Sat, Nov 11, 2017 - Page 6 News List

FEATURE: Gay PRC tourists flocking to Thailand to have fun

AFP, PHUKET, Thailand

While same-sex marriage is not officially recognized under Thai law, it is a widely accepted practice and Buddhist monks often preside over such ceremonies, but it remains strictly illegal in China, where a court last year ruled against two men seeking to marry.

Several Thai entertainers, tour guides and service staff said they were studying Mandarin to improve communication with Chinese visitors.

“We get more business if we offer tours in Mandarin,” said Lalani of Phuket Sunshine Tours, who gave only her first name because she was not authorized to speak with media.

As the night wears on at ZAG, the atmosphere becomes increasingly freewheeling, with lesbian, bisexual, transgender, gay and straight partygoers downing shots together and posing for photographs with the bare-chested go-go boys.

“I want to find some way to live here. It’s so fun and open. Men can hold hands on the street and no one will care,” said one young Web developer from Shanghai, declining to give his name to protect his identity.

“In China if you do that people will make a big deal out of it. They will take photos of you,” he said, before leaping onto the stage for a dance.

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