Gay Florida Keys – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Florida Keys - The Nomadic Boys

We’ve travelled the world extensively, and can hands down say that when it comes to stunning sunsets, the Keys of South Florida is the best place to come. There are of course many other reasons to visit the Keys: the terrific gay scene of Key West, the diving in the many coral reefs, beautiful beaches, and of course the star culinary highlight, the divine Key Lime pie! But for us, those magnificent sunsets stole the show.

The Florida Keys are a string of thousands of tropical islands stretching about 120 miles (193km) off the southern tip of Florida, between the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. The word “Keys” comes from the Spanish word “cayo”, which means ‘small island’.

The Keys begin at the southeastern coast of the Florida peninsula, about 15 miles (24 km) south of Miami. They then extend from Key Largo, all the way to Key West, which is the westernmost of the inhabited islands.

This is our gay travel guide to the Florida keys, where we set out the best gay hotels to stay, our favourite gay hangouts and top things to do.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Florida Keys Travel Resources

Gay Abu Dhabi – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and second-most populous city in the UAE after Dubai.

Initially, Abu Dhabi began as a magnet for the oil industry, but over the last decade, it grew massively in popularity as a tourist destination.

Whilst crime is very low in Abu Dhabi and it is a safe destination to visit, for the LGBTQ community, the reality is a lot different. Homosexuality is illegal here, so just like LGBTQ rights in Dubai, you run the risk of being arrested and/or deported if you get caught being open! Despite this, many LGBTQ expats (who are mainly cabin crew for Etihad) live here without any problems and have even created their own underground gay scene.

We visited Abu Dhabi during our travels in the UAE and give our take on whether we think Abu Dhabi is safe for gay travellers based on our first-hand experience. To be clear, we are not advocating Abu Dhabi as a gay haven, simply an honest account of what it was like for us.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Key West – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Key West - The Nomadic Boys

Conch! It’s quite a quirky word, satisfying, yet it sounds like you’re cursing… “you CONCHhead!” or “you’re such a CONCH!”

Giggles aside, over in the gay island mecca of Key West, a conch is a legit nickname given to the locals. And this bunch of conchers sure know how to live life to the fullest!

Key West is famous for its relaxed, tolerant and queer inclusivity. Historically it’s always been different, helped by the fact that it is the southernmost point of the USA mainland, slightly cut off from the rest of Florida. This has allowed Key West to thrive as a mixed haven for an eclectic blend of people ranging from Native Americans, Spanish, freed slaves, pirates, and of course, the LGBTQ community. It has also been a bedrock for artistic talent with the likes of Tennessee Williams, Ernest Hemingway and Judy Blume all making this unassuming island their home base. Key West even has an official motto of “One Human Family“.

We absolutely loved Key West. There are so many things to do here with a really exciting gay scene along Duval Street. We’ve been to Key West several times and always had a ball on each visit. We’ve put together this detailed gay guide to Key West to include our experience trying out the best gay hotels, partying in the bars/clubs, inspiration for things to do, and more.

Gay Key West

The gay area of key West is based around the busy Duval Street, between Angela and Petronia Streets. There is a permanent Rainbow Crosswalk here so you can’t miss it! This small intersection forms the gay neighbourhood of Key West, largely centred around 3 large complexes forming a sort of triangle. The 3 large complexes are 801 Bourbon, Bourbon St. Pub and Aqua. Each one has around 3/4 separate bars/clubs inside which we summarise in detail below.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Key West 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 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 Colombia – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Colombia - The Nomadic Boys
  • Gay mega clubbing with 5,000 Colombian boys in Bogota? Tick!
  • Swimming in a rainbow river, the Caño Cristales? Tick!
  • Remote paradisiac Caribbean Islands like Providencia? Tick!
  • Partying in the most exciting Carnival of South America outside of Rio? Tick!
  • Sniffin’ up tons of fresh cocaine in Pedro-Escobar-heartland: Medellin? Ti…no wait…

…you may also have been inspired to visit this incredible country from Netflix’s Narcos series, but as every Colombian will rightly tell you, the awful cocaine industry that gripped the country with an ugly civil war for decades is now ancient history. And good riddance to it!

Colombia has evolved to not only become one of the best and safest tourist destinations in all of South America, it has also become one of the most gay friendly.

We spent 6 months travelling in Colombia during our big trip in Latin America, using Medellin and Bogota as a base. We cannot rave enough about it! We were captivated, mesmerised and totally impressed. Colombia is such a rewarding destination offering beaches, culture, gay scene, loads of partying, beautiful landscapes, and some of the hottest people to walk our planet!

Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Colombia Gay Travel 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 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

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