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The top 10 things to do in Cambodia with kids

A family vacation to Cambodia is always a great idea! With its fascinating culture, gorgeous nature and beautiful cities there’s lots to explore for everyone. Cambodia is a small, dense country and if you have 2 weeks to explore Cambodia with kids you can see all the highlights. From the temples of Angkor to tropical island Koh Rong. Let us share the best 10 things to do in Cambodia with kids!

This is by no means meant as a complete list. Every destination has more than one highlight that deserves every traveler’s attention. You should really view this article as a summary or a bucket list for a short visit to Cambodia. If you have more than a week to spend in Cambodia with your family, I invite you to check out my ultimate family road trip guide of Cambodia.

Why Cambodia is a great choice for a family holiday

Neighboring countries Vietnam and Thailand get the largest chunk of travelers in this area of Southeast Asia. And while they’re amazing countries to visit with kids, they’re also losing some of their authenticity and the crowds can feel overwhelming.

Cambodia is the ideal Southeast Asian country to explore when you like a more authentic experience and lesser crowds. A family road trip through Cambodia brings you to the must visit touristy places, but also off the beaten track. Don’t get me wrong, there’s no way you’ll get Angkor Wat to yourself if you get out of bed really early. But drive to some of the lesser known temples and you’re likely to spend it with only a handful of other visitors.

Cambodians are helpful and welcoming people. They love kids and dote on them.

Cambodia’s kitchen with kids

The food is more or less hassle free. The service is always fast and Khmer cuisine requires minimal prep. No long waiting times or long sit through dinners. When your kids tend to be more on the fussy side, you can always get plain rice, fries and chicken. In Phnom Penh and most of the sea side towns and on the islands you’ll find Italian restaurants, for a pizza and pasta fix.

Road tripping through Cambodia with kids

If you’ve visited other Southeast Asian countries, you’ll notice that there aren’t as many flight options or train connections in Cambodia as Vietnam, for instance. But don’t let that discourage you. The buses are clean and have aircon. Local public transport doesn’t have airconditioning, but that’s also the case in neighboring countries. A few destinations can be reached by train as well, but the Royal Railway of Cambodia is still working on expanding their network within the country.

Road tripping through Cambodia by car

We always love exploring countries by car or campervan. But for this road trip we decided on public transport and air travel. There are two reasons for this. The most important one is that you have to hire a care with a driver. Only people with a Cambodian passport can rent a car. Secondly, while roads have improved massively over the recent years, conditions vary per region and also per season. You might be confronted with road blocks or blow-out tyres.

If you want to know more about getting to and around Cambodia, I recommend reading the ultimate family road trip guide of Cambodia for more info.

Read more >> Ultimate Family Road Trip Guide: Cambodia

Top tours in Cambodia with kids

That’s it for the general information about family traveling through Cambodia. It’s time to share the 10 things to do in Cambodia with kids!

10 Things to Do In Cambodia with Kids

Visit the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh

Explore Siem Reap by bike

Marvel at the Temples of Angkor

Hop on a bamboo train in Battambang

Go pepper farming in Kampot

Chill at the beach in Sihanoukville

Enjoy the paradise that is Koh Rong

Check out the floating villages on Tonlé Sap

Eat crab in Kep

Spot gibbons in the jungle of Siem Reap

Best Angkor Temples to visit with kids - blog post

Visit the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh

Exploring the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh - Cambodia
Exploring the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh - Cambodia

A must thing to do in Phnom Penh with kids is a visit to the Royal Palace in Cambodia.  Make sure you visit it during the morning opening. In the afternoon it will be very busy.

The Royal Palace of Cambodia is a complex of buildings, built in the 1860s, that serve as the residence of the King of Cambodia. Its full name in Khmer is the Preah Barom Reacheaveang Chaktomuk Serey Mongkol.

There are a few things here you must not miss. Firstly, the Silver Pagoda, aka Wat Preah Keo, built in 1892 and then rebuilt in 1962 with a massive amount of gold, silver, and diamonds. The name of the pagoda comes from the silver floor inside, which has almost a whopping 5,000 silver tiles weighing over 5 tons.

Also check out the gated grey stupa has the remains of Cambodian king Norodom Sihanouk who died in 2012. And there’s another white stupa dedicated to King Ang Duong.

While you’re not allowed inside the main building of the Royal Palace, the Throne Hall, you are allowed to peek through the windows. Don’t skip this, because it’s gorgeous. It was built in 1863, and still in use for religious and royal ceremonies.

You’ll need about 1,5 to 2 hours to see it all.

If you’re planning on visiting Phnom Penh with kids for a few days, check out my guide to Phnom Penh.

Read more >> 10 Things to Do In Phnom Penh with Kids

Top tours in Phnom Penh with kids

Clean drinking water

You shouldn’t drink the tap water in Cambodia. While outdoors or in hotels you can avoid buying plastic water bottles if you bring the LARQ bottle. UV-light cleans the water in the bottle and also cleans the bottle itself after you’ve used it. Get your own LARQ bottle and always feel safe drinking water from taps all over the world.

Explore Siem Reap by bike

Biking around Siem Reap - Cambodia
Biking around in Siem Reap - Cambodia

A very fun thing to do in Siem Reap with kids is renting a bike. It gives you more freedom to explore Siem Reap on your own. As a foreigner you’re not allowed to rent a car. To get around town you have to either hire a private driver or hail a taxi or remorque. Getting to and around the temples is easy with your own bike.

The city center is also very easy to get around by bike. Since you’re in a Southeast Asian country you’ll be confronted with vehicles driving on the wrong side of the road and you’ll experience some cut offs. But if your family is used to cycling, biking is an excellent mode of transportation in Siem Reap. We never got into any dangerous situations on the road.

If you get a mountain bike you can go off road a bit, which is very fun with (pre)teens. Do you see yourself driving around town, from temple to temple and along the River Road and its surrounding rice paddies? Then renting a bike is one of the best things to do in Siem Reap with kids.

Read more >> 10 Things to Do In Siem Reap with Kids

Top bike rental and bike tours in Siem Reap with kids

Marvel at the Temples of Angkor

Angkor temple Ta Prohm in Siem Reap - Cambodia
Angkor temple Bayon in Siem Reap - Cambodia

This could’ve easily been first on this top 10 things to do in Cambodia with kids. Exploring the Temples of Angkor must be high on every travelers bucket list. And if I’m being honest, it was the reason our family chose to road trip through Cambodia. Only to realize that Cambodia is much more then Angkor Wat and all the other amazing temples here.

That’s the reason I didn’t kick off this list with Angkor Archeological Park. Cambodia deserves more time to be explored. So spend those days in Siem Reap and at the Angkor temples, but take at least an extra week to see all of Cambodia’s highlights!

To get back on topic: let’s talk about exploring the temples of Angkor with your family. Angkor is an awe-inspiring place to visit. And exploring the Angkor temples with kids is a very rewarding thing to do. There are so many temple complexes to check out, that you’ll need at least 3 days to explore. It’s the country’s pride and joy and the national symbol of Cambodia. If 3 days puts too much pressure on your Cambodian itinerary, spend 2 days at the temples.

The great thing is that kids will enjoy the sights as much as you. They’ll feel like Indiana Jones or Lara Croft while exploring the best temples in Angkor Archeological Park.

The temples you must not skip are Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm. If you want to know all there is to know about visiting the temples of Angkor with kids, read my guide.

Read more >> Best Angkor Temples to Visit With Kids

Read more >> 10 Things to Do In Siem Reap with Kids

Angkor Wat in Siem Reap - Cambodia
Angkor Wat in Siem Reap - Cambodia

Top Angkor tours with kids

Hop on a bamboo train in Battambang

Bamboo train in Battambang - Cambodia

The absolute top thing to do for kids in Battambang is a ride on the bamboo train. For about 4 euro per person, the bamboo train will take you through the jungles of Cambodia. It’s basically a bamboo plank on wheels, powered by a tractor engine. In 30 minutes this train will follow about 7km of train track.

There’s nothing to hold onto and no seatbelts, but since 2019 there are seats aboard. You go quite fast, so hold onto the kiddo’s.

If you’re in Battambang make this experience part of your Battambang itinerary.

Top tours in Battambang with kids

Go pepper farming in Kampot

Pepper at a pepper farm in Kampot - Cambodia

While Kampot is known as a beach town village that most people visit for a little beach vacay, there’s a different reason why a visit to Kampot is one of the best 10 things to do in Cambodia with kids. Pepper! The Kampot province is known for its black pepper. Kampot black pepper has a strong and delicate aroma, ranging from insanely spicy to mildly sweet.

There are many pepper farms that you can visit when in Kampot. The most famous ones being La Plantation, Bo Tree and The Vine Retrait. But you can also opt for smaller family owned businesses. You might be drawn to visit the bigger plantations that also have a restaurant or two on site. Here you can order pepper flavored dishes, which we really loved.

All of the pepper plantations can be easily reached by hailing a Remorque (the Cambodian name for a tuk tuk).

The late and great Antony Bourdain was very much drawn to the pepper that originates from the Kampot province. While pepper is believed to originate from South India, Bourdain praised the unique taste of Kampot pepper. So visit a pepper farm in Kampot and taste for yourself if Bourdain was right or not.

Top Kampot pepper tours with kids

Chill at the beach in Sihanoukville

Dock at Otres Beach in Sihanoukville in Cambodia

The city of Sihanoukville is named after the former king, Norodom Sihanouk. Most travelers have heard about this city, before traveling to Cambodia. It’s added to most travel itineraries and it’s a charming but lazy beach town. And that’s the reason why Sihanoukville is on this list of 10 things to do in Cambodia with kids

The biggest reason people visit Sihanoukville is because it’s the gateway to some of Cambodia’s most beautiful islands. But before you leave this city it deserves a short stay before you transit to or from the islands.

The best beaches are Otres, Independence and Serendipity. You can engage in all kinds of activities here, like kayaking, snorkeling and parasailing. You can also find lots of restaurants and bars on and around these beaches.

Note that this is also a backpackers paradise, around 4 the music starts and it will play well into the night. If you want to stay away from the partying, book your accommodation strategically.

Enjoy the paradise that is Koh Rong

Paradise island Koh Rong in Cambodia

It’s time to visit paradise, in Cambodia that will likely mean that you’ll board a boat that brings you to Koh Rong island. A tropical island that can’t be missed from your Cambodian family travel itinerary.

All the activities that I’ve just mentioned when writing about Sihanoukville can also be done here, but the scenery is quite different.

Koh Rong has some beautiful coral reefs, so bring your snorkel along or buy one at one of the souvenir shops. When you get out of the water you’ll look at the whitest sandy beach you’ve ever seen, surrounded by rows of coconut trees. There’s no question that your family will relax, while here.

Some other great things to do in Koh Rong:

  • book a plankton tour and see it light up in the dark
  • go diving or get your PADI here
  • rent a kayak and explore the waters around the island
  • zip line through the jungle
  • play around in the sand

Check out the floating villages on Tonlé Sap

Kids fishing in Tonlé Sap - Cambodia

The Tonlé Sap lake is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and an important landmark of Cambodia. More than 1 million people make their living by fishing. Many of them live in the many floating villages on the lake.

It’s nice to experience the serenity of the lake and the way of life, from a distance. Be aware to not book tours that offer a visit to somebody’s house or a school. And check TripAdvisor to see pictures of the tours. More often than not you’ll stop at crocodile farms and get offered to take pictures with drugged up monkeys and snakes. It’s important to know what you’re booking, before you’re unpleasantly surprised.

Know that the waters of Tonle Sap can be a little rough, so bring travel sickness tablets along if you or your kids have experienced motion sickness before. Also bring your own life jackets for the kids, they don’t offer those as part of the tour.

UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

Once you’ve found an ethical tour company, the local guides will take you off the beaten path and away from the crowds. The most amazing villages are Mechrey, or Mech Rey, and Kompong Khleang. On a boat ride you’ll pass by houses, schools and pagoda’s all on stilted platforms. It’s a very nice experience and no wonder that it’s a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

At one or two places you’ll get off and are allowed to wander around a bit. Don’t invade peoples privacy and take pictures from inside their homes or simple walk into the houses. And if a local invites you inside, leave them a small tip.

Eat crab in Kep

The crab statue in Kep - Cambodia

Kampot is famous for its pepper and neighboring village Kep is known for its crab. This family oriented town is famous for its fresh crab market. Here you can buy prawns, squid, tuna and of course crab!

Kep is on this list of 10 things to do in Cambodia with kids for its crab, but if you’re not a fan of crab you should still visit Kep for the fresh crab market. Pick any seafood you like and they’ll cook it for you on the spot. We stayed here for 2 days and had crab and enjoyed different kinds of seafood the next day. It was all very delicious, but I must say that I sometimes still dream about the juicy crab we had in Kep.

Spot gibbons in the jungle of Siem Reap

A mother and baby Gibbon in the jungle in Siem Reap - Cambodia
A male Gibbon in the jungle in Siem Reap - Cambodia

There’s one thing that should be on the top of your list when you visit Siem Reap with teenagers. Go zip lining through the jungle and spot gibbons. This was actually our teen’s highlight of our trip through Cambodia. Kids ages 5 and up can join, but I can imagine that it can be very scary for kids that young. Once you’re up you have to go down via the zip line. It can get really uncomfortable if your kid’s scared and you have to push them along. If your kid isn’t used to activities like this, I wouldn’t start younger than 7 or 8 years old.

Note that gibbons are wild animals that avoid contact with humans. Spotting them is not guaranteed, you actually have to be lucky to catch them. We did see them hanging out in the trees, but we were the first group of the day, at 5pm.

Zip lining in the jungles of Siem Reap - Cambodia
Zip lining through the jungle in Siem Reap - Cambodia

If you want to know what other things you must do in Siem Reap with kids, read my post about Siem Reap.

Read more >> 10 Things to Do In Siem Reap with Kids

Top tours in Siem Reap with kids

Other great things to do in Cambodia with kids

That’s the end of this list of top 10 things to do in Cambodia with kids. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this is by no means meant as a complete list. Before I end this article I do want to give some extra shoutouts.

Here are some other must do’s when in Cambodia:

  • get tickets to the Phare Circus in either Siem Reap or Battambang
  • go on an island hopping tour from Sihanoukville
  • take a hike in the Cardamom Mountains
  • spend some time in Phnom Kulen National Park
  • look out for wildlife in Virachey National Park
  • visit the National Museum in Phnom Penh
  • see thousands of bats leave the Bat Cave in Battambang at night
  • check out the Popokvil Waterfall in the Kampot Province
  • learn about the horrors of the Khmer Rouge reign at the Tuol Sleng Museum and the Killing Fields
The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh - Cambodia
The Killing Fields of Choueng Ek in Phnom Penh - Cambodia

Visiting the Tuol Sleng Museum and the Killing Fields with kids

There are many places where you can learn about the Cambodian Genocide. The Choeung Ek Killing Fields and the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide, both in Phnom Penh, are the most famous examples. While they allow children of all ages, I really wouldn’t bring kids under the age of 13-14 here.

The graphic pictures and videos are difficult to digest and grasp the meaning of as an adult, let alone a child. The cruelty of the regime and its leader is palpable when visiting these sites. Skulls and bones can be seen at the Killing Fields. A tree where they slammed babies and children at to spare bullets is now a place of remembrance.

If you want to read more about visiting these sites with your family, you can read my Phnom Penh with kids article.

Read more >> 10 Things to Do In Phnom Penh with Kids

And with that I end this article of top things to do in Cambodia with kids. Traveling to Cambodia means a family adventure you’ll never forget!

Did you enjoy the best 10 Things to Do In Cambodia with Kids?

If so, read more about family travel in Cambodia

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About me Sas Crossing Countries

Hi, I’m Saskia!

I travel the world with my family of 4 and write about our adventures.

Sas Crossing Countries is a family travel blog. It’s created to inspire other parents to travel the world with their kids. Gift your kids the world! It’s the most valuable present you can give them.

With all the experience I have as a traveling parent I’ve got lots of tools and tips for you. So on this site you’ll not only find family travel blog posts, you can also download FREE pocket guides, travel checklists and eBooks from my resources page.

All that I share can be used to plan your own ultimate family road trip!

Get FREE ebook The Ultimate Beginners Guide: Planning a Family Road TripHeymondo 5% discount on insurance when following this linkVisit our travel shop!Download my FREE printable packing listsBuy your 3D wooden world map @ Enjoy The Wood with 10% discount code SASCROSSINGCOUNTRIESUPBecome a member of my private family travel Facebook groupLink to shop The Adventure BookRent a car via Discover CarsGet my free downloadable family travel pocket guidesDownload my FREE printable bucket lists

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About me Sas Crossing Countries

Hi, I’m Saskia!

I travel the world with my family of 4 and write about our adventures.

Sas Crossing Countries is a family travel blog. It’s created to inspire other parents to travel the world with their kids. Gift your kids the world! It’s the most valuable present you can give them.

With all the experience I have as a traveling parent I’ve got lots of tools and tips for you. So on this site you’ll not only find family travel blog posts, you can also download FREE pocket guides, travel checklists and eBooks from my resources page.

All that I share can be used to plan your own ultimate family road trip!

Get FREE ebook The Ultimate Beginners Guide: Planning a Family Road TripHeymondo 5% discount on insurance when following this linkVisit our travel shop!Download my FREE printable packing listsBuy your 3D wooden world map @ Enjoy The Wood with 10% discount code SASCROSSINGCOUNTRIESUPBecome a member of my private family travel Facebook groupLink to shop The Adventure BookRent a car via Discover CarsGet my free downloadable family travel pocket guidesDownload my FREE printable bucket lists