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10 Best Gay Clubs in Singapore for dancing, drinking and fun times



Conservative Singapore is a land of contradictions when it comes to homosexuality. While male homosexual sex remains illegal in Singapore, homosexuality is openly tolerated, as per Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s parliamentary speech in 2007: “"We recognise that homosexuals are part of our society. They have a place in our society and are entitled to their private lives."

 

Indeed since this Prime Ministerial declaration, Singapore’s gay nightlife scene has thrived, and become one of the most vibrant and fun in Asia. Even Avalon, Singapore’s most popular high-end nightclub dedicates Sunday nights to the city’s gay crowd at the hot and happening “Avalon on Sundays”.

 

The majority of Singapore’s gay bars are clustered around the Chinatown district, particularly on Neil Road. Here you will find two of the city’s most popular gay dance clubs – Tantric and Taboo, which both pack in revelers at weekends, who crowd the dance floor to thumping tunes.

 

Neil Road is also home to lounge bars May Wong’s Café (downstairs from Tantric) and DYMK (which has its own upstairs dance club), popular karaoke bar and lounge ebar, and the relaxed Buddha-inspired bar and bistro Nirvana.  Elsewhere in Chinatown you will find the ever-popular Backstage Bar (sister to Tantric Bar), buzzing dance bar Play and casual lesbian hangout Cow & Coolies


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Cow & Coolies is a karaoke pub located in the heart of Chinatown that attracts a largely lesbian crowd. There's nothing fancy about Cow & Coolies, but the party crowd is kept happy with affordable drinks (a happy hour runs daily from 1.30pm until closing!) and loud karaoke music. Sports lovers will appreciate ESPN and Setanta Sports showing the latest sporting events from around the world, while a pool table allows revelers to whip up some competition of their own. Free wi-fi is also available. Cow & Coolies is linked to the Chinatown Backpackers Inn, located upstairs from the pub.

Local Expert tip: A happy hour runs daily from 1.30pm until closing!

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Set in a Chinatown shophouse in amongst the city's most popular gay bars, Nirvana Bistro & Bar offers a relaxed atmosphere for food and drinks at reasonable prices. The menu features predominantly comfort food, including soups, sandwiches and salads as well as more hearty offerings such as lasagna and curries. Those with a sweet tooth seek out the decadent cake collection, which includes a triple white chocolate cake, and a double chocolate Oreo cheesecake. Generous happy hours throughout the week include Beer Hours from 5pm-8pm daily, with beers priced according to the time on the clock, and Classic Housepour daily happy hour, when shots are priced at $8 nett for single, $10 for double and $12 for triple measures.

Local Expert tip: Generous happy hours are held daily, including Beer Hours from 5pm-8pm, when beers are priced according to the time on the clock.

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ebar Karaoke lounge and bar is located on Neil Road, in amongst the majority of Singapore's popular gay bars and clubs, and opposite the ever-popular Tantric Bar. Situated within a beautifully restored heritage shophouse, this classy karaoke joint pulls in a fun-loving gay, largely younger crowd who come here to enjoy reasonably-priced drinks and give their vocal chords some exercise. On the eve of public holidays, the bar sometimes converts into a disco, with house music filling the bar after midnight. Be sure to let them know if it's your birthday – all birthday guys and gals get a free shot with proof of date of birth.

Local Expert tip: Be sure to let them know if it's your birthday – all birthday guys and gals get a free shot with proof of date of birth.

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Backstage Bar


Recognized by the rainbow flag above its entrance, the Backstage Bar is one of Singapore's most popular gay bars. Located on Trengannu Street in the heart of tourist Chinatown, the Backstage Bar draws in a eclectic mix of older expats and younger locals all looking to socialize and chill out, both indoors amongst the old movie posters and outdoors on the breezy terrace. Upbeat tunes, friendly staff and well-priced drinks (all housepours are double shot and there is a happy hour from 6pm-9pm, Sunday – Thursday) give you more reasons to visit. Sister establishment Tantric Bar is nearby on Neil Road.

Local Expert tip: There is a happy hour from 6pm-9pm daily, except Fri & Sat and eve of Public Holiday

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DYMK (stands for "Does Your Mother Know?") is a chill-out bar attracting a largely gay and lesbian crowd. Located among many other popular gay bays on Neil Road in the heart of Chinatown, DYMK has its home in a beautifully restored double-storey heritage shophouse, unmissable by its bright red and yellow façade. The interior features plush sofas and original artwork to create a 'home-from-home' atmosphere, where you can kick back and chill out on the ground floor, or head upstairs for the retro music vibe and busy dancefloor. The last Thursday of every month is dedicated to the local SM crowd, so come prepared.

Local Expert tip: The last Thursday of every month is dedicated to the local SM crowd, so come prepared.

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May Wong's Cafe


May Wong's Café is a tribute to the first Asian American actress of the same name to become an international star. The bar's décor is warm and inviting with comfy sofas and features many photos and film memorabilia from May Wong's career, which spanned both silent and sound films, TV, stage and radio. Located in a beautifully restored shophouse on Neil Road in Chinatown, May Wong's Café attracts an affluent gay crowd. An extensive drinks menu includes a selection of imported beers and inventive cocktail offerings such as the Tropical Orgy and the Flaming Fiesta. Tantric Bar is downstairs, and is also one of Singapore's most popular gay bars.

Local Expert tip: The perfect spot for pre-clubbing cocktails before heading upstairs to Tantric Bar.

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Taboo is a boutique dance club located on Neil Road in the heart of Chinatown. Traditionally attracting a largely gay and lesbian crowd, the club has seen an increase in fun-loving mainstream clubbers in recent times. Taboo gets packed at weekends, with sweaty bodies crowding the dance floor to kitschy house music and dance remixes in the main room, while the Loft area provides some welcome respite for those in need of some chilling out. Weekly theme nights include FLIRT Fridays, HandBag Nite and Tutti Frutti Nite. Check the website for details of visiting international guest DJs and other special events.

Local Expert tip: Taboo often attracts visiting international guest DJs - check out their website for details.

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Tantric Bar


Tantric Bar is one of Singapore's most popular gay bars, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights, when it is packed with revellers enjoying cocktails and double-shot housepours. Thumping tunes fill the indoor bar while the open-air courtyard offers some respite. Weekdays are a more laid-back affair, attracting the after-work crowd looking to relax in the orange, red and black velvet lounge area. Upstairs, May Wong's Café offers more of the same. Tantric Bar is located in a beautifully restored heritage shophouse on Neil Road in the heart of Chinatown, opposite popular nightclub Taboo. Sister establishment Backstage Bar is nearby on Trengganu Street.

Local Expert tip: One of Singapore's most popular gay bars, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights.

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Meet Marianne Rogerson

Marianne is a freelance travel writer, who has lived in Singapore for six years. She is the author of a travel guidebook to Singapore and has written about Singapore for a range of...  More About Marianne

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