Okay, gays. Usually when I visit a new place, I try to really get the scoop on the gay scene there. But because I was only in Singapore for a week, and because the price of boozin’ there is astronomical, I didn’t quite immerse myself in all things homo to the extent that I would have liked. Still, I dipped my toe in and made the most of the time I had, while blowing wads of cash – oops. So here is my take on the Singaporean gay nightlife from the limited time I was there.
Homo bumpin’ is illegal, but don’t let that stop you
Singapore was the first place I visited as an adult where homo bumpin’ is against the law. But don’t let it stop you from visiting the tiger nation – obviously don’t do anything do put yourself in danger, but this is a law that is not enforced. There is a selection of gay bars and gay nights that the city’s gaylords flock to night after night. If you’re keen, then you won’t have any problem finding a nice guy to grind against in da club. You just won’t be able to go back to his, because invariably he will live with his parents who don’t know about his sexuality.
Go to Neil Road
Neil Road is based near the Chinatown area of Singapore and it’s where most of Singapore’s gay nightlife can be found. I purposely booked a hostel in Chinatown (there are tonnes of them) so that I could have a gay night out and then stumble back into my bed at whatever stupid hour o’clock. If you are planning on spending a lot of time on the Singapore gay scene, I would recommend that you do the same, as I wouldn’t want to spend my money on expensive taxis when I could be spending it on booze.
Pre-drink at Maxwell Food Centre
Booze is expensive. It is not so expensive at hawker centres. The nearest Hawker Centre to Neil Road is Maxwell Food Centre. This makes it a popular pre-drinking destination for The Gays. I am a bit of a lightweight and after £5 worth of beers at the hawker centre, I was steaming for the rest of the night – ideal.
But don’t actually drink beer
Unless you are at a hawker centre, beer is ridico overpriced. Get yourself a spirit and mixer instead as they are usually doubles. Actually, the drinks at Backstage Bar tasted quite a bit stronger than doubles and I could only manage to drink 1.5 gin and tonics – so unlike me. At £5 a pop, they are actually pretty great value as I wouldn’t be able to get a double gin and tonic in London for that price.
Boozin’ starts late
People tend to go out late in Singapore. No matter how hard I try, I can’t get my head around this go out at 11pm style of drinking. In London, I am mashed up by 9pm and crawling into bed at 11 when the pubs close. So just don’t pop your head into a bar at 8pm because you’ll be the only person there.
Drink all you can
There are some nightspots that offer Drink All You Can prices – wahey. But the booze stops flowing at 11.30pm – boo, hiss. And considering that people only really start boozing at 10.30pm it seems a bit weird to me. Still, if you fancy it, then Taboo on Neil Road is the place for this.
Booze on a Monday
If you like decent drinks deals and drinking in empty bars then you should head out on the Singapore gay scene on a Monday. I was lucky to have a fun drinking buddy on the Monday I chose to booze so I still had a great time in spite of the bars’ emptiness. Does Your Mother Know or DYMK on Neil Road offers BOGOF drinks on Monday nights.
Drink outdoors at Tantric
The most popular bar on Neil Road seems to be Tantric. It has a nice outdoor area but the drinks didn’t seem particularly strong to me. Still, this place is a great all-rounder. If you want to sit in the garden, if you want to have a dance, if you want to find a boy – you can do all of those things here.
And that is that – a wee introduction to Singapore’s gay nightlife.