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.