Gay apps for travelling: using Hornet to make local friends abroad

We pride ourselves on our Gay Travel Stories: interviews with locals we meet in each new place we visit to gain their perspective of what it's like growing up gay in their country.

Regina from Bangkok told what it's like for lady boys in Bangkok, fashion journalist Rione from Manila explained what makes the Philippines so gay friendly, and Joko from Indonesia explained why his interview had to be done anonymously.

This is also one of the best ways to discover the gay scene: a local will always give you a better perspective of where the best gay hangouts are.

gay Saigon with Quan we met via Hornet best gay travel apps
Quan showing us round the gay scene of Saigon, Vietnam

Back home in Europe we never needed to use gay dating apps as they took off just after we got together in 2009.

However, during our big 2 years trip in Asia, we quickly realised that in countries where being gay is illegal (like in Sri Lanka, India or Myanmar) or heavily frowned on by society (like in Indonesia, China or Russia), the gay apps literally become the gay scene.

Underground parties and events are advertised in these apps, making them an important extension of the gay scene. For example, in Delhi, this was the only way the weekly gay discos were revealed to punters to prevent the police finding out.

Seb Indian friends Delhi gay apps for travelling
Gay party time in Delhi!

This is why we set up Nomadic Boys profiles on the main dating apps, including Grindr, Hornet, Scruff, Jack'D etc.

From all the many different ones we've tried, Hornet and Grindr are our favourites and the only 2 we've retained for our travel. Both are universal, with guys in their 20-40s who are interested in meeting foreigners.

We prefer Hornet since it has evolved into a type of Facebook for gays, becoming the premier gay social network. We also like that you can use it to search for guys by location, hashtags and find gay places and events near you or anywhere you’re traveling. It's become a must addition to our favourite gay apps when travelling.

Hornet best gay apps meeting locals Phnom Penh Aaron Cambodia
Our Cambodian friend Aaron from Phnom Penh gave Stefan a fabulous make over

Thanks to gay dating apps like Hornet, we've met locals like Kaluu from Colombo in Sri LankaAung Zuy from Yangon in MyanmarJuanjo from Buenos Aires in Argentina and many more.

These are guys who have not only taken us round their cities becoming good friends, they’ve also given us a deeper insight into their lives and what it’s like growing up gay where they’re from.

Hornet best gay apps for travelling Ecuador gay scene
Preparing our outfits for Quito gay pride with Mario from Quito. Sebastien looks particularly fetching in his llama dress


⭐️ TRAVEL INSURANCE — We recommend you always take out travel insurance before your next vacation. What happens if you suffer from illness, injury, theft or a cancellation? With travel insurance, you can have peace of mind and not worry. We love World Nomads travel insurance and have been using it for years. Their comprehensive coverage is second to none and their online claims process is very user friendly.

⭐️ SAFETY & SECURITY — All travelers (gay or not) can sometimes encounter danger when traveling. CloseCircle is your “virtual body guard” mobile app which provides security alerts and support wherever you are in the world. They have a 24/7 emergency response team monitoring their users who will contact you immediately if the SOS swipe button is activated. Support can include anything from practical advice, to free evacuation from areas with extreme weather or security risks. You can read more about CloseCircle in our article about how to stay safe whilst traveling.

⭐️ ONLINE ANONYMITY — A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a must in many countries: it allows you to surf anonymously and maintain your privacy whilst traveling. You'll particularly need it in countries where gay dating apps are blocked by the government. We recommend ExpressVPN, a reliable and cost effective service which we used and loved during our travels.

⭐️ HOTELS or APARTMENTS — When we plan a trip, we always look for the best hotel deals. We love because not only do they have a comprehensive listing of accommodation options, they also offer the best prices. Added bonus: they provide 24/7 support and free cancellation for most listings.

⭐️ SIGHTSEEING and ADVENTURES — When we travel somewhere, we like to seek out the best experiences, whether it is cooking with locals in Bangkok, hiking on a glacier in Patagonia, or going on a wildlife safari in Sri Lanka. Our favorite place to look is GetYourGuide because they have over 30,000 highly rated activities, a user-friendly booking process with free cancellation and a 24 hour customer support.

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About the author

Hi there! We are Stefan and Sebastien, Greek/French couple behind the travel blog Nomadic Boys. Since we met in 2009, we have been travelling all around the world together, visiting over 100 countries.

Our mission is to inspire you, the gay traveller, and show you that you can visit more places in the world than you thought possible, by providing a first-hand account of our travel adventures, to help you plan a fun and safe trip.

To find out more about us

4 thoughts on “Gay apps for travelling: using Hornet to make local friends abroad”

  1. Hi guys, I love followings your adventures, my boyfriend and I are a little older 45/60 very adventuresome and so were are developing an App and international travel blog. You guys are role models.

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