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

 

Stay in a Scottish Castle – Go Girlfriend

Author: , December 4th, 2018

Scottish Castles - Eilean Donan - Pixabay

For me, the essence of Scotland is in it’s beautiful landscapes and it’s castle-icious history. From the Orkney Islands in the north through the Highlands to Hadrian’s wall in the south, historic castles sit lochside and hillside in some truly spectacular locations.

Historic clans like the MacDonalds, the Stewarts, the MacKenzie’s or the Robertson’s, just to name a few, cover the countryside with their clan lands. The clan chieftains castle is Clan Regions of Scotland is always the grandest estate on these family lands perched majestically on a beautiful loch or amongst amazing mountainous views.

Most stone Scottish castles have their roots in the 1300-1600’s as fortified clan strongholds. As technologies and workmanship improve, renovations, refurbishments or expansions happening til the mid-1700’s. At this point in history clans and castles sympathetic to the Jacobites were seized and destroyed by the opposing British so it couldn’t be used as a stronghold against them into the future. Many still sit in ruins today – some have been purchased and painstakingly restored. Some have even been slept in by Bonnie Prince Charlie or Mary Queen of Scots!

By Stacy Rosien – Full Story at Go Girlfriend

Scottish Gay Travel Resources

 

Bandung Road Trip – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , November 29th, 2018

Bandung - Once Upon a Journey

Bandung is Indonesia’s third biggest city and is located in West Java. With way cooler temperatures than Jakarta, it’s the perfect getaway. Be prepared for some crazy cool Instagram spots like Rabbit Town, beautiful mountain scenery and many traffic jams (it’s almost as busy as Jakarta). There are a lot of fun things to do in and around Bandung and you can totally do it on a day trip!

In and around Bandung you can find many crazy Instagrammable hotspots. And you will find them in the weirdest places. The first one we stumble upon is the area around Cakrawala Sparkling Nature Restaurant. A great place for drinks and food at one of the restaurants or just to enjoy the view and photo spots.

Rabbit town is even more random, but we like fun places so it’s perfect! If you want colourful pictures, go here. The building is full of crazy, colourfully decorated rooms – on multiple levels. We paid 65.000 IDR entrance fee to Rabbit town.

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

Indonesia Gay Travel Resources

 

Hiking the Vermilion Cliffs – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , November 28th, 2018

Vermilion Cliffs - Free Wheel Drive

This area of Arizona and Utah is a hot spot for Slot Canyons. What is a Slot Canyon? Slot Canyons are narrow passages formed by rivers that are now mostly dried up. Slot canyons are significantly deeper than they are wide. Hikers can follow the dried river beds that pass through the canyons. Sometimes the canyons can be very narrow, filled with debris, or can fill with water in a flash flood. Meaning they can be dangerous and hikers must be prepared and not go solo.

The tragic movie 127 Hours was about a solo hiker exploring slot canyons in this area of the country. The most famous slot canyon right now is Antelope Canyon near Page, AZ. Antelope Canyon is on the Navajo Reservation and access to this slot canyon is run by people who live on the reservation.

Unfortunately, because this canyon has become so popular on Instagram the demand to see it has skyrocketed and the reservation charges a lot of money to see it. We’re not saying we’re mad at the people who run the sight, it’s not public land and they have every right to make money off of tourists. It’s just for the moment seeing Antelope Canyon was out of our price range. So, what are we to do?

Good thing this area of the country is packed full of similar if not equally as beautiful other slot canyons. This is how we became introduced to Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. This National Monument is huge! It’s also very different from any other National Monument we have been to yet.

By Laura and Camrin – Full Story at Free Wheel Drive

Northern Arizona Gay Travel Resources

 

New York State Road Trip – Go Girlfriend

Author: , November 19th, 2018

Upstate New York - pixabay

My mom recently moved to New York, but she hasn’t had a chance to explore much of her new state. So when I started planning a New York state road trip upstate, she was really excited not only to travel but to travel with me, her youngest daughter. Mom has not had the opportunity to explore New York State much so I found her excitement about the trip quite rewarding and I hoped that the experience would not let her down.

I highly recommend road trips as a form of travel with your aging parent. It’s a great way to bond – the travel time is great for story-telling, singing and making memories. I also recommend a road trip through Upstate New York for a dose of the outdoors and relaxation, stopping in the towns of Watkins Glen and 1000 Islands. Each destination is an easy road trip from NYC and both are not terribly far apart from each other, making it easy to do hit both in one weekend. For us, beginning in New York’s famous Finger Lakes area, made for a great stomping ground for people of all ages, with a diverse palette of food, activities, and most importantly, a sense of tranquility. Plus, there’s a beautiful scenic drive between them along part of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, one of the first roads in America to be designated as a National Scenic Byway. You’re very likely to return home refreshed and with new memories to share with your loved one.

If there is time for an extra excursion, Chautauqua is a wonderful choice for a final stop on this trip. It’s located near Jamestown, which is past Buffalo, and has a number of special attractions you can’t see anywhere else including the National Comedy Center and the Lucy-Desi Museum. You won’t laugh nearly as hard anywhere else on this trip, or for days after you arrive back home – totally worth the additional driving.

By Holly Rosen Fink – Full Story at Go Girlfriend

Finger Lakes 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

 

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

 

Lesbian Edinburgh in 3 Days – Go Girlfriend

Author: , November 2nd, 2018

Lesbian Edinburgh - pixabay

Edinburgh (pronounced Edin-borough, not Edin-burrr), Scotland – the name for me conjures a mental image of a turbulent medieval history with stone fortresses, ancient battles and has it’s roots easily dating back to pre-Norse and Roman expansion. Kings, Queens and historic nobility have crowned Edinburgh as Scotland’s capital on the notable bay of the Firth of Forth and shops on the Royal Mile have made their mark evolving Edinburgh into a modern city rich in it’s arts, sciences, and cultural offerings.

The Royal Mile is Edinburgh’s tourist gem – the mile-long stretch of markets, shops and restaurants that tempt tourists as they explore grand Edinburgh Castle atop Castle Rock at one end and the Palace of Holyroodhouse aside majestic Arthurs Seat and the Salisbury Crags at the other end. To catch the flavor of what Scotland has to offer, Edinburgh is where you begin.

Since Scotland is such a wonderous country offering spectacular scenic vistas, vibrant castle-icious lochs and Scottish clans and their kilts, Edinburgh wraps all of these up to give you just a taste of what’s in store across it’s moory lands. Here’s Edinburgh in a 3-day weekend …

How to Explore Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in 3 days
Book your accommodations (or an Airbnb on the Royal Mile) and get set to see the highlights in 3 days.

Day 1 – Get acquainted with the Royal Mile

Hop On, Hop Off Bus (Edinburgh Tours) – you’ve arrived in Edinburgh, stepped on to the cobble-stoned Royal Mile (almost being hit by a passing bus if you’re touring on the Royal Mile from North America as you look the wrong way stepping off the curb!) and are overwhelmed with the options both right and left. Our recommendation is to head down to the Waverley Station bridge and get a ticket for one of Edinburgh’s Hop-On Hop-Off bus tours. For £15 (British Pounds) per adult you get a 24-hour pass and guided CitySightSeeing Tour of the Royal Mile’s highlights to get your bearings and determine what you want to include in your explorations. See something right away you want to explore, hop off at the next stop, explore and resume your CitySightSeeing Tour. If you’d like a broader view of greater Edinburgh, consider the Edinburgh Tour, the Majestic Tour or the 3 Bridges Tour.

By Stacy Rosien at Go Girlfriend – Day One

By Stacy Rosien at Go Girlfriend – Day Two

By Stacy Rosien at Go Girlfriend – Day Three

Edinburgh Gay Travel Resources

 

Instagram Almost Ruined Horseshoe Bend – Free Wheel Drove

Author: , November 1st, 2018

Horseshoe Bend

Located outside Page, Arizona on the borders of Coconino and Navajo counties is the awesome landscape feature, Horseshoe Bend. Here the mighty Colorado River continues to cut through the land and has created a near perfect horseshoe shaped bend in the river.

From the parking lot it is only a .75 mile walk to the lookout area. Its a steady climb up and the bend isn’t visible until you reach the overlook’s edge. It’s free to visit and easy to access.

After spending most of the day in the Grand Canyon we didn’t arrive to Horseshoe Bend until nightfall. Laura was pumped for a chance at taking a photo with a good sunset. However, upon approaching the overlook we were met with hundreds of people. The whole area above the bend was crawling with people, wedding couples getting engagement photos, and drones. It was a nightmare. An hour before sunset the best spot for viewing the bend was already packed with people and their tripods. We had to tuck into a small spot off to the side to get a decent photo of the bend at sunset.

For those who don’t have Instagram, you may have never seen a photo or even heard of Horseshoe Bend. Well, thanks to a few popular people and social media this landscape has become a tourist hot spot galore. Several tourist buses stop through out the day and the parking lot is packed from sun up to sundown. There are scantily clad “models” posing like ballerinas on the cliff edges. We saw a wedding party complete with a bride in gown getting their photos taken here. One drone noisily buzzed above the crowd. We kind of knew it was going to be busy, we didn’t think it would be this busy. At least, we planned to stay the night and would be better prepared for sunrise.

The Lake Powell Recreation Area manages the “bend” and they are starting to put in better infrastructure to handle the crowds, including a deck with a railing near the overlook. As long as social media stays popular this place seems like it will remain popular.

By Laura – Full Story at free Wheel Drive

Northern Arizona Gay Travel Resources

 

How Queer Friendly is the Netherlands?

Author: , October 25th, 2018

Queer Netherlands - Once Upon a Journey

Travelling nowadays seems like the ultimate dream. We’re living that dream, and it is an absolute fairy tale! But, travelling the world as an LGBT traveller isn’t as easy as packing your bags and go. We have travelled to countries with anti-gay laws and we refuse to boycott countries for that reason. We believe travelling the world is for everyone! However, it’s important to do it safely. A few important questions to keep in mind before flying to a new destination: what are the LGBT+ rights? What’s the public opinion like? Where are the LGBT+ safe spaces? In our “How LGBT friendly is…” series we’ll share all so you have fewer worries and more fun on your travels! In this blog post, we answer all those questions about the Netherlands. How LGBT friendly is the Netherlands?

The Netherlands is often referred to as one of the most LGBT friendly destinations in the world (ranking #9 of Spartacus Gay Index 2018). Therefore it isn’t weird that LGBT rights in the Netherlands have been some of the most progressive in the world. The Netherlands is home to the world’s oldest existing LGBT organisation: COC Nederland, an organisation that has been fighting for LGBTI rights nationally and internationally since 1946.

In 2001, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize marriage. Registered partnerships between same-sex couples are allowed since 1998. Same-sex couples may adopt together and lesbian couples have access to IVF. There are anti-discrimination laws since 1994 that ban discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation. From 1985, transgender people can legally change their gender when undergoing surgery and hormone therapy and since 2014 without undergoing surgery and hormone therapy. It’s possible, from 1970, to state “sex cannot be determined” on a birth certificate. This year, the Dutch court has ruled that a third gender must be recognised, adding a neutral option to the ‘male’ and ‘female’ gendered boxes. Overall, the Netherlands has great LGBT laws and keeps working on them!

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

Netherlands Gay Travel Resources