Sun, Jul 11, 2010 - Page 13 News List

Taipei: a rising star for gay travelers

With a recent wave of gay Asian tourists flocking to Taipei for holiday, the city is being dubbed the San Francisco of Asia, and the government might do well to take notice

By Elvis Anber  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

That leaves Taiwan, an island bridge where revelers from North and Southeast Asia congregate in the capital throughout the year.

But Taipei could face competition from an unlikely source. In recent months, Nepal has garnered widespread media attention for its effort to entice tourists by offering same-sex weddings at Everest Base Camp. A bid to paint Mount Everest pink has the backing of the government and is led by an openly gay parliamentarian who is currently working with a US-based gay and lesbian market research firm to draw not only tourists from across Asia but from around the world.

For now — and for the foreseeable future — Taipei remains the destination de jour for many Asian gay tourists.

For Justin Li, the gay community’s transformation from a primarily local scene to an international one is a welcome change. “It makes me feel that Taipei is a progressive city. I feel lucky that even though I don’t live in London, Paris, or New York, I live in the most open-minded city in Asia.”

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