The Lowdown on 6 LGBT-Friendly Travel Destinations in Asia

 

Of safe spaces in neighboring countries

 

 

The travel bug has bitten almost everyone in this day and age and there’s no better time to invest in tailor-made vacations. Beyond the generic pastimes of barkada summers, family fun days and couples’ weekend getaways are completely unique travel experiences just waiting to be tapped into. And here, we highlight LGBT-friendly spots that are still worth flying out to.

 

While some of the countries on this list haven’t legalized same-sex marriage, they have come a long way in terms of acceptance (and isn’t that a sign that they’re heading in the right direction albeit taking baby steps?) Keep scrolling to find out which Asian countries members of the LGBT community should definitely include in their vacation bucket list!

 

Japan

via Equaldex

 

While progress regarding bigger pieces of legislation is moving slowly (read: the pending anti-discrimination bill), the country is taking necessary action in other ways, beginning with protecting the youth: In March, Japan updated its national bullying prevention policy to include the protection of sexual/gender minority students.

 

In essence, Japan is a very safe place for the LGBT (ah, yes, another reason to love this country) and friends and couples have the fun-filled 2018 Tokyo Rainbow Pride to look forward to. That leaves all interested festivalgoers enough time to plan ahead and start booking, too.

 

 

Rainbow Week: April 28 to May 6, 2018

Parade and Festa: May 5 to 6, 2018

Website: tokyorainbowpride.com

 

Indonesia

via Equaldex

 

The predominantly conservative country has its safe spaces, too: the key tourist spots to keep in mind being Seminyak and Nusa Dua in South Bali.

 

via Quartz

 

“Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Bali is a part of Indonesia,” writes Steve Mollman. “The ‘island of the gods’ is mostly Hindu, unlike the rest of the predominantly Muslim nation, and has a distinctive culture, luring travelers who bring along French wine, global sensibilities, and the latest design trends. For visitors, it can seem like a magical world unto its own—David Bowie requested that his ashes be scattered there.”

 

Nepal

via Equaldex

 

Popular among LGBT tourists, Nepal is a known wedding destination for Hindu and Buddhist wedding ceremonies. The country is proud to be a leading suporter of LGBT rights and hopes its updated constitution that now acknowledges the rights of the LGBT community serves as an example for its brother nations.

 

Source: Agence France-Presse

 

A visit to Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa or Swayambhunath Temple could easily make you fall in love with Kathmandu, the country’s cultural capital.

 

Thailand

via Equaldex

 

“Phuket Loves You Club's (PLU) main goal has always been to provide a unique and exciting Pride experience for the entire LGBT community of Phuket. For the past six years, the planning committee has achieved that goal,” read a PLU press release from July this year. “The Pride Committee, after much discussion, has decided to take a year off from producing Pride. During this year, the Pride Committee will be gathering ideas and comments from our Thai community and businesses to see how we can create a bigger, better and more inclusive event, one that will not only raise the necessary funds to meet our financial commented to our health initiatives but to also to broaden our efforts in educating and challenging our Phuket LGBT communities to work towards to achieving full equality.”

 

via Bernard the Traveller

 

Though PLU will forgo a pride parade next year, Thailand is still deserves a spot on the LGBT-friendly travel bucket list (perfect for group vacays with the gang or a romantic beach getaway with the significant other).

 

Taiwan

via Equaldex

 

The historical date that changed Taiwan forever: May 24, 2017. On this day, Taiwan declared that the ban on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional and vowed to “protect same-sex couples who choose to marry, affording them the same rights as heterosexual couples, in areas such as inheritance, adoption, parenting and rights in the case of medical emergencies.”

 

via Forbes

 

Top tourist destinations: Elephant Mountain (aka Nangang District Hiking Trail), National Palace Museum, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, Longsham Temple and Jiu Fen Old Street.

 

Cambodia

via Equaldex

 

Cambodia is another progressive nation on the right side of history: “In a bold move for the socially conservative country, the government recently announced the introduction of a new life skills course that will make classes on reproduction, transgender identity and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights obligatory for middle- and high-school students,” recounts Cristina Maza. “The courses cover topics such as sexual health, gender-based violence, gender identity and combating discrimination against the LGBT population. And according to those involved, they will be part of the curriculum in all of Cambodia’s schools starting in 2018.”