Exploring Gay Taiwan

Author: , February 6th, 2015

Taiwan - Apple Maps

In Taiwan today, gay travelers don’t have to go to gay-specific spots to meet cute guys or restrict themselves to cities in order to travel openly with their partners. The whole island has become accessible in ways unimaginable just a couple of years ago. We now benefit from the work of a new wave of gay entrepreneurs and one of the most progressive and successful LGBTQ movements in Asia.

These developments come in line with a recent Taiwanese trend to value community, nature, and creativity over name brands and industrial expansion. A new generation of young people is embarking on quests to find personal fulfillment, to the chagrin of traditional parents who don’t understand why their sons and daughters would quit solid 9-5 desk jobs to open coffee shops.

Living in Taipei this past year, I found dozens of quirky and personalized small businesses all over the capital city, thriving in rundown cement houses from the 1950s. Peg Coffee is decorated solely with pirate manga action figures, while the world’s first Barbie Cafe, opened this past January, is decorated only in pink. At Noise Kitchen the tables you eat on are also xylophones, while at Puzzle Cafe the mahogany tables you drink tea on are designed to fit 1,000-plus-piece puzzles.

By Allister Chang – Full Story at Passport Magazine

Passport Magazine’s Favorite Buenos Aires Neighborhoods

Author: , January 26th, 2015

Buenos Aires - Apple Maps

from Apple Maps

I’m going to take you on a tour of several places, places with names like Recoleta, San Telmo, Palermo, and La Boca. They’re all very different in atmosphere and appearance, and to visit these various places feels like you’ve taken a whole series of trips. The thing is, they’re all part of Buenos Aires, for this major metropolis feels more than anywhere I’ve been like a series of small towns in one, loosely connected to form a big city that’s exciting, dynamic, a little daunting, and incredibly satisfying. I could never list all the neighborhoods, so we’ll concentrate on my favorites.

Buenos Aires takes some energy to explore, as it’s spread out, with a semi-workable subway system (I’d suggest a taxi or your own two feet for most explorations) and a frenetic pace that will keep you on your toes. You’ll find plenty of places, though, to relax and take it easy. With an enviable coffeehouse culture, a collection of lovely restaurants, and some surprisingly calm areas amid the bustle, there’s always time to refresh and renew among the chaos.

The only way to properly explore Buenos Aires, to get a grip on this intimidating and loveable city, is to approach the trees rather than the forest, and get to know each neighborhood before trying to fit the whole puzzle together. There’s an unmistakable urban buzz here, but also peaceful, leafy neighborhoods, a non-stop quality to life, and also a take-it-easy attitude. These contradictions can take some work to reconcile, and just when you think you have a handle on the city, something changes your entire outlook. Gay marriage, for instance, is legal here, as it is throughout Argentina: would you have expected this in the heart of South America? That’s Buenos Aires, though, with something always coming at you out of the blue to surprise and delight you with the insouciance of a tango dancer.

By Rich Rubin – Full Story at Passport | Argentina Gay Travel Resources

Win A Two Night Stay in Vancouver

Author: , November 8th, 2014


Explore everything Vancouver has to offer from its vibrant West End, just steps away from the world-famous Stanley Park and English Bay beaches. Every one of our spacious guest rooms features a private balcony–and many offer stunning panoramic views of the city, waterways or North Shore mountains. Unwind at our 18,000-square foot fitness centre, including an indoor pool, whirlpool and sauna.

Package includes:

– A Two night stay in a One bedroom Suite.
– Breakfast for 2 each morning in The Brasserie.
– Complimentary Wi-Fi.
– Parking.

Entere here

Insider’s Guide to Cleveland

Author: , April 22nd, 2013

Hollie Ksiezyk - Passport MagazinePassport Magazine gets the inside scoop on gay Cleveland from caterer Hollie Ksiezyk. Matthew Wexler reports:

Cleveland rocks, according to Hollie Ksiezyk who has been the catering sales manager at the Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland (1515 West 3rd St. Tel: 216-623-1300. www.ritzcarlton.com/cleveland) for the past five years. Her career in the hospitality industry began during college when she worked in a country club. A few years later, a friend started a concierge company, which she joined before moving on to work in catering and special events.

What Hollie loves about her current position is the Ritz-Carlton’s work culture and commitment to their guests. “We put our guests first,” says Ksiezyk, “Our guests are our bosses. It’s the ultimate form of pampering.” And what’s not to love? The property is the city’s only four-star, four-diamond hotel and offers great city views, easy access to attractions such as The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and one of the best Sunday brunches in town. Ksiezyk has also developed LGBT packages for guests and works with Positively Cleveland (the city’s visitor’s bureau) to cultivate gay tourism to the region.

Where are the coolest places to go for cocktails in Cleveland?

Cleveland is fortunate to have world-renowned chefs that welcome visitors to their hot spots for cool cocktails. Michael Symon’s Lola (2058 East 4th St. Tel: 216-621-5652. www.lolabistro.com) has an unbelievable wine selection. The rooftop of Jonathon Sawyer’s Greenhouse Tavern (2038 East 4th St. Tel: 216-443-0511. www.thegreenhousetavern.com) is one of the coolest places to hang out in Cleveland. The Tremont neighborhood (one of the city’s oldest areas) features Rocco Whalen’s Fahrenheit (2417 Professor Ave. Tel: 216-781-8858. www.fahrenheittremont.com) where you can get the best martini in town. And then there’s LUXE (6605 Detroit Ave. Tel: 216-920-0600. www.luxecleveland. com) in the Gordon Square Theater District, showcasing a salvaged Art Deco bar and rescued panels from the Terminal Tower.

Click here for gay travel resources in Ohio.

Passport Magazine Announces 2012 Gay Pride Calendar

Author: , June 14th, 2012

Passport Gay Pride Calendar 2012What began in many towns and cities as a collection of loosely organized marches commemorating the first stirrings of gay liberation, has evolved into a worldwide phenomenon attracting tens of millions of people all across the globe.

This year, there are more pride events taking place than ever before. With Rome hosting EuroPride, Tapei featuring the largest pride celebration in Asia, and Johannesburg the biggest event in Africa, there is an energizing sense of solidarity in the struggle to guarantee equal rights for gay people in every country around the world.

Full Story from Passport Magazine

Click here for gay travel resources.


Ask the Curious Traveler

Author: , March 29th, 2012

The Curious TravelerWhile making preparations to head down to Florianopolis, Brazil for the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association Convention this month, I had to spend a $140 and a whole lot of time applying for and getting a Brazilian visa. Because I received a tourist visa, it says that it is good for ten years, unfortunately though, my passport expires next year. What can I do? Should I try to peel it out of my old passport and put it in my new one?
–Michael T., Brooklyn, NY

Editor: First things first, don’t tamper with a visa. Unless you want to red flag a customs agent. Plus an agent can easily figure out that the visa is older than your passport. When you’re applying for your new passport, you will get your old passport back with a hole punched through the cover signifying that it is now expired. (Note: sometimes your new passport will come in the mail before your expired passport.)

While the passport may be expired, the visa inside it is not. When you return to Brazil, you can bring your old passport with the not-yet-expired visa. As long as your name on the new passport and the visa match, you should have no problem. Of course, the best way to make sure that this is an acceptable practice is to give the embassy a call.

Full Story from Passport Magazine

Click here for gay travel resources.


Passport Magazine Launches New Blog – The San Francisco Agenda

Author: , March 23rd, 2012

San Francisco AgendaSan Francisco Agenda has…well.. an agenda! Just like San Francisco and the beautiful Bay Area, our agenda is to provide residents and visitors an exciting array of entertainment options. From dining and wining to nightlife and cultural attractions, our new blog will help you discover and enjoy what makes San Francisco one of the most popular places on the planet.

To make sure you get the most out of the San Francisco Agenda, your tips, input, and ideas are always welcome! Feel free to share them. Welcome to the Passport blog family. Here’s a little taste of what you can expect from Editor Jim Gladstone:

In a food-frenzied city like San Francisco, it’s remarkable that the gay-centric Castro neighborhood has been something of a culinary wasteland. But the Stro’s reputation as a vortex of grinding and black hole of dining has begun to evolve over the past couple years. Alternatives to Jell-O shots, pizza slices, burritos, steam table dumplings, and penis-shaped Hot Cookies have been arriving at a nice clip.

Full Story from Passport Magazine

Click here for gay travel resources in San Francisco.


Passport Magazine’s Ten Favorite Nude Beaches

Author: , March 4th, 2012

Nude BeachesThere are nude beaches in America? That’s a question I get asked all the time, and the answer I always reply with is: there’s more than you think actually. Sure they’re often hidden and hard to reach (thanks in part to the shame-based culture we live in), but the freedom to shimmy out of your Speedo on a hot summer day and splash around in the water au naturel makes the occasionally off-the-beaten-path trek well worth it. Thanks to the West Coast’s combination of endless, tucked-away shorelines and progressive politics, there’s an abundance of places to toss out your worries, workload, and swimsuit and indulge in endless summer. Just don’t forget the SPF50, the Pacific sun can spank your booty hard (trust me).

#10 Laguna Creek Beach, Santa Cruz, CA: When people fantasize about the Northern California coastline, it’s the scenery at Laguna Creek they’re picturing. The cliffs are jagged and expansive, the perfectly blue waters slam the shoreline resulting in a spectacular spray of ocean water, and you half expect a hawk to swoop down in front of you and pluck lunch straight out of the sea. Though there isn’t a ton of nudity. On my last visit (a balmy weekend no less), I spotted just one naked guy among maybe a dozen scattered sunbathers. Directions: Follow Hwy. 1 9.8 miles north of where it intersects with Hwy. 17. Park on the east side of the road and walk the trail on the west side of the highway until you hit the beach.

#9 San Gregorio State Beach Half Moon Bay, CA: I walked and walked and walked almost all two miles of this extensive nude beach, enjoying tide pools, seashells, and an endless horizon along the way. There were maybe a dozen guys hanging out in the buff (and most were hidden by the large piles of driftwood they’d fashioned into makeshift forts), so this isn’t a social beach. If you’re looking to have a generous stretch of sand largely to yourself or take a naked stroll, you’ve found your nirvana.

Full Story from Passport Magazine

Click here for gay travel resources.


Gay Cruises in 2012

Author: , February 16th, 2012

Gay CruisesPassport magazine presents our annual International Gay and Lesbian Cruise Calendar, an expansive list of the world’s best gay and lesbian cruises in 2012. Whether it’s a European river cruise, a transatlantic voyage aboard the QM2, or a Caribbean party ship with 4000 gay men, we have it all! The options this year are plentiful, the itineraries intriguing, and the possibilities for fun and romance are endless.

AQUAFEST: Aquafest offers unforgettable LGBT cruises at unbeatable prices. As one of the nation’s largest sellers of gay and lesbian group cruises, the company melds the best that its full gay charter competitors have to offer with unmatched LGBT-inspired entertainment and event packages. Enjoy afternoon T-dances, singles get-togethers, gay beach parties, and more. For those who’d like a more intimate adventure, Aquafest also helps schedule smaller gay and lesbian groups on world-class cruise lines. Offering a variety of discounts and celebrations for every holiday, Aquafest will please cruisers of any taste or budget.

ATLANTIS EVENTS: Atlantis is no longer just a mythical underwater kingdom. Above sea level, Atlantis Events offers fabulous, one-of-a-kind escapes so guests can leave their worries behind and let loose. The company prides itself as the largest gay and lesbian tour operator in the world, attracting some 20,000 travelers each year. Top-rated ships and resorts, exclusive parties, and signature entertainment are just a part of their style. Their trips promise something for everyone, whether you’re looking to meet a diverse group of newfound friends or just hoping to relax alone by the pool. On these cruises, you choose the way you want to play.

Full Story from Passport Magazine

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2011 International Gay Cruise Calendar From Passport Magazine

Author: , May 1st, 2011

International Gay Cruises 2011From Passport Magazine, a great rundown of gay cruises this year – sorry we didn’t catch this sooner, as some have already passed. Enjoy:

AQUAFEST: Aquafest provides unforgettable LGBT cruises at an unbeatable price. As one of the nation’s largest sellers of gay and lesbian group cruises, the company melds the best its full gay charter competitors have to offer with unmatched, LGBT-inspired entertainment and event packages.

Enjoy afternoon T-dances, singles get-togethers, gay beach parties, and more. For those who’d like a more intimate adventure, Aquafest also helps schedule smaller gay and lesbian groups on world-class cruise lines.

Full Story from Passport Magazine

Click here for gay travel resources.