LGBT-Friendly Siem Reap & Phnom Penh Cambodia

by Stuart Haggas

Siem Reap has given rise to a flourishing gay scene, with hotels, bars, restaurants, day spas, boutiques, and tourist attractions being established by local and foreign LGBT entrepreneurs.

Cambodia Resources

SIEM REAP
HOTELS
3 Monkeys Villa, Phum Pnhea Chey, Siem Reap. Set in tropical gardens, this was Siem Reap’s first exclu- sively men-only resort. Rates from $59. www.3monkeysvilla.com

Amansara, Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Siem Reap. A former royal villa built in 1962, it’s now an exclusive gated compound with 24 midcentury style suites. Rates from $1.290. www.aman.com/resorts/amansara

Men’s Resort, Wat Po Lanka, Siem Reap. A newly- constructed men-only resort, its 14 rooms have vivid rainbow-colored accents. Rates from $71. www.mens-resort.com

Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, 1 Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Siem Reap. A luxury grand hotel dating from 1932, its facilities include a large swimming pool and spa, plus the iconic Elephant Bar. Rates from $280. www.raffles.com/siem-reap

Rambutan Resort, Rambutan Lane, Siem Reap. These two gay-owned and managed properties are built in a traditional Khmer style, and are popular with LGBT guests. Rates from $63. www.rambutans.info

Viroth’s Hotel. Street 24, Siem Reap. A fashionable gay-owned hotel, designed by renowned local firm Asma Architects in a fresh 1950s style. Rates from $102. www.viroth-hotel.com

Viroth’s Villa. Street 23, Siem Reap. This convert- ed modernist villa dating from the 1960s is now a chic gay-owned bolthole with 7 guestrooms. Rates from $67. www.viroth-villa.com

GAY VENUES
barcode Siem Reap, New Street A, Krong Siem Reap. This fun and stylish new gay venue has cabaret shows featuring ladyboys and handsome male dancers. www.barcodesiemreap.com

Linga Bar, The Passage, Krong Siem Reap. Siem Reap’s first gay bar, it’s been making history since it was founded in 2004. www.lingabar.com

Miss Wong, The Lane, Krong Siem Reap. A glamorous gay-owned cocktail lounge, its striking décor was inspired by vintage Shanghai. www.misswong.net

The Station Wine Bar, Street 7, Krong Siem Reap. Simple and unpretentious gay bar, known for its regu- lar ladyboy cabaret shows. www.stationwinebar.com

RESTAURANTS
Chanrey Tree, Pokambor Avenue, Krong Siem Reap. This gay-owned restaurant serving delicious Khmer cuisine is one of the most stylish and top-rated choices in Siem Reap. www.chanreytree.com

Marum. No. 8A, B Phum Slokram, Krong Siem Reap. This traditional Khmer restaurant is operated as a social enterprise by Friends International, giving marginalized urban youth training and employment. www.friends-international.org

The Little Red Fox Espresso, Hap Guan Street, Krong Siem Reap. Located within the emerging Kandal Village quarter, it serves the best coffee in Siem Reap. www.thelittleredfoxespresso.com

Sokkhak River, Pokambor Avenue, Krong Siem Reap. Next door to Chanrey Tree, its new sibling serves French fusion food in a stylish environment. www.sokkhakriver.com

Viroth’s Restaurant, Wat Bo Road, Krong Siem Reap. This fashionable gay-owned restaurant has been a popular choice for tasty Khmer cuisine for over 10 years. www.viroth-restaurant.com

SHOPPING
Eric Raisina Haute Texture Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Siem Reap. This atelier and couture house carries an exclusive range created by Eric Raisina, a talented designer who trained in Paris with the likes of Yves Saint Laurent. www.ericraisina.com

Friends ‘N’ Stuff. Part of a social enterprise supporting marginalized children, it sells unusual gifts handmade from recycled waste products like old newspapers and beverage cans. www.friends-international.org

Louise Loubatieres, 7 Hap Guan Street, Krong Siem Reap. Located in the emerging Kandal Village quarter, this lifestyle store sells beautiful and unique homewares. www.louiseloubatieres.com

Made in Cambodia Market. This artisanal market is held beside the Shinta Mani Resort every Saturday and Sunday 4pm-9pm. www.shintamani.com

Trunkh. 11A Hap Guan Street, Krong Siem Reap. An eclectic shop full of unusual finds from across Cambodia, including art, fashion and upcycled junk. www.trunkh.com

ATTRACTIONS
Angkor Archaeological Park. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the incredible temples and ruins of Angkor attract over two million international visitors each year. www.tourismcambodia.com/attractions/angkor.htm

Phare, The Cambodian Circus. This impressive circus is a mix of theatre, music, comedy and dance – with the talented troupe of young acrobats and musicians often telling dark and poignant stories. www.pharecircus.org

PHNOM PENH
HOTELS
Arthur&Paul. No. 27, Street 71, Phnom Penh. This sexy men-only resort is also a gay spa and sauna open to non-residents, making it an ideal place for meeting local Khmer guys. Rates from $101. www.arthurandpaul.com

Manor House, No. 21, Street 262, Phnom Penh. The capital’s first gay hotel has 13 rooms and a swimming pool set in a peaceful tropical garden. Rates from $44. www.manorhousecambodia.com

Raffles Le Royal, 92 Rukhak Vithei Daun Penh, Phnom Penh. A 1929 landmark, the capital’s grandest hotel boasts two swimming pools and numerous restaurants and bars including the iconic Elephant Bar. Rates from $197. www.raffles.com/phnom-penh

Rambutan Resort, No, 29, Street 71, Phnom Penh. This gay-owned resort is a stylish urban oasis with polished concrete and modern designer furnishings. Rates from $59. www.rambutans.info

GAY VENUES
Blue Chilli, No. 36, Street 178, Phnom Penh. Open since 2006, Phnom Penh’s longest-running gay bar is buzzing and lively, with popular weekend drag shows. www.bluechillicambodia.com

Heart Of Darkness, No. 38, Street 51, Phnom Penh. Open since 1993, this infamous and well-established dance club gets less heterosexual as the hour gets later. www.heartofdarknessclub.com.kh

Pride Of Phnom Penh, No. 60, Street 15, Phnom Penh. Also known as POPP, this gay venue has live bands, sexy boy shows and fun ladyboy shows. www.prideofphnompenh.com

Space Hair, No. 66, Street 136, Phnom Penh. This unique venue is a busy hair salon by day, trans- forming into a popular gay bar at night. www.spacehairpp.com

Vapor, No. 45, Street 240, Phnom Penh. Open since April 2016, Phnom Penh’s newest gay bar comes from the owners of Manor House gay hotel, and is located on fashionable Street 240. www.facebook.com/Vaporcambodia/

BARS & RESTAURANTS
ARTillery Café, Street 2401⁄2, Phnom Penh. A casual café and arts space serving fresh and healthy brunch, lunch and light dinners including vegetarian, vegan, raw food, and gluten-free options. www.artillerycafe.com

Foreign Correspondents Club, 363 Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh. A colonial-style bar overlooking the river, it proved popular with foreign journalists and aid workers who gathered here to drink and swap tales in the 1990s, and remains an icon- ic venue today. www.fcccambodia.com

Friends The Restaurant. House 215, Street 13, Phnom Penh. Part of Friends International, a social enterprise that gives marginalized urban youth training and employment, this excellent café/restaurant serves delicious food as well as championing a worthy cause. www.friends-international.org

Il Forno, No. 11, Street 302, Phnom Penh. This popular Italian eatery originated in Siem Reap, and now has a second branch in the Cambodian Capital offering a menu of authentic Italian food in a sleek city setting. It’s also a hotel with 9 chic white guestrooms. www.ilforno.restaurant

Malis, 136 Norodom Boulevard, Phnom Penh. This fashionable restaurant serves high-end Cambodian cuisine. Diners may choose to be seated in the lush courtyard garden, or can opt for the air-conditioned interior. There’s also a chic new branch in Siem Reap. www.malis-restaurant.com

La Résidence. No. 22-24, Street 214. Phnom Penh. An elegant French fine dining restaurant with a Michelin-starred chef. There’s an indulgent a la carte menu plus an excellent value weekday set lunch menu. www.la-residence-restaurant.com

Samai Distillery, No. 9, Street 830, Phnom Penh. The makers of Samai Premium Rum open up their distillery every Thursday evening as a pop-up bar serving delicious rum-based cocktails. www.samaidistillery.com

Topaz, 162 Preah Norodom Boulevard, Phnom Penh. Part of the same hospitality group as Malis, this upscale choice is renowned as one of the top fine dining French restaurants in the Asia Pacific region. www.topaz-restaurant.com

ATTRACTIONS
Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, Samdach Sothearos Boulevard, Phnom Penh. This complex includes the opulent official residence of Cambodia’s reigning monarch, plus an important temple full of religious treasures. www.tourismcambodia.com

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Street 113, Phnom Penh. A visit to this former school that became a brutal torture centre in the 1970s is a harrowing but essential experience. www.tuolslenggenocidemuseum.com

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