Family Destination Guide: Cambodia
Cambodia: Why You’ll Love It
Many travel to Cambodia purely to see the spectacular temples of Angkor Wat. These magnificent temples are unrivalled and you can literally spend days exploring the hundreds of temples in varying states of decay (Angkor Wat is the name of the largest and most famous).
What many travellers don’t realise, however, is how much more there is to discover. Away from Cambodia’s main attraction you’ll find a country packed full of things to see and do.
Explore the capital city of Phnom Penh and visit the home to Cambodia’s royal family, take a boat ride along the Mekong River in search of the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin and visit the floating village of Kompong Phluk, a freshwater lake home to traditional fishing villages. Add to the mix friendly people and great food and you’ll find yourself your favourite new family holiday destination.
Cambodia: Why The Kids Will Love It
Cambodia is fantastic for families with lots of activities on offer for children of all ages. Angkor Wat, in particular, is a wonderful destination for kids – a bit like the best outdoor adventure playground ever!
Here children can have their own Tomb Raider or Indiana Jones moment as they discover decaying temple ruins, climb over enormous tree roots and swing on lianas that dangle from the trees overhead.
Elsewhere children can search for dolphins in the Irrawaddy river, relax on white sandy beaches, explore deserted hilltop cities, watch more than a million bats fly out of a cave at sunset, ride bikes along country roads and even hitch a lift on a ‘bamboo train’.
Take a look at one of our sample Cambodia itineraries and remember that this can be tailored to suit the needs of your family.
Scroll down to see our recommended family holidays in Cambodia.
When To Go
Peak season is between December and January when humidity levels are low and there is little rainfall. Otherwise the months between November and March work well and make Cambodia a great choice for a Christmas or half-term break.
Temperatures begin to rise from February onwards with daytime temperatures in April sometime passing 40C. The monsoon rains fall sometime in May or June and can last until October. The rains tend to come in short, sharp bursts so don’t discount this time of year – there are fewer tourists and the temples of Angkor are blanketed in rich, green foliage.
Capital: Phnom Penh
Time: GMT +7
Language: Khmer is the official language. English, French, Chinese and Vietnamese are also spoken.
Voltage: 220 V
Visas: Contact your nearest Cambodian embassy or consulate for up-to-date information for your nationality.
Most visitors arriving by air can obtain a visa for stays of up to 30 days on arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport or Siem Reap International Airport. You will need one passport-sized photo and will be “fined” (US $1) if you don’t have one.
All visitors to Cambodia must have a passport valid for at least six months from the end of your trip. You will not be issued with a visa if your passport has less than six months’ validity left.
Health & Vaccinations: Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before travelling.
The following vaccinations should be considered before holidaying in Cambodia: Diphtheria and Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies and Japanese B Encephalitis, however it is imperative that you discuss your needs with your doctor prior to travel.
Remember to leave enough time before travel to organise your vaccinations as some will require more than one injection over a period of time.
Getting There: There are international airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Phonm Penh is the gateway to the Cambodian capital and Siem Reap is the closest airport to the temples of Angkor. Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, China Eastern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Air Asia and Bangkok Airways are just some of the airlines that fly to and from Cambodia.
Money: Cambodia’s national currency, the Riel (CR) is divided into the following banknotes: CR100,000, 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000, 500 and 100. However US dollars are used almost everywhere.
ATMs can be found in most major cities (dispensing US $). Top end hotels, airline offices and some high-end boutiques accept credit cards but you will be charged and extra percentage for using them.
Safety: Cambodia has become a much safer country to travel in however consult your own government’s travel advisory for more safety advice such as fco.gov.uk.
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Family Holidays in Cambodia
Cambodia is fantastic for families. Angkor Wat is a child’s dream as there are endless temples in various stages of decay and restoration dotted through the jungle. Kids can clamber over ruins, climb on enormous tree roots and swing on lianas that dangle from the trees overhead. Elsewhere there is plenty to keep all the family occupied; search for dolphins in the Irrawaddy, relax on idyllic white sandy beaches, explore deserted hilltop cities, watch more than a million bats fly out of a cave at sunset, ride bikes along country roads and even hitch a lift on a ‘bamboo train’.
Family Hotels in Cambodia
We have not yet reviewed any hotels in Cambodia. If you have a hotel recommendation and/or would like to review a hotel for globetotting we’d love to hear from you. Contact us.