Gay Koh Lip – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Koh Lip - The Nomadic Boys

Koh Lipe is the best island in Thailand!

There, we officially declared it. The secret’s out…

We’ve been visiting Thailand for over a decade, trying out many islands along the way, but each time we keep circling back to Koh Lipe.

Why?

Koh Lipe still has those crystal clear tropical waters you associate with Thailand – surrounded by healthy coral. So you can literally wake up, go to the beach, put your head in the water and see Nemo swimming about around you! It was like this when we first visited many years ago and has remained this way on our recent visit.

We used to think the same about Phuket, Koh Tao and Koh Phi Phi, but over time they quickly became built up, super touristy and overcrowded. Not gay Koh Lipe! We put this down to the fact that it’s quite remote and rather complicated to reach: first, you need to fly to Hat Yai airport in South Thailand, then drive over to Pak Bara port (around 2 hours) to then take a 2-hour speedboat to Koh Lipe…Let’s just say this is enough to put off the large crowds of packaged tourists.

Don’t get us wrong. Koh Lipe is developed enough to have plenty of restaurants, hotels, bars and shops, but it’s a controlled growth, helped by the fact that it is part of the group of Tarutao National Marine Park islands. We’ve put together our love for Lipe in this detailed gay guide to include the best gay friendly resorts, bars, practical tips and more.

How Friendly is Gay Koh Lipe?

Koh Lipe is very gay friendly! We met many more other gay travellers here than we did on most of the other Thai islands, plus the Thai locals are super friendly and accepting. Even if they don’t approve, unlike other places in the world, they would never outwardly express this in front of you.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

Gay Romania – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Romania - The Nomadic Boys

Romania, the homeland for the goths at heart.

After all, the central region of Transylvania is the inspiration for the legendary novel “Dracula”. Hands up, who didn’t have a vampire phase? What gay teenager didn’t pine after Robert Pattinson in “Twilight”? But despite its cryptic and haunting backdrop, Romania as a whole is delightfully pleasant. 

With cities that reflect the medieval villages we see in the history books, locals that are passionate about life, streets that are bursting with character and natural scenery, Romania took our breath away and completely surprised us! Not to mention all the many charming old churches, the range of delicious food and the friendly locals. For us, Romania embodies all that is magical about Eastern Europe. 

From the outset, we knew Romania wasn’t the most gay-friendly country that we’ve been to. Yet despite this, we found several queer hangouts in the main big cities, especially in Bucharest. Plus, when we did find these spaces, we found them to be just as erratic, wild and party-centric as they would be in London, Barcelona or New York. If not more so!

We’ve put together this LGBTQ country guide for Romania based on our personal experience to help inspire gay travellers wanting to see just what Romania has to offer.

How welcoming is Gay Romania?

Romania generally is not the most gay friendly country in Europe. Homophobia is rife and we certainly felt it as a gay couple travelling around the country. The most obvious example was when we contacted several hotels prior to visiting, asking them whether they’re ok to host a gay couple.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Singapore – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Singapore - The Nomadic Boys

We found Singapore to be an oddity when it comes to LGBTQ rights. On the one hand, there is a large thriving LGBTQ community here, with lots of gay bars, clubs and events taking place throughout the year. On the other hand, homosexuality is illegal (for men only!), punishable with up to 2 years imprisonment!

In reality, the anti-gay law of Singapore is rarely enforced and strong efforts have been (and continue to be) made to get rid of it. We found Singapore to be super gay. Put it this way, when we were hanging out in Kuala Lumpur’s gay scene, the drag queens we met told us that Singapore is one of the places in Asia they aspire to perform in, citing it as one of the continent’s gay meccas…kinda like Dubai is for the Arab world.

We put this down to the country being so affluent, with many big companies having their Asian headquarters here, like Google, Bloomberg, Barclays, and many more. In addition, the Singaporeans are very well educated and affluent (have you SEEN some of the prices in this country?). They’re also a very internationally minded bunch, with English as the official language: it’s estimated that every 2 out of 5 people in Singapore are foreigners.

In this guide to gay Singapore, we explore the LBGTQ rights in more detail, write about our experience travelling here as a gay couple and also set out some of the best gay hotels, bars, clubs, events, and more.

Gay rights in Singapore

Homosexuality is legal for women, illegal for men in Singapore. This is because section 377A of the Penal Code punishes male homosexuality with up to 2 years imprisonment but is silent about female homosexuality.

Attempts have been made to repeal Section 377A, but the government has insisted on keeping it. In June 2019, at the Smart Nation Summit, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reiterated that Singapore would keep Section 377A “for some time”, arguing that:

“Whatever your sexual orientation is, you’re welcome to come and work in Singapore…You know our rules in Singapore. It is the way this society is: we are not like San Francisco, neither are we like some countries in the Middle East. We are something in between, it is the way the society is”!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Montreal – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Montreal - The Nomadic Boys

Montreal has one of the biggest gay villages in the world. It’s literally an entire neighbourhood, officially recognised in city maps and social media tags.

And it’s got balls. Lots and lots of balls!

Seriously – each year, between May-September, Le Village Gai has a large display of around 200,000 pink balls hanging down across the main street, the mile-long Rue Sainte-Catherine. And we are LIVING for it! The atmosphere here is one of the best we’ve experienced from all the different gay scenes we’ve been to around the world. There’s always something going on, with plenty of bars, clubs, after-hours clubs, saunas, strip bars, cafes, and more, to suit everyone.

We visited gay Montreal in the height of summer during the Fierte Pride in August. My god, these guys sure know how to have a good time! We’d happily return in a heartbeat.

Montreal is sexy. Montreal is proud. Montreal is energetic. Montreal is bold. Above all else, Montreal is open, ready and WAITING to embrace you in!

This is our gay guide to Montreal featuring all the best gay hotels, bars, clubs, things to do, and more, to help inspire your trip. Be sure to also watch our vlog about the first-ever Fierte Canada Pride in Montreal.

Is Gay Montreal a friendly city?

Short answer: hell yeah! 

This is definitely one place we felt absolutely comfortable walking the streets holding hands. Put it this way, even at government level there is immense pride in the city’s LGBTQ community – for Montreal Pride, not only the mayor and the Premier of Quebec led the parade, but alongside them was the country’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. Lovely Justin also happens to be one of Montreal’s famous residents, who made this beautiful speech about diversity:

“Diversity is the engine of invention. It generates creativity that enriches the world”

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Montreal Gay Travel Resources

Washington DC for Gay Families – 2TravelDads

Washington DC for Gay Families - 2TravelDads

One day in Washington DC is actually enough time to see and do a lot. Don’t believe me? This one day itinerary for visiting Washington DC includes the best sightseeing around the US capitol, best things to do in DC, and an overall plan for an easy day trip to Washington DC.

Washington DC for Gay Families

We partnered with Best Western to visit Virginia and Washington DC, so for our recommendations for where to stay, check out our “hotels” section at the end!

VISITING THE SMITHSONIAN MUSEUMS 

If you’re planning a day trip to Washington DC, you have to make time for at least one or two of the many Smithsonian Museums. Whether you’re looking for art or history, science or culture, there is a museum for every interest.

Most of the Smithsonian Museums are located along the National Mall, which is the long lawn between the Capitol Building and the Lincoln Memorial. Several have cafes, so if you want to stay in the relative area, it makes for an easy day full of museum-going.

By Chris and Rob – Full Story at the 2TravelDads

Washington DC for Gay Families – Gay Travel Resources

Winter in Paris – Washington Blade

Winter in Paris - Bill Malcolm

Winter in Paris is the perfect time to visit.. The crowds are gone. The weather is not as cold as many U.S. cities. Since you’ll be spending a lot of time in museums, it doesn’t matter anyway. Plus, Paris has a great gay scene and a gayborhood — The Marais.

Getting There

I snagged a great low fare on Delta Airlines. The service was exceptional and everything was free. Free hot dinner and breakfast, free headsets, free blankets and pillows, free eyeshades and more. Once in Paris, hop on the commuter rail to town, the RER-B then take the Metro to get to your hotel from the Gare du Nord Station.

Where to Stay

I stayed at The Moxy, a new Marriott brand geared for millennials. The rate was very reasonable (it varied by day with one day at just 93 Euros or around $110). It’s located near the Marais in the Bastille District and near no less than three Metro stations. You can walk to many of the major attractions or hop on the subway. Two nearby stores (Franprix) have everything you need including salad bars, hot sandwiches and great selections of wine.

Full Story at the Washington Blade

Paris Gay Travel Resources

Gay Cologne – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Cologne - The Nomadic Boys

Under the constant shadow of the Kölner Dom, Cologne (Köln in German) is a city shrouded in mystique and wonder.

Simply walking through the Old Town is enough to convince you of the wonders Cologne has to offer. With its unique architecture, quaint shops and ancient buildings, it feels like a place from a bygone era. Yet, it is pulsing with so much life and so much modernity that it doesn’t for a second feel like you are stuck in the past.

An artistic city, Cologne is in many ways a cultural hub. With art, literature and music bursting from every street corner, anyone with any creative inclinations would find it hard not to be inspired. It’s also a university town, so expect to see lots of young crowds in their early 20s, wandering around with big eyes filled with dreams and aspirations. This could mainly be due to the amount of caffeine millennials are drinking these days though…

Cologne is vying with the gay scene of Berlin to become the undisputed gay capital of Germany, and for good reason! With gay clubs and bars dotted across the city, LGBTQ folk have such a vivacious and vibrant selection to choose from when going on a night out. Cologne is well known for having the most pubs per person in all of Germany, so one thing is for sure, the locals love a drink! We sure did, as you can see in our Vlog of Cologne:

On top of this, there are so many gay friendly spaces, from restaurants to hotels, plus many queer-centric events held throughout the year. Cologne is also one of the few cities in the world to have a memorial sculpture for LGBTQ victims of the Holocaust. This is our comprehensive travel guide to Cologne, including the best gay bars, clubs, events, hotels to stay in and so much more.

How friendly is gay Cologne?

The people of Cologne are well known for their liberal attitudes, open minds and something called joie de vivre, which basically means ‘joy of life’. To put it simply, the locals are welcoming to all people, as long as they themselves are friendly and laidback. 

There are plenty of LGBTQ events throughout the year, so like it or not, locals are all too aware of the big gay presence that Cologne holds. There is Cologne Pride in June, Carnival in February and to top it all off, the Heavenue Gay Christmas market in December. Plus, with two gay scenes, on either side of the Rhine river, and a young population, there is nothing but acceptance for our homosexual family here! 

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Germany Gay Travel Resources

Gay India – The Nomadic Boys

Gay India - The Nomadic Boys

Touchdown in Delhi, the first thing we see are men walking the streets holding hands…

This is a tradition so deep-rooted in the culture of India: men are very docile around each other, whether straight or gay. It’s not a sexual thing, simply one of those cultural norms that caught our eyes!

India is often a monstrous feat for tourists. It’s so big, so full of culture, so diverse, that it’s impossible to decide where to visit if you’re going for a short trip. Which is why we didn’t just go for a short trip; we went on a month-long journey covering as much as we could from north to south. From cruising along the backwaters of Kerala, taking in the sounds of wild birds and air whistling through the trees, the Ghats of Varanasi, to the fiery food, that would burn the tongue of any ole’ Westerner (where the hottest spice we’re used to is salt!), India sets out to transform your perception of the world.

What called us to gay India in the first place? Was it the Taj Mahal, with its monumental appearance, a marble fortress set against the dazzling blue sky? Perhaps it was the jumbled landscape, with the extremes of sparse open fields lying next to a never-ending jungle, that lies adjacent to a labyrinth of a city filled with delicious smells, ancient temples and busy markets? Or the people: full of colour, sass, lots of head wobbling and plenty of smiles.

Famous for their unwavering hospitality, Indian people welcome tourists with an open embrace. Everywhere we went, we were met with smiling eyes and greetings of warmth. Chatting to merchants in the street we got to hear all sorts of fascinating stories about their local lives. The hustle and bustle, people brushing past you in tight quarters, and avoiding pickpockets were no mean feat but when matched with the gentle and beautiful hearts of the majority of Indians, it’s all so worth it.

All About Gay India

To learn more about all things tourist-y, food-y, and party-gay-centric around India, check out our ultimate gay country guide right here!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

India Gay Travel Resources

Lesbian Mumbai – Our Taste for Life

Lesbian Mumbai - Our Taste for Life

Mumbai is an exciting city, bursting with energy, history, art, and awe-inspiring architecture. Previously known as Bombay, the city is the birthplace of Bollywood and home to the countries financial district. It is also famed for having a relaxed cosmopolitan vibe.

But what is it like to be Gay in Mumbai? Is the attitude towards the LGBT+ community as liberal as Mumbai’s reputation suggests? We travelled to Mumbai to find out. We learnt that following the historic 2018 decision to decriminalise homosexuality in India, the gay scene in Mumbai is in fact on the rise.

Truth be told; this was a surprise. In our experience, India was still very socially conservative. We certainly hadn’t heard of any hint of a gay scene in the likes of Jaipur, Varanasi, or even Goa! But with LGBT organisations such as ‘It Gets Better India‘ and the ‘Keshav Suri Foundation‘ continuously fighting for visibility and acceptance, times ARE changing.

As it turns out, Mumbai is indeed a city full of surprises. Asides from the gay scene, she is a paradoxical city. One that gives with one hand and takes with the other. An extreme divide between rich and poor; A city that makes dreams or breaks them; A fast-paced lifestyle that can exhilarate or exhaust. Mumbai is the epitome of crazy/beautiful India, and we loved every intoxicating minute of it.

In this travel guide, we will outline all the best places to go in Mumbai as an LGBT+ traveller. You’ll find a list of gay-friendly hotels and bars and our top tips as an LGBT couple in Mumbai. We will also touch on LGBT+ rights and social opinions in India, to help you prepare for an incredible, and most importantly, a safe, trip of a lifetime.

Lesbian Mumbai & LGBT+ Rights in India

When it comes to LGBT rights in India, the past 20 years have been a long and volatile road. A series of significant wins and disappointing setbacks saw LGBT activists taking one step forward and two steps back again.

By Charlotte & Natalie – Full Story at Our Taste for Life

Mumbai Lesbian Travel Resources

Lesbian Bali – Our Taste for Life

Lesbian Bali - Our Taste for Life

Contrary to popular belief, being gay in Bali is not only accepted but in some ways, celebrated. With an influx of gay-friendly bars and hotels causing a stir from the coast of Seminyak to the cultural hub of Ubud, being an LGBT+ traveller in Bali has never been easier.  

I understand this may be surprising to some, considering Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world. However, what with the predominant Hindu influence and tourism hitting an all-time high, Bali has a far more relaxed attitude relative to other parts of Indonesia. In short, the aptly named ‘Island of the Gods’ is proud to welcome all travellers.

We recently spent a lot of time in Bali, and we can surely confirm that this popular travel destination is worth all the hype. From magnificent mountains to rugged coastlines, and majestic waterfalls to smouldering volcanoes, the abundant Balinese nature is unlike anywhere else we’ve been. Combine this with the rich and vibrant Balinese culture, and you have everything you need to have a truly fantastic time.  

In this travel guide, we outline all the best places to go in Bali as an LGBT+ traveller. You’ll find a list of gay-friendly hotels and bars and our top tips as an LGBT+ couple in Bali. We will also touch on LGBT+ rights and social opinions in Indonesia, so you are fully prepared.

Lesbian Bali & LGBTQ+ Rights

OK, before we get stuck into our LGBT+ travel guide for Bali, let’s quickly talk about LGBT rights in Indonesia. While these may not be so relevant when travelling in Bali, it’s important to be aware of the situation so you can avoid any unnecessary issues along your travels.

Unfortunately, Indonesia doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to LGBT Rights. The sad thing is, the situation seems to be deteriorating. While same-sex sexual activity is legal in most provinces, there is a strong movement to criminalise it and is currently under review by the government.