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We spent a week in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This is a great family spot for young and old because the adventures are limitless!
Angkor Wat temples
We visited the temples in the morning, spent the afternoons napping and swimming and the evenings eating in town at the cafes. Our little boys were almost 2 & 4 when we went and that schedule was perfect for them and us. We got to do lots of exploring with a three-day pass to the Angkor Wat temples which allowed us to freely visit the temples at the schedule that worked best for us. We also smartly stayed at a hotel that had a pool and rooms on ground level so we could enjoy the nap and swim all at once!
The temples are fantastic and if you have older kids you would definitely explore longer and more, but we tried to get up and get out to beat the heat and the crowds (and while our boys were at their happiest selves). We brought hiking backpacks which was brilliant because then we could push through another couple hours more before they were completely exhausted or fed up. The earlier you get there, the more space you have to explore and find “unpopulated” spaces to explore safely and climb on. There are tour guides but we skipped this option because we wanted to explore on our own and get out when we needed to. We did however hire a tuk-tuk driver who waited for us and was at our hotel on time and had cold water waiting for us when we were done. Excellent investment (which was so cheap anyways!).
Grasshopper Bike Tour
We also enjoyed a Grasshopper Bike Tours guided bike tour. It was a half-day family bike ride through the countryside. I am not a biking pro, but it was at anyone’s pace. We biked with our boys in bike seats! They loved seeing the cows, the rice fields, playing in the local farms and a cold coconut water at the end. They even enjoyed a nap at one point as we biked on the dirty backroads!
Local temples, cafes and wandering
There are also some cool temples in town in Siem Reap and neat little cafes you can pop in and out of. We just kind of wandered and were happy to do so with the boys.
We ate at no-name cafes in town which were great but anything you tried would be wonderful! Cambodians love kids and were eager to give our boys bananas as they waited for food or bring them behind the bar to make a smoothie. We enjoyed wandering through pop-up markets and grabbing snacks on the go.
Our hotel is very highly recommended, Model Angkor Resort. The staff were incredibly kind, concerned with our well-being and very accommodating (even when our 2 year old set off the safe alarm in our bedroom early in the morning!). We ate breakfast at the hotel and happy hour drinks by the pool while enjoying appetizers that the boys felt were their special treat! The hotel is not right in town but enjoyed that and they had a tuk-tuk available at all times to bring you where you wanted to go. We enjoyed the tuk-tuks as part of the day and to break up the ‘activities’ of going into town or going to the temples.
The hotel also offers in room and by-pool massages which we took advantage of as the boys slept. Yay parent-win!
We travelled by plane to get there. We flew from Dhaka to Bangkok. From Bangkok it is very quick and cheap.
I was happy with the packing we did: play clothes, diapers, our own medicine for kids (just in case), hats for all, sunscreen and cotton clothes for adults for hiking and exploring. I also packed three bathing suits for all so that we could swim in the morning if we were up that early (never…!), and in the afternoon or the next morning and still have swimsuits to spare! Our son was old enough to sit on any chair but when he was younger and we travelled to Nepal I was very happy to have my travel highchair — highly recommended for Cambodia because there are NO high chairs. We brought hiking backpacks for our older boy and younger so we could each have one on our back if they got tired at the temples. There is a lot of walking and hiking and it would be a waste to bring a stroller.