LGBTQIA+ travellers are those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (a more inclusive LGBT initialism), plus queer or questioning, intersex or asexual individuals, as well as those who identify beyond these commonly used sexuality and gender expressions. Specific situations and issues may present themselves to travellers who identify with one or more of these terms when visiting Cambodia.
Cambodia is generally a safe destination for LGBTQIA+ travellers.
Social attitudes towards LGBTQIA+ individuals are complex. Same-sex relationships are legal, but same-sex marriage is not. While many Cambodians are ostensibly accepting of identities and sexualities that exist outside the hetero-cis binary, they often view them as something individuals can change at will or that develop due to trauma.
Traditional Khmer culture recognises the existence of gender identity outside of the binary, however transgender Cambodians are often subject to discrimination. LGBTQIA+ Cambodians often experience social pressure to enter ‘traditional’ heterosexual marriages and/or adopt a gender expression that aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth.
However, it is unlikely that LGBTQIA+ travellers will experience any outright discrimination during their travels. LGBTQIA+ travellers in rural areas or small villages may encounter confusion and bemusement, but discrimination and violence is very unlikely. Keep in mind that public displays of affection are very uncommon in Cambodia, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
Queer culture in Phnom Penh
A solid collection of gay and gay-friendly establishments are on offer in Phnom Penh, from thumping nightclub Heart of Darkness to friendly salon-bar hybrid Space. People who enjoy drag performances will also be spoiled for choice in the capital. While all of these establishments currently cater to gay men, they are generally accepting spaces for all LGBTQIA+ identified people. Blue Chillies, in particular, enjoys a warm reputation as an accepting space for all. Overall, LGBTQIA+ travellers will find Phnom Penh a welcoming place.
Queer culture in Siem Reap
Siem Reap has an established queer scene catering to locals and expats which includes a handful of bars as well as cafes, hotels and saunas. As with Phnom Penh, the majority of these spaces are geared towards gay men. However, many of the bars are accepting spaces for all LGBTQIA+ people. Vintage-style cocktail bar Miss Wong is a great place to meet other queer folks and Barcode has professional drag performances regularly.
Solo travel and room sharing
If you are travelling solo on an Intrepid group tour, you will share accommodation with a passenger of the same gender as per your passport information. If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know at time of booking and we’ll arrange the rooming configuration accordingly. A single supplement is available on some tours for travellers who do not wish to share a room.
Our tours in Cambodia