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

 

The Ultimate Koh Mak Travel Guide – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , July 6th, 2018

The Ultimate Koh Mak Travel Guide

Koh Mak is a small tropical island in the eastern Gulf of Thailand, close to Cambodia. We travelled to this island in November 2017 and stayed much longer than expected. I’ve seen many more Thai islands and I must say: Koh Mak is my favourite of all! The island is a well-kept secret for most travellers, it’s (still) a quiet place with a laid-back atmosphere. It’s located south of ‘big brother’ Koh Chang, and north of Koh Kood – they all are completely different!

What we most love about this island is that it’s relatively undeveloped. You might be able to get cash at a resort – but no guarantees – and there are no 7-elevens anywhere on the island (is that even possible in Thailand?!). Koh Mak is privately owned and therefore nobody is allowed to build more resorts, how fantastic?! And although there are many rubber farm plantations, you can still find lots of palm trees. The best part of Koh Mak though: gorgeous, empty beaches!

Koh Mak is located about 40 kilometres away from mainland Thailand (Trat) and 300 kilometres from Bangkok. From Bangkok you can take a minivan to Trat and take a taxi to the pier. You can even take a minivan directly to the pier. From the Laem Ngop pier in Trat, you can take the slow boat (cheap but slow) or a speedboat (fast but more expensive) to Koh Mak. Be sure to look up the time schedule of the boats! During low season there are less or no boats at all going to Koh Mak. There are also boats going from Koh Chang, Koh Wai and Koh Kood to Koh Mak.

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

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

Gay Thailand – Nomadic Boys

Author: , June 27th, 2018

Gay Thailand - The Nomadic Boys

We absolutely love Thailand. It’s one of our favourite places to visit in Asia. It has a mix of the best beaches, beautiful Buddhist culture, temples, and an awesome gay scene in Bangkok.

Thailand is also one of the most visited destinations in Asia for gay travellers. The Thais are extremely welcoming people and have been embracing us for decades. So much so that it is frequently referred to as “The Land of Smiles”, and for good reason.

The capital city, Bangkok is very modern, and a transport hub for destinations in Asia. It also has a large gay scene in Silom which we LOVE. Chiang Mai in the North is the country’s second biggest city. It is located in the mountains, and famous for its temples and outdoor adventure. The Thai islands are popular beach destinations, particularly Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Tao, Koh Lipe and Koh Phi Phi.

This is our Gay Thailand guide, with our favourite things to do and other practical information for LGBTQ travelers.

When to Visit Thailand

Thailand is tropical and hot throughout the year. It has 3 seasons: hot, cold and rainy:

Cold season: between November-February, when temperatures are “only” around mid 20s Celsius (77 F). This is Thailand’s peak season, especially around Christmas, New Year’s and the Chinese New Year in February.

Hot season: between March-June, with temperatures around 30-35 degrees Celsius (86-95 F). This is the shoulder seasons because it’s too hot for some. However, this is also the season for the Sonkgran (Buddhist New Year) gay parties in Bangkok and Phuket.

Rainy season: between June-October. During this time, it does not rain constantly, but there will be periods of intense rain lasting for no more than a few hours. This is the low season, particularly in some of the islands, which get stormy weather, so will shut down most boat services.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

Hot BuOYS Sailing – Phuket, Thailand

Author: , June 9th, 2018

Hot BuOYS Sailing

Where is the best gay Thailand resort?

Captain: By the gay island with a gay nude beach.

You: I don’t believe you.

Captain: Then what do you call an island and beach with naked gay men?

You: I still don’t believe you.

Captain: To each his own. Enjoy Patong, Phuket or Pattaya.

You: Wait! I don’t like crowded straight beaches.

Captain: To travel there you need a boat.

You: Right like I can afford to buy a big yacht.

Captain: I already have one. Sharing is good.

You: Does this gay resort float?

Captain: Yes.

See the Hot BuOYS Sailing Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

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

Magical Chiang Mai – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , May 12th, 2018

Chiang Mai - Once Upon a Journey

It’s a BIG day today! Ever since our departure, we have been looking forward to this moment: my dad and stepmom fly over to travel with us for two weeks in Thailand. Together we will experience the magical lantern festival Yi Peng! We are incredibly excited (and a bit anxious). We had arrived few days early in Chiang Mai, but saved the sightseeing for later. Before we go to the airport to pick up Frank and Hanneke, we move from our couchsurfing house to our new hostel. Yes, Frank and Hanneke wanted to experience the backpacker-life, how fun!

A MYSTERIOUS HAIRCUT

The big day starts with Maartje going for a haircut, all by herself. Normally we do everything together but I’m not allowed to join this time, how mysterious… I have no idea what’s going on but I decide to wait for the surprise! For lunch we meet up with Gretka and Nico, a couple we met in Malaysia! We inspired them to go to the lantern festival so here they are! We are really happy to see them again, they are so cute and Gretka is one of the happiest persons we have ever met. After lunch we get our bags, bring them to our hostel and travel to the airport. Of course we don’t want to be late!

ANOTHER EMOTIONAL REUNION

We arrive on the airport and struggle to find the right arrival hall: the number of the plane changed. But luckily we find the right one and as soon as Frank and Hanneke walk down the stairs we spot each other. They are so happy to see us, we are afraid they walk out the doors without their luggage haha. It doesn’t take long before we can hug each other. It feels so good to see them in real life, instead of on a small screen!

By Roxanne Weijer – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

Gay Phuket – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , April 30th, 2018

gay Phuket - The Nomadic Boys

We love Thailand. It’s got it all – best beaches, terrific food and the gay scene of Bangkok we think one of the most fun in the world.

Phuket is one of the most popular gay destinations to visit in Thailand, with a large gay scene in Patong. This large Thai island is also an excellent transport hub, with many international airlines flying here, making it very accessible.

These are our 5 favourite things to do in gay Phuket.

Gay bars and clubs in Phuket

The Paradise Complex in Patong is the focal point for the gay life of Phuket, with most of the gar bars and clubs. This is where you’ll want to come for a gay fun night out.

Most of the bars have a free show every evening, but guests are expected to buy at least one drink. They generally get busy from around 10pm when they start putting on street performances to attract customers. By midnight most of the gay bars in Phuket are crowded, especially on weekends. Some of the best hangouts of Patong include:

Boat Bar: this is one of our favourite gay bars in Patong, which we came to every night during our stay. It’s open everyday, with at least 2 cabaret shows taking place every evening, the first at midnight, then again at 1:30am.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Thailand Gay Travel Resources