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Why travel to Cambodia – Complete guide for all traveling families

by Emiel Van Den Boomen

January. The annual recurring event of picking our next holiday destination has arrived.
‘Where to travel this year? Cambodia maybe?’, my wife asks.

You shake your head; an intuitive reaction. I mean, traveling with our kids to Thailand was easy and really perfect, but Cambodia?

‘Why not? Why are you doubting?’, she asks, not wanting to give up that easily.

I am thinking about why I thought Cambodia would be a challenging destination for our family. Is it the gruesome history of the Khmer regime? The lack of train routes which we liked so much while traveling in Thailand? Or just a fear of the unknown?

Travel to Cambodia with children

Fast forward a couple of months. I am so happy we decided to travel to Cambodia and to bring our kids on this exciting journey. It has been a trip that none of us will ever forget. The beauty of the Angkor temples, the kindness of the people we met, but also the impressive (and indeed, sometimes gruesome) reminders of the past. Travel isn’t always fun only, it’s an education as well.

“The world inspires but it’s important to know its truth. The world’s truth can bring us to tears or make us smile. We want our children to encounter different cultures and people early in life.” – from: Texture of a good travel life.

Your next trip to Cambodia

To help you make the right choice I have collected all our Cambodian travel stories. We took our children to each of these places, including the Killing Fields and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. That is one part of Cambodia. The country also offers a relaxing rural experience in Battambang, some of the world’s most stunning temples at Angkor, and just an overall inviting and friendly atmosphere. Here is an overview of all our stories. Just click on the blue colored title to read it.

Faces of Cambodia

This post is a tribute to the people of Cambodia, young and old. Wherever we went we encountered smiling faces. Some we photographed and I am happy to share them in this post.

Faces of Cambodia

Five essential things to do in Battambang

At first glance it seems like Battambang is a sleepy, rural city with not really much to do. Luckily there is more to Battambang than first meets the eye!

Things to do in Battambang

Bamboo train in Battambang

A train without a particular destination – just a bumpy ride up and down a 12km track passing beautiful and lush green Cambodian sceneries. Please do check before you travel there as rumors have it the Bamboo train has been closed.

Bamboo train

Killing fields

The road from Phnom Penh to the Killing Fields: a normal road with the regular traffic chaos, roadside shops and little foodstalls. But driving towards the Fields I found myself starting to feel uncomfortable. This is our story including tips for bringing your children along.

Killing fields with kids

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

Some people ask me about our trip to Cambodia and whether we were confronted a lot with the cruel part of its history. Everywhere in Cambodia you will encounter evidence of this terrible period. You can escape it by closing your eyes. But closing your eyes to me equals denial. Therefore, please do visit this museum.

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

Our favorite Angkor temples

Our local Siem Reap town guide called Angkor a “Masterpiece of humankind”. And it is. Angkor offers you the impressive remains of the Khmer Empire and therefore is one of the most important archeological sites in South-East Asia. This is an overview of our favorite temples!

Favorite Angkor temples

Magnificent Angkor Thom: a city within Angkor

Faces of Bayon, Terrace of the Elephants, Baphuon, Gate of the Dead, Terrace of the Leper King – after reading these names on the map we were so ready to visit Angkor Thom! And we spent hours; it’s magnificent.

Faces of Bayon temple

Trees and temples: famous Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm is unbelievable. It is famous for the temples that are overgrown and covered by trees. Ta Prohm has been left as it was found, showing exactly what the jungle can do when it takes over control.

Ta Prohm

Ready to visit Cambodia? Thanks for visiting Act of Traveling.

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