Gay Gili Islands – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Gili Islands - The Nomadic Boys

Are we having a fabulous time in Indonesia? Gili-Ty as charged!

…we’d even go as far as saying the Gili Islands is one of our topest-bestest-most-favouritest beach destinations in all of Southeast Asia. In all seriousness, it’s a place we always recommend when we’re often asked – “Guys, can you recommend me an inexpensive beach getaway in Asia?”

Why? ‘Cause these 3 small islands combine white sandy beaches, flat clear water, terrific diving sites and plenty of activities (have you ever tried Subwing?). There’s also plenty of partying for when you want it or complete remote island solitude when you just want to be completely cut off from the world. And then there are those phenomenal magical sunsets, every evening!

In summary, the Gili Islands impressed us a lot. They’re nicknamed “the Maldives of Southeast Asia” for good reason. We’ve put together this detailed gay guide of the Gilis based on our firsthand experience travelling here as a gay couple, which we hope inspires and helps you have a fun and safe trip.

What and where are the gay Gili Islands exactly?

The Gili Islands are made up of 3 small islands that lie off the northwest coast of Lombok island.

Gili Trawangan is the largest and craziest of the three with a population of around 1,500 people. This is where you’ll find the parties, most of the hotels, best restaurants – essentially it’s the main “hub” of the three islands. Party gay boys will want to base themselves right here.

Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Lombok, Indonesia Gay Travel Resources

Hiking Sri Lanka’s Ella Rock – The Nomadic Boys

Hiking Sri Lanka's Ella Rock - The Nomadic Boys

Ella Rock is the prettiest desktop background I’ve ever had on my laptop! No joke – the view from up here is absolutely jaw-droppingly stunning!

The trek to Ella Rock is only half a day tops, but it easily ranks as one of the best treks I’ve ever done with Stefan during our travels. And we’ve done some pretty amazing treks together, from the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal to the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru.

Ella is a beautiful small town in the south of Sri Lanka in the Hill country located at an altitude of 1,041 metres (3,415 ft). It’s the ideal base to explore the surrounding hills and take in pretty breathtaking views of the Badulla green valleys. The weather is usually quite humid, with moderate air temperature, sunny mornings, and often rain showers in the afternoon. Ella Rock is a famous cliff, located high above Ella’s village, around 8km (5 miles) from the centre of town – around 4 hours total trekking there and back.

The trek to Ella Rock from Ella town is pretty straightforward if you follow our advice below! Sometimes finding the correct path can be tricky, so we’ve put together this easy-to-follow step-by-step guide to help you on your way.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Sri Lanka Gay Travel Resources

Gay Colombia – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Colombia - The Nomadic Boys
  • Gay mega clubbing with 5,000 Colombian boys in Bogota? Tick!
  • Swimming in a rainbow river, the Caño Cristales? Tick!
  • Remote paradisiac Caribbean Islands like Providencia? Tick!
  • Partying in the most exciting Carnival of South America outside of Rio? Tick!
  • Sniffin’ up tons of fresh cocaine in Pedro-Escobar-heartland: Medellin? Ti…no wait…

…you may also have been inspired to visit this incredible country from Netflix’s Narcos series, but as every Colombian will rightly tell you, the awful cocaine industry that gripped the country with an ugly civil war for decades is now ancient history. And good riddance to it!

Colombia has evolved to not only become one of the best and safest tourist destinations in all of South America, it has also become one of the most gay friendly.

We spent 6 months travelling in Colombia during our big trip in Latin America, using Medellin and Bogota as a base. We cannot rave enough about it! We were captivated, mesmerised and totally impressed. Colombia is such a rewarding destination offering beaches, culture, gay scene, loads of partying, beautiful landscapes, and some of the hottest people to walk our planet!

Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Colombia Gay Travel Resources

Gay Penang – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Penang - The Nomadic Boys

Penang is one big fat foodie paradise in Southeast Asia. Honestly, we were blown away by the many culinary prizes available here…Asam Laksa, Wanton Noodles, Hokkien Prawn Noodles, Char Koay Teow…Penang is one place we’d definitely rush back to just for the food!

Penang is also famous for its street art murals, particularly in the UNESCO listed cutesy colonial-era capital, George Town. And the biggest surprise of all, despite being a small island of less than 2 million, in a country where homosexuality is a crime(!), there is even a gay scene!

We visited Penang as part of our big trip around Malaysia and totally fell in love. We were told by both Malaysians and fellow travellers that Penang is a not-to-miss highlight of the country and oh boy were they right! We ended up extending our trip in Penang from a few days to two full weeks. Based on our firsthand experience, we’ve put together our gay guide to Penang setting out the best gay friendly hotels, hangouts, foodie tips, and more.

Is Penang safe for gay travellers?

For the most part, yes…as long as you’re careful and avoid any PDAsIt’s not as bad as the Middle East here, but it certainly ain’t no Barcelona, Bangkok or gay Berlin!!

There is a large LGBTQ community in Penang, both locals and foreigners, living and working quite openly. Penang is after all a touristic hub with a large international population, so people are more likely to be diverse, tolerant and open-minded here compared to other parts of the country.

Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Malaysia Gay Travel Resources

Gay Cusco – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Cusco - The Nomadic Boys

“Stefan look: rainbow flags are everywhere…it must be Cusco Pride right?”

Seby wasn’t wrong. One of the first things you notice when walking the streets of Cusco are all the rainbow-like flags flying proudly all across the city. But to our disappointment, it has nothing to do with the LGBTQ community. This is the Inca flag, similar to our Pride rainbow flag, but with an extra blue stripe added. Unless you’re in Cusco in late-June, that’s the extent of any gay Pride you’re going to see happening here…

Cusco was once the historic capital of the Inca Empire. Today it is Peru’s #1 tourist destination, receiving almost 4 million annual visitors who mainly come to visit Machu Picchu. We’ve been to Cusco, loved it so much, we visited a second time a decade later, doing the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu on both occasions and also exploring the stunning Sacred Valley surrounding the city.

We’re not gonna lie – Cusco is not a party destination, not by a long stretch! It’s a small city, a very beautiful one, but one where you come for the rich cultural heritage and impressive landscapes over anything else. Whilst there is a small gay scene here, we suggest you get all the partying out of your system over in the big coastal capital city, Lima before heading over. Cusco is instead a rewarding cultural journey into Peru’s historic Inca civilisation, one that we loved and would happily return to in a heartbeat!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Peru Gay Travel Resources

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

BLOG - Gay Berlin - The Nomadic Boys

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