Traditional Panamanian Food – The Nomadic Boys

We travelled a great deal around Panama during our big trip in Latin America, from Panama City up to Bocas del Toro, and back. Along the way, we tried lots of different Panamanian foods and drinks.

Traditional Panamanian food has strong influences from Africa, Spain and its indigenous Native American population. There is a lot of similarity and overlap with the traditional foods of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, which is not surprising given that they once used to be part of “Gran Colombia“.

We’ve put together some of our favourite Panamanian traditional dishes we discovered during our trip, which we think you need to try to get a real flavour of this fascinating country.

Sancocho de gallina Panameño: the National dish

Sancocho is a delicious, light chicken soup with potatoes, culantro herb (similar to cilantro but stronger in flavour), yuca and plantains. Other ingredients often used include corn on the cob (mazorca), ñampi (a tropical root vegetable), hot sauce, chopped onions, garlic and oregano. The traditional recipe of sancocho is from the Azuero region, but other regions have their own variations. Due to the varied ingredients used to make a sancocho, it is often used as a metaphor for Panama’s racial diversity, showing that each part has just an important and equally important role to play in the preparation of this very yummy dish. As such it is considered the national dish of Panama.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Panama Gay Travel Resources

Best Gay Adventure Cruises for 2020 – The Nomadic Boys

Best Gay Adventure Cruises for 2020 - The Nomadic Boys

Do you know what we love about cruises? Lazing around and being pampered in ultimate luxury. But do you know what makes a cruise even more exciting for us? The opportunity to visit exciting destinations where you can take part in lots of different adventurous activities.

For us, gay cruises that have an adventurous twist have a special kind of magic to them, whether it’s snorkelling with sea lion pups in the Galapagos islands or kayaking in the icy waters of mighty Antarctica. It’s also one of the most exciting ways to tick off lots of those bucket list items!

These are some of our favourite gay adventure cruises on offer at the moment. We’ve split this guide up into two parts: the first focusing on exclusively gay adventure cruises, the second on gay groups that are part of a larger (“non-gay”) group.

Gay Adventure Cruises – Out Adventures Galapagos Gay Cruise

Kicking off from the high-rise city of Quito, this cruise will see you sailing off along the equator to the stunning and unique Galapagos Islands.

As you visit the Galapagos Islands, you’ll discover places that remained undiscovered by mankind for thousands of years. Because of this, they have been able to develop incredible ecosystems unseen anywhere else in the world.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Moldova – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Moldova - The Nomadic Boys

Moldova is all about wines. Lots of delicious, fine wines that you’ve probably never heard of. What used to be a small slice of the Soviet Union is now one of the most underrated parts of Europe begging to be discovered.

So big is the wine scene of Moldova that the country famously has the largest underground wine cellar in the world. The Milestii Maci cellars are as notorious as they are humongous, holding a record 1.5 million bottles of wine.

There are lots of fun things to see and do in this undiscovered part of Eastern Europe, but as is the case with most places in the region, LGBTQ rights have a lot of catching up to do. We summarise our experience travelling around Moldova in this detailed gay country guide.

LGBTQ rights in Moldova

Moldova, sadly, is strongly influenced by the very conservative Eastern Orthodox Church, which frowns on LGBTQ rights. Anti-discrimination laws for hate crime and gender identity are yet to be passed and the country implemented a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 1994, which is still in place.

On the plus side, being gay in Moldova is legal (since 1995) and anti-discrimination laws exist in employment and in the media. In addition, gays are (theoretically) allowed to serve openly in the army and the right to change legal gender was introduced (but only following a psychiatric diagnosis). 

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Berlin Sex Hotels – The Nomadic Boys

Berlin Sex Hotels - The Nomadic Boys

“Du bist verrückt mein Kind, du mußt nach Berlin!”
Franz von Supp
Translation: “You are crazy, my child. You must go to Berlin!”

So said one of the great composers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Franz von Suppe (1819-1895) during a time when Berlin was so famous for its liberal attitude and sexual freedom.

Even after the Nazi era and the hard post-WW2 years, the city gradually returned to its former glory as a place where whatever you’re into, you will find it.

Today, Berlin is notorious for its relaxed attitude to sex and sexuality. Whilst we love visiting Berlin for partying, it’s also the perfect place if you’re looking for some cheeky romantic playtime with your lover. Just like the sex hotels in Amsterdam, there are heaps of places you can stay in Berlin that cater to every different kind of fetish in an adults-only environment.

In this guide, we’ve found some of the best Berlin sex hotels in Berlin, focusing on those that are, to put it mildly, conducive to having a good old sexy time!

Hotel Q!

Hotel Q! is a small boutique hotel, really stylishly designed and centrally located just off the city’s main shopping boulevard, Kurfürstendamm. 

The rooms are designed to make couples feel cosy and romantic. The lighting creates an intimate vibe with some of the rooms featuring an open Jacuzzi bathtub right next to the comfy bed, ooh la la! But just be careful not to get too much water on the bed, nobody wants to sleep in a wet patch…(no seriously, clumsy Stefan did this twice!)

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Germany Gay Travel Resources

Gay Bali – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Bali - The Nomadic Boys

“The Island of the Gods!” And in our humble opinion: “The Island of the Gays”!

Bali is the quintessential tropical island getaway high up on most travellers’ bucket lists, particularly amongst those of us inspired by the Julia Roberts movie, “Eat Pray Love”. Surprisingly, Bali is also a popular gay haven in Asia: remember this is part of Indonesia, a country which has over the years become increasingly more homophobic.

Gay Bali stands strong in the face of this rising tide of hatred towards our LGBTQ community in Indonesia thanks to its unique Hindu heritage and the diverse international community across the island.

For LGBTQ travellers, Bali offers a tropical paradise, gorgeous beaches, world-class restaurants, plenty of welcoming gay hotels and an entire strip of lively gay hangouts in Seminyak. We’ve put all of this right here in our lengthy gay travel guide to Bali based on our first-hand experience.

Why is gay Bali so gay friendly?

Before visiting Bali, we were wondering how such a gay haven can possibly exist in a country like Indonesia, where the Islamic government has been working ruthlessly to oppress its LGBTQ community. Over the years, more anti-LGBTQ laws are being passed in Indonesia. Whilst homosexuality wasn’t historically illegal in this former Dutch colony, the government has been ruthlessly trying to introduce laws that effectively criminalise consensual same-sex.

Despite what’s happening on the mainland, Bali continues to thrive, largely unaffected. Unlike the rest of the country, which has the largest Muslim population in the world, Bali is mainly Hindu – a religion which is more tolerant of our LGBTQ family! In addition, Bali is also very touristy, with a vast international community living/working here all year round. As a result, a gay scene has been able to thrive here for many years, along with several gay/male-only hotels.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Bali Gay Travel Resources

Barcelona Gay Bars – The Nomadic Boys

Having been the birthplace of the LGBTQ movement in Spain, Barcelona is a hot favourite for gay travellers moving across Europe. It has a rich history, fabulous sights, a gorgeous beach and a super hot nightlife at all the Barcelona gay bars.

There is so much variety across the city for when you’re hitting the town. You don’t even need to be the biggest party animal. You can be fairly chilled and still find a comfy corner to spend the evening. Bear in mind, the Spanish do things quite late, so if you’re planning an evening out and about, be sure to factor in an afternoon dolly nap siesta!

This is our comprehensive guide to the best gay bars in Barcelona, which you can see there are plenty to choose from!

Where is the gay neighbourhood of Barcelona?

Tucked into the centre of the Eixample district is the glowing “Gaixample” (pronounced gay-sham-ple) gay neighbourhood of Barcelona. This is where most of the gay bars of Barcelona can be found. The area is more specifically defined as being between Carrer de Balmes, Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, Carrer del Comte d’Urgell and Carrer d’Aragó.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Barcelona Gay Travel Resources

Gay Chisinau, Moldova – The Nomadic Boys

When it comes to gay destinations, let’s just say gay Chisinau isn’t one that’s going to be at the top of LGBTQ travellers’ bucket list. This is one place where LGBTQ rights are sadly lagging behind the rest of Europe, sort of what you’d expect from an East European former Soviet country.

Chisinau is the capital of Moldova, one of the poorest and undiscovered countries of East Europe. Whilst the city itself is nothing much to write home about, it’s the ideal base for trips around the country, particularly for nearby wineries. It’s also a handy base for tours to the stunning Orheiul Vechi Monastery and the fascinating breakaway state of Transnistria.

Chisinau is itself a city with lots of bland Soviet-style buildings. There is no gay scene here nor any obvious queer bars/clubs. In relation to tourist sites, there are a few green spots worth checking out, in particular, the Lacul Valea Morilor. Also, the central park around the Stefan cel Mare statue always has something going on. But be warned, this is quite a strange city: whilst we felt totally safe here, it feels eerie at night due to the lack of street lighting. In the evening when it gets dark, Chisinau feels like some weird ghost town and we often had to use our iPhone torchlight to light our way!

In this gay guide to Chisinau, we’ve set out the best gay-friendly hotels to stay, gay friendly places to go out, restaurants, things to do and more. Be sure to check out our detailed Moldova gay country guide for more inspiration.

Is Gay Chisinau safe for gay travellers?

Look, let’s call a spade a spade; this is as Eastern European as you’re gonna get. LGBTQ life is still very much in the dark ages here, not helped by the strong Russian influence in daily life (Russian, along with Romanian remain the official languages of Moldova). Moldova is a very Orthodox country where most people are extremely religious and socially conservative. They even have a ban in place on same-sex marriage. This is not to say it’s unsafe for LGBTQ travellers. We felt absolutely fine here, but we did avoid PDAs and didn’t publicise our sexuality or relationship.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Bucharest – The Nomadic Boys

Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, is one of Europe’s hidden gems. It’s a fantastic city to explore – safe, with a rich history, many excellent bars, restaurants, a bustling Old Town and even a (small) gay scene. This is a big deal for an Eastern European country like Romania where LGBTQ rights are sadly lagging behind the rest of Europe.

Bucharest is also very inexpensive compared to other European capitals, and easy to reach with all major budget airlines across Europe. Score!

We used Bucharest as our base to explore Romania – a stunning country, with some impressive mountain scenery in Transylvania in the north and even a beach in the Black Sea at Constantia in the south. Bucharest is located right in the middle of the country with the best connections to all other parts of Romania. It’s also a super fun place to go out, whether in the vibrant nightlife of the Old Town of gay Bucharest or to one of the many gay and gay friendly places we set out in this guide.

This is our comprehensive gay guide to Bucharest from our personal experience and recommendations from friends with our favourite gay friendly hotels to stay, the gay bars/clubs, events, things to do and more.

Is Gay Bucharest Safe for LGBTQ Travelers?

Romania is generally not regarded as a gay-friendly country, but that is changing! As with much of East Europe, homosexuality is a massive taboo in society, which can get you into a lot of trouble if you shout out loud about it. On the plus side, however, as part of its ascension to the EU in 2007, Romania was forced to adopt an array of anti-discrimination laws, particularly in relation to hate crime and hate speech. Laws to recognise civil unions are being discussed and the right to change legal gender was introduced as far back as 1996. And thankfully, in a 2018 referendum, Romanians voted against banning same-sex marriage!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Barcelona Gay Shopping – The Nomadic Boys

If you go to a city like Barcelona and don’t overdo it with shopping, did you even really go on holiday? We sometimes bring an extra suitcase with us just so we can fill it up with all the new clothes, art pieces and *cough* toys we find along the way!

The Barcelona gay shopping scene is fantastic for gay shops, with loads of different options. Whether you want to buy new speedos, harnesses, a few tank tops, or just something for a quick jerk-off(!), there’s always plenty to discover.

Sure, sex shops can seem quite intimidating from the outside, but hey, we’re all human. We all have desires, and these places are committed to helping you fulfil them. So shop til you drop using our guide to the best gay shops in Barcelona.

Gaixample, Heart of the Barcelona Gay Shopping Scene

The gay village of Barcelona is located in the large residential Eixample neighbourhood, bordered by the following streets: Carrer de Balmes, Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, Carrer del Comte d’Urgell and Carrer d’Aragó. This section of Eixample is nicknamed, “Gaixample” (pronounced “gai-sham-ple”). Read more about the gay scene in our comprehensive gay guide to Barcelona.

To get our bearings, we always look for the main Axel Hotel which is right in the heart of Gaixample, then work things out from there. Most of the shops in this guide are located in and around Gaixample. You could also orientate yourself on one of these gay tours of Barcelona!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Barcelona Gay Travel Resources

Gay Life in Vietnam – The Nomadic Boys

Vietnam is one of our favourite places we visited as a gay couple travelling in Asia. From delicious foods to fantastic sites like Ha Long Bay, you’re spoilt rotten in terms of a destination rich with culture. Vietnam also has a more liberal attitude towards homosexuality, with large thriving LGBTQ communities in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and the capital in Saigon.

We found Vietnam to be one of the most gay friendly countries in Asia. Locals were extremely friendly and welcoming to us, and getting a double bed was never an issue for us anywhere. However, Vietnam still has quite a way to go with regards to its LGBTQ laws, lacking any for anti-discrimination or for recognising same-sex couples. We met up with our buddy Quan in Saigon who gave us his perspective of what gay life in Vietnam is really like for LGBTQ locals in this interview.

Hello Quan, where are you from and what do you do?

Hi Stef and Seby.

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My name is Quan Nguyen and I am 34 years old. I am a web designer living and working in Saigon.

Originally, I am from “Can Tho” in the Mekong Delta, but in my teenage years, my family moved to Saigon.

I come from a Catholic family, which surprises most people because everyone assumes all Vietnamese are Buddhist. Catholicism is one of the many influences in Vietnam from the French.

Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Vietnam Gay Travel Resources