Is Arab street the most colorful neighborhood in Singapore? For me, I think it is. I went there once during my trip – and boy – the street is as colorful as the rainbow!
It brought me back to the times I was in the souqs (markets) in Marrakech, Fez, Jeddah, Cairo, Beirut, and Istanbul.
Well, this street is not exactly what it’s like in the Middle East, but there are familiar scenes and things that reminded of getting lost in the souqs.
Arab Street in Singapore is just a tiny neighborhood. In fact, if you go in there just for your Instagram photos, thirty minutes will be enough. That, of course, if you are that kind of traveler who came for the colorful shots and not for the destination.
My adventurous trek to Mt Batur volcano to watch the sunrise was all worth it!
“Sunrise trek to Mount Batur? Why not? Ok, sign me in!” Those were the words I uttered when a tour agent asked if I’d be interested. Of course, I paid the tour right away without qualms. You see – I love a mountain climb. I always do. At my age right now (I’m not really that old hag yet), I know, I’d be slower than I used to be.
For me, it’s all about proper breathing when trekking/climbing/hiking a mountain. And of course – keeping a distance from the person you are following with. I find that if I hike closer behind someone, I’m pressured/forced to keep up – and I won’t enjoy the journey anymore. So, I want to be the last one in a group.
Mount Batur Volcano Trek Tour
Based in Ubud, I was picked up at my accommodation at 2:15 AM. Then, they served us a pre-breakfast food: banana pancakes and coffee/tea. Right after that, we’re off to the base of Mt. Batur. When we arrived there, two guides met us (a group of 9) and briefed us about safety. They then each gave us a small flashlight for the trek.
At 3:40, we started our trek in the darkness. Under the star-filled skies, the adventurous climb was off to a good start.
The Petronas Towers are identical towers that are synonymous to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. They’re the most iconic skyscrapers and architectural wonders in the city’s skyline. No visit in KL without a glimpse of these silver-colored twins.
The first time I saw them eons ago, I thought they resembled a rocket, ready to launch in space. 😉
Standing at 1,483 feet, the towers have 88 habitable floors. They are finished off with a pyramid-like structure topped with a thin steel spire.
The colors of Singapore’s Little India are as vibrant as its culture. No, I’m not talking about the colors of turmeric powder spices, but the whole neighborhood. It is alive with cultural excitement from its murals to its historical and colorful houses.
And of course, the shopping scene here is one of a kind. However, we were not tempted to buy a thing. Not that we were stingy – it’s just that our closets still have clothes with price tags. Nope, we are definitely not hoarders. We are just waiting for the right time to wear those clothes.
In Singapore’s Little India, you will find not just cultural but also religious heritage. You’ll find Hindu temples, a mosque, and Buddhist temples.
Is Prambanan Temple the world’s most graceful and most beautiful Hindu Temple? That’s the tagline that you see and read in tourism brochures in Yogyakarta, but without a question mark. Is it really? Ok, I’ve been to India where there’s a huge Hindu population and I visited some of the temples there – and I’d say that, yes, Prambanan Temple deserves that title.
At first glance, the architectural design made think of the Angkor Wat of Cambodia.
While they might look the same, it is important to know that Prambanan is a Hindu temple while Angkor Wat is a Buddhist temple.
Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is pure bliss in the morning. Its serenity and the murmuring whispers of prayers are calming to the soul. At least that’s how I felt because I arrived there at 4:15 in the morning – earlier than most Buddhist worshippers. And way too earlier than most tourists, too. I highly recommend that you go early in the morning, for an obvious reason: it’s not crowded.
Your visit to Myanmar’s capital city won’t be entirely complete without getting a glimpse of this golden pagoda.
Shwedagon is the most iconic landmark of the country that used to called Burma under British rule.
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!
“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…
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.
Grab a water gun, head here in mid-April and you have a legit free pass to spray water at any cutie you see walking down the street!
Songkran is the Buddhist New Year festival, which takes place every year from the 13th to 15th April. Around this time, Phuket and Bangkok host some of the biggest gay parties across all of Asia. But the thing to do in Songkran is chuck water at everyone. Seriously – in Buddhism, this symbolises the washing away of bad luck from the previous year. It cleanses you! And oh boy do we gays love a bit of cleansing? Trust us to take this to a whole different level, using it as an excuse to sashay the streets topless (it is, after all, super hot here in April!), chuck water at each other and make it into a massive party!
Phuket continues the festivities right after Songkran when Phuket Pride kicks off. Though to be frank, we found Phuket to be one big gay partyville throughout the entire year. There’s an entire area of gayness here in Patong affectionately nicknamed “Paradise Complex”, where all the gay bars and clubs of the island are. Head a few blocks from here and you reach Patong gay beach, full of hot speedo-clad guys posing, tanning, cruising, Instagramming, TikToking…suffice to say, if you’re looking for a gay beach holiday in Asia, Phuket’s got you covered!
This is our detailed gay guide to Phuket based on our trip here including the best gay hangouts, where to stay covering all budgets, gay spas, things to do and more. Note for LGBTQ travellers heading beyond Phuket, be sure to also check out our bumper gay guide to Thailand.
We loved gay Phuket. It was almost as fun as the gay scene of Bangkok, but right next to the beach!
The main gay strip of Phuket is based in and around the “Paradise Complex” of Patong. This is literally the Phuket gay area, all nicely concentrated within a few pedestrianised streets. More specifically, opposite the Royal Paradise Hotel, just off Thanon Ratuthit Songroipi Road.
Nude relaxed sailing trips for guys in Flores/Komodo, Indonesia.
These trips go beyond the superficial gay lifestyle, allowing guys to really delve into concepts like nudity, sexual freedom, body imagery, and the connective ties that bind all men.
Our boat – an all-wood traditional vessel – sails amongst islands in the calm and exotic Flores Sea, near Bali. Small group experiences, limited to 12 men as guests, plus our local crew, and two Western Leaders.
All-inclusive prices, meaning not only food and drinks (even beer, wine and cocktails), but also some fun and unusual inclusions like massages and body-shaving. It’s social, it’s fun, it’s connected… and it’s naked.
The clothing-optional element allows each guy to be as comfortable as he likes – whether in a speedo, sarong, or birthday suit. In a connected, friendly, chill atmosphere, guys can release sexual inhibitions as they release stress.
Enjoy camaraderie, a relaxed vibe, and stunning nature – while au naturel.