Although Khmer society is very traditional and conservative and the subject of homosexuality has long been taboo, there is also a real measure of tolerance toward gay and lesbian people. Flaunting sexuality in general, gay or straight, will invite certain negative reactions, but rank homophobia is rare toward foreigners. In February 2004, then-King Sihanouk wrote on his website that he believed that God views homosexuals, as well as transvestites, as equal because "[God loves] wide range of tastes." The former king also supports gay marriage. That remains his personal view, but it is an indication of acceptable thinking. On the other hand Hun Sen, the longtime ruler and hard man of Cambodia, disowned his own adopted daughter in 2007 because she came out as a lesbian. Cambodia held its first gay pride event in 2003 and it now takes place annually. There is a low-key gay scene in Cambodia with some gay bars in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.
The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA; tel. 954/630-1637; www.iglta.org) is the travel trade association for gay- and lesbian-friendly tour operators. They have an online directory of relevant businesses. Out Adventures (tel. 416/583-2680; www.out-adventures.com) based in Ontario, Canada, offers tours of the whole region. Another operator offering gay-friendly tours is Purple Dragon, based in Thailand (tel. +66 2238-3227; www.purpledrag.com).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.