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

Lesbian Travel: Koh Tao, Thailand

Author: , March 4th, 2015

Koh Tao, Thailand

I’ve arrived in Thailand and it’s so good to be back here! I only interrupted my island hopping mission briefly for a quick visit to Bangkok before I moved on to the islands in the Gulf of Thailand.

I finally visited Koh Tao, an island that has been high on my ‘Thai islands I need to go to’ list for years. I have to admit that during my last Asia stint, I was a bit lukewarm on Thai islands; I just didn’t happen to visit one that I truly loved, and other countries in South East Asia just happened to be more beautiful islands (at least in my opinion), plus I was spoiled having spent so much time in the Caribbean prior to my first trip to Asia.

However, I had high hopes for Koh Tao, the smallest one of the three famous islands in the Gulf of Thailand (the other two being Koh Phangan and Koh Samui), and it did not disappoint. Admittedly, I wasn’t wowed by any of the beaches but I could’ve guessed that, coming from the Philippines where I visited some of the best beaches I’ve ever been to (I mean.. Look at these photos!) and any beach in the world would’ve had a hard time to impress me after the jaw-droppingly gorgeous beaches of Boracay, El Nido or Siquijor.

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls | Thailand Gay Travel Resources

Tristan da Cunha: At the Edge of the World

Author: , March 25th, 2012

This isn’t gay-related at all — it’ll be a long time before there’s a GLCC on Tristan Da Cunha — but it’s rather fascinating. Tristan is a small volcanic island in the southern Atlantic more than 1,500 miles from the nearest inhabited land, which happens to be South Africa. (Wikipedia says it’s 1,750 miles. Anyway, it’s far.)

Tristan’s been continually occupied since 1816 — initially by British marines, who were gradually replaced by a population of civilian farmers. The island is now home to approximately 300 souls, all subjects of the British crown. Tristan’s got one police officer, one doctor, a goodly number of goats, and no airstrip: Travel to and from the island is by boat, and even that’s often impossible due to regularly inclement seas.

It’s got problems. Severely injured people must be rescued by fishing boats and brought to Cape Town. Children are educated only to the age of 15, and a decline in demand for Tristan’s primary export — crayfish — means there’s little money to improve the island’s educational capacities. And the society’s more-or-less closed to new members, which causes some genetic trouble.

Full Story from Towleroad.com

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Gay Travel: Visiting Diu

Author: , May 19th, 2011
by Ernie Alderete, Traveler
Email Ernie

Diu

No, not D-U-I, Driving while Under the Influence.

D-I-U, Diu a small island on the Arabian Sea coast of India, hugging the coast of adjacent Gujarat, India’s westernmost state, which partially borders Pakistan to the north, and west.

The exposed south coast of Diu features several branching palm tree fringed fine sand beaches, horseshoe-shaped Nagoa Beach being the most famous, bathed by the warm waters of the Arabian Sea, while the more sheltered north coast is separated from mainland India by salt marshes, saltpans, and fresh water riparian estuaries teeming with bird life, including colorful flamingoes and sea turtle nesting sites.

Diu Town at the east end of the football-shaped island, sandwiched between Fort Diu, considered to be the most beautiful fort in India, and the ancient red city walls is a living museum.

DiuFive impressive churches from the 16th century survive: one now used as a hospital, another as a museum, yet another reincarnated as a youth hostel.

Whitewashed Saint Paul’s within the fort built from 1601 to 1610, is widely acknowledged as the most beautiful, and the most elaborate church in India, a perfect example of Baroque architecture, and the last fully functioning church on the island.

The even older St. Thomas Church, a gothic structure, houses the museum featuring woodcarvings of religious figures, and other historic objects that trace the Portuguese exploration, and colonization of the Indian Ocean.
Our Lady of Remedies in Fudam Town towards the center of Diu Island serves as the hostel.

The Fortress of the Sea, Fortim do Mar in Portuguese is a stone structure built right in the open sea. It looks like a rock hewn ship sailing out into the Indian Ocean, and houses the medieval Diu prison, a chapel appropriately dedicated to Our Lady of the Seas, and a lighthouse.

DiuSupposedly, there’s a submarine tunnel connecting the petrified, forever moored fortress to the mainland, but nobody remembers where it is. If ever rediscovered it could be a major tourist asset. Until then, you need to take a canoe to visit The Fortress of the Sea.

Naida Cave within the shadow of Fort Diu is one of the best photo ops in India. It’s a spacious cave, not difficult to access, with many yet to be explored tunnels, almost a temple of stone.

Diu Island at about thirty square miles is compact enough to be explored on foot. Or you can rent a bike, or perhaps an inexpensive colorful motorized rickshaw to explore the sights within a few hours.

Two bridges link insular Diu with mainland Gujarat, via two tiny enclaves that form noncontiguous parts of Diu, of which Ghoghla has a fine golden beach to enjoy. The bridge from Diu Town to Ghoghla Peninsula, and Town offers spectacular views of the Fortress of the Sea, also known as Pani Kotha.

Diu has a reputation as a party town because liquor is legal in Diu, while neighboring Gujarat is a dry state. Gujaratis pour into Diu to get plastered on the weekend.

Diu MapDiu is located on the south coast of Gujarat Peninsula, directly south of Gir National Park, home to Asiatic lions and leopards, or cheetahs, the prehistoric looking heavily-scaled Indian pangolin, or anteater, spotted deer, crocodiles, the small four horned Antelope, the Indian Gazelle, among many other native species. Gir is an easy day trip from Diu, via the town of Una six miles to the north.

Diu is politically part of the Union Territory of Diu and Daman, Daman being a separate similarly former Portuguese enclave down the same coast, likewise surrounded on three sides by Gujarat.

Gujarati is the main language of Gujarat, as well as Diu.

English is of course widely understood. Although you don’t need to understand a word of Portuguese to visit Diu, you might overhear a few words spoken in “lingua dos velhos,” oldtimer’s language, the term for the local indigenous Portuguese creole language that retains a toehold in Diu, as well as standard European Portuguese, by a handful of Eurasian residents in Old Town Diu. Just enough to give Diu an extra added patina of romance, and old world intrigue.

Of course vegetarian cuisine is a fine art across India, and Gujarati cooking in particular is predominantly meatless.

Diu serves beef, pork and other meat dishes such as chorizo sausages in addition to the normal Hindu fare of Mother India.

Fresh caught seafood is always a good option. Ambot-tik is a local dish of sweet and sour fish. Goan fried chicken is a popular menu item.

If you’re taking a grand tour of India, pick one that includes Diu.

If you’ve already seen the sights of India, Diu could make a good retreat. A charming place to relax by the sea for a week, or two.

Diu is 168 miles from Mumbai to the south, and 673 miles from Delhi to the east.

Your email comments are always welcome: erniealderete@yahoo.com

Ernie Alderete is an Angeleno-based adventure travel writer ready to get his feet wet, and challenge his comfort level. He’s always the first to sample the most exotic cuisine, whether it be fresh-caught piranha in Manaus at the center of the largest rain forest on earth, or charcoal roasted guinea pig in Cuzco, colorful capital of the ancient Inca Realm. Dinner could be slow cooked in a pit dug in the desert sands of Wadi Rum within sight of the Red Sea where Lawrence of Arabia once fought, or simple boiled beans in a cave in the remote highlands of Chihuahua shared with a native Tarahumara Indian. Your comments are always welcome: erniealderete@yahoo.com

Puerto Rico Welcomes Gay/Lesbian Travelers

Author: , March 20th, 2010

We stroll off our Olivia lesbian cruise ship and a few steps later we’re in the middle of the Old City. We climb up the hill toward the residential streets and I’m surprised at how quiet it is on the narrow cobblestone lanes between the pastel-coloured 16th-century houses. Locals walk past and compact cars squeeze through. A rainbow flag the size of a beach towel hangs from an upstairs balcony. More flags appear on storefronts as we descend – I’m told shopkeepers put them out to attract customers when Olivia is in port.

One is in front of a restaurant that’s packed with lesbians from our ship. Each time one enters, Luisa Texidor Pujols, co=owner of Airenumo, says, “Welcome, we are family.”

Puerto Rico is one of the most gay-friendly Caribbean islands, with plenty of nightlife, Pride celebrations and community organizations, yet there are still barriers to full equality.

Full Story from The Star

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