The Royal Palace is gaily lit on special occasions
Phnom Penh is full of colonial charm, important sights, great restaurants, amazing shopping and a surprisingly thriving gay scene that all make a great vacation. Tour the Grand Palace with its Silver Pagoda, and nearby National Museum, the Russian Market, and do not miss an evening stroll along the mighty Mekong. Purple Dragon pioneered LGBT travel in Asia.
A view of the National Museum
SOME IMAGES ENLARGE WHEN CLICKED
Expect a Pleasant Surprise in Cambodia's Colorful Capital
Most visitors to Cambodia fly over Phnom Penh on their way to Angkor Wat. It's a great pity because Phnom Penh is one of the most interesting and charming towns in Indochina. Beautiful French Colonial architecture abounds. Restaurants and shopping are terrific, and hotels are world-class. There is plenty to see, including what many believe is the most important museum in Southeast Asia. For all the tragedy and turmoil that Cambodia's capital has witnessed in the past, Phnom Penh is a lively, cosmopolitan gateway bursting with energy, commerce, culture and attractive people and even some gay nightlife. Visit a magnificent palace, cruise the Mekong River, or shop for striking silks and glittering jewelry. Phnom Penh has maintained the grace of old Asia while retooling for 21st century changes. You do not have to be gay to enjoy this package. Our mainstream guests choose to visit Cambodia with us because they know they will get something better from a gay company.
Day One: The Flavor of Phnom Penh
Private transportation from the airport to your hotel. Early arrivals may enjoy sightseeing or treasure hunting in the expansive Russian Market. To catch the flavor of Phnom Penh life, take a late afternoon walk with our guide along the bustling riverfront where vendors cook up snacks, string flowers into fragrant garlands, or attract crowds of onlookers with old fashioned magic shows. If you like, your guide will join you for dinner. (He will make restaurant recommendations based on your individual tastes.) Afterwards, check out Phnom Penh's gay scene and its surprising local night life with your guide.
Day Two: A Silver Pavilion, Khmer Empire Wonders, & a Mood Swing
Your guide will collect you in the morning for a journey through the city. Begin at the carefully tended gardens and pavilions of the Royal Palace. Here, an art nouveau mansion gifted by Napoleon is dwarfed by exotic spires and pagodas arcing into the sky and the glittering treasures of the Silver Pavilion. Wander, awestruck, through the sumptuous National Museum with its extraordinary collections of Khmer stone sculpture and delicate bronze wonders. English-speaking docents are available as well as a newly published English-language guide book. These treasures are just a fraction of those once sheltered in Cambodia's sacred temples and palaces. As impressive as they are now, imagine them as they once stood, lavished with offerings, gold ornaments, and encrusted with precious jewels.
If classes are in session at the Fine Arts School, you may be lucky to glimpse young students reviving traditional Khmer dances that were nearly lost to the world. Visit local temples as time allows and, if you are up to it, tour Tuol Sleng, the most dramatic of the "Killing Fields" museums. Your evening is free.
Day Three: Onward (Unless You Stay Longer)
Prices and Hotels
Prices depend on your choice of hotel and when you want to travel.
We offer four different hotels in Phnom Penh, ranging from three to five stars. All of the hotels we use are carefully chosen for location, amenities, quality of service, security and value. We only use hotels that are gay-owned, gay-managed or gay-friendly. We inspect most hotels at least once a year.
To see prices and compare hotels please click on the "$" button on the left. If you have questions or suggestions about the hotels we use, please email us."One of the highlights of my trip was visiting the Fine Arts School in Phnom Penh. What a treasure! The pictures that I took were the best of my entire Round The World trip and I look at them often." -- Joseph
You can get an instant discount when you combine Phnom Pen with any of our other Cambodia packages. See details on the Club Sanook website.
Where We Shine: Purple Dragon highlights unique and offbeat aspects of Cambodian life that most tourists overlook. We use only LGBT- friendly hotels, so couples never suffer embarrassing moments. Your tour is private, which gives you maximum flexibility and the undivided attention of our local guides. Our gay and lesbian guests often tell us that the highlight of their holiday was the charming company of our trained guides and their superlative insights into Cambodian culture.