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.

LGBTQIA+ rights in Cambodia

Social attitudes towards LGBTQIA+ individuals in Cambodia 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.

Is Cambodia safe for LGBTQIA+ travellers?

Despite these complexities, Cambodia is generally a safe destination and it's 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 are very unlikely. Keep in mind that public displays of affection are very uncommon in Cambodia, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

Queer culture and nightife in phnom penh

Queer culture in Phnom Penh

A solid collection of gay and gay-friendly establishments are on offer in Phnom Penh, from the thumping nightclub, Heart of Darkness to the 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 destination.

Queer culture and nightlife in Siem reap

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.

For more detailed and up-to-date information please visit Equaldex or Rainbow Community Kampuchea.

Solo travel and room sharing

If you are travelling solo on an Intrepid group tour, you will share accommodation with a traveller 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 the time of booking and we’ll arrange the rooming configuration accordingly. Most of our tours also have the option to pay for an individual room for travellers who do not wish to share a room.

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