Discovering Siem Reap, we also discovered that it is a fairly new place to travel as a family from the Western World.
When we travelled to Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam we would always see people travelling with children but it was not until our last day in Siem Reap that we saw any other children and they were infact a little older than my two.
Here is our list of the best things to do with kids while exploring Siem Reap: Part ONe TOp 5!
1. Minature Angkor World.
It is in a wonderful old garden with a loft you can look over the whole garden. It does need some restoration but is good for kids to explore the details of the temples without dragging them to the real ones in the heat.
Cost- $1.50 per adult.
Location- I cannot find the exact address but over the river in the Wat Bo area. ( just ask your tuk tuk driver)
The museum is found as you drive NW on Road 6 to Siem Reap airport from Siem Reap town, it will be a right turning.
There is an old sign as you turn and it's up a really bumpy road alongside some big hotel. I always find that bizarre that as soon as the hotel wall stops no care is taken. People staying in these hotels would not even know this place or the real people even existed.
The museum charges $3 an adult and then you drive through to the actual grounds.
It is set on a big block of land and seems very authentic as it's muggy and hot and you are walking through jungle like trees and seeing so many war machines.
You can opt for a volunteer guide at the start which I would recommend as it just gives the tour so much more life and substance. Even though it is volunteer it is also benficial to the giude to give a little donation at the end ( we gave our guide $20)
All guides have been injured as a result of serving in the army and landmine injuries.
Our guide had lost his wife and child to landmines as recently as 2 years ago. He also showed us the landmine pellet under his skin on his knee. He had lost half a leg and also some eye injuries as well as many a battle scar on his body.
Some of the tankers still have bones in them and the stories that go along with these visuals is quite confronting. It is amamzing to see that some of the tankers and bombers only stopped being used 9 years ago.
I found the experience very educational and moving and Cooper still talks about the different landmines and what and who can detect them. It might sound a little much for a 5 year old to take in but it was described very simply and factually without being too graphic.
3. Lucky Plaza/Kids world indoor play centre.
There is a play centre on the top floor of a shopping centre just on the other side of the river. It is up a huge flight of stairs.
Cost- .50c per child.
extra coins for rides/games at about .20 a turn.
Although not at all cultural as such it was a great place to escape the heat for an afternoon.
There is a separate playground that would be from ages 0-6 years then machine games for older kids.
There are also ride on toys that you put a coin in and hope that your 2 year old does not drive down the big stairs!
Fast food available, USA style and a heap of staff hanging around.
WE stayed for about an hour and there were about 3 other kids there.
My kids loved the break from the heat.
4. Butterfly garden/restaurant.
I am unsure about how many actual butterflies we saw but it was at least 5!
The garden setting is beautiful and the big day beds are great to relax and enjoy time together.
Then Menu is a mixture of Asian/French/Western which Cooper loved being able to have a big piece of lemon tart!
There is also room for kids to walk around and explore safely as well as a big pond filled with really big fish.
Staff were warm and friendly however due to a group tour coming in our meals took a really long time but it was lovely to sit still for 2 hours and just be.
They have fans on in the garden to cool you down and the afternoon Siem Reap showers were beautiful while lying on the day beds.
5. Apsara Show and Dinner.
We enjoyed dinner and tradional dancing upstairs at the Temple Restaurant in Pub street.
Meals ranged from around $3-$8 and drink from $1-$8.
The kids loved joining the musicans on stage and having a turn of all the instruments.
AS always the Khmer people either loved or at least put up with my kids touching everything!
The show was wonderful, albeit maybe a little long!, with many different dances and costumes and beauty.
The show started around 7.30 and finshed around 9.30.
The best wayto get home for Cooper was int he back of the ute! " this is so illegal!:......