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

 

Taiwan Gay Life – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , May 29th, 2019

Taiwan Gay Life - The Nomadic Boys

Taiwan has become one of the most gay friendly places in Asia. On a continent famous for not having the most progressive LGBTQ rights, Taiwan is proudly paving the way forward. It has long been a gay trailblazer, famous for having progressive LGBTQ laws, the largest pride in Asia and even a God devoted to homosexual love with his own temple in New Taipei City.

In May 2019, Taiwan made history by becoming the first nation in Asia to implement gay marriages. This is immense!

Nowhere else in Asia comes close to this achievement. For example, whilst other gay friendly places in Asia like Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, Hong Kong, Nepal and the Philippines may have started discussing the implementation of gay civil union laws (if at all!), no one else has even touched the realm of recognising same sex marriages. Except Taiwan!

Of course the same sex marriage laws of Taiwan are not without difficulties, having had quite a bumpy road to get to where they are. Despite this, it is an incredible achievement not only for Taiwan’s gay community, but also for the entire LGBTQ community across Asia.

So what is it about Taiwan that makes it so gay friendly? We met with local boy Po-Hung from Kaohsiung who was also Mr Gay Taiwan 2018. Po-Hung gave us the full lowdown about Taiwan gay life, what it’s like growing up gay here and other invaluable local tips.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Ten Gay Friendly Tokyo Hotels – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , April 18th, 2019

Gay Friendly Tokyo Hotels - The Nomadic Boys

Tokyo is a lot of fun! Each time we’ve visited, we’ve always had a hilarious time partying in the gay bars of Shinjuku. The city is notorious for having over 300 tiny bars crammed together into a small space centred around Shinjuku’s Ni-chōme (Area 2).

In terms of finding a place to stay, Tokyo has an array of gay friendly hotels to choose from. But be warned, whilst Tokyo is not as expensive as it used to be, hotels are not the cheapest here. Despite this, we’ve also managed to find a few gay friendly budget options to include in this list.

Please note that while many of these hotels have lovely swimming pools and on-site spa and sauna areas, all travellers to Japan should be aware that if you have tattoos you may not be permitted in public bathing areas. While it’s not likely that pools in hotels are being ‘policed’, it’s something to be mindful of and if you are really looking forward to swimming, maybe check the specific policy of the hotel before your trip.

These are the 10 best gay friendly Tokyo hotels that we loved, where we had no problems getting a double bed, and where we felt welcomed as a gay couple.

Tokyo is a massive city so it can be daunting to try and figure out the best areas to stay, especially if it’s your first time. These are our thoughts on the best neighbourhoods to stay in Tokyo for gay travellers.

Shinjuku: Shinjuku is our favourite part of Tokyo because it is the gay hub of the city! It’s also a good area for tourists as there are lots of options for accommodation, shopping and entertainment. Being near the Shinjuku train station is especially handy since this is one of the busiest stations in the world, which means you will easily be able to get to other parts of the city from here. Our favourite gay friendly hotel to stay in Shinjuku is Keio Plaza.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

 

Bangkok by Bicycle – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , March 2nd, 2019

Bangkok by Bicycle - Once Upon a Journey

Bangkok is one of our favourite places in Asia. There’s so much to see and do in the city! And one of the best ways to explore Bangkok is by bike and boat. This way you can explore off the beaten path and get to know the different faces of the city. From busy markets in China Town to green palm plantations in the outskirts to the fresh breeze on one of the canals. Sounds amazing right? Ready to hop on that bicycle and explore? We will tell you all about our adventures during our bicycle tour through Bangkok.

Bangkok Bicycle Tour

It’s no secret us Dutchies like to bike! We don’t just bike in the Netherlands, we bike all over the world. So no surprise, 30 years ago a Dutchman named Co van Kessel started to show tourists around Bangkok by bicycle. His company never stopped doing just that! It’s a unique way to see a city.

At Co van Kessel, there are multiple bicycle tours you can do, varying from 3 to 9 hours. We hop on the bicycle for 5 hours, or well, we also go on the water by boat. With our bicycles, how fun! Make sure to book a tour in the morning for better temperatures.

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

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

 

Intagrammable Bangkok – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , February 23rd, 2019

Intagrammable Bangkok - Once Upon a Journey

As the capital city of Thailand, Bangkok is the perfect city to start your travels in Thailand or elsewhere in Asia. And Bangkok is so much more than just a hub, it’s a city with many things to see and do. From beautiful temples (have you ever seen a dragon temple?) to crazy markets to chaotic streets with tuk-tuks everywhere.

We are huge fans of Bangkok and love exploring the city. We found you the best Instagram spots in the city. Are you ready to see the 13 most Instagrammable places in Bangkok?! Grab your camera + outfit and let’s GO!

AIRPLANE GRAVEYARD

Abandoned places are always a bit creepy, but so cool, don’t you think?! The airplane graveyard in Bangkok is a unique place to visit. Always wanted to sit in a cockpit? This is your chance! There are multiple airplanes you can explore and you can take the coolest pictures. It’s not fully abandoned though, there is a family living in one of the airplanes. Be prepared to pay around 200 baht per person to enter the property. You can get to the airplane graveyard by taxi or by river taxi (way cheaper). Go to Wat Sriboonreun (last stop of the Khlong Saen Saeb), and from there it’s just a short walk.

By Roxanne Weijer – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Thailand 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

 

Queer India – Fodors

Author: , January 28th, 2019

queer India - pixabay

It is generally accepted that clichés often have an element of truth to them. This holds in the case of India too. You won’t necessarily find elephants and snake charmers jostling for elbow room in the city (probably), but you can expect contradictions that boggle the mind. Here, various aspects of diversity intersect in a web so layered and complex that even natives struggle to get their head it around at times. You can expect color, noise, laughter, food, crowds—for everything else, leave those preconceptions at home.

India is no herald of LGBTQ+ rights. This is despite evidence of a spectrum of sexualities in historical times. While transgender individuals are legally allowed to self-identify as male, female, or other, it was only in September 2018 that Section 377, a British-era remnant of homophobia, was read down by the Supreme Court. But Section 377 or not, there are an estimated 100-million+ queer individuals in India. And just like in any other part of the world, they have continued to fall in love, built lives together, and traveled with their near and dear for eons. And ironically, their biggest threat—a deeply conservative society—is also what keeps them safe. In other words, if one is willing to pick one’s battles and co-opt certain cultural norms to one’s advantage, traveling as a gay (gay referring to a range of sexualities) individual or couple can be exactly the adventure you imagine. In short: when in India, do as (gay) Indians do.

The Cloak of Invisibility

The worst thing that has ever happened to Ashdeen, 38, while traveling with a partner, is being given separate beds. “Annoying,” is the word he uses, and he laughs as he says it. He might as well, because this is very likely the only battle you will fight as a queer couple in India. Not many travelers see it as overt homophobia, though. “I think people are just used to a certain idea of what the norm is,” says John, 53, who’s partner was noted as “Mrs” in a fancy hotel. “If it was a dive, I understand that, but this was, you know, supposedly a five-star.” John, who’s from the US, and whose husband is Indian (they married in the US), did get the mistake corrected.

By Payal Dhar – Full Story at Fodors

Queer India 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!

Gay Thailand Like a Local – The Globetrotter Guys

Author: , January 25th, 2019

Gay Thailand Like a Local - The Globetrotter Guys

We have been to Thailand many times and have had nothing but great experiences. Thailand has so much to offer from the crazy capital city of Bangkok, to the jungles of Chiang Mai and the idyllic beaches you will find on the islands in the south, including the island of Koh Phangan, where the world famous Full Moon Party is held every month.

Like most countries, we know we are in a privileged position as a tourist so we wanted to interview an LGBT local to get a more in depth insight as to what it’s really like to be LGBT in Thailand. We got in contact with Bud who was willing to share his experience, read more below:

Hi Bud! Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Hi! My name is Bud Jungsaitakul. I am a middle aged gay professional and a world traveler from Thailand. I work as a senior operations manager at a large multinational company. I am a Thai National, MBA graduate and I live in Bangkok.

Thanks, so tell us, what is the stereotypical view of a local from Thailand towards someone who is LGBT (either local or tourist – is there a difference)?

Thailand is generally very tolerant towards the LGBT community and is probably the most gay friendly country in Asia.

The LGBT community has been visible in Thai culture for a very long time. Stereotypical views towards gay men in particular is that they are mostly feminine and camp.

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

 

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