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

 

Kasawan Falls in the Philippines – The Globetrotter Guys

Author: , January 25th, 2019

Kawasan Falls - The Globetrotter Guys

The Philippines are incredible and one of our favourite places that we have travelled to in South East Asia. The Philippines has some of the most beautiful beaches, islands, crystal clear waters and also some of the best adventure activities. One of our favourite adventure activities during our time in the Philippines was going to Kawasan Falls and canyoneering in Cebu. It is a must!

Here is everything you need to know about Kawasan Falls and canyoneering in Cebu (specifically Badian).

About Kawasan Falls, Cebu

Kawasan Falls are considered to be the most famous and one of the most beautiful sets of waterfalls in the Philippines.

Kawasan Falls can be found on the island of Cebu, 130km southwest of Cebu City in the mountains of Badian. People are drawn here by the vibrant turquoise waters, the lush jungle and the chance to have an adventure, including of course, canyoneering Kawasan Falls!

Most people will do a day trip to Kawasan Falls to spend the morning canyoneering and the afternoon relaxing by the falls. You even have the option of jumping on-board a bamboo raft and floating under the falls themselves!

Lesbian Travel to Southern Laos – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , January 18th, 2019

Southern Laos - Once Upon a Journey

Pakse, or Pakxe, is a city in Southern Laos. It’s the capital of the province Champasak and Laos’ second most populous city. Pakse is the perfect hub for your Southern Laos travels to places as the Bolaven Plateau and 4000 islands. But it’s way more than just a hub or gateway.

It’s a charming and peaceful city surrounded by beautiful nature. Pakse means mouth of the river, and its located next to the Mekong and Sedone rivers. We recommend staying at least two days in Pakse, to enjoy everything it has to offer and to enjoy the laid-back Lao culture. Here are our top things to see and do in Pakse. And also our recommendations on where to eat and stay. We fell in love with this city, hopefully, you do the same!

1. WAT PHOU SALAO AKA GOLDEN BUDDHA

Rent a motorbike, bicycle or jump in a tuk-tuk and visit Wat Phou Salao. With it’s giant golden Buddha and stunning views over the city and Mekong river this temple is a must visit.

The big Buddha might be the advertised highlight, we actually loved the many small Buddhas right next to it even more. On the way to Wat Phou Salao from Pakse city, you will cross the Lao-Japan friendship bridge and from there, you can spot the giant golden Buddha on top of the mountain. Sunset and sunrise are definitely the best moments to visit Wat Phou Salao for the best light.

By Roxanne Weijer – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Laos Gay Travel Resources

 

Queer Travel In Asia… Is It Safe?

Author: , January 16th, 2019

Gay Travel in Asia - The Globetrotter Guys

Gay travel in Asia can be confusing to say the least. A lot of people will look up gay rights in Asia and for the most part be disappointed. However, don’t let this discourage you! Back in 2012, we spent 3 months travelling from Thailand through to Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia and Bali. We experienced this part of Asia as a gay couple and only had positive experiences.

We returned to Asia again in 2017 for our honeymoon, where we spent 3 weeks in the Philippines. When it comes to gay travel in Asia, the Philippines is one of the more advanced countries. There is still work to be done, like anywhere, but overall we had a wholly positive experience.

Quite simply, often the laws of the country don’t match the reality of being there as a tourist. While some people may say not to travel to countries until they have better laws, as long as you are safe as a tourist, you could be helping by representing the local LGBT community.

We have compiled our ‘Gay Travel Asia Guide’ to help you navigate the countries we visited. We want to compare the laws to the reality as a gay traveller in Asia. Read on to find out more, and feel free to share your own experiences in the comments.

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Asia Gay Travel Resources

Traveling to Tibet – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , July 5th, 2018

Traveling to Tibet - The Nomadic Boys

Traveling to Tibet is one of the world’s greatest adventures. It is a land of ancient Buddhist monasteries and stunning Himalayan mountains similar to the ones we climbed during our Annapurna trek in Nepal.

Tibet was an isolated place for hundreds of years, completely cut off to foreign visitors until 1985 when China and Nepal reached agreement to allow foreigners to travel to Tibet.

Today, the Tibet Autonomous Region has one of the strictest tourist controls in the world, second only to that of its neighbour, Bhutan. These are our 4 practical tips for tourists travelling to Tibet for their first time.

The first thing you need to do is get in touch with a reputable tour operator because this is the most efficient and safest way to travel to Tibet. Without using a tour operator, your trip is not possible – independent travel in the region is only allowed for Chinese passport holders.

There are literally hundreds of tour operators that run Tibet Tours, from both China and Nepal. Most of these are generic travel agents who then pass you off to a local third party to run the actual tour. While travel agents are a useful intermediary in trips around most of the world, for Tibet, they are more often than not more trouble then they are worth. For example, bad travel agents will base your tour on a strict itinerary that has been handed to them by the tour operators they use, and are less flexible than local operators.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

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

Lesbian Travel: Motorbiking Vietnam – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , May 18th, 2018

Lesbian Travel: Motorbiking Vietnam - Once Upon a Journey

After a quick stop in Thailand, we are finally in Vietnam. For some reason, we had the idea to go to Vietnam for a long time but never made it. Our friend Marieke, a Dutchie who lives in Ho Chi Minh now, invites us to Vietnamese New Year, Tet. Time to visit Vietnam!

This time we only travel the south and middle of Vietnam, we save the northern part for next time. It’s a bit too cold for us over there right now. We fly Vietnam in to, and out from, Ho Cho Minh. The last couple of weeks we travelled at a high speed so we are super happy to see Marieke and to stay at her place for a couple nights.

We don’t see a lot of Ho Chi Minh but really enjoy doing the ‘normal’ things. We go to the cinema, sleep in, work a bit, enjoy Vietnamese food and go to our first Tet party. Marieke and her friend invite us over and we get to know the Vietnamese culture and it’s Tet traditions a bit more. We get lucky money (which we can’t use until next year) and eat and drink a lot, which also part of the Vietnamese traditions haha.

When Marieke finishes work we travel to Dalat with the three of us. It’s my second time in Vietnam but the first time I didn’t visit Da Lat. So I’m super excited to go this time! We rent motorbikes and go to one of the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen. Go to the Pongour Falls when you are in Dalat.

By Roxanne Weijer – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Vietnam Gay Travel Resources

Pit Stop in Melaka, Malaysia – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , May 4th, 2018

Melaka - Once Upon a Journey

After our week in Singapore we go back to Malaysia (again). Singapore was the best! We had fun meeting old friends, making new ones, exploring the city and finally getting our laptop fixed! The border crossing Singapore-Malaysia is a different story… It’s the most chaotic border crossing we have experienced so far…

CROSSING THE BORDER OF SINGAPORE – MALAYSIA

Friday-afternoon we get on a bus to Melaka, Malaysia. Quickly we notice it’s a mistake to go on a Friday afternoon; we are not the only ones.

Lots of Malay people work in Singapore, but go back home for the weekend. It’s crowded, especially at the Malaysian border. We leave Singapore by crossing a bridge, and we immediately end up in a big traffic jam. After a while we finally reach the point were they check our passports and bags. People are screaming and running to be the first in line. It’s madness.

It’s weekend, relax! For us it’s not a surprise that the Chinese people behind us ‘accidentally’ bump into us, just because they want to move one spot. At some point the woman is standing between us. Why?!

Luckily we survive it (also the big “I have visa” screaming line cutter) and continue our trip. When we arrive in Melaka we find a place to sleep and get some dinner. Then it’s time to pass out.

EXPLORING MELAKA

We only have one day, or actually one morning + afternoon, to explore Melaka. Luckily the city is not big, we have enough time to see most highlights. And we like it very much. It’s such a cute place. And the colourful rickshaws are hilarious!

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

Malaysia Gay Travel Resources

Magical Moments in Singapore – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , May 2nd, 2018

Once Upon a Journey

Before starting our world trip we had planned to be in Singapore around July. We end up in Singapore late October! Maartje’s friends from her study abroad, who live in Singapore, had to wait a while: but here we are! Our visit to Singapore is initially solely to visit Jeslyn and Huldah. From Kuching we fly to Singapore to stay here for a couple days, or that’s what we think…

THE SINGAPORE APPLE STORE

Immediately after arriving in Singapore we go to the Apple store. The sound of Maartje’s laptop isn’t working anymore (yes, yet another gadget fails us) and it’s no fun editing videos without sound. Everyone told us in Malaysia Singapore is the place to be to (quickly) fix things. But when we bring our laptop in for repair they tell us it will take seven to ten days. So we will be chilling in Singapore longer than we expected.

SINGAPORE IS EVERYTHING!

Quickly we find out that that’s not a bad thing at all. We fall in love with the city and it’s not as expensive as everybody claims. There are so many free sightseeing things to do and if you go to a food court you can eat fairly cheap and delicious food!

We stay in Little India for two nights and it feels like a total different place than Singapore’s city centre. We like it! It’s not the only part that feels different. Jeslyn shows us around China Town: a whole other feeling as well. Singapore is melting pot of cultures, and every neighbourhood feels like a different country. The area around the Marina Bay Sands hotel, where Jeslyn takes us by night, feels fancy and high-tech at the same time. At night we see a fantastic water and light show in the Marina Bay: it’s magical!

By Roxanne Weijer – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

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