Monday, October 20, 2014

A Family Visit to the Temples of Siem Reap

I had wanted to blog about my temple visits in Siem Reap with the kids after blogging about missing our flight, but there always seem to be lots of activities for the family and I had procrastinated till now. Many had wondered how it’s like bringing 3 kids to the UNESCO site so I am happy to share my experience with you!

Cutie Stacci at Angkor Wat Temple.
The sun was bright and great for photography, but not so great for the kids.
Almost losing it already... Leroy almost had enough...
Here he is, happiest under the shade!
Can even act cool, well... it is definitely much cooler here.
Steffi took this couple photo for us!
My trusty model, Steffi!
Happy kids! Can you see that their faces are already red?
Steffi with one of the locals at the temple.
Leroy had to take this photo for us!
Just one of the many flights of stairs we had to take.
Well, my 3 kids were rather well-behaved throughout the trip and they were truly intrigued by the stories that the guides told while they listened intently, as freeloaders. They were awed by the majestic-looking temples, and would ask for their photos to be taken too. The hot and dry weather posed no problem as well, as they carried their own water bottles and walked on by themselves. Sounds too good to be true? Well, I wished it was true but that wasn’t what happened!

My funny kiddos!
With their many poses!
Looking pretty here.
Look how puny the kids are!
The truth is, indeed the kids were rather excited when we reached the first temple, the famous Ang Kor Wat and they enjoyed exploring and posing for great photos. But that was short-lived for soon the kids got a little cranky under the hot sun and demanded to stay in the shade. My bottles of cold drink in my backpack came in handy, but there’s only that much water I can carry comfortable. Tip: There are many vendors selling ice-cold canned drinks for USD$1 each, do bargain and you can probably get 3 cans for USD$2.

Besides resting under shades, the kids also enjoys the cool tuk tuk rides for they need not walk!
Stopped at the gate for a family photo!
Found a nice spot by the side of the road and stopped for a quick photo!
One should get the 3-day past to visit the temples at a leisurely pace for it is much cheaper. A 1-day pass costs USD$20 while a 3-day pass costs USD$40. Kids below the age of 12 gets in free! Try to plan for a sunrise visit and a sunset visit at the temples for a different experience. The 3-day pass would allow you to visit the temples for half a day, and plan for other activities for the kids for the other half. Otherwise, the kids may dread the mention or sight of TEMPLES like mine did.

A place where nature reclaimed the land.  Giant trees with roots intertwined with man-made structures.
More poses!
Now, that is a really huge tree!
Most of the tuk tuk drivers would advise you accordingly on the different temple circuits offered, and price negotiation is definitely welcomed. If I remembered correctly, my 3-day temple circuit cost less than USD$50 and we were out for about 8hrs daily. We spent probably 9 hours at the temples on our first day, and we started our day later on the second. On the third, we not only started later, but we went back to our resort earlier too! The kids looked forward more to their swims and leisure time at the wonderful resort we stayed in rather then boring temples.

Rare family photo.
Another helpful tourist snapped this for us. 
You would meet lots of local kids in the temple grounds, selling trinkets and souvenirs but I had researched and was also advised against purchasing anything from them. These kids should be getting an education but were instead used by adults to gain sympathy from visitors to sell stuff. Thus we prepared ourselves mentally and simply tuned off when approached, but I still can’t help it but feel sad for the young kids.

Hopefully this is not vandalism.  But he is really light by the way.
Love the contrast between the ruin and the blue sky.
Love the feel of this photo and Steffi was really cooperative.
But wacky photos are totally fine too!
I had wanted to take photos of the kiddos at the ruins, before anything happens to the temples and the place gets closed to public in the future. But this UNESCO site should only be a by-the-way visit for families with young kids.  I had to carry the kids on many occasions for they threw tantrums under the harsh weather conditions. Prams would be of no use to due to the uneven grounds and the many stairs. But looking on the bright side, one do get good exercise. 

Steffi standing in one of the huge dead trees.
A nice tourist took this nice photo for me when she saw me taking photos for the family.
Steffi took this well-timed photo of us.  Funny right???

Cheeky Stacci with her favorite pacifier!
Cannot trust Leroy in taking a decent photo.  He must spoil it every time. Grr...
My pretty Steffi.
Ok, this type of photo, Leroy is best at!
Cover page model wannabe!
We had no regrets bringing the kids there, and would even do it all over again, maybe after I hone my photography skills. Of course, we would plan for lots more fun activities for the kids next time round so that they do not get “temple-overdose”, and maybe Louie gets to tag along too! Meanwhile, hope you enjoyed the photos we took.

I found Stacci's expression really funny!
My pretty model at work.
Leroy meeting his Chinese zodiac animal in person.
Wau, she knows how to pose wor!
And then she reverts to herself again.
Love the kiddos!
At one of the last few temples we visited.
Playing the fools!
Steffi got framed!
A different perspective.
Cute Steffi posing, and letting sleeping cat sleep.
I swear I could almost hear kitty snore...
Stacci have had enough with taking photos!
So was Steffi!
She already can't smile much, so I ask her to do whatever she wanted.
A jump shot!
I LOVE this photo taken by my wife!  Everyone is looking so happy!
Spot the kiddos among the ruins!
We were trying jump shots everywhere!
The kiddos decided to try out their own version too!
Lastly, find out the unflattering truth on how I got the kiddos to pose for the photos and how cheeky they are in the video clip done by my wife!  Find out who took the following photo for me too!

Check out the video below to find out how and who took this photo of me!


  1. Your kiddos really know how to pose.. very beautifully taken photos.. I like =)

  2. I love the way you have described the experiences you had. If you are an expat and plan on moving to Singapore, you may want to check out I found it to be very useful in finding a place.