What to Do in Cambodia with Kids? Fun & Easy Itineraries for Family

Cambodia is an ideal destination for families seeking a harmonious blend of cultural immersion, magnificent ancient ruins, welcoming local communities, lush jungle landscapes, and pristine palm-fringed beaches. With an array of enriching experiences, here are some of the top activities and must-visit locations that promise a memorable journey for families exploring Cambodia with kids.

Best things to do in Cambodia with kids

Explore the Temples of Angkor or Beng Melea

The Temples of Angkor, including the iconic Angkor Wat, offer a fascinating historical and cultural experience. Exploring these ancient temples together with your family will be like stepping back in time. Kids will be amazed by the grandeur and intricate architecture, making it a great opportunity for them to learn about history and different civilizations.

Family trip in Angkor Wat
Family trip in Angkor Wat

Beng Melea, located about 40 kilometers from the main Angkor temple complex, is a hidden gem that provides a more adventurous and off-the-beaten-path experience. Kids will love the sense of exploration and the feeling of being in an ancient jungle temple.

Monks in Beng Melea
Monks in Beng Melea

It’s also important to plan your visit wisely. Angkor Wat can get crowded, especially during peak hours, so it’s advisable to visit early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the hottest and busiest times.

True that the temples part of the time you will spend there a couple of hours, but the trick is just pacing yourself, and making sure you will be back in the pool for the kids to cool down after morning exploring.

Take a boat trip to Tonle Sap lake

Tonle Sap Lake is a family-friendly destination with a unique eco-system and cultural area offering the opportunity to see a different side of the Siem Reap – floating villages, cultural and nature tours, birdwatching.

One of the highlights of visiting Tonle Sap Lake is the cultural immersion. Exploring the floating villages allows your family to interact with the local communities and learn about their traditions and way of life. It’s a valuable opportunity for children to gain a deeper understanding of different cultures and appreciate the diversity that exists in the world.

Boat tour on Tonle Sap Lake
Take a boat tour on Tonle Sap Lake to gain a deeper understanding of local life

Beyond the educational aspects, Tonle Sap Lake boasts stunning scenic beauty. The serene waters, lush vegetation, and vibrant colors create a picturesque setting that the whole family can enjoy. It’s a great opportunity for family photos and creating lasting memories together.

The wildlife and nature around Tonle Sap Lake are also captivating for families. Kids will have the opportunity to spot various bird species, fish, and other aquatic creatures. It’s a great way to introduce them to the wonders of nature and foster their curiosity about the environment.

Quad tour

Taking a quad bike adventure with your family can be an exceptional and thrilling way to explore the Cambodian countryside. It offers a unique opportunity to venture off the beaten path and discover a side of Siem Reap that is often hidden from typical tourist destinations.

Riding through the picturesque Cambodian countryside not only provides an adrenaline rush but also allows you to immerse yourself in the authentic charm and natural beauty of the region. Their local expertise and insider knowledge will introduce you to hidden gems, local communities, and lesser-known sites that are often overlooked by mainstream tourism.

Family Quad tour in Siem Reap
Take a quad tour in Siem Reap

The freedom and flexibility of exploring on a quad bike provide a sense of adventure and discovery that can’t be replicated by conventional means of transportation.

Phare Circus

For family vacations, adding this activity to your schedule can be a highly enjoyable experience. What sets this activity apart is the recognition it has received from thousands of users on Tripadvisor, who have voted it as one of the top shows and outdoor attractions. Beyond its mesmerizing performances, the show holds a remarkable history that is awe-inspiring.

Performance of Phare Circus
Amazing performance of Phare Circus

You’ll be captivated by the energy and passion of the talented performers. Many of them are gifted artists, they have overcome challenges to pursue their dreams. Through their art, they share traditional Cambodian tales with a modern twist, evoking laughter, amazement, and heartfelt emotions.

What makes this show even more special is its impact beyond entertainment. A portion of the profits from the show goes towards supporting underprivileged Cambodian teenagers in their pursuit of education, helping them build a better future.

Helpful tip: When it comes to tickets, there are different options available, each offering a unique view of the show. Personally, I found both A and B tickets to be excellent choices. To secure your tickets, you have the convenience of booking them online through the Phare Circus website or arranging it with your travel agent.

Royal Palace

When it comes to visiting the Royal Palace in Cambodia with your kids, it can be a family-friendly experience that offers a glimpse into the country’s rich history and culture.

The Royal Palace is a popular tourist attraction in Phnom Penh, known for its stunning architecture and historical significance. It serves as the residence of the King of Cambodia and a venue for royal ceremonies. In general, the Royal Palace is considered family-friendly and suitable for children of all ages.

The palace grounds offer spacious areas for children to explore and enjoy. They can marvel at the intricate details of the buildings, stroll through the beautiful gardens, and learn about the country’s monarchy. The experience can be both educational and visually captivating for children.

Royal Palace
Royal Palace

The park in front of the Royal palace is a nice place to walk around, or have a picnic in the grass and watch people. I am sure you can have a great time here interacting with locals.

However, it’s important to note that certain areas of the Royal Palace may have specific rules or restrictions in place. For example, there may be areas that are off-limits to visitors or certain dress codes that need to be followed. It’s advisable to familiarize yourself with any guidelines before your visit to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for your family.

Silver Pagoda

When it comes to visiting the Silver Pagoda in Cambodia with your family, it can be a family-friendly experience that combines cultural exploration with a serene atmosphere.

The Silver Pagoda, also known as the Wat Preah Ke is located within the Royal Palace complex in Phnom Penh. This site is renowned for its stunning architecture, intricate artwork, and the collection of valuable treasures housed within its walls. Your children can marvel at the beauty of the pagoda and its surroundings, immersing themselves in the unique cultural heritage of Cambodia.

Stunning architecture Silver Pagoda
Stunning architecture Silver Pagoda

However, it’s important to note that certain rules and guidelines may be in place to maintain the sanctity of the temple. For example, visitors may be required to remove their shoes before entering the pagoda and dress modestly.

Lastly, don’t forget to carry essentials such as water and sunscreen, especially if you’re visiting during hot and sunny weather. This will help keep your family comfortable and hydrated throughout the visit.

Killing Fields and Toul Sleng

When considering a visit to the Killing Fields and Toul Sleng (S21) with children, it’s important to approach the topic with sensitivity and consider the age and maturity of your children. Here’s my advice:

The Killing Fields and Toul Sleng are historically significant sites in Cambodia that bear witness to the atrocities committed during the Khmer Rouge regime. These places provide a somber and educational experience, but the suitability for youth depends on their age, maturity, and sensitivity to such content.

For older children and teenagers, a visit to these sites can be a valuable educational opportunity. It offers a chance to learn about Cambodia’s history, foster empathy, and gain a deeper understanding of the country’s journey towards healing and reconciliation. However, it’s crucial to prepare them for the emotional impact and provide context before the visit.

For young children, the graphic nature of the exhibits and the stories may be too intense or overwhelming. It can be challenging for them to understand the historical context and the gravity of what took place. Consider engaging them in age-appropriate activities that celebrate Cambodian culture and history instead.

Killing tree and Toul Sleng
Killing tree and insider of Toul Sleng

Before visiting, it’s crucial to have open conversations with your children about the historical context and the sensitive nature of the site. This will help prepare them for what they will see and allow them to approach the experience with empathy and respect.

Tips: I thought it important for them to see both places to understand the history of the country but you can make sure your trip to S21 will be quick a bite and they don’t have to see everything.

Cambodian Landmine Museum

The Cambodian Landmine Museum can be a thought-provoking and educational experience for families, but it’s important to be aware of its nature and content. The museum displays a significant number of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and provides insights into the devastating impact of landmines in Cambodia’s history.

If your family has teenagers who can understand and handle the sensitive subject matter, visiting the museum can be a valuable opportunity to learn about Cambodia’s past and raise awareness about the ongoing landmine issue. It can spark meaningful discussions and help cultivate empathy and compassion in younger minds.

However, for families with younger children, it’s essential to gauge their maturity level and sensitivity to potentially distressing content. The museum’s exhibits can be sobering, and the stories shared can be emotionally challenging.

Cambodia Landmine Museum
Cambodia Landmine Museum

To make the visit more family-friendly, you can take certain steps. Prior to your visit, engage your children in conversations about landmines, their impact, and the importance of supporting the victims. This can help prepare them for what they will see and ensure they approach the experience with respect and empathy.

Additionally, the museum has a souvenir shop where you can find interesting books and other items related to the topic. Encourage your children to explore these resources, as they can provide further understanding and serve as a way to support the museum’s efforts.

Riding Norris, a unique means of transport found only in Battambang

If you’re referring to riding the “Noris” (also known as the bamboo train or norry) in Battambang, Cambodia, it can be a unique and exciting experience for children. The Noris is essentially a small bamboo platform powered by a small engine that runs on rail tracks. It’s a popular tourist attraction in Battambang.

Fun riding the "Noris" in Battambang with family
Fun riding the “Noris” in Battambang

Children often find the Noris ride thrilling and enjoyable as they zip through the countryside on this unconventional form of transportation. However, it’s important to prioritize safety and exercise caution. Make sure the children are supervised at all times and follow any safety instructions provided by the operators.

Additionally, it’s advisable to check the current status of the Noris in Battambang, as there have been reports of changes or temporary closures due to ongoing developments in the railway system.

Night market

Enjoying the night markets in Cambodia, particularly in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, with kids can be a delightful experience. Here’s a guide to help you make the most of your visit:

Choose family-friendly night markets: In Phnom Penh, consider visiting the Phsar Reatrey Night Market, also known as the Riverside Night Market. In Siem Reap, the Angkor Night Market is a popular choice. These markets offer a variety of activities and are known to be family-friendly.

Visit early in the evening: Arriving early allows you to explore the market before it gets too crowded and gives your kids more time to enjoy the experience. It also ensures that you have ample time to browse through the stalls and participate in activities.

Engage in interactive activities: Many night markets have interactive activities that kids will love. Look out for games, street performances, or cultural shows. Let your children join in the fun by playing games, watching street performers, or even trying their hand at a traditional craft.

Night market in Cambodia
Vibrant atmosphere in Cambodia night market

Try local street food: Night markets are famous for their street food. Encourage your kids to sample local snacks and treats. From BBQ skewers to fried noodles and exotic fruit shakes, there’s something for every palate. Make sure to choose food vendors that maintain cleanliness and hygiene.

Embrace the ambiance: Night markets in Cambodia have a vibrant and lively atmosphere. Take the time to absorb the ambiance, listen to the music, and enjoy the energy of the market. Let your children immerse themselves in the sights, sounds, and aromas, creating lasting memories.

How to get around with kids?

Traveling around Cambodia with kids can be an exciting experience. Here are some tips on how to travel around main cities like Phnom Penh and Siem Reap with kids, considering the tuk-tuk and van options:

Tuk-Tuk Rides: Riding in a tuk-tuk can be a fun and unique experience for kids, especially when exploring the cities or visiting temples. Tuk-tuks are suitable for smaller groups and shorter distances within the city. Ensure that the tuk-tuk has enough space and negotiate the fare in advance.

Van Rental: For day trips or longer excursions with more than three people, renting a van is a practical choice. Vans provide more space and comfort, allowing kids to relax during the journey. You can arrange for a van through your accommodation’s reception upon arrival. They can assist you in finding a reliable van service that suits your family’s needs and preferences.

Is Cambodia good for a family holiday?

Generally, when you come to major cities like Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are really family-friendly. In no way inconvenienced or ever feel like you will roughing it.

Is Cambodia tourist-friendly?

Firstly, when it comes to safety, the locals were friendly and welcoming. You will not encounter any major safety concerns. Of course, it’s always important to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings, but overall, you can have a positive and safe experience exploring the country.

How easy is it to get around Cambodia?

In terms of convenience in traveling around, Cambodia offers a range of transportation options that make it easy to get around with the family. Tuk-tuks are a popular and fun way to travel within cities like Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. They’re easily accessible and can accommodate the whole family.

Is there a lot to do with family in Cambodia?

Cambodia especially Siem reap and Phnom Penh also offers a rich variety of experiences for families. From exploring the ancient temples together to learn about history and culture, enjoy boat rides on the Tonle Sap lake and visiting floating villages to know how the local life going on. Cambodia’s natural beauty, such as its national parks and stunning countryside, provides your family with opportunities for outdoor adventures like hiking and biking.

Suggested Cambodia itinerary for a family vacation

If you want to explore the beauty, culture and history of Khmer in Cambodia in depth, it’s better to spend around 8 – 11 days. This itinerary provides a balance of cultural exploration, historical sites, and family-friendly activities. However, feel free to contact us to customize it based on your family’s interests and the duration of your stay in Cambodia. Below is a brief itinerary as a reference:

Day 1: Phnom Penh arrival

  • Visit Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda

Day 2: Phnom Penh – Battambang

  • Depart for Battambang by overland transfer
  • Visit craft villages in Kompong Chhnang and fish market
  • Walk through the town and overnight at hotel in Battambang

Day 3: Battambang

  • Drive along the picturesque Sangker River to Wat Slaket Pagoda
  • Visit a local market
  • Enjoy a short ride on a famous bamboo train

Day 4: Battambang – Siem Reap

  • Transfer overland to Siem Reap by private car
  • Visit Les Artisans d’Angkor – Chantiers Ecoles by tuk tuk at Siem Reap

Day 5: Getting around Siem Reap

  • Visit the sunrise at Angkor Area and return hotel for breakfast
  • Start our full-day visit sightseeing tour of Angkor

Day 6: Siem Reap

  • Visit Banteay Srei
  • Stopover at the Preah Dark village

Day 7: Siem Reap

  • Visit the Roluos Group then Beng Mealea temple
  • Visiting the jungle covered temple of Ta Prohm

Day 8: Siem Reap

Free at own leisure until and transfer to the airport for the flight departure or onward to your next destination.

>>> View tour details: Cambodia Discovery 8 Days

You can add this trip as a pre or post-trip extension from Vietnam or Thailand. To find details information about accommodation, and prices to arrange your trip around Indochina, you can find more on our list of Vietnam and Cambodia family tours.

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