Gay Lebanon – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Lebanon - The Nomadic Boys

Exquisite food, impressive UNESCO sites, crazy nightlife and some of the most handsome guys to walk this planet…on the face of it, Lebanon is a gay man’s wet dream right?
In some ways, it sure is! By Middle Eastern Arab standards, Lebanon is often regarded as a very liberal and progressive place. There’s even a vibrant gay scene in Beirut. We certainly rate Lebanon as one of the most gay friendly countries in the Arab world.

BUT: this is by Middle Eastern standards!

The Middle East is one part of the world where being openly gay can get you into a great deal of trouble (Israel, a gay paradise, being the sole exception). For example, in say, Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Iran it’s a straight-up capital punishment. In places like Lebanon, Dubai or Abu Dhabi, being gay is very much an arrestable offence that can get you a prison sentence, a fine and deportation.

The purpose of this article is to describe our experience of travelling in Lebanon as a gay couple, present a balanced perspective and give advice for LGBTQ travellers who want to explore it. It is a stunning country, one that you won’t regret visiting…but this is still very much an Arab country where being gay is against the law. You will need to go back into the closet, avoid all PDAs, set all your social media to private and never post anything gay related online before or during your trip.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Berlin – The Nomadic Boys

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Jokes about German sausage are the wurst!

…especially when you arrive at the Wittenbergplatz in gay old Schöneberg, to be greeted by the cutest, gayest, rainbow-clad super-kitsch kiosk of Fritz & Co selling particularly yummy currywurst German sausages. More about Fritz & Co below, but as our first impression of Berlin, we knew we were in for a gay old time here! Gay Berlin is notorious for being the city of sin – a truly liberal and diverse hub where anything goes. The absolute wurst…and we live for it!

Schöneberg is considered to be the main gay area of Berlin, the traditional heart and soul of Berlin’s LGBTQ gay community, where the bulk of its gay bars, clubs and hotels can be found. The city also has several other exciting gay neighbourhoods to check out, each with its own unique character, vibe and queer hangouts. The main ones are Kreuzberg, Neukölln, Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain.

We’ve been to Berlin several times and usually base ourselves somewhere in Schöneberg, which we love. For us, Schöneberg remains the best gay neighbourhood of Berlin – the true Queen of the Scene! We also love venturing out to the bars and parties happening in the other gay districts of Berlin such as Möbel Olfe in Kreuzberg, SchwuZ in Neukölln, Flax in Prenzlauer Berg, and the infamous Berghain in Friedrichshain. The Berghain super club is almost like an entire gay neighbourhood in its own right! This is reason alone why we rate Berlin as one of the top gay friendly vacation destinations in the world.

We’ve put all our notes and stories from our many travels to Berlin in this comprehensive gay guide to help inspire your own holiday to this crazy and super exciting city including the best of the gay scene, gay hotels, parties, events, things to do and more.

Where is the main area of Gay Berlin?

The main gay area of Berlin is based in Schöneberg. It is the traditional heart and soul of Berlin’s LGBTQ gay community, dating back to 1897 when the world’s first-ever LGBTQ organisation was founded right here: the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee. From this point on, the area blossomed, becoming the Gay Village capital of the world.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Berlin Gay Travel Resources

10 Facts About Malaysia – The Nomadic Boys

Malaysia - The Nomadic Boys

Malaysians are obsessed with food. And we totally get it – the entire country is a non-stop feast of delicious food. There are legit 5 meal times in Malaysia – breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner and supper.

Beyond the foodie paradise that is Malaysia, we discovered a lot about this magnificent and super diverse country during our 3-month trip here as a gay couple. But the one uniting thing about all Malaysians is their immense pride in their food! Every Malaysian has strong opinions about where to find the best laksa or from which city you can find the tastiest rendang!

A word of warning to our fellow LGBTQ travellers – it is illegal to be gay in Malaysia. It is an Islamic influenced country, so homosexuality is very much taboo. Therefore it goes without saying you should avoid any acts of activism or public displays of affection here. But having said that, despite the awful anti-gay law, there is a fabulous large LGBTQ community throughout the country, especially in Kuala Lumpur, with a small and underground gay scene. We made a lot of local gay friends throughout Malaysia who we love dearly. It is through their eyes we discovered the gay scene of the country and also the more unique facets of Malaysian culture, which forms the backbone of this article.

These are our 10 interesting facts about Malaysia:

Malaysians Are Obsessed With Food

As foodies, this is one of our favourite interesting facts about Malaysia. Everywhere across the country you’ll find hawker stalls selling a range of delicious freshly made foods like laksa, Indian inspired roti canai, the national dish: nasi lemak, and so much more. The entire country is a haven for foodies, particularly Penang which is a melting pot for Indian, Chinese and Southeast influences.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Malaysia Gay Travel Resources

Gay Life in Indonesia – Nomadic Boys

Gay Life in Indonesia - Nomadic Boys

“OMG you two: careful you don’t get caned for being gay!”

A rather extreme reaction by some of our friends when we told them we’re going to Indonesia, but one we understand.

On the one hand, when it comes to LGBTQ rights in Indonesia, there are none. The government heavily panders to religious extremists and in the ultra-conservative province of Aceh, homosexuality is punishable with up to 100 public lashes with a rattan cane, which also applies to foreigners!

Yet, on the other hand, this is (officially!) a secular country with no anti-gay laws in place (outside of places like Aceh), it has the right to change legal gender (with judicial approval) and don’t forget, this is the home to one of the LGBTQ hotspots in Asia: Bali!

That’s right, this small island in Southeast Indonesia is not only a pink haven in this very conservative country but also a popular gay holiday destination in Asia. When we visited Bali, we met local boy Joko who now lives and works in Bali. Originally from Java Island, Joko moved to Bali for a better life. In this interview about gay life in Indonesia, he tells us more about what it was like for him growing up and the gay scene of Bali. However, Joko has requested that he is kept anonymous for security, much like our article with Kaluu about gay Sri Lanka.

Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Indonesia Gay Travel Resources

Gay Panama – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Panama - The Nomadic Boys

…and God said, “Let there be sexy people”, so he created Panamanians!

Wise words from the Bible itself according to our gay friends Luis and Mario from Panama City…

Panama City is often nicknamed The Dubai of Latin America because of its immense economic growth in recent years and impressive dense skyline. But unlike Dubai, this mighty Latin American metropolis has a far more welcoming gay life, in a country where although culturally conservative, is constantly striving for LGBTQ equality.

Most will associate Panama City with the famous canal, which is a reason alone to visit. The city is also the gateway to some gorgeous tropical beaches within gay Panama, like San Blas and gay friendly Bocas del Toro. We stayed in Panama City for a week and loved it. It’s full of things to do, plenty of trendy bars, but most importantly, we left with a thirst to return for more. It’s also a useful destination because it’s one of the major transport hubs in Central America.

This is our complete gay guide to Panama City following with a focus on the gay scene, our pick of the most gay friendly hotels, our favourite things to do, and more.

Is Gay Panama safe for travellers?

Overall, yes, Panama is safe for LGBTQ travellers, but assuming you stick to the touristic areas of Panama City, Bocas del Toro and San Blas. If venturing beyond, into more local areas, we recommend taking extra care and avoid all PDAs.

Panama is a very conservative country. It a strong influence from the Catholic Church. Any attempt by the government to pass any progressive LGBTQ laws in Panama almost always gets blocked! As a result, Panama does not recognise same-sex unions and has no anti-discrimination laws to protect the LGBTQ community!

For example, a 2018 Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling required Panama to recognise same-sex unions and allow gay couples to adopt. Sadly, the response was a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage by the Panamanian National Assembly in October 2019. The LGBTQ community of Panama has quite a long road ahead of it…

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Panama Travel Resources

Gay Key West Resorts – The Nomadic Boys

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Key West is super gay! This small island in south Florida is a notorious gay mecca, with a whopping 30% of its 25,000 residents identifying as LGBTQ.

The island’s history as a gay destination dates back to the 1950s when well-known LGBTQ celebrities like Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Jerry Herman, Leonard Bernstein and Elizabeth Bishop have since made it their home. Subsequently in 1983, Key West became the first place in the US to elect an openly gay mayor (Richard A. Heyman), then in 2000, the island’s motto became: “One Human Family“.

We’ve visited Key West on several occasions and always had a blast, especially on the gay scene on Duval Street. There are so many things to do for gay travellers and with regards to to the hotels, it was never a case of ‘please can we have a double bed’, but more – ‘which of these many gay hotels should we stay at on this trip?’

There is an impressive number of different gay Key West resorts to pick from, so we’ve put together our 10 favourite, which also includes gay hotels and guesthouses.

Island House

Island House is notorious across the entire LGBTQ community of south Florida. It’s also one of the largest male-only clothing-optional resorts we’ve ever been to.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Key West Gay Travel Resources

Gay Lima – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Lima - The Nomadic Boys

Lima – famous for its ceviche, Paddington Bear and the birth city of a very handsome chef (have you seen THAT video of Franco Noriega cooking in his boxers?!)…
The “City of Kings” is the transport hub and capital city of Peru – also rated by many as THE foodie capital of South America. And we can’t agree more! Lima is a melting pot of culinary creativity with a handful of world-famous top 50 restaurants including Central, Maido and Astrid y Gastón. Even venturing into a local market is a top foodie highlight in Lima such as the Festival Gastronomia every Sunday in the Plaza Municipal in Barranco.

Lima is also a pretty sweet base for gay travellers. There are around 9 million people living here. That’s statistically almost 1 million gay boys waiting to have a few Pisco sours with you. The gay scene of Lima is certainly exciting. On weekends, the gay bars and clubs are buzzing with local Peruvian gays (and their fans!) getting their groove on to the latest Latino beats.

We’ve been several times to Lima as part of our big trip around Latin America and loved it. It’s an inexpensive city to base yourself and also an important transport hub in South America. Most gay travellers to Peru will enter the country from Lima and spend a few days here.

We’ve put together this detailed gay guide to Lima from our firsthand experience with practical safety tips for LGBTQ travellers, the best gay hotels to stay, top gay bars, club, events, and more.

Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Gay Peru Travel Resources

Gay Maldives – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Maldives - The Nomadic Boys

The Maldives is a stunning country, which we’ve always dreamed of visiting. Oh, those gorgeous idyllic tropical islands with their white sandy beaches… Few places on our planet rival the natural beauty of the Maldives!

We spent 2 weeks holidaying in the Maldives, which included plenty of beach fun, enjoying the beautiful crystal clear water, snorkelling and scuba diving. However, before visiting, we were concerned about our safety, as this is a Muslim country with severe Sharia Law in place, complete with very nasty anti-gay laws!

Although the situation for LGBTQ locals is not great, fortunately for gay tourists, the economy of the Maldives relies so heavily on tourism that as a gay tourist, they won’t dare touch you, particularly when staying at the large privately owned resort islands. So much so that gay honeymoons in the Maldives are becoming increasingly popular. Which then naturally begs the question we always get asked and criticised for:

But Nomadic Boys…how dare you encourage us to spend our Pink Dollars in a country that wants to get rid of us?”

At the end of the day, whether you choose to visit is a personal decision. We’re not here to show that the Maldives is in any way a pink haven LGBTQ destination we should flock to! Clearly it is not! We are simply stating what our firsthand experience was travelling in the Maldives as a gay couple.

Above all else, we think that going there and supporting gay friendly / gay-owned businesses will be far more productive to effect positive change than just boycotting the country altogether! We explore this argument in more detail in this article, which we also hope provides you with inspiration to visit this unique Asian country, as well as equipping you with the full advice you need to have a safe and trouble-free trip!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Maldives Gay Travel Resources

Gay Thailand – The Nomadic Boys

BLOG - Gay Thailand - The Nomadic Boys

“You’ve been to so many places in the world guys, you must have a favourite?”
We sure do! Can you guess what it is?

Hint…it’s a country with gorgeous beaches, mouth-watering food, a rich cultural heritage, plenty of adventure activities, warm-hearted welcoming people, largely inexpensive, and a fantastic gay scene in its capital…

…it’s Thailand!

That’s right, the “Land of Smiles“ is one place we are always happy to come back to. It was one of the first places we ever came to in Asia many moons ago, and it’s one place we always strive to visit again and again, every single year! From the Circuit parties during Songkran to the fantastic street-party feel during New Years, we love love LOVE Thailand!

Thailand is a destination that offers so much to LGBTQ travellers. We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to gayThailand setting out the best gay scenes across the country, the best queer events to look out for, lots of inspiration for best activities to do here and other practical information for LGBTQ travellers.

Here we go!

LGBTQ Rights in Gay Thailand

Overall, Thailand has progressive LGBTQ laws in places, easily making it one of the most gay friendly countries in Asia in our humble opinion. For example, homosexuality was legalised in 1956 then declassified as an illness in 2002. Furthermore, comprehensive anti-discrimination laws were introduced in 2015, the LGBT community have been allowed to serve openly in the military since 2005, and civil union laws are on the verge of being introduced.

In relation to the transgender community, the right to change legal gender is in the process of being introduced as well, but despite the lack of comprehensive laws about this, Thailand remains a haven for the transgender community in Asia. All the transgender men and women we met during our travels in Asia strived to come to Bangkok for a better life and to have the best surgeries. You can read more about this in our interview with our transgender female friend Regina from the Philippines.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

Toronto Gay Nightlife – The Nomadic Boys

BLOG - Toronto Gay Nightlife - tnThe Nomadic Boys

Diverse, exciting, buzzing and…best ass?

Yup, that’s actually a thing in the Toronto gay scene! Over at Woody’s gay bar, every Friday evening, they host the “best ass” competition!

Butts aside, the gay scene of Toronto truly has something for everyone. The city is home to Canada’s largest LGBTQ community and welcomes visitors from all walks of life.

Just like the gay scene of Montreal, the gay village of Toronto is huge. It is located at the intersection of Church and Wellesley Streets, hence its nickname: the “Church and Wellesley Village”, or just “The Village”…or, “ya’ll wanna go out in Church later?”. This is where the majority of the best gay bars, clubs, restaurants, cafes and clothing stores can be found.

Toronto’s Gay Village is also ground zero for the annual Toronto Pride week every June, which is one of the largest Pride events in the world. Whether you come to the Toronto gay village in the deep winter or summer, there’s always a buzz in the air, which is why we love it.

In this guide, we’ve put together our list of favourite Toronto gay nightlife – gay bars and clubs in Toronto. Also, be sure to watch our vlog about the gay scene of Toronto above.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Toronto Gay Travel Resources