LGBTQIA+ travellers encompass a diverse group of individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, or asexual. In Cambodia, specific situations and issues may arise for those who identify with these terms when visiting the country.
LGBTQIA+ rights in Cambodia
The social attitudes towards LGBTQIA+ individuals in Cambodia are multifaceted. While same-sex relationships are legal, same-sex marriage is not recognized. Although many Cambodians appear accepting of identities and sexualities that exist outside the hetero-cis binary, they often perceive them as something that can be changed at will or as a result of trauma.
Traditional Khmer culture acknowledges the existence of gender identities beyond the binary. However, transgender Cambodians often face discrimination. LGBTQIA+ Cambodians frequently experience social pressure to conform to “traditional” heterosexual marriages and adopt gender expressions aligned with their assigned sex at birth.
Is Cambodia safe for LGBTQIA+ travellers?
Despite these complexities, Cambodia generally proves to be a safe destination for LGBTQIA+ travellers. The likelihood of encountering discrimination during your travels is low. While LGBTQIA+ travellers in rural areas or small villages may encounter confusion or bemusement, instances of discrimination and violence are highly unlikely. It’s important to note that public displays of affection, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, are uncommon in Cambodia.
Queer culture in Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh offers a vibrant collection of gay and gay-friendly establishments that cater to the LGBTQIA+ community. From the pulsating nightclub, Heart of Darkness, to the welcoming salon-bar hybrid, Space, there’s something for everyone. Drag enthusiasts will find themselves spoiled for choice in the capital city. While these establishments mainly cater to gay men, they are generally accepting spaces for all LGBTQIA+ individuals. Blue Chillies, in particular, enjoys a reputation for being an accepting and inclusive space. Overall, Phnom Penh proves to be a welcoming destination for LGBTQIA+ travellers.
Queer culture in Siem Reap
Siem Reap boasts a well-established queer scene that caters to locals and expats alike. The city offers a variety of bars, cafes, hotels, and saunas. Similar to Phnom Penh, most of these spaces are geared towards gay men. However, many of the bars are accepting and inclusive for all LGBTQIA+ people. Miss Wong, a vintage-style cocktail bar, serves as a great place to meet other queer individuals, while Barcode regularly hosts professional drag performances.
For more detailed and up-to-date information, please visit Equaldex or Rainbow Community Kampuchea.
Solo travel and room sharing
If you’re traveling solo on an Intrepid group tour, you will be accommodated with a traveller of the same gender as indicated on your passport. If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please inform us at the time of booking, and we’ll ensure the rooming configuration aligns with your preferences. Additionally, most of our tours offer the option to pay for an individual room for those who prefer not to share accommodations.
Click here to return to Cambodia FAQs.
Our tours in Cambodia
Ekilove offers a variety of tours in Cambodia to help you discover the beauty and cultural richness of this fascinating country. From exploring ancient temples in Siem Reap to immersing yourself in the vibrant street life of Phnom Penh, our tours will provide you with unforgettable experiences. Join us on a journey to discover the wonders of Cambodia.
Remember to visit Ekilove for more information and to book your tour today!