Some areas of Southeast Asia rank among the most progressive regions in the world regarding homosexuality; Thailand and the Philippines warrant special mention. However, attitudes are less tolerant in other regions, particularly in Muslim-dominated Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia.
In general most urban centres have gay communities, and attitudes towards same-sex relationships are tolerant, though travellers should still mind the region-wide prescription of refraining from public displays of affection. More caution is required in Muslim nations where homosexuality is a social taboo. Homosexual sex between men is technically illegal in Brunei and Malaysia.
Utopia Asian Gay & Lesbian Resources (www.utopia-asia.com) has an excellent profile of each country’s record on acceptance, as well as short reviews on gay nightspots and handy travel guides to the various Southeast Asian countries.