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Laos and Cambodia in October with a 7 year old

Posted by cathf2 on 7/4/2017 at 14:22

Hello- I am traveling to Laos and Cambodia in October with my husband and our 7 year old son. We have traveled in Thailand with our son (and Vietnam/China/Myanmar with no kids) but this is our first time in Laos and Cambodia. We will have 3-3.5 weeks.

Do you think the below itinerary is reasonable? Any suggestions on what we should add or subtract? Any hidden off the beaten path gems to suggest? Any suggestions on which Cambodian island is good for a family? In Thailand, we loved Koh Mak (it was tiny, slow, and easy/safe to ride scooters which the 7 year old LOVED). We would like to avoid bus trips if possible but don't mind flying, boats or trains.

Thank you very much- I appreciate your input.

Boise, Idaho- Bangkok 2 OCT.
Arrive Bangkok 3 OCT. Spend night near small airport (shortest/cheapest way for us to get to Luang Prabang from Boise)
Bangkok- Luang Prabang 4 OCT (1 hr flight)
Stay in Luang Prabang old town area for the Festival of Lights 4 Oct-9 Oct (5 nights)
Stay outside of Luang Prabang (somewhere a hour or more away on the river- rural/villages) approx 9 Oct- 12 Oct (3 nights/4 days)

Fly Luang Prabang-Siem Reap approx 12 Oct -15 Oct (3 nights/4 days)

Fly Siem Reap- Sihanoukville (1 hr flight) then boat to island (which island?)- approx 15 Oct- 19 Oct (4 nights/5 days)

Sihanoukville- Kampot / Kep via private cab ($35) or train- approx 19 OCT- 22 Oct (3 or 4 nights)

Stay in Kampot 3 or 4 nights and do a day trip to Kep and Rabbit Island.
Kampot- Phnom Penh via train (approx 4 hrs) 22 Oct- 24 Oct ( 1-2 nights in Phnom Penh)
https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2016/jun/05/trains-phnom-penh-sihanoukville-kampot

Phnom Pehn- Boise- approximately 24 Oct

Of course it would be even better if we could add a couple days to make it 3.5 weeks. They we could stay a little longer in Kampot/Kep and whatever island we go to.

#1 cathf2 has been a member since 7/4/2017. Posts: 3

Posted by amnicoll on 8/4/2017 at 04:20

Makes sense to me. Would check the train runs on the days you want though

Do you have anywhere in Mind outside LP ?

#2 amnicoll has been a member since 10/1/2005. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 976

Posted by headphonejack on 16/4/2017 at 17:40

Your itinerary sounds OK but going to an island off Sihanoukville in October is not such a good idea. The seas will be rough and it will rain unless you are lucky. Cambodian islands are nothing like Thai islands, recently developed or over developed with rats and flies and backpackers.
Lazy Beach is a favourite of Phnom Penh people, it's on Koh Rong or Koh Rong Saleum. Some beaches have several resorts and if you get one with partying back packers then the doof doof speakers will keep you awake.
And the diving is pretty ordinary, up there at the top of the gulf there is not much visibility or fish and lots of rubbish. The train does not run every day and it is more like seven hours than four, it leaves some days at odd hours but it is a good trip. Certainly safer than the Highway of Death, Highway 4.
I would be spending more time in Phnom Penh, it is a nice little city despite the traffic. people do the obligatory S21 and Killing Fields which is pretty depressing viewing. Its good to do the bicycle rides across the Mekong at Areykasat or on Silk Island. I would recommend the boat trip from Takeo along the ancient canals to Phnom Da which is a temple on a hill in the water. Takeo is about an hour south, taxi there return might be $60 and the speed boat ride $40 but it is incredible. The canals are straight as an arrow for miles and go into Vietnam. They were built nearly 2000 years ago by the Funan Empire, near Kampot there is a tiny temple in a cave the same age.
I wouldn't go to Sihanoukville at all certainly in the wet season. Research Battambang, its near SR and quite a lovely town with lots to see.I would taxi or bus 400ks from there to PP and then taxi or bus to Kampot and Kep . Two nights in Kampot and two in Kep would be nice. Kep is unique with abandoned villas to explore, beautiful forest, great crab at the crab shacks and outside of weekends when the Khmers arrive very quiet.
Rabbit Island is nice but the boat ride can be scary in the wet season.

#3 headphonejack has been a member since 16/4/2017. Posts: 4


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