Gay Friendly Asia – Nomadic Boys

Author: , June 20th, 2019

Gay Friendly Asia - The Nomadic Boys

We spent 2 years travelling around Asia and completely fell in love with the continent. It offers so much in terms of cultural experiences, food and landscapes, with some of the most humble people you’ll ever meet.

But when it comes to LGBTQ rights, Asia has some serious work to do! In quite a lot of countries in Asia, being gay is either illegal or an arrestable offence, like in Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, the Maldives, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. If it’s not illegal, then it’s such a strong taboo that you have to stay in the closet to avoid jeopardising your job prospects and embarrassing your family like in China, Russia and Indonesia.

Despite this, there are a number of countries in Asia that are paving the way forward in relation to LGBTQ rights. We’ve selected the top 10 most gay friendly countries in Asia, which we’ve based on the following criteria:

  • Where are they at with same sex marriage legislation, along with other LGBTQ laws?
  • What is the gay scene like and do they have any notable annual LGBTQ festivals?
  • Our personal experience travelling there as a gay couple, with reference to the most recent Spartacus Gay Travel Index.

We have taken it as a given that homosexuality is legal in the countries we’ve selected, which is why we haven’t included Singapore despite it having quite a vibrant gay scene and a famous LGBTQ PinkDot festival in June/July.

We have also included two “places” (Taiwan and Hong Kong) rather than “countries”, because although they’re not officially recognised “countries”, they can still be regarded as a “country” given they have their own flag, currency, national anthem, set of laws etc.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Asia Gay Travel Resources

Instagrammable Hong Kong – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , February 22nd, 2019

Lok Wah South Estate - Once Upon a Journey - Instagrammable Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an Instagram paradise! This city has so much to offer, from architecture to beautiful beaches and mountains, Hong Kong has it all. But where to start?! We made a list of the 7 most Instagrammable Hong Kong places that you can’t miss!

QUARRY BAY

This is the most famous Instagram spot of all. The incredibly dense and stacked residential complexes of Quarry Bay are featured in movies like Ghost in The Shell and Transformers: Age of Extinction. There are five complexes but Yik Cheong and Montane Mansion are the best known. They are perfect for a fantastic photo. But try to be creative, since many angles and poses have already been shot here!

By Roxanne & Maartje – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

China Gay Travel Resources

 

Top Lesbian Gambling Destinations – Seattle Lesbian

Author: , November 18th, 2018

Lesbian Travel: Dinah Shore Las Vegas Debuts

While it is true that the online casino industry has overtaken the more traditional brick and mortar casino industry in terms of convenience, there are still plenty of great real world casino destinations worth travelling to, at least once in your lifetime. Of course nothing beats the speed and convenience of playing online casino games like slots, baccarat, roulette, or blackjack. But, at the same time, nothing beats the sheer excitement of booking your tickets and travelling to an exotic casino resort somewhere in the world.

The modern world of casino gambling is quite different from the old days, when mobsters ran the show and the number of quality destinations was rather more limited. Today, you can book your tickets for any number of casino resort destinations scattered throughout the world, including far flung places like New Zealand and South Africa. However, when it comes to going really big, nothing beats a trip to Las Vegas or Atlantic City in the USA, or any number of casino resorts in Macau, China.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Say what you will about Las Vegas and its former glory days, but this is still considered by many to be the premier casino destination in the world. Many new sites in the UK will have some great competitions for a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas. Even if you don’t love the idea of travelling to Vegas, visiting at least once in your life is on most bucket lists. In fact, you don’t even have to be into casino games to go there. The famous Vegas Strip is a tourist attraction in its own right and many visitors go there just to see the shows, the lights and the incredible fountains. If you are serious about gambling at a top Las Vegas casino resort, you really can’t go wrong with the Venetian. The Venetian is the largest casino resort in Las Vegas and covers a staggering 243,684 square feet, with more gaming machines, tables, restaurants and bars than virtually any other casino in Las Vegas.

Full Story at The Seattle Lesbian

 

Lost in Translation in Hangzhou – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , November 16th, 2018

Lost in Translation in Hangzhou

“Welcome to the back!” proclaimed an English sign at the front door of a small Chinese restaurant in Hangzhou, a city in China, known for its West Lake. It was here where Marco Polo once sailed, mesmerized by its stunning beauty and declared the place in ancient times as “the most beautiful place in the world.”

Six exhausted backpackers from four countries and I, who all met in a hostel, froze for a moment in silence, as if trying to decipher one of China’s ancient, decrepit signboard. We exchanged quick glances, hoping one had a clue to share. We were pretty sure we were standing at the entrance, not the back, of the restaurant. Almost in unison, we quickly realized what the sign meant was, “Welcome back.” It’s one of those rampant translations gone wrong in Chinglish, a blend of Chinese and English.

With hunger excruciatingly creeping into our stomachs, we gave up looking for another restaurant. We’d been walking all day and we were so hungry we could eat a barrel of dumplings sans chopsticks.

Two ladies behind the reception desk smiled when we came in. One disappeared quickly to call someone from the kitchen. When we were all seated, the other waitress came with a kettle of tea and a vacuum flask of hot water. She carefully poured the hot water and tea alternately with impeccable skill. When she was done, she said something in Chinese and our jaws dropped. We understood not a single word. She looked at each one of our tired faces, hoping a single one of us could make sense of what she just said. Meeting our uncomprehending looks, she smiled sheepishly and left embarrassed.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

China Gay Travel Resources

 

Taiwan’s Pingxi Lantern Festival – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , September 13th, 2018

PINGXI LANTERN FESTIVAL

If you are looking for magic, you should go to a sky lantern festival. Sky lantern festivals are one of the most magical things on earth. Disney dreams will come true. We can’t get enough of them, so after experiencing Yi Peng in Chiang Mai, we travel to Taiwan to experience the magic of the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival. It’s one of the most spectacular happenings in Taiwan.

As it’s a big happening, you would think there’s a lot of information available online. Unfortunately, the resources of the Taiwan Tourism Board were limited and the blog posts we found, didn’t provide us with the right transportation-information. Therefore, we end up in the wrong town. We will not let that happen to you, so here’s the ultimate guide to Pingi Sky Lantern Festival!

WHY SHOULD YOU GO?

The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival takes place once a year, usually in February or March, during the first full moon of the Lunar New Year. The festival has been named one of the 15 Festivals To Attend Before You Die and one of the Best Winter Trips. So, it’s a must see! At night, thousands of lanterns float up into the night sky, and with them, so do many dreams and wishes for the new year. The lanterns are released in group releases. And it’s truly like a dream come true.

WHERE SHOULD YOU GO?

So here’s where it gets tricky. The festival takes place in the Pingxi district, in New Taipei City, and lantern releases are held in the towns Jingtong, Pingxi and Shifen. The biggest lantern releases are NOT held in Pingxi old town – so don’t try to go there, like we did. The biggest event is in Shifen, where they set up the main stage at a parking area and is transformed into the Shifen Sky Lantern Square. It’s located close to the Shifen waterfall, and only a short 15 minute walk from Shifen Station.

By Roxanne & Maartje – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

China Gay Travel Resources

Tips for Gay Chinese Travelers Visiting the USA – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , April 4th, 2018

Gay Chinese Travelers - United States - The Nomadic Boys

The USA has some of the best gay destinations in the world. Despite the bad press it has received recently, there are many pink havens here ranging from San Francisco, New York, Key West and Fire Island. We always love visiting the States and always feel very comfortable travelling here as a gay couple.

Chinese travellers visiting the US has increased exponentially over the past few years, with more and more gay Chinese travellers also choosing the US for their vacation, with companies like Cuke Travel and Blue Ribbon servicing the Chinese LGBTQ travel community.

These are our 5 tips for gay Chinese travelers visiting the USA to make their travel easier and more enjoyable.

Getting A USA Visa for Gay Chinese Travelers

Chinese travellers heading to the US will need to complete the EVUS application form beforehand. If travelling to the US as a “visitor”, you will be eligible for a tourist visa. Tourist visas are the ideal category to apply for because they are processed much quicker than other visa types – around 24 hours, and no more than 72 hours. You’re visa is then emailed to you, which saves time.

To qualify for a tourist visa, you need to state that the reason for travelling to the US is tourism, you have Chinese citizenship, and all supporting documents requested in the application form are included.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Taking a Gaycation From China

Author: , October 6th, 2017

gaycation from China

China’s LGBTI community are flocking to more rainbow-friendly cities in Asia to vacation and be free to be open with their sexuality. There are about 70 million LGBTI people living in mainland China, but because it is still taboo, many can’t live openly.

The 2016 China LGBT Community Report revealed many mainland Chinese LGBTI people are jetting off to cities such as, Bangkok, Taipei and Hong Kong to let their hair down. Enjoying the cities’ LGBTI scenes is just one reason Chinese people visit them. Many LGBTI people go to Thailand to stock up on the HIV preventative medication PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) or to have gender-affirming surgery.
Sam is a studen in Shenzhen often heads to Hong Kong to hang out with his surrogate LGBTI family.

‘The reason I keep coming back to Hong Kong is because I feel more comfortable here – like I can finally live my real life,’ he told the South China Morning Post. ‘Plus my friends and family on the mainland hardly visit, so I don’t have to be scared of being recognised. ‘Maybe in future, when I have a job and can hopefully move to Hong Kong, I might come out to them.’

By Shannon Power – Full Story at Gay Star News

China Gay Travel Resources

Gay Hong Kong for Size Queens

Author: , April 6th, 2017

gay hong kong - pixabay

In gay Hong Kong, size matters.

The city boasts five of the world’s top 30 tallest buildings, including the ICC which holds the Ritz-Carlton hotel and O-zone, the highest bar in the world on the 118th floor.

The world’s largest outdoor, seated Buddha – helpfully referred to locally as the Big Buddha – can be found on Lantau Island, just a short train and then cable car ride away from the heart of the city.

Another exciting ride can be found at the Peak Tram which is the world’s steepest tram ride, whisking you up to Victoria Peak for spectacular views over Hong Kong Harbour both day and night.

Every evening Victoria Harbour is lit up in the world’s largest permanent light and sound which illuminates all the erections straddling both sides of the water.

Full Story at Gay Star News

China Gay Travel Resources

Pink Dot is Back in Hong Kong

Author: , October 6th, 2016

Pink Dot

Over 10,000 people turned up in pink at Pink Dot Hong Kong, the city’s LGBTI festival and largest diversity event, to celebrate diversity and love equality on Sunday.

Co-organized by BigLove Alliance and Pink Alliance, and supported by Covenant of the Rainbow, the third edition of the annual event was held this year at Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Nursery Park. Organisers chose a different venue this year, as compared to the first two years at the city’s Tamar Park, in order to ‘accommodate more activities for everyone, young and old’.

This year’s event was also largely supported by various entertainers, celebrities, corporate sponsors and diplomats – and was officiated by the Equal Opportunities Commission, an independent statutory body which commissioned a study last year to look into the need for anti-discrimination legislation on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status.

China Gay Travel Resources

Hangzhou & Shanghai

Author: , July 22nd, 2016

Hangzhou & Shanghai

The sun is setting…I think. I’ve arrived in Shanghai after a 15-hour flight, and I’m not sure what day it is, let alone what time of day: the permanent haze that hovers over much of China’s 3.7 million square miles masks any clues. Shanghai Pudong International Airport offers a harsh juxtaposition of the familiar and the unknown, a theme that will reappear throughout my journey to two of China’s major east coast cities.

I hop on a shuttle bus that takes me southwest from Shanghai’s city center to Hangzhou. The cities blur together along the two-hour journey (or 45 minutes by bullet train), where endless clusters of high-rise complexes blend into one another. Imagine the Vegas Strip held up to a mirror, an endless stream of towering residential buildings, outlined in neon and saturated floodlights. But as I peer out the window amid the slowly chugging traffic, closer inspection reveals a kind of post-apocalyptic urban planning to accommodate the country’s 1.3 billion inhabitants. Construction cranes pierce the skyline and it’s hard to tell whether certain projects are underway or have been abandoned midstream. China, I am soon to find out, is a country and a people of contradiction.

HANGZHOU – RIVER DEEP, MOUNTAIN HIGH

For most Westerners (including myself prior to this trip), Hangzhou may not be on your China bucket list, but consider adding a few days to your itinerary to explore a city that, at least by the standards of ear- lier centuries, was one of the most powerful ports in the world. The Sui Empire finished the Grand Canal in 609 CE, a 1,100-mile engineering feat that finally connected Hangzhou to Beijing in the north and positioned it as a vital trading post.

Hangzhou’s port eventually filled with silt in the 15th century, but skip ahead 600 years or so, and you’ll find a thriving metropolis for the new millennium. It’s now a major technology hub with Alibaba Group at its epicenter, a multi-faceted e-commerce company that holds the record for the largest IPO of all time on the New York Stock Exchange, totaling $25 billion. Put that mind-boggling figure momentarily aside, along with worries that China could conceivably crash the global economy. Hangzhou’s wonders lie in its natural beauty and deep traditions of culture and cuisine. Transcend political agendas and appreciate the region for its hidden gems that remain some of China’s greatest gifts.

By Matthew Wexler – Full Story at Passport Magazine