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

Adventure Bound Expeditions, Inc. – Gay Owned Tour Operator

Adventure Bound Expeditions, Inc.

Since 1989, Adventure Bound Expeditions has designed and conducted high quality, exciting outdoor adventures tours for gay men.

We offer “trip of a lifetime” experiences to destinations throughout the world, including

  • Europe
  • Africa
  • South America
  • Central America
  • Asia
  • Australia and the South Pacific

For a truly gay tour experience, book your next trip with Adventure Bound Expeditions.

See the Adventure Bound Expeditions, Inc. Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

LGBT Travel in Asia – Our Taste for Life

LGBT Travel in Asia

Oh, Asia. A vibrant, diverse, and energetic place to travel. But is Asia a gay-friendly travel destination? It’s one of the most commonly asked questions we receive, and one we are super happy to finally be addressing. In this LGBT Travel Guide, we will delve into the LGBT rights in Asia, as well as how to prepare as an LGBT traveller.

After spending 18 months travelling throughout this colourful continent, we can tell you that it hasn’t always been fun and rainbows. Coming from the UK where, for the most part, we can be completely open about our sexuality; it was peculiar to suddenly visit countries where homosexuality was a taboo; or worse, against the law.

Many ask us how we deal with this. Why would we want to travel to these countries if we can’t be ourselves? We look at it this way. ALL cultures have beliefs and traditions. Do we agree with all of them? Of course not. That doesn’t mean that we boycott those countries completely. At the end of the day, we travel to open our minds, and appreciating that there are other ways of life is the first step.

With this in mind, we have now spent almost two consecutive years in Asia. In that time, we have visited gay-friendly cities; travelled off the beaten path; and spent time in countries where homosexuality is criminalised. Guess what? We had a great time in all of them.

Full Story at Our Taste for Life

Asia Gay Travel Resources

 

Lesbian Taiwan – Once Upon a Journey

Lesbian Taiwan - Once Upon a Journey

Taiwan, to us, is on top of the list of countries in Asia that have surprised us the most. Frankly, we didn’t know much about Taiwan, and odds are: so do you (except the fact they just legalised same-sex marriage). And that has to change! Lesbian Taiwan is AMAZING and definitely the most progressive place in Asia, in my opinion, arguably the world (yes, Dutchie speaking!). Are you ready to be surprised by how gay Taiwan is?!

Taiwan Gay Marriage: Asia’s First

In 2017, the Constitutional Court of Taiwan ruled that the definition of marriage as one man and one woman in the law was unconstitutional. The Court requested a change of legislation, by either adjusting existing laws or creating new ones, within a time frame of two years.

On International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia 2019 – May 17 – same-sex marriage was officially legalised. Over 500 couples have already registered today (the day the law went into effect). Legalising gay marriage wasn’t without controversy and there will be some limitations. The new law offers similar legal protections as heterosexual marriage, but it’s a separate law. Same-sex couples will only be allowed to adopt children biologically related to at least one of them.

While the entire world seems to be setting steps backwards (abortion is up for discussion again? Seriously?!), Taiwan is setting a big step forward. Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage.

By AUTHOR – Full Story at SOURCE

Gay Friendly Asia – Nomadic Boys

Gay Friendly Asia - The Nomadic Boys

We spent 2 years travelling around Asia and completely fell in love with the continent. It offers so much in terms of cultural experiences, food and landscapes, with some of the most humble people you’ll ever meet.

But when it comes to LGBTQ rights, Asia has some serious work to do! In quite a lot of countries in Asia, being gay is either illegal or an arrestable offence, like in Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, the Maldives, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. If it’s not illegal, then it’s such a strong taboo that you have to stay in the closet to avoid jeopardising your job prospects and embarrassing your family like in China, Russia and Indonesia.

Despite this, there are a number of countries in Asia that are paving the way forward in relation to LGBTQ rights. We’ve selected the top 10 most gay friendly countries in Asia, which we’ve based on the following criteria:

  • Where are they at with same sex marriage legislation, along with other LGBTQ laws?
  • What is the gay scene like and do they have any notable annual LGBTQ festivals?
  • Our personal experience travelling there as a gay couple, with reference to the most recent Spartacus Gay Travel Index.

We have taken it as a given that homosexuality is legal in the countries we’ve selected, which is why we haven’t included Singapore despite it having quite a vibrant gay scene and a famous LGBTQ PinkDot festival in June/July.

We have also included two “places” (Taiwan and Hong Kong) rather than “countries”, because although they’re not officially recognised “countries”, they can still be regarded as a “country” given they have their own flag, currency, national anthem, set of laws etc.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Asia Gay Travel Resources

Lesbian Bangkok: Off the Beaten Path – Once Upon a Journey

Lesbian Bangkok

Bangkok is one of our favourite cities in Asia and we keep coming back to it. There’s so much to see and do in Bangkok. But while most people visit famous places like the Grand Palace, Khao San Road, Wat Pho and Wat Arun, there are so many other great lesser known places to visit. We already discussed the best things to do in Bangkok and all Instagram worthy spots in Bangkok, but we love to tell you about Bangkok off the beaten path! This is our top five hidden gems around Bangkok.

Wat Samphran aka Dragon Temple

Wat Samphran is a unique temple you won’t find elsewhere in the world. By accident, we found out about this place and couldn’t believe our eyes. A pink building with a dragon? Why aren’t people talking about this place? It’s not mentioned in the travel books and therefore not many tourists know about it yet. The temple is 17 floors high and you can walk through the body of the dragon to reach the top.

The top makes for a great view. Not only the dragon temple itself is worth visiting, but there are also other beautiful structures around the complex. For example a giant bronze Buddha and animal statues like a giant turtle and elephant. We recommend taking at least two hours to explore the complex. Wat Samphran is a temple, so make sure to dress properly.

By Roxanne & Maartje – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

 

Kasawan Falls in the Philippines – The Globetrotter Guys

Kawasan Falls - The Globetrotter Guys

The Philippines are incredible and one of our favourite places that we have travelled to in South East Asia. The Philippines has some of the most beautiful beaches, islands, crystal clear waters and also some of the best adventure activities. One of our favourite adventure activities during our time in the Philippines was going to Kawasan Falls and canyoneering in Cebu. It is a must!

Here is everything you need to know about Kawasan Falls and canyoneering in Cebu (specifically Badian).

About Kawasan Falls, Cebu

Kawasan Falls are considered to be the most famous and one of the most beautiful sets of waterfalls in the Philippines.

Kawasan Falls can be found on the island of Cebu, 130km southwest of Cebu City in the mountains of Badian. People are drawn here by the vibrant turquoise waters, the lush jungle and the chance to have an adventure, including of course, canyoneering Kawasan Falls!

Most people will do a day trip to Kawasan Falls to spend the morning canyoneering and the afternoon relaxing by the falls. You even have the option of jumping on-board a bamboo raft and floating under the falls themselves!

Lesbian Travel to Southern Laos – Once Upon a Journey

Southern Laos - Once Upon a Journey

Pakse, or Pakxe, is a city in Southern Laos. It’s the capital of the province Champasak and Laos’ second most populous city. Pakse is the perfect hub for your Southern Laos travels to places as the Bolaven Plateau and 4000 islands. But it’s way more than just a hub or gateway.

It’s a charming and peaceful city surrounded by beautiful nature. Pakse means mouth of the river, and its located next to the Mekong and Sedone rivers. We recommend staying at least two days in Pakse, to enjoy everything it has to offer and to enjoy the laid-back Lao culture. Here are our top things to see and do in Pakse. And also our recommendations on where to eat and stay. We fell in love with this city, hopefully, you do the same!

1. WAT PHOU SALAO AKA GOLDEN BUDDHA

Rent a motorbike, bicycle or jump in a tuk-tuk and visit Wat Phou Salao. With it’s giant golden Buddha and stunning views over the city and Mekong river this temple is a must visit.

The big Buddha might be the advertised highlight, we actually loved the many small Buddhas right next to it even more. On the way to Wat Phou Salao from Pakse city, you will cross the Lao-Japan friendship bridge and from there, you can spot the giant golden Buddha on top of the mountain. Sunset and sunrise are definitely the best moments to visit Wat Phou Salao for the best light.

By Roxanne Weijer – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Laos Gay Travel Resources

 

Queer Travel In Asia… Is It Safe?

Gay Travel in Asia - The Globetrotter Guys

Gay travel in Asia can be confusing to say the least. A lot of people will look up gay rights in Asia and for the most part be disappointed. However, don’t let this discourage you! Back in 2012, we spent 3 months travelling from Thailand through to Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia and Bali. We experienced this part of Asia as a gay couple and only had positive experiences.

We returned to Asia again in 2017 for our honeymoon, where we spent 3 weeks in the Philippines. When it comes to gay travel in Asia, the Philippines is one of the more advanced countries. There is still work to be done, like anywhere, but overall we had a wholly positive experience.

Quite simply, often the laws of the country don’t match the reality of being there as a tourist. While some people may say not to travel to countries until they have better laws, as long as you are safe as a tourist, you could be helping by representing the local LGBT community.

We have compiled our ‘Gay Travel Asia Guide’ to help you navigate the countries we visited. We want to compare the laws to the reality as a gay traveller in Asia. Read on to find out more, and feel free to share your own experiences in the comments.

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Asia Gay Travel Resources