Lgbt Rights In Vietnam

Stories > Experiences > Gay Vietnam: the most beautiful places in Vietphái mạnh for discerning gay travellers

Just as a freshly dripped sữa đá coffee offers that sweet caffeine kichồng lớn the frontal cortex, a trip khổng lồ Vietphái nam will inevitably knochồng you for six. Embodying the urban jungle; Saigon’s sassy natives squat behind fragrant vats of phnghỉ ngơi bò while epic roads cut through the scene like impassable motorised rivers. In Vietnam, craziness is interwoven with natural beauty like nowhere else on earth, where the cheerful, forgiving perspectives of its people can cause you lớn re-evaluate life bachồng trang chủ. Walk blindly into lớn moving traffic & experience the biblical happen, or, embrace a different kind of spirituality while exploring Vietnam’s most rural shrines and temples. It’s true you must leave the chaos of Hanoi & Saigon khổng lồ unearth whole new visions of Vietnam – from crumbling colonial opulence in Da Nang to humble mountain tribes in the ‘Tonkinese Alps’. To help you find gay Vietphái nam amongst it all, we’ve sầu outlined the top places to visit in Vietphái nam for discerning gay travellers. 


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Photo: Suyeon Kim

LGBT situation 

Vietphái mạnh stands as the most progressive country in gay Asia for LGBT rights, sharing its crown with both Vương Quốc Của Những Nụ cười and Taiwan. Expect your time in Vietnam lớn be pretty hassle-không tính phí as same-sex couples are treated with grace at accommodations across the country. Despite Vietnam’s relative acceptance khổng lồ homosexuality however, there are no anti-discrimination laws in place & same-sex marriage is still not permitted (Taiwan wears the crown solo for gay Asia on this front). Among mỏi Vietnamese, coming out to family & friends is still a taboo and thus rarely done. And while social constraints hold citizens baông chồng, the mainstream truyền thông in the country promotes the normalisation of gay culture and transgender people are recognised by law.

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To get khổng lồ gay Vietnam giới travel directly to lớn either of the two biggest cities. VietPride is held annually in both Ho Chi Minh City và Hanoi every September, with Hanoi’s celebrations outlasting the HCMC’s by a number of days. If you find yourself in Hanoi during pride, take advantage of the various film screenings, talks, parties và rallies taking place around the city. At any other time, these two cities have sầu active gay scenes, but gay bars & clubs are rather low profile và the scene is constantly evolving. Use Grindr to lớn find like-minded locals who can show you the secrets of gay Vietnam, or try Utopia for useful travel information & contacts around each city.


The initial stop of many wet-behind-the-ears backpackers, Ho Chi Minc City is a wicked traffic jam of a đô thị that you’ll fall inextricably in love sầu with. Holding a population of around 8.6 million & about as many motorcycles, the city takes a bit of navigating but, once you get your bản đồ the right way up, you’ll find that the one-time capital is packed with things lớn vị. Captured by the French in 1859 and falling khổng lồ communist forces at the end of the Vietnam giới War, what was Saigon became Ho Chi Minc City. Once the centre of the world’s biggest ideological storm, the đô thị commemorates its past in monuments & hard-hitting war museums that st& testimony khổng lồ the atrocities committed by the American forces. Nonetheless, a tone of forgiveness can be felt within these spaces and, across the chaotic thành phố, cheeky smiles plaster the faces of feisty locals who jostle khổng lồ ply their wares or simply to lớn practice English.

District 1 – also known as “the backpacker district” – is HCMC’s tourist centre and while it does have its fair nói qua of fishbowl-chugging ex-pats, it’s also trang chủ khổng lồ the best museums, upmarket accommodations & nightlife. And boy, is it affordable! If you’re looking for gay Ho Chi Minh City, District 1 can serve sầu you well, with a variety of queer hangouts và gay-friendly lodgings around Bui Vien & Ptê mê Ngu Lao. Make sure lớn gorge yourself on much of the best food in Vietphái nam while in gay Saigon, making sure not to lớn avoid the low-down street vendors where you must slurp your noodles from tiny red tables just several inches from the ground. Your knees will be up near your ears but your taste buds (& your wallet) will thank you!


Photo: Tnhì An


Ho Chi Minch | Photo: Quang Nguyen vinh


You needn’t travel far lớn find gay Hanoi; simply move sầu north from Hoàn Kiếm Lake towards the backpacker area where most mixed bars, clubs & street eats are found

Two for two on the best cities khổng lồ visit in Vietphái nam, our next mention goes khổng lồ Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh’s Northern rival và capital, a rather more lãng mạn version of affairs centred within the crumbling citadel walls of its Old Quarter. Don’t conflate lãng mạn with slow-moving, however, because those Grab motorcyclists are still most definitely out for blood. Flex your reaction times và chiến bại yourself in the charms of Hanoi’s thành phố centre, where old mixes with new in the best of ways. tỷ lệ thoát back và forth between authentic street-side eateries và futuristic sky bars, settling on the tranquil central lake where newly married couples pose at sunphối aao ước temple worshippers, pushy vendors & fitness fanatics. When you need a break from gawking at Hanoi’s dazzling streets, hideaway in any museum, hipster café or hangout spot, sampling the surprisingly delicious local speciality of coffe trứng (egg coffee) as you relax.

You needn’t travel far khổng lồ find gay Hanoi; simply move sầu north from Hoàn Kiếm Lake towards the backpacker area where most mixed bars, clubs and street eats are found. If this is your first Vietnam giới travel experience, be aware that scammers and hustlers are active here, with some even preying on gay travellers. So carry your street-smarts with you at all times, particularly after a few drinks! While the Hanoi gay scene is pretty discreet, you can meet like-minded people on apps lượt thích Grindr or frequent any of the exclusively male gay mas sa spas that pop up around the centre. If you arrive sầu in September you’re in luck! Hanoi Pride will be taking place, with the week leading up lớn it dedicated to lớn LGBT exhibitions, film screenings and other events including a xe đạp rally.

Vietnam’s largest isl& off its west coast, Phu Quoc has seen a fast rise lớn fame as the next paradise island to lớn rival the likes of Tnhì big boys such as Koh Samui or Phi Phi. What Phu Quoc has that they vì not however is tranquillity by the bucket load. While many Southeast-Asian islands battle with over-tourism & over-development, Phu Quoc has managed lớn fall slightly under the radar by mainstream tourists, making it a more affordable destination with untouched natural assets yet to lớn be fully exploited (don’t exploit them!). Visit Phu Quoc with an eco-friendly mentality, opting for sustainable lodgings và activities where possible lớn ensure Phu Quoc doesn’t go the same way as neighbouring islands. Fortunately, endowed as it is with the dense tropical jungle that covers the majority of lvà, Phu Quoc makes it easy to lớn be an eco-warrior. Phu Quoc National Park covers the entire northeast, a place where hikers & wildlife watchers can spend days trekking from deserted beach to craggy clifftop never far from the jungle & its cooling waterfalls.

South-eastwards lies Phu Quoc’s main centre which serves holidaymakers with museums, night markets và all the cocktail bars anyone could wish for, just moments from the most popular beaches. North Long Beach is the longest & runs alongside the majority of the city’s nightlife, while Sao Beach and Ong Lang offer picture-perfect alternatives. Gay Phu Quoc takes its lead from the rest of Vietphái mạnh and welcomes the international LGBTQ+ community with open arms. Although there are no official gay beaches, many of the various beach clubs and bars around the islvà are consistently gay friendly and the gay bars & clubs that vày exist attract the best people from across the islvà, locals và tourists as one! Although by night you’ll probably want to stay among mỏi the riffraff, by day you can find solitude và authenticity with a visit to lớn Ham Ninh fishing village and/or an interlude at Suoi Ttinh ma Waterfall which offers a chance lớn bathe in natural pools surrounded by rainforest. The nearby Hang Doi cave sầu formation is also worth staying longer for.

Home to one of the world’s most beautiful bays, Nha Trang brings some tropical rhythms lớn an otherwise fast-paced country, making it an igiảm giá escape for travellers once the allure of the capital has worn off

Boasting some of the mainland’s best beaches in proximity to lớn a smattering of tidy, well-kept islands is the south-central đô thị of Nha Trang. trang chủ lớn one of the world’s most beautiful bays, Nha Trang brings some tropical rhythms khổng lồ an otherwise fast-paced country, making it an ideal escape for travellers once the allure of the capital has worn off. As popular aước ao gays as it is honeymooners, Nha Trang stretches beyond its beaches inkhổng lồ both forest and mountains where famed waterfalls & hot springs lie beside ancient temples. Gay Nha Trang can seem a little sparse in comparison lớn the big cities above, but worthwhile attractions include Fairy Spring waterfall và Thao Ba hot springs, as well as the Buddhist sites of Po Nagar Cmê mẩn Towers and Statue of Buddha. Climb the platsize here, or take a trip to Long Son Pagodomain authority lớn get impressive views of the region.

If rain threatens khổng lồ ruin your beach day (unlikely) then the Alexandre Yersin Museum và the National Oceanographic Museum are always open for either bubonic plague history or rare seahorses! The bustling Dam Market can provide some cover in addition to local produce, dried seafood và Vietnamese textiles. Tkhô cứng Citadel is another must-see for history buffs wanting lớn uncover the secrets of the Trinc dynasty while in a traditional area of the thành phố. With still so much to lớn see in the area, opt lớn take an island-hopping boat around the cất cánh, stopping at the fantastical Monkey Islvà for a ton of monkeys và rollercoaster rides. Alternatively (& a real winner while in Nha Trang), head khổng lồ Hon Tam from where you can maraud above the thành phố in a hot air balloon, appreciating the spectacular landscape.

Lesser known yet no less worthy of your visit are the Trắng shores of Doc Let, just one hour up the coast from Nha Trang. Tourist life in Doc Let is often centred on the scenic cất cánh, where the majority of resorts and hotels are based. Venturing out, however, you’ll soon see that Doc Let has much more to offer. In the centre, below the cất cánh, find the town’s port và shipyard which, despite its less-than-fancy aesthetics, brings wealth and dynamism lớn the city. The third section of Doc Let lies even more southward & grants visitors a more tranquil stay ahy vọng the most isolated – perhaps also the best – beaches in town, including Jungle Beach which is still under development. For more lengthy shores in remote settings, try the seemingly endless stretch at Doc Let Beach where the shallow waters are calm và the sunsets phenomenal.

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While salty spray & palm fronds abound on the shorefront, Doc Let is also dotted with a number of authentic fishing villages & smaller local communities. Force yourself from the beach lớn be rewarded with no-nonsense seafood restaurants, bustling flea markets & family-owned shops. While tourist attractions away from the beach resorts are limited, keep yourselves amused with water sports, leisurely beachside coffee breaks và day trips lớn the nearby thành phố of Ninh Hoa.

Not short of a few idyllic beaches itself is the one-time French colonial port of Da Nang, Vietnam’s third-largest đô thị located between historic Hue in the north and crumbling beauty, Hoi An, just a short way down. A wholly convenient stop-off point, Da Nang entices travellers with adventure, commerce & French architectural influence khổng lồ compliment age-old Buddhist styles, Although largely upstaged by Hoi An & judged harshly by some, there are plenty of reasons lớn make a base here. Enjoy the bustling atmosphere of the city’s most central beaches or drive sầu a short way khổng lồ more secluded spots. This is a great set up for a day trip, either to My Khe Beach for jet skiing, snorkelling và surfing exploits, or, khổng lồ Tien Sa Beach on the Son Tra peninsula for more private retreats, travelling over the famously ornate Dragon Bridge to lớn get there. Many backpackers who stop in Da Nang vì chưng so in order to hike the Bà Nà hills khổng lồ the west before shopping for affordable silks và textiles in Hoi An.

Once an American military site ‘liberated’ by the Viet Cong in 1975, Da Nang can also provide an intriguing day out by way of the abandoned base. While you’re in the area you may wish khổng lồ unwind on China Beach or take a trail up to the Buddhist shrines high on Marble Mountain, an ex-mining site boasting 360° views of the surrounding area. Da Nang’s not done with us yet, however, because we still haven’t phối foot in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, here you’ll find Son Doong, the largest cave in the world as well as countless hiking trails & protected native faumãng cầu. After a good day’s sightseeing, move baông chồng lớn the đô thị centre for street food & market fare, winding up on the bar street of Bach Dang for a good night out. By now you will come lớn except the low-key Viet gay scene, but as always, everyone is welcome.

Brave the winding roads north of Hanoi inkhổng lồ the rural region on the edge of the Tonkinese Alps near the border khổng lồ China for a trip you’ll never forget. The verdant countryside here is primed for rice crops, giving a groomed yet scenic landscape of hillside paddies harvested by h&. Showing a very different side to lớn Vietnam giới, Sa Pa lies among it all, with its people, a diverse set of ethnic tribes, located in the deep valleys surrounding. The Hmuốn, Giay and Red Dzao people – lớn name but a few – all reside here, largely self-sustaining under the protection of the mighty Fansipan Mountain. Sa Pa is one of the nation’s top trekking destinations, an old French hill station used as a base for those journeying up or down. Much more than an outpost of convenience, however, Sa Pa is a joy, made so by its humble, ever-smiling people who go out of their way to welcome visitors, giving homestays and guided tours through the area và over Phang Xi Pang mountain.

While this does of course mean you’ll have lớn leave sầu your disteo shoes in Hanoi, we couldn’t recommover Sa Pa more. The market town itself, though bustling, is never quite as impressive as the smaller traditional villages that surround it, giving an insight inkhổng lồ the local way of life as well as limitless hiking opportunities, such as to Silver Waterfall & the Tram Ton Pass. As well as authentic culture, hiking & boundless (though often misty) views, Sa Pa can entertain with cable car trips up to the summit of Mount Fansipan, with the option khổng lồ unwind at the town’s selection of cafés, restaurants and massage salons.


Photo: Sasin Tipchai


Photo: Jakob Owens

8. Ly Son Island

You may have sầu thought things couldn’t get more remote, but Ly Son Isl& may take the biscuit. A small cluster of volcanic islets off the central coast of Vietnam giới, Ly Son is relatively underserved và unknown, despite boasting myriad geological wonders & the best seafood so far. The two main islands here are Dao Lon and Dao Be, both lacking in resorts và palm trees but overrun with authenticity, pristine coral reefs and fields of… garlic. Come for the fascinating, prehistoric rochồng formations và stay for the world-famous garlic seafood dishes, with interludes of shrine visiting and reef snorkelling! Don’t expect heaps of action while staying on Ly Son but instead embrace the starkness và solitude, exploring blaông xã cliffs, crater-top views and dramatic beaches. Easily accessible via a 30-minute ferry from Sa Ky Port in Quang Nsợi Province, Ly Son Isl& is already a popular spot for Vietnamese backpackers who appreciate the wallet-friendly lifestyle & natural wonder.

Another of the lesser-known cities in Vietphái mạnh is the young city of Dalat found in the Central Highlands. An interesting stop on the way from Saigon khổng lồ the east coast, Dalat is a motorcyclist’s paradise – not something we’d say about the big cities! – proffering empty roads that wind inkhổng lồ the mountains past coffee plantations, pine woods & epic waterfalls. If you like caffeine và natural landscapes on your road trips then Dalat is for you, the town itself hosting a buzzing café culture and small buổi tiệc ngọt scene. By day, get Insta-happy in the centre’s lavender gardens or gain elevation và impressive vistas of Tuyền Lâm Lake atop Pinhatt Mountain. Robin Hill is an alternative sầu viewpoint, instead offering bird’s eye views of the entire cityscape. To really challenge yourself, tackle the steeper trails of Langbiang Mountain khổng lồ be rewarded with more exceptional views.

Dalat is home khổng lồ the most expensive coffee in the world, Kopi Luwak, which you might have heard of as civet, weasel or poop (!!) coffee. Visit any one of the highl& plantations khổng lồ try some for yourself while waterfall hopping in the area (Tiger’s Cave sầu or Elephant Falls being two great options) before resting in the tranquil gardens of the Valley of Love. Baông chồng in town, Dalat will continue to surprise you with bonkers architecture – in the size of ‘Crazy House’ & 100 Roof Bar – as well as superb world-class cuisine for the price of a stamp. While the mixed nightlife in Dalat is saved for a couple of streets, the crowd is welcoming, allowing for socialising & intimate conversation in ambient settings. Alternatively, open your pores & your mind at one of the city’s gay saunas!

Reserved for intrepid travellers who want to lớn escape the tourist traps of Ha Long Bay in Northern Vietnam giới, Ninh Binh is a refreshing and authentic alternative. A small city just two hours south of Hanoi, Ninc Binh has been growing in popularity in recent years for its immense natural beauty, ancient history và undeveloped feel. While this may mean a smaller number of boutique hotels than you might expect, you’ll soon find your visit worth it as you lay eyes on the region’s rugged valleys và karst mountains topped with pagodas. Once the capital of an ancient Vietnamese kingdom spanning three dynasties, the đô thị holds much importance in Vietnamese history. See the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hoa Lu lớn get a feel for her old world majesty.

Use Ninch Binch as your base before branching out into the region for mountain trekking, cave sầu hunting và wildlife-watching excursions. A visit to lớn Cúc Pmùi hương National Park is a must while in Ninh Binh, the country’s firstborn và largest national park home to a number of species of rare langur monkeys and a breath-taking acreage of wilderness. Get perspective sầu on the region by climbing the 486-step stone staircase to lớn the peak of Mua Cave where panoramic views of Tam Coc’s rice paddies and the Ngo Dong River await. Alternatively, explore the vast cave system of Trang An on a 3-hour rowing boat tour which will take you beneath towering limestone formations towards the mysterious Skull Island: one of the filming locations for the King Kong movie. All in a day’s work, arrive sầu baông chồng in Ninch Binch for fuss-miễn phí dining before enjoying the twinkling night views of Bai Dinch Pagoda. Those who can’t resist the điện thoại tư vấn of the wild meanwhile may be up for a spot of camping in Cuc Phong or – if you can’t go without a hot shower – try one of the gay-friendly hotels on the edge of Van Long Nature Reserve sầu.

Stuck planning your trip lớn Vietphái mạnh or simply don’t have the time? Allow our team of trip design experts here at Mr Hudson khổng lồ curate your dream trip for you. Just provide us with basic information on what you enjoy while travelling & we’ll kiến thiết a full itinerary just for you, giving tailored insights inkhổng lồ accommodation, attractions, nightlife & more. Sign up to lớn our Trip Design service today!