India – Vijayawada-Pondicherry-Trichy

Vijayawada and Pondicherry and  Tiruchirappalli in southeast India offer places of history, spirituality and commerce, as well as colorful friendly people. Just outside Pondicherry is the international city of Auroville–started in 1968–intended as a place of "human unity". At the center of the commune is the huge round meditation globe known as the Matrimandir, pictured

Indonesia – Java and Bali

Random images from two islands in Indonesia – Java and Bali Java is an island of Indonesia and the site of its capital city, Jakarta. Once the centre of powerful Hindu kingdoms and the core of the colonial Dutch East Indies, Java now plays a dominant role in the economic and political life of Indonesia.

Gay Life in South Korea

Introduction: a Shifting Paradigm South Korea has been one of the most ambitious and progressive countries in Asia in the last fifty years. It’s ancient culture has assimilated, for better or worse, many western ideas and systems. Along with the changes in commerce have come alterations in human behavior and attitudes, including a recent softening

Vietnam – Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is a vast, vibrant, hectic, intense cosmopolitan city yet with room to breath and a pace calm enough to ride a bike. As the country cautiously mutates from communism to capitalism, many ambitious citizens have tasted the delights of profit and drive around in SUV’s. Still, most common folks peddle

Bangladesh – Dhaka City (1)

Dhaka is the capitol of Bangladesh with about 11 million people. Every form and level of life is here, from upscale mansions and privileged kids playing cricket to impoverished manual workers tearing down buildings with sledge hammers as well as women picking through garbage. Traffic is intense and dense; bicycle rickshaws by the thousands clog

India – Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin)

At the southernmost tip of India is the city of Kanyakumari with its variety of sites including a busy fishing port, a mahatma  Gandhi memorial, extensive bazaars, pilgrimage temples and offshore monuments to the spiritual guru Vivekananda and the Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar. Read the stories about gay India

Vientiane 2001

After a period as a French protectorate, Laos gained independence in 1949. A long civil war ended officially when the communist Pathet Lao movement came to power in 1975 but the protesting between factions continued for several years. Private enterprise has increased since the late 1990s when economic reforms including rapid business licensing were introduced.

South Korea – Seoul

Seoul is the capital of South Korea. As a Special City, it is administered directly by the national government. With over ten million people, Seoul is South Korea’s largest city and one of the most populous cities in the world. More information at:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seoul Read the story about gay South Korea

Gay Tibet (Lhasa)

Intro: Not surprising, LGBT folks are everywhere in the world including a small furtive scene gathering in the Tibetan capital city of Lhasa–but not quickly and not overtly. A reporter from Singapore’s Fridae.com webzine traveled to the high mountains to report on what a gay visitor can expect to find in that community. From Fridae.com

Vietnam – Mekong Delta

The very fertile Mekong Delta is Viet Nam’s breadbasket: it feeds the nation with rice, vegetables, fish and fruit. (Vietnam is the world’s second largest rice exporter.) It is a densely populated area, including the waterways where hundreds of thousands of people conduct commerce by boat. A day trip around this floating city is a

Bangladesh – Dhaka City (2)

Dhaka is the capitol of Bangladesh with about 14 million people. Every form and level of life is here. Dhaka University is the Cambridge of Bangladesh where only the best students gain entry (photos 10-16). The huge but polluted Buriganga River (photos 21-28) slices through the city making it a port for cargo and passengers–and

India – Kochi/Cochin

Kochi is an appealing delight for visitors and natives with its high-rise modern buildings on one side (Ernakulam) of its large shipping port and many historic charming European-style buildings and markets on the other in the Mattancherry colonial district. The old European buildings and ambiance attract many tourists. Vasco da Gama was originally buried here

Vietnam – Cu Chi Tunnels

In the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s Viet Nam resistance fighters built these underground tunnels to wage guerilla war first against the French and later American military forces. It’s estimated there were more than 250 km of passages, some of which were directly underneath American bases. Whole populations of Viet Cong fighters and supporters lived–and died–in

Gay India 2001-03: Many Faces, Secret Traditions and Bold New Times

Intro: Two academic commentaries and three interviews serve as a basic introduction to the vast and complex potpourri of cultures known as India. Gay India is one of the convoluted subcultures folded
into the intense tapestry of languages, customs, religions and secular traditions in this country of a billion people.

In parts one and two, guest authors discuss widespread male-male sexuality as an unspoken and unquestioned–and unlabeled–way of life integrated into family and village customs. The public–spoken or written–label of ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’ is questioned as a valid description of such men: traditional MSM does not necessarily mean today’s ‘queer’.

Following these academic commentaries are links to parts three and four: interviews with three important gay and lesbian leaders who give a more ‘flesh and blood’ feel for gay life that is ‘out’ and evident in modern India.

The final fifth section is a story about Calcutta’s first gay pride parade and a reflection of its extended meaning.

Lesbians in Thailand

Intro: Lesbians present a different scene than the men. More modest in their sexual expression, there are no lesbian saunas where women walk around in towels cruising each other, although there are lesbian bars. Various reasons have been offered to explain this difference, from men’s more predatory nature to feminist distaste for imitating male habits to women’s natural nurturing subjective demeanor versus men’s penchant for objectifying sex—or powerful social traditions that shape and limit women’s roles in society.

Gay Bangladesh

Guest writer Martin Forman opens a small window onto the sly, furtive and suspicious gay ‘scene’ in the city of Sylhet, Bangladesh. This is followed by a level-headed essay by Afsan Chowdury, a native author, who writes: “there are gays in our Bengali society, and there is no sense in suppressing and stifling it.”

Gay Guam

Far from the crowds of Asia and American lies tiny Guam in the western Pacific. Modern and historic, the island – and town of Tumon – is a miniature US state in many ways with its beachfront luxury hotels, glittery shopping malls, K-Mart, hetero strip joints and gay bars. But even these inventions don’t take away from the simple tropical beauty of the land. Jungled hills, countless palm-fringed beach coves and rural Chamorro villages make this a place of quiet beauty. Gay life is barely visible, laid back and comfortable.

Mei Ling: Mao’s Secret Retreat

Intro: Far from the corridors of present-day power in Beijing, the city of Wuhan is home to a strange and little-known retreat where China’s fate was once determined. Mao Zedong’s private villa still stands as a memorial to a by-gone era that altered the course of modern Asia.