Little Known Facts About Vietnam – The Nomadic Boys

BLOG: Little Known Facts About Vietnam - The Nomadic Boys

“Guys, take my hand, stay together and slowly cross the road. Just don’t stop or go back. Walk with confidence and all the traffic will work around you. Trust me it’s super safe!”

“Are you f*g kidding me?” I said to Stefan…

Yet our friend Quan was right. The chaotic and seemingly neverending traffic of Saigon and Hanoi all seem to work together in this sort of messy ‘union’. It’s overwhelming for first-timers. I can tell you I was terrified out of my skin at the prospect of crossing the streets of Saigon when we first touched down Vietnam. But you quickly realise it’s absolutely fine…like our friend Quan told us, start walking slowly, but with purpose, and all the traffic just negotiates its way around you!

Crazy traffic aside, we loved Vietnam. As a gay couple, we loved how welcoming we were made to feel at the hotels we stayed in. There’s even a large LGBTQ community in the large main cities with a handful of queer hangouts to check out. As foodies, we couldn’t be happier. Vietnam is one massive culinary adventure, from the rich “pho” broths of Saigon to the yummy “cao lau” noodle dishes of Hoi An and the delectable tiramisu-like “egg coffees” of Hanoi. We pretty much ate our way from the bottom all the way to the tip of this unique S-shaped country in Southeast Asia. We recommend reading more about this in our blog post about our favourite traditional foods of Vietnam.

The gay scene and tasty prizes aside, Vietnam also has a rich cultural heritage, with its first independent monarchy dating back to 900 AD, a period of French colonialism from 1850-1945 and a subsequent period of division when the North and South became divided into two opposing rival states. Since reunification in 1976, Vietnam has evolved into a crazy, fascinating and above all else, thrilling destination in Asia. We loved it and would zip back in a heartbeat!

Here’s a flavour of precisely why we fell in love with Vietnam set out as our 10 interesting facts which we learnt about it during our big trip.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Vietnam Gay Travel Resources

Gay Xi’an – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Xi’an - The Nomadic Boys

Emperor Qin Shi Huang was one pretty remarkable Diva in Ancient China! Not only did he declare himself as the first Emperor of a unified China back in 221 BC, he also created an entire tomb of terracotta sculptures depicting his massive army who would protect him in his afterlife.

This was no mean feat. Old Qin Shi’s posthumous army consisted of 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses. And it’s pretty damn impressive to behold!

We came to Xi’an expecting to be wowed by Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s famous Terracotta Warrior sculptures – and bloody hell, we sure were! But unbeknownst to us, we were also blown away by the delicious street food in the Muslim Quarter as well as the city’s small, but lively gay scene.

Most will only come to Xi’an expecting to stay for just a few days to see the Terracotta Army then leave. But we recommend hanging around a few days longer. This is a city with an extraordinary history that dates back over 3,000 years, back to when it was called “Chang’an” – one of the four great ancient capitals of China and the starting point of the famous Silk Road trade network. A few days just doesn’t do it justice – trust us, you’ll thank us!

This is our detailed gay guide to Xi’an’s bars, clubs, hotels and some invaluable inspiration for LGBTQ travellers. All the information in this guide is based on our first-hand experience travelling here as a gay couple coupled with notes from gay locals we met during our trip who continue to help us keep our guide up-to-date.

Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

China Gay Travel Resources

Berlin Gay Tours – The Nomadic Boys

Berlin Gay Tours - The Nomadic Boys

Berlin is a city that has been revelling in its queerness for years. Even as far back as the 1920s, it was known as the gayest city in the world. While other cities have recently begun to vie for that crown, for us, there’s just nowhere quite like Berlin!

With a truly hedonistic gay scene featuring gay clubs, bars, saunas, hotels and cruising clubs, Berlin might seem a little overwhelming to first-time visitors. Hell, even us old queens who’ve been here dozens of times occasionally get surprised by the newest additions that have popped up since our last visit!

Berlin Gay Tours

Luckily, for those who want to ease into Berlin’s gay scene gently, or even explore the city from a unique perspective, there are a variety of fabulous Berlin gay tours to experience. Whether you want to just explore Berlin with a gay guide, get acquainted with the gay nightlife, or even learn about the city’s history of sex, there’s a tour for you! We’ve rounded up the best of the best for you right here.

Berlin’s Gay, Lesbian and Queer Scene Walking Tour

When we did this tour we had the terrific, Finn, as our guide. Finn is a gay local and also a history fanatic – the perfect person to get you acquainted with Berlin’s historic gay scene!

The tour is organised by Original Berlin Walks, who focus on telling the history of Berlin in an informative and entertaining manner. We were definitely entertained by Finn, learning so much about Berlin’s queer history at the same time as he walked us through the streets of Schöneberg.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Germany Gay Travel Resources

Bangkok’s Gayborhood – The Nomadic Boys

BLOG - Bangkok's Gayborhood - The Nomadic Boys

Lights… Camera… ACTION!

10s! 10s! 10s! across the board, as you sashay your way down Bangkok’s Silom Soi 4 street, the beating heart and soul of the city’s incredible gay scene.

We love it here. It’s one of our favourite gay scenes in the world. Regardless which day of the week you come, there’s always life and action. Whenever we visit Bangkok, the first thing we do is head straight to Balcony and have our obligatory “welcome to Bangkok” Pad Thai in their outdoor terrace.

Balcony is one of the many gay bars in Silom Soi 4 – an area with lots of gay hotels, massage parlours, clubs, saunas and restaurants. You can read our full gay guide to the city of Bangkok, but in this article, we take you on a magical journey through the gay area of Bangkok!

Where is Bangkok’s Gayborhood?

The majority of Bangkok’s gay bars and clubs are located in Silom, which is a sub-district of Bang Rak. There are two main gay streets in Silom, known as Silom Soi 4 and Silom Soi 2. Both of these smaller pedestrian-only streets lead off from the main Silom Road, which you can reach via the BTS Skytrain (get off at the Sala Daeng station) or the Silom MRT Station.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Bangkok Gay Travel Resources

Gay Life in Thailand – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Life in Thailand - The Nomadic Boys

“Guys you’ve been to so many countries in the world, you must have a favourite?”

Oh, we sure do! There are of course many places we’d go back to in a heartbeat, but if we had to pick just one – Thailand!

Thailand has it all, amazing beaches, a rich cultural fabric to discover, delicious food and most of all, it is very gay friendly! Bangkok, in particular, has a fantastic gay scene – in our opinion, one of the best in the world. Whilst Thailand has positioned itself to become one of Asia’s leading destinations for LGBTQ travellers, we wanted to learn more about what gay life in Thailand is really like from a local’s perspective.

We met cutie photographer, Saroj, in Bangkok, who gave us his perspective of what gay life in Thailand is really like and what it was like growing up gay there. Read his story right here:

Sawasdee krap Saroj, Please Introduce Yourself:

Hi guys, my name is Saroj Kunatanad. My friends call me “Ark”. I am 33 years old, born and raised in Bangkok. I grew up in Bobea, which is in the old town area of Bangkok, near Chinatown and the infamous Khao San Road.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

Gay Bangkok – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Bangkok - The Nomadic Boys

Bangkok. Practically the definition of a hot mess. Crowds of thronging people and a confusing but delightful mix of traditions meeting modernism. Wonderful food that is quite literally heaven in our mouth. The weather is great too! Though let’s be real here, it doesn’t take much to beat the dreary British weather… With beautiful natural scenery at our doorstep, exotic adventures and amazing cuisine, it’s no wonder we love coming back here!

Thailand is famous for being one of the most gay friendly countries in Asia, with the capital city of Bangkok its beating heart. The gay scene here is thriving, with so many gay bars, clubs, hotels, massage parlours, restaurants and more – largely centred in Silom. We love the gay scene of Bangkok and definitely rank it as one of our favourite in the world.

We also love that no matter how many times we come to Bangkok, it’s always a culture shock, from the food to the hectic polluted traffic – to give you an idea, you MUST try going in a tuk-tuk – the little rickshaws that you see in movies. They are absolutely bonkers and a great way to really get out to see what the city has to offer!

This is our comprehensive gay guide to Bangkok based on our many trips here. We’ve highlighted the best gay friendly hotels, bars, clubs, restaurants, things to do, and more.

How safe is Gay Bangkok?

Oh, it’s very safe! Bangkok is frequently rated as one of the most gay friendly cities in Asia due to its inclusivity and safety.

We’ve been to Bangkok many times and have never had hassle from any of the locals for being gay. Thai people are seriously friendly. They have a genuine interest in what is going on in your life. We also found that due to their varied and vibrant culture, they tend not to be judgmental. Which is fantastic! We know it’s not just towards westerners that they are friendly, but they also treat each other with respect. We have quite a few friends in Bangkok who are adamant that their lives are on a parallel with gay lives in London.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Bangkok Travel Resources

Bangkok Gay Tours – The Nomadic Boys

Bangkok Gay Tours - The Nomadic Boys

Aaah, Bangkok… this crazy, chaotic city can certainly overwhelm you with all the traffic and people but we keep on coming back for more! There’s just something so intoxicating about this messy, gritty yet absolutely incredible city…

Thailand is one of the most gay friendly countries in Asia, so it’s not surprising that its capital, Bangkok, has a fabulous gay scene. We’ve spent quite a bit of time exploring the gay bars and clubs in Bangkok, but sometimes you really just want someone in the know to show you around.

Luckily we’ve found these fabulous gay tours with local LGBTQ guides in case you’re feeling a bit nervous about venturing into the maze of streets and venues by yourself. They each offer something different, so whether you’re looking to party with drag queens or relax in the best gay saunas, you’ll find something to love.

Bangkok Gay Tours – Nightlife

This gay nightlife tour takes you on a whirlwind journey through Bangkok’s best gay bars and clubs. You’ll feel like you’ve followed the white rabbit down into the Wonderland that is Bangkok’s gay scene, so it’s appropriate that the first stop of the evening is at the White Rabbit Bar!

This cafe/lounge bar is a lovely spot for dining during the day, but let’s be honest, you’re joining this gay tour for something a bit more exciting than food, right? Luckily the tour includes a shot at each of the venues and of course you’ll be able to purchase more drinks for yourself if you feel like it. We suggest the “rabbit passion” cocktail to keep you going all night long (wink, wink)!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Bangkok Gay Travel Resources

Bangkok’s Stranger Bar – The Nomadic Boys

Bangkok's Stranger Bar - The Nomadic Boys

What used to be an unassuming gay bar in Bangkok’s Silom Soi 4 gay scene is now one of the hottest gay hangouts in the city. Every evening from around 9pm Stranger Bar has a hilarious drag show featuring some of the most talented, quirky and hottest queens from all around Asia.

We first came here back in 2012/3 and barely noticed it – the gay scene of Silom Soi 4 dominated by giants Telephone and Balcony bars next door. When we returned a few years later it had started making an impact and had become one of the fixed staples on the scene. Then when we were last here in early 2020, it had become THE hottest drag venue in the entire city, busy every evening!

We caught up with the super charismatic owner of Stranger Bar, Chakgai. In this interview, Chakgai tells us what it’s like owning a bar in Bangkok, what gay life is like in Thailand and what it is about Stranger Bar that has made it become so successful over the years.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Bangkok Gay Travel Resources

Gay Koh Lip – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Koh Lip - The Nomadic Boys

Koh Lipe is the best island in Thailand!

There, we officially declared it. The secret’s out…

We’ve been visiting Thailand for over a decade, trying out many islands along the way, but each time we keep circling back to Koh Lipe.

Why?

Koh Lipe still has those crystal clear tropical waters you associate with Thailand – surrounded by healthy coral. So you can literally wake up, go to the beach, put your head in the water and see Nemo swimming about around you! It was like this when we first visited many years ago and has remained this way on our recent visit.

We used to think the same about Phuket, Koh Tao and Koh Phi Phi, but over time they quickly became built up, super touristy and overcrowded. Not gay Koh Lipe! We put this down to the fact that it’s quite remote and rather complicated to reach: first, you need to fly to Hat Yai airport in South Thailand, then drive over to Pak Bara port (around 2 hours) to then take a 2-hour speedboat to Koh Lipe…Let’s just say this is enough to put off the large crowds of packaged tourists.

Don’t get us wrong. Koh Lipe is developed enough to have plenty of restaurants, hotels, bars and shops, but it’s a controlled growth, helped by the fact that it is part of the group of Tarutao National Marine Park islands. We’ve put together our love for Lipe in this detailed gay guide to include the best gay friendly resorts, bars, practical tips and more.

How Friendly is Gay Koh Lipe?

Koh Lipe is very gay friendly! We met many more other gay travellers here than we did on most of the other Thai islands, plus the Thai locals are super friendly and accepting. Even if they don’t approve, unlike other places in the world, they would never outwardly express this in front of you.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

Miami Beach Pride’s Biggest Events – The Nomadic Boys

BLOG - Miami Beach Pride's Biggest Events - The Nomadic Boys

“Miami Beach Pride is one of the biggest and best gay events in South Florida which you will not want to miss!”

While Miami Beach Pride may not be one of the biggest pride events in the world, it’s certainly one of the most exciting and unique…how many Pride events do you know that take place along a beach?

My partner Teraj is a Miami native so, naturally, we have visited this vibrant city many times over the past few years. In particular, we love going to Miami Beach Pride and always attend in full glitter and rainbow paraphernalia! In this guest post, I’ve set out why we love it so much, from all the many special events, social mixers and must-attend parties.

Here’s my rundown of the most anticipated parties during Miami Beach Gay Pride.

Official Miami Beach Pride Pool Party

Nothing says “Miami” quite like a pool, a few cocktails and of course, lots of hot guys! Miami Beach Pride gets this spot on with the official Pride Pool Party. What I love about it the most is that they always feature amazing international DJs every year, like DJ Ralphi Rosario, Dan Slater and Dani Brasil. This is where you want to see and be seen (especially if you enjoy watching hotties in skimpy bathing suits)!

General admission is usually only around $40. For a bit more, you can also get a VIP access, which includes an open bar with a private terrace. 

You will naturally find us in the VIP area getting our dose of Vitamin D and soaking up all those yummy cocktails!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Miami Beach Gay Travel Resources