Cambodia is a fairly gay-friendly country, and over the past few decades, a small but lively gay scene has established itself in the capital of Phnom Penh. This is the best place in the country for gay nightlife, with Siem Reap being the only other city in Cambodia that can match it.
Phnom Penh is a rapidly changing, rapidly modernizing city. While gay bars have been around since the 90s, the scene has started to grow and diversify in the past few years to accompany this new cosmopolitan vibe. Nowadays, you have several options when it comes to enjoying gay Phnom Penh, with a range of cool gay and gay-friendly bars to choose from, not to mention plenty of weekly club nights and special events.
Of course, while the gay nightlife is a plus, most people are attracted to Phnom Penh because of the city’s rich history and culture. Spend your days exploring the history of Cambodia at the National Museum, marveling at the gorgeous architecture of Phnom Penh’s palaces and temples, and enjoying the charming markets and architecture. Then, head downtown to take in everything gay Phnom Penh has to offer, from drag shows to hot bartenders, friendly locals, and all-night dancing.
As the capital and financial center of the country, Phnom Penh has some of the finest hotels Cambodia has to offer. We especially love the many stylish boutique hotels that can be found across the city center, many of which are gay-owned, gay-managed, or exclusively open to gay guests.
Cambodia is fairly tolerant and open-minded when it comes to homosexuality. While there are no legal protections for LGBT people and gay marriage is not yet legal, there is no widespread hostility against homosexuality in the culture. In particular, locals are unlikely to have any issue with gay foreigners – although it is still difficult for Cambodians to be openly out of the closet in many parts of the country.
Generally speaking, open displays of affection – of any gender – are very much frowned upon in Cambodian culture. This is especially true in rural parts of the country, but it still goes on in a big city like Phnom Penh.
Gay visitors to Phnom Penh should not have any issues booking accommodation. You may have to specify you want a double instead of a twin room, but this is unlikely to raise any eyebrows.
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