COUNTRY 20: Kingdom of Cambodia and Angkor Wat (and So Much More!) With Kids 

“Don’t  take the straight path or the winding path. Take the path your ancestors have taken.” – Khmer Proverb 

The proverb made us think  and ponder about the ambiance all throughout the country when  we visited. What we felt as family is that the country has been  living out the glory of their ancestors,  mainly from Angkor Wat legacy.  From flag symbol to beer labels, Angkor Wat is very prominent in all the places we’ve visited in the country.

 

Is that a good or bad thing? Well, we think it depends. Do they improve of what was  and capitalize on growing at  the  rate what it  was like during “ancestors” period, then yes. However, if there’s no significant growth and  milestones since the  past,  and  the present got stuck with the thinking of the  ‘great old days” then, it’s definitely a NO for us. This is  coming from our family, who are strong advocates of goal setting based on own family ideals – it takes courage. 

CROSSING THAILAND CAMBODIA-BORDER

Straight from our family adventures in Amazing Thailand, we walked to the Kingdom of Cambodia by foot. Ain’t that cool? Crossing the borders by walking, yes definitely.
Good

Crossing Thailand- Cambodia Border with these kids happy exploring feet
Walking from one country to another – yes, this deserves a family groupie photo ❤️

SIEM REAP

Exploring this vibrant city Siem Reap means visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Angkor Wat and  discussing at length the  wonders of one of the largest  temple of the world.

Our October visit to Angkor Wat  may be the  best weather to go. It was hot and definitely humid. With   kids, hyper and cranky at  the same time, serious discussion about different belief system in ancient culture mixed with the region’s histories of empire was very challenging! There were a  lot of whining and a  lot of playing,too! Add in a lot of tourists.

The mere wide area of the temple already fascinated us  and our  youngest reactions to temple, terrorised us. Her view of temple at five years old is not favorable,  although quite amusing for the rest of the  family members.

Angkor Wat With Kids in October
The best view of Angkor Wat With Kids Playing and Running Around
Don’t forget to be blessed by Buddhist Monk inside the Angkor Wat
Standing On The Very Center of Temple
Angkor Wat With Kids is Quite Educational and Great Fun… Really!
From A Hindu Temple to A Buddhist Temple – Can you Explain that to this Muslim/ Christian Family Please?! Oh, we get it!

 

OVERNIGHT BUS WITH KIDS FROM SIEM REAP TO SIHANOUKVILLE

Although, we love tropical weather over desert weather, we really  rather be at the beach or any body  of water when in  a tropical country like our dear country home.

From Siem Reap to Sihanoukville, we took an overnight bus thinking we’ll save a night   in a hotel plus save time to be able to explore more of the  Kingdom of Cambodia. Did we?  Oh yes, we did! We do NOT recommend it to family with kids, though. It’s not safe,not to mention, not convenient nor hygienic. The bus has not  toilet. There are pit stops every few hours of bus speeding recklessly in the night, passengers coming  and going at every busy stop. It was pretty stressful for us parents, while the kids sleep beside  each other with dirty blankets. We needed to use the blankets as  the bus air conditioning was on full blast.

Yeah, the things we subject ourselves into when we travel with kids. This is definitely under the list of “why did we do that?” category of our travel “Remember when?!” conversations.

Cambodia Backpacker Style – Waiting for the Overnight Bus

Our Overnight Bus – Oh Dear Lord, Not Again For Kids!
Siem Reap to Sihanoukville Overnight Bus

 

SIHANOUKVILLE

The beach stay in Sihanoukville is almost worth  the bus ride. The beach is fantastic, although the water is more on the  lukewarm side than refreshing.

The Gulf of Thailand Beach Sunset
Nothing Like The Sea to Take a Break from Temples

 

KOH RUNG ISLAND 

Somehow, we don’t often hear Cambodia and beach in the same sentence together. Yet Koh  Rung Island, the second biggest island in Cambodia is said to be one of the best in SouthEast Asia. So, off we went.

What do we think of the Koh Rung? It’s a good beach island, yes. The  best? We’ve seen better in Philippines, of course. We were  also expecting the same convenience we had during our  Maldives trip so a little bit disappointed when we learned that there’s no electricity in the island during certain period of the day. We also got a tree house  with no air conditioning with little to non facilities. Koh Rung is a little still developing island, based on our opinion.

Overall, the beach is fantastic and one of a  kind. Beachlovers would definitely be awed if they do visit.

 

This island is fantastic! Fine white sand and fine gold sand in the same shore! Plus treehouse stay is fabulous
Fine Gold Sand Beach adjacent to Fine White Sand Beach – Kao Rung!

 

Life is awesome by the beach
Life is the beach ❤️

PHNOM PENH

We explored this quite crowded city in two days. As a worldschooling family, we spent a great deal  in the Angkor Wat  museum and Royal Palace. As usual, the kids enjoyed running around  and parents wishing that they are learning something.

😃

Royal Palace

 

The Kingdom of Cambodia  is a fascinating country with resources that are diverse, culture that is rich in history and legacy. The people definitely are one of the nicest in the world. We wouldn’t mind going  back to Cambodia with kids if they do request!

 

Have your family  been to Cambodia? Explored temples or beaches? Do tell. 

 

Baobab Tree in Aspire Park

“It is a question of discipline. When you’ve finished your own toilet in the morning, then it is time to attend to the toilet of your planet, just so, with the greatest care. You must see to it that you pull up regularly all the baobabs, at the very first moment when they can be distinguished from the rose-bushes which they resemble so closely in their earliest youth…” (5.16).
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery

In addition to traveling together as family, we are avid fans of reading aloud to kids. We collect classic books and one of our  favorite is The Little Prince. Hence, our fascination to Baobab trees.

Baobab trees are the Africa’s iconic ” Tree of Life.”  Kinda like our Asia’s Coconut Tree – we call our high rising coconut trees as Tree of Life as well. 

Fun facts about Baobabs:

  • Baobab trees grow in 32 African countries.
  • They can live for up to 5,000 years, reach up to 30 metres high and up to an enormous 50 metres in circumference.
  • Baobab trees can provide shelter, food and water for animals and humans. A lot of savannah communities have made their homes near Baobab trees. 
  • Baobab bears fruit! And based on what we’ve read so far, Baobab fruit is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world. Hey, that’s what we say to our coconut!

Soon, we’ll be visiting baobabs in Africa, we know it would be a fantastic experience and family travel bucketlist to tick and enjoy. We also know that we’ll bring our worn out Little Prince book with us. Every time we read that book, there are a lot of realizations in life thay suddenly sparks our minds. Just like traveling. 

For the meantime, a more interesting information about baobab tree….

Drum rolls please!!! 

Did you know that there are baobab trees in Aspire Park, Doha, Qatar? To touch a real love baobab tree is like meeting Little Prince in person. There’s always a lot of reason to explore Qatar. Or any nearby neighborhood, for that matter. With curious eyes and wandering feet, we’ll  never know what we can discover. 

Our very own Little Princes and Baobab Tree with The Torch Doha in the Background 💜💙❤️

All Forms of Travel Are Remarkable! 

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart!”

Holiday travel is definitely not weekend travel. 

Weekend travel is, of course, not long term travel. 

Travelers are different from tourists are different from travel nomads.

Traveling on a budget has different challenges compared to bucket list traveling.

One is not better than the other.

Traveling alone is way different than traveling with friends or with loved one and is way different than traveling with family! 

Traveling with young kids is different than traveling with bigger kids! 

Every journey gets different results, every single time, different impact all the time! 

That’s why let’s just all travel and enjoy to our hearts’ satisfaction. 

There should be no comparison nor judgement, but more of inspirational stories from one another! 

After all, we are all travelers in this so called awesome life! 😍✈️✈️

Happy travels all! 

Keep on Traveling, Take Who’s Willing ❤️💚💙💞

Dr.Seuss’ House in Bratislava

“Why fit in when  you were  born  to stand  out? ‘ –  Dr.Seuss  

Oh  the places we find together, we even managed to find Dr.Seuss House!  Or  at least, that’s what  we call Hotel Galeria! A unique hotel very close to  the  Main Train Station in Bratislava, Slovakia (our 29th Country! )

Look, what our Little Lady Backpacker ran into while exploring Eastern Europe ❤️Congratulations, today is YOUR day!!

The facade of  the Hotel Galeria is full of colors, screaming for  admiration. The irregular shape and architecture is quite  pleasing to watch from  afar, much more in a closer view. 
This is the hotel lobby! Don’t you just love all the colors?!

The view from the inside  of the hotel also  never disappoints. The lobby looks like an artist hard-at-work and all wall and table covers look like abstract colorful painting!
Her bed and the colors! Including colorful towels. What a wonderful way to introduce the kids to backpacking in Europe 💞
This is not a sponsored post. We were just in awe having to experience a hotel like this that our eldest traveller described the hotel in her IG account as “one of the best hotels she has stayed at.” We book our hotel reservation one day before heading to Slovakia from Hungary.  It was  a reasonable rate for a 2-star hotel. 
Yes, it’s a 2-star hotel. We could recommend a lot of improvements on facilities, yes, but we always get what we paid for, right? With this hotel, plus lots of color, art and good customer service! 
Waking up to art in Hotel Galeria ❤️

What would you do when you see this Hotel? Do you dare check in? Would you? 😊

Hoops, the name of the hotel is Hotel Galleria. However, this hotel will always be  Dr. Seuss House for our family. It’s a really unique concept worth benchmarking anywhere. Don’t you agree?

How to Make Your Travel Dreams Come True

Make your  family travel dreams  come true!

 

It’s easy to make travel wishlists, bucket lists of places we want to go, destinations we dream of! Even those creatures under the rock would want to visit some places they have never been. But most of the time, they do stay under the rock, left in wonderment of what’s like outside their world.

May these three global kids find their hearts passion amidst life challenges and comfort zones ❤️💚💙

Why wouldn’t they, staying under the rock, is comfortable. It’s easier to just keep wishing to explore the world  than actually travel. Similarly, it’s way easier to make the Eiffel Tower photo (or other places!) the desktop screensaver than actually book a ticket and go to Paris.

But bucket lists are meant to be ticked off, and not to remain list forever.

The secret to realizing going to these destinations  are actually pretty straight forward.

1. Faith and Vision go together. A strong vision is backed up my breakdown of goals, yes, but more importantly, it’s main support and foundation is a belief system, a strong faith about something. It could be Jesus Christ for devote Christians, it could The Force for Star Wars Fanatic, it could be the unicorn for people who believe in the unknown, the extraordinary, the unseen. We believe in fate, God’s blessings and positivity. Those are the foundation of our Vision, family values, you may say. The thing is, Vision is something we strive for long term, hence, our faith, values and passion should support our own desire for the future.

2.  Visualize. Visualize. Visualize. And Visualize Some More. Have you seen the movie Jumper? If yes, you know that it’s about a young man with a teleportation abilities, his travel adventures mixed with family drama and young love action. Making our travel dreams come true is similar to how he used his teleportation abilities. Focus on that one.. Did you notice that he can only go to a place if he can imagine it?  Pictures of different places all around his room. If he doesn’t know what Rome looks like, he can never teleport there. It’s simple and actually neuro-science worthy!

3. Don’t be just SMART. Be SMART-ER. Our family is more of an advocate of setting vision and goals than travel addicts. Well, we are travel addicts, but all of our travels are part of our bigger plan…   to travel more! Seriously now, we believe that setting goals  is necessary for everybody!

Everybody Has A Someday, DO TELL US YOURS?

Everybody has  this “SOMEDAY!”   Here’s  the big open secret to getting to our “someday.” Not only we need to be SMART, but what really  works  is if  we are SMARTER! This good, (very) old acronym works!

Specific

Measurable (no-brainier KPI)

Attainable (in life, all goals are!)

Realistic (make sense to YOU!)

Time bound (w/ deadline set)

Evaluated (periodically!)

Reviewed (evolving YOU!) .

Write down goals, most preferably, uninfluenced,  own personal  goals which echoes your deep inner desires and  passions, and evaluate it periodically, make necessary adjustments (to yourself, to the lifestyle or to the goals!) Of course, you  can   change  goals  in life.  Life is….life.  Sometimes, there are changes in life which we can’t control.  When we say, our family aim to travel to  100 countries together, we are declaring and sending our thoughts on how we want to live our  lives. If, for whatever circumstances, the Universe, God or Energy have other megaplans for us and the  world, then we will  adjust  our goals. Revision of goals is not non-achievement of living life. It’s driving the car  and changing routes when a particular road is blocked.

We can see this in every work employee. They are  almost always afraid  to set high goals at work because they may not  achieve it, get punished for non-achievement and  be embarrassed about it. But such is not  the case  about  life –  setting goals and being open  about these goal,  means the  intent to maximize one’s life  potential and God given resources.

When you set goals, you set the tone of your day-to-day lifestyle, like ours – Turknoy Travels  100 is A Lifestyle and it’s  pretty  amazing, so far!


With a little bit of name dropping, here’s a proof that this traveling parents know what they are talking about when it comes to setting life’s goals – David Norton, no less. Ask us who he is 🤓


4. Positive Can-Do Attitude. The glass is not half full  nor  half empty.  Oh the places we travel  with that glass!

The reality in life – positive attracts positive.  Positive multiplies positive is enormous positive  potential. We  are the sum or total of the positive influence we surround ourselves it. That  may be  the universal requirement  for  goal achievement.

 

We are the average of the stuff toys we hang out with! Choose Turtle and Unicorns for Positivity!

5. Be Spontaneous and Just Leave.  Action cures  fear!  The beginning of a  thousand miles is a single step! Take the first bite is  how you eat the entire cow.

A  little trivia about our family?  We started traveling right after our Traveling Dad  lost  his day  job. That’s when we know for sure that life is off to good start  the moment  we say…”What the  heck!! Let’s just go.”

 

Lighted Candles In Memory of All The Could-Have-Been Realities , But It’s Never Too Late To Just Go!

So, do  you have goals in life?  

 

 

 

 

 

Why Pinoy Family Should Travel The World 

“Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng ating bayan.” – Dr.Jose P.  Rizal, Pambansang Bayani ng Pilipinas

Translation: The youth is the hope of our nation, – Dr. Jose P.Rizal, Philippine National  Hero

Ang kabayan ang Pag Asa Ng Bayan – how do you want them to lead the future of our Country?!

Well, the world changed a  lot since that  Dr. Jose P. Rizal made that quote infamous. There is still a ring of truth into that quote at this  day and age, that we believe. Despite the fact that how many  generations of youth have let down  Dr. Jose  P. Rizal? Well,  we are not an authority on Philippine History, much more  an  expert on interpreting Philippine current events based on history. Although, proudly we say, our family is raising three global citizens exploring the world (Turknoy Travels 100 ,  now 30/100) using  their Philippine passports.

So, from  one Pinoy family to another, we encourage you to travel with  kids and we have three persuading reasons:

Pinoys  are World Class, Traveling  Magnifies Opportunities For Pinoy Kids to  be World Class. Bragging aside, we know how Filipinos contribute to international workforce, arts, science and new discoveries. Monkey see, monkey  do. When kids see Filipinos all over the world, doing what they  like best  and being admired for it by  almost all  nationalities, that fire of passion will burn until they accomplish  something similar.

A lame comparison,  albeit common, would be to be so  excited about having a Filipino Restaurant  in a certain  city  in any  country! We will definitely be tempted  to visit  and chat with the owner about how that success came to be.

Don’t even  get us started about Filipinos winning in  international competition, mainly in singing or in fashion. Don’t we all feel that same old “Proud to be  Pinoy” sentiments? Speaking of which… “Uyy, there’s a Pinoy winner  in  Project  Runway.” or that Isn’t Bruno Mars Filipino by blood line?!

There’s  fire burning in every adult Filipino to succeed in international scene. When that fire started kindling  at an early age, there’s  no  amount of life’s fire extinguisher  can void that.

 

The  World is Beautiful. There’s  More to Life Than SM. 

Disclaimer alert, these statements are written from a village Filipino perspective, as our family came from a far away village with happily-ever-after endings. Yes, a remote, small village where everybody knows everybody’s names and sadly and  happily, depends on how you look at it, everybody’s business.

Way way back, do you know where our family go to entertain guests? Where we think, we would go for an adventure? SM! Yes, those big, gigantic, enormous buildings, apparently the biggest malls in Asia or in  the world. molding the minds of millions of Filipinos to buy their hard earned dollars, euros, pesos or any  denomination because they are SM! Imagine how small scale entrepreneurs and small scale  real estate agents would prosper without these gigantic commercial monopoly.

Okay, got a little carried away there. The  point is, the Philippines has lots of  magnificent islands, mountains, seas, waterfalls to explore. Thanks to a gazillion of tourists who got viral attention in the internet because they  showcase the beauty of our  motherland, The Philippines.And yes, we know that  Pinoy millennial  have been  traveling the world and the country quite extensively, like no other generation has ever done. Why not Pinoy kids, follow millennial lead?

Going farther, when we travel with kids, we get to see that other countries have a lifestyle, not necessary like our country that works. In Europe, there are no  big malls, yet the  tourists and locals visit Old Towns patronising small shops earning  their living for centuries! Okay, maybe for decades. But that’s the point. Business can  run for decades because they have the  sense of heritage.

It’s a beautiful world, not  in a supermall,  megamall kind of way! The earlier the kids learn this, the better for the country!

If you are not exploring the Philippines by boat, you are doing it wrong!

That Colonial Mentality (Hey Joe!) 

Most – Hey Joe! You American?

Some: Not all white people are Americans! Some of them are Brits!

Obviously pun intended. But hey, not Filipinos fault! Our gorgeous archipelago has been colonized for centuries and the school textbooks are yet to be  revised to  include stories about other countries (you know, like what are Bohemians?! – seriously, hope we are wrong for thinking this, do educate us!)

Every country is different. Each one has different history and culture.  White, black, brown, yellow, pink. If we are  not open to this understanding and keen on  generalizing skin colors, we might as well be uneducated. Europe has 50  countries, each  one of the countries have diverse backgrounds and most of them, black, white, yellow, pink and every color in between. Africa is  not country, the continent has 54 countries and no, not all of their inhabitants are black! Add in the  other  4 continents, and we have almost 200 nationalities. We know how it feels to be stereotype as ” You Asian looks the same with  your small eyes and like rice so much!” Ggrr

I guess, our point is, travel with kids for them to introduce diversity!

These are our three personal reasons why we travel with our Pinoy kids. There are more, like appreciation of world religion, which we elaborated on our Singapore blog post and  our worldschooling  ideas. We  intend to share more as we go on more adventure with our family  goals.

Do you have a  burning reason why Pinoy kids should travel the world?

There are different ways to take a shower, yet, using Tabo is the best!

Travel with Kids With Beauty and the Beast 



” Más kárán tanul az okos.” – Hungarian Proverb 

Translation- The smart one will learn from the mistakes of others.

Take as old as time. True as it can be…. 
We’ve said this before in our blog. Let’s Be Busy Being Alive. 

“Every time we visit a new country or a new place or do new activity together as family, we always have that feeling of vigor, of expanding our horizon, of being reborn (in a non-radical-religious-kinda-way!)”

That’s every single time. Insert music, tale as old as time… 

Family travel offers a tremendous potential to learn – learn from local people and fellow travellers, learn from history.

For us, learning from history is one of the best way to learn. History is never boring when we visit actual places where certain events actually happened. We get to see or even touch artifacts and memorabilia. We get to breathe the same air (almost!) of people involved in the events of the past. We get to feel the eeriness , of solemness , of the haunted or happy past.  

Ain’t that the truth, even on personal level, learning from people’s history gives us enormous potential to self check if we are walking on the same path, doing the same mistakes and gives us the chance to correct our wrongdoing. That is a mark of a matured individual, however. And yeah, there are lots of mature people out there. 

In a way, we get to see the full picture of the past and how it’s domino effect is reflecting in the present. 

Exploring Europe with kids gives opportunities to see the beauty of the industrialized circulations, almost ancient countries enjoying the technologies and way of life for hundreds of years, magnificent buildings, spectacular way of living (even third world countries in Asia and Africa are yet catch up.) 

On the other side, exploring Europe with kids? for us, also pave the way of magnified “narcissism” or worse “psychopath” tendencies of world leaders.  

It’s not easy to explain to kids how the magnificent Neuschwanstein Castle is where the “unfit to rule” King Ludwig II was arrested and how the history has declared him “certified insane” despite of all his inclination to beauty, good architecture and love for landscapes.

Walking in his castles, it’s difficult to imagine, how can someone be lonely with all the extravagance and beauty of God’s creations. 

Exploring the Danube River on the Pest side of the beautiful city Budapest, the kids learned about horrific Shoes on the Danube Bank. We stand on the very side where at least 500 people where asked to take off their shoes and got shot at the edge of the river. 

Somehow, Beauty is always accompanied by The Beast
It’s a serious topic for a serious walk
The beauty of Europe is, yes, beyond stunning. On the other side, the humanity which created the civilization is almost always beyond words. 

Not just millions of names engraved on leaves, so much horror.. in Memoriam

How do we explain to kids the horror of wars and wrongdoings of world leaders of the past? 

For now, we focus on lessons. On people and government (kinds, queens, world leaders)  to not repeating the same horrors of history. 

Now on to current events.