Gay Life in Vietnam – The Nomadic Boys

Vietnam is one of our favourite places we visited as a gay couple travelling in Asia. From delicious foods to fantastic sites like Ha Long Bay, you’re spoilt rotten in terms of a destination rich with culture. Vietnam also has a more liberal attitude towards homosexuality, with large thriving LGBTQ communities in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and the capital in Saigon.

We found Vietnam to be one of the most gay friendly countries in Asia. Locals were extremely friendly and welcoming to us, and getting a double bed was never an issue for us anywhere. However, Vietnam still has quite a way to go with regards to its LGBTQ laws, lacking any for anti-discrimination or for recognising same-sex couples. We met up with our buddy Quan in Saigon who gave us his perspective of what gay life in Vietnam is really like for LGBTQ locals in this interview.

Hello Quan, where are you from and what do you do?

Hi Stef and Seby.

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My name is Quan Nguyen and I am 34 years old. I am a web designer living and working in Saigon.

Originally, I am from “Can Tho” in the Mekong Delta, but in my teenage years, my family moved to Saigon.

I come from a Catholic family, which surprises most people because everyone assumes all Vietnamese are Buddhist. Catholicism is one of the many influences in Vietnam from the French.

Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Vietnam Gay Travel Resources

Canoeing in the Kawartha Highlands – Out With Ryan

Fall breeze. autumn leaves and pure Canadian wilderness. This is exactly what you’ll discover when you go canoeing in the Kawartha Highlands this season. This provincial park is the ideal place to re-connect with mother nature in any season, but especially in fall and late-summer; the most beautiful time to explore Canada, in my opinion.

Not only was this my first canoe trip in the Kawartha Highlands but also my first overnight canoe trip ever!

I learned so much from my 2 nights and 3 days canoeing, portaging (which I thought at first was a fancy word similar to apres-ski) and camping my way around the Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park, specifically the Serpentine Lake Loop.

Canoeing in the Kawartha Highlands

My good friend Chris Mitchell invited me and a group of our travel blogger friends on a camping trip where we all experienced canoeing in the Kawartha Highlands together, and oh boy, this oasis didn’t disappoint.

We have a saying in the LGBT+ community: There are friends. And there’s family. Then, there are friends who become family. This trip is where my travel blogger friends, Chris, Kimberly, Kathryn, and Kevin became family.

Full Story at Out With Ryan

Ontario Gay Travel Resources

Gay Saigon – The Nomadic Boys

“Guys, just follow my lead and slowly cross the road with me: the cars and motorbikes will just weave their way around you…”

…so said our friend Quan who showed us how to navigate the crazy traffic of the streets of Saigon. Honestly, you’ve not been to Saigon until you’ve tried to cross over one of the main roads or taken a scooter ride through the busy jungle of moving vehicles; it’s something you won’t forget in a hurry!

Saigon is a lot of fun. It’s busy, frenetic, has super feisty locals, manic traffic and delicious street food. The gay scene is also pretty good, with a large LGBTQ community of both expats and locals.

This is one place we quickly fell in love with and know you will too! It’s definitely a must for LGBTQ travellers visiting South East Asia and we’ve got you covered in our comprehensive gay travel guide right here.

What’s the difference between Saigon and Ho Chi Minh City?

So we hear you asking, what’s the actual difference between Saigon and Ho Chi Minh City? Is it the same place?

Short answer – yes! The city has actually gone by many different names in its long and complicated history, reflecting different groups that have controlled it through the years. It was named “Gia Din” until the French conquest of the 1860s, when it was named Sài Gòn – and westernized to be “Saigon”. After the ‘Fall of Saigon‘ at the end of the Vietnam war, the city was renamed Ho Chi Minh City in honour of the late North Vietnamese president, Mr Ho Chi Minh.

Nowadays the name Saigon is still used to refer to the city centre around District 1, while Ho Chi Minh City generally means the entire modern city with all its districts. But don’t be surprised to still find places (especially hotels) named after Saigon as people often use the names interchangeably.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Saigon Gay Travel Resources

The Stephansdom Cathedral in Vienna – Keep Calm and Wander

The Stephansdom in Vienna is, perhaps, the most-visited of all tourist attractions in the city. Apart from its towering Gothic tower, its multi-colored roof tiles are ones that you will recognize instantly. When I asked a friend who lives there now on where I can take a photo with my rainbow wig, she didn’t blink an eye to highly recommend this Cathedral. And being an obedient friend, I went there early morning to avoid the crowd. 

The Stephansdom cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic archbishop of Vienna. For visitors, they call it St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

As you can see from its facade, the Cathedral is obviously of a Gothic architectural style. 

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Austria Gay Travel Resources

Gay Beirut – The Nomadic Boys

Lebanon is one of the most liberal, progressive and gay friendly places in the Arab world. This is saying a lot for a country where homosexuality is still a crime. However, by comparison to its Arab neighbours, Beirut has the best (albeit quite underground) gay scene, including one of the largest gay clubs in the Middle East called POSH.

We visited gay Beirut from Cyprus to celebrate Stefan’s birthday over a long weekend and absolutely loved the food, the people and of course the many gay parties. This is our gay guide to Beirut featuring the best gay bars and clubs, events, gay friendly hotels and best things to do.

Gay Rights in Lebanon

Lebanon doesn’t have the best track record with regards to LGBTQ rights. Homosexuality is illegal, there are no anti-discrimination laws, there is absolutely zero recognition of same-sex partnerships and the LGBTQ community are banned from openly serving in the Lebanese army.

On the plus side, proactive steps are being taken by judges and some politicians to decriminalise homosexuality and it was declassified as an illness in 2013. In addition, the right to change legal gender was introduced in 2016. From our experience travelling in the Middle East, Lebanon definitely ranks as one of the most gay friendly Arab countries, but remember, this is an extremely conservative region of the world when it comes to LGBTQ rights.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Middle East Gay Travel Resources

Gran Cenote Tulum – Once Upon a Journey

You’re in Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, and you must visit a cenote. You’ve picked the Gran Cenote, or as some call it: Grand Cenote, and now you’re here! Welcome! Gran Cenote Tulum is one of the best Mexico cenotes to visit and we’ll tell you all you need to know about it!

The very official cenote definition by the one and only Oxford dictionary is a natural underground reservoir of water such as occurs in the limestone of Yucatán, Mexico.

In English, a cenote is called a sinkhole and funny enough, our native language (Dutch) doesn’t even have a translation! I don’t think a sinkhole is the exact right word though, because a sinkhole is a cavity in the ground, especially in a limestone formation, caused by water erosion and providing a route for surface water to disappear underground. But a cenote is not just the cavity, as it always is a water reservoir!

Glad we got that cleared up! So a cenote is basically a limestone cave-pool. And the water is insanely blue.

Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Quintana Roo Gay Travel Resources

Gay Sitges – The Nomadic Boys

New York City may have Fire Island, but Barcelona has Sitges!

Sitges is a charming gay seaside town located around 40km (25miles) south from Barcelona. It has many antique shops, bespoke coffee shops, tapas bars and lots of queer hangouts. Located in the Catalonian region, it’s a delicious mix of the refreshing sea air, coastal scenery and local spirit, with modernist touches.

Did we also mention that Sitges is all about beaches, beaches and more beaches?! The town has gay beaches, nude beaches, gay AND nude beaches aplenty! For such a small town (population is less than 30,000) Sitges not only has a large LGBTQ community living here, it receives thousands of gay tourists each year. This is one of many reasons why we rate it as one of our top destinations in Europe. Whether you come here for your holiday or visit as part of a day trip from Barcelona, Sitges is one gay mecca you cannot miss!

This is our comprehensive gay travel guide of Sitges – a place we think is easily one of the most gay friendly travel destinations in the world.

So just how gay is Sitges?

Sitges is leading the pack in terms of its attitudes towards the LGBTQ community. Whilst Spain is already one of the gayest countries in the world, being one of the first places in the world to legalise same-sex marriage back in 2005, Sitges manages to stand out ahead of other cities for many unique reasons.

Not only does Sitges have a huge gay scene, but the locals are also extremely gay-friendly. Although…they don’t really have much of a choice: every year they get a pink invasion with thousands of LGBTQ travellers descending on the city during the summer months, especially during Pride in June and the Bear Week in September.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Sitges Gay Travel Resources

Brandenburg Tor in Berlin – Keep Calm and Wander

The Brandenburg Tor is the first tourist attraction I visited on my first day in Berlin. It’s an imposing neoclassical gate that appears conspicuously in almost every postcard in the city. Throughout its existence, the Brandenburg Gate bears witness to a tumultuous history of the city and country. And at the same time, it’s an eyewitness to the historical events of a unified European continent.

There were only very few people when I arrived at the gate. The morning sun was just beginning to appear, and its rays peeked through the wide gaps. I was mesmerized by the play of lights and shadows as I looked up, admiring its magnificence. It reminded me of chiaroscuro paintings of Caravaggio and Rembrandt.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Germany Gay Travel Resources

Barcelona Gay Restaurants – The Nomadic Boys

Barcelona is a cosmopolitan and exciting city, with a vibrant gay scene. We love coming here to party, celebrate Barcelona Pride, relax and stuff our faces! With such a great mix of people and culture, it makes sense that Barcelona also has a thriving foodie scene.

The unique blend of Spanish, Catalan and Meditteranean cuisine, along with Barcelona’s seaside location, make this a wonderful spot for a gastronomic holiday. You will get to try the freshest seafood, the most delicious tapas and many other types of food from all over the world.

The main gay area of Barcelona can be found in Eixample (often nicknamed ‘Gaixample’), with many fabulous gay hangouts to check out. A word of warning, most restaurants in Barcelona are closed on Sunday, but we’ve included the best ones that still serve food on the day of the Lord (a day when we’re usually nursing a heavy hangover and craving a bit fat greasy burger…!)

During our visits to Barcelona, we’ve managed to experience lots of excellent gay owned restaurants, as well as those with a mostly gay clientele, which serve up the most delicious dishes. These are our favourite gay or gay friendly restaurants which we tried and loved in Barcelona.

Restaurante D’Divine

Restaurante D’Divine has been going strong for around 13 years and is the best place to come to watch a drag show with your meal. Whilst the menu is a bit limited, the cocktails are delicious and the shows, hilarious!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Barcelona Gay Travel Resources

Big Sky, Montana for Queer Families – 2TravelDads

Big Sky, Montana brings to mind epic ski trips and exclusive mountain getaways in the snow, but did you know that it’s much more than that and it’s actually an incredible summer destination? Summer is considered the off-season in Big Sky but it’s just another cycle of fun. The Big Sky Resort is the ideal home base for that fun, and visiting off-season is perfect for getting the best deals and having the most diverse experiences. Here’s a complete plan for spending 4+ days and it’s all the best things to do in Big Sky, Montana.

We actually went twice in one summer, so we know this town well. Whether it’s a part of your Montana road trip or you’re adding onto a trip to Yellowstone National Park, the Big Sky Resort is easy to work into your Montana travel plan. Check it out!

We were welcomed by Visit Big Sky and Big Sky Resort, but are sharing our ideas and opinions at our own behest and discretion. We were hosted, yes, but we loved our time there! Also, there are some affiliate links in this article so, at no cost to you, we may get a small commission if you book something we recommended.

Full Story at 2TravelDads

Montana Gay Travel Resources