Sticky Rice Gay Guide Asia and Gay Guide World is your most detailed travel companion for Mandalay and its emerging night life. It contains listings for all major gay bars in Mandalay, saunas, massages, escorts, discos, hotels, travel companies and gay media in its ever growing Pink Pages. If you are interested in gay travel stories about Mandalay, you can click through to them from the top of this page. They also give you direct access to all listed businesses, be they hotels, bars, saunas, massage parlors or restaurants. In other words, there is no middleman or travel agency involved. You can book your favorite gay hotel in gay Myanmar and Mandalay directly and thus secure your special price or outright bargain.
The gay scene of Mandalay has just emerged tremendously in the past few years and is very attractive. The Northern city of Myanmar (and its men) is a beautiful place and well worth a visit.
|Mandalay||Taungbyone Gay Festival|
|This year I again attended the Nat Festival at Taungbyone outside of Mandalay. This year, 2009, all of the buses from Yangon to Mandalay were sold out, as was the train. Our hotel room had several sleeping on the floor too!
This is the largest Gay Festival in all of Asia and is held yearly about 20km north of Mandalay, for a whole week! It is held the last part of July or in August, the six days leading up and including the full Moon, 5th Lunar month.
Thousands of people from all over Myanmar came to celebrate the Taungbyone Nats. Taungbyone is a religious ceremony to honor two Moslem brothers on the grounds of a Buddhist temple through the Nat celebrations! It is however in fact largely a gay festival. Almost all Nats in Myanmar are gay. Also many fake gay Nats show up to join in the party!
For six days people dance, eat, and drink. The area is covered with food stands and vender stalls selling everything from house ware to souvenirs. Dance groups cover the area performing all day and into the night. For six days people dance, eat, and drink. During the day and most of the night the different Nat spirits hold performances, each trying to outdo the other.
While the whole festival, day and night, is openly gay the ‘real events’ for gay folks start at night. While the Nat ceremonies continue gays openly come out and hold hands and kiss and walk around with their arms around each other, or go off to sleeping quarters! Many are known to discover a neighbor, or fellow student there they were unaware of!
This year we went as part of the assembly that accompanied one of the well-known Yangon Nats to Taungbyone so we got in on the activities first hand, and on the main stage of the ceremony. The most touching moment was during a Nat ceremony when a father and mother brought their 16 year old son and presented him to the Nat. This is a traditional Myanmar ceremony of dealing with a son that the parents have recognized as gay. Everyone in the audience started crying and applauding while the Nat performed the acceptance ceremony.
I highly recommend this festival to all. Because of the ‘night activities’ and because of the day time heat the best time is to go to the festival about 6:30 pm. The traffic by that time has also thinned out. Just take a motor bike out to the festival. There is plenty of transportation back into Mandalay later.
|2 Comments||Outside of Mandalay|