Family Friendly Cambodia Tour: Phnom Penh, Kampong Thom & Siem Reap

A 7 day trip to Cambodia 
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Whether ancient imperial kings or intricate reliefs that depict powerful gods, family comes first on this custom tailored tour through Cambodia. Traverse the ruins of ancient temples that have been taken over by the jungle. Venture through the expansive Angkor citadel to witness the ancient architecture and artistry of the Khmer empire. From the culture of the capital city to the undiscovered temples that predate the glorious empire of Angkor, you will create lasting memories with the ones you love, set against the backdrop of an everlasting adventure.

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General Information

Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Siem Reap, Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh, Kampong Thom

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: When the Family Arrives

Phnom Penh is filled with vibrant life. It is a city that sits between the delicate currents of the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers. The riverfront holds a wide promenade shaded by tall palms and decorated with elegant flowerbeds. The French Colonial buildings display an image of the country’s history. The Central Market is painted a daffodil yellow. Your private transfer meets you at the airport and takes the family to your accommodation at the city center.

Your hotel is close to the riverfront and a rooftop pool offers a view of the water in the short distance. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. You can choose to explore the contemporary comforts of the promenade or you can visit Wat Phnom, the most famous temple in the city. The entrance to the temple is decorated with a large clock molded out of the flowerbed. Its diameter reaches over 65 feet.

The temple was constructed in the 14th century and the stupa stands at over 88 feet tall. Stone lions stand proudly at each architectural corner. The garden contains a sitting statue of King Sisowath. The temple’s beauty is as captivating as the numerous statues that surround the complex. You find a collection of murals on the bottom levels balancing the storytelling with traditional and modern elements. The temple is a marvelous representation of the city, an ancient site with contemporary history and filled with endless splendor for the whole family to enjoy.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation

Day 2: A Powerful Revival

The morning is calm and sleepy. The streets have yet to fill with their former energetic bustle. Small fishing trolleys make their way out onto the river and surf the current. When the sun fully rises the streets return to their active pace. After a full breakfast your private guide meets the family. You are ready to make your way along the various neighborhoods to see the city’s sensational culture. The Royal Palace is an unmistakable complex that was constructed in the 19th century.

The spires of the Throne Hall are thin and gilded. The traditional Khmer architecture is graceful against the background of vast blue sky.  Pillars outline the upper terrace of Throne Hall and create the image of a colonnade. When you come to the Silver Pagoda it is hard not be captivated by the exceptional collection of lavish Buddha images. The Emerald Buddha was molded in the 17th century out of baccarat crystal. It captures the sunlight and sparkles in the refracted light.

The kids are as mesmerized by the colors and history as you are by the Buddha’s size. Another image is a near life-size Maitreya Buddha, molded using mostly gold, and covered in over 9,500 diamonds. The majesty of the Silver Pagoda enraptures the entire family for different reasons, from the artistry of the architecture to the extreme opulence of the statues. Your tour of the city continues. Every minute is unique. The entire family hangs on every word and every image, and you know that all of it is educational.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 3: Overtaken Temples

You find charm in the morning ritual of the fishermen. They set out each morning in search of the daily catch, their nets cast over the surface of the river as the colorful boat waded in the water. You leave the ritual and the riverside behind. Your private transfer takes you to Sambor Prei Kuk, a magnificent temple complex that predates the famous ancient city of Angkor. The oldest temples were constructed in the 7th century. The complex is equal parts exploration and discovery. You journey around the verdant fields and lush forest in search of the brick and laterite temples. It’s almost like a family scavenger hunt. Octagonal towers are decorated with lingams that symbolize Shiva. Ponds are found intermittently.

Lion sculptures stand in front of temple portals. The deeper you venture into the complex the more interesting the mixture of nature and architecture. Some temples are overrun with tree roots. The roots are tangled around the brick and the tree sprouts from the edifice, as if given life from the temple instead of the earth. A handcraft market is located at the entrance and gives insight into the traditional handicrafts of local villagers. Baskets and paintings of the temples are displayed. The images you just explored are immortalized in artwork, down to the intricate earthen decay that came with time.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, tour, transfer, accommodation

Day 4: Life on the Lake

The landscape of Cambodia is lush and alluring. The trees give way to vast fields of rice paddies. The greenery comes in various shades. After breakfast you venture to the shores of Tonle Sap Lake and step aboard a boat. Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and provides water for the fertile fields and sprawling forest. The depths of the lake vary from wet to dry season; its area expands from 1,000 square miles to over 6,200 square miles. You drift past longtail boats and stoic fishermen. The villages that strewn the shore change to villages located on the water, rising on stilts. The breeze is refreshing.

The local villagers wave to you as you pass. Their homes are painted vibrant colors that can be seen from a distance. Ladders rise from the water and give villagers access to their homes from the lake’s surface. You see a boat filled with children on their way home from school. They wave emphatically as you cross paths. The culture of Tonle Sap is different than anything your family has experienced. Your children are curious and intrigued. The water is cool as it mists around you. In the afternoon you will arrive in Siem Reap and settle into your hotel. The luxurious accommodation brings the traditional Khmer style to modern comfort.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, tour, transfer, accommodation

Day 5: Family Exploration of an Empire

The morning comes and brings a specific energy to the surrounding city streets. The French Quarter is brimming with the aroma of pressed coffee and fresh baked pastries. The sweet and buttery scent of a flaky croissant is intoxicating. The family is met at the hotel and quickly escorted to the western gateway of Angkor Wat. History is now more than just a photograph but a tangible, ineffable temple that stands just beyond the stone gate. Statues of lions flank the bridge that leads to Angkor Wat.

They snarl and have guarded the sacred site since the 12th century. The moat is 190 feet wide and encircles the entire temple wall. When you exit the gateway the entire family is stunned. Angkor Wat stands before you in full majesty. The five towers represent the five peaks of Mount Meru, home of the gods. The central tower rises 213 feet from floor to tip. The scent of sandalwood drifts from burning incense. You are eager to enter the temple and explore.

It feels like you have stepped inside a movie, endlessly searching for the next ancient artifact. The pillars in the first gallery are square. The ceiling is decorated with lotus emblems. Apsaras can be found dancing on all the gallery walls creating a universal motif that ties the temple carvings together. Stairways and avenues wind you through the artwork and ancient design. Gods and men are carved into the sandstone and are depicted in legends and myths. The kids are enthralled and the family has found a true wonder of ancient history.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 6: Memorable Family Adventure

Outside of the Angkor complex is a series of temples that bring adventure to life. The jungle turns into the encompassing terrain and the ruins feel undiscovered. Today you will uncover the secrets of Beng Melea, a temple complex believed to have been constructed in the 12th century. It is always exciting to see the family’s enthusiasm when exploring history. To the right of the main entrance you can find the carven images of the god of fire situated over the portal.

Enter into the temple’s center and see the overbearing jungle grasping stonewalls and reliefs. Climb over fallen stones and see the moss growing along the temple. The corridor is dark but impressive. The pillars are strong and thick. You notice the arched angle of the colonnade. Naga statues continue to stand beneath the shading trees. The multi-headed snake statues are common in Khmer religious décor.  The mixture of manmade temples and sprawling greenery is wondrous. Later in the day you continue to the exceptionally decorated walls of Banteay Srei. The 10th century temples sit in a clearing surrounded by the jungle.

The complex is known for the exceptional and delicate reliefs that offer detailed insight into religious beliefs and everyday life. The red sandstone pops against the background of lush trees. The temple’s doors are decorated with dvarapalas, spiritual guardians. The sanctuary has a door less than five-feet tall. The central tower stands over 32 feet high. The stairway is guarded by replicas of traditional kneeling statues of human-animal hybrids. When you traverse the grounds you are doing more than witnessing historic artwork and exceptional architecture, you are walking among them.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, tour, accommodation

Day 7: Always More to Explore

The morning brings the familiar energy back to the city streets. Outside of the French Quarter you can see farmers sitting atop carts that are pulled by strong cows. The carts are filled with vibrant produce en route to the market. Enjoy the morning at your leisure. Explore the indulgent aromas of the French Quarter or visit the exceptional Les Artisanss D’Angkor, a traditional handcrafts shop dedicated to the skilled workman in and around the city. You can find engraved images of Bayon faces and replicas of Angkor Wat. Over 1,000 craftsmen are trained and supported through the traditions of Khmer arts and crafts. In the afternoon you gather the family and are taken to the airport for your flight home. Soon Cambodia will be behind you but the memories you made as a family will always be present.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer

For more travel options, browse the package tours to Cambodia on Zicasso.


Starting Price 

This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.