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

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.    

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

Bali’s Sumapan Waterfall – Our Taste for Life

Sumampan Waterfall

Sumampan Waterfall is still somewhat of a hidden gem in Bali. At the same time, it’s one of the most majestic waterfalls on the island. Located in the heart of a charming village in Ubud, a trip to the falls is a pleasant retreat from the busy town centre.

After stumbling upon the falls purely by accident, we were surprised to have never heard of them before. Lush rice fields and towering palm trees encompass the fall. While hanging vines and trees give it a real jungle vibe.

In this guide, we advise everything you need to know ahead of visiting Sumampan Waterfall in Bali. Including entrance fees, how to get there, what to expect & more. 

How to Get to Sumampan Waterfall

Sumampan is one of the best waterfalls near Ubud and easily accessed from most of the tourist hubs in Bali. It paves the way for Tegenungan Waterfall, so it makes sense to combine the 2 if you fancy a waterfall adventure.

To rent a scooter in Bali is around 60,000 IDR per day. The roads in Bali are, for the most part, in excellent condition. And if you are confident on a bike, this is the cheapest way to get around.

Full Story at Our Taste for Life

Bali Gay Travel Resources

Bali’s Leke Leke Waterfall – Our Taste for Life

Leke Leke Waterfall is a stunning waterfall located in the heart of Bali. At the same time, it’s somewhat of a hidden gem, and those can be hard to come by on the ever-popular island. While you can’t swim at this waterfall, Insta-worthy Leke Leke is a worthy addition to your Bali Itinerary.

Located around the heart of the island, Leke Leke Waterfall makes for an adventurous road trip from the North of Bali or Ubud. With other activities such as cycling and tubing held throughout the grounds, you could spend the entire day here and not get bored.

In this guide, we advise everything you need to know ahead of visiting Leke Leke Waterfall in Bali. Including entrance fees, how to get there, what to expect & more.

How to get to Leke Leke Waterfall

Leke Leke is one of the most picturesque waterfalls near Ubud, and conveniently accessible from most tourist hubs in Bali. We combined our visit with a trip to Nungnung Waterfall, and both are located around 1-hours drive North from Ubud centre.

To rent a scooter in Bali is around 60,000 IDR per day. The roads in Bali are, for the most part, in excellent condition. And if you are confident on a bike, this is the cheapest way to get around.

Ten Days in Bali – Our Taste for Life

Ten Days in Bali

Ten Days in Bali is the perfect amount of time to enjoy a taste of everything the island has to offer. And to help with your trip planning, we have put together a 10 Day Bali Itinerary that will ensure you do not miss out on any of the highlights.

Read moreTen Days in Bali – Our Taste for Life

Bandung Road Trip – Once Upon a Journey

Bandung - Once Upon a Journey

Bandung is Indonesia’s third biggest city and is located in West Java. With way cooler temperatures than Jakarta, it’s the perfect getaway. Be prepared for some crazy cool Instagram spots like Rabbit Town, beautiful mountain scenery and many traffic jams (it’s almost as busy as Jakarta). There are a lot of fun things to do in and around Bandung and you can totally do it on a day trip!

In and around Bandung you can find many crazy Instagrammable hotspots. And you will find them in the weirdest places. The first one we stumble upon is the area around Cakrawala Sparkling Nature Restaurant. A great place for drinks and food at one of the restaurants or just to enjoy the view and photo spots.

Rabbit town is even more random, but we like fun places so it’s perfect! If you want colourful pictures, go here. The building is full of crazy, colourfully decorated rooms – on multiple levels. We paid 65.000 IDR entrance fee to Rabbit town.

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

Indonesia Gay Travel Resources

 

Gili Air – The Scruffy Italian Traveler

Gili Air - The Scruffy Italian Traveler I had such a great time on the beautiful island of Gili Air! I enjoyed spending my day just doing just what I like to do the most, which is chillaxing 🙂 This is how my typical day on the island looked like. As soon as I woke up, after a refreshing calm night sleep, some fresh water on my face, just a bit of fruit to break the night fast, I was out for a good 1 hour jogging around the island before the heat hit too strongly (the island is very small, so in less than one hour you have been running all around it). Soon after, a refreshing shower in my open air shower overlooking the ocean! a super powered breakfast soon after; a refreshing dip into the ocean; relaxing on the beach; plenty of coffee and fresh fruits during the day; drinks at sunset (on the sunset beach of course!); beautiful dinners with fresh fish; and more drinks and good music after dinner. This is life, isnt it? I was not lucky with the weather: I visited in December, when the Monsoon storms hit very strongly the area, so I did not enjoy very much the underwater life. I did some snorkeling, but in all honesty I did not have much luck!

By Sergio Scardia – Full Story at The Scruffy Italian Traveler

Indonesia Gay Travel Resources

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The Nomadic Boys Meet The Scruffy Italian

nomadic-boys-and-gios Stefan and Sebastian are two bloggers known as the Nomadic Boys. They are a gay couple: we met in London a few years ago, and we are friends since then! They traveled all the way from Europe to Asia a couple of years ago and ate their way around Southeast Asia for almost two years. Recently they have relocated to South America, planning to travel around the area for a few years and tell it all in their blog! If you have never bumped into them take a look at their blog and to their Instagram account! They are absolutely gorgeous! Why am I talking about the Stefan and Sebastian? Because when planning my first trip ever around Southeast Asia I took inspiration from their posts… that is how I discovered the Gili islands, which honestly were completely unknown to me! The Nomadic Boys wrote a few months back (you can read their complete reportage here) a complete ironic gay friendly review about the Gili Islands. This review helped me clear my mind and decide which of the three islands to choose for my holidays: they compared the three islands to the Destiny’s Child! The tourism in these beautiful Islamic islands is increasing and each of them is specializing in attracting a different type of travelers: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, all equally beautiful, cater to different lifestyles. First of all: Where are these islands located? The Gili islands belong to the beautiful country of Indonesia, and are situated off the northwest coast of Lombok. Lombok is one of the biggest islands of the country, just a short hop from Bali.

By Sergio Scardia – Full Story at The Scruffy Italian Traveler

Indonesia Gay Travel Resources

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Gay Life in Indonesia – Nomadic Boys

Nomadic Boys “OMG careful you don’t get caned for being gay over there you two!” We did of course point out to our concerned friends and family back home that Sharia Law is only in place in one small part of Indonesia in the Northern Aceh province. If the rainbow flag gets out of control in Aceh, you risk being convicted by the Sharia police to 10-150 lashes in public for being gay. And yes, this now applies to foreigners too! But we don’t go around waving rainbow flags. Nor do we have any interest in getting publicly canned in Aceh (our caning adventures at the Komodo National Park were more then enough)…

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Indonesia Gay Travel Resources

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