There are a few notable LGBT parties, events, cruises and parades in Asia and Australia coming up that are fully loaded, colourful and lots of fun. Here’s Time Out Hong Kong's pick of the top events, so you can get planning. Read the original article here.
Sydney Mardi Gras
Sydney Mardi Gras is the biggest LGBT extravaganza in Australia. The fest is on from February 19 until March 2 – and there are heaps of gay-friendly parties and activities going on around town, such as the fully charged Harbour Party on February 22. If you’ve got a head for heights, you can also climb the iconic Harbour Bridge and dance disco-style with your pals (bridgeclimb.com). And if you’re more into the artsy fartsy scene, there’s plenty of LGBT-themed cabaret shows, film screenings, musicals and art exhibitions – all plotted in different locations around Sydney. The not-to-be-missed event is, of course, the Mardi Gras parade on March 1 and the post-parade party. Prepare to be bombarded with intense colours, rhythmic beats and festive gay cheer.
Feb 19-Mar 2, Sydney, Australia; mardigras.org.au.
Atlantis Bali to Singapore Gay Cruise
Sail around Southeast Asia in the Seabourn Odyssey with 450 other revellers on a gay cruise which is unlike anything you’ve ever been on before. Between March 15 and 25, enjoy an immersive experience, with chances to explore beautiful seaside areas while making new friends. Begin in the small village of Tanjung Benoa in Bali, with its white sandy beaches and watersports. Then climb aboard and see more of what Bali has to offer by spending a day in Celukan Bawang, Surabaya and Semarang before heading out to sea towards Kuala Lumpur. Out on the deep blue, there’s plenty of activities to enjoy like windsurfing and waterskiing. After Malaysia, you head towards beautiful Phuket, Thailand, for two days, before ending the unforgettable trip in Singapore – chilli crab time! Tanned, oiled-up men in speedos out on the waves: does it get any better? P
rices start at $29,500. Mar 15-25, launches from Bali; atlantisevents.com.
Songkran Thai New Year
According to tradition, it’s New Year’s Day in Thailand on April 13. So, for three days, the country washes away any bad luck left over from the previous year with – you got it – water. Gallons of it in the form of high intensity water fights with water balloons and water guns. Begin the festivities early in Chiang Mai or on the pristine beaches at Phuket, where there is a procession of the Phra Buddha Sihing and a floral parade around Patong Beach. Then prepare for the Songkran Gay Circuit Party in Bangkok between April 11 and 13. There are plenty of LGBT parties going down, like the opening event, Fairy Tale, which is followed by the main party, Cybertron, on April 12 before the closing party, Amazonia, next day. As the names suggest, it’s going to be wild and full of fantasy. There are also two big daytime pool parties for all the hot bod viewing opps. Don’t miss the biggest gay party in Asia.
Apr 11-13, Thailand; songkran2014.com.
Pride, Pride, Pride
Rainbows shine across Asia as the region’s LGBT community and its friends stage some top ‘pride’ events in the run-up to summer. Firstly, head to Tokyo’s Rainbow Week between April 26 and May 6. The week is dedicated to providing greater awareness of the issues surrounding sexual minorities in Japan, as well as opportunities to, well, party, with more than 20 colourful events scheduled. Then move west to Shanghai Pride from June 13 to 21. Starting in 2009, this fest is the baby of all the Asian Prides – but it’s still packed with activities. With art and photo exhibitions, a ‘Pride Run’ on June 15, film and trivia nights, barbecues and a closing party, there’s still plenty to celebrate. Finally make a beeline for Seoul for the Queer Culture Festival. Dates are still to be confirmed but expect it to be over a few days in June. This is South Korea’s largest celebration of homosexuality, with a film festival and plenty of Pride parties happening on top of Homo Hill – yes, it really is called that, and, yes, the
guys are just as hot as your favourite K-pop stars – in the Itaewon area. Light up like a rainbow from now until the onset of summer.
Tokyo Rainbow Week, Apr 26-May 6, Tokyo, Japan, tokyorainbowweek.jp; Shanghai Pride, Jun 13-21, Shanghai, China, shpride.com; Queer Culture Festival, TBC, Seoul, S Korea; kqcf.org.