Traveling as a Gay Couple in Asia

Published Date Author: , February 1st, 2016

Nomadic Boys

“Why should I spend my tourist dollars in a country that wants to throw me in jail?!”

This was our dilemma before setting off for our big travel adventures in Asia – as a gay couple. If it isn’t illegal (like in Sri Lanka, Singapore, the Maldives, Malaysia, India, Myanmar…), then it’s certainly not truly welcomed (think Indonesia, China or Mongolia).

A few (like Nepal and Vietnam) have taken proactive steps to start to protect their LGBT community instead of criminalising them. And some have gone further to not only protect their LGBT community, but to embrace, support them and in addition, actively promote gay tourism: Japan, Thailand, Taiwan and the Philippines.

So as a gay traveller, does that mean you shouldn’t visit countries like India or Myanmar? Are you really under any practical danger visiting a country like Malaysia or the Maldives? Should you take that hard line approach and avoid visiting some of the most beautiful areas of our planet just because of some really archaic, backwards laws?

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Comments reader  One Reader Comment

Marco - Gravatar Marco said on February 6, 2016, 9:37 pm:

Tourism, which should always be sustainable and respectful of different cultures, has a great impact in the development of those communities (not just LGBT community) that with fatigue and constant struggles, seeking to advance in the battle for civil rights. We believe that, by Western and belonging to the LGBT community, part of our tasks is to support the LGBT community everywhere, even in countries that have not yet reached the same level of freedom. We prefer to boycott a brand like Dolce and Gabbana, rather than an entire people struggling for their rights. And if it is true that we are a community, it is our duty to show solidarity and make our contribution. A good standard tourism, inevitably leads to knowledge and to a cultural exchange: what can be best to bring about a change?
We’re not risking our lives rather choose more carefully where to stay, assuming a respectful behavior. And of course this positive attitude allows us to visit these remarkable countries in safety and tranquility.

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