Category Archives: Barry Joy

By @ 06/06/19 in Barry Joy, Gay travel, Jasper, Travel

Top highlights of Jasper by Barry Joy for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineRead on for the top highlights of Jasper, Alberta, a little mountain town with a big heart, and even bigger adventures! Known as one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world, Jasper celebrates being ‘proud and free’ all year round. The community and local businesses are always happy to welcome visitors with open arms. If you need even more reasons to visit Jasper, here are some top highlights of what Jasper has to offer:

Motorcycle Tour

This is a super unique adventure where you dress up in butch leather gear and experience the thrill of riding either in the back seat or sidecar to explore the great Canadian Rockies. Tours vary from one to three hour options, and your personal guide/driver will stop along the way so you can take the most amazing Instagram pictures.

Jasper Pride Festival

This annual Pride celebration is one not to be missed. Jasper really puts on a show for Pride with all the dance parties, ski events, and more. Local residents and businesses decorate stores and the town, and truly become part of the celebration. Every year is unique but some of the special events this year included the Fruit Loop Mountain Party – a dance party at the 4 Peaks Night Club where you were able to meet a lot of locals and out of town visitors. There was a Pride ski day where you were encouraged to bring your rainbow and ski down the hill with a giant pride flag. And to cap things off, the annual pride party is themed each year, and the whole town really rallies together to make the night really special. They have special guest performances that keep the party going into the night.

Athabasca Falls

This 75’ waterfall in Jasper National Park, just west of the Icefields Parkway, is stunning. You can walk/hike the interpretive trail along the Athabasca River, and learn about the river and the waterfall. During the winter, the falls freezes, leading to natural ice formations.

Jasper SkyTram

If you are looking for perfect views of Jasper, the surrounding mountains, glacially fed lakes, and rivers, the Jasper SkyTram is the solution. The 7 minute enclosed flight is the longest and highest guided aerial tramway in Canada. At an elevation of 7,472 feet, it provides the most stunning views.

Miette Hot Springs

The hot springs is the perfect way to relax after a long day of hiking in the summer or skiing in the winter! Miette Hot Springs’ water flows naturally from the mountain at 129 degrees. This is also a great destination for hiking and watching the wildlife. Did you know that each Rocky Mountain Hot Spring has its own unique blend of minerals and temperature and is great for your body and soul?

Maligne Lake Boat Tour

This tour takes you across the crystal waters of Maligne Lake, allowing visitors to discover the world-famous Spirit Island, which is only accessible by boat. To preserve the area, walking onto the island is not permitted, but the scenery and experience are worth the trip.

Maligne Canyon IceWalk Tour

This three and a half hour tour is one of the most popular Jasper adventures. Your guide will take you to the bottom of the deepest canyon in Jasper National Park, where you get to see stunning frozen waterfalls and ice caves.

Columbia Icefields and Glacier Skywalk

The largest ice field in the Rocky Mountains, the Columbia Icefield, is perfect for everyone who loves being outdoors. Visitors can enjoy the scenery and local wildlife. Available guided tours also include the Glacier Skywalk, which leads visitors to a glass-floor observation platform, which boosts incredible views of the mountains.

This article was written by Barry Joy (aka asianmapleleaf) – an ambassador of all things travel. Barry was born and raised in Toronto and currently lives in New York City. Follow his adventures on asianmapleleaf.com or on Instagram @asianmapleleaf.

 

 

 

 

 

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By @ 07/17/18 in Barry Joy, Canada, Gay pride, Gay travel, Montreal, Party, Travel

Our correspondent, Barry Hoy, left (and his partner) in Montreal's Gay VillageWe all know Montreal has a reputation for being a place of acceptance and inclusion, especially in Montreal’s Gay Village, which is is just east of downtown around Beaudry Metro station, running along Saint Catherine Street. Montreal’s Gay Village is where most of this year’s Pride activities will happen. Whether you are visiting for the parties or shows, you still need to know the best spots to get yummy cocktails and, of course, where to fill up. We got your covered! Here are the village’s top bars and restaurants:

Top bars in Montreal's Gay VillageTop 5 bars in Montreal’s Gay Village

Sky Complex – This is the city’s most popular gay club/bar and it has several spaces, from a dance clue to a male strip bar, to a cabaret. The rooftop terrace is also amazing.

Bar Renard – This sexy cocktail bar and lounge has a great selection of spirits and happy hour.

Bar Aigle Noir – Traditionally, the Black Eagle bar for the leather enthusiast. The crowd is now getting more diverse serving up beer and drinks in a classic setup with guest DJs and a buzzy patio.

Stock Bar – One of the more popular male strip bars in Montreal where you can grab a drink and watch hot buff men dance around you!

Le Stud – Le Stud is more of a dive bar with cheap drinks and great happy hour.

Our correspondent, Barry Hoy in Montreal's Gay VillageTop 5 restaurants in Montreal’s Gay Village

O’ThymAsophisticated French bistro that uses seasonal ingredients and has a relaxed, yet cute ambiance. You can also BYOB!

Saloon – This campy restaurant has a great outdoor terrace so that you can people watch. They also serve amazing martinis!

Kitchenette – Located just outside the village, in case you want to escape for a more intimate dining experience. They offer a great 5 course tasting menu where you choose 2 starters, 2 main dishes, and a shared dessert!

Bato Thai – A casual BYOB setting with the best Thai food in the area. This is a great place for a quick bite if you want something yummy but not too formal.

Le Red Tiger – Le Red Tiger offers Vietnamese affordable street food that is both delicious and unique. Portions are small but shareable, so order at least a few items per person.

Add a few, or all, of these spots to your list and you are bound to have an amazing trip. For more things to do and places to visit in Montreal, stop by www.asianmapleleaf.com

 

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By @ 06/11/18 in Barry Joy, Gay travel, Shanghai, Travel

Barry Hoy and his partner with Shanghai in the background in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineShanghai literally means the city by the sea, and it is the gateway to China. There are endless things to do and see, like shopping in high-end venues for designer items, or stroll through the backstreets for photo opportunities… or to hunt for interesting trinkets and traditional Chinese handicrafts.

Read Barry’s Journey to Asia, Part 1: Discover Hong Kong.

Read Barry’s Journey to Asia, Part 2: Kuala Lumpur here.

Where to Stay

Jing An Shangri-La – Located on the Puxi side of the Huangpu River in the Jing An Business District – one of Shanghai’s most prestigious and fashionable business and commercial districts. The hotel boosts spectacular 360-degree panoramic views of the city.

Peace Hotel – This has been a Shanghai landmark for over eight decades, enjoying a premier location on the Bund. The hotel faces the Pudong area over the Huangpu River, where you will find all the impressive high-rise buildings and towers.

Where to Eat

Here are a few suggestions: 

  • Yong Yi Ting at the Mandarin Oriental – A one Michelin star restaurant featuring Chef Tony Lu and his unique vision, combining the diverse gastronomic influences of Shanghai and its neighbouring provinces.
  • 1515 West at the Jing An Shangri-La – The 1515 West, Chophouse & Bar combines the aesthetics of an old Shanghai movie set with the décor of a classic American bar and grill.
  • Din Tai Fung – This is the chain of restaurants that made Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings) famous, so it’s only logical that they serve some of the best in the world.
  • Yang’s Dumpling – With multiple locations throughout the city, they serve their famous pan-fried soup filled buns.
  • Shanghai Grandmother (by the Bund) – Shanghainese restaurant with many classic local dishes.
Adventures in Shanghai by Barry Hoy for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineGay Nightlife

There are not many gay bars in Shanghai, but here are a few top picks of places to go for a drink and to meet locals:

  • Lucca – One of Shanghai’s best-known gay bar and club in the French Concession area. It gets busy on weekends and attracts upscale local and international crowd.
  • Happiness 42 – Modern and chic, with a sexy red lighting throughout the bar. It’s a good place to start off the night.
  • Paw & Six – Located in the same building as Lucca on the sixth floor, this place attracts more of a bear crowd.
  • Snap! – Monthly party where people gather for a night of dressing up and dancing. Each party generally has a unique theme, and the location may change so you should check with a local or on WeChat (Chinese social app) for details.

Did you know that most visitors require a visa to enter China? Want more information about this and the Transit Visa Exemptions? Visit asianmapleaf.com to read more about our adventures in Shanghai. Also, stay tuned for more of our ultimate must-see travel stops around the Globe.

Read Barry’s Journey to Asia, Part 1: Discover Hong Kong.

Read Barry’s Journey to Asia, Part 2: Kuala Lumpur here.

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By @ 06/11/18 in Barry Joy, Gay travel, Kuala Lumpur, Travel

ManAboutWorld global corresondent Barry Hoy contemplating the city of Kuala Lumpur shirtless. Because.

Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia and a place where you will find a variety of cultures from the region, all living together in one city. There is Chinatown, Little India, Malay village and many more neighbourhoods. In this city, it is not uncommon to find a Muslim mosque, a Hindu shrine, a Christian church, and a Buddhist temple – all in the same area! Story and photos by ManAboutWorld correspondent Barry Joy.

Click here to read Barry’s Journey to Asia Part 1: Discover Hong Kong.

And here is Journey to Asia, Part 3: Adventures in Shanghai.

Where to Stay

Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur – Set in the heart of the city’s business and shopping district, and near major landmarks such as the Petronas Twin Towers and the Kuala Lumpur City Center. Despite it being right in the city centre, the hotel is still set amidst plenty of lush greenery, and has a good size outdoor pool and lounge area.

Where to Eat

There are a lot of food options to try in Kuala Lumpur. Here are a few to wet your appetite!

  • Nobu – Located on the 56th floor of the Menara Petronas, it boosts dramatic 360-degree views of the KL city skyline, including the iconic Petronas Twin Towers.
  • Jalan Alor – Famous street food in Kuala Lumpur and bustling nightlife.
  • Old China Kafe – Step back in time at this charming and authentic café in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown.
  • Fatty Crab (Fei Lo) – Best known for its seafood. Make sure you try the Sweet and Sour Chili Crab!
Some of the many delectable food items on offer in Kuala Lumpur via ManAboutWorld global correspondent Barry HowThings To Do
  • Petronas Twin Towers – The iconic Petronas Twin Towers are basically the symbol of Kuala Kumpur, and they dominate the skyline. Make sure you buy tickets in advance (especially for the bridge connecting the two towers). Visit com for tips to save some money and enjoy a cocktail at the same time.
  • Batu Caves – Deep inside a Limestone Mountain, just outside the city of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, is the Batu caves. The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India.
  • Chinatown – Wander down little laneways and into cute coffee houses and restaurants, or around the markets filled with fresh fish, fruits and vegetables, and out on to the lively main street of Chinatown.
  • Little India – colourful neighbourhoood with lots of restaurants where you can sample different types of fragrant curries or snacks.
  • Pavilion KL – This is a huge shopping centre where you can satisfy all your shopping needs.

Make sure you also visit the beaches and little towns outside of the city of Kuala Lumpur. The city itself offers some great food and sights, but it’s not a place where you would want to spend more than a weekend.

Important note about homosexuality:

Gay sex is still technically illegal in Malaysia and punishable under a colonial-era sodomy law. Foreigners are generally safe from this, but caution is still recommended.

Want more information? Visit asianmapleaf.com and read more about our adventures in Kuala Lumpur. Also, stay tuned for more of our ultimate must-see travel stops around the globe.

Click here to read Barry’s Journey to Asia Part 1: Discover Hong Kong.

And here is Journey to Asia, Part 3: Adventures in Shanghai.

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By @ 06/05/18 in Barry Joy, Gay travel, Hong Kong, Travel

Barry Hoy writing for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine - in Hong KongWhether you are visiting for the first time, or re-exploring if you have been before, Hong Kong is an exciting, energetic and vibrant city that really lives up to the term – “East meets West”. To get you started on your journey, here is a mini guide to one of Asia’s greatest cities, including top accommodations, top places to eat, and the best experiences. Story and photos by ManAboutWorld correspondent Barry Joy.

This is Journey to Asia, Part 1.

Check out Journey to Asia, Part 2: Kuala Lumpur here.

And here is Journey to Asia, Part 3: Adventures in Shanghai.

Where to Stay

The Murray – Hong Kong, A Niccolo Hotel – This newest luxury iconic landmark hotel has stunning natural fabrics and stones, leathers, and plush textiles, creating a contemporary chic sanctuary, and an ambience of understated sophistication.

The Kerry Hotel – Hong Kong – Bringing a dynamic approach to hospitality to the shores of Victoria Harbour, it’s the city’s first urban resort offering an unparalleled array of dining options, leisure activities, business and meeting services, and wellness programs.

Where to Eat

Hong Kong is renowned for its food scene. From Chinese to western food, and everything in between, it is a foodie’s paradise with options from street side snacks to high-end five star restaurants. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Street food and “Cha Chaan Teng” – Hong Kong has amazing local street food, including items such as stinky tofu, curry fish balls, squid or octopus tentacles, egg waffles, egg tarts, Chinese buns, and pastries. Also, you must try a local Cha Chaan Teng (translates to “tea restaurant”), where you will find fuss-free affordable comfort food. They are all around the city!
  • Zuma – Zuma features a sophisticated twist on the traditional Japanese Izakaya type of restaurant. Make sure you try out the much-loved champagne Baikingu brunch!
  • Tao Li at the New World Millennium Hotel – Overlooking the spectacular Victoria Harbour, Tao Li is celebrated for its elegant selection of dim sum and authentic Cantonese dishes.
  • Rech Restaurant at the InterContinental – A Michelin star restaurant – this is the first outpost of Paris’s most famous seafood restaurant by Alain Ducasse.
  • Ham & Sherry – Spanish restaurant serving some of the city’s best aged Spanish hams, tapas items and sherry. Make sure you also check out the Backbar hidden in an alleyway behind the restaurant.
Barry Hoy writing for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine - in Hong KongGay Nightlife

There are endless things to see and do in Hong Kong. Here are a few top picks for where to go out for a drink and meet some locals:

  • Bing Bing (formerly Circo) – This cocktail lounge and dance club in Causeway Bay boosts a great view of the city. It is super crowded later in the evening and tends to draw more locals than foreigners.
  • Time Bar – Located in an unassuming alleyway in the Soho area, this is more of a place for a quiet drink or intimate conversation. The younger local crowd tends to spill out into the street where the drinks continue to flow.
  • Zoo – This is a high-energy bar in Sheung Wan with regular theme nights. The crowd is a mix of locals and expats.
  • FLM – One of the few gay clubs where you can dance on the first floor and have a quiet drink on the second floor. FLM is across the street from Zoo and tends to have a more international crowd.
  • Petticoat Lane – One of the newer gay bars with great drag performances and a small outdoor terrace. The crowd is mixed with a lot of expats and people from out of town.

Want more information? Visit asianmapleaf.com and read about our adventures in Hong Kong. Also, stay tuned for more of our ultimate must-see travel stops around the Globe.

This is Journey to Asia, Part 1.

Check out Journey to Asia, Part 2: Kuala Lumpur here.

And here is Journey to Asia, Part 3: Adventures in Shanghai.

 

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By @ 03/14/18 in Asia, Barry Joy, Correspondent, Gay travel, Gay travel magazine, ManAboutWorld, Travel

Barry Hoy, ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine correspondent

Welcome to our newest global correspondent Barry Joy, also known as Asianmapleleaf, is an Asian-Canadian, born and raised in Toronto and transplanted to New York City. Travel is his passion, so he is always on the road or up in the air. If he’s not travelling, he’s most likely already planning his next trip. Barry fell in love with traveling the first time he flew to Asia with his family as a kid, and since then he has been exploring new destinations and meeting new friends from all around the world.

Barry is an ambassador of all things travel – he is also a travel, food and lifestyle writer who showcases great destinations, their local experiences, and all of the must see places around the world. Through his Instagram and travel blog, Barry shares these moments and his favorite destinations with his readers and followers. He is also a travel editor-at-large for Swagger Magazine, North America’s premiere men’s luxury lifestyle publication.

Follow along his adventures on Instagram and Twitter at @asianmapleleaf, or at www.asianmapleleaf.com.

Barry Hoy, ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine correspondent

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