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The Top 10 Things to Do In Siem Reap With Kids

Cambodia is quickly becoming an increasingly popular Asian travel destination. For decades on end travelers visited Cambodia for the temples of Angkor. This is why Siem Reap is often the top place to visit in Cambodia. But this city is much more than that. That’s why it’s time to share the best 10 things to do in Siem Reap with kids. Of course, the temples of Angkor are also part of this top 10!

Siem Reap is the capital of Siem Reap Province and it sees the most tourists in all of Cambodia. But still the crowds aren’t nearly as heavy as other Southeast Asian cities like Bangkok in Thailand or Hanoi in Vietnam. To be fair, the size of Siem Reap or even Phnom Penh can’t compare to these examples. But it really doesn’t even come close. That’s why a visit to Siem Reap can be a very relaxing city trip.

A tuk tuk ride in Siem Reap - Cambodia

Why Siem Reap is a great choice for a family visit

Visiting Siem Reap with kids is a no brainer when on a family road trip through Cambodia. The biggest draw of Siem Reap, located in Northwestern Cambodia, are the temples. Siem Reap is the gateway to the temples of Angkor. Who hasn’t seen pictures of Angkor Wat? Exploring these temples is a fun thing to do in Siem Reap for kids. They are allowed to climb on a lot of ruins, just make sure they don’t climb on any religious structures, like buddha’s or shrines. Lots of the temples are toddler friendly as well.

Other top things to do in Siem Reap that kids will love are zip lining, mini golf, bike rides and maybe even a ride in a hot air balloon. If you want to all these must do’s in Siem Reap make sure you stay 5 days in Siem Reap. Two full temple days and three to experience the rest in a relatively slow pace. If you don’t have that much time spend 3 days in Siem Reap. One temple day and two days to do the rest.

Read more >> Ultimate Family Road Trip Guide: Cambodia

Read more >> 10 Things to Do In Cambodia with kids

Cambodians are very friendly people, kids are welcomed with open arms in every restaurant and shop.

The only negative thing I can mention is that the infrastructure isn’t all that great. Rides in a Remorque (the Cambodian Tuk Tuk) or cars can be bumpy. Bringing a stroller isn’t advised, if your toddler needs to be carried around, use a (back) carrier.

Paying in Siem Reap

ATMs offer both US dollars and Cambodian Riel. While it’s better for your wallet to take the Riel, it’s best to opt for the dollars. Most sites, restaurants and hotels return money in dollars anyway. And it’s very difficult to know if you’re being scammed when riel and dollars are being mixed.

When to visit Siem Reap

Cambodia is hot all year round. It doesn’t have a real winter. In March temperatures get above 30° Celsius. April and May are unbearably hot, around 40° and sometimes even higher. So try and avoid those months.

June to August is the rainy season. The lush greens all over Cambodia are beautiful. It’s a quieter time, with less visitors and more families who can only travel during the summer holiday. Downpour generally won’t last the entire day, but it can happen.

I’ve already mentioned that the infrastructure isn’t that great in and around Siem Reap. Most roads outside of the city center are unpaved or dirt roads. Especially anywhere around the temples of Angkor. During the rainy season, heavy rainfall results in extremely muddy roads you can’t enter. Flooding also occurs regularly during this season.

Peak season is late December to late February when its cooler and drier, know that pre-booking is advised and the prices are at its highest.

We visited in December and experienced temperatures between 25° and 30° Celsius, during our 5 days in Siem Reap with kids. We did all the exploring in the morning and spend afternoons somewhere indoor and at the hotel pool.

How to get there

Fly

The best way to get to Siem Reap is by traveling to Siem Reap and staying there. Siem Reap International Airport is easy to navigate through and you can fly here from Ho Chi Minh City (1h15min) or Hanoi (Vietnam) in 1h45min, Bangkok (Thailand) in 1 hour. And, of course also from Cambodia‘s capital Phnom Penh in 55 min. When flying domestically or within Southeast Asia your best option is to book your tickets from 12Go. They often have the best deals and while they keep expanding their portfolio, their offers are still the best within Asia.

There are no direct flights available to Siem Reap from countries outside of Asia. So know that you’d have to deal with at least one layover. Some flights from Middle Eastern countries like the United Arab Emirates or Qatar land in Phnom Penh, but flying into both cities internationally is quite expensive.

Bus

So what’s the better option? Fly into Bangkok and then travel overland into Cambodia via a sleeper bus. 9 hours after hopping on the bus, you’ll arrive in Siem Reap.

You can also fly into Ho Chi Minh City and take the bus to Phnom Penh. Explore this not to miss city first and then take the bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. This will take you 6 hours. It’s what we did and we loved the experience. Again, use 12Go, they are a specialist when it comes to transportation in Asia.

You can’t travel to Siem Reap by train. There are 2 train networks in Cambodia. They run to and from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh to Poipet.

Powered by 12Go system

Book the right sleeper train

If you want to take a sleeper train, be cautious when buying tickets. Lots of accidents happen with sleeper trains in Cambodia. Most companies want to get there in 6 hours, but the roads don’t permit that in the dark.

There are some companies who are safe to travel with. We went with Giant Ibis. The journey from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap on their sleeper train takes 7,5 hours. They also have 2 drivers on board who take turns in driving.

While other sleeper trains may seem more comfortable or spacious, we opted for safety and booked with Giant Ibis. The seats are not fully flat and if you’re tall you probably can’t stretch fully. But other than that we were happy with our choice. We got blankets, there was a toilet on board and we had wifi and aircon. Do wear warm clothes though, because they leave the airconditioning on all night and it got a bit chilly.

In the morning you’ll be well rested and ready to start exploring Siem Reap with kids.

Getting around Siem Reap

Once you’re installed it’s time to explore the top 10 things to do in Siem Reap with kids. But how do you get around town?

Private driver

You could hire a private driver to bring you to all the different sites. If you want someone to drive you around for about 4 hours, it will cost you between 30 to 40 USD. If you want to hire a private driver for a few days, you should contact them beforehand to discuss all the sites you want to see and set a price.

There are also drivers that are licensed guides, you can book a tour to visit some of the Angkor temples with kids, including transport by car. You can book this via Get Your Guide.

Read more >> Best Angkor Temples to Visit With Kids

Remorque

In the center of Siem Reap and near the entrance of the Angkor Archeological Park you’ll find lots of remorque’s, the Cambodian Tuk Tuk. Find an English speaking driver and see if you can make a deal. One remorque can fit 2 adults and 2 children max. Exploring Siem Reap by remorque for one day should cost you 20 – 25 USD.

Bycicle

Our favorite is biking around Siem Reap. In fact, it’s such a great and convenient thing to do, that we added it to this list of best 10 things to do in Siem Reap. Lots of large hotels, but also guesthouses and AirBnB’s offer bikes for you to use during your stay. With our own bikes we had the freedom of leaving and going whenever we wanted.

Top tours in Siem Reap with kids

10 things to do in Siem Reap with kids

Ace a hole in one at Angkor Wat Putt

Enjoy the circus at Phare

Go zip lining through the jungle

Rent a bike and explore the city

Board a hot air balloon over Siem Reap

Take a boat ride in Tonlé Sap

Eat ants at the Night Market

Visit the Preah Ang Chek Preah Ang Chorm Temple & Royal Gardens

Exploring Angkor Archeological Park

Watch the sun set over Angkor Wat

Ace a hole in one at Angkor Wat Putt

Toddler playing at Angkor Putt in Siem Reap - Cambodia

Playing mini golf in Siem Reap probably isn’t the first thing you think about when planning a trip to this city. But it’s a very fun activity to do as a family and a nice break from visiting all the temples in this town.

The cool thing is that you can find pretty accurate replicas of the Angkor temples in between the 14 miniature golf holes. That makes this place even cooler to visit.

Angkor Wat Putt is opened daily from 8am to 8pm and there’s no need to book tickets ahead of time.

Enjoy the circus at Phare

Phare, the Cambodian circus is a lovely show with dance, live music, a little bit of drama and of course amazing circus acts. Don’t worry, there are no animals doing any tricks and no scary clowns. It’s more like a cirque du soleil kinda circus.

Phare offers acts like human trapeze, juggling, acrobats and even fire-eaters, all without involving animals.

Unfortunately I can’t show you any pics, because the lighting caused us to mess up all the pictures. You have to take our word for it that a visit to Phare circus is one of the best activities to do in Siem Reap with kids.

Go zip lining through the jungle

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

After watching all these trapeze acts, you might get the urge to hang from a rope yourself. Treat your family to an amazing zip lining adventure through the jungles of Siem Reap. This was the most amazing experience we had in Siem Reap. The sounds of the jungle surrounded us and there were very exciting challenges along the way. Some zip lines were scarier than others.

We saw children from 6 years old taking up this challenge. But I have to say that I did see some tears and heard some very frightened screams. Our son was 11yo and said that he felt some anxiety at the first and second line. He loved it, but I guess it kind of depends on the child. Some kids are a little more cautious than others. I think, generally speaking, somewhere between 8 and 10 years old is a good age for this challenge.

Top Zipline tours with kids

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

Spotting gibbons

When we arrived at Angkor Zipline, we heard monkeys. We saw the team of the zipline company running outside and pointing at some trees. We followed their gaze and spotted a family of gibbons. A mom with a baby around her waist and their father making his way to the branch where she was sitting.

We got extremely lucky to see them up close like that. From what we’ve heard, you can often spot them while zip lining. But mostly from a larger distance. They’re not really a fan of humans and try to stay away from us.

So when you’re here, keep an eye out for these beautiful (and big!) monkeys.

Rent a bike and explore the city

Biking around in Siem Reap - Cambodia
Biking around 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.

If you get a mountain bike you can go off road a bit, which is very fun with (pre)teens. That’s why this activity is part of the top 10 things to do in Siem Reap with kids. It’s also a very cheap thing to do in Siem Reap.

Board a hot air balloon over Siem Reap

We’ve just mentioned a cheap thing to do in Siem Reap, but next on this list of 10 things to do in Siem Reap with kids, definitely isn’t! Buying tickets for a hot air balloon is never a cheap activity, but it is a beautiful experience!

Get a bird’s eye view of Siem Reap from a hot air balloon. Every day at sunrise, in good weather, the balloons take off about a km from Angkor Wat. It will take about 40-70 minutes, depending on the wind. The views you will get when soaring over the city will be breathtaking and kids will love it. You’ll get fantastic views of Angkor Wat and also of Baray. Every day the balloons depart at sunrise and sunset.

This will definitely by a family outing you’ll never forget.

Take a boat ride in Tonlé Sap

Kids fishing in Tonlé Sap - Cambodia

On the outskirts of Siem Reap, all the way to the south, you’ll find Tonlé Sap. The largest 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.

There aren’t a lot of places to stay here, so don’t bother leaving your accommodation in or around the center of Siem Reap. Your tour operator will pick you up from your hotel Siem Reap. If you’re not staying in a hotel, just mention the one that’s closest to your accommodation and head out there. This is also the place where you’ll be brought back at the end of the tour.

There are half and full day tours, with smaller children I would go for the half day tour.

Eat ants at the Night Market

Eating ants in Cambodia

While visiting Siem Reap Night Market is a great thing to do in itself, we’ve highlighted a weird and fun dish to try to be part of this top 10. At the night market, which is kind of a strange name for this market, since it’s also open during the day, you can find many food stalls. One of the most popular street food dishes in Siem Reap is fried beef with ants and basil.

We tried it and while this beef dish didn’t really taste any different without ants, I tried a spoon filled with ants alone. They actually tasted a bit sour. But overall it’s not a scary thing to eat and actually very tasteful. Eating fried beef with ants is a must when in Siem Reap.

By the way, we also spotted salads with scorpions in them. Since we already ate scorpions at Khao San Road in Bangkok, and didn’t enjoy it, we decided to skip this dish.

Read more >> 10 Things to Do in Bangkok With Kids

Visit the Preah Ang Chek Preah Ang Chorm Temple & Royal Gardens

Preah Ang Chek Preah Ang Chom Temple in Siem Reap - Cambodia

Located west of the Royal Residence, far less impressive than the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, you’ll find a lovely shrine. The Preah Ang Chek Preah Ang Chorm. It’s made in Khmer style and is a beautiful temple that’s still in use.

Right in front of it, you’ll find a market. Visiting both is a nice combination, tell the kids they’ll get ice cream after a visit to this temple and both kids and parents will enjoy this outing.

Read More >> 10 Things to Do In Phnom Penh With Kids

Exploring Angkor Archeological Park

Selfie with Angkor Wat in Siem Reap - Cambodia
South gate of Angkor Thom in Siem Reap - Cambodia

Mixing up visiting the temples with other activities is the best way to experience Siem Reap. Up till now we’ve covered all the activities you must do in Siem Reap with kids, but the most famous one: the temples of Angkor. So let’s talk about it now!

Angkor Wat 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

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

Top Angkor Temple tours with kids

Watch the sun set over Angkor Wat

Last on this top 10 things to do in Siem Reap with kids is another Angkor experience. Experiencing sunset at Angkor Wat.

Sunset at Angkor Wat in Siem Reap - Cambodia

An hour before sunset, people start approaching the two lakes in front of Angkor Wat. They all want the best spot for sunset. While a truly magical experience, the hordes of people kind of take away from the magic. But still it was something we’re glad we didn’t miss out on. Just make sure to be on time, otherwise you’ll have hundreds of people standing in front of your view.

Things to do around Siem Reap with kids

Other things to do around Siem Reap with kids are:

  • visiting the Butterfly Gardens
  • learn about the reign of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge at the Cambodian Landmine Museum
  • take a day trip to the Phnom Kulen waterfall or the Kbal Spean waterfall

That’s it for this top 10 things to do in Siem Reap with kids. Enjoy this amazing city and all it has to offer.

Did you enjoy this list of the Top 10 Things to Do In Siem Reap 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

Comments (4)

    Saskia posted on 07 Apr 2023 at 10:15 pm

    We loved Siem Reap. Thanks for the compliment

    Saskia posted on 07 Apr 2023 at 10:16 pm

    Thank you!

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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