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The big bash happens in October each year, where Taipei drapes itself in extra rainbows for its annual Pride Festival, drawing hundreds of thousands of revellers from the LGBT community to celebrate together. Year round, you’ll find Taipei one of the most welcoming countries in Asia, which accounts for why it attracts so many gay travellers and allies alike.
Being the popular spot that it is, Taipei doesn’t fall short on its offering of exciting things to explore. Gawp up at the incredible Taipei 101, a uniquely designed skyscraper standing tall at a whopping 1667 feet (a definite shower, not a grower!). Shop ‘til you drop in the building’s mall and fill your boots in any of their mouth watering restaurants. Get lost in Shilin Night Market, wandering the cascading avenues of stalls and immersing in a melting pot of food, people, games and nicknacks. Ximen-ding is the unofficial gay district in Taipei where you’ll find an abundance of culture and options for shopping and entertainment. The walking street in this area is known as the ‘Harajuku of Taipei’ on account of its thriving love of Japanese subculture, including arcades, street artists, watering holes and quirky fixtures.
Take a refreshing breather from city life and hop on a 2 and a half hour train ride south to the stunning Taroko National Park, home to Taroko Gorge. The 19km long canyon stretches and weaves around impressive sites such as the small town of Tianxiang, Water Curtain Cave and the Baiyang waterfall. While you’re stretching your legs outside of the city, venture further down to the foothills of Taiwan’s Central Mountain Range and ride the ropeway cable car to take in the stunning views of Sun Moon Lake. Once you’ve picked your jaw back up off the floor, you can swing by the Aboriginal Cultural Village theme park to see what traditional life was like in previous centuries for indigenous communities of the region. Soak up the scenery with a boat ride on the sparkling blue water nestled in a valley surrounded by mountainous terrain.
taipei night tour
yangminshan national park
zushi temple, sanxia
- Same-sex marriage was fully legalised in 2019
- The dominant religions in Taiwan are Buddhism and Taoism, neither of which decry same-sex relationships, for which other religions have been criticised
- ‘Tongzhi’ is a mandarin word meaning ‘queer’ became frequently used in political discourse while discussing rights for the LGBT community in Taiwan and has helped familiarise the public with the concept and has resulted in widespread acceptance throughout the country
- Taipei annually hosts the largest pride parade in Asia
- Tu’er Shen, a.k.a. the rabbit god, is a Taoist deity of homesexual love and sex, a shrine to which has been erected in Taipei. Thousands of people each year make the pilgrimage to visit the world’s only religious shrine dedicated to homosexuality
- Fun Fact: In 2005 Taiwanese director Ang Lee directed the classic Brokeback Mountain which has since become an iconic film for the worldwide gay community
It would be impossible to talk about a night out in gay-Taipei without mentioning the Ximen district’s famous Red House. This well known haunt marks out a gay friendly area in Taipei for drinking, dancing and mingling in open air venues. The buffet of bars in this location includes LGBT favourites like the Secret Garden, Hero and Cafe Dalida, along with plenty more hidden diamonds to stumble upon yourself.
In the wider city, the club scene is alive and well with regular LGBT club nights being hosted at venues like Pipe and Triangle, as well as the raucous Taipei mainstay G*Star.