Swinging in Bali – Keep Calm and Wander

Swinging in Bali - Keep Calm and Wander

You know you can’t leave Bali without getting on one of the swings everywhere on the island. They’re literally scattered everywhere. If you see coconuts and rice fields in one place, there’s a big chance that there are a few swings around. Or perhaps, a man-made nest intended for humans, not for birds.

Yes, swings and nests are just two of the most artificial “tourist attractions” in around Ubud promoted as “theme parks” Or whatever they call it.

A fellow traveler and I went to Aloha Ubud because you know – we wanted to experience the thrill of it all. But when we arrived at the reception – boy, the prices got me backed off the moment I read it! Goodness, it’s more expensive than going inside MoMa in New York or at the Louvre Museum in Paris!

Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Bali Gay Travel Resources

Arab Street – The Most Colorful Street in Singapore? – Keep Calm and Wander

Arab Street Singapore - Keep Calm and Wander

Is Arab street the most colorful neighborhood in Singapore? For me, I think it is. I went there once during my trip – and boy – the street is as colorful as the rainbow!

It brought me back to the times I was in the souqs (markets) in Marrakech, Fez, Jeddah, Cairo, Beirut, and Istanbul.

Well, this street is not exactly what it’s like in the Middle East, but there are familiar scenes and things that reminded of getting lost in the souqs.

Arab Street in Singapore is just a tiny neighborhood. In fact, if you go in there just for your Instagram photos, thirty minutes will be enough. That, of course, if you are that kind of traveler who came for the colorful shots and not for the destination.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Sunrise at Bali’s Mount Batur

Mount Batur at Sunrise - Keep Calm and Wander

My adventurous trek to Mt Batur volcano to watch the sunrise was all worth it! 

“Sunrise trek to Mount Batur? Why not? Ok, sign me in!” Those were the words I uttered when a tour agent asked if I’d be interested. Of course, I paid the tour right away without qualms. You see – I love a mountain climb. I always do. At my age right now (I’m not really that old hag yet), I know, I’d be slower than I used to be.

For me, it’s all about proper breathing when trekking/climbing/hiking a mountain. And of course – keeping a distance from the person you are following with. I find that if I hike closer behind someone, I’m pressured/forced to keep up – and I won’t enjoy the journey anymore. So, I want to be the last one in a group.

Mount Batur Volcano Trek Tour

Based in Ubud, I was picked up at my accommodation at 2:15 AM. Then, they served us a pre-breakfast food: banana pancakes and coffee/tea. Right after that, we’re off to the base of Mt. Batur. When we arrived there, two guides met us (a group of 9) and briefed us about safety. They then each gave us a small flashlight for the trek.

At 3:40, we started our trek in the darkness. Under the star-filled skies, the adventurous climb was off to a good start.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Bali Gay Travel Resources

Malaysia’s Petronas Towers – Keep Calm and Wander

Malaysia's Petronas Towers

The Petronas Towers are identical towers that are synonymous to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. They’re the most iconic skyscrapers and architectural wonders in the city’s skyline. No visit in KL without a glimpse of these silver-colored twins.

The first time I saw them eons ago, I thought they resembled a rocket, ready to launch in space. 😉

Standing at 1,483 feet, the towers have 88 habitable floors. They are finished off with a pyramid-like structure topped with a thin steel spire.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Malaysia Gay Travel Resources

The Colors of Singapore’s Little India – Keep Calm and Wander

Singapore's Little India - Keep Calm and Wander

The colors of Singapore’s Little India are as vibrant as its culture. No, I’m not talking about the colors of turmeric powder spices, but the whole neighborhood. It is alive with cultural excitement from its murals to its historical and colorful houses.

And of course, the shopping scene here is one of a kind. However, we were not tempted to buy a thing. Not that we were stingy – it’s just that our closets still have clothes with price tags. Nope, we are definitely not hoarders. We are just waiting for the right time to wear those clothes.

In Singapore’s Little India, you will find not just cultural but also religious heritage. You’ll find Hindu temples, a mosque, and Buddhist temples.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Prambanan Temple – Keep Calm and Wander

Prambanan Temple - Keep Calm and Wander

Is Prambanan Temple the world’s most graceful and most beautiful Hindu Temple? That’s the tagline that you see and read in tourism brochures in Yogyakarta, but without a question mark. Is it really? Ok, I’ve been to India where there’s a huge Hindu population and I visited some of the temples there – and I’d say that, yes, Prambanan Temple deserves that title.

At first glance, the architectural design made think of the Angkor Wat of Cambodia. 

While they might look the same, it is important to know that Prambanan is a Hindu temple while Angkor Wat is a Buddhist temple.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

India Gay Travel Resources

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon – Keep Calm and Wander

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon - Keep Calm and Wander

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is pure bliss in the morning. Its serenity and the murmuring whispers of prayers are calming to the soul. At least that’s how I felt because I arrived there at 4:15 in the morning – earlier than most Buddhist worshippers. And way too earlier than most tourists, too. I highly recommend that you go early in the morning, for an obvious reason: it’s not crowded.

Your visit to Myanmar’s capital city won’t be entirely complete without getting a glimpse of this golden pagoda. 

Shwedagon is the most iconic landmark of the country that used to called Burma under British rule.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Myanmar Gay Travel Resources

Borobudur Temple: World’s Largest Buddhist Temple – Keep Calm and Wander

BLOG - Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple is the world’s largest Buddhist Temple. Judging from its massive size, artistry, handiwork, and significance, this temple deserves a UNESCO World Heritage Site status. 

Take a tour – that’s what I did. The van driver picked me up at 4:00 in the morning and we picked up four more passengers. It was an 11-seater van so it was not crowded at all. We slept all throughout an hour journey. By the time we arrived, some tourists were already ahead of us – in a busload!

Another way to go there is by getting a private car/driver. You can always flag down a taxi and negotiate with them. My hostel told me that IDR500,000 ($37) is a fair price. Take this option if there are 3 or 4 of you in a car.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Indonesia Gay Travel Resources

Athens’ National Archaeological Museum – Keep Calm and Wander

Athens' National Archaeological Museum in Athens

The National Archaeological Museum in Athens has wide collections of artifacts from various times in Greek history. It’s very overwhelming to see them all, especially when you don’t have much time to spare. So I’m breaking down 14 artifacts that you must see when inside. This is, for me, a very subjective list, of course! You’re welcome to add yours to the comment below this post.

Golden Age of the Mycenaean Civilization

As soon as you enter the museum, you will find the relics from Mycenaean civilization. The golden face masks command attention and the rest of the golden pieces of jewelry are fascinating.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Athens Gay Travel Resources

Views From the Berlin Cathedral Dome – Keep Calm and Wander

Views From the Berlin Cathedral Dome - Keep Calm and Wander

The Berlin Cathedral dome and the views from up there may not impress you much, but the climb to the Baroque dome is a nice experience you’ll remember. After exploring the Cathedral’s interior, climb the stairs to the top of the dome.

A 360-degree view of the city is awaiting for those who’ll make it there. 

Berlin’s historic district is so close looking down from above. 

Though the dome is not as tall the other Cathedral domes in Europe, the views from here give you a different way of looking at the German capital. 

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Germany Gay Travel Resources