Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral – Keep Calm and Wander

Mexico City's Metropolitan Cathedral - Keep Calm and Wander

Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral is the oldest and largest cathedral in Latin America. Located right at the heart of the city, the church is an imposing structure that demands your attention.

For visitors, it’s just another tourist attraction, but for the locals, it is a symbol and soul of their faith. It’s also the seat of the Archdiocese of Mexico. Its complete name is Catedral Metropolitana de la Asuncion de la Santisima Virgen Maria a los cielos. That’s a mouthful, right?

In English, it is translated as Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven. Even in English, that is still a mouthful to say.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Mexico City Gay Travel Resources

Prague’s St. Vitus Cathedral – Keep Calm and Wander

Prague's St. Vitus Cathedral - Keep Calm and Wander

St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague looked so familiar to me the first time I laid my eyes on its massive Gothic structure. I was pretty sure I’d seen it somewhere but I had a hard time remembering it. 

Standing and staring outside its facade, I really tried hard to remember where in the world I saw this cathedral before. Then it hit me – it looks like it’s the smaller version of the Cologne Cathedral in Germany. Both are impressive and great examples of Gothic architecture with historical importance.

This beautiful church is inside the complex of Prague Palace, the world’s largest palace complex. Inside, you won’t just find breathtaking arches, flying buttresses, and scary gargoyles but also tombs of royals and saints of Bohemia.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Pura Lempuyang Indonesian Temple – Keep Calm and Wander

Pura Lempuyang Indonesian Temple - Keep Calm and Wander

Pura Lempuyang (or Lempuyang Temple) is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Bali. It is also one of the oldest and holiest Hindu temples worth going to when traveling to this tropical island.

This sacred temple is two hours drive away from Canggu. The picturesque ride on your way up there is one to be enjoyed with such delight.

Visiting Lempuyang Temple during the pandemic has its good and bad side. There were only very few people (close to none) when we were there. On the other hand, not every temple was open.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Indonesia Gay Travel Resources

Indonesia’s Floating Temple – Keep Calm and Wander

Indonesia's Floating Temple - Keep Calm and Wander

Indonesia’s Floating Temple

Pura Ulun Danu Beratan Temple in Bedugul, in the highlands of Bali, gains its monicker as Indonesia’s Floating Temple as it is on the edge of Lake Beratan. However, the structure is not literally floating on the lake. It depends on where you stand, the temple, at a far distance, looks like it is buoyed up. 

On the day I visited it, the water was so low that it didn’t really look like I expected it to be. It was disappointing to me because I already knew how/where I want my photos taken. Backdropped with a gorgeous mountain, the complex reveals its beauty on a sunny day. As it is on the highlands, the weather changes from time to time.

I was lucky that on the day I visited it, the sun cooperated. But as soon as I was done, a thick cloud revealed, and rain came.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Indonesia Gay Travel Resources

Ba Vi National Park – Keep Calm and Wander

Ba Vi National Park - Keep Calm and Wander

Ba Vi National Park is a protected park just outside Hanoi. In what supposed to be an hour drive, it took us almost two and a half hours because of the unpredictable weather. It was a fight between the sun, clouds, and fog.

On our way up to the mountain, we would see the sun for a while, then the clouds covered it up – and suddenly a fog would envelop us. We didn’t really plan on what to do there. And worse, we even had no idea what to do and see up there. We just followed our GPS and stopped at a few places that caught our attention.

The road to the mountaintop was not an easy one. You’ve got to drive carefully because of its narrow zigzag-y road where one side is a dangerous cliff. Adding to that is a foggy road that we had to turn on the headlights a few times. As we got closer to the main attraction of Ba Vi National Park, the temperature also changed.

Sri Lanka’s Kandy Lake – Keep Calm and Wander

Sri lanka's Kandy Lake - Keep Calm and Wander

The views around Kandy Lake are worth seeing. I recommend you walk around the lake and just enjoy it leisurely. Stop in a nearby cafe or under a shed if you needed to. Strolling around was actually kind of therapeutic to me after a whirlwind of sightseeing days before I arrived here. On my second day in Kandy, I had a whole morning free so I used the time to stroll around Kandy Lake.

After the early visit to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, I told my driver I’d spend the rest of the morning strolling. He was okay with it and told me where to meet him afterwards.

Kandy Lake is a man-made lake that was built in 1807 to beautify the the country’s most sacred Buddhist temple.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Sri Lanka Gay Travel Resources

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

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

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon – Keep Calm and Wander

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon - Keep Calm and Wander

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is pure bliss in the morning. Its serenity and the murmuring whispers of prayers are calming to the soul. At least that’s how I felt because I arrived there at 4:15 in the morning – earlier than most Buddhist worshippers. And way too earlier than most tourists, too. I highly recommend that you go early in the morning, for an obvious reason: it’s not crowded.

Your visit to Myanmar’s capital city won’t be entirely complete without getting a glimpse of this golden pagoda. 

Shwedagon is the most iconic landmark of the country that used to called Burma under British rule.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Myanmar Gay Travel Resources

Borobudur Temple: World’s Largest Buddhist Temple – Keep Calm and Wander

BLOG - Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple is the world’s largest Buddhist Temple. Judging from its massive size, artistry, handiwork, and significance, this temple deserves a UNESCO World Heritage Site status. 

Take a tour – that’s what I did. The van driver picked me up at 4:00 in the morning and we picked up four more passengers. It was an 11-seater van so it was not crowded at all. We slept all throughout an hour journey. By the time we arrived, some tourists were already ahead of us – in a busload!

Another way to go there is by getting a private car/driver. You can always flag down a taxi and negotiate with them. My hostel told me that IDR500,000 ($37) is a fair price. Take this option if there are 3 or 4 of you in a car.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Indonesia Gay Travel Resources