Walking Tour in Gay Jakarta – Keep Calm and Wander

Gay Jakarta

A walking tour in Jakarta is possible – as long as you have the stamina to walk around, of course! And when I say walk, I’m talking about 4-6 hours of movement from one place to another. But such length of time depends on the pace you’d like to take. Remember that Jakarta is a huge city and streets can be confusing for a first time visitor.]

Hire a Tour Guide

I highly recommend getting a private tour guide for this walking tour – just like I did. It saved me so much time from researching and using Google maps. My guide made sure that I had a total experience of the city. We walked in streets and alleys, crossed bridges and passed through the nitty-gritty parts of Jakarta. We also took a shared public cab once and got on a train – and I loved the experience! If you want the same experience I had, you better call or send WhatsApp text message to Prie via +62-818-0228-8008.

My tour guide picked me up at Oria Hotel in central Jakarta on a rainy morning. He brought with him two raincoats, just in case we needed it. Fortunately, when we started at 9:00 in the morning, the rain temporarily stopped. And since the streets were wet and slippery, we walked slower than expected. These are the places and activities we did – in order of visitation.

Full Story From Keep Calm and Wander

Lesbian Thailand – Our Taste for Life

Lesbian Thailand - Our Taste for Life

When it comes to LGBT-friendly destinations in Asia, Thailand tends to top the list every time. We’ve spent a lot of time travelling through Thailand over the years. And we’ve always been grateful for their tolerant and open-minded attitude towards to the LGBTQ+ community. As not only can we feel free to be ourselves without fear of discrimination, but there’s a thriving gay scene both in Bangkok and other locations across the country. Combine that with sun, sea, sand, and adventure, gay and lesbian Thailand has a lot to offer.

Thailand’s fabulous gay scene aside, the ‘land of smiles’ is a stunning and diverse country. On the one hand, you have pristine beaches, sweeping jungles, and exciting cities. On the other, jaw-dropping temples, fascinating culture, and mouth-watering cuisine. Not to mention the beloved Thai people, who are always there to welcome you with a smile and a “sa-wa-dee-ka/krab”.

With something to offer everybody, Thailand is a dream destination that should be on everybody’s bucket list. And this guide aims to provide you with all the information you need to have an unforgettable time. I’ve listed all of the hottest gay bars and nightclubs; gay-friendly hotels and hostels; the best LGBT+ centred events; as well as all the top places to visit around the country. We will also touch on LGBT+ rights and social opinions in Thailand, so you come fully prepared.

So let’s get to it. Here’s our amazing and comprehensive guide to gay & lesbian Thailand.

LGBT+ Rights in Lesbian Thailand

Thailand has some of the most progressive LGBT laws in all of Asia. Same-sex relations got decriminalised in 1956, which is earlier than many countries in Europe even. It’s also one of the only Asian countries to have implemented anti-discrimination laws for the LGBTQ+ community. Meaning that it’s illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity, in employment, housing, and the military.

That said, it’s still uncertain if the 2019 bill to legalise same-sex marriage will be approved. There is a general consensus, however, that this will pass, making Thailand the second country in Asia (after Taiwan) to recognise same-sex marriage. If this turns out to be the case, there’s also plans to allow same-sex married couples the right to adopt.

Full Story at Our Taste for Life

Lesbian Thailand Travel Resources

Analana Park: Where the Weird Things Are – Keep Calm and Wander

Analana Park - Keep Calm and Wander

At Analana Park – it’s where the weird things are. I mean, they look weird to me. And scary, too! Nope, they’re not of small size but of giant size! Goodness, what if they were real or would suddenly move? I would never have the chance to run nor the chance to plead for my life. Those creatures could just spit at me and I’d turn into a rolling ball.

Where is Analana Park?

The park is inside the Prambanan Temple complex in Yogyakarta. You can only see it after you exit where the main temples are. Just follow the exit signs and you will find your way to the park’s entrance.

The Straw Characters

The first things you notice when entering the park are the giant characters. As you can see, they look impressive and are made of straw.

Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Indonesia Gay Travel Resources

Singapore’s Floral Fantasy – Keep Calm and Wander

Singapore's Floral Fantasy - Keep Calm and Wander

The Floral Fantasy at the Gardens by the Bay is just one of the tourist attractions inside Singapore’s most-visited destination. It’s not cheap to get in though, so I can understand that many visitors would skip it. There were only a few when I visited it, so my photos turned out great! 😀 

But was it worth going inside? Well, if you are into flowers and instagrammable photos – then you are in a perfect place!

With more than 3,000 species of plants, I actually expected the place to be quite big. Perhaps, it will only take a minute from the entrance to the exit door without looking at the flowers. The whole time I was there, I finished in thirty minutes, including the 4D video ride, showing the various places to explore inside the Gardens by the Bay.

Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Caverns of the Marble Mountains – Keep Calm and Wander

Caverns of the Marble Mountains - Keep Calm and Wander

Exploring the caves at the Marble Mountains in Da Nang can be really confusing. There are just so many of them and you don’t even know where to start – even if you follow the map. Going to one direction would mean either you will miss a cave or you will have to go back on the same route to reach the other caves in the opposite direction. There are no shortcuts here. I ditched the map they gave me. I just followed the signs.

The Marble Mountains

The Marble Mountains is a collective name for 5 groups of mountains named after five elements. They are Hoa Son (Fire), Kim Son (Metal), Tho Son (Earth), Thuy Son (Water), and Moc Son (Wood).

As the name suggests, the mountain is popular because of its marbles and limestones. Climbing these mountains is just one of the few things to do in Da Nang. Aside from its beaches, I think this is the city’s most visited tourist attraction.

There are not only caves to see here but there are also pilgrimage sites, tunnels, and a revolutionary base used during the Vietnam War.

Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Vietnam Gay Travel Resources

Gay Hanoi – Keep Calm and Wander

Gay Hanoi - Keep Calm and Wander

Here are 20 things to do and see in gay Hanoi (Vietnam). If you are into Vietnamese food, this list won’t help you much. I’m not including the names of restaurants because when you are in Hanoi, you can eat everywhere, especially in the Old Quarter. The locals love their food so much that it’s no wonder food stalls and restaurants are ubiquitous in the city. The list below is mostly tourist attractions in the city which you can pretty much read in travel guides.

How to get around Hanoi

You can all do the sightseeing by yourself with no problem. However, Hanoi is huge, and walking from one attraction to another can be tiring. So, you better consult your Google map where to start first and where to end. Also, the fastest and the cheapest way to go around is by hailing a Grab bike/scooter. Another option is to rent a motorbike daily or weekly.

Tourist Attractions in Hanoi

Let’s start from the area where you can walk from one place to another. The first six attractions on this list are within walking distance from each other. 

1. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

This is a heavily-guarded place where tall guards in white uniforms are freakin’ good-looking. Really! Zoom in your camera and you’d know I’m not exaggerating. Unfortunately, the mausoleum is not open to the public. All you can do is walk from the entrance to the main square and to the exit. Just in case you are wondering who Ho Chi Minh is – he was once the president of Vietnam and a well-respected revolutionary leader.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Hanoi, Vietnam Gay Travel Resources

Gay Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia - The Nomadic Boys

Kool-krazy-kat-Kota-Kinabalu, the capital and gateway of Malaysia’s Sabah region on Borneo island. This is the city where treks up to Borneo’s highest mountain (Mount Kinabalu) begin, the tropical waters of the Gaya islands are right on your doorstep, lots of different magnificent experiences can be found, and, the coolest nickname ever for a city: KK!

Whilst most travellers will skip out KK, using it just as a transport hub to enter/leave Sabah, we think you should spend a few nights here. We visited KK during our trip around Malaysia and loved it. It’s a relaxed, modern place that offers so much. It also has a large LGBTQ community and sometimes even a gay bar – ie it closes/reopens a lot (more on this below)!

We’ve put together all our findings from our trip in and around gay Kota Kinabalu in this article. We’ve included important practical safety tips for LGBTQ travellers, gay friendly hotels we tried/loved, queer friendly hangouts and some of our favourite things to do which we hope inspires you.

Is Kota Kinabalu safe for gay travellers?

On the whole, yes, but as long as you’re careful to avoid PDAs. Malaysia is not on par with some of the places in the Middle East, but it’s obviously no Bangkok here!

In relation to progressive LGBTQ rights in Malaysia, there are none at all. There is even a horrible archaic anti-gay law which carries with it a 20-year imprisonment as well as caning, fines and/or deportation! The reality is that the anti-gay law of Malaysia is rarely ever enforced, particularly against foreigners. However, this gives you an idea of how society regards homosexuality and therefore why it’s best to avoid PDAs.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

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

Swinging in Bali – Keep Calm and Wander

Swinging in Bali - Keep Calm and Wander

You know you can’t leave Bali without getting on one of the swings everywhere on the island. They’re literally scattered everywhere. If you see coconuts and rice fields in one place, there’s a big chance that there are a few swings around. Or perhaps, a man-made nest intended for humans, not for birds.

Yes, swings and nests are just two of the most artificial “tourist attractions” in around Ubud promoted as “theme parks” Or whatever they call it.

A fellow traveler and I went to Aloha Ubud because you know – we wanted to experience the thrill of it all. But when we arrived at the reception – boy, the prices got me backed off the moment I read it! Goodness, it’s more expensive than going inside MoMa in New York or at the Louvre Museum in Paris!

Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Bali Gay Travel Resources