Italy Gay Beaches – The Nomadic Boys

Italy Gay Beaches - The Nomadic Boys

Italy is one place that sure as hell confused the crap out of our gaydar! Almost every single guy here is well dressed with a charming smile and such perfectly chiselled speedo-ready-bodies…just head to any beach here and you’ll know exactly what we mean.

And they’re not shy: those sexy Italian studs love to show off (and do a pretty fine job of it in our humble opinion)!

We’ve travelled throughout Italy, from our romantic anniversary in Venice, the Amalfi Coast all the way to gorgeous Gallipoli in Puglia in the south. It’s such a rewarding destination for LGBTQ travellers, rich with culture, fine food, and, some of the hottest guys on the planet!

Along the way, we joined the throng of Italian-admirers and headed to the many Italy gay beaches and have summarised some of the best ones in this guide. One thing to note is that whilst public nudity in Italy is officially illegal, in 2006 nude tanning was legalised in designated areas, which has seen an increase in popularity in nudist-friendly beaches in Italy…remember that point we made above about how Italian men like showing off…

1. D’Ayala beach in Commenda near Taranto in Puglia

Spiaggia D’Ayala is the official name of this hidden gem. It’s the main gay beach in Puglia and also a nudie beach because it’s nicely cut off from the main road by the large “Pineta d’Ayala” forest. The beach is in the small town of Commenda, which is a 40-minute drive from the nearest big city of Taranto.

To reach it, on Google Maps search for “Spiaggia d’Ayala” and you’ll see it surrounded by a large patch of green, which is the large forest. Leave your car parked at one end of it, then walk in via one of the main paths which will take you to this 1km stretch of beach. The gay part is right in the middle, near the Lune Saracene Gay B&B.

At each end of this beach, there are beach clubs like Lido Posto 9 where you can rent sunbeds/umbrellas. Also nearby across the main road is the Toro Loco Beer House, which does delicious pizzas. Otherwise, D’Ayala beach is super remote with few facilities. Just you and Mother Nature…and a bunch of gay boys letting it all hang out!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Italy Gay Travel Resources

Gay Colombo, Sri Lanka – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Colombo, Sri Lanka - The Nomadic Boys

“Colombo, the bustling capital city of Sri Lanka, is gritty, crowded but super charming.”

It has all the colourful quirks you’d find in India but with a more calming atmosphere. We felt like we were receiving a spiritual cleansing just by walking down the streets!

Colombo is bursting with Buddhist temples, markets and smiling Sri Lankan faces. Every corner is steeped in history and culture. We found ourselves torn over what activity to tackle next, what to see, what story to unravel, who to speak to, where to eat. It never gets dull for a moment!

As tourists with passing interests in history, it more than satisfied our needs. Everything from the museums to the many temples helped unravel the story of this great nation. As gay travellers, we still felt relatively comfortable to be ourselves (more about this below!) and find sparks of queerness in the city tapestry. Whether it be in the fabulous display of masks and costumes we found in the museums or the underground gay scene where we found our fellow brothers and sisters of the gay community.

We’ve put together this guide to Colombo for you to check out all the tips and tricks of exploring the city as an LGBTQ traveller. We also recommend you check out our gay guide to Sri Lanka alongside this guide if you’re exploring more of the country.

Is Colombo safe for gay travellers?

While homosexuality is still illegal in Sri Lanka, Sri Lankans are very welcoming people and super curious towards foreigners whether straight or gay. We never felt in any danger for being gay, nor ever experienced any homophobia. Put it this way, we never thought twice about booking a double bed anywhere in Sri Lanka. In fact, there is even a growing number of hotels targeting gay travellers in nearby Negombo.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Sri Lanka Gay Travel Resources

Gay Taipei – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Taipei - The Nomadic Boys

When we heard that Hung is a common Taiwanese surname, we knew that this was a country worth visiting!

The capital city of Taipei threw us for a fabulously gay loop. We had heard that it was, by Asian standards, a liberal and tolerant place, but we had no idea just how much the city loves its gay. Within minutes of descending onto the gay scene, we were doused in glitter and dancing under disco lights to the likes of Cher and Dolly Parton. The gay scene in Ximen is damn impressive! There’s an entire area around the Red House with tons of gay bars to check out.

The city of Taipei is also full of rich culture, from the ancient temples that dot the city skyline, to the stunning architecture of tower blocks like the famous Taipei 101. In this gay guide to Taipei, we’ve put together our experience from this incredible city, including our favourite gay bars (there are loads!), clubs, gay hotels, events, things to do, and loads more!

How friendly is Gay Taipei?

Very gay friendly! We rate Taiwan as not only the most gay friendly place in Asia, but one of the most gay friendly places in the world. Unlike the rest of Asia, Taiwan is miles ahead of everyone with its LGBTQ rights: in 2019 it was the first (and to date, only!) country in Asia to legalise gay marriage. Taiwan is a beacon of hope for LGBTQ rights in Asia that we hope the rest of the continent will follow asap!

Part of the reason why Taiwan is so far ahead of its neighbours is due to the era of Marshal Law, which occurred between 1949-1987. Known as the White Terror, it saw the Taiwanese experience many restrictions in their freedom of expression with around 200,000 people imprisoned or killed. So, when this tragic period ended, the Taiwanese were eager to push for change and embrace democracy, which they’ve been doing so beautifully ever since!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Friendly Philippines – Nomadic Boys

Gay Friendly Philippines - Nomadic Boys

We absolutely fell in love with the gay friendly Philippines. It was the big surprise from our big trip around Asia. Most travellers backpacking around Asia also told us the same thing – they came to the Philippines with low expectations but ended up leaving completely besotted with the place!

The Philippines has 7,641 islands of which only 2,000 are inhabited. That’s a shed load of tropical beaches to discover. The country also straddles the Coral Triangle, which makes it a paradise for underwater adventurers – we had some of the best snorkelling and scuba diving experiences here, particularly in the waters around Palawan.

And, it’s super gay friendly! We rate the Philippines as one of the most gay friendly countries in Asia. Whilst it has a long way to go with its LGBTQ laws (as does almost every country in Asia), this was one of the rare countries in Asia where we felt super welcome as a gay couple.

We put this down to the Filipinos. They are extremely friendly, warm and fun-loving people – the “Filipino hospitality” is a thing which they highly value.

We were fortunate to make many LGBTQ Filipino friends during our travels, both in the gay friendly Philippines and elsewhere. We reached out to them to give us their opinion on why they think the Philippines is so gay friendly and awesome! We specifically asked each of them to answer these 2 questions and have printed their answers below.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Philippines Gay Travel Resources

Gay Montevideo – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Montevideo - The Nomadic Boys

“Guys it’s true, trust me: 98% of guys in Montevideo are either gay or bisexual!”

…so claimed our Uruguayan friend, Rodrigo, when we were chatting with them in Chains Pub about what gay life is like in Montevideo. Whether or not our friend is right, one thing’s for certain: the guys here are smoking hot!

Montevideo is often described as a “sleepy South America city“ – slow-paced, old fashioned, and nostalgia-tinged. Sleepy or not, we had a ball exploring the gay scene of Montevideo, its cutesy old town and the impressive coastline avenue, the Malecon.

And the bit about 98% of men here allegedly being homosexually inclined in some way? Well whether it’s true or not, this simply speaks volumes about how liberal, open-minded and chilled Montevideo is.

We’ve put together our experiences of Montevideo in this detailed gay guide to inspire your trip to include the best gay hotels, bars, clubs, events, things to do and more.

Is Montevideo safe for gay travellers?

Definitely! Montevideo is frequently rated as one of the most gay friendly cities in the world and based on our personal experience, we certainly rate Uruguay as one of the most gay friendly countries in the world.

To start with, Uruguay has a history of being extremely progressive, lenient and open-minded. It legalised abortions in 2012, established a welfare state all the way back in 1903 and legalised marijuana consumption in 2013. With regards to LGBTQ rights in Uruguay, they have long been secured and respected. For example, homosexuality was decriminalised as far back as 1934, anti-discrimination laws have been in place since 2003, adoption laws since 2009 and gay marriage implemented in 2013.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Uruguay Gay Travel Resources

Thailand’s Trans Culture – The Nomadic Boys

BLOG - Thailand's Trans Culture - The Nomadic Boys

As soon as we mention we’re going to Bangkok, our (straight male) friends are quick to shower us with the “ladyboy” jokes also offering advice on “how to spot them“!

We always try to challenge stereotypes about transgender people in Thailand, the most common usually emanating from a guy’s fear that “they” are plotting to trap and seduce him. The reality, of course, is that “they” really are not! Most are simply trying to lead a normal everyday life, just like you and me, in a world that still hasn’t fully accepted its transgender community.

We have many transgender friends around the world who we’ve met in our travels, like Finn from Berlin. We take great pride in the LGBTQ bond that unites us: as gay men we are ultimately part of the same rainbow family, undergoing the same daily struggles of acceptance. We, therefore, take great pride in using our online platform to have an educative influence for transgender issues by challenging stereotypes and promoting a positive image of our transgender brothers and sisters.

One of our very good trans friends is Regina, who we met when we were out partying in the gay bars of Bangkok. Like us, Regina loves travelling and has stories from all around the world to share. Regina was also open to telling us all about her transition as well as her experience living/working as a trans person in Asia.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

Tokyo Gay Tours – The Nomadic Boys

BLOG - Tokyo Gay Tours - The Nomadic Boys

An urban jungle of intense energy, electric colours and lights. Yet it all flows together in an impressive orderly manner, absolutely nothing out of place.

This is Tokyo. It’s absolutely mad, like nothing you’ll ever experience! A frenetic city of almost 15 million people, yet somehow doesn’t ever feel crowded – unless you take the metro at rush hour…try this just once to experience it, but otherwise, to be avoided!

Every time we visit Tokyo it always feels like a culture shock and we love it! It gives us everything we want no matter how many times we visit. And as a bonus, it has a terrific gay scene with over 300 gay bars crammed in the tiny Shinjuku Ni-Chome district. We recommend checking out our detailed gay guide to Tokyo for more about this.

Whether you’ve been to Tokyo before or this is your first time, there are a variety of excellent Tokyo gay tours you can join to explore the best the city has to offer from experiencing the Shinjkuku gay scene with a local LGBTQ guide or learning about the city’s history with an LGBTQ focus. We’ve put together some of the best gay tours in Tokyo for LGBTQ travellers to check out right here.

Gay Night Tour of Tokyo

To experience Tokyo’s gay nightlife through the eyes of gay locals, we recommend joining this excellent tour of the gay scene. Remember above when we said there are over 300 gay bars? We weren’t kidding! The majority of Tokyo’s gay bars are tiny spaces all packed together in the Shinjuku Ni-Chome district. The one downside of this is that a handful of these small gay bars do not welcome foreigners and may even refuse you entry if you’re not local or know someone local to take you. Therefore having a gay local showing you the gay scene of Tokyo is the perfect way to get you into such bars as well as steering you through this wacky minefield of Tokyo queerness!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Little Known Facts About Vietnam – The Nomadic Boys

BLOG: Little Known Facts About Vietnam - The Nomadic Boys

“Guys, take my hand, stay together and slowly cross the road. Just don’t stop or go back. Walk with confidence and all the traffic will work around you. Trust me it’s super safe!”

“Are you f*g kidding me?” I said to Stefan…

Yet our friend Quan was right. The chaotic and seemingly neverending traffic of Saigon and Hanoi all seem to work together in this sort of messy ‘union’. It’s overwhelming for first-timers. I can tell you I was terrified out of my skin at the prospect of crossing the streets of Saigon when we first touched down Vietnam. But you quickly realise it’s absolutely fine…like our friend Quan told us, start walking slowly, but with purpose, and all the traffic just negotiates its way around you!

Crazy traffic aside, we loved Vietnam. As a gay couple, we loved how welcoming we were made to feel at the hotels we stayed in. There’s even a large LGBTQ community in the large main cities with a handful of queer hangouts to check out. As foodies, we couldn’t be happier. Vietnam is one massive culinary adventure, from the rich “pho” broths of Saigon to the yummy “cao lau” noodle dishes of Hoi An and the delectable tiramisu-like “egg coffees” of Hanoi. We pretty much ate our way from the bottom all the way to the tip of this unique S-shaped country in Southeast Asia. We recommend reading more about this in our blog post about our favourite traditional foods of Vietnam.

The gay scene and tasty prizes aside, Vietnam also has a rich cultural heritage, with its first independent monarchy dating back to 900 AD, a period of French colonialism from 1850-1945 and a subsequent period of division when the North and South became divided into two opposing rival states. Since reunification in 1976, Vietnam has evolved into a crazy, fascinating and above all else, thrilling destination in Asia. We loved it and would zip back in a heartbeat!

Here’s a flavour of precisely why we fell in love with Vietnam set out as our 10 interesting facts which we learnt about it during our big trip.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Vietnam Gay Travel Resources

Gay Xi’an – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Xi’an - The Nomadic Boys

Emperor Qin Shi Huang was one pretty remarkable Diva in Ancient China! Not only did he declare himself as the first Emperor of a unified China back in 221 BC, he also created an entire tomb of terracotta sculptures depicting his massive army who would protect him in his afterlife.

This was no mean feat. Old Qin Shi’s posthumous army consisted of 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses. And it’s pretty damn impressive to behold!

We came to Xi’an expecting to be wowed by Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s famous Terracotta Warrior sculptures – and bloody hell, we sure were! But unbeknownst to us, we were also blown away by the delicious street food in the Muslim Quarter as well as the city’s small, but lively gay scene.

Most will only come to Xi’an expecting to stay for just a few days to see the Terracotta Army then leave. But we recommend hanging around a few days longer. This is a city with an extraordinary history that dates back over 3,000 years, back to when it was called “Chang’an” – one of the four great ancient capitals of China and the starting point of the famous Silk Road trade network. A few days just doesn’t do it justice – trust us, you’ll thank us!

This is our detailed gay guide to Xi’an’s bars, clubs, hotels and some invaluable inspiration for LGBTQ travellers. All the information in this guide is based on our first-hand experience travelling here as a gay couple coupled with notes from gay locals we met during our trip who continue to help us keep our guide up-to-date.

Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

China Gay Travel Resources

Berlin Gay Tours – The Nomadic Boys

Berlin Gay Tours - The Nomadic Boys

Berlin is a city that has been revelling in its queerness for years. Even as far back as the 1920s, it was known as the gayest city in the world. While other cities have recently begun to vie for that crown, for us, there’s just nowhere quite like Berlin!

With a truly hedonistic gay scene featuring gay clubs, bars, saunas, hotels and cruising clubs, Berlin might seem a little overwhelming to first-time visitors. Hell, even us old queens who’ve been here dozens of times occasionally get surprised by the newest additions that have popped up since our last visit!

Berlin Gay Tours

Luckily, for those who want to ease into Berlin’s gay scene gently, or even explore the city from a unique perspective, there are a variety of fabulous Berlin gay tours to experience. Whether you want to just explore Berlin with a gay guide, get acquainted with the gay nightlife, or even learn about the city’s history of sex, there’s a tour for you! We’ve rounded up the best of the best for you right here.

Berlin’s Gay, Lesbian and Queer Scene Walking Tour

When we did this tour we had the terrific, Finn, as our guide. Finn is a gay local and also a history fanatic – the perfect person to get you acquainted with Berlin’s historic gay scene!

The tour is organised by Original Berlin Walks, who focus on telling the history of Berlin in an informative and entertaining manner. We were definitely entertained by Finn, learning so much about Berlin’s queer history at the same time as he walked us through the streets of Schöneberg.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Germany Gay Travel Resources