Phnom Penh for children
With its chaotic traffic, lack of public parks and open sewers, at first glance Phnom Penh is not the most child-friendly city in Asia. However, there are a few little gems that help to pass the time in Phnom Penh.
Most sights will be overwhelming for younger children, but the Royal Palace (p83) is an interesting place to explore and Wat Phnom (p86) has the option of an elephant ride around the base.
Many of the leading hotels have swimming pools (p89) that are open to the public for a fee, and the go-cart tracks (p88) might prove popular if you have the next "Lewis Hamilton in tow. Phnom Penh Water Park (off Map pp74-5; @881008; Russian Blvd; admission US$5; ® 8am-6pm) with its slides and wave pool is a definite hit with the young-uns and a world away from bustling downtown Phnom Penh. There is also a small fairground here. Sorya Shopping Centre (pl07) includes a roller-skating rink on the upper floor, while there is ten-pin bowling at Superbowl (p88). There are also lots of children’s playgrounds with ball ponds, trampolines and walkways, including one at Pencil Supermarket (p104).
Many of the restaurants and cafés are child-friendly, but there are a few specifically aimed at families, including Le Jardín (pl03) and The Living Room (pi04), while Fresco (pi03) has a cool kiddies corner complete with PlayStation (big kids, hands offi). Gasolina (pl05) is another good option thanks to its huge garden, plus most of the riverfront places draw a breeze.
The most interesting attractions are beyond the city limits and would make good day trips to give the children a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Phnom Tamao Wildlife Sanctuary (pi 15) is a rescue centre for Cambodia’s incredible wildlife and the huge enclosures here include tigers, elephants and bears. Further afield is Kirirom National Park (pi 16), with gentle waterfalls and cooler temperatures, plus the fun Kirirom Hillside Resort (p116), which offers fresh air, pine trees, giant dinosaurs and activities such as horse riding and kayaking.