Your Guide to Gay Singapore
Gay Singapore trendy, busy and a full of life! What happened? Singapore used to be a boring stop over city and now it’s become one of the hippest cities in the region. Over the past 5 years Singapore has up its game. Chinatown hosts a great range of LGBT bars, clubs and saunas, from fancy cocktails in Dorothy’s to dark mazes in ShoGun.
The law is yet to catch up with the rest of the world, yet local business, society and the gay Singapore community have been pushing forward. Sex between gay men is illegal but don’t let this put you off Singapore. This developed city state is home to some of the world’s best restaurants, shopping, hotels and parks. With all year round hot weather gay Singapore offers one of the best city break destinations in Asia!
Singapore being a serious city means most of the best nightlife takes place on the weekends. Most of the gay bars are located on Neil Road, Chinatown. The area is great for jumping between the bars as they are all so close together. Check out Tantric and May Wong’s Café for some fun gay bars.
The largest gay club in Singapore is Taboo, again located on Neil Road Chinatown. The venue is best on Fridays and Saturdays, where it draws the biggest crowds.
Singapore has a surprisingly large number of gay saunas, mainly located in Chinatown. Most gay saunas excellent facilities including fully equipped gyms, steam room well as the mazes, dark rooms and private cabins.
Being such a popular destination Singapore is home to a huge number of world class hotels. Unlike many other parts of Asia, Singapore is not a place to visit for a budget luxury experience. Hotel prices in Singapore are on par with some of the most expensive destinations in the world.
Singapore city has an extensive public transport network including MRT (both underground and above ground railway system), buses, and taxis. Local tip – If you are only visiting the city for a few days it might workout best to buy a Tourist Pass on an EZ-link card for the MRT with unlimited usage for 1, 2 or 3 days. Tourist Pass start from S$10 per day (plus a $10 refundable deposit).
Airport – Changi Airport is Singapore’s main airport. The most convenient way to reach the the city is by train which departs from terminal 2 & 3. There is also a bus to center of Singapore leaving from all three terminals. Both the train and bus use EZ-link cards for payment.
MRT – Operating from 5.30 am to 1.30 am the MRT is usually the quickest way to get around town. Pay-via EZ-link card.
Taxi – convenient, run on meter and the drivers often have good English. Uber & GrabTaxi are both available in Singapore.
Bus – Singapore has a large bus network covering the city. With maps and signs in English it’s pretty easy for tourists to use. Pay via EZ-link card or use exact fare only (no change given), remember to tap your card both entering and leaving the bus.
Chinatown – Historic Chinatown has become the heart of gay Singapore. Most of the gay nightlife takes place on Neil Road including Tantric gay bar and Taboo gay nightclub. The neighborhood mixes old and new and side by side are traditional shops and trendy cafes.
Marina Bay – Marina bay is the Singapore used in the magazines. Full of glittering buildings and amazing parks. Marina Bay Sands is Singapore’s most iconic building home to the equally iconic bar CÉ LA VI (previously Ku De Ta).
Little India – buzzes with history. This part of Singapore is known for its vibrant culture, incredible shopping and delicious food.
Orchard Row – is for shopping. Described in Singapore’s as “Asia’s most famous shopping street”. The area is home to all your fashion favourites, with everything from the high street to the luxurious.
Singapore is one of the last remaining developed countries where sex between two men is still illegal. The law is not fully enforced, between 2007 and 2013 nine men were charged with breaking this law, most of whom were caught having sex in a public place. Unsurprisingly gay marriage is illegal and internationally performed same sex marriages are not recognised in Singapore.
While the law may be outdated attitudes within the country are more accepting. Singapore hosts an annual LGBT rights festival, “Pink Dot” which has grown in recent years and receives support the international corporations based in Singapore.
Gay individuals and gay business are generally accepted by the authorities and the public with the exception of large gay dance festivals, which have not taken place in the city for a number of years.
AFA (Action for Aids) is a great resource for more information about HIV testing in Singapore. AFA operate an anosume clinic for testing 3 times a week every Tue, Wed and Sat. For full STI testing STDScreening offers a dedicated clinic however the service is unsubsidised and testing is relatively expensive.
HIV infection rate among gay men living in Singapore is estimated to be 5%. Condom and lube are stocked in most convenience stores and supermarkets across Singapore.
For more information be sure to check out ActionforAids.org.sg