A photograph of a vegetable market in Phnom Penh, in Cambodia.

When I was quite new to the area, one of the places I first went to was Cambodia. I spent a week there between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. I vowed I’d go back, and I have. It’s not been often enough and this website has given me reminders of great times and good days. I’ll return again soon – I promise.

MAN CHHEN Phnom PenhYou’ll love Cambodia. The life is free and easy. There’s a reasonable gay scene in Phnom Penh and a small one in Siem Reap. There are gay bars dotted around the country. Even in the provincial towns you can find gays.

Cambodia has a history stretching back to around 300 AD as an embryo nation. At its height it was a great power and the temples at Angkor show that. It has had more than its fair share of troubles, but the civil war and the genocide of the 1970s just shows the resilience and the ability of the Khmer people to bounce back. It’s modestly priced, and great value. There’s plenty to see and do, from boat trips on the river Mekong to markets. There’s plenty of adventure ranging from waterfalls to elephants to tigers. And of course, there are the monuments. Phnom Penh has its Royal Palace and Siem Reap has Angkor Wat – need I say any more?

The younger generation seems to be very open about their sexuality, and the expat community is very out and supportive of the gay community. There are plenty of bars, pubs, disco’s, nightclubs, restaurants, art galleries, spas, saunas, tour guides, travel companies, guesthouses and resorts all gay owned or managed.  Many of the discos and nightclubs are mixed but the gays know where to gather. Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia has the most diverse GLBT community.  Siem Reap, where the World Heritage Site, Angkor Wat is, has a great selection of guesthouses and resorts, and several great gay pubs and restaurants.  Battambang, the second largest city in Cambodia is starting to come alive, with a few gay owned pubs, restaurants and a gay resort.  If it is the beach you want, then head down to Sihanoukville or Kep, both have a gay resort.

In 2011 Phnom Penh held a gay Pride. You can read about it here on facebook. We are hoping there will be another event in 2012 and you can be sure Nicky’s websites will bring you all the information on it.