While the Hong Kong gay scene has a moderately sized romping ground to play in, ranging from chilled-out bars like Psychic Jack and T:ME to the infamously bumping Propaganda, our lesbian scene is, to put it mildly, somewhat hidden. However, with a bit of perseverance, you can discover casual bars, regular club nights and monthly support groups catering to queer women. Here's Time Out’s handy guide to the best girl-friendly bars and venues.
Situated in a building of bars, Temptation prides itself as the hip place to be for the fashionable and arty lesbians of Hong Kong. The all-you-can-drink venue offers free-flow wine, cocktails and beers every night ($150 Monday-Thursday, $200 Friday, $220 Saturday, $120 Sunday) and a karaoke machine for all those drama queens and drag kings out there. A great conversation bar, it’s perfect for a large group of friends, if you don’t mind it being crammed on busier nights. Birthday girls get a special deal – pop by any time during your birthday month and pay $50 instead of the regular price. It’s a birthday gift fit for a queen. 21/F, The Lamma Tower, 12-12A Hau Fook St, Tsim Sha Tsui, 3485 3228.
The old dame of the gang, Virus has been around for a while and is known on the street as the ‘girls bar’ – a discreet term used by the female security guard of the building. The place has mosaic glass tiles and classic bar stools, with the main room sporting lazy couches and a karaoke machine in the centre. An extensive range of cocktails are $58 each ($30 during Happy Hour) and snacks are under $40. For messy fun, don’t miss their $78 all-you-can-drink deal, available from 6pm to 10pm, Monday to Friday. 4/F, Winner Building, 401-403 Lockhart Rd, Wan Chai, 6180 6255; fb.com/virusbarhk.
This is the successor of No 2, a favourite queer boozer in the same building that closed down a year ago. Moving from 2/F to 13/F proved to be a wise decision as bar-hoppers are greeted with a gorgeous sea view looking out to Tsim Sha Tsui. The place is also spacious with more than 15 tables and a capacity of 100 people. Another all-you-can-drink place, S Club opens at 9pm every day and with $160 you get all the usual choices including beers and cocktails in jugs. If you’re up for the challenge, try the local-style Chivas with bottled green tea. It’s a popular choice for the young and flirty scene. Watch out for their anniversary party in early September. 13/F, Universal House, 229-230 Gloucester Rd, Causeway Bay, 6878 1208.
Since December 2005, Abby Lee and Betty Grisoni have hosted cool and often flamboyant monthly parties for lesbians and bisexual women in Hong Kong. The sapphic gathering began with a small group of women but it gradually expanded into a regular night out. ‘The Lounge’ events are frequented by more than 200 women on the first Tuesday of every month, while ‘The Club’ events fall on the third Saturday. They’re the largest and most popular lesbian events in Hong Kong, attracting media luvvies, culture vultures, student types, thirtysomethings and general fun lovers. Most of their parties are themed (such as the Dragon Boat Festival and Kylie Aphrodite) and some feature guest DJs or bands from around the world. Lakage, 3/F, Cosmos Bldg, 8-11 Lan Kwai Fong, Central; www.twitter.com/lespeches.
Women Coalition, an NGO for the local LGBT community, holds a regular monthly gathering on the first Saturday of every month for lesbians around town at the Rainbow Centre, the only LGBT community centre in Hong Kong. It’s a great opportunity for women of different social, economic and ethnic backgrounds to meet up, play games and simply chat in a warm and casual atmosphere. Note: the meetings are conducted in Cantonese but all women are welcome to attend. Dinners are held after the gathering, which is the perfect chance to mingle with new friends in a social setting. $10 for entry with drinks included. Rainbow Centre, Room D, 7/F, National Court, 242 Nathan Rd, Jordon, 8103 0701; www.wchk.org.