Just like in Vietnam, Khmer children are as welcoming as their parents, little ones will find new playmates in no time. The country’s infrastructure makes family travel so easy, hotels with interconnecting rooms and swimming pool. It is safe and convenient to travel with your children in Cambodia. Your children will be enchanted by ancient temples, shuddering tuk tuk and lively markets with deep-fried spiders. Your private guide will be skilled in providing comprehensive tour for adults, while simultaneously engaging with children.
Private touring Cambodia with your personal guide and driver, you will able to explore the country at your own pace, and your children can always learn and play. Such as watching the world float by on boat rides along the fishing village-lined rivers give kids a relaxing and exciting break in the capital Phnom Penh, older children will soak up Cambodia’s history and see a truly different way of life. Nearby Siem Reap in northwest of the country, the gateway to Angkor temples, there is an amazing range of activities, such as elephant riding and cycling, rope courses, rice-planting, traditional thatching and Khmer cooking classes.
The Capital Phnom Penh
Nicknamed “Pearl of The Orient”, the capital Phnom Penh is home to stunning colonial architecture and Khmer traditional styles, treasures of the Cambodia such as prehistoric Khmer artifacts, bronze works and a life-size diamond-encrusted Buddha.
Here you can inform your children about the Khmer Rouge, as you visit the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocidal Crimes and the Killing Fields. One of the highlight visit in Phnom Penh is the Royal Palace - the official residence of King Sihamoni, it is a sparkling collection of Khmer-roofed buildings and neatly kept French influenced courtyards. On the south side of the palace is the infamous Silver Pagoda, originally constructed of wood in 1866, was expanded in 1962 by King Sihanouk who had the floor inlaid with 5,329 solid silver tiles, hence its name.
The pagoda houses the Emerald-Crystal Buddha sitting atop a huge pyramid of gilded platforms and altars. Depending on which season you visit, the "Emerald Buddha" of Cambodia will be dressed accordingly in woven gold clothes. The statue is accompanied by a group of similarly twinkling figures including the solid-gold Buddha studded with diamonds.
Let’s your children immerse themselves in Cambodian culture while vising Phnom Penh’s local markets, sample some sumptuous fried noodles, witness boisterous bartering and pick up handmade souvenirs along the way.
There’s also plenty of space for children to play in the art deco style building of the Central Market, and local Cambodian will come round selling red rambutans, which look more like sea creatures than fruit, slices of jackfruit and massive spiky durians. The Russian Market is the place to purchase a range of handicrafts and handmade goods including woodcarvings, silks, musical instruments and miniature Buddha statues.
This resort town in northwestern Cambodia, a 45-minute flight from Phnom Penh, is the gateway to the Angkor temples – the seat of the Khmer empire from the 9th to 15th century. While Siem Reap serves mainly as a portal to the surrounding sites, you can spend the first afternoon wandering along the banks of the Siem Reap river or exploring its lively night market.
Ten minutes driving from Siem Reap, Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world and a must-see temple. A private guide and driver is a key part for a family visiting to Angkor Wat, while offering the history of the temples for adults, he will also encourage the children to look for natural objects and pick out the details in the carvings. The ruined Khmer capital of Angkor Thom is guarded by five monumental gates leading to the Bayon temple, whose stone towers were carved with nearly 200 serene Buddha faces smiling at all visitors.
The celebrity Ta Prohm, appeared in the Indiana Jones, Temple of Doom and Tomb Raider, has been left largely as it was when first rediscovered in the late 19th century. Here you will find roots of strangler fig trees creeping across the stonework, and spring-green moss skulks up the walls. The trees above dapple the sunlight, giving the site an eerie, mysterious feeling.
Your tour guide will suggest visiting these temples at sunrise or sunset to avoid the crowds and get the best light for photographs, and your children can fully live their Indiana Jones dreams.
There are outlying temples in the Angkor complex that are largely ignore by coach tours, and so your family will be able to explore away from the crowds. About 45-minute drive from Angkor, the Beng Mealea temple has been taken full control with thick creepers bursting through stonework. Sharing quite the same floorplan as the Angkor Wat, but Beng Mealea is still surrounded by a deep moat. Banteay Srei is another temple you want to stop by, it is the art gallery of Angkor. The intricate elephants and mythical creatures crawling along the walls are so delicate that you have to get up really close to see their details. While you are here, take some photos with Apsaras (female spirits) and Dvarapalas (male protectors) who are guarding the doors.
Phare Circus in Siem Reap
Have your family experience the arts culture of Cambodia at Siem Reap’s one-hour Phare Circus show, and see the famous Cambodian artists performing and telling Cambodia’s story through acrobatics, dance and music. The circus is run by Phare Ponleu Selpak, a non-profit association that supports disadvantaged children and young adults by training them in the performing arts.
Siem Reap’s Family Street Food Tour
Follow your food-loving local guide to some of Siem Reap’s most interesting eateries, and sample the best of street food here is exciting. Every afternoon many Cambodian students sit down to enjoy some of their most delicious dishes, as its common afternoon or evening snack in Cambodia, the sach ko chomkak (skewers of beef cooked over hot coals), which is best enjoyed tucked into a crunchy baguette and accompanied by tart green papaya slaw and spicy red chili sauce. Your guide will show you more background of this famous dish.
Visit the old market Psar Chas and try some of the exotic fruits. Your guide will take you to family-owned street-food stalls to sample a wide range of delicacies such as the ho mok - a fragrant coconut curry, and num kachay - small chive cakes.
Kratie's Irrawaddy Dolphins
A four-hour drive east of Siem Reap is Kratie, a small town filled with red flowered trees lying on the banks of the Mekong River. The town is dominated by a central marketplace surrounded by old French colonial buildings.
The Mekong runs deep here, the stretch of the river north of the town is home to a group of rare Irrawaddy dolphins, which is the town main tourist attraction. A recent survey estimated that there are some 80 dolphins left in the upper Cambodian Mekong area. In early morning, you can take a boat trip out to spot them, and they often come close by, poking their heads above the water.
Koh Kong – Family’s Beach Break
Koh Kong is Cambodia’s southwest coastline with tropical beaches, home of the mangroves and animals, birds and fishing communities. Here the 4 Rivers Floating Lodge floats on a bend of the Tatai River. A boat journey from a jetty upriver in Tatai Village will bring your family to the safari-style tents, each with a sun deck, on platforms over the water.
Each of the lodge here is equipped with kayaks for exploring the river and nearby mangrove swamps. The water is safe and calm, with plenty of natural bays for the children to explore and swim. Of cause, you can simply sit back and relax here, but active families can delve into the deep-green forests of the Cardamom Mountains, which is considered the second-largest virgin rainforest in mainland Southeast Asia.
Foods in Cambodia for Family Travel
The country offers a wide range of food choices, and hotels are also offering Khmer and international options. Local Cambodian food is well-cooked, rarely spicy and very simple, there are so much dishes for children to try. Amok, a mild, creamy curry is usually served on a banana leaf, and lok lak beef or a stew with rice and egg are on the menu of every restaurant.
Cambodian is also known for their deep-fried spider and crickets, which are at service in some restaurants. Adventure families can stop at the small town of Skun, on the way from Kratie to Phnom Penh, to see the local market sellers fry spiders on street side barbecues.