Gay Singapore – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Singapore - The Nomadic Boys

We found Singapore to be an oddity when it comes to LGBTQ rights. On the one hand, there is a large thriving LGBTQ community here, with lots of gay bars, clubs and events taking place throughout the year. On the other hand, homosexuality is illegal (for men only!), punishable with up to 2 years imprisonment!

In reality, the anti-gay law of Singapore is rarely enforced and strong efforts have been (and continue to be) made to get rid of it. We found Singapore to be super gay. Put it this way, when we were hanging out in Kuala Lumpur’s gay scene, the drag queens we met told us that Singapore is one of the places in Asia they aspire to perform in, citing it as one of the continent’s gay meccas…kinda like Dubai is for the Arab world.

We put this down to the country being so affluent, with many big companies having their Asian headquarters here, like Google, Bloomberg, Barclays, and many more. In addition, the Singaporeans are very well educated and affluent (have you SEEN some of the prices in this country?). They’re also a very internationally minded bunch, with English as the official language: it’s estimated that every 2 out of 5 people in Singapore are foreigners.

In this guide to gay Singapore, we explore the LBGTQ rights in more detail, write about our experience travelling here as a gay couple and also set out some of the best gay hotels, bars, clubs, events, and more.

Gay rights in Singapore

Homosexuality is legal for women, illegal for men in Singapore. This is because section 377A of the Penal Code punishes male homosexuality with up to 2 years imprisonment but is silent about female homosexuality.

Attempts have been made to repeal Section 377A, but the government has insisted on keeping it. In June 2019, at the Smart Nation Summit, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reiterated that Singapore would keep Section 377A “for some time”, arguing that:

“Whatever your sexual orientation is, you’re welcome to come and work in Singapore…You know our rules in Singapore. It is the way this society is: we are not like San Francisco, neither are we like some countries in the Middle East. We are something in between, it is the way the society is”!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Lesbian Thailand – Once Upon a Journey

Thailand is our favorite country in the world to travel to! It’s such a diverse country that has beautiful islands, adventurous jungles, stunning temples, and delicious foods; we can’t get enough of it. Thai people are super friendly and welcoming, it’s accurately called the land of smiles.

Also important: in Thailand, we can truly by ourselves as a lesbian couple. It’s no problem to walk hand in hand, cuddle and/or kiss on the streets. In this blog post, we will tell you all about lesbian Thailand: the best places to visit, our favorite things to do, and practical information for lesbian travelers.

Lesbian Thailand – Where To Go?

Thailand is a much-visited country, but besides popular destinations like Bangkok and Phuket, there are still many hidden gems to explore in this beautiful country. The (gay) hub of Asia, Bangkok, can’t be missed during your Thailand trip, though we will also tell you about the lesser-visited places.

Bangkok

Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand. We absolutely love this busy and dirty (sometimes smelly) city, though we can see why many people hate it. You really need to know where to go in this big city! Besides the famous sightseeing spots Wat Arun, Wat Pho, Lumphini Park, and the many markets, there is a large gay scene.

By Maartje and Roxanne – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Lesbian Thailand Travel Resources

Georgia Gay Life – The Nomadic Boys

Georgia Gay Life - The Nomadic Boys

“Georgian dance is based on masculinity. There is no room for weakness in Georgian dance!”
So begins the captivating 2019 gay movie “And Then We Danced”, based on the love affair between Merab and Irakli – dancers training at the National Georgian Ensemble in Tbilisi. Whilst the movie is about the challenges of dealing with homosexuality in a conservative society, at its premiere in downtown Tbilisi in November 2019, violent protests were taking place outside by far-right and religious groups. Thankfully the police kept the peace. But what a huge step forward for an ex-Soviet country, where not too long ago, being gay got you thrown into prison!

Since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1991, Georgia has pushed ahead with progressive laws as it has tried to ally itself more and more with the EU. This has included laws to protect its LGBTQ community, like legalising homosexuality in 2000, and an array of anti-discrimination laws from 2006 onwards. Yet, society remains very conservative. So much so that in 2018, the government passed a constitutional ban on gay marriages.

To put things into perspective, in a survey carried out by the Pew Research Centre in 2015/2016 about the acceptance of homosexuality in East Europe, Georgia ranked as one of the least tolerant, with a whopping 93% of the people polled saying homosexuality should not be accepted by society.

About Georgia Gay Life

We absolutely loved Georgia. It’s a stunning country with mountains, beaches, delicious foods, wines and a rich cultural heritage to discover. We were excited to experience all of this and we were not disappointed.

We were also fully aware of the country’s “struggle” (to put it mildly!) with LGBTQ rights before going. We knew we had to be cautious about PDAs. But we never had problems finding gay friendly hotels and even discovered lots of gay hangouts, including the famous Bassiani. The people we met were only ever super sweet and welcoming, and we loved them! But this is from our perspective as a gay couple travelling in Georgia. We wanted to get an idea of what things are really like from a local, so we got our friend Giorgi from Tbilisi to tell us more in this interview about Georgia gay life.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay India – The Nomadic Boys

Gay India - The Nomadic Boys

Touchdown in Delhi, the first thing we see are men walking the streets holding hands…

This is a tradition so deep-rooted in the culture of India: men are very docile around each other, whether straight or gay. It’s not a sexual thing, simply one of those cultural norms that caught our eyes!

India is often a monstrous feat for tourists. It’s so big, so full of culture, so diverse, that it’s impossible to decide where to visit if you’re going for a short trip. Which is why we didn’t just go for a short trip; we went on a month-long journey covering as much as we could from north to south. From cruising along the backwaters of Kerala, taking in the sounds of wild birds and air whistling through the trees, the Ghats of Varanasi, to the fiery food, that would burn the tongue of any ole’ Westerner (where the hottest spice we’re used to is salt!), India sets out to transform your perception of the world.

What called us to gay India in the first place? Was it the Taj Mahal, with its monumental appearance, a marble fortress set against the dazzling blue sky? Perhaps it was the jumbled landscape, with the extremes of sparse open fields lying next to a never-ending jungle, that lies adjacent to a labyrinth of a city filled with delicious smells, ancient temples and busy markets? Or the people: full of colour, sass, lots of head wobbling and plenty of smiles.

Famous for their unwavering hospitality, Indian people welcome tourists with an open embrace. Everywhere we went, we were met with smiling eyes and greetings of warmth. Chatting to merchants in the street we got to hear all sorts of fascinating stories about their local lives. The hustle and bustle, people brushing past you in tight quarters, and avoiding pickpockets were no mean feat but when matched with the gentle and beautiful hearts of the majority of Indians, it’s all so worth it.

All About Gay India

To learn more about all things tourist-y, food-y, and party-gay-centric around India, check out our ultimate gay country guide right here!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

India Gay Travel Resources

India Gay Life – The Nomadic Boys

India Gay Life - The Nomadic Boys

After a decade of backflipping in and out the closet with its anti-gay laws (the Delhi High Court repealed them in 2009 but in 2013 the Supreme Court reintroduced them), in September 2018, the Supreme Court finally repealed them once and for all in a landmark decision.

This was huge! Remember, this is a country with a population of almost 1.5 billion people. That’s a vast proportion of the world’s LGBTQ population – and these guys are super active!

Day by day the Indian LGBTQ population is growing more and more confident. All the main Indian cities have a gay scene, particularly in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, which have their own gay pride parades, weekly gay parties and even LGBTQ film festivals. It’s for this reason we rate India as one of the most gay friendly countries in Asia.

However, Indian society remains very conservative. Indian men are expected to marry a woman and have lots of children to please their family so as to avoid being ostracised by their local community. Because of this, we found that a large part of India gay life is still underground. We suggest using gay dating apps like Grindr to tap into the local LGBTQ community, as we found out in our gay night out in Delhi. This is where we met up with our buddy Raj from Delhi to find out more about what it’s like growing up gay in India

Raj requested his identity be kept anonymous, so we have used the name “Raj” as his alias. Raj also has a lifestyle blog about his relationship with his boyfriend and their life in Delhi, which we recommend checking out.

Hi Raj, where are you from and what do you do?

Namaste Nomadic Boys – welcome to India and to Delhi! I am Raj, a 28 years old trainee doctor, born and raised in Delhi. I live in Delhi with my boyfriend, Rhys (also an alias name), who I met at university. We’ve been together for over a decade.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

India Gay Travel Resources

China’s Leaning Tower – Keep Calm and Wander

China's Leaning Tower - Keep Calm and Wander

The Yunyansi Pagoda on Tiger Hill in Suzhou is China’s Leaning Tower of Pisa. Well, you won’t really notice it if you’re not standing on the right side below the tower.

I went there with no idea that this was a leaning pagoda. I gradually noticed it as I went around the structure. The photos below don’t really give justice, but you’ve got to see it yourself if you’re intrigued.

The pagoda is sitting on Tiger Hill, a tourist attraction in Suzhou. There are a few hills in the area with other interesting sites to visit. However, the leaning Yunyansi Pagoda is the most visited one.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

China Gay Travel Resources

Lesbian Mumbai – Our Taste for Life

Lesbian Mumbai - Our Taste for Life

Mumbai is an exciting city, bursting with energy, history, art, and awe-inspiring architecture. Previously known as Bombay, the city is the birthplace of Bollywood and home to the countries financial district. It is also famed for having a relaxed cosmopolitan vibe.

But what is it like to be Gay in Mumbai? Is the attitude towards the LGBT+ community as liberal as Mumbai’s reputation suggests? We travelled to Mumbai to find out. We learnt that following the historic 2018 decision to decriminalise homosexuality in India, the gay scene in Mumbai is in fact on the rise.

Truth be told; this was a surprise. In our experience, India was still very socially conservative. We certainly hadn’t heard of any hint of a gay scene in the likes of Jaipur, Varanasi, or even Goa! But with LGBT organisations such as ‘It Gets Better India‘ and the ‘Keshav Suri Foundation‘ continuously fighting for visibility and acceptance, times ARE changing.

As it turns out, Mumbai is indeed a city full of surprises. Asides from the gay scene, she is a paradoxical city. One that gives with one hand and takes with the other. An extreme divide between rich and poor; A city that makes dreams or breaks them; A fast-paced lifestyle that can exhilarate or exhaust. Mumbai is the epitome of crazy/beautiful India, and we loved every intoxicating minute of it.

In this travel guide, we will outline all the best places to go in Mumbai as an LGBT+ traveller. You’ll find a list of gay-friendly hotels and bars and our top tips as an LGBT couple in Mumbai. We will also touch on LGBT+ rights and social opinions in India, to help you prepare for an incredible, and most importantly, a safe, trip of a lifetime.

Lesbian Mumbai & LGBT+ Rights in India

When it comes to LGBT rights in India, the past 20 years have been a long and volatile road. A series of significant wins and disappointing setbacks saw LGBT activists taking one step forward and two steps back again.

By Charlotte & Natalie – Full Story at Our Taste for Life

Mumbai Lesbian Travel Resources

Gay Ubud – The Nomadic Boys

Ubud – the art and cultural heart of Bali. A place synonymous with yoga retreats, rainforests, lush green countryside, and lots of vegan restaurants (seriously it’s a thing – they even have a Vegan Festival here every October!). Our Seby, who is super passionate about pure and wholesome living, was in his element, living his Julia Roberts Eat, Pray, Love fantasy, cycling through those famous rice paddies…

Ubud is a must for gay travellers visiting Bali. Yes, the gay scene of Bali is a lot of fun, but we highly recommend making time for a visit to this cultural gem. It’s tranquil in gay Ubud, giving you the much-needed mental cleanse that you seek.

The only thing we’d say is that Ubud is just that – nature, beauty, tranquillity and culture. Don’t come here expecting mad parties and crazy all-nighters. Save all that for Seminyak.

We’ve put together our complete gay guide to Ubud featuring the best gay friendly hotels, places to eat, go out, events and some of the not-to-miss highlights.

Is Gay Ubud safe for LGBTQ+ travellers?

As with the rest of Bali, we found Ubud to be very welcoming to us as a gay couple. Unlike the rest of Indonesia (which is going backwards in relation to LGBTQ rights), Bali has held fast to its open-minded values. This is because of the island’s strong Hindu heritage, a far more tolerant religion than Islam, particularly towards the LGBTQ community. In addition, thanks to the large international community of digital nomads and expats basing themselves in and around Ubud, there is a more modern and liberal attitude prevalent here.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Bali Gay Travel Resources

Shanghai’s Oriental Pearl Tower – Keep Calm and Wander

Shanghai's Oriental Pearl Tower - Keep Calm and Wander

The Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower was once the tallest building in China – from 1994-2007. Then, it was later eclipsed by the modern Shanghai World Financial Center. 

Today, the tower is the 5th tallest in the world.

A friend of mine once told me that his Shanghainese friend told him that the tower resembles that of twin dragons playing with pearls.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

China Gay Travel Resources

Lesbian Bali – Our Taste for Life

Lesbian Bali - Our Taste for Life

Contrary to popular belief, being gay in Bali is not only accepted but in some ways, celebrated. With an influx of gay-friendly bars and hotels causing a stir from the coast of Seminyak to the cultural hub of Ubud, being an LGBT+ traveller in Bali has never been easier.  

I understand this may be surprising to some, considering Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world. However, what with the predominant Hindu influence and tourism hitting an all-time high, Bali has a far more relaxed attitude relative to other parts of Indonesia. In short, the aptly named ‘Island of the Gods’ is proud to welcome all travellers.

We recently spent a lot of time in Bali, and we can surely confirm that this popular travel destination is worth all the hype. From magnificent mountains to rugged coastlines, and majestic waterfalls to smouldering volcanoes, the abundant Balinese nature is unlike anywhere else we’ve been. Combine this with the rich and vibrant Balinese culture, and you have everything you need to have a truly fantastic time.  

In this travel guide, we outline all the best places to go in Bali as an LGBT+ traveller. You’ll find a list of gay-friendly hotels and bars and our top tips as an LGBT+ couple in Bali. We will also touch on LGBT+ rights and social opinions in Indonesia, so you are fully prepared.

Lesbian Bali & LGBTQ+ Rights

OK, before we get stuck into our LGBT+ travel guide for Bali, let’s quickly talk about LGBT rights in Indonesia. While these may not be so relevant when travelling in Bali, it’s important to be aware of the situation so you can avoid any unnecessary issues along your travels.

Unfortunately, Indonesia doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to LGBT Rights. The sad thing is, the situation seems to be deteriorating. While same-sex sexual activity is legal in most provinces, there is a strong movement to criminalise it and is currently under review by the government.