Siem Reap is a buzz of activity and children will love the friendliness and creativeness of Cambodian people. Obviously it is known for the splendid temples built by long ago kings with a precision of modern engineering. But Siem Reap with kids is also an excuse to get creative and add another dimension to the experience. Here are some ideas for pop quiz activities to do with kids in Siem Reap. Get your printer ready – you might want to take some of these along on family holiday with you.  

The beauty of the vast, ancient temples in Cambodia’s most popular tourism city – Siem Reap – is a sight to behold for adults, but some kids might need a bit of encouragement to interactive and maintain their enthusiasm.

A few clever clues will keep children interested in the stunning Bas reliefs. If you’ve invested in a guide, ask them to tell the stories about the Hindu mythology and events of the time. Have them point out the evidence in the images carved into the sturdy stone walls of Siem Reap’s historical ruins to offer an interesting insight into the history of these ancient times.

Then with the information you’ve received, compose a quasi pop quiz that will get kids in Siem Reap interacting with the history they are seeing in front of them.

Here are some examples.

Pop Quiz for Angkor Wat for Kids

At the enormous entrance to Angkor Wat turn right then left to the west-facing covered hallway.

1.  Look for the king who has 15 parasols. His uncle, being his elder, is still more important with 18 parasols. Can you spot him too?

2.  Find the hole where people are being thrown into hell. What are they are subjected to?

3.  The people in heaven must be having a better time. What are they doing?

4.  Count the Khmer warriors with their long ears. How many are there?

5.  Can you spot the Siamese warriors who have elaborate patterns on their skirts?

6.  Can you find the lady who is carried in a sedan chair while she is doing her nails?

7.  What instruments do the musicians who are marching with the army have?

Turn left into the south-facing hallway. This wall is depicting the Hindu mythological legend of the churning of the sea of milk.

1.  Naga is a serpent; can you find his head?

2.  Where is Kurma, the turtle that supports the mountain as it sinks?

3.  Count how many asuras or demons support Naga’s head.

4.  What animal is holding the point of the Naga’s tail?

Pop Quiz and Activities for The Bayon for Kids

As you cross the bridge before passing the gates to Angkor Thom count the gods with their serene smiles. Can you look as grumpy and ferocious as the demons opposite them?

Enter The Bayon on the east side and keep your eyes peeled.

1.  How many different animals can you count?

2.  Can you spot the child trying to steal from the lady selling her wares?

3.  Can you find the piglet hiding behind the cart wheel?

4.  How many crocodiles are there?

5.  How many soldiers are there paddling the dragon boat through the sea loaded with fish?

6.  Can you find the Chinese people holding their ducks?

7.  Can you see the cocks fighting?

8.  Look as grumpy as the unhappy man who has been bitten on the bottom by a turtle.

9.  Work out how someone can take a photo of you touching the nose of a smiling face.

10.How many smiling faces can you count?

The Practicalities

Pop quizzes don’t need to be nearly as well thought out as these examples. Each time the guide has finished presenting the information, all you need to do is take a few minutes to ask the kids what they can see in front of them or to point out other interesting images you’ve noticed yourself. Get the guide on board to join in the fun as he or she may also be able to offer ideas you would not have thought of.

MJ (a tuk-tuk driver also known as Mr Jeat) can establish an itinerary for you, uses interesting, well-informed local guides and has air conditioned vans and refreshing, icy cold, bottled water needed in the hot tropical climate.

For more travel tips on Siem Reap with kids, see the suitcases&strollers story here

To read about an inspirational 8-year-old suitcases&strollers kid who raised money for the needy in Siem Reap, see the suitcases&strollers story Travelling With A Disability.

By Iona Levinson