Lost in Translation in Hangzhou – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , November 16th, 2018

Lost in Translation in Hangzhou

“Welcome to the back!” proclaimed an English sign at the front door of a small Chinese restaurant in Hangzhou, a city in China, known for its West Lake. It was here where Marco Polo once sailed, mesmerized by its stunning beauty and declared the place in ancient times as “the most beautiful place in the world.”

Six exhausted backpackers from four countries and I, who all met in a hostel, froze for a moment in silence, as if trying to decipher one of China’s ancient, decrepit signboard. We exchanged quick glances, hoping one had a clue to share. We were pretty sure we were standing at the entrance, not the back, of the restaurant. Almost in unison, we quickly realized what the sign meant was, “Welcome back.” It’s one of those rampant translations gone wrong in Chinglish, a blend of Chinese and English.

With hunger excruciatingly creeping into our stomachs, we gave up looking for another restaurant. We’d been walking all day and we were so hungry we could eat a barrel of dumplings sans chopsticks.

Two ladies behind the reception desk smiled when we came in. One disappeared quickly to call someone from the kitchen. When we were all seated, the other waitress came with a kettle of tea and a vacuum flask of hot water. She carefully poured the hot water and tea alternately with impeccable skill. When she was done, she said something in Chinese and our jaws dropped. We understood not a single word. She looked at each one of our tired faces, hoping a single one of us could make sense of what she just said. Meeting our uncomprehending looks, she smiled sheepishly and left embarrassed.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

China Gay Travel Resources

 

Udon Thani’s Red Lotus Sea – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , November 16th, 2018

Red Lotus Sea - Once Upon a Journey

YES! Thailand still has hidden gems only a few (western) tourists know about. Talay Bua Daeng – or Red Lotus Sea – in Northeast Thailand is one of those gems and it’s definitely one for the bucket list. CNN named it one of the world strangest lakes in 2014 and well, it’s not a lake you see every day – for sure.

Imagine a lake with thousands of pink flowers, spreading as far as the eye can see!

Getting on the lake by boat is one of the most romantic experiences we’ve ever done. And Valentine’s is actually the perfect time to visit: the red lotuses only bloom a couple of months each year. But that makes the experience the more special. It is quite off the famous routes through Thailand though, but no worries: we will tell you everything you need to know about visiting this magical pink lake.

The season for the pink flowers to bloom is from December to the end of February, just after the rainy season. When you visit, make sure to go early in the morning. From sunrise to noon you can see the water lilies opened up: they open when they see the first morning light and close when the midday heat comes.

By Roxanne Weijer – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

Thailand Gay Travel Resources

 

Inn of the Turquoise Bear B&B – Gay Santa Fe Bed and Breakfast

Author: , November 14th, 2018

Inn of the Turquoise Bear B&B

The Inn of the Turquoise Bear is a quintessential rambling adobe villa set in the heart of historic Santa Fe. Guests of our Santa Fe bed and breakfast will enjoy being within walking distance to Santa Fe’s Plaza, museums, galleries, shops, fine dining, and nightlife.

The estate was once the home of noted poet, playwright and essayist Witter Bynner. Bynner and his companion Robert Hunt were famous – or infamous – for the wild parties they hosted in the house know as “Bynner’s bashes.” The celebrity guest list included D. H. Lawrence, Ansel Adams, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Willa Cather, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Stephen Spender, Christopher Isherwood, Georgia O’Keeffe, Mary Austin, Thornton Wilder, Robert Oppenheimer, Robert Frost, W. H. Auden, Lynn Riggs, Rita Hayworth, Errol Flynn and countless others.

See the Inn of the Turquoise Bear B&B Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Santa Fe Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

 

Getting From Beruit Airport to City Center – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , November 14th, 2018

Beruit Airport, Lebanon - The Nomadic Boys

Lebanon’s main international airport is the “Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport” (BEY), located around 9 km (5.6 miles) south from downtown Beirut.

It takes around 15 minutes by taxi to get from Beirut airport to the city centre. This is currently the main way to reach downtown Beirut from the airport as there is no public transport serving the airport.

We’ve set out below all the options available, including for late arrivals and other travel tips based on our personal experience travelling in Lebanon.

Public Taxi and Official Airport Taxi

Taxi is the main way to get from Beirut airport to the city centre and should cost no more than $20 (30,000 Lebanese pounds). There is always an abundance of public taxi drivers waiting outside the Arrivals Hall at all hours of the day. However, they do not use meters and will try to overcharge you the standard $20 rate.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Lebanon Gay Travel Resources

 

Queer Malta – The Gay UK

Author: , November 14th, 2018

Malta - pixabay

I first visited Malta 14 years ago and remember myself and my friends trying desperately to find a gay scene and left extremely disappointed as you could imagine as an early twenty-something would in a fruitless search of gay nightlife in the winter sun. The visit in 2004 was in the same year that Malta had its first Pride March an event to which no more than 50 people attended and so my interest was piqued when Allied Rainbow Communities announced the 2018 Malta Pride Parade & Celebration taking place in Valletta, the European Capital of Culture.

Time to give Malta a second chance.

5 LGBT facts you might not know about Malta

1) It is a little-known fact that Malta ranks as the leading country, before even The UK and Belgium, regarding how the laws and policies of the country positively impact on the lives of LGBT+ people.

2) Discrimination regarding sexual orientation, gender identity and expression in Malta has been banned nationwide since 2004.

3) Malta is one of the few countries in the world to have made LGBT+ rights equal at a constitutional level.

4) In 2016, Malta became the first country in the European Union to ban conversion therapy.
5) Despite being a liberal country, Malta is extremely limited when it comes to exclusive gay venues.

There are a few places that are indeed worth checking out for a stay on the island, the best two I have included here.

By Ray Si – Full Story at The Gay UK

Malta Gay Travel Resources

2 Village Square Inn Ogunquit – Ogunquit Gay Owned Bed & Breakfast

Author: , November 11th, 2018

2 Village Square Inn Ogunquit

2 Village Square Inn, located in the heart of Ogunquit , Maine, is a 17 room Inn nestled on a wooded hillside perch overlooking the town square and the Atlantic Ocean. The ladi-back and congenial atmosphere of our 1886 Inn is complimented by its close proximity to all the resort activity in this seaside getaway.

17 rooms, king and queen size beds available. All rooms offer guest controlled heat and air conditioning, tv/dvd player with cable, ceiling fan, refrigerator, and Keurig coffee maker.

Three first floor common areas casually furnished with comfortable seating, library, dvd library, guest computer, piano, ice machine, and restaurant and attraction listings. 2 Village Square offers you and your friends plenty of both indoor and outdoor space to relax.

See the 2 Village Square Inn Ogunquit Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Ogunquit Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

 

Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , November 11th, 2018

In 2014 (yes, I know, it’s been 4 years already), the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul was the world’s most-visited tourist attraction, according to Travel+Leisure. If you look at the Instagram hashtags of this marketplace, you’ll be dazzled by the colors of what this well-known tourist destination would offer to your four senses.

On the day I was there, the scene didn’t disappoint me. I was enamored not just by its history, sights, and colors but also how the Turkish vendors won’t bother you just by passing through their shops. Unlike other busy markeplaces I’ve been to in many countries (like China, Hongkong, Vietnam, and Thailand), the sellers at Grand Bazaar are not the pushy kinds. They’d leave you alone once you politely say, “I’m just window shopping.”

I was there in the early morning, so the crowd was still thin, and I felt like I was the only (or most) obvious tourist going around.

The Grand Bazaar is a 15th-century shopping mall that makes your shopping experience worthwhile. However, in the frenzy of buying all good things, do not forget to revere the character of the architecture and historical vibes sprouting from the walls.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Turkey Gay Travel Resources

 

Bacon Mansion B&B – Gay Owned Seattle Bed & Breakfast

Author: , November 10th, 2018

Bacon Mansion B&B

Stay in Seattle’s leading Bed and Breakfast and enjoy the charm and comfort of yesterday, with all the convenience of today. We are now offering online availability and reservations. We still prefer to personally speak with all of our guests when reserving rooms to insure that you are reserving the room that best fits your desires and needs and you understand our cancellation and check in policies.

Shields of red and white can be seen on the round stained glass windows as one passes through the gates of the Bacon Mansion Bed and Breakfast. Built in 1909 by Cecil Bacon on Seattle’s Capitol Hill, this classical Edwardian Style Tudor shows not only the trademark family crest but a fine preservation of original woods, 3000 crystal chandelier, marble fireplaces and a treasured library.

See the Bacon Mansion B&B Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Seattle Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

 

Gay Lebanon: Safe for Gay Travelers? – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , November 9th, 2018

Gay Lebanon

Lebanon is one of the most liberal, progressive and gay friendly countries in the Arab world.

However, this is by Arabic standards. In other words, being gay in Lebanon won’t get you arrested with risk of death as it would in say, Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Iran, and neither is it as restrictive as in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. However, being openly gay in Lebanon is a criminal offence, so you definitely need to be cautious.

We visited gay Lebanon as a gay couple to celebrate Stefan’s birthday. We absolutely loved the country, the people, the food and were so impressed to discover a thriving LGBTQ community, as well as a handful of really fun gay bars and clubs despite the anti-gay laws. Overall, travelling as a gay couple in Lebanon, we found it to be quite safe, but as long as you abide by various safety precautions.

Gay Rights in Lebanon

On the face of it, gay life in Lebanon is hard because homosexuality is a criminal offence. On the positive, there is a growing movement to decriminalise homosexuality in Lebanon on a political and legal level.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Gay Lebanon Travel Resources

 

Phuket Gay Homestay – Phuket, Thailand

Author: , November 8th, 2018

Phuket Gay Homestay

After having a gay guesthouse 1998-2011 in the centre of the gay area Paradise Complex in Patong, Ulf and Nisit (Boy) changed to a more quiet and secluded area. In February 2012 they opened a small gay homestay in Kathu just a few kilometres from Patong. The location is in a small village at the edge of the green lush hills between Patong and Kathu.

There’s a clothing optional swimming pool, steam sauna and a small sala by a fish pond where breakfast is served. Breakfast (included) starts at 8 AM but don’t worry, you will never be too late for a breakfast even if you wake up late.

The homestay consists of 5 Airconditioned bedrooms of which 4 have en-suite bathrooms with hot shower.

To get around to any of the 40 beaches on Phuket Island you can rent a bike or motorbike (if you have a driving licence) or you can go by local bus or use the smartphone app, Grab Taxi.

See the Phuket Gay Homestay Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Thailand Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals