur, gay tourists who love food, culture, history and shopping should add this city to their itineraries.

    Birthplace of Maylaya, home to immigrants from India and China, origin of Peranakan culture, coveted trading post of Muslim traders, the Portuguese, the Dutch and British; this old port city is a living museum of all of these influences. From the Dutch Stadhaus civic center, now a museum; to the jam-packed streets of Nyonya and Baba shophouses; to the Hindu temple, mosque and Chinese temple that co-exist right next to each other -- Malaka is tropical, enchanting, and resilient.

    The population of Melaka is over 600,000 (that's 24,000 Utopians).


Popular Spots

    Melaka's Old Town heritage neighborhood is easy to navigate using our Utopia map:


Accommodations

    Click here for Melaka hotels and accommodations.


Bars and Clubs


Galleries

Massage

Meeting Places


Restaurants and Cafes

    • Bert's Garden (Malaysian and seafood)
        2078-C Jln Kg. Pinang, Tanjung Kling
        315-2213 (after 3pm), 013-683-6633

        Excellent local specialties and fresh seafood at this seaside garden restaurant, just north of town on the stretch of classic and deco seaside mansions of Melaka's old money millionaires. Try the otat-otat, tiny fish soufflés steamed in folded palm leaves. Open daily from 5pm-12:30am.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Best Café (Nyonya Baba cuisine)
        13 Lorong Hang Jebat (see map)
        282-7682

        Authentic local specialties in this unpresuming streetside café. The friendly owners out you right at ease. Locals recommend the Devil's Curry, a hearty stew of chicken, potatoes and vegetables. How about a plate of aromatic, marinated saté sticks?
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Dutch Harbour Café
        39 Jln Laksamana, Riverside, Utopia Map
        283-7606, email

        Gay and lesbian-friendly restaurant serving a mixture of western and Southeast Asian foods. Specialties include pizza, coffees and fresh fruit drinks. Three areas to dine in: an historic main room, a garden courtyard or tables by the riverside. Young and talented waiters speak excellent English and are happy to serve.
        Utopia Member Benefit: FREE FRUIT DRINK and crisp snacks.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Plat Kitchen UTOPIAN VERIFIED APR 2016


Saunas

      Comments from Utopians:

      "A lot of gays go to the Equatorial Hotel gym and sauna." -- Albert, Dec 28, 2015


MIRI (Sarawak)

General Information

    The population of Miri is 180,000 (that's over 7,000 Utopians).


Popular Spots

Discos

Meeting Places


PENANG -- area code +60-4



PETALING JAYA (Selangor) -- area code +60-3

General Information

    The population of Petaling Jaya is approaching half a million (that's 20,000 Utopians).


    Click here for Petaling Jaya listings (combined with Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley).



SANDAKAN (Sabah)

General Information

    The population of Sandakan is 300,000 (that's 12,000 Utopians).


Popular Spots

Meeting Places

Restaurants and Cafes

    • 7 Heaven (desserts)



Selangor City (Selangor)

General Information

    Selangor is at the industrial hub of Malaysia, just 25k from Kuala Lumpur.

    Click here for Selangor City listings (combined with Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley).



Sibu (Sarawak)

Popular Spots

Saunas



SUBANG JAYA (Selangor) -- area code +60-3

General Information

    The population of Subang Jaya is approaching half a million (that's 20,000 Utopians).


    Click here for Subang Jaya listings (combined with Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley).



SUNGAI PETANI (Kedah)

General Information

    The population of Sungai Petani is over 150,000 (that's more than 6,000 Utopians).

Popular Spots

Meeting Places

    • This is a university town: UUM,UiTM,PTPL, etc. The schools are where PLU's get their source of hot jocks and cute guys.

    • Central Square

        The most popular mall, has some (not lots) of action on each facility of its 5 floors. Lots of cruising around the top floors since most of the stud dudes are either bowling, watching movies, doing their karaoke, chatting or just roaming popular bookstores.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • The park just near the town's public library is a meeting place for PLU's, however it's not advisable to go alone at night
      Add your review, comment, or correction



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