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Updated by Colleen Lanin on Dec 03, 2016
Headline for 10 Things to Do in Cambodia’s Phnom Penh with Kids
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10 Things to Do in Cambodia’s Phnom Penh with Kids

Cambodia might not immediately spring to mind as a family-friendly vacation destination, but it’s an amazing country that offers a lot of great things to do with kids. The Khmer people love children and are some of the most genuine, generous and happy people you will encounter anywhere in the world. Phnom Penh is an an accessible city with numerous family-friendly attractions. Here are 10 things to do Phnom Penh with kids.
1. Visit the Playground at Wat Phnom
A well-maintained playground with equipment for a


A well-maintained playground with equipment for all ages sits just outside Wat Phnom, a temple on a hill known as one of the city’s landmarks. Buy some popcorn and fruit from the nearby venders to eat in Wat Phnom’s gardens but watch out for the monkeys. Although they are cute, the monkeys are can be aggressive if your children have food.

Ride an Elephant

Also at Wat Phnom, you’ll find Sambo, the hard-working elephant offering rides. You might even see him walking down along the waterfront in the afternoon in search of bananas. Bring some bananas of your own to feed him.Phnom Penh Royal Palace in Cambodia


Explore the Royal Palace and Play Traditional Musical Instruments

Explore the Royal Palace and Play Traditional Musical Instruments

Children will love walking on the silver tiles of the Silver Pagoda at the for the clippity-clop noises their feet make. Then explore the gardens filled with flowers and giant topiary trees carved into the shape of animals, teapots and other amazing shapes. A Buddha grotto set on the top of a small manmade hill is the perfect place for a picnic. Keep an ear open for the sound of music coming from the traditional stilt houses near the exit. For a small donation the musician will let your children play the traditional musical instruments and even give them a lesson.


Shop for Toys in the Markets

Phnom Penh has wonderful outdoor markets filled with handicrafts, wooden toys, hairclips, DVDs, children’s clothes and games. In Phnom Penh, the Russian Market, Central Market, and Weekend Night Market are all fantastic. If you’re visiting the Weekend Night Market be sure to have a picnic dinner with the other local families. Don’t worry if your children are fussy eaters – there’s a KFC stand if none of the local fare appeals to them.

Cool Down at the Phnom Penh Water Park

It’s a little run down but the Phnom Penh Water Park is well worth a visit. There are a variety of waterslides, a large jungle gym and lots of shallow areas for smaller kids to enjoy. Weekends are the best time to visit as the largest slides are typically turned off during the week. Make sure you take plenty of sunscreen as there’s not a lot of shade!


Take a Sunset Cruise

River cruises offer an interesting and amazing view of the city as you motor slowly for one to two hours along the Tonle Sap River past the Royal Palace and across to the floating fishing villages on the vast Mekong River. To arrange a cruise just head to the waterfront and look for the guys with boat signs.Even if you don’t want to take a cruise, the riverfront esplanade in Phnom Penh comes to life in the evenings with families out walking. It’s a great place to meet local kids or watch fishermen bringing back their catches. You’ll also find food vendors selling local delicacies. Why not dare Dad to try a cricket, spider or snake?

Dig in the Sandbox at Le Jardin

Tucked away in the inner suburbs, Le Jardin restaurant is heaven for families. As well as serving great crepes and ice cream, the large gardens have a fantastic tree house and sandpit to play in.Fish Pond at the National Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia


Feed Fish at the National Museum

The in Phnom Penh has amazing artefacts and photographs from historical sites around Cambodia. Plus, it offers a hidden treat for children – four ponds filled with large Koi that you can feed.


Visit an Indoor Playground at Sorya Shopping Centre

Visit an Indoor Playground at Sorya Shopping Centre

Sorya Shopping Centre, near the Central Markets, has two indoor playgrounds, a skating rink and amusement arcade. Purchase affordably-priced toys, clothes, and DVDs at the centre during your visit.A tuktuk, a motorbike with carriage that can carry five people, is a great way to explore Phnom Penh (Photo credit: Tracy Burns)

While I don’t recommend taking you’re children to the Killing Fields or S21 for a crash course in recent Cambodian history, you might want to buy one of the many stories written for children on the history of the region on how children in rural Cambodia live or traditional fables. There are also many children’s stories about land mine victims that are well-written and will help your kids understand why so many street beggars, including children, are missing limbs. Monument Bookstore and many non-profit organizations stock a great range of locally written children’s books, with profits going to charity.I love all that Cambodia has to offer families so much that one guest post couldn’t contain it all. Read my picks for the best kid-friendly spots in Cambodia’s Siem Reap!Would you consider a trip to Phnom Penh with kids? Share your thoughts in the comments below!Tracy Burns, her husband, Colin, and two young children are on an open-ended round-the-world trip to spend more time together as a family and find a place they’d like to call home. Colin works location independently while Tracy home-schools their children, coming up with ever more inventive ways to occupy the kids using only the resources that fit in their backpacks. She blogs about their travels at You can also find them on twitter as @tracy_burns and @ccburns.