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14 Jan 2008

2008 fridae list: the results are in!

Find out which bars, clubs, lesbian venues, LGBT retailers, bookstores and events in Asia have come up tops in the first ever Fridae readers' poll.

In the first ever pan-Asian poll of gay establishments, Fridae members nominated and voted for their favourite dance clubs, bars, lesbian venues, saunas, businesses, bookstores, activists, DJs as well as LGBT-themed web sites, plays, films, books, magazines and events.

Fridae, Asia's largest gay and lesbian web site, attracts over 400,000 unique browsers every month, as audited by Nielsen//Netratings.

The inaugural Fridae æ (pronounced like the letter 'a') List aims to recognise the efforts of establishments and businesses that serve the LGBT community. While some of these establishments are located in gay-friendly cities, others are seen to be pushing the envelope by simply existing to meet the needs of and/or providing a safe space for LGBT individuals to socialise. The awards also seek to acknowledge the efforts of individuals who have tirelessly championed the rights of LGBT people; and inspire others to affect change wherever they are.

Based solely on votes which were limited to 1 per member per category, Bangkok's DJ Station, a favourite among gay travellers for years, unsurprisingly came up tops in the Favourite Dance Club category for the city. The other renowned Bangkok institution, Babylon Bangkok Sauna & Spa, claimed the top spot in its respective category.

In Hong Kong, Propaganda and now-defunct Mei Lang Fang won the Favourite Dance Club and Gay Bar categories respectively while Les Peches was voted the territory's Favourite Lesbian Venue.

La Queen Club, where Prince World parties are held, beat old favourite Liquid to be Kuala Lumpur's Favourite Dance Club. Malaysia's veteran DJ Princess Ann garnered the most number of votes in the keenly contested category to be named Favourite Asia DJ.

The Favourite LGBT Activist Singapore award goes to not one but a group of activists including George Hwang, Tan Joo Hymm, (Fridae CEO) Dr Stuart Koe, Alan Seah, Pamela Oei. Prior to the country's parliamentary debate on its Penal Code revisions in October 2007, the group organised a landmark parliamentary petition and publicity campaign to protest the retention of Section 377A which criminalises gay sex in the city state.

In Beijing, Mix and Destination won the Favourite Dance Club and Gay Bar categories respectively while in Shanghai, Club Deep and Eddy's were named the city's favourite Dance Club and Gay Bar respectively.

Fridae would like to congratulate all the winners and in particular, the top five establishments that have received the largest number of votes. Babylon (Bangkok), Jump (Taipei), Kinokuniya (Singapore), Mox (Singapore) and Propaganda (Hong Kong) will each receive an advertising and promotion package on Fridae worth US$10,000.

Here is the complete list of winners.

Favourite Dance Club
Bangkok: DJ Station
Beijing: Mix
Hong Kong: Propaganda
Jakarta: Blowfish
Kuala Lumpur: La Queen
Manila: Bed
Osaka: Explosion
Seoul: Reball
Shanghai: Club Deep (closed)
Singapore: Fabulous Sundays@ Power House
Taipei: Jump
Tokyo: ageHa

Favourite Gay Bar
Bangkok: Telephone Bar
Beijing: Destination
Hong Kong: Mei Lang Fang (closed)
Jakarta: Heaven
Kuala Lumpur: Blue Boy
Osaka: Physique Pride Osaka
Phuket: Boat Bar
Seoul: Queen Bar
Shanghai: Eddy's
Singapore: Mox
Taipei: G Paradise
Tokyo: Artty Fartty

Favourite Lesbian Venue
Bangkok: Lesla @ Chit Chat Pub
Beijing: West Wing Bar (Xixiangfang)
Hong Kong: Les Peches
Kuala Lumpur: 69 Bistro
Shanghai: Red
Singapore: Twoqueens@ Play
Taipei: Gingin Bookstore
Tokyo: Goldfinger

Favourite Sauna
Bangkok: Babylon
Beijing: Club Oasis
Hong Kong: Towel Club Hong Kong
Kuala Lumpur: Mandi Manda
Manila: Club Bath
Osaka: Hakuoukan
Shanghai: Vista M
Singapore: Towel Club (closed)
Taipei: Rainbow
Tokyo: 24 Kaikan Shinjuku

Favourite LGBT Biz Retailer
Bangkok: Bug and Bee
Beijing: Bronze Bodies Tanning
Hong Kong: Toot Concept Shop
Kuala Lumpur: Philosophy
Osaka: Normal North
Phuket: Club One Seven
Shanghai: Manifesto
Singapore: New Urban Male
Taipei: Gingin bookstore
Tokyo: BIG GYM

Favourite Bookstore
Bangkok: Kinokuniya
Hong Kong: Kotetsu Bookshop
Kuala Lumpur: Kinokuniya
Shanghai: Jifeng Shuyuan
Singapore: Kinokuniya
Taipei: Eslite

Favourite Party
China: i-Candy
Hong Kong: cocktails Production
Japan: Shangri-la@ Ageha
Malaysia: Prince World
Taiwan: Follow me
Thailand: Midsummer's Dream

Favourite LGBT Activist
China: Li Yinhe
Hong Kong: Man Ho Fung
Indonesia: John Badalu
Japan: Kanako Otsuji
Malaysia: Oyoung Wenfeng
Singapore: Repeal 377A team (George Hwang, Tan Joo Hymm, Stuart Koe, Alan Seah, Pamela Oei, et al)
Taiwan: Chang Huei-Mei also known as A-Mei
Thailand: Viroj Tangvanich

Favourite LGBT Play
Hong Kong: Once in a Lifetime
Singapore: Asian Boys Vol. 3: Happy Endings

Favourite Local Website
China: aibai.cn
Hong Kong: Gayhk.com
Japan: Mixi.jp
Malaysia: Axcest.com
Singapore: Trevvy.com
Taiwan: club1069.com

Open
Favourite LGBT Film: Eternal Summer (Taiwan)
Favourite LGBT Magazine/Periodical: DNA (Australia)
Favourite LGBT-related Book: SQ 21 - Singapore Queers in the 21st Century (Singapore)
Favourite LGBT Festival/Event: Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival
Favourite Asia DJ: Princess Ann (Malaysia)
Favourite International DJ: Tony Moran (US)

Click on the link below for more details of each winner.

Reader's Comments

1. 2008-01-15 05:23  
FIRST!
2. 2008-01-15 11:01  
Oh you mean Towel Club in SG is closed?
3. 2008-01-15 11:34  
Deep in Shanghia is closed due to drug bust, but hey let me lead campaign to bring it back and will send some seed capital to the great people who got it off the ground in the first place . . . (its like the Janel Jackson song . . we go Deep and we get no sleep . . .)

Nothing against PINK HOMe, but I miss DEEP . . .

please keep drugs out of the clubs . . .

4. 2008-01-15 13:56  
What the fuck! How the fuck can La Queen beats Liquid for the best dance club!

Please....for those who is high on drugs every weekends in La Queen, please try to be sober for once and dance in La Queen and then at Liquid.

Liquid is deserve it more! For those who had forgotten that Liquid used to have free entry every Friday night and provide the a place where all PLUs to gather (despite price is rising during 1998 to 2000).

Nothing much to say about this....end....
5. 2008-01-15 17:42  
Stupid to nominate clubs and parties that have been closed down.... and then not bother to check which clubs are exisiting and going on...

Not a very accurate polling system.

2 dicks down!
6. 2008-01-15 18:42  
how can taboo and play not be on the list?

nonsense.
Comment #7 was deleted by its author
8. 2008-01-16 01:01  
I guess when you can only have 1 winner, that makes every else a .... l*s*r?

Face it ladies, that's one of the "technicalities" of a competition.

And just because a club's now closed, doesn't mean it wasn't the best in 2007!

A quick scan of the results indeed shows the best of the field, not to say that the rest weren't worthy...many of the nominees (as they put it in "Oscar speak") "deserve to be winners"...

What happened to our manners? We should be congratulating all the winners and nominees!
9. 2008-01-16 20:44  
anyone knows where is liquid bar in kl?? went to the central mkt address and found no such place...
10. 2008-01-16 21:10  
boiboi88, u may find it behind the central market there is a Medi-a break shop. LQ is just up stair
11. 2008-01-17 19:04  
Well, Volume may have come in 2nd for BEST GAY BAR HONG KONG, but at least we're still open (unlike the winner)!

So do we win by default? LOL.

Anyway, I'd like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who voted for us. Joseph, the staff, the DJs and myself all truly appreciate your fantastic support.

For those of you outside HK, do check us out if you're visiting HK (you can find our details in Fridae's City Guide section)...perhaps you've already heard good things about us from your friends?

I'd also like to remind everyone to keep supporting, and respecting gay businesses across Asia, because if we neglect them or abuse them- we'll lose them. And we don't want that because CHOICE makes our community stronger, better and more fabulous!

So Thankyou Fridae team for showing us where Asia's hotspots are and the individuals who make it truly remarkable.

For everyone else, happy Asia travels and best wishes for 2008 to you all.

DJ Stonedog
Creative Director
Volume, HONG KONG
12. 2008-01-17 23:14  
Well said DJ Stonedog! That's the spirit - unlike some sore losers! ;)
13. 2008-01-18 10:50  
Ok. Say a good actor that's obviously done superior work in an oscar year, but like dies 24hours before the award, do we now change the winner to someone else because he's no longer around?

What are we measuring here? Just being around? Or being good? I think it lacks authenticity if we merely measure presence. There are numerous everybodies around, but it takes work to be somebody. So, yeah these sort of discussions see a lot of egos flying around.

Peace. Or go to the Middle East.
14. 2008-01-18 15:06  
The Gingin bookstore in Taipei is one really chill place so check it out =)

15. 2008-01-18 23:47  
The favourite bookstore in Hong Kong - Kotetsu Bookshop is no longer deal with Lesbian/gay. They only sell ordinary comics bookshop as I personnally visited the bookshop a week ago. Therefore, they should'nt be the best with prize or otherwise, it's not fair to other nominees.
Cheers.
16. 2008-01-21 05:41  
Fav Singapore Sauna : How could you nongs vote for a place thats CLOSED LOL

One Seven IS the best, regardless of what anyone says......................
17. 2008-01-24 00:20  
hello there! there are other establishments in manila that cater to gays, lesbians and their friends. here are some of them:

dance clubs: government
gay bars/saunas: o bar, chelu
bath houses: fahrenheit, epitome, the mansion
l-g-b-t biz retailers: tops and bottoms, pride exchange.

18. 2008-01-24 00:22  
i'm glad that bed and club bath won in the fridae poll! i've been a regular of bed since 2003!!!!
19. 2008-01-24 16:12  
Not sure is Mix can be considered a gay venue in Beijing. Perhaps one may like to do some due diligence before Babyface, CocoBanana, Cargo, etc comes into the list!
20. 2008-01-28 11:46  
I'd say a recent Time magazine article on gay life in China is more informative for G&L visitors to Beijing on which ones are for the straight crowd (basically those nominated on Fridae's list of favourite dance clubs in Beijing) and where they may want to go dancing. According to the Fridae poll, Destination where a few of the favourite Asian DJ nominees have played, is just a bar.
21. 2008-01-28 13:19  
A club with most probably a much lower than 10% G&L crowd is Fridae's favourite dance club in Beijing, that's something new and a surprise to us in Beijing!

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