Though gay, lesbian couples are not openly acknowledged or protected under Vietnamese law, Vietnam is still among the most alluring and safe places to visit for LGBT community
Vietnam is one of the most beautiful countries in South-East Asia blessed with diverse cultures, ethnic groups and surreal landscapes. Here is definitely a must-visit destination that boast ambitious adventures, deep-rooted history and exquisite cuisine. But like many other South East Asian countries, there are some taboos and stereotypes in the country due to its Vietnamese customs and tradition. For example, homosexuality was considered a taboo or a “social evil” for a long time in the country but now, because of the continuous efforts made by activists, the conditions have improved and the awareness regarding LGBT has risen in the 21st century in Vietnam.
Having said that, though there are certain cases of discrimination against the LGBT community in Vietnam, homosexuality or same sex marriage is not criminalized and there have been no records of a criminal arrest because of being gay or lesbian.
Vietnam cannot be considered a completely hassle free place for gay people but it has still shown tremendous progress and change in attitude towards LGBT, especially in big cities like Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh city. In general, Vietnamese people are quite friendly and welcoming. Tourists travelling to Vietnam often can enjoy hospitable services and a relaxed environment so gay/lesbian couples should not have any problem while checking into a hotel as it is perfectly acceptable.
But like any other part of the world, there are few challenges that are faced by gay people and hence there are few things that have to be kept in mind before booking your plane ticket to Vietnam. Here are some of the few tips and suggestions that might help you to enjoy the overwhelming and astonishing experience in Vietnam:
– Even though gay tourists will not experience any kind of abuse or problems, public display of affection is not appreciated (although the same goes for a straight couple).
– You can enjoy the nightlife for gay people in big cities like Hanoi, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh as there are some clubs specifically designed for LGBT community.
– There are many gay Vloggers in Ho Chi Minh City. You can watch their videos on Youtube to get insight into the life of LGBT community in Vietnam.
Best places to go in Vietnam for Gay, Lesbian couples
Vietnam is a place where you can explore many different layers of history, stunning beaches, magnificent bays and delicious cuisine. Here are some places that gay or lesbian couples should not miss out in Vietnam:
Hanoi is a capital city with lots of unique architectures and history to soak in. Some of the most popular areas to go is Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple, The Old Quarter, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum etc. While the gay/lesbian nightlife in Hanoi is still relatively small as compared to other Asian cities, there are a number of exclusive gay clubs and spas for a fun evening for the LGBT visitors.
You also can take a round trip by train or shuttle bus from Hanoi to Lao Cai which is 380 km from Hanoi and visit Sapa, a tranquil mountain town where you can hike from village to village and pass through the rice paddies. A visit to the ethnic villages after trekking through beautiful surroundings will definitely make you feel closer to nature.
Halong Bay listed as a World Heritage Site is regarded as one of the most amazing destinations in Northern Vietnam. This panorama is filled with millions of limestone islands covered in dense vegetation. A great way to explore this amazing scenery with your partner is via kayak.
There are a bunch of amazing places for Gay/Lesbian travelers in the Central of Vietnam. Da Nang, a coastal city in Central Vietnam, is great for a few days of stay to enjoy its beautiful beaches, fancy restaurants and active nightlife. Some of the city’s attractions are: The Marble Mountains, My Khe beach, Non Nuoc beach (a white sandy beach renowned for both its spectacular beauty and rich history)
Hoi An is a picturesque city that dated all the way back to the 16th century and still has many of its ancient buildings in place. The premier place to visit in Hoi An is Old Town Hoi An, the city’s historic district, also known as “The Venice of Vietnam” for its canals running between houses with Chinese and Japanese styled architecture. There is a plethora of museums such as the museum of history and culture, The Hoi An folklore museum, the museum of trade ceramics and many more which are among the main tourist attractions.
Nha Trang is the coastal city and one of the most beautiful and important tourist hubs in Vietnam thanks to its clean and beautiful beaches and mild temperature. Tran Phu Street is the most beautiful street located along the seaside of the city. Gay couples can also enjoy kite surfing, scuba diving and many other adventure and water sports. From Nha Trang you can take a speedboat to Mun Island. Mun Island is the best place to snorkel in Vietnam. Or you can even continue to cruise around Nha Trang Bay which is one of 29 most beautiful bays in the world.
Ho Chi Minh City is a stylish fun loving city and also Vietnam’s biggest economic center. Some of the notable places to visit here include Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, War Remnants Museum, Opera House, Zoological & Botanical Garden, etc. The awareness surrounding the LGBT community is more open-minded here. There are many restaurants and clubs that offer delicious food which also might be an attraction to gay tourists.
Mekong Delta, also known as Western region, is the region where the Mekong River empties into the sea. Here is characterized by the lush and green rice fields with a vast maze of rivers, swamps and islands. Mekong Delta produces more than half of Vietnam’s agricultural produce. Local people depend upon the Mekong River so a boat ride is also something that you can expect and enjoy.
Phu Quoc is the largest island in Vietnam found near the border with Cambodia. The island contains many picturesque beaches, astounding coral reefs, and untouched tropical rainforest. Bai Dai (Long Beach) is regarded as the cleanest beach in Vietnam.
Mui Ne is another beach on Vietnam’s South Coast that is in close proximity to a nearby fishing village, which would make it a great place to relax and get fresh seafood meals. This beach is not only a popular destination for kite and wind surfing but also known for sand dunes with panoramic view and a magnificent sunset. Bring some food and wine and you’re sure to have a special evening with your partner.
In conclusion, obviously there are some minor things that should be considered if you are gay/lesbian and want to travel to Vietnam but indisputably, it is a beautiful country with authentic cultural experience and definitely a must visit for people all around the world. Its ancient history, world-class comfort and overwhelming beauty will leave an enduring impression and will paint a permanent and an everlasting memory in your mind.
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