A glossy new 50-page guide to Siem Reap’s LGBT-friendly businesses has been published to support the town’s flourishing gay scene.
The Siem Reap Gay Guide – which provides a rundown of about 25 bars, restaurants, bed and breakfasts, hotels, spas and art, design and fashion spaces along with useful information about other local tourist attractions – is the brainchild of three local business owners: Herve Saquet (Three Monkeys Villa), Florian Boheme (Villa b. Maison d’Hotes) and Pascal Delais (Barcode).
Boheme said, via email, that Cambodia as a country was “very tolerant” when it came to the gay community, and gay people had no problems travelling here.
However, he said some gay travellers want to know “where is the gay life in the country they visit”.
“Using the Siem Reap Gay Guide, they can discover before coming, through the website and the Facebook page the gay life in Siem Reap.”
The first gay bar to open in Siem Reap was the Linga Bar in 2004, with more and more gay-oriented businesses opening since such as Men’s Resort, the Station Wine Bar, Three Monkeys Villa and Barcode.
Boheme said Siem Reap now had a thriving gay nightlife that gay travellers could enjoy after a day exploring the temples.
“Most of the non-homophobic countries in the world have more than one gay guide, and with more and more gay places opening in Siem Reap, it’s very important to have this support for the number one touristic area in Cambodia,” he said.
The Siem Reap Gay Guide would be useful for all LGBT people but was focused mostly on places that would appeal to gay people, he added.
“There are no lesbian-only places in Siem Reap,” he said. “Unfortunately, the lesbian community shadows the gay men community; it’s a fact.
But they are not discriminated against and they are more than welcome.”