Part I: A Dream for 50+ers: Traveling with Our Grown Kids in Cambodia & Vietnam

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

by Adam Snyder

In addition to providing insights about how to live life untethered, we also want to share our travel experiences -- both our hits and misses -- which we hope will help in your own planning. In this blog, I’ll describe a definite hit -- two weeks in Cambodia and Vietnam, traveling with our two grown kids (Lili & Kasey) and our daughter’s fiancé, Stewart.

Part is about Cambodia, and Part II (Vietnam).

The hotels and tourist ideas we mention are at the end of this blog.

Cambodia: Volunteering, Sightseeing & Having Fun

We were five people and 5,000 ideas, but the first week in Cambodia was easy, as we were in Siem Reap where Pat was videotaping at schools operated by Caring for Cambodia (CFC). CFC's twenty-one model schools are changing the lives of tens of thousands of Cambodian children. This was Pat and my second trip there because I co-wrote a book about CFC (Graced with Orange) with the organization’s founder, Jamie Amelio, and Pat has produced many videos for them.

Children and teacher at Caring for Cambodia Schools

But it was our kids’ first time in Cambodia, so seeing Angkor Wat and other temples was a must. They are as magnificent as all the guidebooks report. Angkor Wat is one of the largest religious monuments in the world. Originally constructed as a Hindu temple by the Khmer Empire, it was gradually transformed into Buddhist temples toward the end of the 12th century. It was fascinating and they spent a lot of time learning about and appreciating the unique Khmer culture.

Angkor Wat at sunrise.

Our schedule was arranged by Caring for Cambodia (CFC) staff, and Focus Angkor Guide owned by Samedi, took us everywhere. He provided insights into Cambodia’s ancient history, but also into the tragic genocide that occurred in the 1970s and the difficulties of daily life that still remain.

We (which also included two of our son's friends from Shanghai), also volunteered at a CFC school. Our assignment was the painting cement garden borders at the Arahn primary school, not an easy feat in Cambodia’s excruciating heat and humidity.

Volunteering at Caring for Cambodia Schools (during and after working)

Afterwards we had fabulous and inexpensive massages at the Memoria Spa, a fish foot massage, and a delicious dinner at Meric Khchei Khmer Cuisine restaurant -- a tuk-tuk ride off the beaten track, away from the busy Pub Street. Cambodia's main currency is US dollars, and a huge meal for seven, with a dozen different dishes and plenty of alcohol, cost well under $100.

A snapshot of our experiences in Siem Reap

Our only stressful encounter was the turtle-slow check-in line for our flight from Siem Reap to Da Nang, Vietnam. We arrived at the small airport 1.5 hours ahead of time, but still had a mad dash to the tarmac! Vietnamese Airlines clearly knew about the slow line, and waited for all its passengers, including the last 5 people (us)!

And then Part II of our "Dream for 50+ers: Traveling with Our Grown Kids in Cambodia & Vietnam" would begin.

Waiting on the SLOW check-in line.

Our recommended accommodations, restaurants and tourist places in Cambodia and Vietnam.

Hoi An: Our Airbnb

Hotels in Vietnam:

Hoi An: Christina's

Huế: Ana Madara Resort

Hải Phòng (Agoda): Manoir Des Arts

Hanoi (Booking) : Marvellous Hotel


Siem Reap: Meric Khchei Khmer Cuisine

Hải Phòng: Nha Hang Nam Giao

Tourist Ideas:

Siem Reap: Focus Angkor Guide

Siem Reap: Memoria Spa

Siem Reap: Volunteering at CFC Schools

Hoi An: Yaly Couture

Hoi An: Tra Water Wheel Cooking School and Restaurant

Hoi An: Tranh Ha Terracotta Park

Halong Bay: Halong Bay Tours

Hanoi: Binh Minh Jazz Club

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