India Gay Life – The Nomadic Boys

India Gay Life - The Nomadic Boys

After a decade of backflipping in and out the closet with its anti-gay laws (the Delhi High Court repealed them in 2009 but in 2013 the Supreme Court reintroduced them), in September 2018, the Supreme Court finally repealed them once and for all in a landmark decision.

This was huge! Remember, this is a country with a population of almost 1.5 billion people. That’s a vast proportion of the world’s LGBTQ population – and these guys are super active!

Day by day the Indian LGBTQ population is growing more and more confident. All the main Indian cities have a gay scene, particularly in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, which have their own gay pride parades, weekly gay parties and even LGBTQ film festivals. It’s for this reason we rate India as one of the most gay friendly countries in Asia.

However, Indian society remains very conservative. Indian men are expected to marry a woman and have lots of children to please their family so as to avoid being ostracised by their local community. Because of this, we found that a large part of India gay life is still underground. We suggest using gay dating apps like Grindr to tap into the local LGBTQ community, as we found out in our gay night out in Delhi. This is where we met up with our buddy Raj from Delhi to find out more about what it’s like growing up gay in India

Raj requested his identity be kept anonymous, so we have used the name “Raj” as his alias. Raj also has a lifestyle blog about his relationship with his boyfriend and their life in Delhi, which we recommend checking out.

Hi Raj, where are you from and what do you do?

Namaste Nomadic Boys – welcome to India and to Delhi! I am Raj, a 28 years old trainee doctor, born and raised in Delhi. I live in Delhi with my boyfriend, Rhys (also an alias name), who I met at university. We’ve been together for over a decade.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

India Gay Travel Resources

Best Caribbean Gay Cruises for 2020 – The Nomadic Boys

“Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take ya
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama…”

While there might not be a real “Kokomo” in the Caribbean (or at least there wasn’t until that Beach Boys’ song came out!) there are still so many incredibly beautiful islands to explore. From the colourful and lively San Juan to the lush and mountainous Grenada, the Caribbean has a great deal to offer.

Give us a Caribbean beach or two any day. Or better still, hop aboard a Caribbean gay cruise and you get to visit a whole bunch of them. With over 700 islands, islets and reefs to explore, island hopping this lush area of the world with a fabulous group of gay guys is definitely the way forward!

When it comes to gay cruises in the Caribbean, there are many options. Each one is unique in its own way. We’ve put together our list of some of the best ones you need to check out. Note that we have divided our guide up into two parts: the first featuring gay only cruises, the second, a gay group mixed with a larger group.

RSVP 35TH ANNIVERSARY CARIBBEAN CRUISE

RSVP is well known in the gay cruise industry, and they’ve been around! This cruise celebrates their 35th anniversary.

The RSVP Caribbean Cruise takes place aboard the Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam, which oozes style, sophistication and sass! With an innovative entertainment centre, a theatre stage, dance club, and live music bar, the days spent at sea will feel just as exciting as the days spent exploring ashore.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Caribbean Gay Travel Resources

Gay Moldova – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Moldova - The Nomadic Boys

Moldova is all about wines. Lots of delicious, fine wines that you’ve probably never heard of. What used to be a small slice of the Soviet Union is now one of the most underrated parts of Europe begging to be discovered.

So big is the wine scene of Moldova that the country famously has the largest underground wine cellar in the world. The Milestii Maci cellars are as notorious as they are humongous, holding a record 1.5 million bottles of wine.

There are lots of fun things to see and do in this undiscovered part of Eastern Europe, but as is the case with most places in the region, LGBTQ rights have a lot of catching up to do. We summarise our experience travelling around Moldova in this detailed gay country guide.

LGBTQ rights in Moldova

Moldova, sadly, is strongly influenced by the very conservative Eastern Orthodox Church, which frowns on LGBTQ rights. Anti-discrimination laws for hate crime and gender identity are yet to be passed and the country implemented a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 1994, which is still in place.

On the plus side, being gay in Moldova is legal (since 1995) and anti-discrimination laws exist in employment and in the media. In addition, gays are (theoretically) allowed to serve openly in the army and the right to change legal gender was introduced (but only following a psychiatric diagnosis). 

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Berlin Sex Hotels – The Nomadic Boys

Berlin Sex Hotels - The Nomadic Boys

“Du bist verrückt mein Kind, du mußt nach Berlin!”
Franz von Supp
Translation: “You are crazy, my child. You must go to Berlin!”

So said one of the great composers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Franz von Suppe (1819-1895) during a time when Berlin was so famous for its liberal attitude and sexual freedom.

Even after the Nazi era and the hard post-WW2 years, the city gradually returned to its former glory as a place where whatever you’re into, you will find it.

Today, Berlin is notorious for its relaxed attitude to sex and sexuality. Whilst we love visiting Berlin for partying, it’s also the perfect place if you’re looking for some cheeky romantic playtime with your lover. Just like the sex hotels in Amsterdam, there are heaps of places you can stay in Berlin that cater to every different kind of fetish in an adults-only environment.

In this guide, we’ve found some of the best Berlin sex hotels in Berlin, focusing on those that are, to put it mildly, conducive to having a good old sexy time!

Hotel Q!

Hotel Q! is a small boutique hotel, really stylishly designed and centrally located just off the city’s main shopping boulevard, Kurfürstendamm. 

The rooms are designed to make couples feel cosy and romantic. The lighting creates an intimate vibe with some of the rooms featuring an open Jacuzzi bathtub right next to the comfy bed, ooh la la! But just be careful not to get too much water on the bed, nobody wants to sleep in a wet patch…(no seriously, clumsy Stefan did this twice!)

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Germany Gay Travel Resources

Gay Bali – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Bali - The Nomadic Boys

“The Island of the Gods!” And in our humble opinion: “The Island of the Gays”!

Bali is the quintessential tropical island getaway high up on most travellers’ bucket lists, particularly amongst those of us inspired by the Julia Roberts movie, “Eat Pray Love”. Surprisingly, Bali is also a popular gay haven in Asia: remember this is part of Indonesia, a country which has over the years become increasingly more homophobic.

Gay Bali stands strong in the face of this rising tide of hatred towards our LGBTQ community in Indonesia thanks to its unique Hindu heritage and the diverse international community across the island.

For LGBTQ travellers, Bali offers a tropical paradise, gorgeous beaches, world-class restaurants, plenty of welcoming gay hotels and an entire strip of lively gay hangouts in Seminyak. We’ve put all of this right here in our lengthy gay travel guide to Bali based on our first-hand experience.

Why is gay Bali so gay friendly?

Before visiting Bali, we were wondering how such a gay haven can possibly exist in a country like Indonesia, where the Islamic government has been working ruthlessly to oppress its LGBTQ community. Over the years, more anti-LGBTQ laws are being passed in Indonesia. Whilst homosexuality wasn’t historically illegal in this former Dutch colony, the government has been ruthlessly trying to introduce laws that effectively criminalise consensual same-sex.

Despite what’s happening on the mainland, Bali continues to thrive, largely unaffected. Unlike the rest of the country, which has the largest Muslim population in the world, Bali is mainly Hindu – a religion which is more tolerant of our LGBTQ family! In addition, Bali is also very touristy, with a vast international community living/working here all year round. As a result, a gay scene has been able to thrive here for many years, along with several gay/male-only hotels.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Bali Gay Travel Resources

Gay Malta – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Malta - The Nomadic Boys

“You want to go to a gay bar in Malta? Pick any one you come across and you’ll be just fine!”
So said our Maltese gay friends when we asked them about the gay scene. But we get their point. When it comes to gay friendliness, Malta is killing it! This tiny island nation in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea is frequently named as one of the most gay friendly countries in the world and we can totally see why!

What used to be one of the most religious places in Europe (for example, up until 2013, divorce was illegal in Malta!) the country did a 180-degree turn to pass some of the most LGBTQ progressive laws in the world, quickly becoming THE gay haven in the Mediterranean region.

We visited Malta as part of a trip with Teletext Holidays to discover the gay scene and what makes it so appealing to LGBTQ travellers. We left with a strong thirst to return and see more. The people are open-minded, super friendly (Maltese guys – heLLO!), the queer community is very visible and even though it’s such a small nation of just 400,000 people, it still has a vibrant gay scene to check out.

We’ve put together all our findings in this gay guide to Malta as we explored the country from Valletta to Mdina, Gozo to Camino and Dingli to Xlendi.

Gay Rights in Malta

They are extremely progressive!

…or to quote the United Nation’s Equality and Non-Discrimination team:

“Malta has become the gold standard of LGBTQI reforms – a beacon of human rights for LGBTIQ issues!”

This says a lot for a country where up until 2013, divorce was illegal. This gives you an idea of just how Catholic and religious Malta used to be. It all began in 2013 when the progressive centre-left Labour Party came to power and prioritised gay-friendly policies led by the proactive Minister for Equality, Helena Dalli. They began by passing a full range of anti-discrimination laws, recognised civil unions and also passed adoption laws within their first year in power.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Malta Gay Travel Resources

Gay Bucharest – The Nomadic Boys

Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, is one of Europe’s hidden gems. It’s a fantastic city to explore – safe, with a rich history, many excellent bars, restaurants, a bustling Old Town and even a (small) gay scene. This is a big deal for an Eastern European country like Romania where LGBTQ rights are sadly lagging behind the rest of Europe.

Bucharest is also very inexpensive compared to other European capitals, and easy to reach with all major budget airlines across Europe. Score!

We used Bucharest as our base to explore Romania – a stunning country, with some impressive mountain scenery in Transylvania in the north and even a beach in the Black Sea at Constantia in the south. Bucharest is located right in the middle of the country with the best connections to all other parts of Romania. It’s also a super fun place to go out, whether in the vibrant nightlife of the Old Town of gay Bucharest or to one of the many gay and gay friendly places we set out in this guide.

This is our comprehensive gay guide to Bucharest from our personal experience and recommendations from friends with our favourite gay friendly hotels to stay, the gay bars/clubs, events, things to do and more.

Is Gay Bucharest Safe for LGBTQ Travelers?

Romania is generally not regarded as a gay-friendly country, but that is changing! As with much of East Europe, homosexuality is a massive taboo in society, which can get you into a lot of trouble if you shout out loud about it. On the plus side, however, as part of its ascension to the EU in 2007, Romania was forced to adopt an array of anti-discrimination laws, particularly in relation to hate crime and hate speech. Laws to recognise civil unions are being discussed and the right to change legal gender was introduced as far back as 1996. And thankfully, in a 2018 referendum, Romanians voted against banning same-sex marriage!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Life in Vietnam – The Nomadic Boys

Vietnam is one of our favourite places we visited as a gay couple travelling in Asia. From delicious foods to fantastic sites like Ha Long Bay, you’re spoilt rotten in terms of a destination rich with culture. Vietnam also has a more liberal attitude towards homosexuality, with large thriving LGBTQ communities in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and the capital in Saigon.

We found Vietnam to be one of the most gay friendly countries in Asia. Locals were extremely friendly and welcoming to us, and getting a double bed was never an issue for us anywhere. However, Vietnam still has quite a way to go with regards to its LGBTQ laws, lacking any for anti-discrimination or for recognising same-sex couples. We met up with our buddy Quan in Saigon who gave us his perspective of what gay life in Vietnam is really like for LGBTQ locals in this interview.

Hello Quan, where are you from and what do you do?

Hi Stef and Seby.

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My name is Quan Nguyen and I am 34 years old. I am a web designer living and working in Saigon.

Originally, I am from “Can Tho” in the Mekong Delta, but in my teenage years, my family moved to Saigon.

I come from a Catholic family, which surprises most people because everyone assumes all Vietnamese are Buddhist. Catholicism is one of the many influences in Vietnam from the French.

Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Vietnam Gay Travel Resources

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

Gay Beirut – The Nomadic Boys

Lebanon is one of the most liberal, progressive and gay friendly places in the Arab world. This is saying a lot for a country where homosexuality is still a crime. However, by comparison to its Arab neighbours, Beirut has the best (albeit quite underground) gay scene, including one of the largest gay clubs in the Middle East called POSH.

We visited gay Beirut from Cyprus to celebrate Stefan’s birthday over a long weekend and absolutely loved the food, the people and of course the many gay parties. This is our gay guide to Beirut featuring the best gay bars and clubs, events, gay friendly hotels and best things to do.

Gay Rights in Lebanon

Lebanon doesn’t have the best track record with regards to LGBTQ rights. Homosexuality is illegal, there are no anti-discrimination laws, there is absolutely zero recognition of same-sex partnerships and the LGBTQ community are banned from openly serving in the Lebanese army.

On the plus side, proactive steps are being taken by judges and some politicians to decriminalise homosexuality and it was declassified as an illness in 2013. In addition, the right to change legal gender was introduced in 2016. From our experience travelling in the Middle East, Lebanon definitely ranks as one of the most gay friendly Arab countries, but remember, this is an extremely conservative region of the world when it comes to LGBTQ rights.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Middle East Gay Travel Resources