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Travel & Resources: VIETNAM

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Advisory: There have never been laws against homosexual activity in Vietnam. Although state-run media temporarily declared that homosexuality was a "social evil" in 2002, officials quickly corrected those with ignorant, superstitious views and the Communist Youth Newspaper carried a story about homosexuality that same year stating "some people are born gay, just as some people are born left-handed." Gay venues openly exist and sport official MSM safer sex materials, the government put on an exhibition of photographs called Gay Life which toured all major universities, and the country recognized its first same-sex domestic partner of a diplomat with an official diplomatic visa. From famous poets, celebrities, and party leaders, gays have, of course, always been an integral thread in the fabric of Vietnam..

In 2015 Vietnam lifted the official ban on same-sex marriage, although it has not yet conferred legal protections to same-sex spouses that it gives to straight spouses.

Homosexuality is not a crime in Vietnam, but blackmail is, so do contact the Police if you are threatened by a scam artist. Prostitution is illegal as is the payment of money for sexual services. Gay visitors can help to set a good example by observing the local laws and customs.

Vietnam Listings by City:

HANOI | HO CHI MINH CITY - SAIGON
HOI AN

Other cities and provinces are listed below...


A poem by Vietnam's preeminent gay poet of the 20th century, Xuan Dieu
translated by Huynh Sanh Thong

A Fool in Love

You suffer as you stray and lose your heart,
adore the wrong one, and misplace your love.
Your gold you lavish where it goes to waste;
you suffer as you beg where one won't give.

It seems so smooth, the road - who will beware?
When you come to, the thorn has stung your bone.
You lax the reins and let your heart run loose --
you suffer as you can't turn back again.

You peer in shallow eyes, discover depths;
you fancy riches stored in vacuous hearts.
Forever you'll pursue sheer mists or clouds,
intent on finding heaven here on earth.

You suffer, squeezing through a narrow gate --
the door's shut tight, so harder you will pounce.
When stabbed and injured, you will keep the knife
and won't be healed of your delicious wound.

-- Xuan Dieu, Sending Fragrance to the Wind


General Information

VietPride photo by Jiri Pasz
photo by Jiri Pasz
    Vietnam has become a favorite destination for travelers to Southeast Asia. Picturesque, vibrant and youthful, it offers magnificent natural wonders, gorgeous beaches, ancient city lanes, addictive cuisine and a paradise of shopping bargains.

    Vietnam is splashed with color, from verdant rice fields, hot pink lanterns and day-glo boutiques, to the increasing visibility of gays and lesbians adding their own special hues to Vietnam’s rainbow.

    Vietnam is a place to have fun, but also a place to use your common sense since the gay world here is still largely in the shadows.

    No seasoned traveler should miss a chance to encounter the amazingly friendly Vietnamese, to learn about their rich culture and enjoy their warm hospitality!

  • The legality of homosexuality in Vietnam: a posting from the VN-GBLF E-mail forum (see info below on joining this forum).
  • Vietnam Gay & Lesbian News Archive
  • Vietnamese terms for homosexuality: a posting from the VN-GBLF E-mail forum.
  • Additional links for Vietnam GLBT information.


Articles and Publications

  • A World Without Women (Vietnam's first gay-themed novel).


Organizations


Travel Services

  • Flamingo Vietnam UTOPIAN VERIFIED JAN 2013
      8/46/67 Linh Quang, Van Chuong, +84 98 594-4185, email. Gay-owned Flamingo Vietnam designs vacation for gay travelers who want to explore Vietnam's vibrant cultures, history and contemporary life. They offer distinctive travel programs with top-notch, private, English-speaking guides. Try their exclusive, private gay cruise on Halong Bay with a private party at a gay beach. Travelers seeking wellness and beauty holidays or adventure and activities are also welcome. Packages are flexibile for a highly customized experience that might include scuba diving, river cruises, elephant riding, cuisine and cooking classes, beach resorts and shopping. Utopia Member Discount
  • Rainbow Tourism UTOPIAN VERIFIED JAN 2014
      147 Nguyen Van Cu St, Hanoi, +84 90 328-6504, 016-4761-7238, FAX +844-3878-7695, email. Gay-owned travel service. Travel arranged in Vietnam and Asia.

    LVP Travel Group UTOPIA VERIFIED JUL 2015
      123 Trung Kinh St, Cau Giay Dist, Hanoi, + 84 90-668-0989, email. Gay and lesbian-friendly travel focus in northern Vietnam. Trip arrangements at the beaches, in Ha Long Bay, Da Nang, Hoi An and more. Based in Vietnam, they offer full support along the way, from custom sightseeing trips, to tickets to the theater, to help with the dinner menu - they are your personal Vietnamese concierge. Utopia Member Discount

  • VietTin Travel UTOPIA VERIFIED JUL 2015
      204E Su Van Hanh, Ward 9. Dist 5, Ho Chi Minh City, +84 3833-3108, 091-201-1790, FAX +84 38333221, email. Gay-owned, tailor-made tours, inbound and outbound travel planning, tickets, hotel reservations, visa services, car rentals and MICE events.



Can Tho

General Information

    The population of Can Tho is over a million (that's more than 40,000 Utopians).


Popular Spots

Discos

    • Disco at the Hotel Gulf. Gay men go here.



Dalat

Popular Spots

Discos

    • Chez Moi Disco (mixed)
        Chez Moi (near Xuan Huong Lake). Young crowd with plenty of gays on Sat nights.



Da Nang/Danang

General Information

    Da Nang is a major developing city and air hub for visits to Central Vietnam and its nearby heritage cities of Hoi An (30 minutes by car) and Hue (2 hours). The population has swollen to over 1 million (that's 40,000 Utopians).

    The long and picturesque beach is the main draw here, but it's mostly Vietnamese tourists enjoying the beach in there own unique way. For starters, it can be very noisy with over-amplified music starting at sunrise and running until nearly midnight (be well advised if you are considering a lovely seasview room at a beachside hotel). Secondly, the Vietnamese avoid the sun like the plague and so they hit the surf before sunrise until about 10am and again once the sun is setting (the beach will be nearly devoid of locals during the sunny part of the day). Vietnamese also tend to wear many more layers of clothing than westerners, so don't expect glimpses of Speedo-clad flesh. You can, however, expect glimpses of wet underwear substituting for bathing suits.

    Da Nang Rainbow Straws (c) 2015 by John C. Goss

    While a gay scene is only recently beginning to develop, smart device apps like Jack'd and Growlr will be buzzing with messages from local Utopians interested in meeting up.


Popular Spots

Accommodations

      Click here for Danang hotels and accommodations.


Attractions

      Da Nang Marble Mountains (c) 2015 by John C. Goss

    • Marble Mountains UTOPIA VISITED JUL 2015
        On the southern edge of the city, on the way to Hoi An, is a very tourist trappy conglomeration of stone and "gem" carving shops where you driver will get a complimentary rest stop (and 30% commission on any sales) while you visit the nearby limestone karst dotted with shrines and pagodas and riddled with dank caverns that descend into some wonderfully lurid folk art tableaus depicting the horrors awaiting sinners in Asian Hell.


Massage & Spas for Men

    • JohnPhanVietnam UTOPIA VERIFIED JUL 2015
        Hoang Sa St (opp Furama Resort), 012-2743-1219, email. Gay-managed massage for men by men. Choose your massuer.


Restaurants and Cafes

    • Golden Pine Pub (mixed) UTOPIA VISITED JUL 2015
        52 Bach Dang St, 093-521-0113, email. Gay-popular pub with decent food and reasonably priced beer. Friendly and nice place to enjoy the riverside area with local Utopians. Crowd is about 50% LGBT and gets more so after 10pm. Some lesbians.



Haiphong

General Information

    Population is a half million (that's 20,000 Utopians).


Popular Spots

Accommodations


HANOI



HO CHI MINH CITY - SAIGON -- area code (84-8)



Hoa Binh

General Information

    The capital of Hoa Binh Province, located 76k from Hanoi.


Popular Spots

Accommodations


Hoi An




Hue

General Information

    Hue is a charming, slow-paced and relaxed city perched on the banks of the Perfume River and blessed with heritage treasures that make a stay of two or three days worthwhile for tourists. As night falls, the river bank comes alive with carefree strollers, polite hawkers, and citizens of all ages. There are great eats to be found here for foodies on the hunt for Central Vietnam's unique flavors and cooking styles.

    Hue Rainbow Bridge (c) 2015 by John C. Goss

    Hue's "Rainbow Bridge" is thoughtfully painted in shifting hues of light each evening, no public gay scene has yet to develop here. While a small town atmosphere prevails, apps like Jack'd and Growlr may prove useful in unccovering local Utopians eager to make friends.


Popular Spots

Attractions

    • Imperial Citadel UTOPIA VISITED JUL 2015
        It's a huge expanse of temple-like courtyards and ruined gardens being slowly restored using traditional construction materials and methods. Take lots of bottled water for your trek in the heat.
    • Imperial Tombs UTOPIA VISITED JUL 2015
        Head out early to beat the heat and tour bus groups.

    • Incense Village UTOPIA VISITED JUL 2015
        You might like to stop here for a demonstration of incense-making and great photo opps as you tour the tombs and pagodas in the countryside.
    • Pagodas UTOPIA VISITED JUL 2015
        The countryside is dotted with quiet pagodas that are worth exploring for their peaceful charm and color.


Restaurants and Cafes

    • Lac Thanh UTOPIA VISITED JUL 2015
        6A Dinh Tien Hoang, 054-352-4674. Foodie alert! Find this tiny restaurant just before entering Hue's Imperial Citadel. The owner - full of personality - not only serves up tasty local flavors, but will helpfully mark your map with the local points of interest which have free admissions or which were less interesting or over-priced (using smiling, disinterested, or frowny faces). He'll also show you how to combine condiments for each dish he serves, even comically delivering a perfectly composed bite direct into your mouth with chopsticks. Try the chewy banh khoai (shrimp and pork fried crisps), wrapped in leafy herbs, and dipped into a slightly fermented, pudding-like, nutty dipping sauce. Also try banh nam, a savory and chewy rice delicacy steamed in banana leaves and sprinkled with spicy fish sauce. The banh cuon, which looks rather like a wilting spring roll, contains an unctuous crispy pork surprise when you bite into the custardy rice pancake wrapper. Humble and tasty.



Nha Trang

Travel Services
  • 3K Tourist Service Office UTOPIA VERIFIED JAN 2013
      3K Hung Vuong St, 090-509-7272, (058) 352-7008, email.


Popular Spots

Accommodations

Bars and Clubs
    • Sailing Club (mixed) UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUN 2010
        There is no 100% gay club in Nha Trang yet. Most bars and pubs are along the intersection between Tran Phu St (seaside main road) and Tran Quang Khai, and Nguyen Thien Thuat. You can get cheap drink with flyers and during happy hours. After 11pm, people hang out at Sailing Club. This is the only club on the seaside open till 2am. It is straight club, but, as usual, you will detect a gay corner.
    • Swing UTOPIAN VERIFIED APR 2012
        Outside Nha Trang center. Mostly gay staff and a meeting place in the evenings, especially weekends. Under 30 crowd.


Meeting Places

    • Walk past the fun fair and hotel on the beach to a garden area and derelict beach resort. Lots of action most evenings, 7pm-midnight. UTOPIAN VERIFIED MAR 2013


Massage & Spas for Men

      Comments from Utopians:

      "I'm traveling in Nha Trang and unfortunately I didn't find any real gay spa. I did go to Pure Spa and it was an interesting experience. I called in advance to book a male therapist. But to my great surprise, I got an Australian masseur, who's also the owner of the spa. From the first touch, I could tell he was very experienced and his techniques were very solid. The pressure was steady without being excessive. The room I was given was very spacious and well decorated, with a rainforest shower and a huge bathtub inside. The massage had a very pleasant ending and never any fuss." -- Robin, Jun 22, 2015



Phan Thiet / Mui Ne

Popular Spots

Accommodations

      Click here for Phan Thiet / Mui Ne hotels and accommodations.


Bars and Clubs

    • DJ Station UTOPIAN VERIFIED DEC 2012
        120C Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Ham Tien Dist. The very first gay-friendly bar to open here. It's on the beach. They have a live DJ every night. Owned by former manager/DJ of Wax Club. Great music and friendly.



Phu Quoc Island

Popular Spots

Accommodations

Restaurants and Cafes
    • Buddy Ice Cream & Info Café UTOPIA VERIFIED MAR 2010
        26 Nguyen Trai St, Duong Dong, +84 077 399-4181, email. Gay-friendly and established in 2005 with the aim of providing all visitors with impartial tourist information as well as fantastic New Zealand ice cream products, smoothies, shakes, juices, cakes and various snacks. Free Wi-Fi, free Phu Quoc Island and town maps. Utopia Member Discount


Shops and Salons

    • Toan Cau
        Email. Internet café with helpful owner.



Qui Nhon (Binh Dinh)

Popular Spots

Accommodations



Sapa

Popular Spots

Accommodations


Tam Hai / Tam Ky

Popular Spots

Accommodations

      Click here for Tam Hai / Tam Ky hotels and accommodations.



Vung Tau

Popular Spots

Bars and Clubs

    • The Beer Club N Pub UTOPIA VERIFIED JUN 2014
        18 Nguyen Truong To, Ward 3 , +84 90-920-1234. Gay-owned, gay popular bar and restaurant. Serving barbecue, beer, wine, soft drinks. Especially crowded on weekend evenings. Open 4pm-4am. Utopia Member Discount
    • Blue Moon
        Behind the Grand Hotel on Ha Long St. A regular hangout for gays and lesbians.
    • Vitamin C (mixed)
        Located at the corner of Nguyen Truong To and Hoang Hoa Tham St, Ward 3. Mixed, but a number of gays go here. Good crowd gathers after Blue Moon closes.


Discos

    • Club 7
        At the end of Quang Trung St (near former post office, on the way from Front Beach to Back Beach). A nice place to go after 8pm. Popular with gays. No entry fee, but drinks are a must.


Meeting Places

    • Beach O Quan
        A small, secluded beach located between Back Beach (Bai Sau) and Strawberry Beach (Bai Dau), right underneath the Jesus statue. At low tide some hot activities can occur between the rocks. Some nude sunbathing.
    • Dolphin Swimming Pool facing the sea on the one side and the Sammy Hotel on the other side. Check out the shower cabins in the basement.
    • Promenade on Quang Trung St. Gays cruise here after 11pm.



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