Shanghai is quite tolerant of gay and lesbian travelers, though there are no specialized resources catering to them. This is not all that unusual, given how puritanical Chinese society tends to be in sexual matters, gay or straight. (Walking hand in hand with a same-sex partner won't raise any eyebrows because it is deemed a sign of friendship.) Shanghai does have a homosexual community that is becoming increasingly visible, but it is still not officially sanctioned. Because foreigners are perceived as "different" from Chinese in the first place, gay and lesbian travelers should experience no discrimination here. In recent years, a few nightspots have even become identified with a gay, lesbian, and transsexual clientele. The popular International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) (tel. 800/448-8550 or 954/776-2626; has a few listings for gay-friendly organizations serving inbound visitors to China. Hermes Tours (tel. 877/486-4335; offers small group tours to China.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.