Ready to wake up your inner Indiana Jones and explore ancient ruins with your kids? Or how about hopping on the back of a Vespa and zipping through the countryside? Or staying with a traditional farming family and trying your hand at rice planting? If these sound like awesome family travel ideas to you, then it’s time to visit Cambodia. A wonderful (if less-traversed) destination for family travel, Cambodia not only offers idyllic countryside that’s great for outdoor activities, but it’s also home to some of Southeast Asia’s friendliest locals. And don’t get us started on Angkor Wat—if discovering an overgrown jungle temple doesn’t get your kids’ heart rates going, we don’t know what will.
Here are some of Cambodia’s most fun and interesting attractions for families traveling with children (some activities are ideal for ages 7 and up)
ANGKOR TEMPLE COMPLEX
Hidden away deep in the jungle and overgrown by mighty trees and vines, temples such as Ta Phrom and Bayon hold vivid appeal for youngsters. While they explore countless nooks and crannies, art lovers, history hounds and archaeological fanatics will marvel at the stunning bas-reliefs and iconography of the ancient capital of the Khmer Empire. The best way for a family to get the most out of this sprawling, amazing complex is to go on our Angkor Wat Family Adventure, which combines all the must-see highlights with fun activities such as ziplining and viewing the temples from above in a helium balloon!
RURAL VESPA TOUR
If you and your family like to travel like locals, then try touring the pastoral Cambodian countryside on the back of an iconic Vespa scooter. This is Siem Reap at its best: you’ll explore the riverside city that is the gateway of Angkor, along with its splendid rural surroundings and riverine lifestyles along the Tonlé Sap. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to mingle with locals, understand modern-day Khmer culture, and see the real Cambodia away from the madding crowds. Note safety is our priority and we drive at a slow pace, and helmets are provided.
Battambang boasts some of the most beautiful countryside in all of Cambodia. On a gentle cycling tour that’s ideal for the whole family, you’ll bike through bright green rice paddies and pass vast palm plantations. Stop at a swamp to watch the water buffalo chew their cud, and visit local villages to watch local artisans and manufacturers ply their trade. Organized through Battambang Bike, a local social enterprise, your tour will go towards supporting local tourism and vocational training.
A “BEARY” WORTHY PROJECT
Attention animal lovers! Southeast Asia is home to the endangered, forest-dwelling sun and moon bears, and Cambodia leads the region in bear rescues! The multinational Free the Bears project rescues bears and has a robust presence in Cambodia, where you can visit a sanctuary in Siem Reap or its headquarters at the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre near Phnom Penh. At Phnom Tamao, you can spend a full day learning about its 100+ resident bears, with opportunities to go behind the scenes and try your hand at being a bear keeper!
FULL-ON FARMING EXPERIENCE
Ever wondered what it’s like to live a day in someone else’s shoes? Well, in Cambodia you can! We offer homestay opportunities that immerse the whole family in a rural lifestyle in a picturesque village surrounding Siem Reap. Become friends with a farming family, stay in their home, and help them in the rice fields. You’ll see how rice farming is the life-blood of the people and the mainstay of the local economy. Stroll through the village, take ox-cart rides, say hello to local children on their way to school, and observe seasonal activities such as weaving thatch roofs, planting and harvesting.
CAMBODIA’S HEARTLAND ON HORSEBACK
At Happy Ranch, you and your family get the unique experience of exploring Cambodia on horseback. Gentle ponies led by a guide will take your youngsters through the pretty countryside, passing local villages, rice fields, and palm plantations. You’ll even get to visit the remote Wat Atvea, an ancient temple.
Our locally based Travel Specialists are happy to give you more information on any of these activities and more. If you’re ready to start planning your family-friendly holiday in Cambodia, contact us and we’ll help you build the perfect itinerary.