Cambodia is probably not the first country parents think of as the destination of choice.
How wrong you could be!
Cambodia is a great place to visit with children: friendly people, welcoming, and with plenty of things to do.
Not convinced yet?
Here is our Top 10 of activities in Cambodia that will keep kids entertained. Guaranteed!
Make a Bamboo Raft
Much easier than it sounds, and infinitely satisfying, all you need is a jungle river, some bamboo poles, and some vines, strong reeds, or water grass. Try Virachey National Park, or the deeper reaches of the Tonle Sap.
See Freshwater Dolphins
Dolphins in the river? It’s true! The endangered Irrawaddy dolphins have all the verve of their marine cousins, but live in rivers, not the sea. Take a little paddle boat out from Kratie, on the Mekong, and you are almost bound to see and hear them, right up close.
Swing from Jungle Vines
Whether hanging over a waterfall, tarzan style, dangling over an underground river, or simply swinging like you’re in a playground, jungle vines are a wonderful treat. Kbal Spean, near Siem Reap, has a great selection of natural swings.
Dine with Snakes
Snake is surprisingly palatable. But serpents are not on the menu at Snake Pit, Sihanoukville. Instead, they’re writhing under your table-top as you eat pizza, penned in glass cages while you enjoy zakuski, or competing with macaws and crocodiles for attention in the farm out back.
Brave a Real-Life Ghost Town
Bokor Hill Station, in Bokor National Park, outside Kampot, boasts the ghost of a casino, art deco buildings intertwined with jungles, and makes a seriously spooky place to visit overnight. Take your own guide for the uphill trek, spend the night with the rangers, and track down carnivorous plants in the morning.
Visit a Wonder of the World
Angkor Wat, the gigantic temple complex built by the Khmer kings, will wow even the most monument-averse child. Buy some green mango to feed the cheeky temple monkeys at the eastern gate. And the ruins of Ta Prohm, with their giant tree roots, are made for exploration.
Ride the Bamboo Train
One of the all-time great train journeys, the Bamboo Train is an absolutely unique ride. A low-slung motorised platform, it travels between the villages outside Battambang at a rate of knots. And when something’s coming the other way? Get off, take the train off the rails, and let the other group come past…
Make your own Soup
Take one conveyor belt laden with ingredients and one bubbling pot of broth bubbling on the table. Mix at will, and fish out your favourites with a slotted spoon, at Suki Soup, Siem Reap.
Swim in some Rapids
Cambodia is short on artificial swimming pools. So, for many towns, rapids become the local pool. Try the rapids on the Mekong outside Kratie for a dash of relatively contained danger, with wires to grab onto if it gets too much.
Visit a Factory, or a Farm
In Battambang, you can watch a family making noodles by hand, sharecroppers growing mushrooms under burnt straw, and the heavy presses in a brick factory churning out bricks. For a dose of automation, you can visit the Pepsi factory…