Exploring the Dutch Tulip Fields in a VW Bus – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , July 8th, 2019

Exploring the Tulip Fields in a VW Bus - Once Upon a JourneyM

Can you believe we never visited the tulip fields in the Netherlands?! As a Dutchie, that’s pretty weird since the tulip fields are becoming increasingly popular every year, especially because of Instagram. We decide to go on a little trip in style: with an old VW bus named Miss Peach. Miss Peach can be rented from Oldtimer huren for a fun day trip or for a special event: a wedding for example! Talking about weddings, during our little trip to the tulip fields we do a special shoot with some gorgeous dresses…

Tulips are for old people?!

When we were younger our moms and grandmas visited the tulip fields. So in our minds, it was something old people did (equals boring). Instagram has definitely changed our minds, because wow, these fields are far from boring: colours everywhere! Last year we were sad to miss tulip season so we promised each other 2019 would be the year. And we’re sharing the fun: my sister Denise joins us on our day trip. Denise is a beautician so she can help us look extra pretty. Usually, we never wear any make-up, but this is a special occasion…

Hit the Road with a Volkswagen Bus!

We pick-up Miss Peach in Nieuwegein at the garage. Before we hit the road I need to get the hang of driving an oldtimer. VW buses are old and therefore drive very differently than modern cars. Luckily it doesn’t take too long before I can enjoy riding this beautiful bus. So funny to see so many people looking at you while driving such a beauty!

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

Netherlands Gay Travel Resources

 

Instagrammable Hong Kong – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , February 22nd, 2019

Lok Wah South Estate - Once Upon a Journey - Instagrammable Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an Instagram paradise! This city has so much to offer, from architecture to beautiful beaches and mountains, Hong Kong has it all. But where to start?! We made a list of the 7 most Instagrammable Hong Kong places that you can’t miss!

QUARRY BAY

This is the most famous Instagram spot of all. The incredibly dense and stacked residential complexes of Quarry Bay are featured in movies like Ghost in The Shell and Transformers: Age of Extinction. There are five complexes but Yik Cheong and Montane Mansion are the best known. They are perfect for a fantastic photo. But try to be creative, since many angles and poses have already been shot here!

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

China Gay Travel Resources

 

Ethiopia in Pictures – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , January 24th, 2019

Ethiopia - Flamingoes - Once Upon a Journey

Three weeks, zero wifi connection, a lot of stunning landscapes, extreme highs (literally and figuratively) and lows and captivating cultural experiences: our Ethiopia trip was everything. From the capital, Addis Ababa, we travel south and to see thousands of flamingos in Abijatta-Shalla National Park, the Oromia Region.

After that, we fly to Gonder and travel to Debark to start our Simien Mountains trekking! The “Roof of Africa” lies in the Ethiopian Highlands. Our trekking takes us up to an altitude of 3900 meters above sea level.

We see the famous gelada baboons and sleep in tents under incredible starry night skies. We relax at Tim & Kim village at Lake Tana and we experience Ethiopian Christmas – Gena – in Gonder. Let us take you on a visual journey, this is our Ethiopia gallery!

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

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

 

Best Queer NYC Hotspots – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , December 21st, 2018

Queer NYC

New York City is known as one of the most gay-friendly cities in the U.S. It is where gay rights started after all! It has an amazing gay scene and almost all businesses support the LGBTQ+ community. You will feel welcome pretty much anywhere you go, but there are some areas you definitely can’t miss!

Queer NYC is where modern gay rights began. The Stonewall Riots in June 1969 are widely known as the event that led to the gay rights movement in the United States. The riots occurred after police raided the popular gay bar, The Stonewall Inn, and the people protested. After the riots, gay rights organizations were formed all across the USA and two years later the first pride parades began! Today, the Stonewall Inn is still thriving. It’s one of the most popular gay bars in the city as well as a National Monument! Stonewall is one of our favorite places to hang out, meet other people in the community, and it’s so inspiring to step foot in the place where it all began.

Although NYC is gay all year long, the best time to visit is definitely during Pride Month. Pride Month, also known as LGBTQ history month, is always in June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots. The New York City Pride Parade is usually held the last weekend of the month (check this website for exact dates).

By Gabi & Shanna – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

New York Gay Travel Resources

 

Queer Japan – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , December 20th, 2018

Queer Japan - 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 LGBTQ+ 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? It’s our goal to make you worry less, and have more fun during your travels. So let’s answer the questions and find out how LGBT friendly Japan is for travellers!

PAVING THE WAY TO MARRIAGE EQUALITY

Japan has some of the most progressive LGBT laws in of all Asia. Homosexual activities are legal, same-sex marriage not yet. Japan has been making great steps forward the past years. Since March 2009, Japanese can get married outside of Japan, in countries where it’s legal. In 2012, a law was passed allowing transgenders to change their gender legally after surgery.

In 2015 Shibuya was the first area in Japan to recognise same-sex partnership with a certificate, making it easier for same-sex couples to find housing and to visit each other in the hospital. Other areas and some major cities followed, nowadays seven cities (Sapporo, Fukuoka, Osaka, Iga, Takarazuka, Naha, and Chiba) and four wards in Tokyo offer them (or will in the near future).

Last October, Tokyo passed an anti-discrimination law concerning gender identity and sexual orientation. Plus, the city decided to conduct public education about LGBT rights. Although discrimination isn’t common in Japan we hope to see this law pass nationally as well. Sadly, adoption by same-sex couples isn’t allowed and lesbians aren’t able to access IVF. Though, the city Osaka is making great steps forward in this topic, since April 2017 same-sex couples are recognized as foster parents. Still, a lot to work on, but a country is more than its laws, so let’s dive into Japan’s public opinion.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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