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To ascertain practical methods of estimating the population size of men who have sex with men (MSM) by field application.Nine public places were selected, where men who have sex with men (MSM) frequented. Capture–recapture method and multiplier method were used to count the number of men who have sex with men (MSM) in the assigned places in 10 days.The population size estimated using multiplier method counted 877. Three estimates produced by capture–recapture method were 1408 (95% CI: 1116–1908), 1207 (95% CI: 932–1712) and 949 (95% CI: 757–1272), respectively.Multiplier method was easy and smooth in practice and produced highly reliable results, which yet was expensive. The application of capture–recapture method cost less in both time and funds, and the three results produced could verify each other, which was fit for the estimation.