Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Vietnam, Hanoi - discovering the gay life

Being gay is as much a Western disease as it is a Southern and Eastern, and well pretty much actually a part of life across our great planet. Vietnam is not immune from being fantastically rainbow and while this communist county may not flaunt it - it's here!

First stop Hanoi - first thought Grindr! Where else to find local gays and like-minded travellers? Where else to get the inside knowledge? Apart from being full of horny Vietnamese, it provided a wealth of knowledge and this came in the shape of 3 gay hangouts.

GC Bar otherwise known as Golden Cock seemed the most obvious - located by the Great Lake in old town Hanoi, local lads referred to this as the 'meeting place'. So I arrange a meet with a fellow traveller to check it out.

Other than having to interpret the map and road signs it was relatively easy to find - much simpler than crossing Hanoi streets! Arriving at 9.30pm it was relatively quiet, but it offered a friendly and welcoming atmosphere - no overt gayness about it, mild with drinks and a pool table.

The decor was reminiscent of most European bars and the music, the classic Western pop where the volume was notched up throughout the evening. By 10.30pm the place was rammed and at unmanageable decibels, with the traveller and I struggleing to hold a conversation.

The local boys covered the pool table with a plastic sheet before bringing out their drinks. Bottles of spirit - gin seemed to be the popular choice, with cans of tonic stacked high and plates of lemon. These boys know how to drink.

No matter how vibrant the music or how loud the sound system there was not a single bouncing body in the joint - these in Hanoi don't dance. The talent was pretty good, well kempt and sociable they welcomed us with warm smiles. As they left, they thanked us for our company - even though few words were uttered between us.

GC Bar was empty by 11.30pm - the night was over! They don't last long, but all gin bottles and tonic cans were finished and the music a low dull.

Address: Bao Khanh street

Also other places are
Adams Spa (Sauna), Vu Thanh street - entry 80,000 Dong
Solace Bar (don't have address)