Overshadowed in almost every respect by Taipei in the north, Gay Taichung – the third largest city in Taiwan – has a small but fun LGBT scene though most travelers visit for the sheer variety of cultural attractions, funky hotels and hiking in the nearby hills.
Very much an under-the-radar gay tourist destination Taichung also has a vibrant arts scene, incredible food options, friendly locals, and lower prices than Taipei (1 hours north via High-Speed Train), Tainan and Kaohsiung.
LGBT acceptance in Taichung is pretty high, and Taiwan is well-known as the most gay-friendly place in Asia so you are unlikely to have any issues here in terms of public displays of affection or discrimination.
The Taiwanese are among the nicest, friendliest people in the entire world and during our entire time in Gay Taiwan did not experience anything except warm welcomes – a nice change after visiting Shanghai and Hanoi. Gay life in Taichung is relatively normalized and you can find plenty of younger gay couples wandering the street, or getting cozy over cocktails – although you will quickly notice the culture of Taiwan is not big on public displays of affection: straight or gay.
Along with diverse gay nightlife options, Taichung’s gay scene also offers up a variety of cultural events, the biggest of which is the Taichung Gay Pride held every year in December. While Taichung might still be a little conservative compared to Taipei, gay travelers can feel entirely at ease in this liberal society and are highly unlikely to experience any problems at all.
Gay Taichung Guide: The Essential Guide To LGBT Travel In Taichung Taiwan
In this article we will cover...
Attractions in Taichung
Naturally being gay does not define which attractions most of us will want to see in each city and most queer travelers will simply want to check out the top things to see in Taichung during the day! There is so much to do here – but we found our favorite memories were wandering around the nearby mountains, making use of the cities extensive bicycle lanes (while promptly getting lost) and wandering the vibrant night markets.
One of the best tips we can give you for exploring Gay Taichung is to pre-order a travel SIM card for easy airport pickup and activation the moment you arrive so you will not pay a fortune in international roaming charges. Get restaurants recommendation and reservations on the fly, public transport instructions up to the minute, bar opening hours and if it is your thing – access to gay hook up apps to find out more about the local scene.
Mobile data is fast, cheap and available almost everywhere in Asia so it is no wonder most travelers chose to stay connected and to get off the beaten track (without ever worrying about getting lost). So why wait? Pre-order the best local SIM card now to have it waiting for you in Taiwan when you arrive.
Still – it helps to have some kind of idea what is going on, so here are our must-see attractions in Taichung that you absolutely not miss! If you get lost along the way, you can always refer to our gay Taichung map at the end.
- Rainbow Village – One of the most surprising highlights of Taichung, this colorful village is the lovechild of a visionary, old veteran soldier. Built hastily to house KMT soldiers after arriving from the mainland, this dying village is now covered in all his vibrant and hand-painted animals, dolls, airplanes and mange characters. Needless to say, the village is doing quite well now!
- Fengjia Night Market – Wander the best night market in Taichung were everything from bubble tea to stinky tofu is available to try. The atmospheric is quintessential Taiwanese and oh-so-photogenic.
- National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts – An expansive museum with an extensive collection of Taiwanese art and an innovative sculpture garden that is perfect for exploring on a sunny day.
- Maple Garden – Tranquil urban park perfect for relaxing during the weekdays or people watching on the weekends.
- Painted Animation Lane – A fun city lane filled with street art depicting anime and famous Taiwanese cartoons.
- CMP Block Museum of Arts – A contemporary arts museum with fun outdoor sculptures and revolving exhibits. Or just hang out in the uber-hipster cafe.
- Traditional Taiwanese Cooking Class – Cycle around town picking up the freshest of local ingredients from local vendors before heading back for a master class in covering three traditional Taiwanese dishes
- Tangyue Resort Public Hot Spring Spa – City life can be tough, so why not take a day out and relax in soothing spring water surrounded by soaring mountains, lush jungle and breathing in fresh, clean air.
- Sanyi Wood Sculpture Museum – Visit this unique museum dedicated to the Taiwanese history of wood carving which began in the Ming and Qing dynasties.
- Wood Carving Workshop – Discover how to expertly carve wood tableware in the charming 80-year-old woodwork shop located in central Taichung.
- Taichung By Night – A fun walking tour taking in the best of this dynamic city after dark. Explore fun discos, hear ghost stories, and see all the top sites of this city in an entirely new light.
- Scuba Diving Taichung – Dive in a bizarre recreated shipwreck in the deepest diving pool in Asia…all right in the heart of the city.
- Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village – Visit one of Taiwan’s most popular theme parks with magnificent views, fun rides, tranquil beauty and the famous Aboriginal Cherry Blossom Festival held every year in February.
- Lukang Old Town – Wander through the old street of this historic town just outside of Taichung with traditional architecture, arched doorways, and red brick walls + a cute art village.
- Paragliding – Head to the skies with an unforgettable paragliding flight over Nantou just out of town. Under the guidance of professional paragliding instructors of course!
- Taiwan’s Natural Beauty – Hire a car or take a tour to see some of the most spectacular natural highlights of Taiwan in this 9-hour itinerary. Highlights include the Xitou Monster Village, Sun Link Sea Park and the mysterious Lotus Forest.
- Sun Moon Lake – Roam the most scenic lake in Taiwan, take a surreal boat ride and explore the historic Wenwu Temple.
- Taichung LGBTIA Pride Parade – A annual pride parade that is said to be the second largest in Asia taking place in December. Beginning in Taichung People’s Park, it makes a loop through the city and returns to the park for speeches and performances. Now that gay marriage is legal in Taiwan there is an increased focus on transgender, bisexual, asexual and pansexual people.
Gay-friendly and Gay Hotels in Taichung Taiwan
- Millennium Hotel Taichung ☆☆☆☆☆ – Modern high-rise hotel for guests who are here to work and don’t want any surprised. Sleek rooms, spacious ensures, day spa, sauna and the best outdoor pool in town!
- Inhouse Hotel Grand ☆☆☆☆☆ – A gay-popular luxury hotel in the heart of Taichung. Understated charm, super-relaxing comforts and all the amenities you would expect from a hotel of this caliber.
- 1969 Blue Sky Hotel ☆☆☆☆☆ – A hip, vintage-inspired hotel that adds a bit of the roaring 1920s to modern-day Taichung. Retro touches abound, but thankfully there are airy rooms and Nespresso machine, so the modern world is not wholly forgotten. Some rooms have stunning city views, and there is a funky lobby and guest lounge with a fun jukebox.
- Moving Star Hotel ☆☆☆☆– A fun futuristic hotel with robots on arrive and fun space age design. We always love hotels that are just as much of an attraction as the city, so Moving Star Hotel fits the bill perfectly. New rooms and a hotel that really cares about the small touches.
- Green Hotel ☆☆☆☆ – Another fabulous themed hotel, this time taking the concept of eco-friendly to its extreme. Beautiful green features are hidden everywhere you can imagine (including some lightbulb displays) and it feels just like living in an ecological utopia. Three delicious breakfast options, friendly and supportive staff and location close to all the art museums.
- The Sun Hot Spring & Resort ☆☆☆☆ – If your hiring a car or don’t mind a bit of public transport this is an utterly unique stay and perfect for relaxing in style. A modern hot spring hotel nestled in the scenic Dakeng area just out of Taichung city. We loved the polished wood floors, pioneering design, in-room hot tubs and all of the clothing optional hot spring baths. Relax and recharge in the serene retreat.
- Reddot Hotel ☆☆☆ – The most expensive ‘budget stay’ in Taichung, but we think its worth the bit extra as this fun hotel features a 2-floor-high tube slide, wooden-floors, cool art and plenty of instagrammable locations. Ultra-clean, helpful staff and free bikes to use to explore the city. The most fun we have had in a hotel in a long time!
- Taichung Box Design Hotels ☆☆☆– A chic hotel with a mixture of affordable private rooms and comfortable dorms meaning you can frequently meet other travelers here. Great location in thick of everything and a delicious night market waits just around the corner.
- Kiwi Express Hotel ☆☆☆ – Popular affordable and funky accommodation with some of the lowest prices in central Taichung for a private room. We have no idea what it has to do with a Kiwi (and see no resemblance to Gay Auckland), but its very clean, comfortable, stylish and has an affordable daily breakfast add-on.
- Backpacker 41 Hostel ☆☆ – A very-popular hostel with rave reviews only a few minutes walk from the Taichung Train Station. Industrial loft-style we recommend staying here if you’re on a budget, traveling solo or just want to make friends to explore the Taichung nightlife with. They also host regular events making it even easier to meet people from all over the world. You could also try the Unicorn Hostel, though sadly, not a gay hostel as we had hoped!
Gay Bars and Gay Clubs in Taichung Taiwan
Like the city itself, the gay nightlife scene in Taichung flies under-the-radar and is often overshadowed by Gay Taipei or Gay Hong Kong – but if you know where to look, rest assured there are plenty of intriguing gay and gay-friendly bars in Taichung! Depending on your mood you can find anything here from a relaxed cocktail in an upscale bar to an all-night dance rave surrounded by your queer family!
In the past gay events in Taichung used to take place but Flow seems to have stopped since early 2017, so it pays to ask around when you arrive (e.g. log into Grindr). At the moment however these are the most popular nightlife spots, gay bars and gay clubs in Taichung for travelers and locals.
- Plaza – The main gay bar in Taichung with sexy go-go dancers, drag shows, karaoke and a popping dance floor on the weekends. Seriously muscle on display here which is relatively uncommon in Gay Asia, with fun events held throughout the year including jelly wrestling, strip-shows and more. The center of Gay Taichung and not to be missed.
- No Boundary – A gay cafe in Taichung which is hetero-friendly. A perfect place to start the night, enjoy lunch or meet other locals in the Taichung LGBT community. Check out their rainbow cocktails or Glamazonian toast!
- Maunto Yoshino – Small but fun gay / gay-popular karaoke bar with a loyal following.
- 1st Floor Taichung – A favorite gay wine bar frequented by a younger crowd with kind staff. Karaoke and all-you-can-drink Fridays
- Funway Tbar – A funky bar popular with local lesbians. Cheap drinks, small dance floor, and fun shows.
- Kudos – Newly opened gay hangout hopping to increase the visibility of the local community. Fun cocktails, delicious food and super-friendly staff (even by Taiwan’s high standards). Look for the Pink Union Jack outside.
- 3 Giants Brewing Company – Not a gay bar but very popular with expats. Get away from the crowds and relax with these signature beers and ales in a laid back gastro-pub environment.
- Moonight lounge @ Millennium Hotel – Best views in the city, delicious cocktails, and sophisticated surroundings.
- Sensation Lounge Bar – A funky bright nightclub setting where A-listers in the Taichung social scene go to party the night away. Plenty of gay locals are here, but better to take your crew with you and just enjoy the pumping atmosphere.
- High Seas Gong High – A local student/hipster hang out with an expat following. Prices are low, and there is always something going on here, so it’s the perfect place to make new friends.
Man Massage and Gay Spas in Taichung
Don’t care about the sights or simply want to take advantage of high-quality gay spas in Taichung? Then why not get a sensual male massage in Taichung – there are plenty of options! Here are our most recommended gay spas in Taichung and male massage Taichung options (though there are plenty of other gay massage places in Taichung, we have heard mixed reviews about the rest!).
- Taichung King Male Massage – Professional and highly qualified masseur’s trained in traditional Thai, aroma oil massage and foot massages. All staff speak English and also offer services in Taipei and Hsinchu.
- TT Spa – Gay male massage services from sexy boys somewhat trained in traditional oil and full body massages. Since Golden Map Spa is no longer operating TT Spa has become a lot more popular.
- Cookie Gay Spa – Plenty of cute guys offering different male massages in Taichung according to their availability. Offering Chinese Shiatsu, Oil Relaxation, and Body to Body massage services.
- Goldmine928 Massage Center Taichung – One of the best massage and spa center in Taichung. The modern industrial style makes this massage center feel like a cross between a health club and a museum. Large floor-to-ceiling glass wall design with garden views leave you feeling completely relaxed. Their philosophy focussed on pedicures and foot massages but the also offer full body, acupuncture, and back-scraping.
- The Mandara Massage @ Tempus Hotel – The closest you will get to a Western-style Massage in Taichung. Absolute top-quality with prices to match. Offering foot, full body, and oil massages.
Gay Saunas in Taichung
- Adam Sauna (亞當三溫暖) – Old and tired, but it will do in a pinch. More expensive with action that the gay sauna’s in Taipei, but there still always someone here to have fun with. Was popular with fit, younger guys but is now the old bathhouse left in town so its a mixed page. Steam room, TV / XXX lounge, maze and dark spaces with a play zone. This gay sauna in Taichung is a bit hard to find, look for the big white neon sign board and match the Chinese characters/phone number (+886 4 2220 1069). The address is correct in on our gay Taichung Map – No. 2號, Lane 19, Section 1, Shuangshi Road so you can use Google street view before you go. Most popular on weekend afternoon but can be busy from 4-6 pm on weekdays.
Honghua Palace Sauna is now permanently closed.