Battambang, Siem Reap

Who Went?  One 4yo, one 22mo, mum and dad.

Review: A great little itinerary. The hotel in Phnom Penh had a pool and a restaurant serving Western food which, combined with the ride to Battambang, provided just the right amount of acclimatisation. The tour of Battambang was hectic but engaging and flexible – a real crowd-pleaser. The next few days were restful and provided an opportunity to split up and allow for a bit of a breather before the grand finale – the Temples of Angkor. Travel was arranged to fit around the Angkor Half Marathon. Cambodia is an easy place to travel  – the tourist industry at major destinations (such as the ones we visited) is well-organised, efficient and hassle-free. You can organise everything through your accommodation at any sort of notice with no more than a brief chat to reception. A variety of different foods are widely available. Locals are friendly and helpful and welcoming of young children. A relaxed place, not too overwhelming for kids and adults alike.

Highlights: tuk tuks, bamboo railway, moto ride, fishing village trip, temples.

Challenges: Unexpectedly, the eldest found the temples scary. Youngest wasn’t old enough to be interested (this part was expected). This problem was resolved with a couple of minor adjustments. We gave the eldest a list of things to “spotto” around the temple complex (a statue with a head, a water wheel, etc) which took his mind off the spookiness. Then we took turns seeing the temples/running the kids around in the open spaces outside the temples. This worked well, but we decided a second day was pushing it so left it there in favour of bumming around Siem Reap on the final day. Otherwise, wouldn’t change anything.

Price Bracket: Moderate (low end)

Three Photos:

Temple ruins.

Temple ruins.

Bamboo railway.

Bamboo railway.

Afternoon tea on the road in the tuk tuk.

Afternoon tea on the road in the tuk tuk.

Itinerary:

Day One

  • Fly Singapore to Phnom Penh (2hrs), taxi to hotel (30 minutes)
  • Overnight Phnom Penh (stay packed) – swim at hotel pool, dinner

Day Two

  • Taxi Phnom Penh to Battambang (5-6hrs) – local roadhouse lunch, deep-fried spiders!
  • Short walk around town
  • Overnight Battambang

Day Three

  • Tour Battambang (full day) – tuk tuk, bamboo railway, moto ride, temples, temple ruins, winery, village life, countryside and scenery, local food stalls and fruit shops
  • Overnight Battambang

Day Four

  • Pack/Local Sightseeing – riverside walk, food stalls, market
  • Taxi Battambang to Siem Reap (3hrs)
  • Swim at hotel pool, dinner at hotel
  • Overnight Siem Reap

Day Five

  • Split Up – Rest Day/Fishing Village Tour (half day – 4-5hrs)
  • Fishing village tour (older child) – tuk tuk ride, motor boat trip, canoe trip, floating village, stop off at fishing village
  • Rest day (younger child) – swim at pool, long nap, tuk tuk ride, walk around Siem Reap, play at park
  • Register for Angkor Half Marathon (Dad)
  • Overnight Siem Reap

Day Six

  • Split Up – Angkor Half Marathon/Rest Day/Shopping/Local Sightseeing
  • Angkor Half Marathon (Dad) – early morning start, followed by a cool-off in the pool and a read on the bed til the afternoon
  • Shopping and local sightseeing (older child) – central market, local sightseeing after lunch
  • Rest Day and local sightseeing (younger child) – swim at pool, long nap, local sightseeing after lunch
  • Overnight Siem Reap

Day Seven

  • Temples of Angkor by tuk tuk (full day) – temple spotto, outdoor play
  • Overnight Siem Reap

Day Eight

  • Pack/Local Sightseeing – Royal Gardens, temple, walk around town, icecream, post office
  • Fly Siem Reap to Singapore in evening (2hrs)
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