Connect with us

Australia

Gay Chinese tourists flock to Thailand for fun, acceptance

By Afp
Published: 22:51 EST, 9 November 2017 | Updated: 00:01 EST, 10 November 2017

Bathed in a ..

Published

on

By Afp

Published: 22:51 EST, 9 November 2017 | Updated: 00:01 EST, 10 November 2017

Bathed in a pink spotlight, the cabaret singer at Phuket's 'ZAG' bar lip-syncs the top notes of a popular Mandarin love song, delighting the crowd of gay Chinese tourists who have escaped judgement at home for sexual freedom in Thailand

Bathed in a pink spotlight, the cabaret singer at Phuket's 'ZAG' bar lip-syncs the top notes of a popular Mandarin love song, delighting the crowd of gay Chinese tourists who have escaped judgement at home for sexual freedom in Thailand

Bathed in a pink spotlight, the cabaret singer at Phuket's ZAG bar lip-syncs the top notes of a popular Mandarin love song, delighting the crowd of gay Chinese tourists who have escaped judgement at home for sexual freedom in Thailand.

While the song, "The Moon Represents My Heart", is a hit with the patrons, the transgender singer is just the warm up act.

"We're waiting for the go-go boys!" says one Chinese reveller at ZAG, one of several clubs squeezed into "Paradise Complex" — the epicentre of the raucous gay nightlife scene on the party-hard island.

With an estimated LGBTQ population of 70 million, China has the world's third-largest "pink market" after Europe and the United States.

Yet in China being openly gay is still fraught with difficulties.

With an estimated LGBTQ population of 70 million, China has the world's third-largest With an estimated LGBTQ population of 70 million, China has the world's third-largest

With an estimated LGBTQ population of 70 million, China has the world's third-largest "pink market" after Europe and the United States. Yet in China being openly gay is still fraught with difficulties

Dressing a certain way or public displays of affection can draw stares and lead to family turmoil. Some Chinese parents have even brought gay children to "conversion" clinics for treatment.

Homeosexuality was classified as a mental illness in China until 2001 and a crime until 1997, and authorities have arrested gay rights activists.

That makes Thailand, renowned for its more permissive attitude towards sexuality, an alluring holiday option for gay Chinese looking to cut loose away from family pressures and censorious eyes.

While LGBTQ Thais often still face discrimination in the workplace, the kingdom's gay party scene is famously loud and proud, known for late-night clubbing and cabaret shows in Bangkok and along its coastal resorts.

"Every night, around half our customers are from China. They used to come in the past, but this year suddenly there were a lot, so we added Chinese songs," Bon Nadech, the owner of ZAG bar told AFP.

"Chinese tourists are great customers. They're polite and curious about Thailand," said a waiter at the nearby MO2 club.

Chinese travel companies are also crowding in to tap the market.

Homeosexuality was classified as a mental illness in China until 2001 and a crime until 1997, and authorities have arrested gay rights activistsHomeosexuality was classified as a mental illness in China until 2001 and a crime until 1997, and authorities have arrested gay rights activists

Homeosexuality was classified as a mental illness in China until 2001 and a crime until 1997, and authorities have arrested gay rights activists

Nearly a dozen agents offer trips to Thailand for gay tourists, with ads showing travellers partying on yachts decorated with rainbow streamers and balloons.

The relaxed atmosphere offers a rush of liberation for those who make the trip.

"I have a lot of friends who don't feel safe in China and feel they need to hide. In Thailand they don't have to worry," said Ji Chengfeng, a 37-year-old entrepreneur from Beijing, who was visiting Phuket on one of his frequent holidays in the kingdom.

– Pink tourist dollars –

China sends more tourists to Thailand than any other country, with cheap air links and no visa requirements funnelling visitors to the kingdom.

Thailand has already welcomed 6.6 million Chinese tourists in 2017 — up from a total of 2.7 million five years ago — bringing a flood of cash into the key sector.

While LGBTQ Thais often still face discrimination in the workplace, the kingdom's gay party scene is famously loud and proud, known for late-night clubbing and cabaret shows in Bangkok and along its coastal resortsWhile LGBTQ Thais often still face discrimination in the workplace, the kingdom's gay party scene is famously loud and proud, known for late-night clubbing and cabaret shows in Bangkok and along its coastal resorts

While LGBTQ Thais often still face discrimination in the workplace, the kingdom's gay party scene is famously loud and proud, known for late-night clubbing and cabaret shows in Bangkok and along its coastal resorts

In comparison, less than 700,000 Americans and a little over 500,000 French citizens visited Thailand so far this year.

The economic potential of LGBTQ travelers in particular is increasingly catching the eyes of tourist operators worldwide.

Many are not parents and therefore have a greater disposable income, plus are better able to travel outside peak holiday periods.

In recent years, on the heels of gay marriage court rulings, tourist boards in the more permissive corners of the world are promoting their countries as same-sex wedding and honeymoon destinations.

While same-sex marriage is not officially recognised under Thai law, it is a widely accepted practice and Buddhist monks often preside over such ceremoniesWhile same-sex marriage is not officially recognised under Thai law, it is a widely accepted practice and Buddhist monks often preside over such ceremonies

While same-sex marriage is not officially recognised under Thai law, it is a widely accepted practice and Buddhist monks often preside over such ceremonies

In 2013, the Tourism Authority of Thailand's office in New York launched its campaign, "Go Thai Be Free", to actively welcome LGBTQ travelers.

While same-sex marriage is not officially recognised 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, told AFP 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 her first name because she was not authorized to speak with media.

While same-sex marriage is not officially recognised under Thai law, it is a widely accepted practice and Buddhist monks often preside over such ceremonies.  But it remains strictly illegal in ChinaWhile same-sex marriage is not officially recognised under Thai law, it is a widely accepted practice and Buddhist monks often preside over such ceremonies.  But it remains strictly illegal in China

While same-sex marriage is not officially recognised under Thai law, it is a widely accepted practice and Buddhist monks often preside over such ceremonies. But it remains strictly illegal in China

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 photos 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," one young web developer from Shanghai told AFP, 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 stage for a dance.

Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

[contf] [contfnew] [hhm]Daily Mail[hhmc] [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Australia

Sydney seaplane crash: Exhaust fumes affected pilot, report confirms

Published

on

By

The pilot of a seaplane that crashed into an Australian river, killing all on board, had been left confused and disorientated by leaking exhaust fumes, investigators have confirmed.

The Canadian pilot and five members of a British family died in the crash north of Sydney in December 2017.

All were found to have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, a final report has found.

It recommended the mandatory fitting of gas detectors in all such planes.

British businessman Richard Cousins, 58, died alongside his 48-year-old fiancée, magazine editor Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and his sons, Edward, 23, and William, 25, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44. Mr Cousins was the chief executive of catering giant Compass.

The family had been on a sightseeing flight in the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane when it nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River at Jerusalem Bay, about 50km (30 miles) from the city centre.

The final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed the findings of an interim report published in 2020.

It said pre-existing cracks in the exhaust collector ring were believed to have released exhaust gas into the engine bay. Holes left by missing bolts in a firewall then allowed the fumes to enter the cabin.

“As a result, the pilot would have almost certainly experienced effects such as confusion, visual disturbance and disorientation,” the report said.

“Consequently, it was likely that this significantly degraded the pilot’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.”

The ATSB recommended the Civil Aviation Safety Authority consider mandating the fitting of carbon monoxide detectors in piston-engine aircraft that carry passengers.

It previously issued safety advisory notices to owners and operators of such aircraft that they install detectors “with an active warning” to pilots”. Operators and maintainers of planes were also advised to carry out detailed inspections of exhaust systems and firewalls.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55862128

Continue Reading

Australia

Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official

Published

on

By

Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.

The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.

Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.

Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.

“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.

“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that he believed quarantine requirements for travellers would continue “for some time”.

Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.

Qantas – Australia’s national carrier – reopened bookings earlier this month, after saying it expected international travel to “begin to restart from July 2021.”

However, it added this depended on the Australian government’s deciding to reopen borders.

Australia’s tight restrictions

The country opened a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand late last year, but currently it only operates one-way with inbound flights to Australia.

Australia has also discussed the option of travel bubbles with other low-risk places such as Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.

A vaccination scheme is due to begin in Australia in late February. Local authorities have resisted calls to speed up the process, giving more time for regulatory approvals.

Australia has so far reported 909 deaths and about 22,000 cases, far fewer than many nations. It reported zero locally transmitted infections on Monday.

Experts have attributed much of Australia’s success to its swift border lockdown – which affected travellers from China as early as February – and a hotel quarantine system for people entering the country.

Local outbreaks have been caused by hotel quarantine breaches, including a second wave in Melbourne. The city’s residents endured a stringent four-month lockdown last year to successfully suppress the virus.

Other outbreaks – including one in Sydney which has infected about 200 people – prompted internal border closures between states, and other restrictions around Christmas time.

The state of Victoria said on Monday it would again allow entry to Sydney residents outside of designated “hotspots”, following a decline in cases.

While the measures have been praised, many have also criticised them for separating families across state borders and damaging businesses.

Dr Murphy said overall Australia’s virus response had been “pretty good” but he believed the nation could have introduced face masks earlier and improved its protections in aged care homes.

In recent days, Australia has granted entry to about 1,200 tennis players, staff and officials for the Australian Open. The contingent – which has recorded at least nine infections – is under quarantine.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55699581

Continue Reading

Australia

Covid: Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection

Published

on

By

The Australian city of Brisbane has begun a snap three-day lockdown after a cleaner in its hotel quarantine system became infected with coronavirus.

Health officials said the cleaner had the highly transmissible UK variant and they were afraid it could spread.

Brisbane has seen very few cases of the virus beyond quarantined travellers since Australia’s first wave last year.

It is the first known instance of this variant entering the Australian community outside of hotel quarantine.

The lockdown is for five populous council areas in Queensland’s state capital.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the measure on Friday morning local time, about 16 hours after the woman tested positive.

Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown aimed to halt the virus as rapidly as possible, adding: “Doing three days now could avoid doing 30 days in the future.”

“I think everybody in Queensland… knows what we are seeing in the UK and other places around the world is high rates of infection from this particular strain,” she said.

“And we do not want to see that happening here in our great state.”

Australia has reported 28,500 coronavirus infections and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. By contrast, the US, which is the hardest-hit country, has recorded more than 21 million infections while nearly 362,000 people have died of the disease.The lockdown will begin at 18:00 on Friday (08:00 GMT) in the Brisbane city, Logan and the Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas.

Residents will only be allowed to leave home for certain reasons, such as buying essential items and seeking medical care.

For the first time, residents in those areas will also be required to wear masks outside of their homes.

Australia has faced sporadic outbreaks over the past year, with the most severe one in Melbourne triggering a lockdown for almost four months.

A pre-Christmas outbreak in Sydney caused fresh alarm, but aggressive testing and contact-tracing has kept infection numbers low. The city recorded four local cases on Friday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has pledged to start mass vaccinations in February instead of March as was planned.

Lockdown interrupts ‘near normal’ life in Brisbane

Simon Atkinson, BBC News in Brisbane

At 8:00 today I popped to the local supermarket for some bread, milk – and because it’s summer here – a mango. I was pretty much the only customer.

When I went past the same shop a couple of hours later it was a different story – 50 people standing in the drizzle – queuing to get inside as others emerged with bulging shopping bags. “Heaps busier than Christmas,” a cheery trolley attendant told me. “It’s off the scale”.

Despite the “don’t panic” messages from authorities, pictures on social media show it’s a pattern being repeated across the city.

While shutdowns are common around the world, the tough and sudden stay-at-home order for Brisbane has caught people on the hop here after months of near normality.

But while such a rapid, hard lockdown off the back of just a single case of Covid-19 will seem crazy in some parts of the world, I’ve not come across too many people complaining.

And I don’t think that’s just because Aussies love to follow a rule. This is the first time the UK variant of the virus has been detected in the community in Australia.

And nobody here wants Brisbane to go through what Melbourne suffered last year. Even if it means going without mangoes.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55582836

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 , madridjournals.com