Visiting Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand

Author: , October 29th, 2012

A country renowned for arousing every sense with vibrant colors, lively ambience, sweet aromas, exotic spices, and friendly welcome, Thailand is also one of the world’s most hospitable LGBT destinations. Perhaps this is because predominantly Buddhist countries like Thailand recognize an extra sense. In Western culture, extrasensory perception or ESP is sometimes considered the sixth sense, but its association with mystic practices like clairvoyance and telepathy means it remains on the periphery. In Buddhism, the notion of “thought” is fully integrated with “see,” “hear,” “smell,” “taste,” and “touch.” Could it be the sense of thoughtfulness that makes Thailand so hospitable?

A reason why gay visitors are welcomed with warm smiles is because Thais don’t make the same distinctions between gay and straight as we do. You may offend if you embrace your lover on the street, but only because all public displays of unbridled affection are frowned upon regardless of sexual preference.

Similarly, Thai culture doesn’t place the same premium on youth. Altogether, this means that older Western men may be considered more attractive in Thailand than they are back home, and certainly there are handsome Thai guys who are keen to meet Westerners, but that’s only half the story.

Authored By Stuart Haggas – See the Full Story at Passport Magazine

Click here for gay travel resources in Thailand.

The Hills of Florence

Author: , October 28th, 2012
by Lorenzo, Marignolle Relais & Charme, Florence, Italy
Email Lorenzo | Visit the Marignolle Relais & Charme Website

Visit the Purple Roofs Eastern Tuscany page

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Gay Travel: The Hills of Florence

The hills immediately surrounding Florence, dotted with stately villas and country homes dating back to the Renaissance, offered Florentine aristocrats cool respite in Summer from the higher temperatures in the city below.

Gay Travel: The Hills of FlorenceWe live in this blessed area, between the Certosa Convent and Ponte Vecchio, very close to Piazzale Michelangelo and its spectacular view of the city. Its strategically favourable position lets you reach the city centre in just a few minutes as well as its most important monuments, splendid museums, theatres and take part to cultural and fashion events that Florence offers at any time of the year. The incomparable beauty of this town is a world-known characteristic that only those who have visited it can thoroughly acknowledge…

Gay Travel: The Hills of FlorenceLeaving our Relais, it’s possible to reach the historical southern gate of Florence, Porta Romana, where it’s possible to leave the car and proceed towards the city centre: on the way, after a few minutes-walk, the stunning, imposing Pitti Palace gives an idea of the powerful past of this town. From here, it’s also possible to reach the Boboli Garden and the huge magnificence of its plants, fountains and grass.

Ponte Vecchio is the ideal door to the city: the only Florentine bridge that hasn’t been destroyed during World War II still keeps its ancient charm, although not many people knows that, where now artisans sell hand-made jewellery, until the end of the 16th century there were butcheries and totally different ambience. The new stores where placed there after the construction, over the bridge, of the “Vasari Corridor”, the hidden path that allowed the Medici family to go from Pitti Palace to Palazzo Vecchio undisturbed and unseen.

Gay Travel: The Hills of FlorenceWalking along the Arno river it’s possible to reach the Uffizi Gallery and, after it, the impressive Piazza della Signoria, from the terrace of which the most powerful Italian man’s reached out to talk to the population. Now, it’s one of the symbols of the Tuscan town, as much as the Cathedral and its Bell-tower by Giotto, and most tourists and Florentines love to sit at the famous “Rivoire Cafe” drinking a good espresso and enjoying the view of this palace, which has been hosting the highest city offices since the 14th Century.

Florence has always been admired for the art, buildings, history, and thousands of tourists come to visit it every year.

For those who prefer the quiet of the countryside, the Chianti area is at just an half-an-hour drive from here: it is the cradle of noble and knowledgeable country people, coming into contact with an excellent harvest of wine and oil and understanding the history and joie de vivre of ancient Tuscan folk. Mediterranean agricultural traditions came from this land that is the homeland of great men like Leonardo, Michelangelo, Giovanni da Verrazzano, and Dante Alighieri.

The village of Greve, the ideal heart of this area, welcomes its tourists with an ancient, triangle-shaped market square where typical stores are an irresistible attraction for anyone missing the old-way of living, that’s hardly remembered in the big cities. In the “Chianti wine museum” it’s possible to find ancient tools for wine-making, and an incredible selection of dozens of different wines.

But the Chianti area is famous also for other nice, small villages, like Radda, Castellina, Volpaia with the beautiful castle, and driving along this area it’s possible to reach, within an hour, the beautiful town of Siena and its neighbouring, medieval villages of Monteriggioni or San Gimignano.

Gay Travel: The Hills of FlorenceFrom our hotel, which is only 3 km far from the Motorway exit of “Firenze Impruneta”, it’s possible to reach a few of the most famous Tuscan cities within about an hour drive: not only Siena, but also Pisa and its world-known leaning tower, Lucca and the intact, 15th century city walls, the Etruscan cities of Arezzo and Cortona…not to mention the small villages, which characterize the Tuscan region.

Our Relais is hence a perfect starting point to visit the whole region: it also has spacious rooms furnished with care and luxurious details by Ms. Paola, who selected both the furniture and upholstery. Antique furniture, in the best tradition of luxury hotels in Florence, period prints and small collectors’ item give the spaces refinement and elegance. The rooms are air conditioned and soundproof, have a satellite TV and safe, direct telephone and wireless internet, a very spacious and well-equipped built-in closet, large bathrooms with oversized mirrors and a double white marble sink.
The panoramic terrace and quiet gardens are the perfect locations for a drink or a romantic dinner, a lovely pool has gorgeous hillside views over olive groves.

Quick Escapes When You’re in Los Angeles on Business

Author: , October 28th, 2012

Los Angeles may be home to Hollywood, but it also holds a healthy amount of conventions each year. It’s one of the more sprawling cities that your boss could ship you to, but the upside is obvious: the weather’s hardly ever bad, and you can access a mean chicken ‘n waffles plate at any hour of the day. In an effort to get you outside of the boardroom and into the wilds of LA, we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings.

Los Angeles can be a hugely daunting place, even for those who frequent it a few times per year. Ask someone on the edge of Long Beach what to do in Grenada Hills, and you may get some pretty blank stares. The Los Angeles Convention Center is actually one of the more ideally located conference venues. It’s smack dab in the middle of downtown, right beside the famed Staples Center. That makes parking a nightmare, but it also makes side trips entirely more practical.

If you’re in the mood for breakfast (regardless of what time it is), there’s a spot you seriously shouldn’t miss. It’s within walking distance for those with good soles, and it’s one of the only places in the world that serves up custom, homemade pop tarts. The Nickel Diner will require that you bring more than pocket change, but you’ll be glad you did. For those who aren’t much for pastries, the pulled pork and vast array of desserts are solid bets as well.

Authored By Darren Murph – See the Full Story at Sherman’s Travel

Click here for gay travel resources in Los Angeles.

The Most Expensive Places to Go

Author: , October 28th, 2012

Gay Travel: The Most Expensive Places to GoThe majority of the travel money tips I post are of the low-budget variety so this week, I thought I would do something different: Blog about the most expensive places in the world to travel.

Budget travelers, you have been warned.

Switzerland

You’ll be wishing for cheap prices when you travel in Switzerland!
My best friend Bianca is Swiss, so when I travel to Switzerland, I have a free place to stay, free breakfast and often free transportation. In spite of this, I still spend a shit ton of money in Switzerland.

Case in point. When I arrived in Switzerland most recently, in early July, Bianca and I decided to celebrate with a veggie burger at Burger King. (Disclaimer: veggie burgers at Swiss Burger Kings are fucking awesome). The cost? A cool 13 Swiss francs, or about $14. Restaurant meals are even more expensive: A small pizza that would cost 6-7 euro in Italy is 22 CHF in Switzerland.

Authored By Robert Schrader – See the Full Story at Leave Your Daily hell

Click here for gay travel resources.

 

La Peniche Restaurant in Deauville, France

Author: , October 28th, 2012

Gay Travel: La Peniche Restaurant in Deauville, FranceDine on board a barge, moored at the marina of Deauville, steps away of the beach and the famous promenade, featuring cozy mahogany decor, breathtaking views, to top a great value for money. Ideal for a nice extended lunch with friends, lounging over drinks or coffee after a nice meal, enjoying the views.

One of my favorite lunch spots in the center of Deauville. Peniche in French is used to refer to a barge, so there you go, a different alternative type of restaurant.

Authored By Carlos Melia – See the Full Story at The Carlos Melia Blog

Click here for gay travel resources in Northwestern France.

 

Kremlin Intra-Muros and Armory Chamber in Moscow

Author: , October 28th, 2012

Gay Travel: Kremlin Intra-Muros and Armory Chamber in MoscowOne of the must visit destinations when in Moscow. The Kremlin (meaning fortress) is not the only on its kind in Russia, but definitely the most unique and relevant on Russian history. Overlooking the Moskva River (to the South), Saint Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square (to the East) and the Alexander Garden (to the West).

Unfortunately you can only do photos out of the churches, buildings and exhibitions, so I can only show you the facedes and outdoor areas here. It will take you a full morning or more, depending on which exhibitions you take, and how much in detail you wish to go.

Authored By Carlos Melia – See the Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog

Click here for gay travel resources in Russia.

 

Peter Yarrow at The Flying Monkey – Nov 3rd

Author: , October 28th, 2012

His gift for songwriting has produced some of the most moving songs Peter, Paul & Mary have recorded, including “Puff, the

Magic Dragon,” “Day is Done,” “Light One Candle,” and “The Great Mandala.” Peter w

ill be singing all his hit songs and encourages everybody to sing along with him. “We’re part of a long train ride,” is the way Peter Yarrow http://www.glynnhouse.com/calendar/#november_2012_1_1 visualizes the many events that have highlighted a career spanning more than four decades.  Don’t miss this opportunity to listen to this legendary musician at the Flying Monkey Performing Arts Center in nearby Plymouth.

 

Use the historic Glynn House Inn as you’re getaway base. Experience elegant surroundings, delicious food, uncompromising service and genuine hospitality. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Bring your favorite four-footed canine pal and reserve one of four pet friendly rooms. View the Glynn House www.glynnhouse.com/ website for other special offers plus additional information about the Inn and local activities.

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Stepney House, London

Author: , October 27th, 2012

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Stepney House, LondonStepney House is one of 14 townhouses built around a gated car-park and communal garden area in eastern London, with vistas of Stepney Green Park from the rear rooms.

It’s set in a quiet, largely residential area in E1 with good access and good connections to all areas in London that you wish to explore by foot, bike or transport – there are 24/7 buses (routes 25 & 205) nearby, underground (tube) trains using 4 of the most popular routes, the Overground and DLR stations close at hand, local bicycle rental docking stations (a new scheme based on the successful system that Paris has enjoyed for years) and reliable taxis/mini-cabs.

The house is fully equipped for your London bed and breakfast holiday and has regular cleaning services during your stay. There are local convenience stores (including a Tesco Metro open 7 days per week from 0700 – 2300), some of the other stores are open 24/7 and there is also a large Supermarket nearby (Sainsbury’s Whitechapel).

See the Stepney House Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in London

Living the Nomadic Life

Author: , October 27th, 2012

For lunch yesterday, I enjoyed a so-called “aromatic set,” which paired a spicy prawn and fennel salad with fall-off-the-bone spare rip noodle soup. Painstakingly prepared by the staff at S Medical Spa using local, organic ingredients, it was from the first bite the best meal I’ve had in Bangkok.

In fact, as I walked onto Witthayu Road after a dessert of fresh, seasonal fruit, I struggled to remember having ever felt so nourished from a meal I ate while traveling, in Thailand or anywhere else for that matter.

This got me thinking about the larger topic of taking care of oneself while abroad and, eventually, an even larger topic than that: Just how sustainable is traveling for long periods of time?

Authored By Robert Schrader – See the Full Story at Leave Your Daily Hell

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Travel on the Cheap With Mi Casa Su Casa Gay Home Trades

Author: , October 27th, 2012

Mi Casa Su CasaEver wanted to try a home trade service, but worried that the people you trade with won’t be gay friendly?

That’s where Mi Casa Su Casa comes in. MCSC is a home trade service run by Purple Roofs, one of the top names in Gay Travel since 1998. When you join Mi Casa Su Casa, you’ll have a great selection of gay owned and gay friendly places to stay, among them bed and breakfasts and hotels who have also joined the Mi Casa site.

With Mi Casa, you have the option to do a straight trade – where you go to stay at someone else’s house while they come stay at yours, or a hospitality trade, where you stay with someone now, who can act as a host and show you around like a local, and they come stay with you at a later date.

It’s very affordable too – just $75 for a five year membership, or just $15 a year.

Mi Casa offers exchange options around the world – sign up now at:

http://www.gayhometrade.com/join.html