The Kingdom of Cambodia is most often remembered as a place of war and genocide. Cambodia has taught us how a people, a culture and a nation can survive unbelievable atrocities and eventually thrive.
Why visit Cambodia? Because it is home to one of Asia's oldest cultures and most important historic places. No matter where you visit, the scenery is spectacular and mostly unspoiled. Khmer people everywhere are genuinely friendly. English is widely spoken. The weather is tropical year 'round and the country is probably safer than your own home town.
Cambodia is worth much more time than a quick trip to Angkor Wat. You will be pleasantly surprised if you visit Phnom Penh, which is practically a living museum of French Colonial architecture, colorful temples, nightlife, shopping and the mighty Mekong River. You can fly between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in 4o minutes or drive in about five hours.
Sihanoukville has been called the "Puerto Vallarta of fifty years ago." There are three magnificent beaches and several good hotels, including a world-class resort. The sleepy town of Kep, near the Vietnamese border, and nearby Bokor National Park, are among the most fascinating places you may ever visit. In addition to a completely unspoiled forest you can see Cambodia's "twentieth century ruins."
Convenient Modular Programs ﻬ
Purple Dragon offers all-inclusive travel programs in Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, and Kep/Bokor National Park. Creating the the perfect adventure could not be easier! Our programs are all modular. Choose a destination and arrive any day. Add any extra sightseeing you like and your trip is tailor-made to suit your own schedule, tastes and budget. Your private tour includes personal guides, so you'll never be herded around on a bus with 40 strangers. Although we have already chosen the optimum amount of time to visit each place you can extend your stay in any of our destinations.
The perfect additions to a visit to Cambodia include would be Hanoi, Sapa, Hue & Hoi An in Central Vietnam, or a few days in Ho Chi Minh City.
Getting There ﻬ
Both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap have international airports with daily flights from Bangkok, Hanoi, Saigon, Hong Kong, Vientiane and Taipei. You can also travel by road from Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, although roads are in poor condition, making the trip slow and uncomfortable. You can also travel
by water from Saigon! Two luxury ships make this epic voyage in eight days via the Southern Mekong and Tonle Sap with stops in places most tourists never visit.
Optional Side Trips ﻬ
Have extra time to spend in Cambodia? You may add one of our optional side trips, which include a personal English-speaking guide.
There is no bad time to visit Cambodia. August through October are the "green season" when brief daily showers keep things cool and fresh. (As Cambodians say, "No rain, no rice.") The coolest, driest season is November through February. Prices are generally higher during this peak visitor season. The warmest months are March through May.
Gay Life in Cambodia ﻬ
The percentage of Cambodians who identify themselves as gay or lesbian is probably just about the same as it is in the rest of the world. Unlike in other countries, "gay" is not a lifestyle in Cambodia, although that is changing. Gay men still marry and have children because of cultural tradition and because they want someone to take care of them when they are old. Gay and lesbian visitors feel comfortable in Cambodia because most people are non-judgmental Buddhists, to whom someone else's private life is of little interest.
Cambodia's best gay nightlife is in Phnom Penh, where there are six gay bars (including one that attracts drag queens) the last time we counted. There are also several large discos that attract a very large gay clientele. Siem Reap is far quieter. Nightspots there are very mixed. Local gays in Siem Reap enjoy two after-hours places that are off the tourist radar, and appear to account for as much as a third of the clientele.
Cambodia has a small but very active pride organization located in Phnom Penh.
More information about gay life in Cambodia appears in the "before you go" information we provide customers
about to travel with us to Cambodia.
Planning Your Holiday ﻬ
Purple Dragon offers all-inclusive travel programs and unique side trips designed to help first-time visitors get acquainted with incredible Cambodia. Creating the the perfect adventure could not be easier! Our programs are all modular. Choose a destination and arrive any day. Add any extra sightseeing you like and your trip is tailor-made to suit your own schedule, tastes and budget. Your private tour includes personal guides, so you'll never be herded around on a bus with 40 strangers. Although we have already chosen the optimum amount of time to visit each place you can extend your stay in any of our destinations.
Before your trip we will give you extensive "Before You Go" information that includes tips about packing, weather, money, shopping, food, travel practicalities and local culture that will help you enjoy a worry-free holiday.
Passports & Visas ﻬ
A visa is required for citizens of most countries. Visas are issued on arrival, although you can also get one in advance. for more information read our Visas page.
What We Do ﻬ
Purple Dragon is Asia's oldest, largest and most respected tour operator specializing in programs for discerning gay and lesbian travelers. All of our tours are private and include private transportation and one of our legendary private guides. We do not offer group tours. The big advantage to a private tour is, of course, that you do not have to put up with other people or compromise your own schedule
or activities to suit others in a group. You can spend a bit more time at places that really matter to you, avoid places that do not, and go at your own pace. We use gay-owned or gay-friendly hotels wherever possible and show our guests the local gay nightlife where it exists. You do not have to be gay to enjoy one of our all-inclusive tour packages. A growing number of mainstream guests travel with Purple dragon because they know they will get something better from a gay company.
If you are a Member of Club Sanook, our private travel club, you can learn more about Cambodia from stories published in our
"I wanted to let you know how pleased I was with my Cambodia tour. Everything went smoothly and as advertised: pick-ups and drop-offs at airports, hotels, guides, cars. My guides--Chet in Phnom Penh and Khoun in Siem Reap--were knowledgeable and fun to be with, flexible, and took good care of me. My regret is that I didn't add a day to the itinerary in Siem Reap, where there is so much more to see and to experience. I've never arranged a tour before, but I'm glad I did. Cambodia's not easy, even for an experienced traveler. Thanks for making my introduction an enjoyable on." -- Bruce G.