We asked LGBTQ travel expert and Editor-in-Chief of OutThere Magazine Uwern Jong, for his top honeymoon destinations perfect for LGBTQ couples. We hope you enjoy this round-up and get some honeymoon ideas! If you’re in the midst of planning your honeymoon, let us know in the comments where you’re off to – we’d love to know!
From the downright fabulous to the far-flung, gay newlyweds are heading off to amazing honeymoons across the world. OutThere Magazine researched its recently married readers as to where they chose to spend their honeymoon and here are the ten most popular honeymoon spots, in no particular order.
From the bazaar-bizarre madness of Bangkok, to the exotic Northern territories, to the paradise beaches of the South, Thailand delivers significant honeymoon bang for its buck. Thailand is no stranger to gay travellers, but for gay honeymooners, it offers a significant opportunity to upgrade to absolute luxury. We love it as it’s home to some of the world’s most upscale resorts plus unique cultural and culinary experiences. At Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport, there is an expedited immigration lane for couples on honeymoon and same-gender couples are welcome through too.
Latin America’s most LGBTQ friendly destination – the country even has its own gay-tourism programme, #AmorArgentina. The romantic capital Buenos Aires is known as the Paris of South America, exotic and eclectic in its own right, but that’s nothing as compared to the rest of the country. We spanned the length and breadth of the country, from the malbec winelands of Mendoza, to the salt-flats of Salta, to stunning glacial Patagonia and even the deepest of gaucho heartlands in Corrientes, Argentina offers gay honeymooners great variety and cultural diversity to fill an entire book of memories.
3. Great Britain
Britain, OutThere’s home, may not be the most exotic of destinations on our list, but with stronger foreign currencies rates, honeymooners across the world are flocking to visit Her Majesty’s land and British newlyweds are increasingly considering staycation honeymoons to take in new, undiscovered parts of the country. London is clearly on the hotlist, given its gay-capital status, but Manchester, Bath, Brighton, Scotland and Wales are seeing their fair share of gay visitors. The tourist board VisitBritain has a great, national LGBTQ travel campaign, LOVE BRITAIN that has gone some way to attract gay couples to its shores.
The Riviera Maya in Mexico is the stuff of dreams, giving honeymooners a taste of the Caribbean Sea, without the fear of homophobia. It’ is one of our favourite beachside escapes on earth, plus Mayan culture and rituals in this sprawling resort strip provide a level of authenticity amidst all the luxury. Beyond the Riviera Maya, on the gulf coast in Puerto Vallarta, there is a huge LGBTQ community and very lively scene. Mexico City is also an exciting, vibrant metropolis that provides something new to explore each and every day.
Vietnam is increasing in notoriety as a destination for honeymooners that enjoy discovering new things. From its pristine, beach resorts in Hoi Ann or Nha Trang (complete with sublime international luxury brands) to its chaotic Ho Chin Minh City, to the historic imperial and colonial cities of Hanoi and Hue, to the mustn’t-miss Bay of the Dragons at Halong – Vietnam is a truly experiential destination that has organically grown its gay fan base.
Sweden is one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world. And those with a penchant for Scandinavian chic enjoy honeymoons with a difference here. Stockholm, its stunning capital on the water, bills itself as the gay capital of Scandinavia with a level of luxury that just can’t be beaten. Together with its sister city, Gothenburg, Stockholm will cement itself in the gay travel hall of fame when it hosts Europride in 2018, the first time two cities will jointly host the event. But even its lesser known areas, like the West Swedish Archipelago, Skane and Swedish Lapland, is a wonderland of fabulous food, stunning design and boundless nature.
Bali has been a gay honeymoon staple for decades. A gay oasis in a deeply Muslim country, Bali boasts stunning beaches, fantastic culture, interesting history and heritage, not to mention some the world’s best resorts. But more than that, there is a certain spirituality about Bali, which makes it a wonderful place to celebrate love. This said, more adventurous gay honeymooners are pairing Bali with other Indonesian destinations, like Lombok, Java and the amazing, once in a lifetime dive sites like Raja Ampat.
Japan has held the moniker of the Mystic Orient for decades now and even today, that hasn’t changed. Japan is one of the most eclectic, experiential destinations we’ve ever visited – where sights, sounds, culture and people are unlike any other. A growing acceptance of gay travellers has spurred a renewed interest in the Land of the Rising sun, but a long-standing ‘live and let live’ attitude is what continues to drive honeymooners to discover this ultimate, ‘once in a lifetime’ destination. Outside of the tourist havens of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, we recommend Okinawa, where island paradises abound in a way that will blow your mind.
9. South Africa
Cape Town is a fabulous option for Northern Hemisphere winter honeymooners, as its summer is our winter. But describing it in that way is selling it way short, as Cape Town offers luxury gay travellers with a wonderful lifestyle – amazing places to stay and eat, truly interesting places to visit, picturesque, delicious vineyards and great beaches – all set in the shadow of the majestic and mesmerising Table Mountain. Plus the rest of the country is wonderful too, particularly the opportunity to go on big-game safari and check out its luxury lodges in South Africa’s many National Parks.
10. The Maldives
Last but not least on the list is one that surprises us, but also doesn’t in equal measures. The Maldives sells itself as the ultimate honeymoon paradise, with stunning resorts on magical atolls, with the crystal clear turquoise sea and white sand beaches always as a backdrop. However, the Maldives has a sinister side for gay travellers, in that as a country, being gay is punishable there by the death sentence. But this doesn’t stop gay honeymooners going there, according to travel agency Kuoni, the Maldives was the top gay honeymoon destination for their customers in 2016. At OutThere we support the idea of boundless travel, but while we will encourage gay travellers to experience the Maldives, it is crucial that they do so with open eyes.
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5 up and coming honeymoon destinations for OutThere travellers
1. The Philippines
4. New Zealand
Uwern Jong is an LGBTQ travel expert and Editor-in-Chief of OutThere Magazine, the world’s leading source of luxury and experiential travel inspiration for gay men of distinction. He is also Board Director for the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA). The award-winning OutThere produces two coffee-table journals per year, each July and December, but year-round travel inspiration can be found at www.OutThere.travel as well as details on how to subscribe.
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