We have embraced the art of slow travel managing to over stay everywhere we've been so far in Cambodia. Firstly, Battambang kept us busy for five days despite the awkwardness of streets constantly being closed off for the filming of First They Killed My Father (a harrowing but highly recommended read). Followed by a seven night, or was it eight, stay in Phnom Penh.
The city is unrecognisable from when we visited 16years ago (I feel like I may have said that before on the blog!). The traffic is fairly bad but nowhere near Bangkok gridlock. Generally once you're in the city the roads move fairly freely.
We stayed in two beautiful boutique hotels complete with swimming pools, air-con, mini bars and flat screen tv. Can't seem to break the flashpacker habits. There was actually quite a lot to keep the kids entertained and we didn't even cover all the things we were planning on. Here was our hit list of what we enjoyed.
Kids Centre is a huge 9 storey building full of entertainments for small and big kids alike. From laser quest, go karting, and clip and climb to a great soft play centre which the kids exhausted themselves in for a good few hours.
We spent an amazing day at Phnom Tamao a wildlife alliance run rehabilitation centre for rescued animals. You can just turn up and pay the $5 entrance fee but the place is huge and you'd struggle to find your way round without a guide, so we took a tour with Betelnut for $40. We learnt about the animals histories where they'd been rescued from and what the centre does. It was a fantastic day where we got to feed and pet deer, manchuk, elephants, otters, gibbons and probably some other things I've forgotten. We also saw a completely new animal for me which looks a bit like it belongs in a Dr Seuss book. Called a binthung it looks like a bear with an enourmous moustache. The children both loved it despite the heat and the millions of macaques.
Central Market was good - cool even in the heat of the midday and some good bargains to be had of you haggle well. Otto loved trying on all the sunglasses at once much to the enjoyment of the stall owners.
There's a brand new super mall - Aeon Mall which has two soft play areas as well as bowling, cinemas and loads of lovely if expensive shops. It also has lots of escalators which is the best fun ever for our 2&3 year old. I wonder if they would love them quite so much if we'd stayed in England or if it's the novelty of only rarely encountering them here.
The city has quite a decent playpark as well near Wat Phnom where the kids played in the 40° heat whilst we mainlined water into them.
After much lazing by the pool and eating at expensive restaurants it was time to leave the capital for the south coast and Kampot.
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Kelly and Mikey (but mostly Kelly). We sold up in the UK to travel with our two littluns for a year or so. If you want to know more click the about us!