Travelling to Cambodia as a family

Travelling to Cambodia as a family

Travelling with children in Siem Reap

Going on holiday with your children is not always easy and requires a little more planning than a simple couple getaway. The destination is often the primary concern, for example it would be a pity to end up in the depths of the jungle with a baby who has an ear infection. Cambodia is perhaps not the first choice that comes to mind, it is nevertheless a country that can be visited very easily as a family with Cambodian people being very welcoming to children. Cambodia is a country at peace, has developed rapidly over the past twenty years and now offers all the traditional tourist infrastructures necessary for the smooth running of trips with children. Also, since half the population is under the age of 25, you will be able to find everything you need to take care of your baby and their older brothers and sisters. Childcare shops can be found all over the country, especially in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

What to expect on a family trip to Cambodia?

What to expect on a family trip to Cambodia?

As parents we know that our children’s safety and wellbeing is the priority, especially in a foreign environment. To avoid potential problems with your children here is a small, non-exhaustive list, of what to bring with you when you travel to Cambodia with your family:

A basic first aid kit to treat minor injuries, upset tummies and chills (note. Hotel room air conditioning is usually not adjustable). Visit your doctor with your children at least 6 weeks before your departure, and they will advise you on any vaccines needed or medication to bring with you.

Sunscreen to avoid sunburn in a country where it is always sunny and warm. Apply especially when on boats and in the hottest hours of the day. Sun hats for the whole family are also recommended.

Atomiser sprays, especially if you have small children, to relieve them from the heat.

Activities and entertainment for your children whilst travelling; books, small non-noisy toys and colouring perhaps, since you will probably spend a few hours en route to discover the wonders of Cambodia. The journey between the different cities of the country by bus can take 4 to 9 hours by road.

Family destinations in Cambodia

Family destinations in Cambodia

But what are the places to visit as a family to make your trip unforgettable? Obviously, the historic site of Angkor Wat is a must-see for all travellers who set foot in Cambodia.

Another popular destination for children, big and small, is the town of Kratie, north east of Phnom Penh, which is on the banks of the mighty Mekong river and home to the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins. They are an unforgettable sight playing together and a delight for children to see. Most tourists opt for sunrise and sunset boat trips, so choosing times other than these can mean a more exclusive trip for your family, as well as a welcome lie in!

But the dolphins are not the only extraordinary animals that can be seen in Cambodia. Further into the north east of the country in Mondulkiri, you will find not only an unparalleled jungle, but the majestic Asian elephants. What child does not want to see elephants?

Finally, after seeing the rich wildlife in Cambodia, why not finish with the natural beauty of the coast with a few days by the sea? The town of Kep is the most suitable of the seaside resorts, with a relaxed and quiet feel to the town. Guests can enjoy delicious crabs, local specialties, and grilled fish, before strolling through the surrounding natural park or on the beach. To truly unwind, you can take a 20 minute boat to Rabbit island, where beach combing or frolicking in the sand will entertain the children and with someone else to watch over them perhaps you can enjoy a massage on the beach!

While the country is full of destinations and attractions ideal for families, there are a few words of warning for families visiting. Firstly, when in Phnom Penh it is better to avoid the Riverside area after dark as this is the hub area for a lot of illegal activity and fights are not uncommon. Secondly, Sihanoukville is not recommended for families due to its seedy nature. If you want to reach the beautiful islands near to Sihanoukville we advise you to leave Phnom Penh early in the morning and stop there only to take the boat. Finally, if you are traveling with young children, the killings fields and S-21’s, macabre memories of the Khmer Rouge, may not be the most appropriate.

As far as food is concerned, Khmer food is popular with children – amok is a mild coconut curry and highly recommended - and Khmer food in general is lightly flavoured, with any spicy dips or sauces served on the side. Be careful to drink only filtered water, don’t use tap water for drinking or brushing teeth and do not consume ice cubes outside of the main touristy areas.

Cambodia is an amazing country with its cultural and natural richness. A trip to Cambodia will provide many happy memories; just don’t forget your camera to capture those magical moments!

We wish you a magical family trip to the Kingdom!