SIEM REAP FOR FAMILIES – THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN SIEM REAP WITH KIDS
Siem Reap is family-friendly, believe me, it truly is! It’s a special place and there is lots to do in Siem Reap for families. I was worried about travelling to Cambodia with kids but we found it pretty simple to navigate our way around and there are plenty of family-friendly activities in Siem Reap. We were lucky enough to have a whole week to dedicate to visiting the temples and exploring the town. Here are our top things to do in Siem Reap with kids.
There are so many great things to do in Siem Reap with kids, Some of these we did and others we just didn’t have time for. I have heard from other travel bloggers that they are fantastic, so will include them on my list.
We like to arrange most things ourselves but if you want to book any specific tours then check out Klook for the best options and prices. Also, make sure you buy a copy of the Lonely Planet for all your research, there is so much information online these days but we always love to have our Lonely Planet with us.
In no particular order, here are some fantastic family-friendly activities in Siem Reap.
What you can find in this post
The temples for Angkor
I think I researched pretty thoroughly, and we all loved the temples which we visited. There are plenty to explore and it depends what takes your fancy, but for us it was to find the temples in their more ‘natural’ state where we were able to climb and explore. Angkor Wat was the most ‘civilised’ but we still found enough areas to explore. Give yourself plenty of time (a whole week for Siem Reap was perfect) and space out your temple visits. A maximum of 2 temples in a morning was plenty for us.
Ned and Olive had a ball exploring at our first temple. The waiting in the beginning for the sunrise was tiring (after the alarm went off at 4.ooam!) but once we were able to explore they were super happy – there were enough dark corridors, passageways and stairs to climb and explore to keep us all entertained for hours. Angkor Wat was a great temple to explore with kids.
I’ve written about our visit to Beng Mealea. There is lots to explore and therefore makes the list of top things to do in Siem Reap with kids. I did have high hopes for this temple and were initially disappointed as we timed our arrival poorly with a bus load of tourists. We were hoping for more exploring but once we found some ‘secret’ entrances to get off the beaten path we fell more in love with this temple. It actually still gives me goosebumps!
Our favourite temple and I think it would be the favourite of many kids. Lots to explore, climb, walk though and climb over – need I say more! Definitely one of the top things to do in Siem Reap with kids!
This was a huge temple over a large site so there was lots of walking and lots of exploring. This was the first temple we explored with big massive trees which had been left to take over the temple as they wish. Definitely one of the best things to do with kids in Siem Reap.
Bees Unlimited Tour
We wanted to make sure we had time to explore the countryside around Siem Reap and we had the most amazing day with Dani from Bees Unlimited. This was a great one-day tour and there is no way we could have seen and done what did if we were on our own. The kids loved everything on this tour.
Dani has a couple of tours available but he will tailor the tour to exactly what you would like to see. He even takes the time to visit you the night before your tour and run you through the plans for the day. We were not interested in trying the ‘cupping’ experience, so we missed this. But we were super keen to visit the local market and sample local food – so there was plenty of this. Definitely add a tour with Bees Unlimited to your itinerary. For more information you can visit here. This is definitely one of the top things to do in Siem Reap with kids.
We had a family massage at Lemongrass Massage. This was something I had read about before leaving and really wanted to try. Ross really hates a massage! But, I made him come along (and it can’t have been that bad as we all went again in Vietnam.!) There is no need to pre-book and this wasn’t an issue. Although, I suppose it all depends on how busy they are at that particular time! We were taken through to the first room where we all had our feet washed. The kids were not really sure what was going on…We all then went upstairs and there was a family room for us all. We had a masseur each and the kids had a choice of back and head or feet. Olive was fine but Ned was very tentative so he had his feet massaged which he was happy with.
The kids (and Ross’s head massage) massages were about 45 minutes and mine was 1 hour. It was very relaxing and a Khmer massage was a different experience as you had clothes on (rather than a towel) and sat up for part of the massage.
We were all totally relaxed when it was time to leave and we definitely recommend this as a great family activity whilst in Siem Reap.
We only had one night exploring Pub Street. We wanted to stay away from the main tourist area and eat down the side streets but the night we went into Pub Street was lots of fun. The kids once again were absolutely fascinated. It was loud and light and people were everywhere. There were tuk tuk bars with flashing lights, ice cream tuk tuk’s and of course snakes and spiders on sticks. We didn’t try any but we did spend 50c on a photo. The restaurants were all very full with tourists – it felt completely different to the smaller restaurants we had been eating at. It definitely needs to be experienced but one night was enough for us.
Enjoying smoothies and ice creams
The fruit smoothies were awesome! So often we had a liquid lunch for $1 (sometimes I even had a liquid lunch of the alcohol variety as the mojito’s were only 50 cents!!!!). You can get them everywhere. Mango was the best. I don’t think there are kids that wouldn’t enjoy these smoothies and of course ice creams!
This was something that was on our list of things to do but unfortunately Olive was too short. We tried to think of ways that we could get around this i.e. have a nanny to come with us while the rest of us had fun. But it just didn’t seem fair!! We had a fun time ziplinging in Hawaii though!!! You can read more about the zip lining experience in Siem Reap from another family here.
This is another thing we ran out of time for. Well actually, the main reason we didn’t go was because they only had evening shows at the time which didn’t start till 8pm. This was just too late for the kids who were just exhausted every night. I would have like to have gone – next time! It gets great reviews for both adults and kids. Check out more information here. You might get lucky and find they have an afternoon show when you are visiting.
Tonle Sap Lake
We visited Siem Reap in June, which is the start of the wet season, so we didn’t bother with a trip to the lake. If you are there towards the end of the wet season, or any time that lake is full, it would be a fascinating experience for a family, as all the houses are built on stilts.
Angkor National Museum and War Museum
We didn’t visit these two museums and I think they are better suited to older kids but apparently are both terrific.
Siem Reap Cinema
I was really hoping that we would get to the Siem Reap cinema, but we just ran out of time. There are private cinemas available for each family. You get to pick your movie out of a book, buy your popcorn and cold drinks and sit back and enjoy!!
Other family friendly activities in Siem Reap
There are other tours to consider including horse riding tours, Buffalo tours, plus mini golf and a visit to the Cultural Centre. Go Live Young, another family travel blog with older children also has a post on top things to do in Siem Reap with kids. They have some slightly different activities which may take your fancy including a Quad Bike Ride.
Hope you enjoyed this great guide looking at the best things to do in Siem Reap with kids.
So there you have it. A family-friendly guide to Siem Reap. This list is by no means everything there is to do for families; Ned and Olive also loved the time we spent swimming in the hotel pool and walking around in the evening.
If there is anything I have missed; please let me know in the comments below.
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