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

Lesbian Bangkok: Off the Beaten Path – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , May 31st, 2019

Lesbian Bangkok

Bangkok is one of our favourite cities in Asia and we keep coming back to it. There’s so much to see and do in Bangkok. But while most people visit famous places like the Grand Palace, Khao San Road, Wat Pho and Wat Arun, there are so many other great lesser known places to visit. We already discussed the best things to do in Bangkok and all Instagram worthy spots in Bangkok, but we love to tell you about Bangkok off the beaten path! This is our top five hidden gems around Bangkok.

Wat Samphran aka Dragon Temple

Wat Samphran is a unique temple you won’t find elsewhere in the world. By accident, we found out about this place and couldn’t believe our eyes. A pink building with a dragon? Why aren’t people talking about this place? It’s not mentioned in the travel books and therefore not many tourists know about it yet. The temple is 17 floors high and you can walk through the body of the dragon to reach the top.

The top makes for a great view. Not only the dragon temple itself is worth visiting, but there are also other beautiful structures around the complex. For example a giant bronze Buddha and animal statues like a giant turtle and elephant. We recommend taking at least two hours to explore the complex. Wat Samphran is a temple, so make sure to dress properly.

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

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

 

Bangkok by Bicycle – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , March 2nd, 2019

Bangkok by Bicycle - Once Upon a Journey

Bangkok is one of our favourite places in Asia. There’s so much to see and do in the city! And one of the best ways to explore Bangkok is by bike and boat. This way you can explore off the beaten path and get to know the different faces of the city. From busy markets in China Town to green palm plantations in the outskirts to the fresh breeze on one of the canals. Sounds amazing right? Ready to hop on that bicycle and explore? We will tell you all about our adventures during our bicycle tour through Bangkok.

Bangkok Bicycle Tour

It’s no secret us Dutchies like to bike! We don’t just bike in the Netherlands, we bike all over the world. So no surprise, 30 years ago a Dutchman named Co van Kessel started to show tourists around Bangkok by bicycle. His company never stopped doing just that! It’s a unique way to see a city.

At Co van Kessel, there are multiple bicycle tours you can do, varying from 3 to 9 hours. We hop on the bicycle for 5 hours, or well, we also go on the water by boat. With our bicycles, how fun! Make sure to book a tour in the morning for better temperatures.

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

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

 

Intagrammable Bangkok – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , February 23rd, 2019

Intagrammable Bangkok - Once Upon a Journey

As the capital city of Thailand, Bangkok is the perfect city to start your travels in Thailand or elsewhere in Asia. And Bangkok is so much more than just a hub, it’s a city with many things to see and do. From beautiful temples (have you ever seen a dragon temple?) to crazy markets to chaotic streets with tuk-tuks everywhere.

We are huge fans of Bangkok and love exploring the city. We found you the best Instagram spots in the city. Are you ready to see the 13 most Instagrammable places in Bangkok?! Grab your camera + outfit and let’s GO!

AIRPLANE GRAVEYARD

Abandoned places are always a bit creepy, but so cool, don’t you think?! The airplane graveyard in Bangkok is a unique place to visit. Always wanted to sit in a cockpit? This is your chance! There are multiple airplanes you can explore and you can take the coolest pictures. It’s not fully abandoned though, there is a family living in one of the airplanes. Be prepared to pay around 200 baht per person to enter the property. You can get to the airplane graveyard by taxi or by river taxi (way cheaper). Go to Wat Sriboonreun (last stop of the Khlong Saen Saeb), and from there it’s just a short walk.

By Roxanne Weijer – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

 

Gay Thailand Like a Local – The Globetrotter Guys

Author: , January 25th, 2019

Gay Thailand Like a Local - The Globetrotter Guys

We have been to Thailand many times and have had nothing but great experiences. Thailand has so much to offer from the crazy capital city of Bangkok, to the jungles of Chiang Mai and the idyllic beaches you will find on the islands in the south, including the island of Koh Phangan, where the world famous Full Moon Party is held every month.

Like most countries, we know we are in a privileged position as a tourist so we wanted to interview an LGBT local to get a more in depth insight as to what it’s really like to be LGBT in Thailand. We got in contact with Bud who was willing to share his experience, read more below:

Hi Bud! Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Hi! My name is Bud Jungsaitakul. I am a middle aged gay professional and a world traveler from Thailand. I work as a senior operations manager at a large multinational company. I am a Thai National, MBA graduate and I live in Bangkok.

Thanks, so tell us, what is the stereotypical view of a local from Thailand towards someone who is LGBT (either local or tourist – is there a difference)?

Thailand is generally very tolerant towards the LGBT community and is probably the most gay friendly country in Asia.

The LGBT community has been visible in Thai culture for a very long time. Stereotypical views towards gay men in particular is that they are mostly feminine and camp.

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

 

Chiang Rai Day Trip – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , December 12th, 2018

Chiang Rai Day Trip - Once Upon a Journey

Chiang Rai is a city in Northern Thailand located about 185 kilometres from famous Chiang Mai. A Chiang Rai day trip is perfect from Chiang Mai. We think it’s an absolute must to visit! Where in Chiang Mai you can find many old temples in Chiang Rai, there are newer ones like the White and Blue Temples.

We love exploring places by motorbike but this time we decide to go on a private tour with TakeMeTour, as it’s a 3-hour ride to Chiang Rai and a guide can tell us all about the places.  In this blog, we will tell you all about the perfect day trip and the things you can’t miss when visiting Chiang Rai.

WAT RONG KHUN AKA WHITE TEMPLE

Wat Rong Khun is one of Thailand’s most special and famous temple. To foreigners the temple is known as the White Temple, you can definitely see where that name comes from! The temple is open for visitors since 1997. An artist from Chiang Rai, named Chalermchai Kositpipat, completely rebuilt a temple and created the White Temple as you can visit now.

The temple is incredibly beautiful and unique. Every detail of the temple has meaning. The bridge is the Gate of Heaven while the hands in front of the bridge reach from hell. Good to know: since this temple is famous, it can be very crowded.

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

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

 

Koh Adang, Thailand’s Hidden Gem – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , November 28th, 2018

Koh Adang, Thailand's Hidden Gem - The Nomadic Boys

Unspoilt and untouched by mass tourism, Koh Adang is how most islands in Thailand used to be 25 years ago.

It is the largest island of the Adang Archipelago, which forms part of the Koh Tarutao National Marine Park. It is also the antithesis of busy touristy Koh Lipe located just opposite: secluded, unspoilt and peaceful.

We love visiting this part of Thailand because on the one hand it offers all the touristic options you need for a comfortable holiday on Koh Lipe, whilst at the same time you find gems like Koh Adang.

The Adang-Rawi Archipelago

Adang is part of the Tarutato National Marine Park in southwest Thailand close to the Malaysian border. Within this national park there are two groups of islands: Tarutao and Adang-Rawi. The Adang-Rawi group consists of Koh Lipe, Koh Adang, Ko Rawi, Koh Butang and Koh Lek.

Koh Lipe is the only island in this archipelago that has been allowed to develop for mass tourism, with many restaurants, hotels, resorts, bars, agencies and more. Although Koh Lipe has managed to avoid the problems caused by mass tourism in Thai islands, during peak periods like the Chinese New Year, it can become extremely busy, and quite claustrophobic.

Koh Adang on the other hand is the total opposite: remote, underdeveloped and peaceful. It is the ideal respite from the heaving crowds on Koh Lipe, yet only 5-10 minutes away by tail boat.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

 

Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , November 23rd, 2018

Yi Peng lantern festival - Once Upon a Journey

If you have ever seen pictures of Yi Peng lantern festival in Chiang Mai, you are probably as enchanted as we were. Thousands of lanterns floating into the sky, all around you – just like that one scene in Tangled. Okay, admittingly, that’s how we found out about this festival in the first place. The idea of something so magical happening in real life was too good not to check out ourselves!

We dove deep into the web to find everything about this sensational event and unfortunately, instead of magic, we found a struggle. There is surprisingly little information on this increasingly popular event and the information that is out there is very vague… Our mission, aside from experiencing our Disney moment, became to collect the best information and tips for YOU to experience the magic!

A couple of days before the festival starts, we arrive in Chiang Mai. Surely locals can tell us more about the festival and where to go!

YI PENG (OR YEE PENG?) AND LOY KRATHONG

Yi Peng is also known as Yee Peng, the local name of the lantern festival in northern Thailand. Yee means two and Peng means full moon day, which relates to the night of the festival: during the second full moon of the Lanna calendar. Usually, this is in November. In 2018 it takes place from November 21*. This full moon is also the 12th full moon of the Thai lunar calendar, which means Loy Krathong is also happening: a 3-day festival celebrated throughout all of Thailand and surrounding countries.

The two festivals, Yi Peng and Loy Krathong, are celebrated simultaneously during the period of the full moon. Both are light festivals (see how this can be confusing?), but Loy Krathong means ‘to float a basket’ and is celebrated by lanterns on the water, whereas Yi Peng is all about sky lanterns.

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

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

 

Udon Thani’s Red Lotus Sea – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , November 16th, 2018

Red Lotus Sea - Once Upon a Journey

YES! Thailand still has hidden gems only a few (western) tourists know about. Talay Bua Daeng – or Red Lotus Sea – in Northeast Thailand is one of those gems and it’s definitely one for the bucket list. CNN named it one of the world strangest lakes in 2014 and well, it’s not a lake you see every day – for sure.

Imagine a lake with thousands of pink flowers, spreading as far as the eye can see!

Getting on the lake by boat is one of the most romantic experiences we’ve ever done. And Valentine’s is actually the perfect time to visit: the red lotuses only bloom a couple of months each year. But that makes the experience the more special. It is quite off the famous routes through Thailand though, but no worries: we will tell you everything you need to know about visiting this magical pink lake.

The season for the pink flowers to bloom is from December to the end of February, just after the rainy season. When you visit, make sure to go early in the morning. From sunrise to noon you can see the water lilies opened up: they open when they see the first morning light and close when the midday heat comes.

By Roxanne Weijer – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

 

Phuket Gay Homestay – Phuket, Thailand

Author: , November 8th, 2018

Phuket Gay Homestay

After having a gay guesthouse 1998-2011 in the centre of the gay area Paradise Complex in Patong, Ulf and Nisit (Boy) changed to a more quiet and secluded area. In February 2012 they opened a small gay homestay in Kathu just a few kilometres from Patong. The location is in a small village at the edge of the green lush hills between Patong and Kathu.

There’s a clothing optional swimming pool, steam sauna and a small sala by a fish pond where breakfast is served. Breakfast (included) starts at 8 AM but don’t worry, you will never be too late for a breakfast even if you wake up late.

The homestay consists of 5 Airconditioned bedrooms of which 4 have en-suite bathrooms with hot shower.

To get around to any of the 40 beaches on Phuket Island you can rent a bike or motorbike (if you have a driving licence) or you can go by local bus or use the smartphone app, Grab Taxi.

See the Phuket Gay Homestay Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Thailand Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals