Gay Cambodia

Author: , April 14th, 2017

Phnom Penh - Gay Cambodia

The notion of exploring a long-lost city is a thrilling prospect. Deep in the Cambodian jungle, the historical ruins of Angkor are unique and astonishing. Set foot here and you’ll feel part of an adventure worthy of Indiana Jones or Lara Croft.

Once the thriving capital of the Khmer Empire, these relics of an ancient civilization were cloaked by dense forest, forgotten by the world until they were rediscovered in the late 19th century. Considering what Cambodia has endured since, you might wonder if this rediscovery unleashed a mighty curse on the country. Bombed by the US during the Vietnam War, then destabilized by a military coup and a communist insurgency, then ravaged by Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge regime, then occupied by Vietnamese troops, then jolted by a coup d’état, Cambodia has been repeatedly brutalized throughout its recent history.

It’s unsurprising that few tourists ventured here during all that turmoil. While other ancient wonders such as the pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, and the ruins of Machu Picchu attained must-see status, the Angkor temples remained a long way off the tourist trail for a century after their rediscovery.

By the time Lara Croft herself came to raid the temples of Angkor in 2000 (in the shape of Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie), things were starting to change, and the fact that key scenes from the film Tomb Raider were shot here helped to reinforce confidence in Cambodia as a tourist destination.

As visitor numbers increased, the nearby town of Siem Reap blossomed into a lively resort. In the past few years, it’s grown exponentially with stylish new hotels, gourmet dining, and fabulous shopping.

Siem Reap’s leading hotels echo the past. Open since 1932, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor is full of romance and drama. Built in an elegant French colonial style, this iconic landmark boasts the largest swimming pool in Cambodia. Surrounded by frangipani trees, its grand design was inspired by the ancient Royal bathing pools of Angkor.

By Stuart Haggas – Full Story at Passport

Cambodia Gay Travel Resources

Exploring Gay Cambodia

Author: , March 19th, 2010

IT was 10 p.m. in Siem Reap, and while most tourists were tucked in after a long, hot day exploring the temples of Angkor, things were just getting going at a bar called Linga. Pairs of European men in their 30s and 40s wearing unbuttoned collared shirts and checkered krama scarves sipped fruity cocktails and jostled for space with the young Khmer crowd, who huddled around small tables in anticipation of the main event: the Saturday night drag show.

A statuesque Khmer performer who went by the name Beyoncé took to the stage draped in a black, body-skimming floor-length gown and wearing a blond Afro wig. Soon, everyone was on his feet, belting out a song from “Dreamgirls.” The traffic outside literally stopped. Curious travelers, Khmer families and little girls peddling red roses craned their necks to get a better view as the song’s syrupy melody wafted into the jasmine-scented evening air.

Homosexual acts are not outlawed in Cambodia, as they are in a few Southeast Asian countries, but outward displays of affection and untraditional lifestyles are rare. Yet in Siem Reap, a small town that gets about a million tourists a year, gay visitors and locals are carving out a little haven. In the last few years, a small flurry of gay-friendly bars, restaurants and hotels has opened up in the city’s center and beyond, with wink-wink names like the Golden Banana and Cockatoo.

Full Story from the New York Times

Click here for gay travel resources in Cambodia.