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Thread: Hanoi Vietnam

  1. #1
    Junior member JamesIII's Avatar
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    Hanoi Vietnam

    Anyone visit Hanoi lately?
    I will be there next month and wonder about gay life there in that city of over 2 million people.
    Love to hear from my good buddies here about the trip..
    thanks and hope the best for the new year..


  2. #2
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    Re: Hanoi Vietnam

    A year ago and had 2 nice meets with boys from Hornet. Love the city but only in the cool season. Great Boutique Hotels at low rates and food to die for also very in expensive.

    Crossing the streets however is an adventure.

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    cdnmatt (February 26th, 2016)

  4. #3
    Forum's veteran arsenal's Avatar
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    Re: Hanoi Vietnam

    There are a few massage places dotted around Hanoi. Polar is probably the best. You should be aware that if you're going during their Tet holiday then they will most likely be closed as the whole country virtually shuts down.

  5. #4
    Moderator christianpfc's Avatar
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    Re: Hanoi Vietnam

    I spent 2 nights in Hanoi last week. Looked for saunas and massages on the usual websites: travelgayasia and utopia-asia plus some minor ones.

    Went to Polar Spa for their sauna (but their main business seems to be massage). They had over 10 massage boys in an aquarium, none of them my taste. Sauna, steam room and darkroom is small, but was well visited. Never had that much attention paid to me in a sauna, had to flee at the end (anyway there was not much area to cover and none of the customers appealed to me).

    Following day met a contact from hornet for sightseeing and didn't go out at night.

  6. #5
    Forum's veteran goji's Avatar
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    Re: Hanoi Vietnam

    I was last in Hanoi about 5 years ago & the highlight was a visit to the Ami Spa.

    Their offering was a 1 hour package, where you have a short sauna, body scrub & about 30 minutes massage, starting in underwear & ending without it.
    Their lads were very fit, slim with some muscle & they were energetic.
    If I remember correctly, they allocated the masseur & they had over 10 of them, with only 4 rooms.

    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/...5f63f9e3?hl=en

    No idea if it's still open, however considering there is so little on Vietnam posted AND their very good service, I'm posting it.

    I also visited 2 saunas and a gay bar, without much success.

  7. #6
    Up Yer Kilt scottish-guy's Avatar
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    Re: Hanoi Vietnam

    My BF lives in HCMC, and tells me that Hanoi "No like Gay"

    As a result of his comment, 2 things occur to me:

    1. It may just be a parochial thing and he simply prefers HCMC
    2. This 3 word ungrammatical statement comes after 5 years studying English at my expense =))

    But he may be right - and whilst you are unlikely to come across any prejudice when you're frequenting sex establishments, it might be a different matter socially.

    I have to say I have never encountered any adverse looks or detected any distaste when we go out In HCMC to restaurants, cinema, bowling, nightclubs, or even beer or sports bars - and it must be quite obvious what our relationship is (why would a handsome 23yo Viet boy be hanging around some repulsive old cunt more that double his age). We never go to any specifically Gay venues - there's no need to as all the "str8" places are completely mixed


  8. #7
    Forum's veteran lonelywombat's Avatar
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    Roving hands, eager promoters and one of AsiaтАЩs best saunas

    Gay review of Vietnam both Hanoi and HCM
    http://www.dailyxtra.com/world/travel/c ... nam-183348

    Vietnam has been a star on AsiaтАЩs tourist map for years, but it usually falls under ThailandтАЩs long shadow as a gay party or play destination. On the surface, itтАЩs easy to thank the countryтАЩs communist regime for that. But like many countries in this region, contradictions are the norm in Vietnam. Despite a totalitarian government, the country proudly reminds anyone whoтАЩll listen that it has never had laws against same-sex acts, and that laissez-faire attitude comes to the surface in some surprising ways in its major cities.

    Gay communities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are admittedly not as visible as those in Thailand. This discretion however, offers its own freedoms, particularly for those looking to explore the communityтАЩs friskier side. Saunas and massage spas are ubiquitous throughout both cities, and are likely to expand in Da Nang, a gateway city to central Vietnam thatтАЩs one of the countryтАЩs fastest growing destinations.

    Many, if not most, saunas operate as тАЬmassage spasтАЭ but incorporate traditional sauna elements such as steam rooms, dry saunas, chill-out area, and smoking lounges. Some will allow guests a choice of masseur, while others will assign based on availability. The level of professionalism and sexual service also varies widely, so check with reception if youтАЩre not sure. Most spas will be upfront about the services they provide, and expect clients to communicate their needs clearly. HanoiтАЩs ZSpa and Polar, for instance, happily advertise on their website that their massages include sexual service. Others, such as Namspa in Ho Chi Minh City, keep the focus on health and traditional spa therapies. Some will also include your masseurтАЩs tip in their rate, so be clear on this point before the start of any treatment or massage. Staff will typically not advise patrons on what is considered a standard tip, however a one-hour massage should not set you back much more than VND500,000 (C$31), tip included.

    Ho Chi Minh City also boasts one of AsiaтАЩs best saunas, Nadam Spa. Though a good 20-minute drive from the tourist centre of Saigon, Nadam is a clean, well developed sauna offering 20 massage rooms, VIP rooms, herb infused hot pools, a deceptively traditional and relaxing setting, and a wide range of spa therapies. ItтАЩs the perfect escape from the crippling heat and frenetic pace of Saigon, but it takes some finding! More than a few queer visitors have passed the address to a hapless cab or moto driver, only to wind up circling the neighbourhood. For a small fee, Pink Tulip Hotel, a gay owned and managed boutique hotel in the heart of Ho Chi MinhтАЩs entertainment district, arranges a dedicated, return moto service to Nadam for its guests.

    Note that VietnamтАЩs saunas and massage spas typically close between 10pm and midnight, so plan your visit accordingly тАФ perhaps as a way to unwind after a busy sightseeing day.

    But Ho Chi Minh CityтАЩs hedonistic iceberg plunges much deeper. Sex here is a 24/7 business, conducted on the street like any other, while the authorities turn a mostly blind eye. Many locals insist Saigon has replaced Bangkok as Southeast AsiaтАЩs most liberal and decadent city. It certainly has no shortage of eager-to-please promoters, and it isnтАЩt at all unusual for these endlessly energetic young men to offer some arranged evening company to tourists theyтАЩve corralled into the rowdy bars of Bui Vien. Nobody bats an eye about your preferences in Saigon.

    тАЬMeeting the localsтАЭ this way obviously involves negotiation, clear communication and a component of risk. Your companion will typically be young, polite and well-spoken in English, and the length and extent of their services will depend entirely on you. Your only obligation will usually be to cover their drinks. Some, however, will also expect you to pay for their time, and of course youтАЩll be able to negotiate for more intimate services. Fit Vietnamese men hauling massage tables on bicycles and motos is another common sight along Bui Vien and the adjoining streets, and they too can be procured for a negotiable fee.

    When it comes to safety, sex workers in Vietnam are usually eager to make a fair deal. Just remember this is still an underground industry. Keep your wits about you and know what youтАЩve agreed to. Once a deal has been struck and services procured, youтАЩll be expected to honour the negotiated price. If the worker thinks theyтАЩre being cheated or smells trouble, it wonтАЩt be the police who come to their rescue. HIV is also prevalent and poorly addressed in Vietnam, so protection or preventative treatment is highly recommended.
    Wombat : an Australian marsupial that eats,roots and leaves

  9. #8
    Forum's veteran lonelywombat's Avatar
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    Hoi An to Hanoi

    Vietnam тАУ From Hoi An to Hanoi
    very nice pics I did not try and post, are with the article
    https://www.gaytimes.co.uk/travel/25464 ... -to-hanoi/
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    16:00 28th January 2016 by GT
    Comments

    TRAVEL > DESTINATIONS
    While Hoi An is a touch of the past, Hanoi thrusts you into the future. It makes Vietnam the best of both.

    Bustling Hoi An, with its streets of 19th century wood-beamed shophouses, Thu Bon river almost feels like an oasis of calm compared with the growing modernity and dynamism of VietnamтАЩs cities. The charm of Indochina seems to be fading as the spark of industrialisation burns bright in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Hanoi, still destinations in their own right. Yet itтАЩs in places like Hoi An where a sense of a bygone Asia remains, one that hasnтАЩt been bombed or bulldozed.

    Food glorious food

    With direct flights from China, Korea and Singapore to this region, itтАЩs easy to understand the profusion of planned resorts and golf courses but Hoi An, the Unesco World Heritage site, a bustling port from the 17-19th centuries is still a delight, a real gem. The old town is traffic free and at night is adorned with multi-coloured lights as though visitors have stepped into Wonderland.

    ThereтАЩs a profusion of local businesses catering to visitors, which have thrived since Vietnam opened back up to the world in 1986. The food alone is a reason to visit, with myriad restaurants to choose from, one of the best being the family owned Miss Ly, featuring local specialities like cao lau (flat noodles with sliced barbecued pork) and тАЬwhite roseтАЭ (steamed shrimp in rice paper). For under a third of the price youтАЩd pay in London, Mango Rooms is a real pleasing spot overlooking the river, although a little on the expensive side. Aside from the usual tourist tat, thereтАЩs shops selling authentic Asian artefacts to put on your mantelpiece and a number of galleries featuring local work.

    Open to anyone

    At least the shores of the picaresque Hoan Kiem lake mark a serene focal point for this frenetic city, offering the chance to wander among the lovers and the loners, feeling ever the stranger in a strange land but never threatened or intimidated. In fact itтАЩs a tribute to the Vietnamese and their spirit how warm the welcome afforded to Western visitors is, not the somewhat jaded response offered in more established destinations such as Thailand.

    Surrounding the lake is the тАЬgay-friendlyтАЭ GC pub (which legend has it stands for Golden Cock). A claustrophobic one-room watering hole that when we visited was literally shaking to Lady Gaga with a procession of young, fashionably dressed Vietnamese guys lined up like debutantes at a tea dance. The ready smiles of the all-male clientele indicated this was not just gay friendly, it was gay.

    Serving the T

    While Vietnam is still lacking in gay venues, it has no laws against homosexual activity, with the government even reportedly considering legalising same-sex marriage. In a recent move to lift the visibility of gay people in the nation, a local LGBT group organised three тАЬflash mobтАЭ dance events held simultaneously in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and Danang attended by more than 1,000 people.

    Nowhere is this new-found confidence more prevalent than in Ho Chi Minh City, still referred to as Saigon, undoubtedly one of the engines of growth of the new Vietnam and boasting such a vibrancy that thereтАЩs a feeling people can be who they want to be, without fear of the government interference of old.

    But you canтАЩt come to Vietnam and avoid the history of the place, since around almost every corner there seems to be something of significance. What locals term the American War (1965-73) may be seared into the Western consciousness, but being here, surrounded by Vietnamese, makes exhibits like the War Remnants Museum all the more resonant. There is a harrowing section called Requiem, which is a photographic journey through the war, with accompanying and unbiased commentary.

    Fit for a Queen

    The Reunification Palace is a wonderful piece of 60s kitsch smack bang in the middle of District One. It was here in 1975 that the tanks of the Hanoi-based Communists smashed through the gates to herald the countryтАЩs тАЬliberationтАЭ and reunification, marking the start of more than 30 years of autocratic rule.

    Other sights include such French-built gems as Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Post Office (no, really!), Hotel de Ville, Ben Thanh Market and the Municipal Theatre тАФ a place that was restored for the 2002 movie, The Quiet American.

    As for nightlife, the aforementioned Q Bar is the only place in Saigon where staff scowl at you rather than smile, but this venue in the bowels of the Municipal Theatre screams cool. For something old Vietnam, try the brilliantly tacky rooftop bar of Rex Hotel up the road, which used to be a favourite spot for US army officers and their admirers during the war.

    In terms of a surefire way to meet a local mate to accompany you for the evening, the appropriately named Apocalypse Now is a bar/disco thatтАЩs an odd mix of whiskey-fuelled Vietnamese and goggle-eyed Westerners. ItтАЩs quite a commercial scene, so beware of those pronouncing тАЬlove you long timeтАЭ, but itтАЩs fun, while it lasts, like any trip to this fascinating country.

    Vietnam Airlines now flies direct from London Gatwick to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, while flying several times daily from Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh to Danang.
    GT stayed at The Nam Hai, Hoi An тАУ ghmhotels.com, the Sofitel Metropole тАУ sofitel.com in Hanoi and the Bong Sen in Saigon.
    Robin NewboldтАЩs novel, Bloody Summer, is available on amazon.co.uk

    Words Robin Newbold
    Wombat : an Australian marsupial that eats,roots and leaves

  10. #9
    Senior member Dboy's Avatar
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    Re: Hanoi Vietnam

    Love Hanoi, but the gay scene is a bit more fun (in my opinion) in Saigon. Also found things friendly in Hue, but I wouldnt visit Hue just for that.

  11. #10
    Forum's veteran goji's Avatar
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    Re: Hanoi Vietnam

    The Gay Times have a magazine to fill and it looks like the journalist is expected to file a report & employ whatever creativity is necessary to make it interesting.
    Even if the budget didn't actually cover sending anyone to Vietnam. Or that's how it seems reading the article.

    It is clear the journalist has to write an article, but at no point is it clear, or even suggested he has been to Vietnam.
    Then it seems to evolve from internet research into spas onto possible fiction in the coverage of the bars, just to spice it up a bit.

    I found Q bar in Saigon was just a mixed middle class bar class bar in the posh bit of Saigon with some gay customers. Very ordinary.
    A couple of the spas were OK. Adam was quite nice, but the best bit was just enjoying the surroundings and chatting to some Western visitors. I had a massage there, but the happy ending was the most rushed I've even encountered. He certainly didn't want to get caught in the act.

    The gay life I found in Danang & Hoi An can be summarised as absolutely nothing. .
    Although Hoi An very much merits a visit just for the charm of the town centre.

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