Seoul’s burgeoning queer nightlife scene has come on in leaps and bounds since 2000, when star actor Hong Seok-cheon came out of the closet – the first Korean celebrity to do so. He has since opened up a whole raft of gay-friendly bars and restaurants in Itaewon, which remains the best gay area for foreigners.

Seoul does have other gay zones; the area around Jongno 3-ga station has long been home to underground gay bars, and recent years have seen the scene becoming more and more open. Unfortunately, few venues are foreigner-friendly, though the Starmoon café attracts all sorts – it’s in the ground floor of the tall Fraser Suites building. Additionally, the university district of Sinchon is popular with the local lesbian community, many of whom congregate of an evening in “Triangle Park”, a patch of concrete near exit 1 of Sinchon subway station (take the first right).

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