Sarasota Gay Bars – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , December 27th, 2018

Sarasota Gay Bars - The Nomadic Boys

Sarasota is a destination that most gay travellers to Florida are likely to overlook, opting for nearby St. Petersburg instead.

We’ll be very honest, before coming to Sarasota we knew very little about it. However, it turned out to be the hidden gem of our trip, a place we would definitely love to return to. As well as being the cultural capital of Florida with so many things to do, it also has a fun gay scene worth checking out, with annual events like the “Harvey Milk Festival” and “Sarasota Pride”.

Following our trip, we’ve put together our travel guide featuring the best gay bars in Sarasota, LGBTQ events, beaches and gay friendly hotels to stay.

Gay Bars of Sarasota

The gay scene of Sarasota is so small that even gay locals we met advised us to instead head to nearby St. Pete to party. This is no surprise given that St. Pete is 5 times larger than Sarasota. Despite its size, Sarasota still has a handful of places worth checking out for a fun gay night out:

Purple Rhino: this is Sarasota’s oldest gay bar with a really friendly atmosphere and some hilarious drag shows. We came here on a Saturday evening and saw a couple of shows, which you can see in our video below. On Sunday evenings, look out for their gay drag “Bingo Bash” event. Purple Rhino is located at 2920 Beneva Rd and is open daily from 4:40pm to around 10:30pm (later on weekends).

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Sarasota Gay Travel Resources

 

Koh Adang, Thailand’s Hidden Gem – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , November 28th, 2018

Koh Adang, Thailand's Hidden Gem - The Nomadic Boys

Unspoilt and untouched by mass tourism, Koh Adang is how most islands in Thailand used to be 25 years ago.

It is the largest island of the Adang Archipelago, which forms part of the Koh Tarutao National Marine Park. It is also the antithesis of busy touristy Koh Lipe located just opposite: secluded, unspoilt and peaceful.

We love visiting this part of Thailand because on the one hand it offers all the touristic options you need for a comfortable holiday on Koh Lipe, whilst at the same time you find gems like Koh Adang.

The Adang-Rawi Archipelago

Adang is part of the Tarutato National Marine Park in southwest Thailand close to the Malaysian border. Within this national park there are two groups of islands: Tarutao and Adang-Rawi. The Adang-Rawi group consists of Koh Lipe, Koh Adang, Ko Rawi, Koh Butang and Koh Lek.

Koh Lipe is the only island in this archipelago that has been allowed to develop for mass tourism, with many restaurants, hotels, resorts, bars, agencies and more. Although Koh Lipe has managed to avoid the problems caused by mass tourism in Thai islands, during peak periods like the Chinese New Year, it can become extremely busy, and quite claustrophobic.

Koh Adang on the other hand is the total opposite: remote, underdeveloped and peaceful. It is the ideal respite from the heaving crowds on Koh Lipe, yet only 5-10 minutes away by tail boat.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

 

Top Ten Gay Amsterdam Hotels – Nomadic Boys

Author: , November 25th, 2018

Gay Amsterdam Hotels

Amsterdam is one very gay friendly city which we love visiting. It has one of the best gay scenes and we always have an amazing time here.

Booking a hotel to stay in Amsterdam has never been a problem for us. We have always felt welcome at every place we’ve stayed at and sharing a bed has never been an issue. We never feel like we have to hide our sexuality anywhere in Amsterdam or in Holland, which is why we think it is one of the most gay friendly countries in the world.

These are our 10 favourite unique gay Amsterdam hotels based on our personal experiences and from recommendations by other LGBTQ travellers. Just remember, Amsterdam is one of the most expensive cities in Europe, so anything around $100 or less is considered budget, between $100-$200 is medium average budget, and over $200, high end luxury.

1. Quentin Golden Bear: budget hotel

The Golden Bear used to be a gay hotel, but recent change in management has widened the net to target backpackers and travellers on a budget. Despite this, it’s remained a very gay friendly hotel. It is located at Kerkstraat 37, which is walking distance to the city’s gay hangouts.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Gay Amsterdam Travel Resources

Getting From Beruit Airport to City Center – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , November 14th, 2018

Beruit Airport, Lebanon - The Nomadic Boys

Lebanon’s main international airport is the “Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport” (BEY), located around 9 km (5.6 miles) south from downtown Beirut.

It takes around 15 minutes by taxi to get from Beirut airport to the city centre. This is currently the main way to reach downtown Beirut from the airport as there is no public transport serving the airport.

We’ve set out below all the options available, including for late arrivals and other travel tips based on our personal experience travelling in Lebanon.

Public Taxi and Official Airport Taxi

Taxi is the main way to get from Beirut airport to the city centre and should cost no more than $20 (30,000 Lebanese pounds). There is always an abundance of public taxi drivers waiting outside the Arrivals Hall at all hours of the day. However, they do not use meters and will try to overcharge you the standard $20 rate.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Lebanon Gay Travel Resources

 

RECIPE: Italian Cassata Cake – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , November 11th, 2018

Italian Cassata Cake - The Nomadic Boys

Cassata Siciliana is a delicious sponge cake, which originated from the island of Sicily in Italy. It is one of our favourite Italian desserts and so easy to make.

A cassata is a round sponge cake, which is moistened with fruit juices or liqueur, then layered with ricotta cheese and candied fruit. Like the Uruguayan chaja, a cassata is not too complicated to make, though if you’re rushed for time, you can of course order it via an online cake delivery. For us, the best is always baked at home, especially recipes like Jamie’s rolled cassata or by the BBC.

Our recipe for Sicilian cassata serves around 15 people. Preparation time should take no more than 30 minutes and total baking time is 1 hour and 15 minutes.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Sicily Gay Travel Resources

 

Gay Lebanon: Safe for Gay Travelers? – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , November 9th, 2018

Gay Lebanon

Lebanon is one of the most liberal, progressive and gay friendly countries in the Arab world.

However, this is by Arabic standards. In other words, being gay in Lebanon won’t get you arrested with risk of death as it would in say, Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Iran, and neither is it as restrictive as in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. However, being openly gay in Lebanon is a criminal offence, so you definitely need to be cautious.

We visited gay Lebanon as a gay couple to celebrate Stefan’s birthday. We absolutely loved the country, the people, the food and were so impressed to discover a thriving LGBTQ community, as well as a handful of really fun gay bars and clubs despite the anti-gay laws. Overall, travelling as a gay couple in Lebanon, we found it to be quite safe, but as long as you abide by various safety precautions.

Gay Rights in Lebanon

On the face of it, gay life in Lebanon is hard because homosexuality is a criminal offence. On the positive, there is a growing movement to decriminalise homosexuality in Lebanon on a political and legal level.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Gay Lebanon Travel Resources

 

Gay Beruit – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , November 7th, 2018

Gay Beruit - The Nomadic Boys

Lebanon is one of the most liberal, progressive and gay friendly places in the Arab world. This is saying a lot for a country where homosexuality is still a crime. However, by comparison to its Arab neighbours, Beirut has the best (albeit quite underground) gay scene, including one of the largest gay clubs in the Middle East called POSH.

We visited gay Beirut from Cyprus to celebrate Stefan’s birthday over a long weekend and absolutely loved the food, the people and of course the many gay parties. This is our gay guide to Beirut featuring the best gay bars and clubs, events, gay friendly hotels and best things to do.

A word of warning to gay travellers to Lebanon, although the country is more progressive than places like Iran, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it is still a largely Islamic influenced country where homosexuality remains illegal. Therefore, be careful with public displays of affection and avoid posting anything online that is LGBTQ related before/during your trip to prevent any problems at the airport immigration. Also, avoid having an Israeli stamp in your passport as Lebanon has an outright ban on anything related to Israel/Israelis. Be sure to check out our article about gay life in Lebanon for more practical safety tips.

Gay bars in Beirut

As homosexuality is still illegal in Lebanon, places are careful not to advertise themselves as being openly “gay bars“, preferring “gay friendly” instead, in order to prevent having any problems with the police. These are the main gay friendly bars in Beirut that are thriving despite the anti-gay laws:

Bardo: this is one of the oldest and famous gay bars of Beirut. It is popular with twinks (and their fans) especially at the “Powerpuff Queens” party every Thursday. Generally it doesn’t get busy until after 11pm. But if you come before, it’s a lot quieter, which makes it great for a few cocktails, especially during the week when they have 2 for 1 happy hour offers. Bardo is open every day until 2am and is located in downtown Beirut on Mexico Street, just off Hamra Street.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Gay Beruit Travel Resources

 

How to Stay Safe While Traveling – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , November 1st, 2018

How to Stay Safe While Traveling - The Nomadic Boys

During our extensive travels around the world as a gay couple, we’ve enjoyed a whole array of experiences, mostly positive, but a few less so. Whether induced by homophobia such as experiencing life under the anti-gay laws in India or going back in the closet in Russia, we’ve certainly learnt a great deal about the best ways to stay safe while travelling.

We’ve put together our 10 best tips for how to stay safe while travelling, which apply to all travellers whether straight or gay:

Check Official Government Advice

Before doing anything, check the official government advice. This is the starting point for staying safe while travelling. Is it politically stable and secure? Are there are any areas to avoid? Are you at a higher risk of going because you’re gay? Any customs you need to be aware of? Do you need to carry your ID with you at all times (like in Russia), or better locked away in your hotel safe? How high is the risk of terrorist activity? And more…

Based on all these factors, you can make an informed decision as to whether you want to visit. We highly recommend the UK Foreign Office Travel Advice.

For us, travelling as a gay couple, we are at a higher risk in a large number of countries where being openly gay is either a punishable crime, or such a taboo in society that it could lead to trouble. We’ve put together a comprehensive summary of which countries are the most gay friendly and also recommend checking the US Department of State’s LGBTQI Travel Information for excellent practical advice.

If you do choose to visit countries where being openly gay is a punishable crime, we highly advise taking extra precautions in public, for example, avoiding public displays of affection and setting your social media networks to private.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Lyon, France – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , October 27th, 2018

Gay Lyon, France - The Nomadic Boys

We love Lyon because it has a mix of everything. As well as a fun gay scene, it is also famous for being the foodie capital of France and for having many UNESCO listed buildings.

The majority of the gay nightlife of Lyon is located in the Presqu’île. This is the area where the two rivers, the Rhône and Saône meet, forming an island-like peninsula. The southern section of the Presqu’île is the confluence point of the 2 rivers, and is more residential. The northern end of the Presqu’île is where the majority of the gay scene is, particularly between Place des Terreaux and Cordeliers. In this area, it is not uncommon to see same sex couples walking the streets holding hands.

Following our many trips to France’s gastronomical capital, we’ve put together our gay guide to Lyon including the best bars, clubs, cruising clubs, saunas, events and places to stay.

Gay Bars in Lyon

Regardless of the season, the gay bars of Lyon are always a lot of fun, particularly as there is a large student population in the city. In the summer, the gay crowds spill into the streets outside. In the winter months, it’s super cozy with everyone buried inside the bars, clutching a cup of mulled wine. These are some of our favourite gay bars in Lyon:

La Ruche: one of the staple gay bars of Lyon. We love coming here for a few drinks to start the night, especially in the terrace area. La Ruche is located at 22 rue Gentil, 69002 and is open everyday from 5pm to late.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Southeastern France Gay Travel Resources

 

Getting From Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport to City Center – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , October 25th, 2018

Getting From Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport to City Center - The Nomadic Boys

Amsterdam Schiphol is the city’s main airport and one of the busiest airports in the world. It is located around 17km (10.5 miles) southwest from Amsterdam’s main train station (“Amsterdam Centraal“). Most of the European budget airlines fly here, so if you’re based in Europe you can get some pretty cheap flights to Amsterdam for a city break.

The main way to reach Amsterdam centre from the airport is via the Airport Express Bus 397 or the regional train to Amsterdam Centraal. We set out the various options below in detail, but strongly advise you to consider getting an Amsterdam Public Transport Ticket prior to your visit. This card gives you unlimited travel on all the city’s public transport networks operated by the Gemeentelijk Vervoerbedrijf (GVB), and also has the option to add on the Airport Express Bus return journey to/from the airport.

The Amsterdam Public Transport Card

Amsterdam’s public transport is impressive with a comprehensive network of buses, metro, trams and ferries. But this makes the ticketing system rather complicated and confusing, particularly for first time visitors. When buying your ticket at the ticket machines, there are so many options, it can be quite overwhelming! In addition, queues for the machines can get quite long, particularly during rush hour. This not only wastes time, but can be quite stressful.

To overcome this, we use the Amsterdam Public Transport Ticket, which gives you unlimited travel across all GVB operated services on the metro, trams, buses and ferries. Needless to say, we found this to be a godsend for our trip. It not only saved us a lot of unnecessary stress and time, but also money. Prices start from €7.50 for a 1 day ticket, plus €10 for the Airport Express Bus return ticket add on. By comparison, a one way ticket on the public transport costs €3, so after 3 journeys alone in one day, you’ve already paid off the cost of purchasing the Amsterdam Public Transport Ticket.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Netherlands Gay Travel Resources