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Siem Reap Hidden Gems: How this Family Enjoyed a Relaxing Holiday in the Cambodian Countryside

TravelPost Category - TravelTravel - Post Category - By CountryBy Country

At Phum Baitang Hotel in Siem Reap this family of 6 discovered a hidden gem with fantastic service, a kids’ club, and stellar countryside scenery

When I was planning for a family holiday in March, Siem Reap wasn’t the first destination I thought of that would be kid-friendly. My first thought was, would the kids be interested to see Angkor Wat?

When I found out about Phum Baitang, and after reading the reviews online, I was sold. Phum Baitang, or ‘green village’ sits just outside town, where villas resemble the homes of rice farmers. This resort designed their gardens to look like paddy fields, which are very attractive at sunrise and sunset. There were also two resident water buffaloes that ploughed the fields every day. We stayed at the resort for 6 nights.

Getting There

Siem Reap is a short 2.5 hours flight from Singapore on SilkAir or JetStar, and the resort is another 20 minutes from the airport. It’s located about 15 minutes away from town by tuk-tuk and is somewhat of a hidden gem in Siem Reap. You’re away from the hustle and bustle of town, yet close enough to the amenities.

Rooms

The resort has 2 types of villas, Terrace and Pool villas. My family stayed in the Pool Villa with a private plunge pool, a little too small to do laps but good enough to cool off from the heat.

Initially, the resort recommended we take two separate villas for my family of 6. We requested to be in one villa and they were able to accommodate. The sofa was converted into a sofa bed, they added an additional bed and a cot, and my youngest could sleep with us on the huge king sized bed.

As my boys were already sleeping on toddler beds at home, they refused the cot. We checked with housekeeping if we could switch the baby cot to another additional bed and they were more than happy to do so. We could not access one corner of the wardrobe as the additional bed blocked it, but that was not an issue as there was another spare wardrobe just next to the mini bar.

Food & Activities

There are two restaurants in the hotel, one, Bay Phsar, beside the 50-metre infinity pool and the other, Hang Bay, in an orginal 100-year old farmhouse. The two restaurants open on alternate evenings for dinner, and we did not get a chance to eat at Hang Bay. It looks small and intimate and maybe not suitable for young kids who might create a din and disturb the other guests.

Read more: Why every family must dine at The Haven Restaurant in Siem Reap

We had most of our meals at Bay Phsar restaurant and I must say that it didn’t disappoint. Their lunch menu is rather limited but we had the option of eating out as well. The kitchen is flexible and able to customise your dish if you like it cooked a certain way, and you can also order something to suit the kids. The restaurant is pretty much opened during the day, breakfast is from 6.30am to 11am, followed by lunch till 5pm and dinner starts at 6pm.

Here’s the best part: the kids’ club is located right next to the restaurant. Albeit a little basic, nothing to shout about, it was sufficient to have my kids run towards the kids club whenever we were back at the hotel and to entertain them while we have our meals. They even have inflatable floats for the kids to use in the pool.

The official opening hours are from 9am to 6pm (we were usually early for breakfast around 7-8am). If the F&B Manager was around, he even opened the kids’ club early for us, and on a couple of occasions even prepared breakfast for them to eat there. Even though there was no staff to supervise the kids, we were right next door and felt comfortable leaving our kids there.

On the last night, we had our dinner at the restaurant and it was past 7pm. The staff at the kids’ club waited for us to be done and kept the kids entertained. We were really grateful for that.

Weather can be really unkind during the day, but the landscape of the hotel was so inviting that you just want to chill at the pool or at the restaurant just to admire the whole place. The weather was scorching hot in the month of March, but the staff at the restaurant made sure that all the guests were comfortable by handing out glasses of ice cold water and deploying fans. C’est La vie!

We were out early on one of the days to Angkor Wat and left the hotel at 5am. They prepared a sumptuous takeaway breakfast for us. After our tour, we came back and had some hot breakfast at the restaurant.

This trip was a good mix of sightseeing and just chilling in the hotel. We had the concierge arrange a few excursions to the Phrae Circus, did an ox cart ride in the countryside, went for a boat ride on the Tonle Sap, and visited the NPA dogs.

Overall, it was a very educational trip for the kids. Our first holiday in a Zannier hotel and we’re very much looking forward to their new opening in Vietnam next year.

www.zannierhotels.com/phumbaitang

Read more:
How I Traveled to the Maldives with Four Kids and Lived to Tell the Tale
Family Travel: Best 2019 Long Weekend Destinations 

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