Homosexuality was legalized in 1991 in Hong Kong, and although gay marriage still isn’t, being queer is no longer the taboo it once was. In addition to the annual pride parade and a number of events during pride month in June, queer folk and allies can visit gay bars and nightclubs. Queer-friendly spaces may not be the norm in Hong Kong but increasingly there are a number of places that offer a safe space, a chance to meet other members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and of course, a great time!
Spots for everyone
The Pontiac — Central
The Pontiac is an inclusivity-centred dive bar that ranked No. 26 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars in 2021, where “the only thing that defines us is how we treat each other and ourselves, everything else is rock n’ roll baby”! Their award-winning cocktails will invite you in but the too cool for school vibe and array of people with diverse stories will keep you there. Must-try drinks include their Run Rabbit Run and A Good Luck, which is served by the all-female bartending team. They also host an annual Red, White, and Rainbow Event, a celebration of equal rights and independence on the 5th of July.
The Pontiac, 13 Old Bailey St, Central | +852 2521 3855
Lambda Lounge — Sheung Wan
This inclusive entertainment space, with tons of fun and interesting events, is known to be “straight-friendly”! No matter your gender, sexuality or romantic orientation, you are welcome in this large space, with a sleek and shiny ambience. We love their FEM event, for “ladies that write their own rules” which features incredible comediennes, drag queens, cabaret, burlesque and more! They also host Bollywood nights, Macho balls and kink-friendly events. Truly an all-in-one experience! You will be sure to meet the iconic Milo Miles dancer, performer and international host/hostess, so grab a photo with him in his high heels.
Lambda Lounge, 108 Hollywood Rd, Sheung Wan | +852 9020 7338
FLM — Sheung Wan
Hong Kong’s premiere LGBTQIA+ venue is located in the heart of Hong Kong in Sheung Wan, and is known to be a jolly good time. Gay nightclub and drag bar in one, it is a place you can visit again and again, especially on Saturdays, when they host their Secret Show Saturdays! Their fun events include drag shows, trivia nights, burlesque and of course song and dance. And the best part? The night’s theme is always a mystery, so you’ll be surprised every time. If you can’t make it on Saturdays, don’t worry. It is still a party every night, with two-for-one happy hour from 7pm to 9pm. And if you are a newcomer, you are welcome to mingle with an hour of free vodka mixers on Wednesdays.
FLM, 62 Jervois St, Sheung Wan | +852 2799 2883
Petticoat Lane — Central
Hong Kong’s modern gay club for the open-minded is going bigger and better – they have shut their original location but will be relocating to LKF itself! Talk about going mainstream! This fixture has been known as the place to party and let loose, with incredible music, a lively dance floor and regular drag shows. We love their #WednesGAY events where HK$100 gets you a snack platter and one hour of free-flow. They are open till late, and you can spend your nights dancing away to the beats of their sexy DJs until 4 or 5am, even on Wednesdays!
Petticoat Lane, 8/F, California Tower, 30-32 D’Aguilar Street, Central | +852 2808 2738
Time Bar — Central
If you prefer a more cosy and chilled out vibe, you can head over Time Bar, located on Hollywood Road. The party starts a little early, with happy hour from 4pm to 9pm every day. Expect twinkling lights, greenery and gorgeous artworks, with of course, lots and lots of Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. If you are a cocktail fan they also have a number of creative concoctions to sip on as you have a quiet moment with your partner or scour the room for new friends.
Time Bar, Rear Block, 65 Hollywood Road, Central | +852 2332 6565
Zoo Bar — Sheung Wan
Themed parties, great atmosphere and signature drinks, what more does one need from their gay bar? Must-try Zignature Drinks include the Zoo Love, funky Orange-A-Tang or the chill Orchard Breeze. You also must attend one of their infamous parties; whether it’s Christmas, Neon or their Topless & Harness Party, you will always have a blast. With its mixed clientele, with locals and expats mingling with everyone, including the bartenders, it’s also a great place to meet new, like-minded people. The party usually kicks off on Thursday, with crowds swelling on Friday and Saturday. Although, you never know – an earlier weeknight can also turn into a rager if you want it to.
Zoo Bar, 33-35 Jervois St Soho, Sheung Wan | +852 6350 9392
Boo Bar — Jordan
Boo Bar is known for its bears and its karaoke. The vibe is fun and festive with overhanging branches, beautiful flowers, and of course, a disco ball! You will always have a great time, whether you are looking for a chill drink or wanting to belt out the latest Lady Gaga song. The state-of-the-art sound system truly makes it feel like you are the lead in your own movie. The staff is known for being exceedingly nice and welcoming to both bears and non-bears alike. On the last Saturday of each month, karaoke is replaced by a DJ for a dance party night.
Boo Bar, 5/F, Pearl Oriental Tower, 225 Nathan Rd, Jordan | +852 2736 6168
Vibranium — Causeway Bay
Named after the “strongest metal on earth”, this new, trendy club wants to create strength in its community while providing a comfortable, creative and cute gay hangout for a good time. With no cover charge or minimum spend, you can head straight to the dance floor, to get the party started! They also have happy hour every Monday to Friday from 6pm to 10pm, if you’d like to lose some inhibitions before you let loose. Some bar bites are also on offer. With events like their Squid Game-themed Halloween party, you will always have a good time!
Vibranium, 22/F, Oliv Building, 15 Sharp St East, Causeway Bay | +852 7071 4048
Virus — Causeway Bay
While the number of gay bars or queer-friendly spaces continue to grow, lesbian-specific bars are actually reducing. One of the longest-standing lesbian bars in Hong Kong is Virus, a lesbian bar and restaurant which was established in 1997. It is a favourite for those looking to enjoy a quiet night, with good food, great conversations and a little bit of fun if you want to through karaoke. The couch area is specifically great to cosy up with your partner while enjoying their delicious yakitori and oysters. It also has an unbeatable deal of a three-hour-long free flow that only costs HK$98 or HK$128 per person – so why go anywhere else?
Virus, 21/F, Chung Wai Commercial Building, 447–449 Lockhart Rd, Causeway Bay | +852 61806255
L’Paradis — Tsim Sha Tsui
For the ladies who are looking for a night of drinking and dancing and generally having a gala time, L’Paradis, one of Hong Kong’s remaining LGBTQIA+-friendly and lesbian bars, is the spot to go. While Virus has a calmer vibe, L’Paradis offers beer pong, darts, karaoke and shots, perfect for those who are young and looking for love. They are also known for their themed events such as celebrating Single’s Day, Halloween or Christmas, and you will often find someone dancing on the tabletop before the end of the night!
L’Paradis, 5/F, Cameron Centre, 57-59 Chatham Rd South, Tsim Sha Tsui | +852 6726 2028
Header image credits: Kelly Visel via Unsplash