Gay Manchester – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Manchester - The Nomadic Boys

My coming out story started out in the late 1990s when the British Queer as Folk version first aired on our screens. Back then, a confused and extremely repressed young teenage Stefan watched in awe as 3 gay blokes, Stuart, Vince and Nathan, went about their daily lives in Manchester’s Canal Street Gay Village. 

I was flabbergasted! Stunned!

This was the first time I had ever seen “normal” gay guys popularised on screen. It was also the first time I had ever seen gay urban life dramatised in such a way that it felt so real! Finally, that “feeling” that up until this point I had been forced to suppress by the society around me was, in fact, something totally natural. What a relief! I wasn’t ill or abnormal. I was in fact part of a large LGBTQ family that also felt the same way. As that young teenage Stefan continued to watch Queer As Folk, he also dreamed: maybe, just maybe, I could grow up and be just like Stuart, Vince and Nathan living so freely in the gay streets of Manchester…

Gay Manchester

Fast forward a few decades and I’m galavanting down those same historic gay streets, with Seby to hand, together exploring one of the coolest and most progressive places in Europe. 

I will always love Manchester! 

As well as having a special place in my big gay heart, it has an exciting gay scene, one of the best gay Pride events in the UK and is one of the few places in the world where I feel comfortable walking the streets holding hands with my Seby. It’s also super close to London (just 2 hours by train), which makes it ideal for a weekend trip.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

England Gay Travel Resources

Gay Santiago – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Santiago - The Nomadic Boys

Fresh out of Santiago’s International Airport, excited to practise our Spanish which we’d spent months perfecting, only to encounter…Chilean Spanish…

As our sweet smiley taxi pickup driver tried to welcome us in Spanish we both looked at each other wondering if we’d arrived at the right place…What was this strange language?!

Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit, but Chilean Spanish is the hardest Spanish dialect to pick up. Even native Spanish speakers have trouble understanding Chileans. For example, they cut off the end of every other word, connect words together so you don’t know when one word starts/finishes, and they speak at such a rapid pace… Then there are the Chilean slang words thrown in to confuse you even more, especially “weón” – randomly placed in every other sentence! It’s actually quite a beautiful sing-songy dialect to listen to. 

Santiago is certainly the perfect base to get your head around this quirky dialect. The gay scene here is massive, particularly in the Bellavista neighbourhood – probably the largest in all of South America outside of Sao Paolo. The city is also home to an exciting wine culture with world-class wineries to visit, lots of impressive city street art to awe at, tons of outdoor adventures like paragliding to try out, and natural hot springs to relax in – remember the city has the Andes mountains right on its doorstep.

And then there are the boys! Smokin’ Hot gorgeous Latino looking Chilean studs everywhere you look…

Trust us when we say you WILL have a fantastic time in Santiago! 

And we’ve got you covered right here with our detailed gay guide to Chile’s capital city. We’ve put together all our practical tips from our firsthand experience travelling in Santiago as a gay couple, including the latest info on the best gay hotels, bars, clubs, parties and events, which we always keep updated thanks to the help of our local gay friends in Santiago.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Chile Gay 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

Gay Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia - The Nomadic Boys

Kool-krazy-kat-Kota-Kinabalu, the capital and gateway of Malaysia’s Sabah region on Borneo island. This is the city where treks up to Borneo’s highest mountain (Mount Kinabalu) begin, the tropical waters of the Gaya islands are right on your doorstep, lots of different magnificent experiences can be found, and, the coolest nickname ever for a city: KK!

Whilst most travellers will skip out KK, using it just as a transport hub to enter/leave Sabah, we think you should spend a few nights here. We visited KK during our trip around Malaysia and loved it. It’s a relaxed, modern place that offers so much. It also has a large LGBTQ community and sometimes even a gay bar – ie it closes/reopens a lot (more on this below)!

We’ve put together all our findings from our trip in and around gay Kota Kinabalu in this article. We’ve included important practical safety tips for LGBTQ travellers, gay friendly hotels we tried/loved, queer friendly hangouts and some of our favourite things to do which we hope inspires you.

Is Kota Kinabalu safe for gay travellers?

On the whole, yes, but as long as you’re careful to avoid PDAs. Malaysia is not on par with some of the places in the Middle East, but it’s obviously no Bangkok here!

In relation to progressive LGBTQ rights in Malaysia, there are none at all. There is even a horrible archaic anti-gay law which carries with it a 20-year imprisonment as well as caning, fines and/or deportation! The reality is that the anti-gay law of Malaysia is rarely ever enforced, particularly against foreigners. However, this gives you an idea of how society regards homosexuality and therefore why it’s best to avoid PDAs.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Lebanon – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Lebanon - The Nomadic Boys

Exquisite food, impressive UNESCO sites, crazy nightlife and some of the most handsome guys to walk this planet…on the face of it, Lebanon is a gay man’s wet dream right?
In some ways, it sure is! By Middle Eastern Arab standards, Lebanon is often regarded as a very liberal and progressive place. There’s even a vibrant gay scene in Beirut. We certainly rate Lebanon as one of the most gay friendly countries in the Arab world.

BUT: this is by Middle Eastern standards!

The Middle East is one part of the world where being openly gay can get you into a great deal of trouble (Israel, a gay paradise, being the sole exception). For example, in say, Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Iran it’s a straight-up capital punishment. In places like Lebanon, Dubai or Abu Dhabi, being gay is very much an arrestable offence that can get you a prison sentence, a fine and deportation.

The purpose of this article is to describe our experience of travelling in Lebanon as a gay couple, present a balanced perspective and give advice for LGBTQ travellers who want to explore it. It is a stunning country, one that you won’t regret visiting…but this is still very much an Arab country where being gay is against the law. You will need to go back into the closet, avoid all PDAs, set all your social media to private and never post anything gay related online before or during your trip.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Berlin – The Nomadic Boys

BLOG - Gay Berlin - The Nomadic Boys

Jokes about German sausage are the wurst!

…especially when you arrive at the Wittenbergplatz in gay old Schöneberg, to be greeted by the cutest, gayest, rainbow-clad super-kitsch kiosk of Fritz & Co selling particularly yummy currywurst German sausages. More about Fritz & Co below, but as our first impression of Berlin, we knew we were in for a gay old time here! Gay Berlin is notorious for being the city of sin – a truly liberal and diverse hub where anything goes. The absolute wurst…and we live for it!

Schöneberg is considered to be the main gay area of Berlin, the traditional heart and soul of Berlin’s LGBTQ gay community, where the bulk of its gay bars, clubs and hotels can be found. The city also has several other exciting gay neighbourhoods to check out, each with its own unique character, vibe and queer hangouts. The main ones are Kreuzberg, Neukölln, Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain.

We’ve been to Berlin several times and usually base ourselves somewhere in Schöneberg, which we love. For us, Schöneberg remains the best gay neighbourhood of Berlin – the true Queen of the Scene! We also love venturing out to the bars and parties happening in the other gay districts of Berlin such as Möbel Olfe in Kreuzberg, SchwuZ in Neukölln, Flax in Prenzlauer Berg, and the infamous Berghain in Friedrichshain. The Berghain super club is almost like an entire gay neighbourhood in its own right! This is reason alone why we rate Berlin as one of the top gay friendly vacation destinations in the world.

We’ve put all our notes and stories from our many travels to Berlin in this comprehensive gay guide to help inspire your own holiday to this crazy and super exciting city including the best of the gay scene, gay hotels, parties, events, things to do and more.

Where is the main area of Gay Berlin?

The main gay area of Berlin is based in Schöneberg. It is the traditional heart and soul of Berlin’s LGBTQ gay community, dating back to 1897 when the world’s first-ever LGBTQ organisation was founded right here: the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee. From this point on, the area blossomed, becoming the Gay Village capital of the world.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Berlin Gay Travel Resources

Madrid Gay Bars – The Globetrotter Guys

Madrid Gay Bars - The Globetrotter Guys

The main gay area in Madrid is called Chueca and is named after Federico Chueca who could be considered Madrids first gay icon. The area spans about 1km north of Gran Via (one of the main streets) and east to west between Calle Hortaleza and Paseo de Recoletos. The main bulk of gay bars in Chueca are found within ten minutes walking distance of Plaza De Chueca – where the metro station is found. 

Chueca is walkable from the ‘city centre’ (Plaza Del Sol) or just a couple of metro stops.

It is obvious you have arrived in the gay district given that the walls of the metro station in Chueca are painted floor to ceiling in rainbows!

However, it’s not all about Chueca as you will find gay bars scattered all across the city as far as Lavapies. Equally, when it comes to large gay events and parties in Madrid, the venues are sometimes scattered around but easily accessible.

What Are Madrid Gay Bars Like?

If you have travelled to Spain before you will know they do things differently here. Whereas your night might start at 10/11pm in the UK or US, the main gay bars and clubs in Madrid are just opening their doors at 1/2am, getting busy at 3am and continuing until 6/7am in the morning.

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Madrid Gay Travel Resources

Manchester Gay Bars – The Globetrotter Guys

Manchester Gay Bars - The Globetrotter Guys

Before leaving the UK we lived in Manchester, the gay capital of the North, for 10 years and absolutely loved this city we came to call home.

Manchester has been named amongst the Top 10 most exciting cities in the world, according to a recent poll by Time Out and is an incredibly gay friendly city.

Manchester has been one of the top gay destinations in the UK for a long time. It has one of the UK’s largest gay prides and one of the best gay scenes (Canal Street).

Here is our mini guide to the best gay bars in Manchester (and gay clubs).

The Gay Village Manchester

One of the things we love the most about Manchester and why it is one of the best gay cities in the UK is Manchester’s Gay Village.

Manchesters Gay Village is made up of Canal Street and a few surrounding streets. This is in the very centre of the city, minutes away from the main train station (Manchester Piccadilly).

Canal Street is full of gay bars from the start to the very end of the street.

We love the fact that everything is so close together and that you can easily do a bar crawl and not have to travel or get taxis between bars like you need to in some other cities.

Read on for the best gay bars in Manchester:

G-A-Y Manchester

Every time we have been to G-A-Y we have had the best night. The music varies on each floor but you can always guarantee the best of pop, 90’s and current chart toppers will be played somewhere (which we love).

Drinks are reasonably priced here too and the crowd is typically quite young and trendy.

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Lancashire Gay Travel Resources

Gay Panama – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Panama - The Nomadic Boys

…and God said, “Let there be sexy people”, so he created Panamanians!

Wise words from the Bible itself according to our gay friends Luis and Mario from Panama City…

Panama City is often nicknamed The Dubai of Latin America because of its immense economic growth in recent years and impressive dense skyline. But unlike Dubai, this mighty Latin American metropolis has a far more welcoming gay life, in a country where although culturally conservative, is constantly striving for LGBTQ equality.

Most will associate Panama City with the famous canal, which is a reason alone to visit. The city is also the gateway to some gorgeous tropical beaches within gay Panama, like San Blas and gay friendly Bocas del Toro. We stayed in Panama City for a week and loved it. It’s full of things to do, plenty of trendy bars, but most importantly, we left with a thirst to return for more. It’s also a useful destination because it’s one of the major transport hubs in Central America.

This is our complete gay guide to Panama City following with a focus on the gay scene, our pick of the most gay friendly hotels, our favourite things to do, and more.

Is Gay Panama safe for travellers?

Overall, yes, Panama is safe for LGBTQ travellers, but assuming you stick to the touristic areas of Panama City, Bocas del Toro and San Blas. If venturing beyond, into more local areas, we recommend taking extra care and avoid all PDAs.

Panama is a very conservative country. It a strong influence from the Catholic Church. Any attempt by the government to pass any progressive LGBTQ laws in Panama almost always gets blocked! As a result, Panama does not recognise same-sex unions and has no anti-discrimination laws to protect the LGBTQ community!

For example, a 2018 Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling required Panama to recognise same-sex unions and allow gay couples to adopt. Sadly, the response was a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage by the Panamanian National Assembly in October 2019. The LGBTQ community of Panama has quite a long road ahead of it…

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Panama Travel Resources

Toronto Gay Nightlife – The Nomadic Boys

BLOG - Toronto Gay Nightlife - tnThe Nomadic Boys

Diverse, exciting, buzzing and…best ass?

Yup, that’s actually a thing in the Toronto gay scene! Over at Woody’s gay bar, every Friday evening, they host the “best ass” competition!

Butts aside, the gay scene of Toronto truly has something for everyone. The city is home to Canada’s largest LGBTQ community and welcomes visitors from all walks of life.

Just like the gay scene of Montreal, the gay village of Toronto is huge. It is located at the intersection of Church and Wellesley Streets, hence its nickname: the “Church and Wellesley Village”, or just “The Village”…or, “ya’ll wanna go out in Church later?”. This is where the majority of the best gay bars, clubs, restaurants, cafes and clothing stores can be found.

Toronto’s Gay Village is also ground zero for the annual Toronto Pride week every June, which is one of the largest Pride events in the world. Whether you come to the Toronto gay village in the deep winter or summer, there’s always a buzz in the air, which is why we love it.

In this guide, we’ve put together our list of favourite Toronto gay nightlife – gay bars and clubs in Toronto. Also, be sure to watch our vlog about the gay scene of Toronto above.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Toronto Gay Travel Resources