How to Travel to Cambodia with Kids // Guest Post

Thursday, 8 December 2016
It is my delight to introduce today's guest blogger, Hridya of Coins N Maps. Hridya is an incredible family travel blogger based in Malaysia. Hridya and her family have had the amazing opportunity to travel the world and share their experiences. Have you ever wanted to travel the world but were unsure how to do so with children? Here are some of Hridya best tips for travelling Cambodia with your little ones: 

Family Trip To Cambodia – Here Are Some Tips!

Cambodia, the name is synonymous with Angkor Wat, mystery, and adventure. Yes, after Lara Croft movie was shot (even though a small portion appeared); it created a lot of interest among people. I was intrigued for sure! Siem Reap is an ideal location for backpackers, solo travellers as well as those who travel as a family. You wonder if the place is safe to take your kids? Absolutely, we took our then almost 4-year-old (now she is 5.5 yrs old) to Siem Reap, and she loved it.  But as we all know, children change many things, including how we travel. Destinations are now chosen keeping our little girl’s requirements in mind.  If it is your first time in Siem Reap, this post might be of help. 

History: We usually try to create a picture of the place we will be visiting, for our little girl- just to make her want to visit the place, building the momentum for the trip. Sometimes when it comes to older kids, they might probably read up about the country/place.  Cambodia does not usually rank high on the list of family travel destinations mainly because of its brutal history. Most of the history of the country does not make sense to us adults, and hence it might be a tough task when it comes to explaining in detail to kids. So we told her about the temples and since it is connected to Hinduism, we being Hindus it was a lot easier for her to get ready for the trip.

Weather: Cambodia’s wet season runs from May until October, and the wettest period is from July to September – rains every day and sometimes very heavy. The dry season is from October until April when it can get very dry, hot and dusty. We visited in April, and it was peak summer. Apparently, the best time to visit is Dec to February so choose your timing accordingly. 

Pros of going in summer – hotels can be pretty cheaper. The temples are fairly less crowded  

Cons – it’s too hot, 40 deg Celsius, dusty and you need to ensure you keep everyone including yourself hydrated. Kids can get grumpy in the hot weather.

One of the places we visited – Phnom Kulen falls had lesser water; it is a lot more fun to go when there is more water in the waterfall (haha)

Place of Stay:
We stayed at Angkor Palace Resort and Spa, and it is perfect for kids and adults alike – they have a lovely pool, and on a hot summer evening, after all, that temple hunting and dust, the pool looks all the more inviting just to cool off. 

Activities for children: Although we were only exploring the temples, we also found out that there were other interesting activities that you could involve your kids in – such as ceramics classes, cooking classes, elephant rides. Do take them on the tuk-tuk; kids certainly love it. 

A few tips to follow when you are visiting the temples:

1) Wear full pants – keep your shoulders/legs covered since you will be visiting temples. Carry additional clothing for kids

2) Cotton clothing – especially in summer

3) Walking shoes – very important

4) Hats and Umbrellas are a must when you go there in summer

5) Sunscreen for those who have sensitive skin and who cannot handle the sun – Yes, please
6) Stay Hydrated

7) Stay away from scamsters – kids selling ceramic magnets for UDS 1 or 2 are all part of a scam unfortunately

8) Keep minimal cash

9) Eat fully cooked, freshly cooked hot food

10) Keep medicines handy – especially for your kid's medicines

11) Check the vaccination requirements

Say Yes to a tour guide; you definitely will need one. No book will tell you what he has to tell. 

Tip- When we drove up the Phnom Kulen Mountain, my daughter got nauseous and threw up, so keep medicines or paper bags handy.

We went just after Sankranta, their new year, in April. The hotel staff and our tour guide were very friendly and helpful. The trip was excellent and a kind of birthday present for my daughter and I as our birthdays fall around the same time. It was a trip of a lifetime; we would love to go there again. We brought back lots of lovely memories, had some great food, made good friends (my daughter got friendly with one of our tour group members, a young land from Japan; she recollects him even today after 1.5 years of our visit. 

As for me, Cambodia was the reason for me to start my travel blog, the architecture of the temples, the craftsmanship is stunning, and you can keep looking at those works of art for hours together. Do visit Cambodia; take your children with you. You could be planting the seeds of travel in your little one. 

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