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 Montréal, Canada – wolfyy

gay Montréal

Montréal’s gay life is found in the popular gay village, located in the east of the city near the Latin quarter. The gay village has increasingly been promoted as a tourist destination over recent years.

Gay-owned restaurants, clothing stores and bars line the streets beneath festive hanging balls. This rainbow art installation has become symbolic of Montréal’s gay life. The city is one of the best lgbt-friendly destinations for gay travelers who want to visit Canada.

The Montréal Gay Village

Montréal has a pretty legendary gay village. All the gay nightlife is in this part of town and the area is a fantastic place to hang out, with tons of bars, restaurants, and boutique stores lining the main street. The vibe is undeniably awesome.

For many years, strings of rainbow-colored balls hung over St. Catherine Street East, which is the heart of the gay village. This art installation has created a beautiful symbol of how gay-friendly the city truly is.

montréal places to stay

Should you look for a hotel in the Montréal gay village? Well, this depends on what type of accommodations you typically prefer. If you like more local experiences, then I’d head over to Le Plateau

But, there are some places to stay that I definitely wouldn’t pass up. I’ll give you the full rundown in wolfyy’s gay Montréal guide linked below.

Montréal Gay Travel Guide on wolfyy – by Louis Lafata

Gay Canada Resources

Gay Aspen, Colorado – wolfyy

gay aspen

One of the most luxurious ski towns in the United States, Aspen draws a loyal crowd that’s eager to have a good time. Most LGBT travelers also have this unique Colorado destination on their radars for the yearly Aspen Gay Ski Week events.

Aspen isn’t just a winter destination. Tourists visit all year round! While more people come once it’s cold enough for snow, many travelers enjoy the mountainous terrain all year. Seeing the yellow Aspen trees in Autumn is priceless.

Similar to nearby Vail, Aspen has a largely transient community, which means the number of gay travelers there can fluctuate. You’ll of course find yourself amongst a sea of other gay guys during Aspen Gay Ski Week, as well as a decent bunch over the winter season.

LGBT Aspen: Hotels & Vacation Rentals

When people think of staying in Aspen, luxury typically comes to mind. There are so many options for luxury resorts and vacation rentals. I’ll fill you in on which hotels are perfect for you, whether you like to be in the center of it all or prefer a secluded mountain chalet.

Full Aspen Gay Travel Guide on wolfyy – by Louis Lafata

Gay Colorado Resources

Gay Penang – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Penang - The Nomadic Boys

Penang is one big fat foodie paradise in Southeast Asia. Honestly, we were blown away by the many culinary prizes available here…Asam Laksa, Wanton Noodles, Hokkien Prawn Noodles, Char Koay Teow…Penang is one place we’d definitely rush back to just for the food!

Penang is also famous for its street art murals, particularly in the UNESCO listed cutesy colonial-era capital, George Town. And the biggest surprise of all, despite being a small island of less than 2 million, in a country where homosexuality is a crime(!), there is even a gay scene!

We visited Penang as part of our big trip around Malaysia and totally fell in love. We were told by both Malaysians and fellow travellers that Penang is a not-to-miss highlight of the country and oh boy were they right! We ended up extending our trip in Penang from a few days to two full weeks. Based on our firsthand experience, we’ve put together our gay guide to Penang setting out the best gay friendly hotels, hangouts, foodie tips, and more.

Is Penang safe for gay travellers?

For the most part, yes…as long as you’re careful and avoid any PDAsIt’s not as bad as the Middle East here, but it certainly ain’t no Barcelona, Bangkok or gay Berlin!!

There is a large LGBTQ community in Penang, both locals and foreigners, living and working quite openly. Penang is after all a touristic hub with a large international population, so people are more likely to be diverse, tolerant and open-minded here compared to other parts of the country.

Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Malaysia Gay Travel Resources

Gay Madrid – The Globetrotter Guys

Gay madrid - Checa - The Globetrotter Guys

The main gay area in Madrid is called Chueca and is named after Federico Chueca who could be considered Madrid’s 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 area given that the walls of the metro station in Chueca are painted floor to ceiling in rainbows!

Related: Madrid Gay Bars

What will you find in Chueca?

Being the main gay area in Madrid, Chueca is home to the majority of the gay bars and clubs(20+), many gay oriented shops, coffee shops, cafes, restaurants, gay saunas and cruising clubs. There is plenty to do to keep you busy!

It is also where you will find one of the many main stages and performance areas during Madrid Pride as Chueca becomes the focal point of the city and a vibrant hub of activity during this time.

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Madrid Gay Travel Resources

Gay Bali, Indonesia – wolfyy

gay bali

Bali is a classic gay travel destination in Southeast Asia. You might be aware that Indonesia is not the most gay-friendly country, however Bali is quite the exception! The island has a special religious openness that has allowed them to welcome millions of gay tourists over the years.

Why Do Gay Men Love Bali?

Many gay holiday destinations attract travelers for specific reasons. Some examples are a vibrant gay culture, gay neighborhoods, popular gay beaches or exciting gay nightlife. Bali is unique in that this little slice of paradise offers tranquility for LGBTQ people, especially in a relatively inexpensive and gay-friendly atmosphere.

Gay travelers don’t tend to have huge dance parties or nude beaches in mind for their gay Bali experiences. There aren’t necessarily giant gay meetups. Instead, gay tourists seek private, luxurious accommodations and experiences, comfortable with the notion that other gay travelers will be nearby. This affords the a peaceful LGBTQ travel experience, obviously in addition to the lush tropical landscapes and friendly locals.

gay bali hotels

Where to Stay in Bali

Bali is a large island, and the southern half is quite heavily treaded. While you can find secluded enclaves all over, there are some general trends to keep in mind before you set out on your gay Bali adventure.

The airport is in the south in Denpasar. Staying in the south part of the island is easiest in terms of quick transport to your hotel. This is best if you’re short on time. A couple hours north is the famous town of Ubud, which is more peaceful. However with Bali’s exploding popularity, Ubud is also quite busy. In the very north of the island, you’ll find increasing numbers of truly secluded places to stay. This is to be expected however, since it takes quite a long time to reach there by car!

Options for Bali hotels, resorts and home stays are truly endless. Whether you’re looking for a tropical forest bungalow or a standard five star hotel, you’ll certainly have plenty to choose from. I’ll let you know about some of my favorite spots in the full wolfyy travel guide!

Full Bali Gay Travel Guide on wolfyy – by Louis Lafata

Gay Indonesia Resources

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